LET US HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK

Where are the Democrats on health care? At a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Flint in early October 2016, Bill Clinton stated the following regarding Obamacare: "You've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world." Nevertheless, Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have been quick to criticize Republicans for attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare. However, neither Stabenow nor Peters, both of whom voted to pass Obamacare, have offered their own plan to fix the imploding Obamacare. I suggest Michigan's Democratic representatives stop their obstructionist behavior and immediately offer positive solutions to the health care crisis caused by Obamacare in its present form. Mark Hrabovsky

Trump through a Jewish prism. Can I write anything that has not already been written about the latest craziness of our despicable president? Richard. More at wbldems.blogspot.com

Bravo to Senators Murkowski, Collins and McCain for their no vote. Bravo to everyone who protested, made calls, wrote letters and stood up for the ACA. This is a big step forward for the American people and a huge defeat for the bully in chief. Linda

When Trump was elected I hoped that he was capable of changing into a normal human being. Talk about pure fantasy. Now I am consumed with the hope that this dishonest, corrupt, hateful, incompetent fool fails to complete his term. How a Presidency Ends at wbldems.blogspot.com. Richard Lenter

I started using Twitter. It is another way to communicate with the media, our legislators, etc. I was watching MSNBC when Ali Velshi was showing a chart that listed Republican senators and the huge payments they have received from insurance companies for their support of Trumpcare. I just tweeted Senator Susan Collins urging her to vote no the the health care bill. I like using it because it's a fast way to express your thoughts. Linda

Janice wrote: "Yes but I am concerned about Nancy Polocy They are going after her as the wicked witch of the Democratic Party. I wonder if we need a change in the Democratic Party." Well yes! The Democratic Party has not been standing up for ordinary people because too many of them are beholden to Wall Street and other big money donors. They don't support a livable minimum wage, single-payer health care, raising taxes on the wealthy, and the Party won't even stand for small d democratic procedures in its own meetings. It's time to stop wondering and start working to change the Party.Tanya

the National Republican Party does not care about America or the Earth and the people living on the Planet. These party hacks care only about their wealthy supporters who now believe with the brain impaired individual sitting in the White House, they can take control of the Government so the millionaires and billionaires can increase their personal fortunes at the cost of the American Residents. It is only a matter of time before the population of the World will realize that the United States is no longer a Government of, by or for the People of this Nation but a Government of, by and for the Dollar. To the true American People, we already know this to be true based on the four decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court concerning changes that the Holly vs ACRA, the Civil Rights Act changes, the Civil Rights Voting Act changes and the Ruling stating that unlimited donated dollar limits for Elections are allowed under the First Amendment Freedom of Speech clause. To me it appears that we may be headed to another Civil War to recapture America. Tom Nanasy

The Republican senators are in the process of emasculating the ACA. They are doing it in a disgraceful, unprecedented way. They are meeting behind closed doors and preparing to spring it on the American people. There will be no hearings and no debate. I have been supplied with a list of Republican Senators who may be on the fence. I implore you to call, write or e mail. See more from Richard and the list of Republican Senators

I was lucky enough to watch the entire Comey testimony. It was riveting. Richard's take at wbldems.blogspot.com

Michigan is blessed with two outstanding senators, One, Debbie Stabenow is up for reelection in 2018. As much as we hate the prolonged election process, it is a fact of life. The evil forces attempting to defeat Debbie have already ramped up. So must she.More from Richard at wbldems.blogspot.com

So, stop begging Republicans to interrupt their orgy of right-wing looting and pillaging. They aren't listening to you or any of your protests! The only thing that can stop them is the 2018 midterm elections! More at wbldems.blogspot.com..

I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum from John McCain. There is however much to admire about him. Despite Frump's comment, McCain is a hero. More from Richard at wbldems.blogspot.com

Trump in Saudi Arabia. His entire speech was almost entirely about fear mongering. Basically all he spoke about was terrorism. He could not have been more effusive in his praise for Saudi Arabia. He said he was not going to lecture about how the Saudis should act. This was a code for not addressing human rights. For that reason I have attached an article about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. The worst part of Frump's speech was his hateful demonization of Iran. More from Richard at wbldems.blogspot.com.

Regardless of what you think about the viability of the class action lawsuit against the DNC, it's scary to to read the DNC's legal argument is that the organization's neutrality among Democratic campaigns during the primaries was merely a "political promise," and therefore it had no legal obligations to remain impartial throughout the process. They chose Hillary and ensured her winning the primary by violating their own charter. They may be Democrats with a capital D but they are not democrats. We saw the same thing at the MDP Convention in February. I urge all members of the Democratic Party to become more actively involved in a caucus, either an issue-driven one or your Congressional District caucus to make sure it truly represents all the members of the Party and chooses candidates who represent us as well. Here's a link to a Newsweek article about the lawsuit Tanya Sharon

I am at a disadvantage when commenting on Comey's firing. I get my TV information from MSNBC and CNN. I don't get the Fox News perspective. In any event, here's my take. At wbldems.blogspot.com. Richard Lenter

It was so moving to participate in the Rally In Support of Immigrants in Pontiac! Jill Farber-Bramson. See Pontiac protesters join nationwide May Day

There is nothing wrong with the former President collecting speaking fees. We need to stop attaching negative connotations to areas where previous Presidents have done the same including George W. Bush. janice sobel

Bernie says and proves that he is not a Democrat. Our leadership should tell him to take a hike. Who is he to decide that our platform is negotiable, by him, at his whim, in our name. He can say what he wants but our leadership should make it clear that he doesn't speak for Democrats. And any of his minions, who have inserted themselves into our leadership structure, need to publicly aver that they will only advocate for our agenda, not Bernie's. I'm tried of reading that he is only trying to "improve" our brand. Every time he is on a stage, our leadership should demand that a real Democrat be there too. Our party should publicly disavow him now, EARLY. Landlord90000@aol.com

Should the Democrats embrace pro life Democrats (Bob Casey, Tim Kaine, Harry Reid, etc.) or risk alienating them based on this one issue? I was resolute as a pro-choice advocate that we can't compromise on this issue until listening to a discussion on Bill Press. I don't know that we are in a position to be so rigid. I also think it makes a difference if someone like Tim Kaine is personally pro life but feels that is his personal decision and would not stand in the way of pro-choice legislation. Linda Samelson

Are you aware of the appeals made to the MDP regarding the elections at the State Convention on February 11? I think it's important for MDP members to be aware of the continuing resistance by long-time members to look at the real reasons the Democratic Party has been losing elections, losing supporters. Here is a link to an article about the reasons for the appeals. https://michiganprogressive.com.. Tanya Sharon

Dear President Trump, You should rethink your slander of other officials that preceded you without presenting facts that back them. You are unfair and mean spirited. More at http://wbldems.blogspot.com.   Jean Fox, Letter to editor Sun Sentinel 4-9-2017

Why it is Important that you attend our meetings. Imagine four more years of the poisonous lies, actions and appointments in just over 50 days. Imagine your children reading textbooks written for Betsey Devos whose appointment was approved by a committee in which every Republican had received thousands in contributions from Devos and more from her family and PAC's. Imagine a trump Supreme Court when he has used his power to eliminate Federal Attorneys who may be investigating him or his allies. Imagine the power of Steve Banon to utilize the alt right (a new name for White Supremacists, neo-Nazi's, and Klansmen). Do you feel safer that the new administration uses the term, Radical Islamic Terrorists, but never the White Supremacist Terrorist. isn't the national increase in attacks on Jewish sites or Black churches terrorism? That is why you should bother to attend our meetings. We need you and many more like you to learn all you can and be a part of a team that needs you! Al Halper,

Trump is so insecure, and so panicked. He's failing in public respect and unsuccessful in all but what he can accomplish with executive orders (which unfortunately is plenty, as outlined in my e-mail several days ago. Jeanne Korsch

This man has no understanding of history and therefore no respect for NATO. It is in a way not surprising just totally Ignorant and stupid behavior . The people who voted for him do not see the terrible things coming. We have to hope the Europeans can keep the EU together. Janice Sobel

I fear a Putin originated plot to take over much of Europe and the USA. I fear all the money involving Russia & friends is laundered drug money. Jeanne Korsch

Bravo to Detroit's Freedom House as the only agency in our county which provide support in all forms for asylum seekers (escaping torture and violence) with an excellent track record of success. For 20 years they've received 60% of their funding from HUD which will be ending as of April 1st. They raised over 70% of their lost funding but more is needed. If you'd like to help, please click here to learn more about this amazing place and how you can help. https://www.freedomhousedetroit.org/ and check out this incredible video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1cHgi3Jj1k&feature=youtu.be If would be a true tragedy if this institution had to close its doors.

Are You Kidding Me? Are You Kidding Me? You MUST Be Kidding Me! "One popular program facing elimination is "Meals On Wheels," which uses federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to mobilize volunteers, businesses and donors to provide nutrition to thousands of senior citizens on a daily basis. It supports over 5,000 community-based organizations across America, reaching people in both urban and rural areas." The approximate cost per year is only $2 million dollars because it is run by volunteers in local communities. Rebecca Halbrook

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like there are many ways Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election: 1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement. 2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google. 3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They're holding signs and marching every week. 4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone's forgotten he's kind of a jerk. And more at wbldems.blogspot.com - Susan Keller

It seems to me that almost every Republican candidate in recent years has run on some sort of a no-tax/anti-tax policy and actively promotes the false idea that we are grossly overtaxed and that taxes hurt the economy and stifle growth. Now comes along Republican Rep. Lee Chatfield with his introduction of a bill that phases out the state income tax and offers nothing to replace it. This has to be one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation ever proposed. Conservative politicians have been very successful at framing taxes in negative ways, using words like "a burden," "an affliction" and "an unfair punishment" that taxpayersneed relief from. How can a person maintain that the taxes that support those police and fire departments, public schools, fighting terrorism and protecting the environment are bad? Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society that is democratic, offers opportunity and has an infrastructure accessible to all of us. Joe Petit

On March 15th, each of us will mail Donald Trump a postcard that publicly expresses our opposition to him. And we, in vast numbers, from all corners of the world, will overwhelm the man with his unpopularity and failure. We will show the media and the politicians what standing with him - and against us - means. And most importantly, we will bury the White House post office in pink slips, all informing Donnie that he's fired. Write one postcard. Write a dozen! Take a picture and post it on social media tagged with #TheIdesOfTrump ! Spread the word! Everyone on Earth should let Donnie know how he's doing. They can't build a wall high enough to stop the mail. Then, on March 15th, mail your messages to: Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500.

I've just called all the numbers given to me and urged a NO VOTE on Mrs. DeVos. Confirming her is the equivalent of the current administration's lack of interest, foresight and unwillingness to look at educating those that are most at risk. Patty Campbell.
MOST LIKELY TO FLIP Senator Pat Toomey: 202-224-4254 (PA). NO OFFICIAL POSITIONS STATED Senator Shelley Capito: 304-347-5372 (WV), Senator Dean Heller: 202-224-6244 (NV), Senator Jerry Moran: 202-224-6521(KS), Senator Deb Fisher: 202-224-6551 (KS), Senator Rob Portman: 202-224-3353 (OH)

This is a blog for activists. Check it out. I signed up for weekly alerts. jenniferhofmann.com. Linda

For those worried about ACA coverage for themselves and their families. After hearing about the midnight repeal of the pre-existing conditions clause, I called Senator Warren's office. Senator Warren's staff member told me what would help the most would be to call the five Republican senators who have broken away from the GOP to demand a slow down of the repeal. Tell them how much you appreciate their efforts to stop the train wreck and share your story. They are: Senator Bob Corker - (202) 224-3344, Senator Lisa Murkowski - (202) 224-6665, Senator Rob Portman - (202) 224-3353, Senator Susan Collins - (202) 224-2523, Senator Bill Cassidy - (202) 224-5824. Tanya

Hello Members, Democrats, Friends and Republicans who understand what their Party just did to America. We are trying to adapt to two new forces: the women whose march has inspired all of us, and Trumpism, which will make America great again for billionaires! Why is it that the rich are always complaining about income tax; while always telling us that cutting their taxes increases our wealth. The new reality requires a re-evaluation of our club's response. Join us and help us block those who would kiss the AXIS of our adversaries. Join or re-join our Club! Al Halper

Al's Blog - Putin, the Chess Master. I believe that there is ample evidence that Vladimir Putin is destroying all the countries that have held Russia at bay in its quest to gain world domination. More at wbldems.blogspot.com

Al's Blog. Now that it's public that the Russians were behind much of the "Hate Hillary" campaign, and we still don't know how many votes were disqualified in Republican controlled states, and we still don't know if Trump or any of his inner circle were involved with the Russian plot, is it time for an investigation of a possible conspiracy to commit treason. If so, can such an investigation proceed before Trump can destroy all of the evidence and remove all of the witnesses? Al Halper

What a disgrace. Joe Biden shows no balls and actually chides Dems while Republicans laugh. This is why Dems continue to get their asses handed to them. Shame on Biden and shame on senate Dems for not even making an appearance. The republicans don't give a shit about rules, decorum, and decency. Biden should have let the Dems say their peace, rules be damned. Until we learn that there are no rules, we'll continue losing elections until there won't be any elections left to lose. See thehill.com Jeff Kaplan

HOW THE TRUMP STOLE AMERICA.
In a land where the states are united, they claim,
in a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,
lived a horrible, terrible, devious chump,
the bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.  More at wbldems.blogspot.com

Open Letter to the Electors who will gather in State Houses around our country today for the purpose of voting for the President of The United States of America. Donald Trump has shown us that he will represent his own personal interests, not those of any political party and not those of the American People! More at wbldems.blogspot.com. Allen Halper

I watched a video by Democratic Congressman Steve Israel (Fla.) who is retiring from Congress. (He's retiring because he had to spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising). In the video he says the best way to get through to these brazen Republican legislators, etc. is to attend their forums, meetings & town hall meetings & get loud & rant & rave like the tea party people did (especially) during the time of the passage of the ACA/Obamacare. Jill

After the Recount, I'm just pissed. It is clear to me now more than ever that we're in more trouble than we thought. Republicans are going all in to restrict voting rights and undermine the foundation of our Democracy. Congressman John Conyers has stated on his Facebook that he is introducing legislation during the next Congress to address the new wave of attacks on voting rights. We need to call and support him. Explain that you're severely discouraged by what you saw in Detroit and want to express your support. Conyers Detroit Office: (313) 961-5670. John Pavik Pissed off Regional Organizing Director for Oakland // Macomb County, Hillary Forever

On December 3rd, I along with several other progressive activists were physically assaulted by Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) officers-at-large during a peaceful protest at an MDP meeting. We were protesting the lack of transparency inside the Michigan Democratic Party - the way elections are rigged to benefit insiders and donors and how the public is kept in the dark. We were also advocating for Keith Ellison for DNC Chair. At the meeting/rigged election, candidates were being chosen to represent Michigan on the Democratic National Committee (DNC). When we arrived, we learned that all the candidates had already been pre-selected. It's no surprise so many felt betrayed and abandoned by the Democratic Party last November given how the party treats those who disagree. Without significant change in the Democratic Party, we will continue to lose elections and will become known as the party of the donors and the elite. -Sam Pernick

During this lame duck season, our Michigan legislators are poised to pass a trio of strict voter ID laws which would make it more difficult for the poor, the elderly, communities of color and the disabled to vote. House Bills 6066, 6067 and 6068 would require nearly all Michigan voters to present photo ID before voting on Election Day, eliminating the identity affidavit alternative. The practical effect of these bills will be to disenfranchise the vast majority of voters who either don't have ID or who show up to the polls without it. Tell your representative and Governor Snyder that you oppose these voter suppression laws. Find your Michigan representative at http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/ Call Governor Snyder at 517-373-3400 or 517-335-7858. Cathy and Irma

The meeting (OCDP election debrief 11/29/16) was SRO and was very feisty (understatement). There was a lot of finger pointing and frustration that was aired. Carolyn Lowe and I attended. I wish more people from our club had been able to attend. One good thing is that several people who had never attended a Democratic meeting before were there. There must have been 30 people who stood up to speak. Of course, everyone is upset and still in a state of shock. Linda Samelson

Yesterday, I challenged Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon on the failure of the State and National Party to win Michigan. Given that so many people in leadership are stepping aside because they failed to defeat Trump, would he step aside? I also asked about the election this Saturday being held to elect six DNC members to represent Michigan. Not only was information about this important election not widely available until yesterday, but no one knows who the candidates for these DNC positions are (except for one person who is campaigning openly and is a millennial). This rigged election allows a small group of insiders to push through their candidates at the last minute, and shuts out public vetting and input. It is just another example of how the party is rigged to benefit the establishment, the elites, and their donors. Notice how Brandon says how he doesn't know who the candidates are, and then later says he knows people who are running. Which is it? And why is the public being kept in the dark? Sam Pernick 11/30/16

To my liberal non-clinton voters (and to anyone who wants real change within the party): Please read this. Disregard the dogmatic f u tone at the beginning and really read the content and logic of the sanders would have won argument. I'm not sure Sanders would have lost, but I doubt he would have won without 95% of Clinton's support, and 50% of her donors. Frank Houston. newsweek.com/myths-cost-democrats-presidential-election

Jeff Sessions is Attorney General. Google him. He couldn't get appointed to the Supreme Court because he is such a racist. Brace yourselves. If anyone of us hoped Trump would be more moderate than he was campaigning, our hopes are dashed with this appointment, Steve Bannon, another racist and anti-semite, etc. Linda Samelson

It has become apparent that Donald Trump is about to become the most powerful man our country has ever placed in the office of the President of the United States of America! His recent appointments give us more reason to fear his motives! He will have all the power he needs to become our first dictator! American democracy is headed toward a train wreck unless we can slow it down or stop it! The Senate has the power to approve a well-qualified Justice to the Supreme Court while Barack Obama is still our president I am proposing that you start a petition to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demanding that he immediately convene the Senate of the United States of America for the purpose of acting on its Constitutional requirement to consider the nomination by President Barack Obama of Justice Merrick Brian Garland for the position ofJustice of the United States Supreme Court. Al Halper,

The results of an election ought to bring conclusion. An end to debate and antagonism. A cease-fire. And an acceptance of the declared winner. But, after hours of soul searching, a short rest, and a concerted effort, I am unable to respond as I ordinarily would. Indeed, I cannot find anything good to say about Donald Trump because my mind is constantly bombarded by caricature images and vitriolic soundtracks of a vile hateful person. Oddly, these caricatures are not political cartoons from imaginative faultfinders; they are actual pictures, recordings and transcripts authored and performed by Trump himself. No one made this stuff up. I don't just believe this man is a bully, I know he is because the evidence is abundant and verifiable. What this man has proudly said and done in full view of the public is too despicable to forgive. I am shocked, but the truth is that Trump will be our president. That office deserves to be honored and respected and I pledge my acceptance of Trump's presidency. However, I will fiercely attack bullying ridicule at all levels including casual comment. More importantly, I will be openly critical of the political narcissism and incompetence that implicitly lies behind Trump's bullying behavior. Peter A. Pascaris

Rosemary (see below) the Democrats are removed from us. Like you said, we need to hold their feet to the fire. They take the time only when they want money from us. Linda Samelson

I am going to hold my party responsible for not defending Hillary and allowing EVERY person representing us in print or on TV to repeat the mantra, "You may not like her, but...." How in the hell do you not like a person you don't know, so much that you would vote for an unprincipled idiot or a person who has no chance to win? ALL of the Democrats, especially nationally, let Hillary down. And I am not going to forget it.
Locally, if we are ever going to matter, we had better find a way to let our local "leaders" know that we are here 24/7, and we are meeting somewhere once a month..........and they had better find a way to REALLY affiliate with us by coming to meetings and staying, publishing newsletters and letting us know what the hell is going on, explaining the issues that they have to vote on BEFORE it's time to vote..........and realizing that they are NOT CELEBRITIES. They should no longer be allowed to send their 20 year old interns to our meetings, or breeze in themselves and tell a joke and speak to a person or two, and then leave. While we were losing every important thing in our state, including that un-law (it's really just a mandate from Gov. S.) that allowed the gov to take over cities and privatize their schools and their contracts.........NOT ONE of our representatives or senators warned us about it. They didn't mobilize. They didn't ask our opinion. They let the teachers and municipal employees pensions get raped and they never said a mumbling word. I went to many fundraisers this year where these celebrities were and whenever I would ask a question they would all band together to tell me a choreographed version of, "Little Miss. Citizen, you don't really understand the complexity of the issue and/or this is not the time to discuss these complexities." Well, I know that you have a great pension, and a great health care plan and none of your children go to "charter" schools. That's enough for a starting point, isn't it?
I went to a fund raiser where there were different amounts of money being paid, and that determined the room that you were allowed to go into and the type of food you had and the quality of drinks available. There was literally a black curtain separating us ordinary Democrats (the ones who go to the meetings, make the phone calls, knock on the doors, etc.), from those who paid $1,000.00 each (supposedly). Since I was sitting at the entrance I watched them send the "guards" in for their friends. THEY EVEN HAD THEIR OWN ENTRANCE. I watched Gary Peters, who made a mistake and accidentally walked into the door for the ordinary people. He absolutely panicked at the thought that he didn't know anyone. Two minutes later one of the "guards" came up to him and ushered him beyond the black curtain and a big smile broke out on his face. It never occurred to him to walk in and greet the Democrats who had paid for the limo that drove him out, just for a few minutes. I can name 20 of the celebrities whom I saw leaving with their personal swag in hand. This crap needs to stop.
We need to let these smug Democrats know that the Republicans are not the only ones whose feet are going to be held to the fire. Rosemary

I just wanted to weigh in to say I'm so fucking tired of conciliation. And I'm so goddamned angry at having our collective ass handed to us and being told in defeat that we should try to accept the results, and reach out to the other side. Bullshit! The Democratic Party needs to grow some balls and learn how to fight instead of making excuses for why it fucked up - AGAIN! - and vowing to learn from it. Democrats need to get their head out of their asses and see reality. Stop acting like, if we only wish hard enough, our pie-in-the-sky fantasy of a worldwide lovefest will come true. And if we lead by example and take the high road, everyone will follow because most of our citizenry are reasonable adults. And now it may result in at least three likely hard-right supreme court nominees, replacing two liberal-minded justices, that will further suppress individual rights for generations to come and will not be undone in my lifetime. Jeff Kaplan

If the Democrats did away with super delegates and closed primaries, we would connect with the voters better than we did this year. Sheldon Wolberg

I am in mourning for the America that many of us still believe we are and can be. We have had glimpses of many freedoms, only seen in the most recent of times. Now, we must each act to maintain and preserve those values that we want and stand up for them. For those who voted for Hillary, we've seen her put up an amazing and valiant fight against bigotry and sexism. And for those who voted for Trump, I'm hoping that you believe in better values than the worse of his supporters do, for this beast will not be easily tamed. May we all find that we can reach for our better angels; for they will be needed now more than ever. Lynn Halper Rosen, PhD 11/9/2016

If you watched Donald Trump's speech in Nevada yesterday as I did, you were privy to history's repeat. His Trumped up lies brought back memories of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini stirring crowds with inflammatory rants. They backed up their rants with pamphlets, magazines and newspapers echoing those claims. The end of their mischief was a body count of tens of millions, including those of their own countrymen. All that Trump and his propaganda team from Breitbart, Project Veritas, Fox News, etc. need to change our democracy into a dictatorship, is the Presidency, which will ensure them of the Supreme Court for the next several decades. See his lies here. Al Halper

I know many of you are already aware of the need to vote for down-ballot, non-partisan races and you already know who you want to vote for. However, if you don't already know I want to direct you to the state supreme court elections and ask you to vote for Frank Szymanski and Deborah Thomas. Over the last few decades the state supreme court has continued to rule in favor of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and big corporations to slowly erode the rights of the individual to seek redress in court. The Michigan Consumer Protection Act has been rendered almost toothless and individuals suffering catastrophic injuries in automobile accidents are limited in their ability to recover for their non-economic injuries. Jeff Kaplan

WHAT WAS THE OCDP THINKING IN ENDORSING VICTORIA VALENTINE? The Free Press endorsed LORIE SAVIN for Oakland County Circuit Court!!! "Savin, 46, of West Bloomfield has spent more than 13 years as a referee in the family court division she seeks to join. She regularly conducts hearings involving the same issues that come before family court judges, and enjoys a reputation as a fair and hardworking mediator in difficult cases. A native of Royal Oak, she spent her early career representing indigent clients in Missouri and Kansas. Her specialized experience makes LORIE SAVIN the superior voice for this circuit court seat." Linda Samelson

Michael Stack is endorsed by the Free Press. This is great news as Michael battles against the DeVos behemoth. Reported in the Free Press yesterday that Klint Kesto, R-39, has raised $176,310 from: DeVos family: $9,000; Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Assoociation PAC $3,500; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC: $2,600. Please do all you can to support Mike, a progressive candidate who will work for "we the people" and not corporations. Linda Samelson

Ironic that Trump still running WITH SUPPORT NO LESS. Trump should be suspended from the human race. Jeanne Korsch

Dear friends, If you don't know me, my name is Noah Arbit and I am the West Bloomfield organizer for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. I need your help! There is a concerted effort by the extreme right to paint Hillary Rodham Clinton as anti-Israel and antisemitic SEE: breitbart.com. We must fight these aspersions in Michigan and coalesce our community behind Secretary Clinton. I need your help to plan an event to educate the community for qualified figures to speak about Hillary's record and positions on the State of Israel. I need all hands on deck for this - hosts, planners, scouts, ushers, phone callers, social media gurus, photographers - everything. I'd like to schedule a meeting this week at our NEW West Bloomfield office - on 7439 Middlebelt Road (across from Johnny Pomodoro's). Please forward this to any Jewish (or non-Jewish) community members who would be interested in helping the campaign with this event. Email or call me back about your availability for a meeting (2484106060). I will schedule a meeting based on these responses. Be on the lookout for more info. Thank you Thank you, Noah Arbit

Hello Democrats and Friends, Although I am no longer your Corresponding Secretary, I have received permission to send messages to you that are relevant to the 2016 Election. The message below came from the Hillary Clinton Campaign to me. It included a spot for me to donate, which I have been doing. I'm sharing this message to alert you to the next turn in theTrump Campaign. You have probably seen the hatchet job done on Planned Parenthood by a Breitbart team. We can expect more because their poison often goes viral. We must double down on our support for Hillary and our Michigan Democrats! See Breitbart News at wbldems.blogspot.com. Al Halper

Hi all, Everyone knows that Trump was sending a message to gun nut Hillary haters. Thomas Friedman did a terrific piece in today's NYT comparing Trump's statement to similar statements made by Rabin haters that led to his assassination. It seems that no one has picked up on Trumps first lie. He said that Hillary intends to abolish the second amendment. This is red meat for gun nuts. Hillary, like all of us, wants reasonable gun safety laws. But neither she, nor any other mainstream Democrat has ever suggested abolishing the second amendment, which could not be done even if they wanted to. Now to the second. Trump's exact words were, "...nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know." Trump's damage control team and all Trump apologists, says the meaning is obvious, it was a get out the vote call. I agree the meaning was obvious. If he was really calling for a get out the vote campaign, why does he say "I don't know" Trump knows very little, but one thing he certainly knows is that people have a right to vote. So when he says "I don't know" it can have only one meaning, And that meaning is loud a clear to crazies and to us. Richard 248-561-3113. Hillary in '16

Hi Everyone, What a glorious, magical & historic Democratic National Convention! I was so very fortunate to have been able to experience this overwhelmingly beautiful, thrilling, moving & emotional moment in our American history! I'll cherish every moment always! Hillary was so joyful, radiant, warm, passionate & appreciative! Now let's continue together to work with everything we've got to elect our first Madam President! Hill Yes! Stronger Together! Jill Farber-Bramson

Fellow Democrats: Apparently some people are going around saying that Sam Logan Khaleghi and I are Tea Party proponents. There are also insinuations that our club is a front for the Tea Party. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you have any direct knowledge of these defamatory statements, please contact me as soon as you can. Jonathan Warshay Chair, West Bloomfield/Lakes Area Democratic Club. Webmaster Note: the real tea party is at lakesareateaparty.com

It was an honor to have been one of the members of both of the delegations that visited Senators Stabenow & Peters' offices last year in support of the Iran Nuclear Deal! I'm thankful everyday to everyone that put forth their tireless efforts to make sure this most critical deal passed! I'm thankful for President Obama, Secretary Kerry & Under Secretary Wendy Sherman! (There are many to thank)! I'll be happy to call Senators Stabenow & Peters to express my gratitude & continued support of the deal! Jill Farber-Bramson

I cannot express how glad I am that the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats before them have been taking a stand on stopping gun violence and terrorism. I am going to call some senators and representatives to express my support for the sit-in. One more thing: I saw this AM that the Republicans have accused the Democrats against breaking the House rules against cameras. So, I would like to see the Republicans haul up the Democrats on breaking House Rules disciplinary charges after the recess ends on July 5. Howard

Please answer these pleas/appeals for sanity involving guns and senseless deaths in the U. S. Research facts plus have the courage to speak and act with love, not fear and hate as well as with reason, not emotion. Contact senators and representatives on the state and national levels. Join and support such organizations as Sandyhookpromise.org. Support any group which seeks to destroy or lessen the power of the National Rifle Association. Read the 2nd Amendment to the U. S. to note and remember the word Militia. Be aware of and support efforts to improve mental health concerns. Have hope. Be active. Be vigilant. Hannah Provence Donigan

This interview explains the evil genius that allowed a Republican minority to subvert American democracy. Please listen and share: http://www.wnyc.org/story/understanding-congressional-gerrymandering-its-moneyball-applied-to-politics. Al Halper

A reminder: the eminent Jewish philosopher of Lemberg, Martin Buber, opposed Zionism as a form of abhorrent nationalism, saying that holding to the view that a Jewish state in Palestine would inevitably oppress its Arab inhabitants. That was in 1918. Harry T Cook 6/14/16

In 2000, Israel offered more than it ever had, but the Arabs insisted that Israel give up all occupied territory and accept the Arab right of return. The Arab right of return is a non-starter, as it would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish nation. Jonathan 6/14/16

Since all Israeli, peace overtures, even BEFORE Netanyahu's first election were also rejected, including Ehud Barak's overly generous offer, history exposes the absolute inaccuracy and sheer nonsense of Howard's assertion. Jeanne Korsch 6/13/16

Bernie Sanders did everyone a great service. Netanyahu has done nothing to advance a real two-state solution. Rather, he has done everything possible to prevent it. Furthermore, Israeli occupation policies in the West Bank have fueled extremism and hate there tremendously. The only way to even begin to reduce these is to negotiated and implement a real two-state solution. So, challenging these policies is justified. Otherwise, terrorist attacks inside Israel and even beyond will continue to increase. Far from making Israel more secure, the continued occupation makes Israel less secure. Until the Palestinians have their own state, these problems will only worsen towards another inevitable explosion. Regarding the United States' position, as Israel's strongest supporter, the US must continue to pressure Israel towards a two-state solution. Don't forget: Terrorist attacks inside Israel can become terrorist attacks elsewhere. ISIS is looking to exploit environments like the West Bank under Israeli military occupation for its own ends. Howard 6/13/16

Linda, I'm a loyal Bernie supporter. I'm not sure if I'll vote for Hillary Clinton or not. She will have to earn my vote. She doesn't just get it out of fear of Donald Trump. I watched her town hall answer to a question asked by Rachel Maddow and Hillary basically said "fuck you" to all of Bernie's supporters. Why don't you e-mail Hillary's campaign and demand that Hillary stop cheating democracy and make overtures to Bernie's supporters, instead of asking us to put our ethics and morals aside. I want to vote for someone, not against Donald Trump. Thanks, Bruce Fealk

VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO. To the "Bernie or Bust" Americans: -- You're not voting against Hillary. You're voting FOR the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. -- You're not voting against Hillary. You're voting FOR the privatization of Social Security.Yes. It is a reality that sometimes we are faced with a "lesser of two evils" choice. And Secretary Clinton is ABSOLUTELY a lesser evil than Donald Trump. Please! Do not destroy the country to make a point. -- Remember. 100,000 Floridians voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. That's why Gore lost. Not hanging chads. Linda Samelson

Help John Austin Protect LGBT Children. I know John personally and he is one of the finest people I know. He's served well on the State of Michigan School Board and together with the other members recently sent out voluntary guidelines for schools as they address LBGTQ students and their rights. As you likely some members of our legislature have not looked fondly on this and (in my estimation) very poorly. John will be running for the Board again and is asking for support. Mary Anne

Our Current Township Supervisor(Michele Economou Ureste) And Her Staff Is Under Investagations By The Secretary Of State Office For Campaign Finance Violations,Fraud And Unlawful Use Of Taxpayer Funded Resources For Her Personal Campaign. WHY Is Our Supervisor And Her Staff Always Engaging In Illegal Activity As Though It Is A Hobby For Them, Year After Year !!!!! WE Need A New Township Board That Is Kosher And CLEAN . Connie Kincer, April 13, 2016

The Republicans have successfully made inroads among my fellow Jews by their attacks on our President which have been encouraged by their fellow right winger, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu. The link below may help you understand my position that support for Israel has been an American position since Harry Truman. It had never been partisan issue until now. I believe that support for Israel is more secure when it not used by one Party to score points against the other! Al Halper. http://nyti.ms/23nae0o

I watched the speeches of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at the AIPAC convention. Hillary's speech was terrific. My takeaway is that Trump is crazy and scary. Cruz is just scary. I did not see Kasich's speech but I understand it was excellent. Bernie was invited but he had commitments to campaign out West. Richard. Read more at wbldems.blogspot.com

I just did a very well received talk on the on-coming fusion of the religious right with Trumps hard right populist hate & resentment core supporters. I call it an Unholy Alliance of old time nativism/southern racial strategy a la Nixon 68 along with fundamentalism, religious extremism & theocratic bias. I hope to come your way with this talk in spring or summer as a way to unite all anti-hate forces in a united front to defeat our own home grown religious extremists. Have we got a candidate to challenge Kesto? Sooner the better for fundraising. Its a winnable swing seat. And we need you all to join Brenda L and others in helping Dr Anil Kumar pull an upset as the state turns out for the top of the ticket. Peace & Love ..not war and hate! Mike Whitty

Get 'em outta here. We have seen countless times Donald Trump screaming to throw protesters out of his events. Actually he yells to "get them the hell outta here." AIPAC has invited Donald Trump to speak at next week's annual convention. For those who don't want to listen to Trump, I can give you his speech in advance. He will say he loves "the Jews" just like he loves "the Hispanics." He will say that some of his best friends are Jews. He will talk about his daughter who has converted to Judaism. He will talk about how great Israel is. I doubt very much if he will talk about his racist, sexist, bigoted ideas. He will save those for his ugly, ugly rallies. Richard

OPEN LETTER TO BERNIE SANDERS AND HILLARY CLINTON. Please use the debate tonight to expose the ruthlessness of our Michigan Tea Party dominated government. Flint is only the tip of the iceberg. The Governor, the Legislature, and the courts have conspired to destroy public education, the Democratic Party and democracy itself. We now have the most oppressive state government since Jim Crow! Al Halper. Read more at wbldems.blogspot.com

The last thing we need is another corporate Democrat. We had Bill, and we have Obama, and Hillary will be more of the same. We have lost our manufacturing with Bill's Nafta, and will loose more with Obama's TPP. Bill pushed through bank de-regulation, and after the banks collapsed the economy, Obama rescued them with 100's of billions of dollars. We need real health care reform, not fake reform like Obamacare. Obamacare has enriched the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and made all the rest of us pay more for health care. We need affordable college for our children. We need roads and infrastructure. We don't need Hillary Clinton. Sheldon Wolberg

Glad for attention to Flint. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expressing the disgust and outrage that so many of us are feeling. She's drawn much needed attention to the human-rights crisis in Flint. The situation needs and deserves the most constructive and expeditious actions by all appropriate authorities and concerned citizens. Stop blaming others for the political hot water you're in Gov. Snyder. It's nothing like the toxic water the people of Flint have been drinking. Jill Farber-Bramson, West Bloomfield. from Detroit News January 21, 2016

Every voter needs to take a few minutes to listen to Senator Steven Bieda's speech on the Senate floor. This is what Michigan politics has become......there is the Republican way or no way. Democrats were not even allowed to speak. This happened when Right to Work was being debated. The door was slammed in our face and the measure was voted on. Michigan is no longer a democracy and we are at the mercy of the Republicans who are drunk on their own power. Linda Samelson

I am so disgusted with Snyder. The situation in Flint is dire due to the recommendation of the Gov & others in his administration to Flint constituents that the river water was safe to drink. Now children in Flint are showing high levels of lead poisoning. This is irreversible! Another gift from the State Republicans. How about sending the Governor and his cronies to jail. They are criminals. Janice Sobel

I've already arranged for my absentee ballot to be mailed to my 2016, winter, CA address, and I'll be voting for Trump. Yes, I will. Why? While most of us agree that we want Hilary as our candidate, we also need a strategy to provide Hilary with the fewest negatives and her weakest opponent: Trump. Please consider: 1- Age will definitely be a factor, used against Hilary, unless the 1 year, older Trump is the repugs candidate. 2- Even current polls show Trump to be the repug's biggest loser. He is touting himself to be an evangelical, conservative Christian. But it won't fly in a general election; if he becomes the actual candidate, huge #'s of his Nazi-like supporters will abandon him when the spotlight of the national campaign is bound to reveal that his daughter, her husband, their children, and her in-laws are all Jews. I am convinced that Trump will not even get a full 40%.Jeanne Korsh

The Republicans are degrading our voting rights in Michigan & across our country! This isn't what democracy should look like! Jill Farber-Bramson. See freep.com

Keeping Marijuana illegal only provides funding for the murderous, drug trade! THE WAR ON DRUGS FAILED. Check out these 2014 statistics from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: 1-The war on drugs is 41+ years old. 2-Over 41,000,000 Americans have been arrested. 3-American has spent over $1 trillion in the war on drugs. The Result? 4-Drug use in USA has increased by 2,800%!!! Jeanne Korsch

The honor that Princeton bestowed on an unrepentant racist decades ago should be rescinded. Linda Samelson See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/opinion/the-case-against-woodrow-wilson-at-princeton

This week the Senate passed three bills they hope will keep them in office in perpetuity: 1. They eliminated the straight ticket in our elections. 2. They changed the election for Oakland County Executive, so that if Brooks Patterson retires they won't have to face the Democrats in a presidential election year. 3. They made it illegal for public union representatives to conduct Union business during work hours. They even made it impossible to start a petition drive to overturn the elimination of the straight ticket bill by sticking an appropriation to it! Of course, they have been pretty constant in sticking it to the citizens since 2010! Maybe we can be inspired to wake up the people who didn't know that it wasn't only Democrats that have been crushed, but that democracy itself has been the victim of the extreme right! Al Halper.

In yesterday's Time Magazine, Kareem Abdul Jabbar explains just, exactly why Carson is not presidential material. Article available on line. Excellent essay. Jabbar focuses attention on how harmful Carson is to American society in general, and African Americans specifically. Jeanne Korsh

UNKOCH MY CAMPUS. Check out: unkochmycampus.org. Fascinating to see what young activists are doing to push back against the Koch's powerful influence on education. Linda Samelson

Robert Redford's film, TRUTH, is magnificent! I fear it will only be around until Thursday. Make seeing it a priority. Jeanne Korsh. I agree. 'Truth' is superb! The extremely distressing 'Labyrinth of Lies' is also excellent. It's showing at the Main in R.O. Jill

Listening to Bill Press who said "Trey Gowdy just elected Hillary Clinton to be our next president". Did you hear at the end, a reporter asked Trey Gowdy if they learned anything new? He hemmed and hawed, finally saying no, not really! He'd have to look at the transcripts. I'm sure the Republicans were not happy with his response. He just wasted 20 million tax payer dollars!!! She was questioned for 11 hours while the committee got to take breaks. This is was a clown show put on by elected Republicans and historic as no one has ever been questioned for a witness for this length of time. CNN's headline is that she came out unscathed. She has gotten wide praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. Linda Samelson

These internet jokes about Netanyahu's preposterous assertions are sadder and more painful than humorous. AS A RESULT, NETANYAHU HAS BECOME A CLOWN! STUPID; STUPID STUPID. SO, SO SAD FOR ISRAEL & WORLD JEWRY. Whoever thought the day would come when an Israeli Prime Minister would be a Holocaust Denier! Netanyahu should resign.Jeanne Korsh

The Letter to the Editor is one I sent to the Detroit Free Press after the 2014 Election results were out. While it focused on Michigan, it pertained to the whole nation! The philosophical and financial radical element to which I was referring is: The John Birch Society. One of its founders was Fred Koch, also the founder of Koch Industries. Two of his sons, David and Charles, were behind the growth of the Tea Party and are the driving force behind ALEC (where they decide which laws are written and then transmitted) and a network of "think tanks" that promote the party line in almost every state. Their work has helped to inflame the hatred of government that feeds the frenzy behind Trump and other demagogues. We are now seeing how 40 members of the US House of Representatives who are committed to an agenda formed by a single, well funded group can control the 455 elected representatives of the people. Al Halper. See the letter and opinions at wbldems.blogspot.com

Tonight we are about to pass the same plan we did in June to fix Michigan's roads except it is worse - benefits the wealthiest w/ income tax cut not middle class. It would raise $600 million in new revenue and $600 million in the existing budget. House Democrats will continue to fight for public safety, public services, education, healthcare. Tim Greimel 10/21/15. More about roads at: facebook.com

The people have spoken. We have idiots running our state. When is the next train to the Promised Land?? Patricia Campbell. "Namely our legislative leaders seem to have lost their minds, any sense of the public good, and it is time to stop treating their raving lunacy as if it deserved respect". Read the article by Jack Lessenberry at michrad.io

It was another very distressing day in Lansing for those of us who support women's reproductive rights! The House Criminal Justice Committee took testimony on a package of bills which endanger women's access to abortion. The House bills are 4833 & 4834. The one positive thing I can say about yesterday is that our side had an excellent turn out. (Although, more pro-choice supporters/attendees are always needed)! Another positive was that we had highly competent & skilled individuals who provided testimonies in support of women's reproductive health. 10/14/15 Jill Farber-Bramson

I so hope that this will expose the Repuewg's for the scoundrels that they are. However, if this man did engage himself in untoward activity, it will nullify the investigation. Jeanne Korsh. Read the article: Former GOP Staffer: Benghazi Committee 'Partisan Investigation' Targeting Clinton

At long last, Netanyahu paid proper respect to POTUS and all Americans, and, reminded everyone of current and historical, world-wide and Middle East, political reality. This should have been his thrust all along. He's likely listening, at long, long last, [excuse repeated phrase] to other and wiser voices and advisers. Let's hope he continues in this proper direction, and his former, misguided, destructive paths are finished. He's made terrible, terrible mistakes, and reaped much damage to his own cause. His time and energy should have been used for these, constructive purposes all along. I will not dwell on the past, but I state that I hope he intends this as a start to heal the unwise, and destructive, and unnecessary divisions he caused throughout the world, both in general, and within Jewish communities. It should NEVER have happened in the first place. Jeanne Korsh

Dear Senator Stabenow, I am profoundly disappointed that you support an agreement which is UN AMERICAN. First, US should have demanded Iran negotiating with Israel. A deal between Iran and Israel would have obviated the whole "deal" with Iran. Second, you naively believe that Iran will exercise the reduction of its nuclear capabilities that you described. You are not familiar with Iranian bazaar trading: "agree and do what you wanted and planed", especially without viable reliable supervision. Third and most important, US president went to the UN security council bypassing congress, bypassing you, to create a new executive branch of the USA, the UN security council. I can forgive the "deal", but I cannot agree as a Democrat and American that you sacrifice our Constitution for political gains. Respectfully Isaac Barr MD Bloomfield Michigan. See Statement from Senator Stabenow on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Donald Trump's Campaign of Terror. His rhetoric is so inflammatory that the fringe are being motivated to commit hate crimes. 2 men beat up a homeless Hispanic screaming they want to take their country back. I think it's time to take Trump seriously. This will make the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center even more difficult. Linda Samelson. I am saddened, but not surprised. He revealed his true self over the President's birthplace. Just because the Klan cannot parade in masks doesn't mean that they've altered feelings and ideas. If he does get the nomination, it will bring out the same supporting folks who elected the President in 2008, so we'll win again. Jeanne Korsch. See donald_trumps_campaign_of_terror

I, along with Jill Farber-Bramson and Patty Campbell, were invited as guests to speak at Senator Stabenow's office. Although we didn't meet with her, we spoke to her staffers, one from here and the other was her foreign policy advisor. We were made aware of the urgency of getting our senators on board. If anyone can contact Senator Peters and Senator Stabenow, along with Rep. Brenda Lawrence, that would be very helpful. (I understand that Gary is leaning against this.)They will be making an announcement within a few weeks. It is particularly important that the Jewish community supports this since there has been a strong pushback from AIPAC and other Jewish organizations urging a no vote. I wish you all could have been there to hear Professor Saheed Kahn (Middle Eastern history) and Professor Prosad Venugopal, (nuclear physicist) lay out their case for why this deal is so crucial. They are brilliant and conveyed the reasons why they are supporting the deal. It's hard to believe that anyone who listened to them would not be persuaded. (They are both happy to be invited as speakers). We need to get to 34 senators. You can check The Hill daily for updates.Read http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/247956-the-hills-whip-list-senators-take-sides-on-iran-deal. Linda Samelson

Here's an excellent article by Jack Lessenberry focusing on the most recent attempts to swift- boat Planned Parenthood: michiganradio.org/post/truth-about-planned-parenthood. Mitch McConnell has fast-tracked legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. This bill could be voted on as early as Monday. Please make these important calls to let your/our elected officials know we strongly support Planned Parenthood! Debbie Stabenow 202-224-4822 Gary Peters 202-224-6221 Brenda Lawrence (Rep. for the 14th District) 202-225-5802 Jill Farber-Bramson

Ten thousand people showed up at an event for Bernie Sanders in Madison Wisconsin. I was listening to Thom Hartman yesterday and he said that the NY times didn't have any mention of this huge event, you might say historical event that drew so many people. The only media that covered the story that he was aware of were Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes. Elections by corporations is our new reality. Linda Samelson

Everyone: I agree that we must get rid of gerrymandering. On the gay-lesbian-transgender marriage issue, the state legislature might hit a new low. A Republican legislator has just introduced a bill barring county clerks, state, county, and local judges, and all other state, county, and local public officials from marrying people. The bill would give the clergy the exclusive right to marry people. Just like Israel. What progress! Howard Lederman

I love this article! Jill Farber-Bramson. newsnet5.com/decodedc/mr-president-on-behalf-of-an-ungrateful-nation-thank-you

The POTUS speaking truths long known, but now we have someone with 18 more months left in office to continue advocating for prisonreform. I know the industry/big business behind prisons won't be happy. However, we should all be appalled and find it a disgrace that the U.S.A. (as a democracy) incarcerates more people than a communist nation and the entire European Union! These long-advocated for reforms will curb the prisontopipeline effect & have positive impacts on education, since our education and justice systems won't be incarceration focused (usually impacting only certain socioeconomic and demographic populations), but be preventative & rehabilitation focused. Kiesha Speech

Minnesota is #1 Years ago, my parents settled in Michigan because this was a state that invested in people and infrastructure. That's no longer true, and our state is suffering for it. Minnesota is a perfect example of what we need to do to turn Michigan around. Minnesota was recently named America's Top State for Business in 2015. Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's strategy is one we know works: He raised taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans, cut taxes for the middle class, and invested in K-12 and higher education. Now Minnesota has a state budget surplus of nearly $2 billion, one of the country's lowest unemployment rates and continued solid economic growth. But there's more to it than changing the state's tax structure. Minnesota continues to invest heavily in education and infrastructure - exactly what Michigan must do to create a more skilled workforce and an environment where companies want to do business, which will result in more jobs and a healthier economy. Sam Singh State Representative

The idea of creating a melting pot was exciting but sadly it has never become a reality in this country.We seem always to need a group of people to marginalize. This is nothing new, we began by stealing the country from the Native Americans and then continued to treat them with less respect than we treated the animals that pulled our wagons. As time marched forward we inflicted our contempt and disregard upon multiple groups: the Irish, Jewish, Chinese, Japanese and African Americans. Today our group de jour seems to be Muslims. Must we as a people always diminish others to feel ourselves adequate or somehow superior? Virginia Franklin, Lathrup Village

If 2016 is your answer to the debacle in Michigan last week, then we are asking the wrong question. I don't have all of the answers, but I do have the will, the fight, and the belief that what is happening in Lansing right now has to be stopped before November 2016. What this and the last legislature have done cannot be easily undone by a single election. Don't be fooled into thinking that it can, because it cannot. We have an obligation, a mandate, to stop this insanity NOW. How we do that is up to us, but thinking that 2016 is some magic fix is foolish thinking. Read Tony Trupiano's article in eclectablog.com

I am real glad that Congressman Levin spoke up. President Obama has been practically alone in defending the new health care law. The new health care law was a compromise. It was the best act that President Obama could get through Congress. If Senator Lieberman had focused more on the public good and need and less on his Connecticut insurance companies' good and need, Obamacare would have had a public option. That would probably have stopped a growing Obamacare problem: High copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. As an Obamacare federal exchange enrollee, I have experienced these on my recent back and wrist injuries. Regarding alternatives, we need to keep pushing for Medicare extension to all. After a certain amount of time, the insurance companies' greed, the drug companies' greed, and the two-class state will make single payor a necessity. I predict that in 25 or 30 years, a strong single payor campaign will appear and grow. Howard Lederman

Over the past few decades, our nation has entered into a number of trade deals that have threatened and eliminated American jobs and companies. I won't support any trade deal that doesn't put working Americans first, create jobs, raise wages, and increase American exports around the world. Dan Kildee

Free Press readers rip Snyder over anti-gay adoption bill We all recognize these sentiments, and although we are the actual majority in Michigan, gerrymandering has provided for this nightmare scenario. The leaders, like Snyder and the wealthy controllers of the Republican party, [Schostak, +] promote these draconian, social measures to keep the vast majority of Republican voters in line, who are shooting themselves in their pocket books. These folks, conservative on the social issues, have absolutely nothing economically to gain, but vote as they do, convinced that folks who do not, will go to hell and be tortured for all eternity. Nothing to them is worth that risk. Gerrymandering is making this possible. Jeanne Korsh

Goodnight Democracy. Rootstrikers, a nonpartisan network of activists seeking to get money out of politics, put together their own Goodnight-inspired eBook called Goodnight Democracy. In this video, we read it to you at billmoyers.com

The Republicans have an iron grip on our State, and they want to spread that control to every corner they do not dominate. We are too small to take on their state-wide power, but we can protect our township and our county from their thirst for power! We suggest that you attend as many meetings of the trustees at the township hall as you can. Jeff Kaplan

Hi MoveOn member, This is Ben Cohen, the "Ben" of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I've decided to put my money where my mouth is by building a national, grassroots campaign to get Big Money out of politics. The truth is that I can't outspend the big political donors whose influence is corrupting our political system. I can't chase them out, scare them out, or shout them out. But together, we can all stamp them out. The Stamp Stampede is a movement of tens of thousands of Americans legally stamping dollar bills with a simple message: "Stamp Money Out Of Politics-Amend the Constitution." I know my fellow MoveOn members have been sending that same message through phone calls, rallies, and petitions for years, which is why I want to invite you to also spread that message by stamping your money-and support MoveOn in the process. Will you donate at least $10 to support MoveOn's important efforts to overturn Citizens United? If you do, MoveOn will send you your own stamp so you can spread this message about getting Big Money out of politics. Get your stamp here.
         

PROGRESSIVE RADIO (or how to combat mainstream media). Right now, I'm listening to Bill Press on Tune In. 1) Download app 2)Go to Browse 3)Click on Talk 4)Click on Progressive talk 5)Click on Bill Press The lineup is: Bill Press (6:00 am-9:00 am), Stephanie Miller (9:00-12:00), Thom Hartmann (12:00-3:00), Norman Goldman and many others Not sure who is on after Thom because I switch to Michael Signoreli who is on Sirius (not free) @( 3:00-6:00) Tony Trupiano is at blogtalkradio.com/aunamerica live but only online. He is a great progressive talk show host on from 9:00 am-12:00. We need to patronize our progressive media for obvious reasons. Of course, they are preaching to the choir when we listen. We have to get people in the mainstream to listen. Linda

The Michigan Senate passed the anti-adoption RFRA bills-legislation that would allow adoption and foster agencies to discriminate against LGBT Michiganders, based solely on their so-called religious beliefs.Please call (517) 373-3400 to urge Gov. Rick Snyder to veto these unconscionable bills (HB4188, HB4189 & HB4190) 6/12/2015. Jill Farber-Bramson

To The Editor (Free Press): Many thanks for Sunday's information-packed "How the political machine works." Sadly, the extensive report did little to reveal the intricate machinations of our political system. For that, one needs a doctoral treatise the average voter would find hard to navigate. I've been a political junkie for nearly 60 years; even I have trouble tracing the trail of money winding through the political maze. However the bottom line is crystal clear: legislators are not responsive to ordinary voters and ordinary voters have little affect on what goes on in politics. Peter A. Pascaris 6/1/2015

OK, so that's that. For good or for bad, Prop 1 went down in flames. While I did vote Yes in the end, I did so only grudgingly, and have no ill will whatsoever towards anyone who voted No. It's done. Now, there's three things which could happen: More at wbldems.blogspot.com. Charles Gaba 5/6/15

How much money was wasted advertising a yes vote? This money could have been spent on the roads. We need to vote the Republicans out of office but it takes work. Read Leonard Pitts article in yesterday's Free Press. We need to get involved in the political process. Thom Hartmann always says at the end of his show: "Tag...you're it. Politics is not a spectator sport." Linda Samelson 5/6/15

What rioters in Baltimore have done is wrong, criminal, and inexcusable, and should be punished. But, who is the real blame? These rioters are responsible for their actions, but shouldn't constant negative influences, throughout their lives by family, community, and government share the cause of the results? Jerry Soble Orchard lake, MI. 5/4/2015. Read more at wbldems.blogspot.com

Respectfully, democrats hop on board the unapologetically supportive Hillary for President train or admit defeat and turn Washington red in November 2016. If Democrats don't organize and unite behind her, we have no chance of retaining the White House and a strong voice against republican obliteration of everything we value. 4/27/2015. Marcie Lipsitt

Planned Parenthood Defunding was passed by the Republican controlled Michigan House yesterday, and will go to the Michigan Senate. Hopefully our senators will have enough brains to know that as many Republican lower income women need Planned parenthood as low income Democrats. The ultraconservative Mich House members have succeeded in convincing their members that PP is only for abortions, disregarding the main function of PP, health needs in general for the poor working class women. Too many male legislators do not take the women voters seriously, and this is direct result. Please call your Michigan House Rep, and those listed, and demand that the amendment 1 WW of house bill 4102 be removed. Gov. Snyder 517-373-3400 Rep. Kevin Cotter 517-373-1789 Rep. Al Pscholka 517-373-1403 Rep (Democrat) Tim Greimel 517 373 0475. Jerry Soble (5/1/2015)

I congratulate President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry for negotiating an agreement with Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons. They persevered against the opposition of the Israeli government, the American-Israeli lobby, and the Republican Congress. Now if only they could eliminate Israel's nuclear arsenal. Sheldon Wolberg

I agree that the election results and Netanyahu's recent racist, settlement expansion, and Palestinian state comments are bad news. But these comments offend many American Jews. I strongly believe that the 70% of American Jews opposing Netanyahu's policies will hold up. Most American Jews will not accept any of these comments and actions and inaction flowing from them. Most American Jews will be looking for a way to express their strong opposition to all of these. If President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and other administration leaders respond effectively and vigorously, such a response will galvanize American Jewish support for the Democratic Party. I also believe that Netanyahu has forced President Obama to retaliate in some form as a man, an American, and as President. If I was President, I would feel that way. He might well be considering retaliatory measures on behalf of all of us. Regarding worldwide hatred of Jews and increasing anti-Semitism, I agree: Yes, Netanyahu's above comments and future actions will increase anti-Semitism all over the world. Howard Lederman

You know from watching Selma that the historical bridge they crossed is the Edmund Pettis bridge. Pettis was a confederate soldier and later became a member of the Alabama KKK and then a senator. Let's remame this bridge "The John Lewis Bridge, one of our greatest living heroes. Linda Samelson

It appears that Congress wants to undermine Obama in any manner possible, whether not funding programs that can cause the collapse of ACA, or his Immigration decree, or destroy the Iranian nuclear talks, Do they have a better plan at this time regarding Iran? Is this what the majority of Americans want? Or is it just the conservative ultra rich with their followers, who now direct the politicians in the Republican Congress on what actions to take, which they consider necessary to demean and destroy their arch enemy. How many times in the past has a congress directly preempted a president of the United States by telling the leaders of another country that negotiations with the American president could be worthless???? Not too many I'm sure. Personally. I believe their actions are destructive, and reprehensible, but that's just me. Linda Samelson

Obama's SOTU promoting higher taxes on the wealthy, infrastructure spending, and free community college was ALL SHOW (and NO GO). There is no chance any of it will pass. Why didn't he propose these things when there was a Democratic majority in congress 6 years ago? Meanwhile he is the primary sponsor of the Trans Pacific Partnership (or SHAFTA, the South American - Asian free trade agreement), which promises to be worse for us than Nafta. Let's see if he vetos any of the Republican agenda. He already signed on for derivative de-regulation in last December's budget deal. Sheldon Wolberg

Join the Coffee Party Movement. You'll be supporting efforts that call for Campaign Finance Reform, Wall Street Reform and Tax Code Reform from the grassroots level. The Coffee Party is a grassroots movement to restore democracy, civility and economic security. Go to coffeepartyusa.com or facebook.com/coffeeparty

Dear lovers and defenders of Democracy, We all give to charities that provide aid and support and vital assistance on so many levels, this time of year. We write letters and speak as advocates and support good candidates who share our vision. But there is something also important for us to do: Please write tax deductible contributions to the litigious organizations that haul the bigots and haters into courts and force them to cease and desist: *AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE. *SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER (who put the KKK out of business). *ACLU FUND. Their addresses are on Google. Jeanne Korsh

PURE POLITICS. The essence of Zionism is that Israel is the Nation for the Jewish People and this reality has been official for 66 years. The 1948 Declaration of Independence already states this fact. But, this week Bibi Netanyahu wanted to pass a bill reiterating the Jewish Nationhood in addition to elevating Hebrew as the only national language which would antagonize the 20% of Israelis who aren't Jewish. Of that 20% are Druze who fight and die as IDF soldiers and police officers. This political provocation is not needed and not helpful during these turbulent times. I was confused by Bibi's action till I spoke with the 3 most educated Israelis in my life (husband, son and son-in-law) who all agree that Bibi's initiative is unnecessary and politically motivated solely to appease his right wing constituents and hold onto his coalition power. If he loses his coalition, Israel will set elections to elect a new Prime Minister. Voting on Bibi's bill has been postponed till next Wednesday while the wording is still being contemplated.Lisa Lis

I find it almost funny that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is using the voters' will as his defense for the gay marriage ban. Funny how Republicans always seem to fight for what is on their agenda as the voters' will, but forget all about the voters' will when it is not on their agenda. The emergency manager law, the minimum-wage law and the wolf hunt were all the voters' will, too. Rick Whitson Southgate

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says voters, not unelected judges, should decide important issues such as the "official" definition of marriage. So he's asking the U.S. Supreme Court, unelected justices, to decide in his favor. Schuette's wish is to preserve the will of the Michigan voter as reflected in 2004, 10 years ago, and he ignores any recent polling data indicating the public attitude of today. I'd prefer that our state's elected officials keep their efforts removed from their respective social agendas. I have been married (traditionally) for more than 46 years. I have no qualms over legalization of gay marriage. I don't feel that the institution is threatened or that the bonds are weakened. We should get this item back on the ballot. Tom Pinta Pinckney

This is a historic & beautiful day because of President Obama! He is a courageous man who has transformed the lives of millions of people in the most profoundly liberating way! I couldn't be prouder of him & the executive action he issued on immigration reform! Jill Farber-Bramson. 11/20/14

Does anyone not get upset that our tax dollars are being directed toward schools for profit? The electorate decided in 2010 they wanted Slick Rick to be the Governor of his backward moving state. No one showed up to vote and those that did, including many Democrats, voted for Ricky and allowed the type of gerrymandering, that we have to live with, take place. How many people who subscribe to the Free Press have cancelled their subscription? After that debacle of an endorsement, it became quite obvious who controls their editorial policy. Maybe if 5,000 subscribers ended delivery they just might get a message. The media in this state is controlled and dominated by an amalgamation of elephants with lots of money to buy what ever they want; schools, radio stations, newspapers, etc. Snyder had the same shortcomings when he first ran that were the reasons given by the Free Press of why it did not endorse Mark Schauer: No plan on how to pay for his ideas, vague, evasive, and so on. And worst of all the media never forced Snyder to debate when he first ran or in this last election. No pressure whatsoever. Yet the Free Press endorsed Snyder in 2010. I am Jim Amar and I approve of this tirade!

Charter schools will be the only option in the future. Disaster on the way: Getting rid of tenure and closed shop means less $$$ for teachers' unions. Eventually the MEA & AFT will be forced to reduce professional staff, and legal staff, perhaps even disintegrate entirely. A few years down the road, the Repugs will be able to destroy our pensions and there will be no one available to appeal to the courts. Not in the next 4 years, but perhaps in the next 8. I'll bet plenty of classroom teachers and retirees voted for the Repugs anyway. "Woe is us." Jeanne Korsh

Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse. See the article www.nytimes.com. This is seriously dangerous. We need to keep very vocal about all this. William Buckley is said to have proclaimed something to the effect of, "If you keep people very, very poor, they'll struggle to merely survive, and have no time to vote or protest or even be aware of anything". That has happened. People in Ferguson Mo are unregistered to vote, having given up hope. In MI & other places, registered voters largely stayed home, feeling helpless. With right to work diminishing union membership and unions, the ability to hire legal staff to litigate violations, is surely to follow, will be less and less likely. Our efforts need to focus on a couple of areas: 1-The media, not just letters to the editor, but contacting TV stations, pressuring them to broadcast appropriately. 2-Speakers to willing community groups. Train folks to provide a presentation to willing groups of people, especially in off campaign years. Jeanne

When I wrote to the Free Press before the November elections, I included my belief that Governor Snyder would not stand up to the radical elements in his party by using his influence, and when necessary, his veto. I hope that I was wrong! When Republicans finish their victory lap around the country, they may wake up and find out who will be controlling them. The goals for this radical element were established long ago by people who were so far to the right that even William Buckley, who set the standards for modern conservatism, considered them dangerous. In 2010 and in 2014 they threw unlimited and untraceable money into campaigns they needed to control Congress and as many state governments as possible. In 2014, their job was easier because their plan of redistricting had worked so well that now only a handful of state and federal elected offices are competitive. In Michigan we will likely have five Democrats and nine Republicans going to Washington for this election and the next, no matter what the voter turnout looks like. That fact accomplished their next step which is to change Presidential elections so that the size of the Democratic turnout doesn't matter. They want to change our method of selecting Electors, who actually vote for the president. Their plan is to change from majority vote to a vote by Congressional District. They will then complete their coup with an almost certain group of nine Republican and five Democrats voting for the President of the United States in 2016. If the Democratic candidate wins the popular count in Michigan by a million votes, it won't likely matter! The plan is not just for Michigan. It is a national plan to control the United States by a handful of Oligarchs whose names and goals we can only guess! Al Halper. West Bloomfield

Mike Smith 4:18pm Nov 17 Good news (for now) - Jordan Development has suspended their request for their injection well in White Lake Township. While I take this as a win for our collective democratic voice; it should not stop us in our commitment to stop fracking, or other damaging effects of oil and gas exploration. We only have one Earth and I will do whatever it takes to stand up and fight for a healthy environment for everyone. This letter merely states at this moment they have no need for the well - I take that to be that it might come back when we stop paying attention, so we cannot stop the fight. To review their letter click on the following link jordan_development_response.pdf

2 schools in Plymouth-Canton are closing due to losing enrollment to charter schools. Parents lobbied to keep the schools open to no avail. Although an advisory board of parents were chosen, in the end, they were overruled and rather than having 3 meetings, the decision was made in 2. In addition, they are closing Tanger Special Ed. What's so frightening to all of us who care about public education, is how it is being decimated and privatized.I really fear for our state now that Snyder has been reelected. This is another reason why school boards are so crucial. Linda Samelson

Attention to my fellow White Lake residents - the EPA is getting ready to issue an underground injection permit to the Jordan Oil Company that will allow them inject undisclosed toxic waste water, the byproduct of fracking, into the ground near Teggerdine and White Lake Road. This area will be a permanent dumping site for the toxic leftover material from other fracking sites (chemicals that are toxic and dangerous to humans). We have less than two weeks to request a hearing before they approve the permit (Nov 25th). So unless we request this hearing, it goes through and we will not get any information about how the well is being build, the chemicals being injected into the well, and the safeguards, if any, in their plan and so on. I have attached a sample letter you can sign and mail, scan and email, copy, etc. to spread the word. Please tell everyone you know to submit a letter, phone call, email, or fax, requesting a public hearing to appeal permit approval for the injection well. We demand that there be a discussion on: the anticipated life of the disposal well, the chemicals being injected, the makeup and safeguards of the well, the trucks transporting the chemicals to the well, and the possible effects on ground water due to the numerous underwater aquifers in our area. Please write to: U.S. EPA, Water Division ATTN: Anna Miller UIC Branch (WU-16J) 77 W Jackson Blvd Chicago IL 60604-3590 email: miller.anna@epa.gov Ref: MI-125-2D-0005 We need to stand up together and fight to oppose this permit and not allow White Lake to become a toxic dumping site. Please share this with everyone you know in White Lake because there has been no public disclosure that this is happening. Mike Smith 11:48am Nov 13

I want to congratulate Senator-Elect Gary Peters and his great campaign staff for their victory in the ocean of Democratic losses. I also offer condolences to our wonderful candidates who were swept out to sea in the flood of anti-Obama votes. We still believe in you! On behalf of Democrats across the country I want to apologize to President Obama for letting you swing in the wind while you were being unfairly blasted and your accomplishments ignored or distorted. When you were on the ballot in 2008 and 2012, we were happy to be associated with your actions and your dreams. We were also victorious. You took the heat, and we had your back. Twice, when your name was not on the ballot, you took the heat and had our backs; but too many of us did not reciprocate, and so we lost! However, today is a new challenge. We need Democrats and those who lean in our direction to step up to the plate and rebuild a base that will fight for the principles that are now endangered!
"A caution to Republicans and Independents: there is a battle going on for the soul of your party. The Republican Party in the past has fought to improve schools and support teachers. In Michigan, Republicans have worked shoulder to shoulder with Democrats on education and other important State responsibilities and opportunities. Although the Democrats leaned more toward workers and their unions and Republicans leaned more toward business, members of both parties usually found common ground on which to agree. The voters who identify with that way of doing the work of the people are still around and are hoping that civility and compromise will return. I believe that most of us can agree with that. But this is not your Dad and Mom's Republican Party. There is an element that you may recognize as The Tea Party. This element acts as a parasite that is sucking out the soul of the party. The Tea Party is just the face of the dark forces that are taking your party away from you. They are the foot soldiers who do the bidding of the folks you don't know. These people have written the very laws that our elected officials will receive and be expected to pass without discussion. Most of the hundreds of laws enacted in Michigan since 2011 were written by this group. The group is called ALEC, another front for those hiding from the public. Independents and the rest of us have been subjected to massive propaganda that has been flowing from those dark forces since President Obama was first nominated! Before he was able to take a single step into the White House his birth certificate, his religion, his friends, his parents, and much more were attacked. What began as personal attacks on him then led to attacks on his record, and most upsetting, the attacks went after our whole process of government. His mistakes were magnified and his successes were hardly acknowledged. He has gotten very little recognition for leading our country out of the deepest recession it has ever experienced and for providing a stimulus and supporting other acts that turned around our economy. An economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs has returned millions of them to work and has lowered the unemployment rate below 6%. The very Republican Governors such as Snyder, Walker, and Scott who opposed everything that the President had done, now try to take credit for the Obama recovery. Unfortunately too many Americans continue to believe that the government doesn't work for them and that most politicians are crooks. How did Americans turn so intensely against our country and those who govern it? The reason for many Republicans and Independents and even Democrats not to have voted for Democrats on Tuesday lies in the link below. Please click on it and you will understand that so many of the Republican candidates owe their loyalty to powers you may have never even heard about. prwatch.org. If you have been reading my emails and opened the link above you will see who paid for this "Republican Sweep". They have been using sophisticated propaganda to undermine our president and the American government since 2008! We can only hope that President Obama can find a few real Republicans who can understand what is going on and who will block the flood of laws that have already been written by others not elected to office by the people of our nation Today this message is more relevant than ever! Who won? I think the dark powers whose money and organization will control every action by the new Congress. Sadly the Republicans won't even know what hit them. Al Halper

Election Day certainly did nothing to dampen my deep and longstanding commitment to public service. My support for a strong middle class, the best public education possible, ensuring affordable higher education, reproductive freedom, equal pay for equal work, equality for everyone, a livable wage, helping veterans, and ensuring seniors can retire in confidence and dignity - to name a few of the issues that my campaign championed - are issues that are still worth fighting for and, needless to say, this won't be the last time you hear from me. Bobby McKenzie, candidate against David Trott in the 11th district

I am sending this message out on the eve of a watershed election, 2014. I had intended to get it out sooner, but it was not possible. I only ask that you forward it to as large an audience as possible. Be sure to blind copy it(Bcc). Send it as soon as you can, because there may be some voters who are really undecided, be they Republican, Independent, or Democratic. They should become aware of the real stakes in this election! Thank you. Al Halper
Dear Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Until recent years, Republicans and Democrats rarely disagreed on Michigan's responsibility to provide our students with the best education possible. In fact, the Michigan legislature found few battles along party lines when it came to making our state a model of cooperation among industry, education and unions. Of course, more Republicans were conservative when it came to the budgets, but the goal of having the best was never a question. We all took pride in our state's schools, parks, beaches, and roads. There were elements on both parties that were further on the left or on the right, but they participated in the compromises of greater or lesser expenditures, often following heavy intra-party since all essentially agreed that Michigan's future was dependent on quality in all of it public services.
Today's Republican Party is under siege, but not by the Democrats. The Tea Party has defeated more Republicans in their traditionally Republican areas than the Democrats have believed possible. The Tea Party flies the Republican flag, but it is not a Republican organization. It is a Libertarian Party representing interests far from those of most conservatives. The Tea Party blocked compromises with the Democrats even on bills that were watered down to please them. The Tea Party exerts power beyond their numbers by threats of running an opponent in the next primary against those who defy them . In order to see how vast the recently disclosed forces are and to understand their goals, it is important to be aware that there is one umbrella organization that provides the logistics, the theory and the principles of the Republican Tea Party. This umbrella organization also writes the laws and funds the ground troops to appear at any place at any time. See: prwatch.org I'm certain it will shock you!
I oppose the re-election of Rick Snyder for his part in enabling the demise of public schools, for the crushing of local governments, and for standing by as the radicals in his legislature have written laws that he has signed and will undermine two of the pillars that provided the avenues that brought so many of us into the middle class: education, from preschool to graduate schools, and union jobs in which employees share in the success of their employers. For the same reasons I hope that Republicans and Independents will go to the polls and vote for Mark Schauer, Gary Peters and the rest of the Democratic ticket. The odds are that the Republicans will retain power in Michigan because of their outrageous redistricting; and with their majority in the Michigan's Supreme Court, the only one in our government who might slow down their completing the agenda of those un-elected, well funded forces like the John Birch Society, and the power of the Koch brothers is Mark Schauer. Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I hope it was meaningful for you. Al

Open Letter to the Free Press. I've waited until I cooled down after reading your "close call" before sending this email to you. But I am still disappointed and angry that after you have demonstrated in your paper how the privatizing of public services such as schools and prisons has been mismanaged and abused. You suggest that he is the right man to control his radical legislature.   "Snyder, the Republican incumbent, promised a pragmatic approach to the state's problems and delivered - except when he was caving to radical elements of the GOP-led Legislature or going back on his word about transparency."   I disagree! I accuse Governor Snyder of distorting his record to make it palatable to you and others I consider reasonable. It is my opinion that he had an opportunity to hem in those legislators who take their orders from murky powers that keep them elected, but do not represent the best interests of our State! He didn't take it!   The inescapable truth on K-12 school funding is that the 2011-2012 saw a $470 per pupil reduction in the Foundation Grant that funds public schools, and the 2012-2013 budget had $0 increase, finally his 2013-2014 provided a $30 increase. Of course he spent a billion dollars more on "education" but his funding of the retirement system was not as urgent and the thousands of classrooms that were starved during the Great Recession.   I must say that after reading your endorsements for the Michigan House and Senate, my blood pressure is back to normal. I read more carefully your very lukewarm endorsement for Snyder, and I still disagree with your hope that he will stand up against his radical right legislature in the future, but your reasoning was open and clear.   Allen Halper, West Bloomfield

Gov. Snyder cut nearly $1 billion from state education funding during his first year in office, digging a hole that Michigan's students are still climbing out of. Getting Snyder out of the governor's office isn't the only way we can help. We need to elect Casandra Ulbrich and Dr. Pamela Pugh Smith to the State Board of Education. We need members on the State Board of Education who will make sure that all schools are focused more on educating their students than turning a quick profit. Sonya Alvarado Teacher Ann Arbor, Michigan. See the AFL CIO Voter Guide for all our candidates.

The Free Press endorsed Rick Snyder for another term as Michigan's Governor. The FP suggests that Snyder must serve as a bulwark against our gerrymandered, likely GOP-led Legislature. His record proves that he has caved in to the tea party wing on Right-to-Work, no regulations on motorcyclists wearing helmets, eliminate pricing on food, the rape insurance abortion law, etc. Tim Greimel and Sandy Levin said that this legislature is so extreme that if they are not tea party, they go along with it in fear of having a primary challenge and losing their jobs. We will continue to see the dismantling of public education in favor of privatized charter schools. This clearly lines the pockets of the few while taking money away from public education, an equal-and pubic education FOR ALL. I hope the Free Press is flooded with letters to the editor as to their endorsement of Snyder. Linda Samelson

Dear Friends, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, If We Lose is a series identifying the forces who will take control of the future of our country. They have already "cooked the books" on the House of Representatives so that while the Democrats cast over a million more votes for the 'House of the People" the Republicans won a majority of the seats. Please: Vote a straight Democratic ticket. Al Halper. If Democrats lose the Senate, one winner will be: Mackinac Center for Public Policy. See: rightwingwatch.org

Packing is a system used by a political party in power following the National Census uses its power do some custom redistricting to remove popular opponents and/move (stack) likely voters of the opposition party out of a district that might lean toward that party and redistrict them into a district where that party already has a strong likelihood of winning. It's like the butcher pressing his thumb on the scale when he weighs your fish. An example is shown below in the11th District. The 11th District's borders, which took effect in 2013, includes Oakland County cities of Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington, Lake Angelus, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, Troy, Walled Lake, and Wixom in their entirety, as well as the townships of Commerce, Highland, Lyon, Milford, Novi, Waterford, and White Lake. It also includes parts of Clawson, Rochester Hills, and West Bloomfield Township. “Democratic candidate David Curson defeated Kerry Bentivolio in the Special General Election, conducted in the 2012-configured 11th district only, and coinciding with the regular general election on November 6. John Tatar was also on the ballot for the Libertarian Party and Mark Sosnowski for the U.S. Taxpayers Party. Bentivolio was endorsed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Senator Rand Paul, and Congress members Candice Miller, Justin Amash, Dan Banishek and Ron Paul, and former officeholders Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra.” The only way for Bobby McKenzie to beat the big Foreclosing Master Dave Trott, is encourage more Democrats and Independents to the polls in November. If he just beats Trott by a small margin Bobby will lose! Al Halper

Our dedicated candidates who are walking door to door, talking with voters everyday, need our help to make vital phone calls to Get Out The Vote for the Absentee Ballots coming soon and November Election, less than 50 Days Away. It's inspiring to hear the interest and appreciation of voters when we tell them about our great candidates. Many people... families, women, seniors, teachers, workers... want to vote Democratic, and want to know who our Democratic candidates are. Many just want a little encouragement to vote Straight Democratic. That's why it's so vital that we call and motivate voters to vote Democratic. The most inspiring way to begin Phone Bank Calling is to visit our candidates' campaign offices where you will be greeted with bright spirit. They'll get you going there with an easy script and phone numbers, or you can take them and make calls from home. Or, phone numbers can be Emailed to your home. A call takes about two minutes, and you can make 30 precious calls in a hour, anytime from 10am to 8pm. That means a caller can easily make 100 calls per week... easily 500 by Election Day. NDC Opt In. (Note: Our office is located at: 29936 Orchard Lake Road (across from Taco Bell) Farmington Hills 48335 Phone: 313-655-1780)

Dear Democrat, Former Democrat, Independent, You may not have received my recent emails, but I'm returning to our recent mail lists, because we can't compete with the high power media ads paid for by the most right wing billionaires and their various sub-groups unless we share information with each other. Some of our people are trying to do the same thing on Facebook and Twitter. We also have a wonderful website, wbldems.info. You can click on that link find out more details and opinions. You can even join our club for 2014-5 online. My topic today is Our Gerrymandered District 14. You can see what the Republican Party did to us after they won a majority of seats and most of the state-wide offices. Michigan’s 14th district - See attached map Republicans went to great lengths to pack as many minority and Democratic voters into this downtown Detroit district, where Democratic Reps. Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters ran. The result is a winding, economically diverse district that follows the city’s famous 8 Mile Road. The road serves as a symbolic divide between urban blight and the affluent suburbs. The new 14th aims to bridge that divide, starting in the wealthy Grosse Pointe suburbs on the lake and moving west and north to blue-collar Pontiac City. Peters’ home is a mere five miles outside the 8th district, 15 houses away from the 11th district and 500 yards outside the 14th district. Now that’s some creative mapmaking. It also pack as many Democrats as possible into one district and lessening their impact against Republicans in other local districts. When Michigan lost one seat because of declining population, the Republicans made sure that it would be a Democratic seat. We have a Republican Governor, a Republican Legislature, a Republican Supreme Court, a Republican Attorney General, and a Republican Secretary of State. We can respond by encouraging as many straight Democratic votes as possible. Make it emphatic, vote STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC! Al Halper

Moms Demand Action wants guns out of Kroger. This movement is starting to carry momentum. Starbucks, Target, Panera are taking a stand against open carry in their stores. I suggest making a copy and taking it to the Kroger manager. I talked to the manager on Lone Pine who dismissed this as "all the stores do this in Michigan." Patty

Lisa and Susan, Thank you for this revealing link (Trott) a-foreclosure-king-in-congress. People who I'm calling to vote for Bobby McKenzie are aware of Trott, and are positively for Bobby... ... However, we need many more NDC people to be phone banking for Bobby from his campaign office, or, pick-up phone call lists and call from their homes. Bobby McKenzie, for 11th District U.S. Representative...to WIN over Mortgage Foreclosure King, Trott. . Large building showing big 17197 N. Laurel Park number, set back in NW corner of Newburgh & 6 Mile. . Phone Bank calls may be made at this campaign office each day and evening, or from home... . Call Andrew Munson, Organizer ( 661-524-1115 ) or email andrew@bobbyformichigan.com

Although I am no longer Corresponding Secretary, I am helping Daniel with some of the extra demands of the election season. I have decided to offer a stream of articles that will help you shake our fellow Democrats out of their lethargy during mid-term elections.
Since the stolen election of 2000, the Supreme Court has fallen into the hands of a conservative leaning majority. After we sat back and watched our state and national candidates back away from President Obama in 2010, the Republicans swept across the country with a huge victory that allowed them to take over our many state governorships and legislatures. They parlayed those victories into gerrymandered districts that will virtually assure them of control over many states and the United States House of Representatives, even though there were a million more votes for Democrats in that body than Republicans in 2012!
We can only restore some balance to our government by getting overwhelming numbers of Democrats to the polls, at least until 2020 when we will have a chance to create equitable districting in every state. The media have not been kind to President Obama since early in his first term. Our candidates voices have been drowned out by the thunder of money from corporations and billionaire conservatives. Forward these messages to as many friends and relatives as you feel appropriate to stimulate Democrats to help us get out the vote. Al Halper

Land and Snyder's campaigns need to be flooded with letters and email. I think it's disgusting that MI does not demand debates from major candidates. It's an insult to MI voters not to debate. Worse, we allow them to get away it with! George - NDC Opt In.

We're such a divided nation, with so many personal issues at play within every individual. Republicans have exploited each and every fear in folks and manipulate them to vote against their own interests by encouraging them to expect outcomes to issues and ideas that in reality cannot be legislated in the first place. I am please with the campaigns of both Peters & Schauer; they are campaigning well and wisely. Jeanne

I like Jonathan's suggestion to have our next board meeting at Panera. Let's support their courageous stand on open carry. Additionally, they are a very philanthropic organization. Linda. See the article: Panera Bread asks customers to leave guns at home

Hi all, We were at the new Coordinated Campaign office on Orchard Lake and 13 Mile, assuming that on a Saturday, it would be swamped with volunteers. Actually, there was only one volunteer making phone calls the entire day. This is our election to fight for and Oakland county is front and center. We know that the rest of the state will vote Republican so it's up to Detroit and Oakland County to carry Gary and Mark.
Without question, we all have other things to do: work commitments, friends, appointments, etc. We have TWO months to convince voters that this state must turn blue or the consequences will be dire. It is not an overstatement to say that if the Republicans win the Senate, they will try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, attempt to impeach President Obama and try to shut down the government. If you're not scared, you're not paying attention to the state of politics today. Indifference and apathy will lose this election. Melissa is asking for volunteers who are willing to give JUST ONE HOUR OF TIME ON A WEEKLY BASIS (election is 9 weeks away) to make phone calls, canvass or help with clerical work. This is our state, this is our country, these are our progressive issues to fight for. Not happy with Right to Work? Not happy with your pension being taxed? Not happy about the on-going war on women? Not happy with the repeal of the Homestead Act? It goes on and on and it will get worse if Gov. Snyder is re-elected. Right now, Mark Shauer is running a very competitive campaign and we can put him over the top!
Electing Gary Peters, Mark Shauer and the rest of the Democratic ticket depends on all of us. Remember: "Democracy is not a spectator sport". How will we feel on November 5 if the election is lost??
The office is located at: 29936 Orchard Lake Road (across from Taco Bell) Farmington Hills 48335 Phone: 313-655-1780. Linda Samelson Patty Campbell

I just added my name to a petition to Kroger stores calling on them to issue a policy against people openly carrying guns in their stores. I think you should sign too at:  kroger-petition. Linda

The newly opened Coordinated Campaign office in Farmington Hills is located at 29936 Orchard Lake Rd. just north of 13 Mile Rd. This is a convenient location for volunteers in our area. Thanks, Jill Farber-Bramson

Thank You from Tony Trupiano. Two simple words hardly seem to capture the gratitude I feel after a long fought campaign and the amazing support and guidance I received from so many of you as we worked through the end of winter, spring and summer, but alas, in spite of our collective efforts we came up short on Election Day. Although we have to accept the result of the vote; that does not mean we have accept that we lost, because nothing is further from the truth. Our campaign raised issues and engaged people like few campaigns have. Our use of traditional campaign methods, combined with an aggressive social media outreach and networking with voters all over the 13th District was a positive step forward. It also became clear to me that the gerrymandering of this District by the Republicans has left many of the communities in the 13th without Democratic leadership. In Southgate, as an example, they no longer have a Democratic Club. That needs to change. I plan to stay VERY active in the 13th District and plan to run again in 2016.

AUGUST 5 PRIMARY.
I am extremely disappointed in the Democratic turnout. If you look at the results on detroitnews.com, Republicans has almost a 2-to-1 turnout over Dems in comparable races. In heavily Republican districts I can understand, but we're talking about races in Oakland County, which has gone Democratic in the last two presidential elections. Such a low Democratic turnout is shameful.
Any ideas on how to get people to the polls in November?
WE HAVE GOT TO GET PEOPLE OUT TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER. MARK SCHAUER IS RUNNING IN A DEAD HEAT WITH SNYDER!!! TO GET MARK ELECTED, WE NEED DEMOCRATS TO VOTE..."A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS."
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO MAKE PHONE CALLS, CANVASS AND, OF COURSE, DONATE.
Linda

I am concerned that Proposal 1 is a trap! Do you really believe that we can cut taxes for business and give more funds to local communities? This is another gift to the businesses who have large inventories that are taxed by local communities. The apparent trade off is that 2 cents of the 6 cent use (sales) tax will go to local communities. That is already the practice. Under this proposal, the governor will appoint a board that will determine which community gets how much. It appears to me that the "Local Community Stabilization Board" is a vehicle to make sure that there is no increase in taxes to support those communities in the future. Let's get more information before we allow this trap to become law! Al Halper