Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mark Schauer for Congress?

State Senator Mark Schauer, a Battle Creek Democrat, was mentioned quite a bit last fall and early this year as a potential candidate for Congress in the 7th District. He's been a fantastic party leader in the legislature, supporting the netroots and working to solve the Michigan budget crisis. His name was even tossed around by supporters of Joe Schwarz in 2006 as a reason not to vote for Tim Walberg, suggesting that Walberg in 2006 would inevitably lead to a Schauer victory in 2008.

Schauer and his staff quashed most speculation this spring, promising to stay on as leader of the Democratic caucus in the Senate until the end of his term in 2010. Most observers-- including Jack Lessenberry-- thought he would have been a formidable candidate, but Schauer seemed determined to sit this election out.

But all of that might be changing.

Starting last night, I started hearing rumors that Schauer might be reconsidering his previous decision. Then the subscription-only MIRS News service reported that Schauer would contact Jim Berryman and David Nacht sometime today to let them know whether or not he would "seriously consider" running in 2008. Then the AP picked it up:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, may challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in the 2008 election after brushing off earlier overtures to enter the race.

Schauer, who had pledged to Senate Democrats to serve out his full four-year term through 2010, said Wednesday he is discussing a bid for Congress with family, colleagues and constituents before making a "final decision."

"I would bring the same commonsense, results-oriented approach to this role as I have to my entire career in public service," Schauer, 45, said in a statement.

Schauer said it had become "painfully clear that Tim Walberg cares more about what's best for Republican leadership in Washington than what's best for Michigan's 7th district."


Former Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Battle Creek, said Wednesday he spoke to Schauer earlier in the day and the state senator told him "he was looking at" the congressional race. Schwarz said Schauer did not indicate when he would make a final decision.

Schwarz, who was defeated by Walberg in last year's Republican primary, said 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.

(Thanks to Michigan Liberal.)

Schauer has not announced whether or not he'll run, and likely hasn't made a final decision. As is suggested by the article above, we're now in a period where he may be watching to see what kind of support he may have. "Testing the waters," as it were.

In other words, if you want Mark Schauer to run for Congress, now would be the time to let him know about it.

This came as a big surprise to me. What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: A quick update to cover some stuff I missed the first time around. I've been sending and receiving e-mails and making phone calls all day trying to find out what's been happening.

First, Michigan Liberal's lpackard discovered that the domain was registered on August 3rd.

Second, a sample of today's MIRS story (the article is subscription-only and, while I'll share a couple paragraphs, I don't want to post the whole thing):
Some members of the Senate Democratic caucus would give serious consideration to removing Senate Minority Leader Mark SCHAUER (D-Battle Creek) from his leadership post if he decides to run for Congress. Those members say he couldn't serve the caucus and his congressional ambitions effectively at the same time.
But Schauer is now revisiting that pledge based on polling from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that shows him beating U.S. Rep. Tim WALBERG (R-Tipton) in a head-to-head match-up in the 7th Congressional District by three percentage points, according to one source. Once positives and negatives are read to those polled, Schauer's margin grows to as much as eight percentage points.
Any new thoughts?

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Sen. Schauer is amazing. He's been keeping Mike Bishop on his toes all year, and when our free speech was under attack this week he had our backs the whole time.

The guy is intelligent, progressive, well-liked in the district, and knows the difference between Baghdad and Detroit.

In other words, he's everything Tim Walberg isn't.

Come on, Mark... let's do this!

I don't think Mark can resist this race, he's a political animal and I doubt he could sit on the sidelines for this one. His wife recently resigned her position with the Burnham Brook Senior Center in Battle Creek, many speculated that she did so to start working on his campaign.

If it's a Walberg-Schauer General Election, Mark will anniliate him. He's well connected and respected in Calhoun and Jackson Counties and everyone there (Dems and Republicans alike) are fed-up with Walberg and his antics. Remember, less than 8 percent of the GOP voted for Walberg in the 06 Primary. His appeal to voters is greatly exaggerated.
Responding to both previous posts:

Keeping the Senate on the their toes is not exactly a big deal. Schauer has more experience as a legislator than everyone in the senate except Cropsy, and he is a doofus. Schauer should be whooping butt in the senate, but he has nothing to show for it. I think he realizes he will be totally ineffective as the senate minority leader and is now considering a change of office.

And, to anon #2, Schauer is the consumate politician (aka "animal"). He is everywhere, all the time in his district and still manages to weigh in on both the state and federal levels, all the while rolling in dough. His constant downplaying in the past of his DC ambitions were a sham and most everyone in-the-know knew he was eyeing the 7th seat. The only people who should be suprised are the dopes who elected him minority leader. He has been building a machine (on par with the Tweed's, the Long's and the Daley's) in his area for years and now his ambitions are transparent.

The twist tonight is that yesterday he promised Beryman and Nacht that he would decide in 24 hours. Now, just like his promise to his senate peers, he is playing fast and loose and leaving us hanging.

The clock has stuck the 24th hour,
and still we wait for Mr. Schauer.

Promise one,
Promise two,
Promise three,
Promise four,

When will the voters show him the door.

Will he run or will he wait?
Will he hedge or will he pledge?
Will he commit or will he sit?

What do we make of Politician Schauer? looks like the David Nacht team has weighed in
Schauer is the complete package as far as I am concerned:
1) Progressive
2) Smart
3) Politically Savvy
4) Willing to stand on principle
5) Established Base -- His Senate District is wholly contained within the Congressional District
6) Proven vote getter -- won three times in a 50/50 House seat, twice in a leaning Repub. Senate Seat.
7) Proven Fundraiser -- raised over $6 million for the Senate Dems last cycle.

We should do everything we can to encourage him to run. Spread the word in the online community, and talk it up in the broader political community. Let Schauer, and the "powers that be" know, that we, in the online community, are ready to help win this and help in a big way.
do these people not get it! You need progressive elected officials to step up and take on the Walberg's of the world. Running no name's purists is the way to lose.
To echo the last post, who is Schauer outside Calhoun county? So what if he raised 6 million, and how does he claim that title?

What did he do to defeat walberg last time? Or what did he do on the congressional level to help in 04, 02, 00, 98, 96...

He is on an even footing with Nacht as far as his input on federal politics and he takes a backseat to Berryman as far a reaching out across our district.

I also wonder what would happen to his hometown support if Schwarz does decided to challenge walberg.

I'm not real happy with his coy little strategy of "no, not thinking about it, committed to the senate" and then putting his name out there after others have begun. I also am not happy that it was supposed to be a 24 hour timetable, and now his is going to think about it for a few more days. He's got a ways to go if he is going to earn back my trust.
I saw David Nacht at the Blogger's Caucus in January, and was unimpressed to say the least. So what if the guy raised that much cash in his first quarter... he'll have to blow most of it just to build name ID.

While I'm not that familiar with Berryman either, I thought his whole selling point was the fact that he was the last dem to really raise some seriuos dough in this district against Nick Smith. He seems like a great guy, but 55k a quarter ain't gonna cut it.

Any ineffectiveness of any democratic senator in Michigan over the past 24 years goes back to being in the minority. Realistically, there's only so much you can do, and even with those limitations Schauer has still been doing a great job.

Someone asked, "What did he do to defeat walberg last time? Or what did he do on the congressional level to help in 04, 02, 00, 98, 96." Mark was busting his ass trying to give dems the majority in the House and Senate during those years, that's what he was doing. Less than 2k votes spread over two districts was all that prevented Schauer from becoming the Majority Leader this year.

Look, I'd hate to lose Mark from the Senate, but if he chooses to run for Congress, he instantly becomes the frontrunner for the nomination, and maybe even the general election. And if we are serious about flipping this district, that's all I care about.
To the anonymous promiser:
How do you know what he has promised? If he did promise to give them an answer, how do you know he hasn't? Oh, I get it... you are staff on a rival campaign, I think perhaps you protest too much. Run Mark, Run!
The poems are cute and all, but this blog is supposed to be about how important it is to get rid of Walberg, right? It doesn't seem to me like it really matters what Schauer had said in the past or how much time he needs to make a tough decision like this, if he's the best person to take out the bad guy - which I personally think he is - we should be excited to have a top-tier candidate.

I'm also pretty confused about the attacks that he's built a "machine" in the district. Ummm, isn't that called "party-building" and exactly the kind of leadership you want from a Democrat trying to strenghten a pretty marginal district?

Doesn't seem to me like any of the critics are doubting that he would work his butt off or that he could beat this guy, which should be the biggest questions for all of us.

Mark, if you're reading, you make your decision whenever you need to - I just hope it's yes!
We are lucky Schauer's considering a run. Walberg is vulnerable, and Schauer is what makes this race viable...Let's not forget he already gets elected in a Republican district. In response to "what does he have outside Calhoun county?" I think his Jackson County supports speaks for itself.
How long has the "Progressive" been the politically correct term for "Liberal?"

Liberalism is far from Progressive, infact it's the most retrogressive ideology in politics.
While I remain undecided at this point, in all fairness to the Berryman fundraising point...he raised that $55k in a month - while Nacht raised his cash in about 2.5 - 3 months. About the same pace.
Classical liberalism may in some senses be retrogressive. It's tougher to make an argument that liberalism, as in slightly left-of-center, is retrogressive though. One might say it's retrogressive as compared to mixtures of socialism and capitalism such as with social democrats and democratic socialists. Otherwise I'm not sure about the comment preceding mine by two slots.
Schauer can't lose with Bono (aka Paul Hewson) behind him!
The article states that he has spoken with Joe Schwarz about running. It will be interesting to seek what Joe does. My guess is if Schauer runs Schwarz will stay on the sidelines and may even support Schauer.
This is David Nacht. Absolutely no one from my campaign has been authorized to post negatively on this blog. I have the greatest respect for both Jim Berryman and Mark Schauer and find it extremely distateful that people would so casually insult any of us. The comments that are negative about Senator Schauer are way off base and I do not share those views in any respect.

I apologize and stand corrected.

I guess if you are a total partisan then political machines are wonderful. But for those of us out in the middle of the political spectrum, political machines represent the height of corruption and illustrate exactly what is worng with politics.

I live in Calhoun County. I liked State Rep. Schauer a heck of a lot more than I like Sen. Schauer and I just don't see where he is improving. I think his meddling in local politics is bad. I think he is grabbing too much power and I wish he would go back to concentrating on the job he is elected to do rather than local political patronage.
I don't see any negative comments which are way off base here. I see an open discussion-- much of it regarding electability and the keeping of promises (hint to any future politician--use the word promise sparingly.) I have the utmost respect for most every candidate I meet and I hope this election results in someone with integrity as my next Congressman.

But, to get back to the discussion, Mr. Nacht, did Mr. Schauer give you his answer yesterday?

I would not expect you to reveal what he said, but if you could, please let us know if he did let you know. That would start the healing process in my mind.
Yo, Fitzy,

Do Schauer and Schwarz's recent revelations regarding removing the republican racketeer -(aka The Tipston Trickster)- warrant that you add them to the sidebar of "individuals that have expressed an interest in challenging Congressman Tim Walberg (R) in 2008."?

I think this is great and both of these two would be fine additions to the existing field of challengers.
Do Schauer and Schwarz's recent revelations regarding removing the republican racketeer -(aka The Tipston Trickster)- warrant that you add them to the sidebar of "individuals that have expressed an interest in challenging Congressman Tim Walberg (R) in 2008."?

I'm going to wait on that for another day or two to see if anything more comes from Senator Schauer this week. There's still a chance all this could result in a decision not to run.

As for Joe Schwarz, I'll wait on him until September, as he said.
As someone who is supporting David Nacht and has contributed money, etc., I would hope whoever decides to run in the primary steps up, doesn't play games and just goes for it because it's going to take an enormous amount of work to win the nomination and then the election next year. That's one reason I admire Nacht--he's not waiting or playing these oh I'm thinking about it games. He's getting to work a year or more in advance.
Let me get this straight, one of the few competent people in the state legislature is going to abandon us and go play congressman? I guess we'll forget about getting the budget crisis resolved.
Schauer needs to hold off on this, he's a young guy and the state of Michigan can use all the help it can get right now.
I dislike Walberg as much as the next guy, but the fact of the matter is, we need Schauer in the Senate to keep Bishop in check. If Schauer hadn't of called Bishop out on this blog issue, then you and I might be banned from viewing this blog or the others like it. We have two great candidates in the race (Berryman and Nacht), and I think either one, with our support and effort can demolish Walberg.
"I live in Calhoun County. I liked State Rep. Schauer a heck of a lot more than I like Sen. Schauer and I just don't see where he is improving. I think his meddling in local politics is bad. I think he is grabbing too much power and I wish he would go back to concentrating on the job he is elected to do rather than local political patronage."

I too live in Calhoun County and have no idea what you are talking about. I think Sen. Schauer has been very helpful in local races and has worked hard to help elect fellow democrats and progressives. The local party was non-existant until Schauer and people like him began to rebuild it. If you think meddling in local politics is bad, perhaps you would prefer to have a bunch of rightwing wackos representing you on local boards and commissions!
I have no doubt Renier could have beat Walberg with a little help from a few more friends. I am totally confident Berryman or Nacht are up to it.
I think Schauer is just testing the water. In 2010 we will have an entirely new district, one which will probably include Lansing. He has all the power he can get in Lansing with term limits right now. His options as I see it are to stay there and be a big fish, then run for Governor; or wait until a new district is carved out and make a leap then.

I think he will stay put in Lansing for now where he's comfortable and thinks he can actually accompolish somthing.

I'm mixed on his performance as a State Senator. Seems he rides a lot of coattails on various issues.
I cannot blame him for not getting anything accomplished in the Senate and I totally understand why he would jump to the federal level.

We have gone several years with very little of substance in Lansing. Without leadership in the state, it will continue to be a mess. If he cannot be effective here, maybe his talents are better suited to Washington.
I really think it's obvious that, if he chooses to, Sen Schauer, will be THE candidate in the 7th. I respect greatly Mr. Nacht and Mr. Berryman, but neither of them are Mark Schauer. He is in a class all his own.

I guarantee, this is the news Walberg was dreading. He's scared out of his pants by Schauer. I bet most of the naysayers on this page are his operatives.

If he runs, he'll win and then we'll have a Dem Congressman in the 7th. That's something I've waited a very long time for. Please run, I can't bear one more day with this guy as Congressman.
Schauer will be THE candidate unless Schwarz runs. It's quite possible we could see a Schwarz-Schauer General Election. At least that would be a race the voters of the 7th haven't had in a while...a real choice!
I betch'ya Schauer is the one guy Rep. Walberg wants to run. A current Democrat officeholder with a long current record in the state legislature. Let me sum it up for you: Schauer supports higher income taxes, higher sales taxes, sales tax on services, higher gas taxes, higher taxes on businesses, etc...

Also, I wouldn't think it would be all that much of a shoe in in the Democrat primary. If I remember right he had supportive comments on the war back in '03...
Schauer should honor his committment to our caucus, support our Governor and continue to hold Bishop's feet to the fire.

You can't balme him for wanting to run against Walberg, but once he gave his word to serve 4 years so he become minority leader then he's got to honor his word.

Even without Schauer, Walberg is vulnerable and its not like he's gonna get more popular closer to the election.
Actually, this would be a great race. Isn't Schauer pro-life and pro-gun? That would totally take those two issues off the table for Walberg's smear tactics.
Walberg doesn't care about the truth though, so regardless of whether or not Schauer is pro-life or pro-gun, Walberg will say he is going to kill your children and take your gun. He'll say that Schauer is in Granholms pocket, and talk about how he does everything she wants. While you and I might be okay with all the above statements, do you guys really think that a lot of our fellow voters agree? I'm waiting for Dudley/Doug Spade to get in. Those are my guys.
This will be an interesting election. I don't believe the 7th is as Republican or as conservative as everyone says. Walberg was elected with a paltry minority mostly from the bible belt in Hillsdale and Lenawee counties. The rest of the district just didn't vote.

Jackson, Calhoun and Eaton are far more moderate and this time they will vote. Whomever runs on the Democratic (or even GOP) will have to endure Walberg's slander attacks backed by CFG and namecalling, he'll never win on the issues alone, but in the end, someone other than Walberg will be elected. I'm looking forward to that day, I'm sure the people of his congregation will welcome him back to the pulpit where he can preach to the choir.
With regards to the comment "Mr. Natch and Mr. Berryman are 'no' Mark Schuaer"......that is absolutely correct. Mark Schauer is a lier and out to advance himself politically. In my opinion, people like Natch and Berryman will never win seats in Washington because they don't play these 'games' and lie in order to get what they want. Too bad we can't elect the good guys...just the ones that have big pockets behind them and a 'insurance salesman' qualities.
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