Friday, February 01, 2008
February 1, 2008
By KATHLEEN GRAY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Voters in two congressional districts -- one in Oakland County and one that stretches from Washtenaw County to Battle Creek -- will be the focus of hotly contested, expensive races featuring veteran Democratic challengers against incumbent Republicans.
Former state Sen. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, has raised more than $400,000 to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Bloomfield Township, but Knollenberg has raised three times as much -- about $1.4 million through Dec. 31, according to campaign finance reports filed ThursdayPeters had about $359,000 still available, while Knollenberg, who has represented the district cutting a wide swath across Oakland County since 1993, had more than $1 million available. Peters was the state's lottery commissioner before leaving to take a teaching post at Central Michigan University.
"This is a race that's going to have to be very well-funded. But raising money is not going to be an issue for us," said Peters' campaign spokeswoman, Julie Petrick.
Knollenberg, first elected in 1992, won by a 51%-47% margin in 2006 against Royal Oak Democrat Nancy Skinner. He spent $2.6 million on his 2006 race compared with Skinner's $364,000.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Peters raises record amount in Michigan's 9th
Oakland County, MI- Gary Peters continues to build overwhelming momentum in his bid for Congress in Michigan's 9th District. Peters has received more contributions to date than any previous candidate to take on Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg and has garnered early key endorsements. Peters garnered support from almost 1000 individuals in the district including support from Republicans and Independents.
"Whether it's people I meet at house parties and club meetings or the nearly 1000 individuals that have contributed to our campaign, every day I see momentum building for our grassroots campaign. Our working families in Oakland County are fed-up with Washington and the direction of this country. Our message of change, fighting tooth and nail for jobs, and putting Oakland County first has really struck a chord."
Gary Peters is widely regarding for having a hands-on approach to solving local problems. He has a record of results and independence -- turning the lottery around, cutting taxes, holding the line on spending, and creating economic opportunity for the middle class.
In addition to his strong fundraising, Peters has received a flood of endorsements. Last week Peters received the full support and endorsement of the Michigan Association of Police Organizations, which represents over 14,000 police officers in Michigan. Peters has also recently received the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers in Michigan as well as the Service Employees International Union, the fastest growing labor organization representing over 80,000 workers in Michigan. Peters has also received one of the earliest endorsements of the Michigan AFL-CIO which represents over 600,000 workers and 59 unions across the state.
Peters, who has been outspoken about our need for change in Oakland County, raised $183,414.00 last quarter, bringing the total funds raised of the campaign to $401,217, and has a cash on hand balance of $359,366. The Democrat who ran against Joe Knollenberg last cycle raised just under $24,000 in her end of the year filing in 2006. Peters has also exceeded David Fink, the top raising Democrat to challenge Knollenberg, who to date in Q4 of 2001 had amassed just under $370,000 thousand.
Support for Peters Troy Eccentric letters
I am writing to object to the characterization of Gary Peters' congressional campaign as "Hinging on outsiders" or "anointed" by the party ("Congressional election could hinge on outsiders," Jan. 10) or "disenfranchised" ("Disenfranchised Dems steam over primary ballot," Jan. 13).
My name was mentioned as an early endorser for Gary's campaign, which I am happy to strongly emphasize, but it has nothing to do with party affiliation and everything to do with the fact that I have known and worked with Gary since he was first elected to the state Senate in January 1996.
He came to a meeting of the Bloomfield Hills Legislative Action Network, which was a group of parents who lobbied our Lansing delegation on both sides of the aisle to support our public schools. Gary made ongoing efforts to stay informed and seek out our opinions on issues effecting our district. As a 10-year member of the Bloomfield Hills Board of Education, I had the opportunity to work with Gary on many issues during his tenure in the Senate. I have worked with his wife, Colleen, for 10 years to support the work of Lighthouse of Oakland County.
I resent Nancy Skinner's inference that I am a tool of the Democratic Party. She doesn't know me and has never sought my endorsement. I am not a party activist and was not even present at the meeting Jan. 10 where the discussion took place.
Cynthia von Oeyen
Process was fair
In reading your Jan. 13 article, "'Disenfranchised' Dems steam over primary ballot," I was very disappointed by Nancy Skinner's comments that endorsements for her opponent in the congressional race were somehow rigged by the Democratic Party.
I am a member of the Service Employees International Union, which endorsed Gary Peters recently. Our process was driven by our membership. We held a town hall meeting of our members with Skinner and Peters. In fact, all three candidates were invited, including Congressman Joe Knollenberg (he declined).
We ask that the candidates "Walk A Day In The Shoes" of our members in order to earn our endorsement. Peters and Skinner both did such, shadowing a Farmington Hills home care worker and Royal Oak city employees, respectively. Lastly, we asked candidates to fill out a detailed questionnaire on issues affecting our members and required them to participate in a thorough screening before our Political Directors Committee. From this multistep process, we found that Gary Peters had a stronger grasp on the issues and had already built an impressive campaign structure aimed at winning in November. Any suggestion that our endorsement process was a foregone conclusion or that it was rigged is a disservice to our membership and the time they spent.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tax Relief for Families and Small Business
Yesterday I was proud to introduce H.R. 5126, the Family Security and Small Business Stimulus Act of 2008. Our economy has slowed down and for the sake of families in Michigan, it is critical that we take action in Washington to help. Enabling families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money instead of sending it to the IRS is a valuable first step. My bill will do this in three ways: permanently cutting the lowest income tax bracket from 10% to 5%; sending all taxpayers an advance payment of this tax-cut; and allowing small businesses to expense more of their purchases.
Joe and his Republican collegues seem to think tax cuts are the answer to every problem. While no one likes to pay more taxes, a tax cut in a time of economic crisis, when our national debt is $9 TRILLION, we are fighting a war that is costing $12 billion a month, a tax cut will only multiply the crisis. A more sensible approach would be to invest in America's infrastructure providing good paying jobs to our citizens, who in turn pay taxes and improve the overall economy. The wealthiest American do not need a tax cut, but those citizens going through foreclosure need more than a tax rebate check to solve their problems.
Maybe if we end the fiasco in Iraq and use the money being poured down the rat hole there we can start to solve the economic crisis in America.
|Farmington Hills Office|
30833 Northwestern Hwy
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone: (248) 851-1366
Fax: (248) 851-0418
2349 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5802
Fax: (202) 226-2356
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
From the Detroit Free Press
“I ... support the president’s call for bipartisan work on energy issues. The American auto industry is facing the reality of meeting new fuel economy standards in the coming years. Now that the government has issued this mandate, it is our responsibility to help them get there. That is why we need an aggressive and robust investment plan for alternative fuels, including advanced research in plug-in electric batteries and diesel technology.” — U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Township.From the Detroit News
Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, said Congress needs to do more to support automakers, now that they face the new mandate.From the Detroit Free Press
"I want to see more funding for plug-in hybrids, advanced batteries and clean diesels," Knollenberg said.
Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Bloomfield Township Republican, said the stimulus bill should also expand tax breaks for equipment bought by small businesses. "This is about jobs for families who need them, and we should take some bolder steps," he said.
As an aside, the web site mentioned in the press release comes up "page not found."
CONTACT: John Witt
Phone: (248) 229-8801
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2008
WITT ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER
The John Witt for County Commissioner Campaign issued the following press release:
Today, John Witt filed his candidacy for County Commissioner for the 19th District as a Republican candidate. Witt had the following to say about his campaign:
"I am running for County Commissioner because I will be a strong representative of the 19th District and provide a much needed fresh perspective on the Board of Commissioners. I am proud to be the candidate in this race most dedicated to fiscal conservatism and most dedicated to protecting the tax dollars of Oakland County residents. Today, I am demonstrating that very dedication by pledging to 19th District residents that I will never vote for a general county budget that increases at a rate higher than inflation and I will never vote to increase Oakland County's property tax millage rate. I also will work to make the Board of Commissioners more open and accessible to residents by pushing for the full Board meetings to take place in the evening and for these meetings to be televised. Furthermore, I will advocate for meeting minutes to be available in both hard copy and electronic form within three working days after a meeting. I will be a strong voice for the concerns of my constituents in Troy and Clawson. While I may not be the establishment's choice for the Republican nomination, I will work hard to become the people's choice. Instead of relying on the support of political insiders who reside outside the 19th District, I look forward to earning the support of Troy and Clawson voters. I will earn this support by always putting the 19th District first."
John Witt, an eight-year resident of Troy, has previously worked for Congressman Joe Knollenberg and the Keith Butler for United States Senate Campaign. He looks forward to using his fresh perspective to bring stronger, more fiscally responsible and resident-focused representation to the 19th District.
About John Witt
Education: B.A., summa cum laude, Saint Louis University, January 2008.
Graduate of Brother Rice High School, May 2004.
Political Intern in District Office of Congressman Joe Knollenberg.
Background: Campaign Assistant for Keith Butler for United States Senate.
Member, Troy-Clawson Republican Forum.
Member, Oakland County and Michigan Republican Party.