Why I am Challenging a 34 Year Pro-Life Democratic Incumbent Congressman

 

Fellow Democrats,

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.

Sincerely,

Scott Withers
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress

p.s. please sign up to follow our campaign at http://www.withers2010.com

 

The Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back (Stupak-Pitts)

As a pro-choice woman who has voted and supported candidates who are pro-choice for decades, the Stupak-Pitts amendment that just passed through the house in the HCR bill is unacceptable and will be the straw that breaks the camel's back for me regarding my votes and support of the Democratic party in the future should it come to pass.

If Barack Obama actually SIGNED this into legislation, I would leave the party for good and never look back.

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Weekly Pulse: Not In Kansas Anymore: Sebelius Tapped to Lead HHS

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC Mediawire Blogger

The Obama administration unveiled two major nominations on Monday: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services and Nancy-Ann DeParle for health czar. The czar is responsible for shepherding healthcare reform legislation through Congress and the Secretary will be responsible for implementing the plan.

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Pro-Choice Defined

Pro-Choice

Favoring or supporting the legal right of women and girls to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy to term.

Pro-choice describes the political and ethical view that a woman should have complete control over her fertility and pregnancy. This entails the guarantee of reproductive rights, which includes access to sexual education; access to safe and legal abortion, contraception, and fertility treatments; and legal protection from forced abortion. Individuals and organizations who support these positions make up the pro-choice movement.

People who are pro-choice believe that women should have access to safe and legal abortion and, equally, that women should be protected from forced abortions.

Personally, I find the obsession with Sarah Palin's Down Syndrome son and her daughter's teen pregnancy (and the accompanying judgment and attacks) offensive and overblown. I also see the very real potential for personal attacks on the Palins to be extremely harmful to the credibility and position of pro-choice Democrats. Democrats who choose to use these personal and private issues as lines of attack risk falling into an extremely hypocritical zone. We cannot be pro-choice while simultaneously judging ANY woman's personal, private choices.

The experiences of both Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin are not unusual. Pre-natal diagnosis of genetic disorders is common in this country. Teenage pregnancy is a also very common. Women choose to take different roads when confronted with both situations. That is what choice is.

Personally, Sarah Palin and her daughter made private choices. The fact that these choices coincide with Governor Palin's stated political views reinforces her credibility. Sarah Palin talked the talk AND walked the walk of her positions. She is a FAR more sympathetic and credible champion of the pro-life movement than a male counterpart could ever be. We should all acknowledge that and tread very carefully.

For example, THIS obviously does not apply to Sarah Palin:

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Sarah Palin has not been found to be hypocritical and she has done absolutely nothing "wrong", in fact, the exact opposite is true. Both she and her daughter got pregnant and chose to continue their pregnancies where other women may have chosen not to. Period. The pro choice position MUST be to observe that fact objectively and without personal judgment. Take the "nothing to see here... MOVE ON!" approach.

This is not AT ALL to say that her politics are off-the-table. Personally, I fervently disagree with the anti-choice political agenda and the attempts by the far right to impose their views upon society at large. As such, I have a beef with Palin the POLITICIAN and the political agenda she promotes. BUT... I refuse to judge the pro-life private beliefs and choices of individual women and their families. The main problem which I have with the far right's agenda in promoting pro-life / anti-choice policies and platforms is the judgment embodied in them. Let's not be guilty of the exact same thing.

Strongly oppose her political views on these issues, oppose her agenda to force ALL women to make the same choices which she has. BUT...

Pro-choice is pro-choice. Join me in laying off the Palins' Reproductive Choices?

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