Today marks exactly three weeks until Election Day, and the political playing field continues to shift towards Republicans.
One of the seats that we’ve been keeping an eye and has continued to develop this cycle is Michigan’s First Congressional District. As more and more news surfaces on Democrat Gary McDowell, voters have been painted a disturbing picture. Aside from McDowell’s disastrous record on raising taxes – including a $1.3 billion tax hike on Michiganders – he recently explained his thoughts on healthcare, which are suprisingly to the left of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. If you thought ObamaCare was overbearing, McDowell suggests several ideas for cutting costs – including banning procedures using “real expensive gadgets” for those nearing the end of life and moving to a Canadian-style system – that would take the government’s takeover of healthcare even further.
In stark contrast stands Republican candidate Dan Benishek. On all issues, Dr. Benishek presents a rational, conservative alternative to McDowell and is been running an aggressive campaign to provide the representation voters deserve. Be sure to keep an eye on this race and find out how you can help the campaign by joining the Benishek Brigade.
Original Post: 8/19/2010
Few congressional districts can claim to have two peninsulas within their limits, but Michigan’s First, where we turn today, is among those few. This large district contains Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, known as the UP and several counties on the Lower Peninsula. Geographically, the district makes up roughly half of Michigan and the district borders three great lakes: Huron, Superior, and Michigan. Historically, the district had its roots in mining, and the area’s biggest population boom came from the discovery of ore.
The district has been represented by the formerly pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak since 1992. After quite a memorable flip-flop on Obamacare, in the midst of an election year in which the environment is unfavorable for Democrats who stand with Pelosi and Obama, Stupak has decided not to seek re-election.
The resulting open-seat battle pits Democrat career politician Gary McDowell against surgeon Dan Benishek. Unfortunately for McDowell, his support for the Granholm agenda in Michigan threatens to end his campaign before it even gets off the ground. Since joining the state House of Representatives in 2005, he has demonstrated that he lacks the conviction to keep a lid on spending and say no to massive tax hikes. His abysmal voting record over the past five years includes his 2007 vote for Granholm’s massive, job-killing tax increases that many say are to blame for Michigan’s painfully high unemployment. With McDowell’s support for the reckless - and unpopular - policies that have caused Michigan’s unemployment to linger at an unacceptable 13.2 percent, this Democrat is facing a tough road ahead.
Dan Benishek is not a product of any political environment – a sharp contrast to McDowell, who has spent recent years in Michigan’s state government, keeping him in Lansing, not the UP. Dan’s background as a surgeon gives him a unique view of national issues, where he is committed to meaningful healthcare reforms – not a government takeover. Unlike Stupak, who betrayed his constituents when he accepted a deal on Obamacare which left the door open for taxpayer-funded abortions, Dan is firmly pro-life. He is also committed to defending second amendment freedoms, and is a staunch fiscal conservative who is interested in making this election about the number one issue in Michigan - job creation. The First District’s economy is as important to Dan as it is to his northern Michigan neighbors.
The First District itself is traditionally conservative and the Cook Political Report rates it as as R+3. The district has rarely lent support to Democrats at the national level. Bush had easy elections here, winning with 53 percent of the vote in 2004, and Obama barely managed to edge out McCain in 2008. Now that the Obama wave has crashed, the First District is a prime GOP pick-up opportunity.
I hope you’ll take some time to learn more about Dan’s campaign by visiting his website or following him on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. You can also participate in his campaign by joining the Benishek Brigade.