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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, March 12, 2010

    Michigan Focus: More on the Real Bart Stupak...and Connie Saltonstall challenges Stupak

    I defended this guy for awhile. But though he is overall better than most Republicans, he really seems like an unsavory, intolerant, possibly corrupt sleaze.

    First, here's what I covered on this story before:

    And here is Rachel Maddow turning the spotlight on Stupak:

    More from Rachel Maddow:

    And more can be found here: Did secretive religious group subsidize Congressman’s rent?

    Now some new info, again from Rachel Maddow, who seems the main person covering this story: (thanks to Daily Kos)

    MADDOW: In making a name for himself, though, Mr. Stupak has opened himself up to some questions about who he is and where he‘s coming from. Last night on this show, we talked about Bart Stupak‘s long-time Washington, D.C. residence. It‘s an 8,000 square foot, 12-bedroom mansion called C Street. C Street is reportedly run by a secretive religious group called The Fellowship or The Family.

    And the members of Congress who live at C Street reportedly pay the paltry sum of $600 a month for rent—which is a sweetheart deal and is pretty clearly way below market value for that area. And that raises the question: who subsidizes the rent that Bart Stupak and those other congressmen pay—or paid?

    Today, Mr. Stupak‘s office responded to our questions by informing us that Mr. Stupak moved out of C Street at the end of December. They provided us with a letter that he sent his constituents upon doing so. But they have, so far, declined to answer our questions about how much Mr. Stupak paid in rent, who he paid that rent to, and who subsidized his rent if anyone.


    Quoting from "The Dispatch": Richard Carver, the president of the Fellowship Foundation, said "his charitable organization does not own the C Street Center and has no control over its policy. He said he does not know who owns or runs the center. Quote, ‘It is simply not a part of anything we do.‘"

    So, according to The Fellowship, they have nothing to do with C Street nothing. They don‘t even know who runs C Street.

    Well, today, we were able to obtain what appears to be the official deed to the C Street house. It‘s a deed that is dated September 23rd, 2009. It‘s a deed that appears to change the ownership of the property from a group called Youth With A Mission to an organization called C Street Center Incorporated. Signing on behalf of C Street Center Incorporated is that group‘s secretary, Marty B. Sherman.

    Who‘s Marty B. Sherman? Well, here‘s the 2008 tax filing of the Fellowship Foundation, again, or The Family. Right there listed on page seven, hey, wouldn‘t you know, Marty Sherman, associate.

    So, The Family claims they have nothing to do with C Street and yet one of their associates is the person who‘s listed on the deed to C Street. The mystery deepens.
    Now, you know, The Family is known to be a very secretive group. And one of the things we noted as being a little weird in our coverage of this last night was that Bart Stupak keeps going out of his way to say that he‘s never signed an oath of secrecy around C Street. And, indeed, in a letter to his constituents that his office he gave to us today, he reiterates, quote, "I have never been asked to sign a contract or oath of secrecy concerning C Street or its residents." Why does he keep bringing this up?

    It turns that not that long ago, when talking about C Street to the press, Bart Stupak told "The Los Angeles Times" that he kind of did abide by a code of secrecy when it came to C Street and The Family. His quote to "The L.A. Times" when they asked him about C Street was this, quote, "We sort of don‘t talk to the press about the house."

    The reason this is important is because Bart Stupak continues to deny having anything at all to do with a secretive religious group, The Family. But check this out. In 2002, when Bart Stupak was living at C Street—he‘s lived there for years—when he was living there in 2002, an associate of The Family described for the press the arrangement that The Family had with the members of Congress who have lived at that house.

    And this is how The Family described it. Are you ready? Quote, "A lot of men don‘t have an extra $1,500 to rent an apartment. So, The Fellowship house does that for those who are part of The Fellowship." "The L.A. Times" noting that rent is $600 per month h for each resident.

    So the questions remain tonight. Was Bart Stupak paying The Family rent to live at C Street? Was The Family subsidizing Mr. Stupak‘s rent which seems to have been well below market rate? Why would The Family be subsidizing Stupak‘s rent if he wasn‘t, as he says, a member of the group, when The Family admits that they subsidize rent for their members? And why exactly is The Family claiming to have no ties to the house when tax and property records indicate that it clearly does?

    Bottom line here, as Bart Stupak tries to shut down health reform for an anti-abortion stunt that won‘t succeed but will make him famous, who‘s been paying Bart Stupak‘s rent in Washington all these years? Has he reported it? And why won‘t he answer questions about it?

    More news is that Stupak seems to have a primary challenger. From the same Daily Kos diary:

    Connie Saltonstall of Charlevoix said today she plans to run against Stupak for the Democratic nomination of Michigan’s First Congressional District. Stupak, a former state trooper who calls Menominee home, has held the seat since 1993.


    Saltonstall, whose supporters are trying to collect the 1,000 signatures needed to put her name on the August primary ballot, said Stupak has let the district down.

    "Bart Stupak has threatened to block health care reform unless the amendment that bears his name is included in the final bill," she said. "I believe that he has a right to his personal, religious views, but to deprive his constituents of needed health care reform because of those views is reprehensible."

    Connie Saltonstall's contact info:

    Campaign Office
    11362 Boyne City Rd
    Charlevoix MI, 49720
    Phone: (231) 547-2138


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