Saturday, July 08, 2017

Good News For Michigan: Paul Clements Is Running For Congress Again


On Thursday, Kalamazoo professor, Berniecrat and environmental activist, Paul Clements, announced that he's going to seek the Democratic nomination for the southwest Michigan congressional seat that's been occupied by hereditary plutocrat Fred Upton since... wait for it-- 1986! This is a swing district Obama won (53-45%) in 2008 and lost narrowly (50-49%) to home-stater Mitt Romney in 2012 but which the DCCC never contests. Last cycle Clements managed to raise $1,151,980 to go up against the $2,497,208 Upton raised. The DCCC pretended to back Clements to keep grassroots activists off their backs but did not spend one dime on the race. Hillary couldn't have been a worse candidate for MI-06 and she dragged down the whole Democratic ticket as Trump beat her 51.3% to 42.9%. (Bernie had overwhelmingly won MI-06 in the primary. Here were the primary results in the 6 counties that make up the district (in order of size):
Kalamazoo: Bernie- 20,146, Hillary- 12,593, Trumpanzee- 8,655
Berriern: Bernie- 5,952, Hillary- 6,646, Trumpanzee- 7,817
Allegan: Bernie- 5,545, Hillary- 3,489, Trumpanzee- 5,327
Van Buren: Bernie- 3,656, Hillary- 2,484, Trumpanzee- 3,287
St. Joseph: Bernie- 2,219, Hillary- 1,382, Trumpanzee- 2,528
Cass: Bernie- 1,683, Hillary- 1,657, Trumpanzee- 2,859
In his announcement statement Thursday, Clements reminded voters that "For decades our economy has only been working well for the very wealthy and the very powerful. Our political system is broken. I’m running to get our economy working for the people again. This means increasing production in America, raising the minimum wage, Medicare for all, major improvements in education, strengthening our technological leadership, a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure and jobs, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline. But if we are to truly make our government work for people again, we must reform campaign finance so our legislators represent the people, not the big money. We’ve seen from Congressman Upton’s health care bill that he is ready to stick middle class families with dramatic increases in out-of-pocket health care costs, burden seniors with an age tax that will cost them thousands that many just can’t afford, and kick 40,000 of his constituents off health care, all to give enormous tax breaks to millionaires. He refuses to hold town hall meetings. He calls himself bipartisan but votes 100% with President Trump. It’s time for the people of Southwest Michigan to have a Representative who actually represents them."

Goal Thermometer Blue America re-endorsed Paul Clements by the end of the day. You can contribute to his campaign by tapping on the ActBlue thermometer on the right. We already know the character of the man and the policies he's running on. What we asked him was if he thinks voters in the district are happy with the decision they made in 2016, if they're ready for a change and why he thinks he has a chance to win in 2018? He replied to our questions with this statement for Blue America:
As in most of the country, there is great anger and frustration in southwest Michigan at an economy that has left the workers behind and government that has been bought. Since November we have seen an enormous upswing of popular energy (which I have helped to organize and focus), with demonstrations at Congressman Upton’s two district offices nearly every week, rallies, teach-ins, and "Where’s Fred?" town halls (he hasn’t held one in over a decade). It has dawned on many who didn’t come out for Hillary that the consequences are really bad. Upton’s flip flop on health care, the Upton Amendment that got a bill through the House that would kick 40,000 people in the district off health insurance, kick seniors out of nursing homes, triple rates for people nearing retirement, etc. etc., and all to give tax breaks to millionaires and keep a stupid promise, has really resonated. While his every third word it "bipartisan," the Upton health care bill is in-your-face evidence whose side he is really on. It has driven his popularity to unprecedented lows. While I lost pretty severely in November, this helps to explain why my poll 6 weeks ago found Upton at 44% and me at 42%, and this based on “traditional” midterm election turnout. Well, turnout in 2018 will not be traditional. Trump will continue to help (sadly for the country), and I’ll be walking the streets of the district’s small towns, shaking hands in farmers markets, attending Rotary Club breakfasts and African American church services, and building the movement to recover the soul of our democracy and of the Democratic Party.

So far Trump’s support in the district has fallen by a quarter, and a good part of what is left is much more subdued. I know I didn’t reach many of this group in 2016; I will be working to reach them now. There is a closed circle with right wing media, Trump lies, and a lot of raw emotion that is hard to break through, but the practical consequences of Trump’s failing presidency will bite harder and harder.

I am honored that Bernie endorsed me in 2014 and 2016. He also won the Democratic primary in my district by a wide margin. I stand for increasing production in America, getting Big Money out of politics, Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, dramatic improvements in education, moving a million non-violent offenders from jail or prison to the community and jobs, American leadership on climate change, and fixing our tax code so the rich pay their fair share.

I can win in 2018 because people need hope and they won’t get it from Upton or Trump. One glance at Washington shows Republican Party ideology is bankrupt. 2018 needs to be the beginning of a turning point for America. This depends on vision and practical programs. I bring both, solid to the core.
Paul's campaign slogan is "We can do better." We know he can; we know we can.

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At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There *IS* *NO* good news for Michigan. They're fucked no matter who runs for what.

No jobs. No prospects. No industry. Crumbling infrastructure. Rampant corruption and incompetence on both side (yes, singular) of the pol spectrum. Colossally stupid voters.

Unless some candidate promises to inject his personal $3 Trillion in wealth into the state, nothing can be done.

What they will do (won't matter R or D) is to cut taxes again and again and make the sitchie go from horrible to lethal for the 99.9% (this started in Flint but it won't end there).

Honestly, if the us could flush states into the septic tank, Michigan should be the first. It's fucked.


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