Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
Two items action points today… let’s A) get firmly and finally past the notion that the Republican party is the party of the rich while the Democrats are poor and struggling and B) let’s respond to the needs of our candidates.
First things first, the latest campaign fundraising reports are out and making their way across newsrooms statewide and what do you figure they show? The Democrats are out-raising and outspending Republicans in Michigan, and I’m not just talking about the incessant presidential ads being placed from the top of their ticket. In battleground districts across the state Democrats are seeing a record influx of campaign cash and instead of spending it to promote themselves and their agenda for their districts are putting it to use making personal attacks against Republicans.
The Associated Press reports on the one race that probably won’t surprise many of us. Senator-for-life Carl Levin is out raising Jack Hoogendyk by more than a little. He’s got $2.6 million in the bank. Jack has $81,000. Talk about David and Goliath. The rich and powerful are looking to put the boots to the upstart local hero and they’re crushing him with serious cash.
Even in the state’s two big Congressional battleground districts the Democrats are spending record amounts of campaign cash. Both Gary Peters and Mark Schauer have benefited from about a million dollars in television advertising being run by special interest groups from outside Michigan. Republicans Joe Knollenberg and Tim Walberg have seen some support from independent organizations but far less in terms of dollars and TV time. Thankfully they’ve managed to either stay close or stay ahead when it comes to campaign reserves going into the home stretch.
The Detroit News reports:
Along with money raised before then, Peters has raised $1.9 million and had $472,108 on hand at the end of September. Knollenberg had $1.9 million on hand at the beginning of this month and raised $3 million during the entire campaign.
In the 7th, Democrat Schauer raised $428,054 in the latest quarter, to Walberg’s $309,541, according to federal campaign reports.
A state senator from Battle Creek, Schauer had $856,148 on hand at the end of the period, and has raised $1.7 million over the two-year election cycle.
Walberg, a first-termer, had $691,635 on hand at the end of the period and has raised nearly $1.5 million this election cycle.
And that million in cold hard lefty cash being pumped into both the 7th and the 9th? That’s nothing. Just take a look at the competitive races for the Michigan House of Representatives. The Ivory Tower did and they found a man Bill Ballenger could only compare to a 19th century lumber baron or a railroad tycoon doing his best to buy himself a bigger majority on the state legislature. A bigger majority that will answer to one man… extreme-gay-special rights activist John Stryker.
Estimates indicate that this one individual pumped $5 million into state races in 2006. One man. And it bought him the Governor’s mansion and the state House. This year he’s back and has already spent $2.3 million trying to expand that legislative majority. He’s spending so much, so recklessly that even some Democrats are demanding he cool his jets… not that he’s going to listen.
The onslaught is so intense that even one of its beneficiaries, Democratic state House candidate Tim Bledsoe of Grosse Pointe, whose campaign pledged to not accept special interest money, wants him to knock it off.
That’s not going to happen, a spokesman for the PAC said Wednesday. Coalition for Progress, which gets about 99% of its funding from Stryker, acts on its own, said PAC Director Ben Miller…
Candidate Bledsoe said he’s being driven to distraction by the PAC’s considerable activities on his behalf since he has publicly renounced PAC support for his campaign and is trying to run a “citizen-funded campaign.”
“This undermines everything I’m trying to do; it’s inconsistent with my message,” he said Wednesday. “It’s the most insane situation imaginable.”
Miller said Bledsoe’s views “don’t have any effect on our decision-making. We have a plan, and we’re going to execute it.”
And by “we,” he means John Stryker.
Here’s the danger in what Stryker is doing… he’s building a Michigan sized fiefdom by firmly placing an entire legislative body in his pocket. Two years from now when the Senate is up for re-election he’ll do the same thing there. And once he’s got them he can take them out and pull their little strings anytime he’d like.
Overturn the ban on gay marriage? Sure.
Codify for the first time in law gays as an official “minority” group on par with ethnic minorities? No sweat.
Make criticizing the homosexual lifestyle a hate crime? Why not?
Pass a Constitutional amendment permanently protecting partial birth abortion? If he’d like to (and all indications are that he would).
Give colossal tax breaks to his medical research company in Kalamazoo? It’d only be fair, after all, he’s given the legislature so much already.
Pave the way for his company to branch out into unrestricted embryonic stem cell research? Yep.
Branch out further into human cloning? Great idea.
And there will be no one to stop him. That is IF we don’t stem the tide while we can. We’ve got less than three weeks left. Let’s use them and let’s help our candidates use them more effectively. Help Joe Knollenberg HERE. Help Tim Walberg HERE. Help Jack Hoogendyk HERE. Or if you want to do nothing but punch John Stryker in the face, metaphorically of course (let it never be said that I incite anyone to violence), you can help do that HERE.