The only Michigan Democrats Steve Israel is allowing the DCCC to help so far this cycle are Blue Dog Gary McDowell (MI-01) and virulent anti-Choice fanatic Steve Pestka (MI-03). No doubt John Boehner and Eric Cantor would prefer actual Republicans but they know they'll be able to count on conservatives like McDowell and Pestka most of the time. The race that's the most primed for a Democratic takeover, MI-11, is being studiously ignored by Steve Israel. Although three districts have around the same advantage with Obama on the ticket. Under the new boundaries MI-01 and M-011 were won by Obama 50-48 and MI-03 was won by Obama 50-49. MI-11, unlike the other two, is an open seat with no Republican incumbent-- a prime takeover opportunity. But, apparently-- and for whatever reason-- not in Steve Israel's eyes. For one thing, the Democrat running, Dr. Syed Taj, is a strong progressive, which isn't what Steve Israel is looking for in candidates.
But, regardless of the DCCC, when voters in the 11th head to the polls in November they will be presented with a stark choice. On the Republican line will be a far right-wing libertarian being backed by Ron and Rand Paul and on the Democratic line will be a pragmatic progressive who has spent his entire life dedicated to saving and improving lives.
This week Blue America is endorsing that pragmatic progressive Democrat, Dr. Syed Taj and he'll be joining us here for a live chat today at 2pm (ET). Normally we meet our candidates on Tuesdays but Dr. Taj informed me he meets with his patients on Tuesdays at that time. The excuse says a lot about who he is and what motivates him.
His opponent, Kerry Bentivolio, is an accidental candidate who wound up on the GOP line when the incumbent, Thaddeus McCotter, was forced to resign to stay out of prison after a series of election fraud scandals. Horrified, Establishment Republicans tried running a normal candidate but it was too late and they got stuck with Bentivolio, a reindeer rancher who made some extra money as an actor in a low-budget conspiracy film that blamed George W. Bush for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has a vision for obstruction and turning the clock back to the Nineteenth Century. He thinks the Ryan Budget is just a good start and he would go further in gutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest of the social safety net that we have fought so hard to build.
"My opponent," Dr. Taj told us this week, "will not just be another vote for Speaker Boehner. He will be a ringleader for efforts that build on the type of hyper-partisan zealotry the House Republican Caucus has come to use as their standard operating procedure. In short, my opponent has the potential to be one of the worst Members of Congress in history. That may sound like hyperbole but even his ultra-conservative primary opponent took to calling him 'Krazy Kerry'.”
Dr. Taj is running to make sure we never have to worry about “Krazy Kerry” causing Americans problems by a stint in Congress. Dr. Taj has worked for over 40 years as a physician and understands the vital roll that programs such as Medicare and Social Security play in everyday people’s lives. He told us he not only understands how important it is to keep the Affordable Care Act in place but that we urgently need to iron out the wrinkles, improve and expand it’s programs and insure that every American has access to quality health care without undue financial burden.
"I came to this country because of the great opportunities and freedom that it provides. My family and I have lived the American Dream. That is why it pains me to see the dream slipping away from so many people. These are good folks, they’re my neighbors and friends that played by the rules and worked hard but through no fault of their own now find their American Dream turning into a nightmare. I will fight to insure that our economy works for everyone, that we use every option available to spur job creation and continue to grow our economy. Here in Michigan we are proud of the work President Obama has done to save the auto industry and reinvigorate American manufacturing. My opponent opposed the GM and Chrysler rescues that have proven to not only have saved those companies but also our state and national economy. I support American manufacturing and real fair-trade that protects workers and the environment here and across the globe. I am running to provide voters a choice between going back or moving forward."
However, Dr. Taj needs our help to make sure every voter in the 11th District knows just how stark the differences are between him and the crackpot running against him.
"When the people of my district know all the facts they will make the correct choice and vote for me. The National Republicans and the Ron Paul Super PACS know this and they will spend limitless amounts of money to obscure the facts and play to people’s fears. I need your support so we can counter these attacks and layout the real choice that voters will have to make.
This task will not be easy, because as you may have noticed I do not have the most average name. Nor do I practice the same religious faith as most Americans. But only in America could an immigrant from India that proudly attends a mosque be able to run for Federal Elective Office. This is the greatness of our country and why I know that with your support we can win this election. So, please consider making a contribution to my campaign, we cannot afford more obstruction-- we truly need a 'Doctor in the House'.”