Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Perfect District For The DCCC-- MI-06-- Has Been Taken Off The Table By Steve Israel


Fred Upton is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House. But he's considered safe by the Beltway Establishment, with another nice free reelection pass signed by his old crony from the Center Aisle Caucus, Steve Israel. The Center Aisle Caucus alumni don't try to defeat each other. Since Pelosi made the colossal mistake of appointing Israel chair of the DCCC, the corrupt, conservative Long Island Democrat has protected some of the most obvious seats needed for a Democratic takeover of Congress. Southwestern Michigan's 6th district is one of the most obvious.

In 2008 Obama smash McCain 53-45% in the district, easily Obama's best showing in any of the 9 Michigan GOP-held districts. Even a remotely competent DCCC chair-- or one that was being properly supervised-- would have targeted MI-06 in 2010 and 2012. In 2008, while Obama was stacking up a substantial lead in the district, the DCCC ignored Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney, the Democratic nominee. He spent $84,883 against Upton's $1,527,587 and Upton beat him 59-39%. Two years later, the DCCC was perfectly content to see him as the party's candidate again-- and ignore him again. In 2010 Upton spent even more money-- $2,083,790-- and Cooney only managed $61,614 and scored a dismal 34%.

Steve Israel took over as DCCC chair for the next cycle and he didn't do anything about recruiting but, fortuitously, ended up with an excellent candidate in Mike O'Brien. Upton was worried and more than doubled his spend-- $4,724,798-- but with no help whatsoever from the DCCC, O'Brien only managed to raise $293,987. He held Upton down to a 54-43% win and tied him in Kalamazoo County, the district's biggest county.

This is a district where the DCCC should be recruiting. Are they? I don't think so. Israel doesn't recruit against his fraternity brothers. There's a very qualified political science professor from Western Michigan University who is backed by local Democrats, Paul Clements who is running, but the DCCC is studiously ignoring his race, the same way they ignored O'Brien and Coons in the last three races. If Pelosi was paying attention, this district alone would have her kicking Israel's ass out of the DCCC chair. This is district has a PVI of R+1, a MUCH better bet than most of the districts Israel has decided to stake the 2014 congressional battle in. And voters there are sick of the way Upton, formerly a mainstream conservative, has been dragged further and further right by the racists and teabaggers who control the House Republican Caucus. His overall career-long ProgressivePunch score is a respectable-- for a Republican-- 12.38. But for 2013 it's a shocking 1.67... pure Tea Party territory. His constituents now see Upton as a political coward.

Paul Clements teaching about international development administration but when he spoke with me on the phone yesterday, he mostly talked about how there can be no democracy-- here or anywhere else-- without economic justice. BINGO! He also wanted to talk about green energy alternatives and how that could make life better for people in western Michigan-- a topic that puts him at odds with Upton, a dedicated shill for Big Oil and Gas. (Upton has accepted $517,250 in legalistic bribes from Big Oil and their payoffs have accelerated since Boehner named him chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In his "heart" he may agree with Paul Clements about climate change-- but not in his voting record. Clements:
Climate change is the greatest threat to Michigan and to the world in the 21st century. We need to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius, but this takes a strong international agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions in each country. Such an agreement can only be reached with American leadership.

Recently Michigan has seen failures of apple and cherry crops, Lake Michigan at historic lows, some of the hottest and driest summers in our history, and increased flooding from stronger storms and heavier rainfall. These and other influences from climate change are likely to get worse. With runaway climate change we could lose half our species of plants, trees, animals and birds. West Michigan could have a climate similar to West Texas by the end of the century, with summers seven degrees Fahrenheit hotter than today. But around the world it would be even more disastrous. Runaway climate change is likely to cause droughts and floods that drive millions from their homes, collapsing governments, and wars over water and other resources.

The technology exists to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. Southwest Michigan must lead in manufacturing based on this technology. America must take the lead to negotiate an international agreement, address the harms from climate change, and develop the technologies for a clean energy future.

...In America and around the world we are “mining” natural resources such as water supplies, fisheries, and forests. We are withdrawing more each year than nature regenerates. Also, polluters and others who harm the environment usually do not pay the cost of their pollution.

We should move toward full cost accounting, taxing polluters for environmental harms. For example, coal-based power plants should be taxed for the health effects from their pollution, and nuclear energy and natural gas companies should be held liable for accidents and other harms they may cause.

Michigan is blessed with great lakes, forests, rivers and wildlife. It is our responsibility to sustain these blessings for future generations.
Please consider joining me in giving Paul a hand in his uphill-- but very winnable-- battle against Fred Upton.

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At 1:38 PM, Blogger Allen Webb said...

I have known Paul Clements for 15 years and he is a terrific candidate. Smart (scholarship boy at Harvard and Princeton), dedicated to serving working people and those in need (founder of the Kalamazoo Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice), and willing to work hard and win this race.
The Los Angeles Times has identified Upton as "the number 1 Enemy of the planet Earth in the US Congress." http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/12/republicans-environment.html. Upton has terrible ratings from teachers, nurses, retired people groups, University Women, glbt, and on and on.


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