UPDATE: Michael Steinberg, mentioned below, has amended his Facebook post and, thankfully, no longer recommends “plunking” for Sam Bagenstos. I’m leaving the post up because a number of people still are spreading this tripe. I have also heard that some people believe this is the position of the ACLU of Michigan. It is NOT.
I was recently made aware of some truly idiotic advice being dispensed to Michigan voters about how to vote in the State Supreme Court race. I hesitated to spread it further by writing about it but (a) the person involved is high profile and (b) Eclectablog readers are savvy enough not to find his advice to be good advice.
Recently, Michael Steinberg, the Legal Director at ACLU of Michigan, published a “note” on Facebook (“It’s a note! It MUST be legit! [eyeroll]) urging voters to vote for only ONE of the two Democratic Party-endorsed candidates for Supreme Court. In his note, says that the only good candidate is Sam Bagenstos because Megan Kathleen Cavanagh defended people he doesn’t like in her career as one of Michigan’s top appellate attorneys. He actually believes Elizabeth Clement, a Republican, is okay because of one decision she made to put Proposal 2, the “Voters Not Policians” anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal, on the November ballot.
Steinberg says in order to ensure that Bagenstos is elected you should ONLY vote for him:
[O]nly voting for Sam instead of for two candidates (or “plunking” for Sam) increases his chances of winning. To illustrate, consider the following scenario. Say you and a friend decided to vote for both Bagenstos and Cavanagh. Also, assume that the very conservative Republican candidate, Kurtis Wilder, wins the most votes, Cavanagh comes in second, and Bagenstos comes in a very close third, losing by just one vote. Under this scenario, had you and your friend voted for Sam and nobody else, he would have come in second place instead of third and won one of the two seats on the court.
This is, in a word, ridiculous. The only way to get TWO solid Democrats on the State Supreme Court is to… wait for it… VOTE FOR THE TWO DEMOCRATS WHO ARE RUNNING!
Look, I adore Sam Bagenstos. He’s been to my home to record an interview for The GOTMFV Show podcast I do with LOLGOP (you should listen to it, it’s awesome, it’s HERE.) I also adore Megan Cavanagh. She’s a single mom with the right progressive values to help move our state’s highest court back to the left after years of being dominated by Republicans who never fail to fail support progressive issues (that includes Elizabeth Clement, by the way, who as Steinberg points out is anti-Choice.)
You know who else thinks you should vote for Megan Cavanagh, too? SAM BAGENSTOS! Here’s a comment he left on my Facebook post about this:
Our best hope to have a progressive court is for Megan and me to be elected. That’s why I talk about Megan in every one of my speeches.
You can read about “plunking” HERE. There may be cases where it’s a smart strategic move. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! This year is sure to be a wave election for Democrats and this is a terrific opportunity for us pick up TWO seats on the Supreme Court.
Please, tell all of your friends, family, and neighbors NOT to listen to this ridiculous advice. While you’re at it, throw some money at Sam Bagenstos (HERE) and Megan Cavanagh (HERE). If the Trump administration has shown us anything, it’s the courts are critically important.
I’ll close by adding that I think it’s reprehensible that a man is advising Democrats not to vote for a woman. Steinberg could not possibly have picked a worse year to do THAT.
[CC Facepalm image credit: Cesar Astudillo | Flickr]