Suddenly MI-11 Is In Serious Play For The Democrats-- Nancy Skinner Is Running
One of the most bitter and brutal Republican mini-civil wars is raging in MI-11, west and northwest of Detroit and we took a brief look at it last week. Incumbent teabagger Kerry Bentivolio is up against a fatally flawed eviction and foreclosurer specialist, Dave Trott, who is being financed by the corrupt Republican Establishment. The teabaggers are currently running this very effective ad against Trott:
Steve Israel, sensing an opportunity to elect one of his vile mystery meat candidates, recruited an ex-CIA agent, Bobby MacKenzie, who refuses to talk issues and is hoping that Trott and Bentivolio will just kill each other off. Progressive icon and local radio talk show host Nancy Skinner just announced that she's jumping into the race and is likely to get the kind of institutional support Israel hoped to be able to deliver to McKenzie.
Nancy is a known and trusted progressive voice in Michigan and across the country due to her countless media appearances as a syndicated talk show host who doesn't shy away from taking the battle right into the face of fascist heroes like Ann Coulter and Larry Kudlow (see video up top). She bravely took on Joe Knollenberg in MI-09 in 2006, then considered unbeatable after David Fink spent $2 million and lost big. Today half of MI-09 is has been redistricted into MI-11. Skinner used her radio fans and local roots and national base to raise $465,000 (with no DCCC help of course) to Knollenberg’s $4 million dollars and lost 51-47%. The Detroit Free Press called Skinner “Knollenberg’s near-death experience." Back then, her campaign drew national attention. She was endorsed by then Senator Barack Obama; then Senator Joe Biden fundraised for her; Joan Jett also raised campaign funds for her. Environmental hero Robert Kennedy Jr. did a television ad with Skinner endorsing her for her leadership on global warming. Skinner was voted the “Best congressional candidate in America” in a national poll.
The two other Democrats in the race, wealthy Bloomfield Hills urologist Anil Kumar and the CIA guy, McKenzie, are not likely to muster what it would take to beat either Republican. Kumar, who has never run for any office nor worked on campaigns, is barely a Democrat at all. Recent campaign reports show contributions of $3,000 to Rick Snyder (2010), $2,000 for Romney (2012), $500 to Mike Rogers (2010) and $375 to Rocky Raczkowski, the crackpot Republican who ran against Gary Peters in 2010. McKenzie worked at the state Department for a few months after his secretive stint overseas with the CIA. If he runs, the Republicans will talk about nothing but Benghazi for the entire campaign, while he turns off the Democratic base with the only issue he ever talks about, anti-terrorism tactics. His murky CIA/State department background leaves McKenzie vulnerable at a time when NSA spying on civilians and CIA spying on the Senate Oversight Committees are issues that will grow over the year now that a CIA Inspector General has taken an independent review option. And Steve Israel, McKenzie's crutch, can't vote in the MI-11 primary.
I spoke with Nancy Skinner yesterday. She was focused like a laser on three overriding issues: jobs, economic security for working families, and climate change. She has a natural ability to speak to every issue on hand, honed after many years of debating the other side on TV and radio. She's always had union support and has always fought all the tough battles for working families. We'll be looking a lot closer into Skinner's campaign in the coming days and weeks but her entry into this race is good news for the Democrats, who have been plagued by Steve Israel's abysmal recruitment decisions.