by scottwithers, Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:14:12 PM EST
My name is Scott Withers and I am a Democratic Primary Candidate for the U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 5th District. I am challenging incumbent Dale Kildee, someone whose public service I respect, but I believe is out of touch with the dire needs of the residents of Mid-Michigan.
I grew up in the small Tuscola County city of Vassar. My grandfathers, father, stepfather, sister and many uncles, aunts and cousins do or did work in the UAW plants throughout mid-Michigan. I received my dual-bachelors degree in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism at Syracuse University. While in school, I interned for CNN at the United Nations and in the London bureau. After graduation, I worked as a producer/writer and on-air youth correspondent for CNN in Atlanta. Following my time at CNN, I worked in local tv news in Tennessee and eventually moved into Public Relations where I worked on communications plans for large aviation, tourism and chemical companies. When the economy crashed last summer, I like millions of Americans was laid off. The last six months has been trying. I have lived through the fear of home foreclosure. I understand living pay check to pay check (often not making it). I can relate to the millions of good people who barely pay their bills with unemployment. I am not rich and don’t have the desire to be. I live with my partner of 10 years, Lane, and our 3 dogs. I am running for Michigan’s 5th Congressional District seat to help instill hope, create new jobs and solve the home foreclosure problem.
I am challenging Dale Kildee for 3 main reasons…
1) We need a leader who will fight to create jobs here in Michigan. We need someone who will do whatever it takes, who will make some noise and jump up and down to protect every job in Michigan, bring new ones in and make sure not a single job goes overseas. I will organize, I will rally, I will go door to door, I will lobby, I will do whatever it takes! I will spend every day soliciting large domestic and foreign corporations to expand/relocate job opportunities into the district, create new jobs or invest in existing companies so they can expand their staffs. My focus will not just be on automotive jobs, but on any and all opportunities including Green Energy, Film/Television, Tourism, Chemical, etc. I will LOBBY every federal government agency to open new or relocate existing offices/facilities in mid-Michigan, expand their current job opportunities in the area or pick our area for future projects. I will seek federal funding for our State to offset the cost of keeping prisoners in Michigan prisons instead of closing them down, releasing them early and laying off employees. We cannot afford to have a Congressman who just goes with the flow.
2) We need a Congressman who will champion progressive values. Congressman Dale Kildee is out of touch with the majority of Democrats in the 5th District. He is pro-life, opposes marriage equality, supports funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and does not support a single-payer healthcare system. We need an aggressive Congressman representing the 5th District and I believe I am that individual. Protecting a woman’s right to choose is one of the most important human rights issues facing women today. Dale Kildee has consistently gone out of his way to oppose protecting that right.
3) The 5th District Congressional seat belongs to the people of the 5th District. Dale Kildee has been a life member of Congress – holding the seat for 34 years, since the 1970’s. This seat belongs to the people of the district and no member should be in office for 34 years. He has been in political office for the past 46 years! I support term-limits for every member of Congress. I will self-limit myself to four consecutive terms in the U.S. House. We need to stop the system of creating career politicians and have a system that allows citizens to serve in public office and then return back to private life.
These are the facts:
- Even though Mid-Michigan’s unemployment rates are among the highest in the nation, Dale Kildee voted to give himself and his colleagues a pay raise (June 2009)
- Dale Kildee introduced just 13 bills last year, none of which dealt with job creation
- Dale Kildee received a 0% rating by NARAL. (December 2003)
- Dale Kildee voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
- Dale Kildee received a 53% rating by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights record (December 2002)
- Dale Kildee voted NO on withdrawing from the World Trade Organization, the WTO, (June 2000), which has sent thousands of jobs overseas.
- Dale Kildee voted NO on tax cuts to small businesses (March 2000)
- Dale Kildee opposes marriage equality (January 2008)
- In the last cycle, Dale Kildee received over $338,545 in PAC and special interest money, a strong majority of this total funds raised.
I believe it is time for a change and I believe I will be that progressive voice who fights to bring new jobs to the 5th District.
I will run an aggressive campaign on the issues and provide a clear contrast between myself and Mr. Kildee. Every pro-jobs, pro-choice, pro-equality Democrat will have a real choice in this election.
I hope to earn your trust and your support during this campaign.
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress
p.s. please sign up to follow our campaign at http://www.withers2010.com