Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
After all of the campaign mudslinging, lawsuit filing, and “vote for me” debating. It is time for Detroiters to decide who will be their next Mayor. In one corner you have Mike Duggan, who, if elected will be the first white mayor of Detroit in 40 years. In the other corner there is Benny Napoleon, who’s a lifetime crime fighting Detroiter.
We want to hear from you…who will it be DETROIT?
Take Our Poll:
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 09:55
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN News
Richmond, Virginia (CNN) -- The Virginia governor's race, billed as the marquee battle of an otherwise anticlimactic 2013 election cycle, is shaping up to be a foregone conclusion.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the longtime political fixer and moneyman, hasn't trailed in a poll since May. Barring a political miracle, Republican Ken Cuccinelli will be delivering a concession speech on Tuesday evening in Richmond.
In recent cycles, the Virginia race has been a key off-year barometer of national political sentiment. Four years ago, Republican Bob McDonnell won in blowout fashion, a victory that presaged the following year's GOP midterm wave. In 2005, Democrat Tim Kaine captured the governor's mansion, tapping into anxiety about President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina.
Not so this year. The McAuliffe-Cuccinelli race has been defined by small-bore issues and character attacks rather than sweeping national concerns.
But despite the lack of late fireworks, there are plenty of crucial insights to be gleaned from the Virginia campaign.
Here's what you need to know about this year's most important race:
What to expect on Election Day 2013 Hillary Clinton gets political Hillary Clinton speaks at Virginia rally
1. The 2012 playbook is still potent for Democrats
McAuliffe isn't exactly squeaky-clean. A longtime wheeler-dealer who has been less than forthcoming with his tax returns, "the Macker" has a history of eyebrow-raising business ventures that make for dangerous campaign fodder. The opposition research book on the former Democratic National Committee chairman is as thick a Virginia live oak.
But Democrats have successfully turned the race into a referendum on Cuccinelli, defining him over the summer as a right-wing zealot. A Washington Post poll last week showed that two-thirds of McAuliffe supporters said they were voting against Cuccinelli, rather than for McAuliffe.
How did the Dems do it? With a relentless focus on Cuccinelli's conservative record on women's health issues, a playbook that President Barack Obama's campaign employed to great effect in 2012 against GOP nominee Mitt Romney. And Romney was never as conservative as Cuccinelli.
Obama campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia
"It is impossible to be the candidate of the tea party and still be the candidate of the center," argued McAuliffe's pollster, Geoff Garin.
In TV ad after TV ad, voters in this swing state were told of Cuccinelli's record on abortion, contraception and domestic violence. Some of the claims were stretches maybe, but welcome to politics.
At the same time, McAuliffe "seized the center," his campaign aides say, drawing some business-friendly Republican politicians and a few GOP donors to his side.
The message from Republicans has been muddy.
One week, they were hitting McAuliffe over a sputtering car company he founded, and the next they were calling attention to his attempts to expand a business venture in China. Thoughout the race, Cuccinelli's campaign has called McAuliffe "deeply unserious" -- even running a memorable ad with a clip of McAuliffe downing a shot of rum on live television -- but none of the attacks seemed to stick.
The unwavering Democratic assault has worked.
Romney lost the state last year while losing women by 9 points. The gender gap is much worse for Cuccinelli. In some polls, Cuccinelli trails McAuliffe among women by more than 20 points. That's a huge problem in a state where more than half of voters in 2012 were women, many of them from the moderate Washington suburbs.
2. Democrats are outspending Republicans
It doesn't happen often in campaigns, but Democrats have already won the money war in Virginia.
It helps that McAuliffe is one of the Democratic Party's most prolific fundraisers, running in a state with porous campaign finance laws. He's collected more than $34 million this cycle, tapping a deep donor Rolodex dating back to the Bill Clinton years that includes media executive Haim Saban, California business maven Ron Burkle and Silicon Valley golden boy Sean Parker. Labor unions have also been generous contributors.
Cuccinelli has collected much less this year, nearly $20 million. One reason for the smaller haul: A number of reliable Republican donors, anxious about Cuccinelli's social agenda, have held back their support. Some have even raised money for McAuliffe, including the Virginia homebuilder Dwight Schar, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman who supported McDonnell during his 2009 campaign.
The same tale is true with outside groups. Liberal outfits such as the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood and NextGen Climate Action have ponied up big for McAuliffe, while their counterparts on the right have been far less generous.
Democrats have vastly outspent Republicans on the television airwaves. Last week, McAuliffe and his Democratic allies outspent Cuccinelli and Republicans on TV by a four to one margin, according to a Democrat familiar with ad spending in the race.
Cuccinelli has relied on the backing of the Republican Governors Association, one of the country's better-funded campaign committees, but its Democratic counterparts managed to keep pace. The RGA spent $8 million on the race, while the Democratic Governors Association put in $6.5 million, lending a crucial lifeline to the McAuliffe campaign earlier this year when their cash flow wasn't as hot.
3. Cuccinelli is betting on conservative turnout
The Cuccinelli campaign's slogan in the final weeks of the race might as well be "independents be damned."
Trailing McAuliffe among independent voters by a 15-point margin, and doing even worse with women voters, Cuccinelli has spent the fall trying to stir the passions of the Republican base in hopes that fired-up conservatives could make up the difference a low turnout, nonpresidential election in which Democrats stay home.
In the closing days, Cuccinelli is trying to turn the race into a referendum on the Affordable Care Act, a still-controversial law that's suffering from enrollment problems. But he's been trying to rally the right for weeks, giving interviews to conservative media outlets and bringing in an all-star team of Republican surrogates to join him on the campaign trail.
Among the team players who've made the trip to Old Dominion: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cuccinelli is also trying to bring libertarian voters back into the fold by campaigning with former Texas Rep. Ron Paul on Monday. A libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, has performed surprisingly well in the polls, and it's hurting Cuccinelli, whose crusading social conservative views don't exactly square with the limited-government crowd. Polls show Republicans slightly less supportive of Cuccinelli than Democrats are of McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli's closing strategy is a fitting one. He captured the GOP nomination at a party convention in May, nominated by a small batch of the party's most hard-core conservative activists. Now he's counting on them to finish what they started.
4. The real action is down-ballot
With Democrats bullish on their chances at winning the governorship and the lieutenant governor's race -- in which Republicans nominated a long-shot candidate, the fiery former pastor E.W. Jackson -- close watchers of the campaign are eyeing the attorney general's race, shaping up to be Tuesday's only real toss-up.
Democrats haven't swept all three statewide offices in Virginia since 1989, when L. Douglas Wilder became the nation's first African-American governor. It could happen again this year.
The AG race is a dogfight between two state senators, Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain, and outside groups have started to inject serious money into the campaign.
In some ways, it's a proxy war between the National Rifle Association and New York City's anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg. The NRA has funded a TV ad blitz accusing Herring of wanting to curtail gun rights, while a Bloomberg-backed super PAC, Independence USA, has come to Herring's defense with a $1 million ad campaign painting Obenshain as a conservative extremist.
That's not all. On the GOP side, the Republican State Leadership Committee has pumped nearly $2 million into Obenshain's coffers. And the Democratic Party of Virginia, content with the state of play in the governor's race, has spent the final week of the race turning its guns on Obenshain in an effort highlight his conservative voting record in Richmond.
5. It's the Clintons' gateway back into politics
For almost two decades, McAuliffe has been one of Bill Clinton's dearest friends and most trusted advisers. The former president campaigned for McAuliffe in 2009, when he made an unsuccessful bid for the governor's mansion, so it's no surprise that he got involved again in 2013, hitting every corner of the commonwealth last week in a nine-city swing that drew enthusiastic crowds and generated boatloads of earned media.
And Clinton wasn't shy about using the perch to point out a few of his accomplishments in the White House.
Clinton cavalry rides into Virginia
But it's not just Bill: With McAuliffe looking sturdy in the polls down the stretch, the campaign provided Hillary Clinton with a low-risk way to ease back into campaign politics after spending the previous four years traveling the globe as secretary of state. With a possible 2016 presidential bid on the horizon, she made her first overtly political speech at a McAuliffe rally two weeks, drawing almost 600 people, many of them women, to a theater in northern Virginia.
Her speech was vintage Hillary, more prose than poetry, but the appearance gave her a chance to get in front of a partisan crowd and test drive some potential campaign themes of her own.
The Clintons have also used the Virginia race to get back in the fundraising game, hosting a number of closed-door finance events for McAuliffe and burnishing their relationships with the Democratic donor class in the process.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 09:24
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Dr. Deirdre Waterman, Pontiac Library Board chairwoman, City Charter commissioner and opthalmologist, won the largest number of votes in the mayoral primary and is poised to finish her race in victory on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the general election against incumbent Mayor Leon Jukowski.
Dr. Waterman has been endorsed by the Oakland Press, the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, Michigan National Organization of Women (NOW), UAW Region 1, Michigan AFSCME Council 25, State Representative Tim Greimel, County Commissioner Mattie McKinney Hatchett, the Oakland County Ministerial Fellowship, Pontiac City Council President Lee Jones and Pontiac City Council President Pro Tem Patrice Waterman, among many others.
Virgie Rollins, chair emeritus of the Michigan Women’s Democratic Caucus, vice chair of the 14th Congressional District and chair of the Black Caucus of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), feels that a qualified African-American woman mayor in Pontiac is long overdue.
“Pontiac needs the innovative leadership, seasoned judgment and fiscal administrative experience that Deirdre Waterman demonstrates,” Rollins said. “At the national level, it is a priority to support excellent candidates like Waterman to lead our urban cities.”
If she wins the vote in the Nov. 5 general election, Dr. Waterman becomes the first woman elected mayor of Pontiac.
Political activist and Pontiac resident Anita Delgado has high hopes for Dr. Waterman.
“Dr. Waterman came to Pontiac during the major school busing controversy years ago as the young bride of attorney Bill Waterman who later became an outstanding judge, African-American pioneer, and a civil rights legend in Pontiac. The 50th District Court in Pontiac is named after him.
She fought side-by-side with him on behalf of the community. She is an effective community advocate and is known as a problem solver and bridge builder. Dr. Waterman continues the Waterman family community commitment to public service in Pontiac.”
For Dr. Waterman, the time for change in Pontiac is now.
“Pontiac is ready for a fresh start that embraces business and community,” she said. “I’ve been a business owner for over 30 years. I have also been a decision maker for major Pontiac projects including saving over 700 jobs at North Oakland Medical Center as finance chair during the hospital’s transition, and as chairwoman of the Pontiac Library Board where I negotiated to save and revitalize the library. Pontiac is a great city. We need new leadership for a new, positive direction. I can bring that leadership to the table.”
Meeting with neighborhood residents, civic and business groups and community leaders, this mayoral candidate stresses public safety, jobs/economic development and quality of life concerns with a focus on neighborhoods, senior issues and youth activities as her core commitment.
Dr. Waterman emphasizes the importance of the City Council and mayor working together on city challenges rather than the current hostile environment between her opponent, Leon Jukowski, and the Pontiac City Council. Her professional background as a physician enables her to bring some unique perks to the Mayor’s Office.
A graduate of the University of Chicago with a degree in Biology and Political Science, Meharry Medical College and the Kresge Eye Institue of Wayne State University, Waterman was the first African-American female ophthalmologist in the state of Michigan.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 17:28
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The Michigan Chronicle’s history of political endorsements is clear. We support the candidates that we believe are best for the community and we make our decisions regardless of race and party affiliation.
For the August 6 primary, we supported Benny Napoleon’s candidacy for Mayor of Detroit. For the November general election we maintain our support for Napoleon.
Detroit remains in the midst of an unprecedented municipal financial collapse. The city is in bankruptcy. A state-appointed Emergency Manager is calling the shots and an $18 billion mountain of debt is a staggering number that is shocking for anyone who lives, works or is invested, in this city.
Furthermore, city services in Detroit are nowhere close to the standard they should be and public safety has become the number one issue every Detroiter is concerned about.
Our city has elected officials who simply have not done what they should have, long ago, when the opportunity was there to make government work. We are paying the price for that now. If our elected leaders had done what needed to be done, there would be no need now for an emergency manager or the state of bankruptcy that our city must now endure.
So, with these facts as a backdrop, why Benny Napoleon?
In our opinion, we have two candidates – Napoleon and Duggan – who are credible candidates seeking to be the chief executive of Detroit. They have canvassed the length and breadth of this city, pounding every pavement speaking to the issues that matter to Detroiters.
It is a blessing that these good men have stepped forward to offer their leadership. We know public service requires sacrifice. And to offer to take on the leadership of a city that is in Chapter 9 bankruptcy is far beyond what we typically ask of our public leaders.
During the course of this campaign, the Michigan Chronicle has continued its in depth conversations with the candidates and we have no doubt that they have, at their core, a strong interest in bringing needed change to our community. It is not an overestimation to say that Detroit voters have two good choices. Their backgrounds, experiences and passions are impressive and they are devoted to creating change and to moving the city forward.
However, in our view, the issues that we face as a city require a mayor who is not only prepared in a professional sense, but also has a long history of involvement in this particular community. It demands a mayor who has the passion and empathy as well as the requisite professional background and experience to tackle issues that we will together confront as a city.
Given where the city has been and where it is now, Detroit cannot afford a leader who does not bring this entire package to the office of mayor.
Although Mike Duggan is an impressive man, we believe Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon better meets those criteria. He brings with him decades of commitment and service to Detroit and his love and passion for this city is undeniable.
There are many reasons why we believe Napoleon should be the next mayor. But four reasons stand out.
1. Familiar with Detroit’s Pain — Napoleon is a son of this city and has lived here all his life. His mother spoke movingly, on radio commercials, about the home she has lived in for six decades and why her son would make a great mayor. But beyond the tribute of a mother is the fact that Napoleon has dedicated his entire public service life to the city of Detroit. As he put it succinctly, “We need a mayor who understands Detroit’s pain.” The Michigan Chronicle believes it is important to choose a leader who can connect not only with “the powers that be,” but also with the everyday people of Detroit.
Acknowledging and understanding their pain, as well as their concerns and priorities, means that Napoleon will work to champion the causes of those who have long felt abandoned in this city. We need a mayor who will do that at the same time he works to create an environment that will attract and welcome new businesses and residents to the city.
2. Public Safety — As Detroit’s police chief under former mayor Dennis Archer, Napoleon worked to reduce crime in the city. He was a tough cop who understood how to tackle crime. Yes, the department came under the watchful eyes of the Justice Department, but he was vindicated. He was not afraid to let the federal government come in and he did not interfere with their investigations into the police department. He is now pushing a crime fighting strategy that is different from what all of the other candidates have offered.
As a former police chief who has been a victim of crime in the city, we do not believe Detroit could find a better crime fighter than Napoleon. We like the strategy he has discussed on the campaign trail: Detroit needs to create a compliance atmosphere, where criminals will know that they will pay a predictable and stiff price for the crimes they commit. Having a mayor who was a tough police chief is an advantage and we have no doubt that, under Napoleon, public safety will take a visible front row seat in our local government.
3. Growing Detroit — When asked what he will do about the size of the city, Napoleon’s answer was, “I don’t want to shrink the city. I want to grow it.” He brings a fresh perspective in the debate about the city’s future. Too much of the discussion has been about shrinking Detroit. On the contrary, Napoleon wants to grow the city and its potential because he believes in the future of Detroit.
To do this, he wants to attract people to the city with new, affordable housing stock. He also recognizes that crime, high insurance costs and a poor school system cause families to leave Detroit. He wants to address those issues. Moreover, Napoleon understands that the office of the mayor should be the biggest cheerleader for attracting families and investors to Detroit, and we believe he will carry out that mission if elected.
4. Business Investment — Detroit needs all the help it can get from the business community. For example, the recent donation of police and fire trucks from Detroit business leaders was crucial to addressing the public safety dilemma. And we need more jobs in the city. Napoleon has made it clear that the business community will continue to have an important role and say in the future of Detroit. Napoleon believes in a healthy private/public sector partnership, and that is good and right for Detroit. But Napoleon also understands that businesses cannot thrive in Detroit if the city is not safe. We agree with him and support his view that the most important priority for the city should be public safety.
Napoleon, who opposed the appointment of an emergency manager, has made it clear that he wants to take on the day-to-day affairs of the city while the emergency manager continues to address the financial wellbeing of Detroit during the timespan remaining under P.A. 436. That is what should happen regardless of which candidate is elected.
Although we support Napoleon’s candidacy, we believe each of the candidates has the potential to be a great and dedicated mayor of Detroit.
We recognize that candidate Mike Duggan is a strong candidate whose work and experience speaks of his love for public service.
From being Wayne County Prosecutor to CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, Duggan has done an outstanding job in every position he has served in. His work speaks for itself. We admire Duggan and are pleased that he has chosen to move to the city. Whatever the outcome of the election, we hope he continues to play an important role in the city’s future.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 18:27
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
One of the strongest features in our local government is the Detroit City Council. Because of the crucial role that this legislative body has played in the past and continues to do, sometimes in the face of heavy criticism, it still has an important function to make government work for all of us.
Because this is the first time in 100 years that Detroiters will be represented by districts, making government accountability the hallmark of this system of legislative government, it is important that those who would be elected are armed with the skills and knowledge to address the challenges the city faces.
And those challenges are even greater now in the era of an emergency manager and state of bankruptcy. But we believe that Detroit will move beyond this seemingly financial cataclysmic state and a new city council would be needed to not only maintain the order of business, but get our local government on its wheels.
After carefully looking at the backgrounds and experiences of all of the candidates, we believe that the following meet the test of leadership and are most capable of serving Detroit. These individuals should be given the opportunity by every Detroit voter on Nov. 5.
District 1. James Tate: He has served on the Detroit City Council showing steady leadership and at times has been in the crosshairs of other members but maintains a posture needed of our political leaders even in the face of adversity. Tate needs to return to the council to continue to serve Detroit and especially District 1.
District 2. George Cushingberry: At a time when Detroit needs new blood in our local government, Cushingberry can offer that to the City Council. A veteran legislator, his experience in Lansing would bring a much needed perspective to the City Council. Diverse voices make for an effective local government and he will bring just that.
District 3. Scott Benson: His small business background and involvement in all things Midtown is another perspective to the legislative process of Detroit. Benson’s experience is an added advantage at a time when small businesses have been complaining about red tape in Detroit government. Time to end the bureaucracy and it can start with Benson and his colleagues on the council.
District 4. Andre L. Spivey: Spivey has been a strong and steady voice on the Detroit City Council for the last four years, navigating through its most challenging times. His first election inspired hope in a renewed sense of leadership from a rising generation of political leadership who can begin to direct the order of business in Detroit. Because of that and to maintain continuity, Spivey should be returned to the council because he has demonstrated clarity, precision, calm and steady leadership.
District 5. Adam Hollier: With Detroit changing comes with the need to change the outlook of our local government. Sending Hollier to the City Council for the first time will make a strong statement about the significance and positive results of grassroots politics and the importance of positioning emerging leaders who are demonstrating an insatiable appetite for public service.
District 6. Raquel Castaneda Lopez: Unlike other candidates in this race for City Council, Lopez is a longtime community organizer in Southwest Detroit. She has long been an observer, advocate and leader in ensuring an effective local government that works for all of Detroit. She stands to be the first Hispanic member of the Detroit City Council, a feat that is commendable and that kind of diversity is needed. That is why Detroit needs her on that body to speak for everyone, especially those who feel their voices are not being heard.
District at Large. Saunteel Jenkins: As president of the Detroit City Council, Jenkins has an important role to play now and in the future. Her tenure in the last four years has prepared her to provide critical leadership of this legislative body. A successful council is one that consists of experienced as well as new voices and Jenkins’ experience and passion for public service are invaluable assets for where Detroit goes next in both post-emergency manager and post-bankruptcy times.
District at Large. Brenda Jones: Labor has always been an integral part of Detroit’s growth and where it is headed. Jones has been a constant voice for that important segment, ensuring workplace fairness and equitable job wages. She needs to return to the City Council at a time when the legislative body will be dealing with a lot of labor issues now and in the immediate future. She knows how to fight for the working class.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 17:29
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