Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amos Williams for Michigan Attorney General

Amos Williams has a 40 year history of serving and protecting the people of this nation and this state.

AS A SOLDIER 1966-1968
In 1966, at age 18, Amos left his studies at Wayne State University and enlisted in the United States Army at the height of the Vietnam war. He server in Vietnam as a forward observer directing artillery and air strikes in close support of his infantry company with the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Bridge. He was wounded three times before returning home to Michigan in November 1968. He was awarded bronze stars, purple hearts, a combat infantry's badge and other metals.

AS A POLICEMAN 1968-1985
Within 30 days of returning to Michigan, Amos was appointed to the Detroit Police Department. During the next 17 years he worked as a police officer, sergeant and lieutenant in all areas of police work including Internal Affairs. In 1972 he was assigned to work undercover as an investigator for a grand jury investigating police corruption. In 1980 he attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
While working on the police force, he finished his undergraduate requirements and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 1983 he enrolled in law school. In 1984, an Agent Orange cancer resulting from exposure in Vietnam caused him to have an amputation of his right hand and he was retired from the police department in 1985.

AS A LAWYER 1986-2006
Amos received his Juris Doctorate in 1986 from Detroit College of Law. During the next 20 years he became a well-known and respected attorney representing people and small businesses who were the victims of injustice.

Williams said Granholm, "needs an attorney general who will guard her flank and watch her back, instead of lusting after her seat." He said Cox's performance has been substandard on civil rights, insurance redlining, gas gouging, consumer protection, environmental protection and a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.


Compiled by Lyn Chabot

Gary Orr for Michigan Senate (25 District)

Gary Orr has learned first hand what is important in life while raising three children with his wife, taking care of his elderly mother, working full time, and working for the citizens of Marysville as their mayor.

JOBS
As Mayor of Marysville, Gary fought to keep 750 jobs in the community from being outsourced. He understands that Michigan's economy must evolve to survive and that's why he worked to bring in the Marysville Ethanol Plant. This effort will benefit the economy by creating new jobs, supporting local farmers, and providing a source for alternative energy. Gary will fight for the working class in Michigan because he is one of us!

EDUCATION
Gary believes that we must also make the most of the economic engines we have right here in our own backyard our schools, our community colleges, and our universities. If we finally make improving education and access to education - our first thought as policymakers, instead of an afterthought, we'll have the highly trained, 21st Century- skilled workforce that no employer can resist.

GIVING BACK TO CONSUMERS
Families' budgets are getting squeezed from all sides these days. Heating and gas costs are through the roof, Michigan has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and people are being forced to choose between the medicine and food. We need someone in Lansing who is willing to put his foot down and take on these big corporations. Reigning in these costs will help consumers buy the cars we make, shop in our stores and do all the other things that will kick start our economy. Gary Orr will do just that.

HEALTH INSURANCE IS A FAMILY VALUE
Too many people in Michigan are living without health insurance - missing out on potentially-life saving treatments, and cost-saving preventive care. Uninsured people end up waiting until illnesses become emergencies and the expense of caring for them falls to all taxpayers - eating up resources that could be spent on schools or invested in infrastructure. Gary Orr believes that we must make sure everyone has a chance at affordable coverage - for their sake and for our economies' sake.

Gary Orr is BlueNovember.Org's pick for Michigan State Senator.

Compliled by Patti Reis

Monday, September 18, 2006

Robert Denison endorsement

Bob Denison
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress
Michigan's 10th District

On election day, my wife, Carol, and I will vote for Robert Denison, 10th District Democratic candidate for Congress. Why?
Mr. Denison will stand up for working families. He will fight to stop the exportation of American jobs by ending tax incentives for corporations that move jobs overseas. Candice Miller has worked against American workers. She rubber stamped Bush’s policies by supporting NAFTA and voting to strip overtime from millions of American workers.
Our son, Michael, has Cerebral Palsy. Stem cell research could lead to easing the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy so that Michael, may lead a more normal and productive life. Mr. Denison supports federal funding of Stem Cell Research. President Bush’s *only* veto has been against Stem Cell Research. Candice Miller helped sustain sustain that veto. In doing so, she voted against Michael and everyone else who could benefit from this research.
We are also concerned about corruption in the Republican leadership of Washington, D.C., which has resulted in the resignations of Republicans “Duke” Cunningham, Bob Ney, and Tom Delay. In 2004 Republican Candice Miller was publicly admonished by the House Ethics Committee for aiding Delay’s attempts to illegally influence a congressional vote. In addition to the $15,600 Miller has accepted from “big oil” interests, she has taken $20,000 from Delay’s ARMPAC, $5,000 from Cunningham’s PAC, and $1,000 from Ney’s.
As I composed this, five more American soldiers and hundreds of Iraqi citizens died in Iraq. Robert Denison is committed to an effective exit strategy for Iraq while Candice Miller and Bush “stay the course.” Their lack of strategy has resulted in a civil war, 2680 American deaths, and nearly 20,000 wounded.
It is time to CHANGE THE COURSE. Bob Denison will help chart a new direction in the course of American politics. He will be a voice for the people. Please join us on November 7, 2006, and give Bob Denison an opportunity to stand up for all families in Michigan and our soldiers in Iraq.

Sincerely,

William M. (Bill) and Carol Brown
Port Huron, Michigan

Friday, September 08, 2006

BRING ME HOME

























The BRING ME HOME: Soldier Awareness Project is an idea inspired by the work of other peace activists. While attending the State Democratic Convention in Michigan, one of our youngest members was given a toy "army man." On the bottom of the tiny plastic soldier were the words "BRING ME HOME."

Clearly, the idea is to evoke the tragic human cost our men and women pay as they serve our country in this unjust war. The plastic soldiers are left in public places for others to find. The intent is to offer people a moment of reflection as they read the soldier's message. Our hope is that some will leave the soldier for yet another person, but, mostly, we hope a few will be inspired to do more.

Write a letter to your local paper.

Tell members of your community why we must bring our soldiers home.

Call your senators or member of congress.

Tell them to bring our soldiers home.


Vote for Democrats and Independents who want to end this war and do the work to stay out of others.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Choosing Granholm for governor is an easy decision


BlueNovember.Org endorses Jennifer Granholm for governor of Michigan. Her record proves she is a proponent for community ideals and for the common good. Her opponent, Dick Devos, on the other hand, has a record of working against ordinary people and for the interests of corporations and the privileged few.

Education

Granholm has increased spending per student to the highest level in state history. She is a union supporter, which is good for teachers, and she is an advocate for increased core curriculum standards for public schools. Devos has spent millions advocating a voucher system that would take tax revenue from public schools and give it to private schools. Devos has tried to spin this plan as one to help "poor" students who seek alternative education. We aren't buying a plan that diverts public money to private institutions that have no public oversight.

Granholm earns respect for community mindedness and for seeking the common good. Devos earns a cold shoulder for his lack of commitment to our common interests with respect to educating Michigan children.

JOBS and RESPECT FOR MICHIGAN WORKERS

Jennifer Granholm pushed the Republican controlled house and senate to increase the minimum wage. When they wouldn't budge, she initiated the drive to get it on the fall ballot. She said, "We'll let the Michigan voters decide." It wasn't until the Republican majority admitted opposing the minimum wage increase would be a political liability that they put their own version of an increase on the table. Governor Granholm signed the compromise into law earlier this year. The lowest paid and often hardest working people in the state will finally see a pay increase in October 2006. Granholm has worked to bring good jobs to the state. Google, Ann Arbor; Whirlpool, Benton Harbor; Duncan Aviation, Battle Creek, are just a few of the companies Granholm helped bring to Michigan.

Dick Devos was never a proponent to raise the minimum wage and he has created more jobs in China than in Michigan. In fact, after laying off more than one thousand Michigan workers, Devos invested millions of dollars in China.

Granholm scores points for valuing hard work and for "insourcing" jobs to our state (It bears repeating here that she is a supporter of unions. As for Devos, with his record of outsourcing and pushing to make this a "Right to Work" or non-union state, and we were actually using a point system, we would have to give negative numbers here.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS or "THE BIG PICTURE"

Regardless of how many slick ads Dick Devos produces, he is not the kind of person we want as an advocate for Michigan citizens simply because he has never been an advocate for ordinary people and their needs. Jennifer Granholm has spent the larger portion of her life defending people and protecting their interests. It is also important to note Granholm inherited a nearly four billion dollar debt from outgoing Governor Engler. She made hard choices, but she paid down that debt. Devos has strong ties to the current Bush administration. Most Americans now agree our federal government is a mess and it has made a mess of our common interests. Education, civil liberties, job security, environmental protection, a quest for peace: all eroded under Bush administration policies. Dick Devos spent several hundred thousand dollars on Bush's presidential campaigns. This must mean he agrees with Bush policies. So, while Devos ads call for "change", it seems to us that "change" means more of what got us into trouble in the first place. We don't need a George W. Bush type-guy in Lansing.

Jennifer Granholm is clearly the best choice for governor of Michigan.

Democrats again call for change in Iraq

September 4, 2006

The President
The White House
Washington , D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

Over one month ago, we wrote to you about the war in Iraq . In the face of escalating violence, increasing instability in the region, and an overall strain on our troops that has reduced their readiness to levels not seen since Vietnam , we called upon you to change course and adopt a new strategy to give our troops and the Iraqi people the best chance for success.

Although you have not responded to our letter, we surmise from your recent press conferences and speeches that you remain committed to maintaining an open-ended presence of U.S. forces in Iraq for years to come. That was the message the American people received on August 21, 2006 , when you said, “we're not leaving [ Iraq ], so long as I'm the President.”

Unfortunately, your stay the course strategy is not working. In the five-week period since writing to you, over 60 U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed, hundreds of U.S. troops have been wounded, many of them grievously, nearly 1,000 Iraqi civilians have died, and the cost to the American taxpayer has grown by another $8 billion dollars. Even the administration' s most recent report to Congress on Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq indicates that security trends in Iraq are deteriorating, and likely to continue to worsen for the foreseeable future. With daily attacks against American and Iraqi troops at close to their highest levels since the start of the war, and sectarian violence intensifying, we can only conclude that our troops are caught in the middle of a low-grade civil war that is getting worse.

Meanwhile, the costs of a failed Iraq policy to our military and our security have been staggering. As you know, not a single Army non-deployed combat brigade is currently prepared to meet its wartime mission, and the Marine Corps faces equally urgent equipment and personnel shortages. Lieutenant General Blum, the National Guard Bureau Chief, has stated that the National Guard is “even further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army.” Your recent decision to involuntarily recall thousands of Marines to active duty to serve in Iraq is but the latest confirmation of the strain this war has placed on our troops. At the same time, the focus on Iraq and the toll it has taken on our troops and on our diplomatic capabilities has diverted our attention from other national security challenges and greatly constrained our ability to deal with them.

In short, Mr. President, this current path – for our military, for the Iraqi people, and for our security – is neither working, nor making us more secure.

Therefore, we urge you once again to consider changes to your Iraq policy. We propose a new direction, which would include: (1) transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection; (2) beginning the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq before the end of this year; (3) working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources; and (4) convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort. These proposals were outlined in our July 30th letter and are consistent with the “U.S. Policy in Iraq Act” you signed into law last year.

We also think there is one additional measure you can take immediately to demonstrate that you recognize the problems your policies have created in Iraq and elsewhere –consider changing the civilian leadership at the Defense Department. From the failure to deploy sufficient numbers of troops at the start of the war or to adequately equip them, to the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, to disbanding the Iraqi military, to the failure to plan for the post-war occupation, the Administration’ s mistakes have taken a toll on our troops and our security. It is unacceptable to dismiss the concerns of military personnel and their families when they are affected by the consequences of these failures, as the Secretary of Defense recently did in Alaska by suggesting that volunteers should not complain about having their deployments extended. While a change in your Iraq policy will best advance our chances for success, we do not believe the current civilian leadership at the Department of Defense is suited to implement and oversee such a change in policy.

Mr. President, staying the course in Iraq has not worked and continues to divert resources and attention from the war on terrorism that should be the nation’s top security priority. We hope you will consider the recommendations for change that we have put forward. We want to work with you in finding a way forward that honors the enormous sacrifice of our troops and promotes U.S. national security interests in the region. We believe our plan will achieve those goals.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip Carl Levin, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee Joe Biden, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tom Lantos, Ranking Member, House International Relations Committee Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee Jane Harman, Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee Daniel Inouye, Ranking Member, Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee John Murtha, Ranking Member, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee