Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Berryman Against Recall
Former Adrian mayor and former state Senator Jim Berryman wrote a letter to the editor in the Adrian Daily Telegram today. In it, he expresses his opposition to the recall effort being led by James Carr.
Berryman, of course, is a candidate for the Democratic nomination and hopes to oppose Walberg next November. Here's the letter:
To the editor,A few things I noticed. First, it's no big deal that Berryman has come out against the recall, and I expect the other candidates or potential candidates will probably do the same or remain silent on it. They're not going to endorse a tactic that could be used against them in a few years, and vocally supporting the recall detracts from a candidate's primary message-- that he or she is the best person to represent the district. In other words, for a candidate, it can't be all about Walberg. They have to sell themselves to the public, too.
Of course, Berryman coming out against the recall helps Jim Carr, too. Carr has maintained from the start that his recall effort is a grassroots campaign without the support of any party apparatus. If a host of Democrats came out and endorsed the recall, it would undercut that position. Berryman's opposition reinforces Carr's image as a grassroots crusader.
But the most interesting part of this letter has nothing to do with the recall. Re-read this part:
It doesn’t seem to make a difference which political party you associate yourself with, either way, once they get there (Washington D.C.) they seem to have an agenda of their own, or should I say an agenda that truly does not reflect the people they are supposed to represent.These two paragraphs are filled with so much that I'm not sure where to begin.
For starters, remember that Berryman writes: "I am very proud to call myself a Democrat." That's important. As has been reported elsewhere, the Pew Research Center found that Democrats lead Republicans nationally in partisan self-identification. Fifty percent of respondents consider themselves Democrats, while just 35 percent consider themselves Republicans. I don't know what the numbers are for this district, but the "Democratic brand" is doing well.
However, Berryman doesn't just label himself as a Democrat. He labels himself as a moderate and an outsider. One more time, that last bit:
I am very proud to call myself a Democrat, but it seems to me that both the Democrats and the Republicans have failed to listen to the people back home. It seems, at least to me, that the “far left” and the “extreme right” have an agenda that does not represent the majority of us in the middle. There are many of us feel that we have no party, no direction and no faith that it is going to get any better.(Emphasis added.)
You know who that sounds like, right? Joe Schwarz:
Former Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz wrote that last September, a little over a month after losing the Republican nomination to Tim Walberg. Schwarz claimed to represent the voiceless middle, the same claim Berryman implies in his letter.
Will Berryman's appeal to disaffected Schwarz Republicans work? He could certainly pull it off. He's a moderate from a conservative corner of the district, has a friendship with Joe Schwarz, and has a rivalry with Tim Walberg from long before Schwarz was smeared by his Club for Growth friends.
Of course, it's tough to predict an entire campaign strategy from one letter to the editor. But from where I sit, I think it could be a winning message.
I think Berryman will be very effective carrying on the Schwarz mantra.
There are a bunch of us out here that have been abandoned by both parties; the religious right and the limosuine liberals.
If the election were held today, I think Berryman would anniliate Walberg. I hope he keeps it up!
From today's LSJ story on possible Schauer.
"Former Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Battle Creek, who was defeated by Walberg in last year's Republican primary, said Wednesday he had not made a decision on whether he would re-seek his old congressional seat.
Schwarz, a physician, is chairing a task force on health care needs in southeast Michigan and said he would not announce any plans on the congressional race until his task force releases a report in September."
Schwarz is not out yet. If he announces, he will do it on his own timetable.
Unlike Walberg he's presently doing something worthwhile and positive for Iraq...er, I mean Detroit.
I would hardly expect Jim Berryman to support a recall effort, as any politician who does not recognize a recall effort as a activity that cannot be controlled by any party or political leader, in office or out can recognize the danger.
This is truly a grass roots effort and whether it succeeds or fails is of little consequence to me, the author of the petition. My greatest pleasure would be to see a bevy of recall actions, here in the state of Michigan against the obstructionists in the state legislature, and further, throughout the entire country. It would put politicians on notice that they can't buy their office with large sums of money and they had better be more observant of the mood of their personal electorate.
Finally, this war is the greatest tragedy facing our national and local politics. We mourn publically when a life is lost and then urge other youngsters to join up and put their lives at risk. What is the purpose of the war now? We find hundreds even thousands of people marching in the streets, singing and chanting, and, after the public display is over, they go back to their mundane lives.
Support of this recall effort will reflect a true poll of the 7th congression district voters and whether they support this war or not. No one will buy your signature; no one will plead for it; it is your personal demonstration that you are disgusted with our congressman, the war policy that he supports, and the absence of fiscal responsibility to pay for this "credit card political mentality".
I agree with the notion that Congressmen shouldn't be bought like Wally was with CFG. That alone should suffice for recall in my opinion. The war is unpopular, but I don't think it reaches recall fervor. I think there is much more substance by bringing out ethical standards and concerns, such as the smear he did on Schwarz with outright lies and slander. He calls himself a minister?
There are still campaign violations which remain unresolved and the fact that he told the people of Battle Creek he supported the airport and then voted against it, then tried to distance himself, is far more agregious in my opinion than support of an unpopular war, which nearly all of Congress has at one point or another. Acts like that speak volumes of his true character.
Thank's for pointing some sunshine on Walberg, but there are higher violations of public trust which merit concern.
It's sad that the ethical bar in Washington is set so low that people like Walberg don't even get on the radar. This is one of the big problems in government today and the next Congressman must transcend the current ethical climate.
I was suprised to read from Jim Berryman's own hand: "It doesn’t seem to make a difference which political party you associate yourself with, either way, once they get there (Washington D.C.) they seem to have an agenda of their own, or should I say an agenda that truly does not reflect the people they are supposed to represent."Post a Comment
So, he's telling us that if we put him in Congress, he'll end up just as much of a "bum" as the rest of the politicians there. There's no statement in the rest of the letter that says he'll be different or that he's immune to the influences of the nation's Capitol.
I do believe that elected officials are allowed to make up their own minds on policies/laws. They aren't bound to slavishly follow the views of the majority of their voters. However, I would like to have an ethical and sincere representative who I trust to look at problems indepth.
I know we don't have that now!
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