U.S. Rep. John Conyers (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)
Stu Sandler, a Republican political consultant running attorney David Trott’s congressional campaign, gave a preview last week of the line of attack his boss may take against U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio in next year’s 11th District GOP primary.
Appearing on WKAR-TV’s “Off The Record,” Sandler said Trott is “an outsider” who has never run for public office (but) who has better conservative tea party credentials compared with Bentivolio.
Bentivolio, R-Milford, is a former reindeer farmer and accidental congressman elected after former U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter failed to qualify for the 2012 primary ballot because of botched petition signatures.
“(Trott’s) opponent ran for office several times,” Sandler said of Bentivolio. “His new opponent is the congressman.”
So does that make Bentivolio a career politician?
“I think he’s a Washington insider,” Sandler said.
Asked whether he has polling data suggesting voters could view Bentivolio as a career politician, Sandler replied: “Well, we’ll see.”
No crying for wolves
Michiganians don’t have the same warm feelings about wolves as they do toward mourning doves, according to a poll published by Inside Michigan Politics.
The Marketing Resource Group-Mitchell Research and Communications poll found 67 percent of voters statewide favor limited hunting to control wolves preying on domestic animals. Even in Detroit, where wolves don’t roam or attack dogs and cats, 47 percent are OK with that, pollsters discovered.
So strong is Michiganians’ love for mourning doves, voters several years ago overwhelmingly overturned legislation that legalized hunting them. Emboldened by being off limits to hunters, the doves “are walking around just asking for trouble,” according to a cartoon published during that fray.
IMP publisher Bill Ballenger translates the wolf poll results to indicate Humane Society of Michigan leaders “have bitten off more than they can chew” in their effort to similarly restore a wolf hunting ban.
Dems keeping count
House Minority leader Tom Greimel and fellow Democrats this week unveiled a “Republican Tax-O-Meter,” continuing what is becoming a tradition of politicking through O-Meters.
This one, according to the publicity release, is “a virtual display of by-the-second tax shifts in Michigan” engineered by Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP lawmakers.
It’s reminiscent of Democrats’ 2005 “Trash-O-Meter,” which measured tons of solid waste being imported by the minute to Michigan landfills from other states and Canada. Lawmakers took it on the road around Michigan, arguing for legislation increasing landfill tipping fees as a way to discourage foreign trash.
Republicans also have allies who engage in such stunts. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy for months maintained an online odometer-like “Skim Tracker” that tallied the accumulation of union dues deducted from home-based caregiver paychecks until the “dues skim” ended in April.
Put into the circular file
U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, has been urging President Barack Obama to back off his proposal to change Social Security when he eventually meets with Republicans and negotiates broader budget deals.
Conyers, the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and longtime progressive voice in Washington, rallied in recent weeks against the idea of calculating cost-of-living increases in Social Security benefits, known as chained CPI, that he argues will unfairly cut seniors’ benefits.
“We’d like the president to throw that idea … into the wastebasket,” Conyers said.
Contributing: Chad Livengood, Gary Heinlein and Marisa Schultz