Monday, November 06, 2006

On the eve of the Election

First, hello to all the new visitors to the site! Traffic dropped down a little over the weekend, but today it's shot right back up and I have no doubt we'll see a record number of unique visits today!

I'd encourage all of you to come back here tomorrow night as the results come in. I'll be posting updates as they become available. For more Michigan races, check out Michigan Liberal, and, of course, a traditional media outlet of your choosing.

Also, just as a side note, this is the 50th post I've made since starting the blog after the August 8th primary. Crazy. Fifty blog postings isn't much if you're a phenomenally talented blogger, but for a novice like myself, it's a milestone worth celebrating.

The big news of the day is that Congressman Joe Schwarz has filed as a write-in candidate for the 7th District race.

"This is not trying to upset the race," Matt Marsden, Schwarz's chief of staff, told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "This is not trying to pull any last minute hijinks."

Marsden said Schwarz supporters have told the congressman, R-Battle Creek, they planned to write in his name on Tuesday. However, without filing as a write-in candidate, those votes would not have been counted. And so Schwarz filed.

"There's no reason not to file the paperwork to give people a voice," Marsden said.

I'd like to take this moment to encourage everyone to vote for Sharon Renier rather than write in Joe Schwarz. There is absolutely no chance for a Schwarz upset victory over Tim Walberg, and if you sincerely wish to defeat him, you should vote for Sharon Renier.

That said, I understand exactly why he chose to do this, and I support him. If you're a Republican out there that can't bring yourself to vote for Tim Walberg, but you still can't bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, don't leave that space on the ballot blank. Write in Joe Schwarz. Similarly, if you had planned on voting for Walberg out of party loyalty, but would prefer Schwarz as your representative, write in Joe Schwarz. Congressman Schwarz is the real Republican in the race.

Sound a little odd? After all, didn't Tim Walberg's primary campaign consist of phrases like, "Joe Schwarz is a liberal" and "Joe Schwarz is a Republican In Name Only"? That was the rhetoric, but the truth was certainly different. In fact, Schwarz was endorsed by President Bush, the House Republican leadership, and all the major Republicans of the state of Michigan. Who endorsed Tim Walberg? James Dobson, the Minutemen, and the far-right US Taxpayers/Constitution Party Candidate David Horn. It's clear that Walberg would be more comfortable in a fringe party, not the GOP.

Of course, as a write-in, Schwarz has little chance to win. So what does he say about the two major-party nominees?

"Tim Walberg is conservative in the extreme, and is not particularly well versed in a number of issues that he's going to have to bone up on," Schwarz said. "National security, homeland security, the military, health care come to mind right off the top of the head. Economic development also.

"We'll see how he performs."

We shall see indeed. Now, how about Renier?
"I got to know her a little bit two years ago," he said of Renier. "She's pretty bright and has a good grasp of a lot of issues — not all issues, but a lot of them. She's a very credible candidate."
And then there's this:

Schwarz says he has made up his mind -- and he won't vote for Walberg.

The congressman contended Walberg won the primary "by blatantly distorting my record and committing character assassination."

Schwarz's campaign last month filed an extensive campaign-finance complaint, contending Walberg illegally took more than $500,000 in contributions.

Schwarz also blasted his former foe for not backing "life-saving" embryonic stem-cell research and supporting intelligent design.

But the surgeon and former state senator has played coy about endorsing Renier or another candidate.

"Sharon is a woman of good character," Schwarz said. "As far as I can tell, her positions are fairly moderate."

Tomorrow, the most important thing is that you vote. The democratic process is what matters most, and is the institution we should cherish, regardless of the candidates.

The second most important thing is that you vote for Sharon Renier.

I'd love for you all to share your voting experiences, good or bad, in the comments. I'll be promoting a few to the front page, depending on how many I get. Until then...

UPDATE: I don't expect too many election hijinks in this district, but one must always be ready for voter suppression. If you feel you're being denied your right to vote or pressured away from voting or toward voting for some candidate when you go to your polling place tomorrow, don't leave in disgust. Stay there, and call 1-888-DEM-VOTE. That number will put you in contact with someone that can help and, if necessary, send an observer to your polling place to work out the issue.

Far less important-- today has totally blown away the daily site statistics, and it's only 9:30 PM.


Fitzy, I was really impressed with your blog! I feel like Walberg will probably win, but we put up one hell of a fight, and you were a huge part of that.
I concur I do think Walberg will win, but atleast we fought and fought hard is what we all did. I am more proud to be an American that I have any other time in my life!!! Well 24 hrs from now we will have a new congressman/woman. Pray that it is Renier, but if not hopefully we get two years of shit and just beat the living crap out of him in 08. VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!

ps. Fitzy you did a whole hell of a lot and I do appreciate that as well as many people in Michigan.

As a staunch Republican, I voted for Sharon today. I was torn by writing in Schwarz, but it would take votes from Sharon. I don't like the thought of a Dem, but Walberg scares me even more. I hope he's soundly defeated. It's time to get away from party politics and vote for who will do the best job. In this case, its not Walberg!

Thanks for this site, it has been a real tension outlet for me. If Walberg wins, please keep his feet to the fire!
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