I may have to go and help her with GOTV

This is a plea from Michigan – from valued commenter HillaryRettig:

Dear Juicers,

Greetings from southwest Michigan, where the landscape is flat, the people are darned nice, and the football teams and the beer kick ass. (Plus, we just got an Alamo Drafthouse – yeah, us!)
Plus, we progressives have a GREAT candidate, Paul Clements, who’s got a real shot at winning our 6th district House seat next year, unseating the noxious Republican incumbent Fred Upton.
Like many other Repubs, Upton is a former moderate who’s recently swung hard right due to Tea Party Terror Syndrome(tm). You can judge him by his friends/donors, who include all the wrong people: Koch Industries, Halliburton, the Petroleum Marketers Association, and Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris).They love him because of his apparent willingness to do whatever foul thing they ask, be it deny climate change, severely restrict pretty much every non-rich person’s access to health care and preventative medicine, or undermine the Clean Air Act.

You can also judge Upton by his enemies, who include a vast array of unions, women’s groups, human rights groups, and environmental groups. He got “0” ratings from: CWE, AFSME, AAUW, NARAL, Middleclass.org, Alliance for Retired Americans, and Human Rights Campaign; and near-zero or failing ratings from the NEA, National Nurses United, NAACP, and the League of Environmental Voters, among many others. Upton is so, so very bad on environmental issues that the LA Times actually crowned him, “the #1 Enemy of the Planet Earth” in Congress.

Upton’s enemies also include lots of ordinary Michiganders, who are pissed because, despite his assiduous selling out, his record on bringing jobs home is dismal.
One more thing you should know is that Upton’s vulnerable. Paul’s team has run the numbers, and in a conservative-leaning district that nevertheless went decisively for Obama in 2008, this race is definitely winnable. And the Wingnuts are kindly helping us out by giving Upton a battle on his right flank.
The very worst thing about Upton is that he’s chair of the House’s powerful Energy and Commerce Committee—Henry Waxman’s old committee! As such, he’s had the opportunity to do real harm–and will continue to do harm until we get rid of him.

*Here he is, looking pretty smug and safe in that chair! Also: what’s wrong with his eye? Is that a wink?

fred upton winker

As a child of privilege—Upton is an heir to the Whirlpool appliance fortune—who went almost directly into politics after college, and who now spends nearly all his time promoting the interests of corrupt corporations, Fred Upton embodies everything that’s wrong with the system.
Fortunately, Michigan’s got a GREAT alternative in Paul Clements. Think of him as the Luke Skywalker to Upton’s Emperor Palpatine.

* no winking at wealthy donors going on here:

Paul Clements

Now, as an economist and professor of political science at Western Michigan University, Paul’s research specialty is—get this!—evaluating the effectiveness of social programs. In other words, he’s an expert on effectiveness and accountability—two elements sorely lacking in our current Congress.
Of course, Paul is also a super nice guy and a great progressive, who will advocate for all the right things. He recently brought environmental activist Bill McKibben to speak at WMU.
So, c’mon, Juicers: jedi up and donate to Paul’s campaign! Think how good it’s going to feel, next November, when we send “Emperor” Upton packing, and replace him with someone who cares both about people and good governance.
Shout Out to Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny, who has also done a terrific job documenting Upton’s many malevolences.

I admire what she’s doing here because it is difficult to remove an incumbent (but so much fun to win!) so help her (and all of us) out if you can.

40 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    from valued commenter HillaryRettig

    Seriously? Anyone can be a valued commenter now? It has no meaning when we throw it around like a “most improved” award.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    Good to hear about Paul Clements. Keep us posted, valued commenter Hillary.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    I support “most improved awards”. Why does it have to be so grim and unfeeling? Jesus. Life isn’t hard enough?

  4. 4
    Tone in DC says:

    More power to Mr. Clements. These knuckle-dragging wingers need to be put out to pasture. Somewhere in Kosovo, Chechnya or Mogadishu, preferably.

    Upton can then commiserate with Cindy McCain, Steve Forbes and other heirs and heiresses who need to STFU.

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    50 no votes with Donnely.

  6. 6
    satby says:

    Kay, I’m kind of in that area, and I’ve refused to change my residency from Chicago just so I wouldn’t have to say Upton was my rep. Can you forward my email to our valued commenter (sorry JSF-TL) so I can volunteer GOTV against Upton. I hate Upton, I’d GOTV even for a Blue Dog to get rid of that smarmy creep.

  7. 7
    Kay says:

    @Tone in DC:

    I like Kalamazoo as a city and I’m flying high from my big school bond win here, so it can be done.

    I also like the candidate for MI governor better than the OH candidate for governor. I’m going over there for 2014. Whether they like it or not :)

  8. 8
    Kay says:


    Sure, but do you want me to use the one you’re commenting with? Post the one you want to use or send me an email at my BJ account.

  9. 9
    Rock says:

    He’s Kate Upton’s uncle…who knew.

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    Seriously? Anyone can be a valued commenter now?

    No, not everyone. Rest assured.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ash Can:
    Do valued commenters get, like, a gold star next to their nyms? Or maybe a little fanfare plays when you hit refresh and one of their comments loads? Because that would be so cool …

  12. 12
    barontagge says:

    I’ve been hearing this, “The Midwest’s awesome, it’s just bigoted and ugly right this minute, but….” all my life. And guess what? It’s not changing. It’s been generations in the coming, but the Midwest is about as solid as the South (heck it is the New South) for the GOP. Save your money and donate it to the ACLU, or People for the American Way, it will get more done.

  13. 13
    Stavo says:

    It would help fix our country a whole lot if we moved away from these 1%’ers who just buy House and senate seats. I like that Clements has actually worked for a living and that his work focuses on the effectiveness of social programs. In in for $25. (That alone makes Hillary valuable.)

  14. 14

    Barontagge 12 did you actually read the piece? Our district went for Obama in 2008, so clearly we can swing left. And the GOP is currently super unpopular. We can swing left again.

  15. 15
    Ash Can says:

    @Amir Khalid: I have a little doohickey on my smart phone that alerts me to incoming notifications with the sound of a crown-top beer bottle being opened. I’d be partial to that one. :)

  16. 16
    Kay says:


    Absolutely. Media and conservative predictions of Romney/Ryan carrying the upper midwest were proved to be correct in 2012. They took MI, OH, and WI.

  17. 17
    Mr. Longform says:

    Observer from nearby northern Indiana here: Fred Upton has gone from typical empty-suit Republican who would quietly capitulate to all big business interests to Tea Party sellout who will noisily capitulate to all big business interests …. so, well worth getting rid of before; still worth getting rid of.

  18. 18
    Ash Can says:

    @Kay: Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa helped make those predictions look brilliant as well. ;)

  19. 19
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Ash Can: You seem to have some passive aggressive issues to work out. Do you want to talk about it?

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    Lost cause. We’ll just pull out of all the great lakes states because of a wave election in a midterm year.
    Democrats swept in 2006, another wave election in a midterm year. Republicans should have just hung it up right there and concentrated on defending Texas :)

  21. 21
    Ash Can says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    Do you want to talk about it?

    Naw, you can just hug it out of me.

  22. 22
    sharl says:

    Ah, a post with actual politically relevant evidence/data to back up its claims! None of that “well, the demographics are trending favorably” crap lacking accompanying district voting metrics.

    Moar of this pleeze! And I’ll be looking into this guy more, and while not on the scale of Sheldon Adelson or the Kochs, will be sending him a contribution, if he is the real deal he seems to be.

  23. 23

    I note all the discussion about the midwest. This election really affects every American. As chair of Energy and Commerce (Henry Waxman’s old committee), Upton has incredible power and media attention and he’s using it (right now) not just to bludgeon Obama and the ACA, but to call dog-and-pony show hearings intended to position the GOP for 2014 and future elections — for example, as the immigrant-friendly party.

    All progressives from everywhere should want to defeat him, and Democrats in past elections have gotten closer to doing so. 2014 will be the year if we want it to be. I hope some of the commenters here who rightfully despise Upton will ante up for Paul, who started campaigning much earlier than his predecessors and is raising more money earlier in the cycle.


  24. 24
    rikyrah says:


    This a good clip keeping up on the Voter Suppression Efforts in Ohio. Would love to see it posted.

    OHI-NO you can’t easily vote

    Republican governors in key swing states are working to turn them red through selective voting ID laws. Ed Schultz and Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner discuss.


  25. 25
    Kay says:


    I haven’t had a chance to look into it. Democrats in Ohio have been quite effective at stopping or mitigating voter suppression efforts. They’ll have a fight on their hands.

  26. 26

    PS – plf515 at DailyKos, who is a statistician, ranks Upton one of the most vulnerable Republicans. http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....ng-it-back

  27. 27
    JustRuss says:

    Nice pic of Upton, but if he really wants to be the #1 Enemy of Planet Earth, he needs to work on his pinky-in-the-corner-of-his- mouth pose. And get a cat.

  28. 28
    Anne says:

    As a long term 6th district voter, I can tell you Paul Clements is the most serious candidate ever to run against Upton. He is a pragmatist in a district with lots of science and engineering types. The GOP is helping Paul by running an even more right wing anti-science character against Upton in the primary. Paul is starting earlier, raising more money and lining up supports. He is even honest and principled, although I realize those are less important :(

  29. 29
    Jane Forman says:

    I’m late to the thread (darn work!), but want to emphasize that we do have the opportunity to take back at least a couple of districts, and the governorship, in Michigan. Clements is an excellent candidate. There’s also a good dem challenger, Pam Byrnes, in the 7th district, a seat now held by one of wingnuttiest of wingnuts, Tim Walberg. Mark Schauer (now dem candidate for governor), was elected in district 7 in 2008 but lost to Walberg in 2010. We Michiganders (and guests from other states:-) need to get out there. We can do it! Clements, Byrnes, and Schauer can all use our time and $$$s.

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @Jane Forman:

    Mark Schauer (now dem candidate for governor),

    I’m impressed with him. I know Snyder has mega-bucks and media capture, but I think Schauer can win.

  31. 31
    Liz says:

    I’m not in Michigan, but I do care about getting people like Fred Upton out of office. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Hillary, and for the data. I made a donation today, and I’m encouraging folks I know to do the same.

  32. 32
    Jane Forman says:

    @Kay: Me too. I’m glad you think so. When I did phone banking for him in 2010, I heard the guy on the phone next to me and thought wow he’s good. Turned out to be Schauer!

  33. 33
    Sanjoy Mahajan says:

    The lunatics are definitely running the asylum. I have donated to Paul’s campaign in the hope that he can reduce the number of lunatics by one.

  34. 34
    Starfish says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Hillary is pretty amazing. She has been here a while and writes some interesting career coaching emails.

  35. 35
    chauncey1186 says:

    Kay, please send my email to Hillary. I not only live in Upton’s District but “have a particular set of skills that make me a nightmare for people like him.” All kidding aside, in my professional life I mobilize people and resources on a regular basis. I’ve been keeping my eyeballs peeled for a good GOTV effort in Southwest MI. I want to help.

  36. 36
    kzoostout says:

    For whatever it’s worth, I’d like to vouch for Paul. I went to one of his earliest meet and greets this spring (I work at WMU), and came away really impressed. He’s the second politician that I’ve given money to, and the first that I’ve volunteered to work for. He’s a good Dem with a decent chance of knocking off Upton, and worth considering a donation if you are able.

  37. 37
    satby says:

    @Kay: The email I have in my comment profile is fine. Thanks, I really want to help get rid of Upton any way I can.

  38. 38
    Gwen says:

    @barontagge: I grew up in Flint, Michigan and now live in Kalamazoo, and my state has 2 Democratic senators and a long history of progressive thought and action. Ever hear of the GM Sitdown Strike of 1937 or Michael Moore? So please don’t turn away from an opportunity here to help a candidate who is a great guy, a brilliant thinker, and would provide what everyone seems to say they want in Congress – decent representation.

  39. 39

    Anyone who wants to vol can contact me directly: hillaryrettig@yahoo.com .

    Starfish 34 – greatly appreciated; thank you.

  40. 40
    Lee says:

    Upton only won last time with a 9 vote margin(!)
    So he’s vulnerable. I just donated to Paul Clements. Big things happen from many small steps.

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