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Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Things Stay The Same -- A Michigan Politics Post State Dems Convention Commentary

Photo Credit - Michigan Radio
Picture of the Michigan Capitol Building and statue in Lansing, Michigan
It literally took twenty-four hours to write this commentary....

This is most prudent sentence to effectively describe what took place at the Annual Convention of Michigan Democrats located in Detroit on Valentine's Day 2015. Before circling the aftermath of what did stay the same, it would be best to travel back in time to November 4, 2014 -- a day that will live in infamy.

Michigan Democrats lost big time with exceptions of former Congressman -- now Senator Gary Peters (D), former Southfield Mayor now Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D - Oakland County) becoming first African-American Woman elected from the state to Congress since 2010, and former private Attorney now Justice Richard Bernstein to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Lawrence, Peters and Bernstein's wins were profound, yet in reality these candidates won these races on their own merit.

Now, back to what happened Democrats in other Statewide elections in the year 2014.

As a Jackson Democrat Party Chair described what occurred in poignant terms one sober Thursday Morning in November to MLive, "We got our butts kicked!" 

Yes, indeed the Michigan Democratic Party got their gluteus maximus reamed. 
"It sometimes feels like the deck is stacked against us," Jackson County Democrats Barb Shelton stated to MLive on November 6, 2014. "Voters feel disheartened and intimidated by the system," Shelton said.
A system were in the State of Michigan, Republicans have a stronghold on the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State Offices of the Executive Branch. Republicans also gained seats to near super-majority levels in Legislative Branches of the State House and Senate.

Yes, Michigan Democrats scraped by holding onto the largely administrative policy making entity called the State Board of Education. However, the purse strings for Michigan Public Education is centered lock, stock and barrel by the Legislative Branch, then signed into law by the Executive Branch Governor's Office -- both controlled by Michigan Republicans.

So whom felt at the sword on a bitterly cold Valentine Day Michigan Saturday in 2015 as a result of the State Democrats devastating losses in November?

In reality, no one.

Not the Democratic Party Leader Lon Johnson or his team.

Johnson promised when elected into the Chairperson spot in 2013 after a then bitter fight with former 20-year Chairman Mark Brewer, to enact change voters could believe in. 

In response to a question whether former MDP Chairperson Brewer was offered payment to leave the position as top party affiliated Democrat in Michigan two years ago, Brewer said to MLive Media Group: 
"Yes, and I turned it down," Brewer told reporters from MLive February 23, 2013. "I think it was a couple hundred thousand dollars, and I turned it down because I am not motivated by money. I think I can win tomorrow. I believe I can win tomorrow." Brewer would not say who offered him the deal -- "It was not done by a specific person or organization" -- and a spokesperson for Lon Johnson denied any knowledge of the offer."
Brewer's record prior to his removal was filled with rumblings among certain party faithful of a ticking clock.

This narrative rose despite former Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) winning two terms under Brewer's leadership, and state Democrats holding majority in Michigan's House of Representatives until the 2008 election, hereby holding on for dear life to at least one legislative branch.

Meanwhile, the results of Michigan's other Executive Branch holdings left much to be desired as Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Attorney General Mike Cox both Republicans, held power from 2002-2010, and the Legislative arm Michigan Senate remained in control of the GOP throughout this time.

But, Johnson vowed to strongly change this record if elected to the Chairperson position. 

“We need effective and efficient ways of winning at the ballot box. We … need the tools and technology to do this, and we need to start now,” said Johnson to Politically Speaking blogger Chad Selweski February 7, 2013.
None of Johnson's promises came to fruition on the Statewide level in 2014.

What happened instead? Well...

The State Democratic Party largely kept silent as City of Detroit retirees pension plans were cut and clawbacks issued on the order of former Emergency Manager and Jones Day Attorney Kevyn Orr; costing hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars were imposed as a result of the Bankruptcy ruling by Judge Steven Rhodes.

Ironically, Judge Rhodes will now retire with a full federal pension paid in part by the tax dollars of City of Detroit retirees.

Manufacturers of fracking technology made historical gains onto land space throughout Michigan.

Public Education in Michigan fell dramatically from the 27th best in the nation to 49th, right behind Mississippi, as Private and Non-Profit Charter School providers ran amok across the state.

Also, the median income of Michiganders fell by thousands and a questionable Detroit Primary Election in 2013 which still today, remains highly questionable will likely never, ever be resolved.

Normally, it can be extremely hard to inspire voters to vote when one have ignored issues of importance, and nothing changed last November or the date of positive loving memories, Valentine Day.

Yet despite it all, Johnson was re-elected as Chairperson of the Michigan Democrats.

"He needs more time," a Democratic operative said on the condition of remaining anonymous. "And no one is stepping up to run against him, so we have what we have," the person said in a defeatist tone.
More disconnected voters is what the State Democratic Party will have, as recent results have proven beyond any reasonable doubts.

Money rules everything in politics and the Democratic Party is no exception.

The upcoming 2016 corporate media marketed Presidential match between former Secretary of State, New York Senator and first Lady under President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush promises to bring 1992 back into the 22st Century full board --- as another Clinton/Bush race promises to break the internet or bank Kim Kashardian style with big money in politics.

Despite overwhelming odds, supporters of Wolf-PAC and TYT (The Young Turks) Detroit bravely ventured into the State's Democratic Convention.

Listen Independent Underground Radio LIVE's - Michigan's Top Independent Progressive-Left Program - February 12, 2015 Exclusive interview with Wolf-PAC Michigan State Director Eric Hart.

The groups' mission was to lobby party supporters, Democratic public office officials and Party Leaders on sound hypothesis why big money in politics is the wrong direction to embark upon. Wolf-PAC's reasons backed up by facts, was largely greeted by deaf ears.

"We approached people with the phrase "Help get money out of politics!" and handed them our informational flyer," TYT Detroit Bannerman and Member of Wolf PAC Member Nanci Frazer stated. "We received blank stares and comments from side-eye looks from folks who declined to accept the flyer." 
Wolf-PAC overall goal is to call at Federal Constitution Convention of the states to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 Citizen United's ruling which defined corporations as 'people' and has since, allowed large donors to systematically control America's political apparatus.  
"I expected a collection of Democrats to be more familiar with the phrase "money in politics" as a serious problem in our political system, but it seems these serious Democratic party folks just don't agree," Frazier said. "But I can say that when we approached younger folks, usually the response was "oh yes, money in politics is a big problem!"
So it appears until the Millennial Generation take over State and Federal Public Office seats held largely by Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, the message from some Democrats in Michigan will be not to change anything when it appears overarching sentiment is to change nothing at all. 

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1 comment :

Monica RW said...

Thank you for your comment Adaj. It appears your thoughts are in the era of what is correct.


A writer was waiting in line to sign-in at a morning Caucus Meeting during the a recent Shin-Dig.

Anyway, so the writer overheard the following statement said to a another person in line standing before the writer.

"Will you sign this petition to re-elect me as Chairperson as there is no competition and no one is running against me."

The writer rolled her eyes in utter disappointment.

Meanwhile, once the prescriptive to-be-reelected individual walked towards the space this writer stood in line, the individual took one look at the writer, the writer looked back directly in the individual eyes --- then turned completed to the right, with their back facing the person.

Needless to say, the person did not dare ask if the writer would sign the petition. This action was likely the best event that happened this entire day.

So, yes, you are more likely than not, right on point.

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