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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).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

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

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  • Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Progressive Candidates in Michigan

    My endorsements follow, but first I add the Democracy for Metro Detroit, Harbor Country Progress, and VoteVets.org endorsements. Note that there is overlap among the endorsements, so candidates might be repeated two or three times. I keep them separate, though, so you can see what each organization says about the candidate.


    DEMOCRACY FOR METRO DETROIT ENDORSEMENTS:

    Democracy for Metro Detroit, the local affiliate of Howard Dean's Democracy for America, has made two key endorsements:

    Jocelyn Benson for Michigan Secretary of State (one of this year's most critical races)

    Gary Peters (MI-09) for U.S. Congress

    I urge my readers to get out there and support Jocelyn Benson and Gary Peters.


    Harbor Country Progress Endorsements:

    Harbor Country Progress actively promotes progressive solutions to issues at the local, state, and national level. We work to be a vibrant source of accurate information for our community and our government. Harbor Country Progress is a place and a people. Our headquarters in Union Pier is used for progressive political work, the exhibition and sale of Obama-inspired art, and a wide range of community service. We are a 100% non-profit organization.


    Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State



    Endorsed by the state party, no one has a better statewide organization than Jocelyn Benson. She will bring sanity and common sense to voting and the many other interactions we have with the state. She's charismatic and energizes voters wherever she appears.


    Jocelyn Benson's web site


    Cindy Ellis for State Representative, 78th District



    Goodbye Sharon Tyler. Hello Cindy. This is a key state representative race. Democrat Judy Truesdell lost to Sharon Tyler by only 1.5%—and the 78th District has seen the results. No jobs, no compassion, no progress. Cindy is a proud member of HCP, and we are proud to support her.


    Cindy Ellis's web site


    Scott Elliott for State Senate, 21st District



    A state senate race. It's a change election with term-limited Ron Jenelik leaving the public stage. A community activist and businessman from Benton Harbor, Scott has been Involved in the arts district from the beginning and was a plaintiff in the Harbor Shores case.

    "Government is too important to be left to politicians." Scott Elliott



    Virg Bernero for Governor of Michigan



    Current mayor of Lansing and known nationally for his plain speaking and passionate commitment to progressive values. As seen on MSNBC's The Ed Show or his refusal to back down in appearances on Fox News, Bernero stands up for working people and a social safety net while balancing the budget (as he has in Lansing). As the Democratic candidate for governor, Virg will energize voters statewide and down the ticket.


    Virg Bernero's web site


    Don Cooney for US Representative, Sixth Congressional District



    Are you Fed-Upton? We're Fed-Upton too. Don Cooney to the rescue. Don will work to get us out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's for the public option, the social network, and raising the minimum wage.


    Don Cooney's web site


    VoteVets.org Endorsements:
    The mission of VoteVets.org Political Action Committee is to elect Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to public office; hold public officials accountable for their words and actions that impact America’s 21st century servicemembers; and fully support our men and women in uniform.

    Congressman Gary Peters, Michigan-9

    Gary Peters served as a Lieutenant Commander and a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist in the United States Navy Reserve. His reserve duty included time in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Southern Watch, and he served overseas during increased military activity following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. During his service he received numerous awards and citations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

    Elected to the State Senate in 1994, Peters was voted by his Senate colleagues to serve as Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. While in the Senate, he served as the ranking Democrat on the Finance, Education, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Families and Mental Health Committees. He later was appointed by the Governor to run the Michigan State Lottery. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Lottery revenues were in a four-year slump and sales had declined by nearly $50 million per year. Under Peters' leadership, the Lottery experienced a dramatic turnaround.

    He is now in his first term as a Congressman.

    Campaign Website: http://www.petersforcongress.com/


    Aaron Bailey - Candidate for Michigan State Senate, District 13



    Oakland County, Michigan native and Royal Oak resident Aaron Bailey is running to represent Michigan's 13th Senate District. Aaron has spent his entire adult life serving our country and our community through military service and as a business strategy consultant and advocate for new technologies and job growth in Michigan.

    Having grown up in the automotive industry, Aaron became the first member of his family to earn a college degree, graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1999, where he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer. Throughout his time in the military, Aaron served our nation as a platoon leader, executive officer, and company commander, culminating his active duty service with the rank of Captain. In September 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Aaron was assigned to the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in Washington D.C., where he was responsible for leading Soldiers in both ceremonial and security missions throughout our nation's Capital.

    After leaving active military service in 2004, Aaron continued to serve our nation as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, and was recalled to active duty in 2007. Although a graduate student at the University of Michigan at the time, Aaron eagerly accepted the opportunity to again serve our nation, and left school to serve as an Operations Officer in Afghanistan with a Special Operations Task Force.

    Since leaving the military, Aaron has continued his public service, and is a noted figure on several issues critical to Michigan and our nation, including economic growth, clean energy, and national security.

    In his professional life, Aaron most recently served as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company, helping businesses, non-profit groups, and government organizations develop operational and strategic plans for success. During his tenure in the private sector, Aaron has helped Michigan companies and non-profit institutions overcome economic challenges and reposition themselves for growth.

    Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and a MBA from the University of Michigan, where he graduated with distinction. Aaron is the third generation of his family to serve as an Infantryman during wartime, and his military decorations include the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Aaron is also a graduate of the U.S. Army's Airborne, Air Assault, and Infantry officer courses, and he is qualified as a United States Army Airborne Ranger.

    Aaron Bailey is currently a candidate for the Michigan State Senate in the 13th District, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Madison Heights, Clawson, Berkley, and Royal Oak.

    Website: http://www.voteaaronbailey.com/


    My Endorsements: (based largely on Progressive Majority, Secretary of State Project, Democracy for America, etc)

    Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State

    From the Secretary of State Project:

    Election law scholar and community organizer Jocelyn Benson is running for an open seat to replace Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land who is term-limited out of office. In 2004, she ran a voter protection campaign in 21 states, deploying 17,000 trained election law lawyers. She also developed and supervised two statewide nonpartisan election protection efforts in Michigan in 2007 and 2008. In 2007 Benson successfully led a grassroots campaign to prevent the closure of a branch Secretary of State’s office in Buena Vista Township near Saginaw, Michigan, arguing that the closure would violate the Voting Rights Act.


    From Democracy for America:

    Jocelyn has dedicated her life to protecting people's right to vote and that is exactly the sort of experience and dedication that Michigan needs in the Secretary of State's office.

    Jocelyn knows what Michigan must do to become an election administration leader again -- early voting, same-day voter registration and more -- and she's ready to push these common sense reforms as Secretary of State.


    From the Jocelyn Benson campaign:

    "Knowledgeable and genuine."

    Those were the words that an editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette used in a recent column on our campaign.

    "The quality of being genuine is a rare attribute in a politician," she wrote.

    Below is Joyce Pines' article about my candidacy for Michigan Secretary of State in the Kalamazoo Gazette. I wanted to personally share it with you because it illustrates what our campaign is about - a genuine effort to ensure that Michigan's government is efficient, transparent, protects pocketbooks, and puts people first.


    Here are excerpts from that article:

    Column: The quality of being genuine is a rare attribute in a politician
    Joyce Pines | Kalamazoo Gazette

    The first major politician I covered was a U.S. representative from Illinois, Paul Simon, a Democrat who ran for the United States Senate in 1984. The Illinois newspaper I worked for was in the hometown of Simon’s opponent in the race, incumbent U.S. Sen. Charles Percy, a moderate Republican.

    My newspaper assigned me to cover Simon’s candidacy and I was sent to follow a campaign swing through southern Illinois beginning at dawn at a coal mine during shift change....

    Simon had a quality of genuineness that I have rarely seen in politicians. He was also incredibly knowledgeable about the issues. He was someone you could sit down and talk to and get his views without hearing talking points and what his “handlers” thought would most resonate with voters...

    After 26 years, I recently met another individual running for office who reminded me of that encounter: Jocelyn Benson, who is running as a Democrat for Secretary of State. I was impressed with her understanding of the office and her enthusiasm. A professor at Wayne State University specializing in election law, Benson has written a book on the Secretary of State’s office...

    But Benson’s major concern is making sure the right to vote is protected. She is very concerned about the potential influence of corporations on elections in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling. She favors requiring companies that pay for ads and robo calls to identify themselves so voters will know who’s responsible.

    We had a good conversation, not a question-and-answer session.

    After all that time, it was nice to be surprised by a political candidate who is both knowledgeable and genuine.


    Here is Jocelyn Benson's recent speech to the Michigan Democratic Party:



    Please support Jocelyn Benson for Michigan Secretary of State. Knowledgeable and genuine are definitely valuable qualities in a Secretary of State.


    Here is a list of excellent candidates endorsed by Progressive Majority in Michigan:

    Art Reyes II
    Candidate for State House - District 51 (Challenger)
    Genesee & Oakland County



    Art Reyes II is running for state representative against an incumbent Republican. The Republican is pursuing the GOP nod for Secretary of State and, if successful, it would become an open seat. Progressive Majority can make the difference in helping increase viability and providing training support and other campaign expertise. When Art is elected, Progressive Majority succeeds in increasing the ''progressivity'' of the state House and keeping majority in Democratic hands. Art is the President of UAW Local 651. In the past, he has been the organizer for the GOTV efforts of the local UAW Region in Genesee County. He has the passion to fight for working families, and create a state that allows his grown children to find work and raise their families here. Progressive Majority will be critical in providing the messaging and fundraising capacity building to make Art a viable candidate. Referred to Progressive Majority by leaders in the progressive community, Art's candidacy is taking notice by those in labor and the broader progressive movement.

    Mark Lightfoot
    Candidate for State House - District 97 (Open Seat)
    Gladwin & Clare Counties



    Mark Lightfoot, the Supervisor for Freeman Township, is running for state representative. Mark is a progressive who brings a strong profile and credentials that creates a possible pick-up for Democrats in the state House, while increasing the progressivity of the Democratic majority. This district is located in rural mid- Michigan, and Mark has a unique profile that will play well in the area. He is a Navy veteran, a retired firefighter and a current business owner in the district. As the next state representative, he will champion 21st century job creation, strengthening public education, protecting farmland, and securing the state's natural resources.

    Click here to support and learn more about Mark.

    Mary Valentine
    Candidate for State Senate - District 34 (Open Seat)
    Muskegon County



    State Rep. Mary Valentine is running for the state Senate, District 34. She is running for the state Senate in a district that is being vacated by a Republican due to term limits. Democrats need a net gain of four seats to win majority, and this potential pick-up is critical to that goal. Prior to becoming a legislator, Mary was a speech therapist for over 30 years and retired from a local school district. As a legislator, Mary was a leading voice in the fight to stem the flow of Canadian and out-of-state trash into Michigan, create good-paying jobs for Michigan workers, increase investment in renewable energy and protect our Great Lakes. Among all the top tier state Senate races this year, only a few have front running progressive candidates like Mary. Mary is known as a tireless campaigner, and Progressive Majority can provide the support to insure that Mary wins in November.

    Click here to support and learn more about Mary.

    Kathy Hagopian
    Candidate for Oakland County Commissioner - District 16 (Challenger)



    Kathy Hagopian is a Democrat running for the 16th Oakland County Commission seat. She is a local businesswoman and has been active in many local community affairs. She was re-elected to the West Bloomfield Township Wetlands Board in 2008. She has 30 years in manufacturing and owns her own company, Building Accessories Corp. She is active in the Women's Officials' Network, Construction Association of Michigan, West Bloomfield Youth Assistance Board. The Republican, Shelly Goodman Taub, is a former commissioner and state representative, and defeated the won in 2008 by just 128 votes. Kathy's election will result in flipping majority on the county board in this county that has historically been a conservative stronghold in southeast Michigan. Kathy will focus on creating and attracting jobs, supporting public transportation, and protecting the environment in Oakland County.

    Click here to support and learn more about Kathy.

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