Every one has been following the quest of Dr Dan Benishek to get elected to represent Michigan's 1st congressional district, His primary was a nailbiter. I want to call attention to another Dr in Michigan whose quest is to get elected to represent Michigan's 15th congressional district. His name is Dr Rob Steele, a 52-year-old cardiologist from Ann Arbor, and he is running to unseat John Dingell, the D incumbent who has held this seat since 1955. John Dingell is the only sitting member of Congress who was elected when a veteran of the Civil War was still alive. His father held this seat from 1933 until he died in 1955. Both the elder Dingle and John worked for a national health care bill every session they served in, and now Obamacare just might cost John Dingell the seat.
The House D leadership already muscled John Dingell out of his powerful post as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Then there is the residual effect of the last round of redistricting: liberals in his district, many of whom voted for former Rep. Lynn Rivers in a 2002 incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchup with Dingell, have been slow to embrace him. With Michigan set to lose seats in the next round of reapportionment and redistricting, in 2012, some Democrats may prefer not to lend a hand.
Evidence of political atrophy appears in Dingell's fundraising reports. Through mid-July of this year he had raised only $1 million. At the same point in 2008, he had collected more than $2.03 million.
The odds are against Steele, but he thinks his message is powerful:
Imagine if Dingell were applying for a job in Michigan, and the employer asked, Well, what happened during your time in Congress? Our state is aging faster than Florida and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman says Dingell is the person most responsible for the collapse of Detroit. That's not a good resume.
In one of the more unique attack lines this election cycle, Steele is criticizing Dingell for a vote he took over 45 years ago.
There's only two congressman in the House of Representatives right now who voted to take Social Security out of its own account and allow it into the general fund, and John Dingell is one of them. Up until 1965 the Social Security funds couldn't be used in the general budget, and in 1965 John Dingell voted to turn those funds into the general ledger and be used for any purpose.
In a sign of concern over the race, John Dingell has just released an ad attacking Rob Steele. This is the script:
John Dingell, America's watchdog.
Cracking down on Medicare waste.
Holding BP, not the taxpayers, accountable.
Keeping tainted food off the shelves.
Now meet millionaire Rob Steele, Wall Street's yes man.
Yes to Wall Street control of seniors' Social Security.
Yes to tax cuts for wealthy Wall Street bankers.
Yes to tax loopholes for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.
Wall Street over working families?
Say no to Rob Steele's Wall Street agenda.
Rob Steele who is a heart specialist, not a hedge fund manager, responds
It's insanity in a general sense. What do I have to do with outsourcing jobs? What do I have to do with Wall Street? My top issues in the campaign are federal spending, accountability, and transparency.
As for the reference to "millionaire Rob Steele," Dingell has somehow managed to do quite well on the public payroll. Last November, the Detroit News reported that Dingell is the wealthiest member of the Michigan delegation, with a net worth of about $2.6 million. That does not include the substantial assets of his heiress wife Debbie, who has been quite successful as a Washington lobbyist (often on issues under her husband's jurisdiction).
And as far as campaign cash is concerned, who is getting what from whom? According to OpenSecrets, Dingell's campaign committee and leadership PAC had raised $1,155,698 as of July 14, with 75 percent of it coming from PACs and 24 percent coming from individuals. Steele had raised $213,486, with 0 percent of it coming from PACs and 89 percent from individuals. (The remaining 11 percent came from Steele himself.)
The largest portion of Dingell's PAC cash came from the health care sector, which hoped to profit from Dingell's support of Obamacare. Next was labor unions. Next was the energy sector -- Dingell had been chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Next was lawyers and lobbyists.
Rob Steele's response to millionaire reference
For him to be calling me a millionaire, it's just crazy, when he's obviously the one who is tied to corporate money and special interests and PACs.
Read more at the Washington Examiner
Please support Dr Rob Steele and visit his website. Please take a moment to watch the vids below. They are excellent video productions that will let you know that you like the cut of his jib and what he is saying.