Tuesday, July 03, 2018

With Paul Clements Knocked Out Of The MI-06 House Race, What's A Progressive To Do In The August 7th Primary?


Michigan's 6th district is a swing district that Obama won against McCain (53-45%) and that Trump won against Hillary (51-43%). The PVI is R+4. And the incumbent is Republican hereditary multimillionaire and Trump stooge Fred Upton. In the 2016 primary Bernie beat Hillary in the district (and got more votes in the primary than Trump did). Perhaps voters want a progressive to go up against Upton. Is that so hard to figure out? Sure, for the Democratic establishment it is. They want George Franklin, a fat cat lobbyist-- a lobbyist who has helped finance Fred Upton's campaigns for cycle after cycle-- as the candidate. Franklin has no values except money and has no place in a Democratic primary. Blue America's candidate Paul Clements was eliminated after a suspicious establishment challenge to his petitions. He had submitted well over the required number of signatures but the Bureau of Elections found him 9 valid signatures short. He took the Bureau to court, lost and had no choice but to leave the race.

He did have a choice, though, about who to urge his followers to support. As he said, his campaign has "always been about advancing economic equality and prosperity, equal rights, democracy, and environmental sustainability... It is critical that we win a Democratic majority in Congress in November, and not just a majority, but one committed to the vision and task of building governance that works for all our people. I believe that Matt Longjohn is now the candidate for Michigan’s 6th district with the clearest commitment to this vision and task and the strongest campaign to defeat the incumbent. I have only known Matt for a little over a year, but in the course of the campaign, while formally opponents, we have built a friendship based on common values. I am particularly impressed by how he has contributed to improving the health of millions of Americans through a career dedicated to strengthening our public health institutions. This experience provides a foundation for promoting, as well as universal healthcare, progressive reforms across our federal government."

I asked Paul to give us a deeper insight into why he endorsed Matt Longjohn and today he wrote this guest post:
Matt Longjohn for MI-06
by Paul Clements

When the judge decided against me and I was knocked out of the race, there was no question in my mind. I endorsed Matt Longjohn.

Campaigning for a year alongside five other candidates for the Democratic nomination, you get to know them pretty well. I count them all my friends, and each would represent the people of southwest Michigan far better than Congressman Upton has done. But Matt has the best chance to win, and he will be the best in Congress.

Matt is a true progressive. He understands that increasing economic inequality driven largely by money in politics is evidence of our democracy failing and it threatens to kill it. As chief medical officer for the YMCA Matt’s focus has been public health, such as improving management of diabetes and cancer, reducing childhood obesity, and improving gun safety. He is a strong advocate for universal, affordable health care, and with Upton having personally pushed the disastrous Republic health care bill through the House last May, this will be central to winning in November. More than this, the perspective and skills Matt has built as a leading public health advocate give him a depth that his remaining challengers lack. When Matt looks at issues such as employment, education, housing, or criminal justice, his paradigm links concern for the least advantaged with an informed commitment to smart policy. And his experience prepares him to use the powers of the office actually to achieve smart policy.

Matt understands climate change and Palestine, and the misguided priorities that our military spending represents. Martin Luther King says injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and Matt appreciates that we are caught in an “inescapable network of mutuality.” He appreciates the history of oppression of blacks and native Americans, immigrants and LGBT persons, and women, and struggle for equality that is likely to intensify under our Supreme Court. He understands that democratic equality must be grounded in equal opportunity, and this requires not only building economic foundations, such as through job training and moving people from incarceration to employment, but also correcting historic disadvantages.

The utter disaster of the Trump administration on top of years of Congressional malfunction means we need a Congress that is not only well grounded but also extraordinarily active. I believe that Matt has what it takes to be a leader in this kind of Congress.
As of the March 31 FEC report, this was the financial state of the race:

Blue America hasn't made a decision on this one yet. We're still looking at all the remaining candidates.

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At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stay home. Vote green in the general or write in your best person, if you can in MI. It's kind of a shithole.


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