News Feed

Roll Call: Meet Representative Scott Dianda
Jul. 30th 2015
Roll Call: Meet Party Chair Brandon Dillon
Jul. 24th 2015
MDP Chair Calls on GOP to Rescind Trump Invite
Jul. 22nd 2015
MDP State Central Delegates Elect Brandon Dillon as New Chair
Jul. 11th 2015
Democrats Blast GOP Senate Roads Plan
Jul. 1st 2015
Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on US Supreme Court Redistricting Verdict
Jun. 29th 2015
Statement from MDP on Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling
Jun. 26th 2015
MDP Chair Lon Johnson Resigns Post, State Central Delegates to Elect New Chair
Jun. 25th 2015
Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on EITC/GOP Roads Plan
Jun. 10th 2015
Walberg More Focused on Invading Women’s Privacy than Fixing Michigan Roads
May. 15th 2015
Congressman Benishek Once Again Turns His Back on Michigan Troops
May. 15th 2015
Democrats Condemn Senate GOP Hypocrisy on Prevailing Wage
May. 13th 2015
Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on Proposal One
May. 5th 2015
Michigan, Wisconsin Democrats Respond to Scott Walker's Visit to Michigan
May. 4th 2015
Michigan Veterans Reject Congressman Benishek’s ‘False Promise’ to Help Vets
Apr. 16th 2015
Michigan Democrats Announce 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to Honor Congressman Dingell, Senator Levin; Will Feature Special Guest Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Apr. 2nd 2015
Statement from Michigan Democrats on Snyder Handing Pardon to Connected Attorney for Drunk Driving Conviction
Mar. 27th 2015
Keep Christie Economics Out of Michigan
Mar. 27th 2015
Michigan Democratic Party Makes 2016 Delegate Selection Plan available for Review
Mar. 26th 2015
Statement from Michigan Democrats on Congressman Dan Benishek
Mar. 24th 2015

Roll Call: Meet Representative Scott Dianda
Jul. 30th 2015

Interviewed by Rebecca Maher and Sarah Zieve

As a second-term state representative for the 110th district in the Upper Peninsula, Scott Dianda drives 575 miles to Lansing to represent his seven counties. As a lifelong UP resident and Democrat, Representative Dianda values the hard working spirit and diversity of the UP. Dianda sat down with MDP to talk about his current legislation, life in the U.P., and his favorite local businesses.

MDP: What led you to become involved in politics?

Rep Dianda: I was a small business owner in the village of Calumet, where I am from. I was elected to be a member of the board of the county as a trustee at the age of 22. I wanted to be involved in the community because I felt there were a lot of things I wanted to see change. Then, as the president of the Michigan State Employees Association, I became very interested in making sure that a good quality of life was attainable for everyone instead of just a few. 

MDP: What has been your proudest achievement in representing your district?

Rep Dianda: A number of my proudest achievements deal with constituent services for the seven counties I represent. My office and I work on a variety of constituent issues like licensing and unemployment. I like doing legislative work but I am so proud that we can take care of my people’s problems.

MDP: How would you describe Michigan, and your region, to a non-Michigander?

Rep Dianda: The west end of upper Michigan is breathtaking. Our area is one of the most beautiful areas you will ever see. It is also a very friendly, welcoming place where people are very open to newcomers and really enjoy having visitors. 

MDP: What are some of your favorite places in Michigan?

Rep Dianda: My favorite vacation spot is in my district in Keweenaw County. It is sparse but very rugged and beautiful. I am a big fan of outdoor sports and always like to recreate. With that amount of land, the freedom you have up there is unbelievable. On my route from the UP to Lansing, I often stop along the shores of Lake Michigan and walk the beach.

MDP: What is your favorite Michigan local business?

Rep Dianda: The Society of St. John makes some of the best fruit cakes that I have ever tasted. I also enjoy a number of local jams and jellies from the UP.

MDP: What is a fun fact that most people would not know about you?

Rep Dianda: I am an avid woodworker. I really enjoy refinishing furniture and fixing up older pieces of furniture.

MDP: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rep Dianda: Mackinac Island Fudge! You get everything in it!

MDP: What is your advice for Michigan voters who want to become more involved in politics?

Rep Dianda: Start early and research all of the issues that are going on in Michigan. I encourage everyone to get involved in the political process and to know who the candidates are and who is standing up for the issues.

 

Roll Call: Meet Party Chair Brandon Dillon
Jul. 24th 2015

By Maggie Wilk and Rebecca Maher

The Michigan Democratic Party is launching their "Roll Call: Meet the Democrats" campaign in an effort to connect Michiganders with Democratic leaders across the state. Who better to kick it off than the new state Democratic Party Chairman, Brandon Dillon? Dillon was elected to his new position on July 11th after serving as a three-term state representative for Grand Rapids. He sat down with us to discuss his past political experiences and vision for the future of the Party. This series was developed by amazing MDP interns as part of their summer internship. 

MDP: Why are you a Democrat?

Dillon: I grew up in a very politically aware family that was half Democrat and half Republican, and my grandfather influenced me as a really strong New Deal Democrat. I’ve always had an interest in progressive politics but it really wasn’t until I went to Northeastern to get my Masters in Political Science and interned with Senator Kennedy that I started getting more politically involved.

MDP: What do you like most about working in politics?

Dillon: There is no other job that I can think of where you get to interact with so many different people with so many different ideas from around the state, the country, and sometimes even the world. As a candidate it was always unbelievable to see how much work and energy people are willing to put into your campaign. They put in extremely long hours, and they do it because they believe in something. That’s inspiring.

MDP: What keeps you positive throughout the political process despite all the challenges we face?

Dillon: Being in the minority party has been very frustrating because I think the Republicans have done severe, and often times permanent, damage to the state. We do have elections every two years, so just understanding that this is not a permanent situation and that Democrats will be in control again keeps me positive. We have been able to stand strong and achieve some victories, too. We’ve worked with the governor to pass the Medicaid expansion and to block some bad legislation, and those small victories kept us going even as we struggled.

MDP: Do you have any goals for the MDP as we get closer to 2016?

Dillon: Win. We want to win as many seats as possible. My goal is to have a strong party, not just in 2016 and 2018, but also in ten years. I want to make sure we’re consistently winning and gaining members so that we can make better policy. I look forward to being more involved with helping get Democrats elected, and not just the congressional and state house and senate candidates, but also the local candidates. We need to get people excited to run for school board, township clerk, county commissioner, and other local positions so that we can build a stronger, deeper bench of Democratic candidates across the state.

MDP: How would you describe Michigan to a non-Michigander?

Dillon: Michigan is a microcosm of the entire country. It is a very diverse state, with both major urban areas and some of the most rural areas in the entire country. It’s home to the automobile and is the economic engine of the country, but there are also a lot of exciting new changes going on. It’s an exciting place to be.

MDP: What is your favorite Michigan-based business?

Dillon: Founders Brewing Company. I really enjoy all the breweries around Grand Rapids and seeing the progress and community downtown.

MDP: What is one thing that many people do not know about you?

Dillon: I have an obsession with my hair...

MDP: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Dillon: I don’t eat a lot of ice cream, but I do love Klondike Bars. Anything that has ice cream surrounded by chocolate.

MDP: Do you have any advice for Michiganders who want to become more involved in politics?

Dillon: Most people either get hooked on politics or hate it, and finding the right issue or the right candidate to get you excited about the political process makes the difference. Find something or someone that you support and get involved from there. It’s a frustrating career but very rewarding. There is no better feeling than winning on election day and no worse feeling than losing, so be prepared for both in your career.

###

MDP Chair Calls on GOP to Rescind Trump Invite
Jul. 22nd 2015

MDP Chairman Brandon Dillon is calling on Michigan Republicans to denounce Donald Trump and rescind his invitation to a local GOP Lincoln Day Dinner August 11th.

"Donald Trump's brand of anti-immigrant, anti-veteran politics should not be welcome in Michigan. His shameful comments are a slap in the face to Michigan's Latino communities and large veterans population."

Mr. Trump will be traveling to a region of the state with a Latino population of nearly 30,000 and over 40,000 veterans. 

"Michigan Republicans should denounce his comments and rescind their invite for Mr. Trump to headline a fundraising dinner. Neither party should use xenophobia and exclusion to raise money."

###

MDP State Central Delegates Elect Brandon Dillon as New Chair
Jul. 11th 2015

PORT HURON - Michigan Democratic Party State Central Delegates elected Brandon Dillon as Chair today. Dillon succeeds Lon Johnson who resigned the post to run as a candidate in Michigan's 1st Congressional District.

"We have a unique opportunity to unite the diverse elements of our party and build an organization that is well-positioned to win in 2016 and beyond," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "I am eager to get started and help Michigan Democrats fight for the middle class and defeat the extreme anti-family, anti-worker Republican agenda."

Dillon will partner with Lavora Barnes who will serve as Chief Operating Officer for the Party. The two campaigned together ahead of the Chair election emphasizing their complimentary skills. Barnes is a former state director for Obama for America, served as a director in the White House Office of Media Affairs and a press secretary for the Clinton-Gore Campaign, and is a former communications director for the Michigan House Democrats.

A State Representative from Grand Rapids and former Kent County Commissioner, Dillon brings a demonstrated track record as an advocate for public education, labor, women, LGBT rights and Michigan's middle class. He previously served as the campaign chair for the Michigan House Democrats, recruiting candidates and overseeing competitive races in districts across the state. 

State Central Delegates also appointed Fay Beydoun as Third Vice Chair, elected Norwood Jewell and Mary Fleming to the Democratic National Committee, and passed a resolution on Police Brutality and the Use of Force.

###
Democrats Blast GOP Senate Roads Plan
Jul. 1st 2015

LANSING - Today the Michigan Democratic Party blasted the Senate Republican Roads Plan for hitting ordinary Michigan families hard while letting corporations off the hook. The package relies on higher gas taxes, up to $700 million in cuts to vital programs and a tax hike on low income working families.

 

“This roads plan comes at the expense of Michigan families, hit yet again with a tax increase, while corporations enjoy another pass at paying their fair share." said Lon Johnson, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Working families can not stay and succeed in a state where Republicans continue to finance Michigan's future with one-sided sacrifices." 

 

Over the last five years, Republicans have orchestrated one of the largest tax shifts in Michigan history requiring workers to provide for schools, roads and other critical programs while corporations have enjoyed over $2 billion in tax cuts.

 

Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on US Supreme Court Redistricting Verdict
Jun. 29th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democrats released the following statement in response to the US Supreme Court redistricting verdict:

"This verdict sends a clear message that gerrymandering to suppress voting is no longer a viable political strategy," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "Republican economic and social policies are alienating voters. With every election, more people are voting Democratic. Republicans see the numbers. They know the only way to maintain a majority in Michigan is by drawing unapologetic lines that blatantly stack the deck in their favor. This verdict paves the way for Michigan to explore the option of a fairer system that better reflects voter sentiment in our state."

###

Statement from MDP on Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling
Jun. 26th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democrats released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality:

"Today's ruling in favor of marriage equality is a big step forward for the LGBT community nationwide but especially here in Michigan where our attorney general has consistently fought against the right of same-sex couples to marry," said Mark LaChey, Michigan Democratic Party LGBT and Allies Caucus Chair. "We recognize, however, that this is only the beginning of our fight. Even with today's ruling, "married on Sunday, fired on Monday" remains the legal reality for LGBT Michiganders. Moving forward, we will not only fight against the current effort by Republicans in Lansing to blunt the effect of today's decision but also to push for full social and economic equality for all of us who call this great state our home."

###

MDP Chair Lon Johnson Resigns Post, State Central Delegates to Elect New Chair
Jun. 25th 2015
LANSING - Lon Johnson announced his resignation as Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party effective July 11. Johnson is departing the post to compete in the race for Michigan's 1st Congressional District.  
 
"We have worked hard over the past few years to strengthen our infrastructure and grow the party," said Johnson. "As a result, the MDP is well-positioned to achieve the ambitious goals we have set. I welcome a successor who will build on those efforts and lead Michigan Democrats to victory in 2016 and beyond."    
 
State Central Delegates, already slated to meet prior to Mr. Johnson's announcement, will convene as scheduled on July 11 in Port Huron. Candidates will be nominated and a successor elected during that meeting. Under the Party's Rules, Delegates to the State Central Committee, Officers of the State Central Committee, and all Democratic National Committee Members for the State of Michigan are eligible to vote to elect a new Chair. 
 
###

 

Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on EITC/GOP Roads Plan
Jun. 10th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democrats released the following statement on the House Republican proposal to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit to fund roads:

"Instead of listening to voters last month, Republicans in Lansing are forging ahead with a proposed tax increase on working families to help fund their roads plan," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "They define corporate tax credit cuts as a tax increase but claim eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit isn't. Let's be clear. Cutting the EITC is a tax increase and raising taxes on working families while corporations see their taxes cut is no way to build a Michigan where we can stay and succeed. It's shocking that this legislature did not recognize the voters' rejection of one-sided sacrifices from our working families."

###

Walberg More Focused on Invading Women’s Privacy than Fixing Michigan Roads
May. 15th 2015

As the Highway Trust Fund expires, Republicans in Congress champion controversial abortion bill

LANSING – Republican Congressman Tim Walberg further exposed his reckless ideology yesterday by voting to invade the privacy of victims of rape and sexual assault, mere days after he told a town hall that “government was too involved in people’s lives.”

Unfortunately for hardworking Michiganders, Walberg’s misguided priorities ignore the need to create jobs and make Michigan commuters safer, as Republicans in Congress allow the Highway Trust Fund to expire.

"It’s mind-boggling that Congressman Walberg is focused on invading women’s privacy, but can’t find the time to put Michiganders back to work by focusing on rebuilding Michigan’s roads," said Joshua Pugh, Michigan Democratic Party Communications Director. "Walberg complains publicly about the state of the roads in front of his house, yet he’s too busy in Washington interfering in women’s health care choices to do anything about it."

###

FOCUSING ON DIVISIVE ISSUES

Walberg Voted For Controversial Law Invading A Woman’s Privacy Even In Cases Of Rape And Sexual Assault.“The legislation, which also requires a 48-hour waiting period, informed consent forms and mandatory counseling for victims of rape and sexual assault before abortions, passed 242-184…” [The Hill, 5/13/15]

HEADLINE: The Hill: Late-term abortion ban keeps controversial incest rule. “Newly unveiled language in the House’s late-term abortion bill shows that GOP leaders did not meet all of the demands from members of their party who had opposed an earlier version, keeping in limits on incest-related abortion.” [The Hill, 5/11/15]

Walberg Voted In Favor Of Resolution Disapproving DC Law Protecting Employees From Discrimination Based On Their Reproductive Health Decisions. [HJ Res 43, Vote# 194, 4/30/15]

HEADLINE: CNN: New abortion controversy hits Congress. “The new House resolution, sponsored by Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, says the D.C. law, the "Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act," accomplishes the opposite of what its name implies.” [CNN, 4/22/15]

IGNORING MICHIGAN ROADS

700,000 Jobs Could Be Lost If The Highway Trust Fund Expires. “The Obama administration on Monday warned 700,000 jobs could be lost if Congress misses a deadline to replenish a highway spending fund and said Senate legislation could fall short of a long-term solution to maintain U.S. infrastructure.”  [Reuters, 5/12/14]

Walberg Blasted Size Of Government After Complaining Michigan Roads Resemble Beirut Infrastructure. During a town-hall meeting in May 2015, Walberg said, “We still have potholes. We still have bridges crumbling … Fix our roads. The road in front of my house is going back to gravel. [My driver] Dustin picked me up there regularly and has to go across what looks like Beirut. I’ve been in Beirut. I know what Beirut roads look like. My road looks like Beirut. Imagine, a member of Congress having a road looking like that. That’s terrible. They got to treat me better than that. I’m a member of Congress … But the point I am making is folks, the government has become too much of our lives.” [Daily Telegram, 5/08/15]

Republican Bill Would Cut Critical TIGER Grants. “Over the past three years, Michigan received $32.9 million for these projects … The House mark would slash TIGER grant funding to nearly 80 percent below its lowest level ever, despite the fact that the program is vastly oversubscribed.” [White House, 5/13/15]

Congressman Benishek Once Again Turns His Back on Michigan Troops
May. 15th 2015

LANSING - In continuing his dishonorable tradition of abandoning our nation’s military when they need it most, Congressman Benishek joined fellow reckless Republicans in allowing members of the military to go without pay in the event of a government shutdown.

This comes just days after Benishek criticized the VA’s ability to care for veterans, not disclosing to a reporter that he had actually voted against funding for the VA to carry out additional PTSD treatment, suicide prevention, and disability claims processing.

"Congressman Benishek has proven yet again that despite what he may tell his constituents, he doesn't care about the men and women who wear the cloth of our country," said Sen. David Knezek (D - Dearborn Heights), the first Iraq War veteran to serve in the Michigan Legislature. "I can't imagine why a sitting Congressman would turn his back on the United States Armed Forces. Ensuring that our military members get paid even in the event of a government shutdown is an absolute no-brainer. Congressman Benishek's continued failure to stand up for the men and women who defend our country is one of the highest forms of disrespect I've ever seen. It's un-American."

###

BACKGROUND: 

Benishek Voted To Block An Amendment To Ensure A Pay Raise & Ensure Servicemembers Are Paid In Event Of Government Shutdown. In May 2015, Benishek voted against a motion to recommit that would ensure a  2.3% pay increase for fiscal year 2016 for servicemembers and would ensure that servicemembers are paid in the event of a government shutdown. [HR 1735, Vote #238, 5/15/15] 

Benishek Voted To Underfund The Department Of Veterans Affairs By An Estimated $19 Billion Over Ten Years. The House Republican Budget Benishek voted for called for funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs below the president’s request by $1.4 billion in 2016 and $19 billion over ten years. “The Independent Budget veterans service organizations (IBVSOs) are pleased to see that the Administration has committed to investing significant new resources to the VA, particularly for health care. . . . The revised budget request for FY 2016 is especially welcome because the IBVSOs had been concerned that the funding levels previously provided through advance appropriations for FY 2016 were not sufficient to meet clearly increasing demand.” [H.CON.RES 27, Vote #142, 3/25/15; Budget Committee Democrats, FY16 Republican Budget; IBVSO Press Release,2/2/15; Military Times, 5/1/15

Benishek Voted Against An Additional $15 Million For Veterans Medical Services. On April 30, 2015, Benishek voted against an amendment to H.R. 2029, making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs would strengthen support services for America’s veterans in the Mil Con-VA Appropriations by providing an additional $15 million for Veterans Medical Services, which includes funding for long-term veterans care, support for Caregivers, Homeless Veterans assistance, and drug treatment. [HR 2029,Vote #192, 4/30/15; Democraticleader.gov, 4/30/15

Benishek Voted Against Quicker Disability Claims Processing To Alleviate Backlog For Veterans. In 2013, Benishek voted against an amendment that would help reduce the backlog of disability claims for veterans. The amendment would add $9.2 million in funding (double the funds in the underlying appropriations bill) to hire an additional 94 claims processors to help reduce the veterans disability claims backlog. The amendment failed 198-227. [HR 2216, Vote #192, 6/04/13] 

Benishek Voted Against Millions In Additional Funding For Suicide Prevention And PTSD For Veterans. In 2011, Benishek voted against an amendment which would have provided an additional $20 million for veterans’ medical service to help with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention. “Rep. Bill Owens offered an amendment to a military appropriations bill in the House of Representatives that would increase spending on veterans’ mental health services by $20 million.” The motion failed 184-234. [HR 2055, Vote #417, 6/14/11; Watertown Daily Times, 6/14/11

Benishek Voted Against Additional $28.3 Million For Medical And Prosthetic Research And Development For Veterans’ Care. In May 2012, Benishek voted against increased funding for medical and prosthetic research and development by $28.3 million. The amendment would have reduced the amount provided for the Defense Base Closure Account by $56.7 million and used $28.3 million to invest in veteran’s health and prosthetic research and development. The motion failed, 188-230. [CQ; HR 5854, Vote #304, 5/31/12; Congressional Record, H3358, 5/31/12] 

Benishek Told A Reporter He’s Frustrated By VA Officials Who “Talk The Talk But Don’t Walk The Walk.” In an interview discussing the recent deaths of veterans at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, Benishek complained about VA officials and the slow progress of reforms at the VA health centers. Benishek said, “So they talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk, and frankly it’s very disturbing.” [Fox 31, 5/10/15]

Democrats Condemn Senate GOP Hypocrisy on Prevailing Wage
May. 13th 2015

LANSING - Today the Michigan Democratic Party condemned the Senate GOP for yet another attack on the ability of Michigan families to earn good wages and stay and succeed in our state.

Johnson pointed out that Senate Republican Leader Arlan Meekhof claimed that under Michigan's prevailing wage law, 'taxpayers have to pay more for their buildings.'

"If the goal is save money, Senate Republicans should drop their plan to waste $134 million on fancy new offices for politicians, rather than attack workers' wages," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "Democrats won't rest until this boondoggle is stopped, because there's no justification for spending $134 million on a fancy new office building for politicians."

Johnson also highlighted that Meekhof's claim about Michigan's prevailing wage law is flatly false.

"Michigan's prevailing wage law supports better training and local jobs for local workers," continued Johnson. "Repealing this valuable, decades-old protection is no way to create a Michigan where we can stay and succeed. This is driven by Republican politicians and corporate special interests, and would depress wages, hurt our state's economy and drive skilled workers out of our state."

###

Statement from MDP Chair Lon Johnson on Proposal One
May. 5th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democrats released the following statement in response to the failure of Proposal One:

"This ballot proposal failed because working Michigan families said enough," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "Raising taxes on working families while corporations see their taxes cut is no way to build a Michigan where we can stay and succeed. Moving forward, this legislature and governor should recognize and reflect the voters' rejection tonight of one-sided sacrifices from our working families. It's time for corporations to pay their fair share."

###

Michigan, Wisconsin Democrats Respond to Scott Walker's Visit to Michigan
May. 4th 2015

LANSING - Today the Michigan Democratic Party and Wisconsin Democratic Party released the following joint statement in response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's visit to Michigan:

“Under Gov. Snyder, middle class families have seen their tax bill increase year after year, yet our state is still running deficits, population is lagging the rest of the country, and our economy continues to struggle," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "That’s because Republicans handed corporations one of the largest tax breaks in Michigan history, and paid for it by making it harder on Michigan families. Michigan is struggling enough under Snyder, we don't need Walker's help."

"Middle class families can’t afford someone like Walker, who makes drastic cuts to education, transportation and infrastructure, just to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires," added Mike Tate, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair. "Right now, Wisconsin ranks 40th in the nation and dead last in the Midwest in terms of private-sector job growth, and has a staggering $2 billion budget deficit. Wisconsin families need relief, not an out of touch road show touting polices that have hurt Wisconsin."

Michigan Veterans Reject Congressman Benishek’s ‘False Promise’ to Help Vets
Apr. 16th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson and state Sen. David Knezek (D - Dearborn Heights) hosted a conference call with media in response to Republican Congressman Dan Benishek's recent claims that he is breaking his retirement pledge in order to better serve veterans.

A group of Michigan veterans also released the following statement today, in response to Congressman Dan Benishek’s (R) op-ed claiming he’s breaking his retirement pledge to better serve veterans. The following statement can be attributed to Gordie Bourland, Army veteran from Petoskey, Marc Carr, Army veteran from Sault Ste. Marie, and Kel Smythe, Army veteran from Escanaba:
 
"As Michigan veterans, we’re appalled at the nerve of Congressman Benishek to claim he’s breaking his retirement pledge to help veterans – because just the other day he voted with his Republican pals in Congress to underfund the VA by $19 billion. The VA cuts Benishek supported would mean longer wait times, more expensive trips to the clinic, and less benefits to go around. We reject Congressman Benishek’s false promise of help; he’d only break it anyway."

"The veterans who live and vote in Michigan need someone looking out for them in Washington," added state Sen. David Knezek, Marine Corps and Iraq War veteran from Dearborn Heights. "These are the men and women who wore the uniform and sacrificed their safety for the security of those of us back home – and they deserve better than Congressman Benishek. Congressman Benishek may claim to be staying in Congress to help vets, but Benishek’s friends in DC have clearly persuaded him otherwise.

"I think we all know it’s because he’d rather keep his Washington job than honor his promise to voters."

###
 
BACKGROUND:
 
Benishek Voted to Underfund the Department of Veterans Affairs by $19 Billion over Ten Years. The House Republican Budget inadequately funds the Department of Veterans Affairs below what the President and veterans’ groups requested by $1.9 billion in 2016 and $19 billion over ten years, making it more difficult for the Veterans Administration to provide timely access to quality health care and other benefits and services. [H.CON.RES 27, Vote #142, 3/25/15]
 
AMVETS, DAV, Paralyzed Veterans of America And VFW Touted Administration Budget Recommendations For VA Funding. “Today, four of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations—AMVETS (American Veterans), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)—released The Independent Budget Report for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for FY 2016 and FY 2017. The report outlines projected funding requirements for the programs administered by the VA. The Independent Budget veterans service organizations (IBVSOs) are pleased to see that the Administration has committed to investing significant new resources to the VA, particularly for health care. . . . The revised budget request for FY 2016 is especially welcome because the IBVSOs had been concerned that the funding levels previously provided through advance appropriations for FY 2016 were not sufficient to meet clearly increasing demand.” [DAV press release, 2/2/15]
 
Benishek Voted Against Quicker Disability Claims Processing To Alleviate Backlog For Veterans. In 2013, Benishek voted against an amendment that would help reduce the backlog of disability claims for veterans. The amendment would add $9.2 million in funding (double the funds in the underlying appropriations bill) to hire an additional 94 claims processors to help reduce the veterans disability claims backlog. The amendment failed 198-227. [HR 2216, Vote #192, 6/04/13]
 
Benishek Voted Against Millions In Additional Funding For Suicide Prevention And PTSD For Veterans. In 2011, Benishek voted against a motion which would have provided an additional $20 million for veterans’ medical service to help with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention. “Rep. Bill Owens offered an amendment to a military appropriations bill in the House of Representatives that would increase spending on veterans' mental health services by $20 million.” The motion failed 184-234. [HR 2055, Vote #417, 6/14/11; Watertown Daily Times, 6/14/11]
 
Benishek Voted Against Additional $28.3 Million For Medical And Prosthetic Research And Development For Veterans’ Care. In May 2012, Benishek voted against increased funding for medical and prosthetic research and development by $28.3 million. The bill would have reduced the amount provided for the Defense Base Closure Account by $56.7 million and used $28.3 million to invest in veteran’s health and prosthetic research and development. The motion failed, 188-230. [CQ; HR 5854, Vote #304, 5/31/12; Congressional Record, H3358, 5/31/12]

Michigan Democrats Announce 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to Honor Congressman Dingell, Senator Levin; Will Feature Special Guest Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Apr. 2nd 2015

LANSING - Today, Michigan Democratic Party officials announced the 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner will honor Congressman John Dingell and Senator Carl Levin for their decades of service. The dinner will feature special guest Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Michigan to help us honor two giants in the Michigan Democratic Party,” said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. “Congressman Dingell and Senator Levin were Michigan’s lions in Washington for decades, and we couldn’t be happier to dedicate this year’s dinner to their unrivaled service on behalf of Michigan families.”

The dinner will be hosted at Cobo Hall’s Grand Riverview Ballroom, and will be at 6:15 PM on Saturday, May 9, 2015. 

“It’s a real honor to be invited to help Michigan Democrats pay tribute to the incredible legacies of Congressman Dingell and Senator Levin,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Democrats know that the way we build our economy is from the middle out, and the inspiring careers of these two great leaders is a testament to that.” 

### 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is appearing at this event only as a special guest. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not asking for funds or donations.

Statement from Michigan Democrats on Snyder Handing Pardon to Connected Attorney for Drunk Driving Conviction
Mar. 27th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson released the following statement in response to an Associated Press investigation revealing Gov. Rick Snyder handed a pardon to a connected attorney for a drunk driving conviction.

"By pardoning a politically-connected attorney convicted of drunk driving, this governor has reached a new low," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "I don't know who is more shameless - the drunk driver asking for a pardon, or the governor who granted it."

###

BACKGROUND:

Center for Public Integrity: "The political kingmaker nobody knows," March 26, 2015.

Associated Press: "Exclusive: Snyder uses pardon for connected lawyer," March 27, 2015.

Keep Christie Economics Out of Michigan
Mar. 27th 2015

From: Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair
To: Interested Parties
RE: Keep Christie Economics Out of Michigan
Date: Friday, March 27, 2015

Today Michigan Democrats took the opportunity of Chris Christie's visit to Macomb County to highlight Christie's failed record in New Jersey, and question why Macomb County Republicans would invited him to the state.

One only needs to look to New Jersey's economy to know what Governor Chris Christie’s top-down economic policies would mean for this country - benefiting the wealthy and burdening the middle class. 

The result of his economic policies in New Jersey is a perfect example of how the Republican top-down economic plan puts a greater strain on the middle class and holds back the state’s ability to grow. In Michigan, we understand the importance of a strong economy, and Democrats value a hardworking middle class that drives our economy. 

For that reason, I’m not sure why the Macomb County GOP decided to invite Christie to speak at their Lincoln Day Dinner, but I hope he’s not giving financial advice. 

Under Chris Christie, New Jersey has ranked near last in the nation in job creation. In fact, not only has New Jersey lagged behind the country in job growth, but it has only regained half the jobs it lost in the recession while the country has gained. New Jersey has also seen a record eight state credit downgrades under Chris Christie, and rating agencies are still threatening to downgrade New Jersey further. 

New Jersey’s household income rate dropped more than 12 percent during Chris Christie’s first term. Additionally, six of the seven largest cities in New Jersey with statistically significant changes in income between 2009 and 2013 saw drops in income of up to 25 percent. 

Homeowners in New Jersey also saw their home values plummet throughout Christie’s tenure as Governor. Home values were actually lower in 85 percent of municipalities in 2013 than they had been in 2009, when Christie assumed office.  

The bottom line: Christie was bad for New Jersey, and if he is given the opportunity would be damaging for Michigan and for America. 

Michigan Democratic Party Makes 2016 Delegate Selection Plan available for Review
Mar. 26th 2015

From: Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair
To: Interested Parties
RE: Michigan Democratic Party Makes 2016 Delegate Selection Plan available for Review
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Michigan Democratic Party has completed its proposed Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The plan will be available for review for a thirty day public comment period on the MDP website at michigandems.com/delegateselection beginning today, March 26, 2015. After the comment period expires, the Plan will be submitted to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee for final approval and further action with the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee.

The Plan provides that Michigan will have a total of 152 delegates and 11 alternates, to be selected proportionately, based on the results of a government-run primary. This "first determining step" in the Michigan delegate selection process will occur on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, to be held in conjunction with the Michigan GOP Presidential Primary. Further information can be found in the Plan itself.

If there are any questions, comments or criticisms about the Plan, you may contact the Michigan Democratic Party.

Statement from Michigan Democrats on Congressman Dan Benishek
Mar. 24th 2015

LANSING - Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson released the following statement in response to a report on Interlochen Public Radio that Congressman Dan Benishek will be breaking his three-term pledge and running for reelection in 2016. 

"Congressman Benishek is out of touch with the needs of Northern Michigan, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's breaking his three-term pledge by running for a fourth term in Congress," said Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "Congressman Benishek has repeatedly embraced the wrong priorities for Northern Michigan families, instead of working to build a state where we can stay and succeed. 

"Just last week, Washington Republicans released a budget that would end Medicare as we know it, transforming it into a voucher program, and would return our economy to the same top-down economics that has failed us in the past," continued Johnson. "Northern Michigan deserves a Congressman that goes to Washington and works for them, not another politician who breaks his word.” 

###

President Obama Rally with Michigan Democrats

President Obama will join Gary Peters and Mark Schauer on Saturday, November 4th at Wayne State University's Matthaei Physical Education Center in Detroit. Doors will open at 4pm. Tickets are free and will be given out on a first come, first serve basis and can be picked up at any one of the Michigan Democratic Party's campaign offices listed below. 

17243 Mack Ave., Detroit

7309 Lilley Rd., Canton

18409 Livernois Ave., Detroit

17100 W. Twelve Mile Rd., Lower Level, Southfield

4 N. Saginaw, 2nd Floor, Pontiac

23918 Cherry Hill St., Dearborn

Bill Clinton Event with Michigan Democrats

Congressman Dan Kildee hosted an exciting rally with Bill Clinton, Gary Peters and Mark Schauer in Flint. See photos from the event here and sign up below to support Michigan Democrats ahead of the 2014 midterm election.

Show your support for Michigan Democrats!

A Message from Michelle Obama

The November 4th election is critical for Michigan and our country. We have the chance to keep the Senate blue and influence the next few years of lawmaking in Lansing and beyond. Because this election is so important, Michelle Obama stopped by Detroit on October 10, 2014 to rally supporters to join the grassroots movement that will decide if Democrats come out on top in November. Watch her special message below, then sign up to support Michigan Democrats.

Phonebank for Michigan Dems

Whether you're in Ohio, Nevada or DC, Michigan's Democrats need your support to win key 2014 midterm races! We are excited to offer phonebanking opportunities to supporters all over the country. Sign up to phonebank remotely for Michigan Democrats below, and we will contact you shortly to get you set up. 

Hillary Clinton Event at Oakland University

Hillary Clinton visited Oakland University on Thursday, October 16th to rally supporters ahead of the 2014 midterm election. See photos of the event here and sign up below to support Michigan Democrats.

Test

Test

Paid for with regulated funds by the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, 606 Townsend, Lansing, MI 48933, (517) 371-5410, MichiganDems.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
WELCOME TO THE
MICHIGAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

It’s time for Michigan to elect leaders who know what makes our state great - our people, our land and our Great Lakes. The Michigan Democratic Party is focused on empowering citizens with the tools they need to join their friends and neighbors in creating an accountable government, and electing leaders that they believe in. Are you in? We’re ready to win, but we can’t do it without your help.

JOIN THE MDP
CONTRIBUTE
VOLUNTEER