UPDATED: Brewer campaign turns to negative campaigning in race for Mich Dem Party Chair

It didn’t have to be this way

For the past two weeks, Mark Brewer and Lon Johnson have been running positive campaigns in their race to be Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. They have both had nice things to say about each other but have made strong cases for themselves and their qualifications.

This week, that changed. An Eclectablog reader sent me copies of a mailer attributed to “Mark Brewer for MDP Chair”. The two-sided mailer says nothing about Mark Brewer. Rather, it is an attempt to slam Lon Johnson for his voting history in Michigan. Here is the mailer (click the images for larger versions):

What I find most unfortunate is that this election couldn’t have been a positive one where each candidate talks about what they can do make sure Democrats win in 2014 and beyond and didn’t spend time tearing down their opponent. That is how it started and there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been that way the entire time. It’s a party chair race, for Pete’s sake. Both men are Democrats and presumably have the same goals for Michigan Democrats.

Equally unfortunate is that Johnson-bashing Twitter and Facebook accounts popped up this week. These hacks are so cowardly that they don’t even bother to reveal who is behind them and, fortunately, have laughably small followings.

You can make up your own mind if Lon Johnson’s lack of voting in a handful of past elections is enough to disqualify him from being the MDP Chair.

You can also make up your own mind if Mark Brewer’s decision to run a negative campaign is enough to disqualify him.

UPDATE: I have learned that former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard has been doing robocalls on behalf of Johnson, blasting him for going negative. Johnson defends his lack of voting in 2010 saying that he lived in Washington, D.C. at the time and was unsure of his voting status in Michigan.

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  • Ramona

    That really is unfortunate. I would be voting for Lon Johnson, anyway, but if I were on the fence this surely would toss me Lon’s way. So uncalled for if Brewer has a record he can be proud of. Let’s hope Johnson doesn’t follow his lead. The last thing we need in this state is a Democratic catfight.

  • kirke123

    running scared? hope so! at this point in time anyone would be better than brewer. democrats need a voice, a loud voice speaking up for all democrats. this man does not do that and has never done that. brewer needs to resign along with the pathetic mea leader!

  • Carolyn 4444

    Mark Brewer has shown his true self in this “backhand” self-promotion! He doesn’t want to lead the Michigan Democratic Party. He wants to BE the leader of the Michigan Democratic Party. That’s NOT the same thing. My vote would be for Lon Johnson. New and fresh energy is needed in this state, not the same-old, same-old promises.
    Mr. Brewer may have been active and positive in his earlier years holding both top offices in the MDP, but time has a way of allowing one to rest on one’s laurels, as it were, and feel that effort put forth years ago is still engaged. We need new, creative, and strong effort, especially with the legislature in Republican hands in this state!

  • Triciajd

    What I have found amazing is how much money has been spent for this position. I’ve gotten phone calls with and without surveys attached, and at least a half dozen mailers. That’s not cheap! However, while remaining neutral (didn’t sign up in time to get voting credentials), I do think this leadership role is a critical one. I hope the party can rally behind whoever wins, and that we move forward with energy and real vision.

  • bush league

    Wow. Could you really ask for a more out-of-touch response? This kind of tactic makes me lose a lot of respect for Brewer. He didn’t have to go this low.

    Sad and grasping at straws.

  • bush league

    Furthermore, I’m continually troubled by the way we paint the younger members of our party. I have nothing but utmost respect for those who have worked tirelessly for decades in Michigan, but some of us left for higher education or career opportunities elsewhere before returning. I suppose a voting record can certainly be fodder for some conversation if you’re running for this position, and perhaps Lon could have “figured out” his voting situation more effectively, but at the end of the day – this issue does not matter to me. What matters to me is a leader that will move the needle forward. If someone missed a vote here or there but still voted consistently – that still works for me. Call me naive.

    Love it or hate it, OFA organized effectively – even if they didn’t always play perfectly with local parties – and that kind of strategy is needed to get the lunatics in our state legislature out of business. MDP’s field operation is nowhere near where it needs to be, and I am not going to have anyone tell me otherwise. We need the grassroots just as much as the grasstops.

  • Phil Perspective

    Why would anyone vote for Brewer after he refused to get the party behind the effort to recall One Wimpy Nerd?

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