Sunday, August 13, 2006

Looking for answers

Two of the biggest newspapers based solely in the 7th District pontificated today on reasons why U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz's political career went up in flames in Tuesday's primary loss to Tim Walberg.
"In simple terms, Republican Joe Schwarz lost his seat in Congress because social and religious conservatives went to the polls, while the turnout of moderates and crossovers by Democrats was less than expected," The Jackson Citizen Patriot editors wrote in an editorial today.
Walberg, R-Tipton, got 33,144 votes to Schwarz's 29,349. That's 8,500 more votes cast than in the six-man primary Schwarz won with 27.7% of the vote in 2004.
As others have already wrote, Schwarz's endorsements from local, state and national Republican power brokers may have backfired on him.
"These prominent Republicans gave sound reasons for re-electing Schwarz, yet many voters rejected that," the Citizen Patriot editors wrote, adding "They seemed to be saying, "Enough already! We want a new approach, and an end of the cozy fraternity of mainstream politics."
The district leans Republican. But Bill Clinton won the district in 1996 over Republican Bob Dole.
There are Democratic state senators and representatives with districts in Calhoun, Washtenaw, Jackson and Lenawee counties.
But the Battle Creek Enquirer seems to leave open the chance that Munith organic farmer Sharon Renier, the Democratic nominee, could give Walberg some serios competition in November.
"The conventional wisdom in the 7th Congressional District is that the winner of the Republican primary ... But conventional wisdom doesn't elect congressmen. Voters do. And with so few voters participating in Tuesday's election, we'd like to think that the rest of the electorate could at least muster the will to test conventional wisdom, get out to the polls this November and make it a real referendum on the candidates' qualifications," The Battle Creek Enquirer wrote in an editorial today.
Both papers endorsed Schwarz, as did the Adrian Daily Telegram, over hometown favorite Tim Walberg.

Some political observers say Walberg's win was more of a victory for Club for Growth and special interests with deep wallets.
Walberg too had issues to use against the incumbent. But more importantly, he also had support from groups like the national Club for Growth, which spent heavily so that voters might know exactly what those issues were," Paul Jacob writes on today, in a column titled "Thank goodness the rich are still free to speak."

The Citizen Patriot editorial sends a strong message to Walberg that his special interests election cash will not be an acceptable way of representing the district.
"We appreciate his convictions, but we also seek a congressional representative who will play a part in the economic future of this district."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really interesting that the Cit-Pat and the other Booth Newspapers hosted the "SchwarzisaLiberal" website, via MLive. I question the ethics of these papers who on one hand made money from this election and on the other can editorialize with any credibility. They could have said no to CFG on ethical grounds, but "money talks and Bull**** walks."

Walberg won with just over 9% of the registered voters. This election was more of a "fluke" than 2004.

We all will be very sorry if he wins in November.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe didn't connect with voters. End of story. Besides, when so many politicians (Bush, Engler, McCain and Anuzis!) surround one of their boys like they did Joe, you know he's probably pretty worthless. Watching the newspapers running to Joe's side is equally disgusting.

All of this crying on the edit pages can be boiled down to: The voters are stupid for not choosing Schwarz. Really?

Sure, Wally's support from Club For Growth was a huge shot in the arm - without those dollars he wouldn't have gotten far. But as Schwarz proved when he was running McCain's presidential primary campaign in Michigan, he can beat a foe with lots of dough.

One of the reasons that campaign was successful is BECAUSE people liked McCain. Joe is not McCain. Joe came off more holier than thou than the good Rev. Walberg. When you meet Joe, and I have, he comes off like a haughty insider; one who throws a hissy fit when he's challenged (who would dare run against HIM in a PRIMARY!). That entitlement attitude ... don't we have enough of those people in Washington already? Why would a voter think someone like that would watch out for his or her interests in Washington?

Oh no! Reporters and editors may have to interview someone who talks about GOD and his faith! Someone who doesn't believe in killing babies!!! How will our friends at the Cit Pat, Telegram and Enquirer survive this insult?

And I love how the Enquirer is now trying to concoct support for Renier! "Make this a real referendum on the candidates' qualifications." So this person with no previous experience in public office is going to be a serious challenge based on her qualifications? I guess we need an "accomplished musician" and "organic farmer" to guide us through these tough times ...

Boo f---ing hoo.

Learn to lose with some grace, people.

This was Joe's to lose, and he
did -- Spectacularly!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take a little exception to your rant on Schwarz.

Joe brought clout to our area. He was the only Michigan Rep. on the Ag committee, the only freshman on Armed Services and had the respect and confidence of his colleagues.

Walberg will be lucky if he gets any decent committee assignment, he will be lost trying to figure things out and we will all lose from his presence.

Whether you agree with Joe on everything, I don't, he's a straight shooter with integrity. I can't say the same about Walberg. He ran a deceitful campaign of half-truths and outright lies about a great fellow Republican. He should be dis-ordained from any religious affilation. He will not be a team player and will add to vicious, partisan culture in Washington.

I'm not crying "Boo Hoo" here, I'm stating a fact that our district (and the GOP) has suffered a huge loss with the defeat of Schwarz.

Schwarz has shown a great deal of class and integrity. He could have stooped to Walberg's level and crushed him, but he didn't, he's the better man in all this.

Remember, less than 9 percent of the registered voters actually voted for Walberg. That's hardly a mandate.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Battle Creek boy would have eventually turned his back on the rural counties, and most likely Jackson, after he was a bit more comfy. His clout would have been used to help his pals, as is usually the case. I don't think local farmers will feel any less represented by losing Dr. Schwarz.

How will Tim do? That remains to be
seen. It's not like he NEVER held public office before. As far as him being alienated by the rest of the Beltway ... you assume its filled with other moderates like Joe? It's not - read what your fiends at the Cit Pat and Enquirer have had to say about it. A pro-life, anti-big government, anti-tax guy might just fit in well in Bush's fraternity.

And you're right, 9 percent of the GOP turned out, so where was the support for "Bulletproof" Joe? They used Berryman to try to get the Dems out to vote in the Republican primary! Unless you can prove that Club For Growth hypnotized the 7th District, that is a comment about how many people believed in him enough to get off their butts and support him.

Yeah, no sour grapes at all. Voters are dumb and were easily conned by TV ads. Our clout (which was earned exclusively by knowing John McCain - another fake Republican)is gone!

Woe is us!

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woe is us is right! Yes, Walberg has a legislative record. If you hadn't noticed, he was was continuously honored as one of the LEAST effective legislators in Lansing. Yes, he has legislative experience but NO results. He will not get any prime committee assignments. He will be just another fringe windbad who won't have the respect of House leadership. He won't do anything for the district and he LIED to get elected. Conservative or not, I don't support liars. The 7th District is again relegated to irrelevancy in Congress.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take exception to the last post. You are lumping Tim Walberg in with Nick Smith there and that is totally off base. Smith did what he did and was honest and up front with voters about his agenda and his style. Nick was effective when he wanted to be and when he put his mind to a task, often produced results.

Contrast that with Walberg. This district has never had a liar in office which we face right now. He flip-floped on earmarks (first he said he would never support one, then later said he would support the good ones.) His entire campaign was focused distorting the issues. The good news is, if he manages to win this "safe GOP" seat once, he will never get re-elected. There are way too many good Americans in both parties in the 7th to ever let him get re-elected.

11:37 PM  

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