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Three Michigan Congressional races added to DCCC’s highly-competitive “Red-to-Blue” program

Three Michigan Congressional races have been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Red-to-Blue” program, a highly competitive program that targets races where the DCCC believes the Democratic candidate can oust the incumbent Republican. The DCCC describes the Red-to-Blue program as a program that “highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support. The program will introduce Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for these campaigns.”

The three races named for the 2016 Red-to-Blue program are:

  • MI-01 – Democrat Lon Johnson who seeks to replace Republican Dan Benishek who is not running for reelection.
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An idea to enhance democracy whose time has come: Vote for governor AND president in the same election in Michigan

An idea to enhance democracy whose time has come: Vote for governor AND president in the same election in Michigan

Michigan is a hot political mess these days. Between an a tea party-led legislature that never seems to run out of ways to screw over the poor and the powerless to the Snyder administration that is so intent on saving money that they ended up poisoning a city’s water supply, there’s little fun or uplifting to write about for a political blogger.

However, THIS is something that is very encouraging. Via Brian Dickerson at the Detroit Free Press:

Frustrated by Republican success in low-turnout, off-year elections for state and local offices, a group of unidentified Democratic and independent activists is quietly promoting a ballot initiative that could transform Michigan’s political landscape by moving the elections for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state Senate to coincide with the presidential election cycle as early as 2020.
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INTERVIEW - Gretchen Driskell campaigning hard in Michigan's 7th District to beat "Caucus of No" member Tim Walberg

INTERVIEW – Gretchen Driskell campaigning hard in Michigan’s 7th District to beat “Caucus of No” member Tim Walberg

In 2012, Gretchen Driskell did what few thought possible and what fewer Michigan Democrats were able to do: she beat a locally-popular Republican incumbent, Mark Ouimet, to take back a state House seat, beating him by by six points in the Republican-leaning 52nd District. Two years later, she was such a strong candidate that the Republicans put up a weak candidate that Driskell beat by over 12 points.

This past February, Driskell announced her candidacy for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Tim Walberg, an ultra-right conservative and former preacher who claims he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Walberg was ousted from the seat by Mark Schauer in 2008 but took it back again in 2010 and has held it ever since.…

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BOOM! Former Courser/Gamrat staffers file suit against Michigan House Republican leadership for firing them illegally

Oh, my…

Former staffers for ousted tea party philanderers Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser have filed a federal lawsuit against the Republican leadership of the Michigan State House of Representatives claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The 36-page lawsuit, which you can read HERE, outlines repeated attempts by Ben Graham and Keith Allard to alert House Speaker Kevin Cotter and the Republican leaders of the House Business Office of Gamrat’s and Courser’s illegal use of government resources, illicit sexual affair, and their creation of a hostile work environment for their staffers.

According to the suit, Allard, Graham, and other new staffers were told repeatedly during their orientation that they should take any employment concerns to Chief of Staff Norm Saari, House Majority Counsel Brock Swartzle, or the House Business Office.…

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GUEST POST by Paul Clements, candidate for MI-06: The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

GUEST POST by Paul Clements, candidate for MI-06: The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

The following is a guest post by Paul Clements, the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District seat now held by Big Oil puppet Fred Upton. Clements ran for this seat in 2014. Though he was ultimately unsuccessful, he received a huge boost from the Mayday PAC which spent $1.5 million to support his candidacy. I interviewed him then (HERE).

Enjoy.

The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

Once upon a time Congressman Upton said we need to consider all the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in 2011, when he became chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he also became the House’s leading opponent of federal action to restrain global warming.…

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Progress Michigan launches new website to help restore some semblance of transparency to our state government

Progress Michigan launches new website to help restore some semblance of transparency to our state government

The Center for Public Integrity recently released a report called “State Integrity 2015” which looked at the level of transparency in the governments of all 50 states. The results were, well, horrific. Only three states received a grade about a D+.

Michigan, however, stood out and not in a good way. Out of all 50 states, Michigan came in at 50th place. We literally have the least transparent state government in the entire country.

Here are some highlights of their report:

  • Thanks to loopholes created by the legislature, big spenders representing special interests can dramatically influence an election without leaving a trace.
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Michigan voters strongly support Safe Patient Care Act to ensure safer nurse staffing levels

Michigan voters strongly support Safe Patient Care Act to ensure safer nurse staffing levels

Bipartisan legislation would require hospitals to staff enough nurses to care for patients.

This is something you’d think everyone could agree on: There should be enough nurses on a hospital’s staff to give patients the quality care they need. But if you’ve ever been in the hospital, you know that’s not always the case. And it’s downright dangerous. Numerous studies have shown that when nurses are required to care for too many patients, there’s an increased risk of complications like hospital-acquired infections, falls, preventable readmissions and even death.

As it turns out, ensuring safe nurse staffing levels is something a lot of people agree on.…

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VIDEO: State Rep. Jon Hoadley receives award from Michigan Nurses Assn and gives a barn burner of a speech

This past weekend, State Representative Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo received the Michigan Nurses Association ‘Friend of Nursing’ Award in recognition of his advocacy on safe patient care and other issues that support nurses and their profession. The MNA is the largest union and professional association representing direct-care registered nurses in Michigan and they recognized Hoadley for his strong commitment to standing with both nurses and patients to ensure that nurses are able to provide the best care possible. The award is the MNA’s highest award given to an elected or public official who has shown outstanding support of the nursing profession and legislative initiatives that advance nurses’ role in health care.…

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Democrats call for action on domestic violence bills languishing in Michigan Legislature

Democrats call for action on domestic violence bills languishing in Michigan Legislature

Michigan Republicans have taken no steps to advance legislation introduced in March.

Michigan House Republicans are wasting no time pushing through anti-choice abortion coercion legislation they claim is in the best interests of women, even though it doesn’t protect women from more common types of reproductive coercion, a form of domestic abuse. Yet the Republican-led Legislature has been sitting on a package of bills since March that would combat domestic violence.

As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month gets underway, members of the Progressive Women’s Legislative Caucus (PWLC) are urging their Republican colleagues to act on a package of bills aimed at combating domestic violence.…

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Courser resigns, Gamrat ousted, and Dems score a huge victory on behalf of transparency, integrity, & accountability

Courser resigns, Gamrat ousted, and Dems score a huge victory on behalf of transparency, integrity, & accountability

In what can only be described as a dramatic day in Michigan politics, House legislators convened for over 14 hours yesterday to consider the matter of expelling philandering liars Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser from their institution. The first two rounds of votes failed to oust the two as Democrats held their position, many refusing to cast a vote, in order to ensure that a full investigation by an independent agency with under-oath testimony from everyone involved. During that time Courser belligerently held his own ground, refusing to resign and posting to Facebook asking for his supporters’ prayers. Gamrat went to the press to complain that she had been tricked into signing off on the process and findings of the “Select Committee to Examine the Qualifications of Representatives Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser” which ended up recommending expulsion instead of censure for her anyway.…

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Leelanau County Democrats call on Senator Gary Peters to support Iran nuclear deal

Leelanau County Democrats call on Senator Gary Peters to support Iran nuclear deal

The Leelanau County Democratic Party up in the “pinky” of Michigan has sent a letter penned by their County Party Officers and Leadership Team, on behalf of their membership, urging Democratic Senator Gary Peters to join with Sen. Debbie Stabenow in supporting the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration (a position we have also taken here at Eclectablog.)

Here is the full text of their letter:

August 19, 2015
To: Senator Gary Peters
From: The Leelanau County Democratic Party

Dear Senator Peters;

We, the undersigned members of the Leadership Team of the Leelanau County Democratic Party — which includes LCDP officers and 44 others who represent our 357 members — urge you to vote in support of the Iran nuclear deal that is now before you.

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