Kudos have been pouring in for the last week US Senator Gary Petersthe junior senator from Michigan who led the campaign arm of Senate Democrats during the election cycle and managed to keep a majority for his faction despite historical odds.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain noticed that not there John F Kennedy 60 years ago, a presidential party avoided losing Senate seats in a midterm election. And Democrats could potentially win yet another seat in the Georgia runoff next month, increasing the chamber’s lead to 51-49, which would mean they would have majorities on certain committees rather than being evenly split.
Peters of Bloomfield Township said that in his role as chair of the Democratic Senators’ Campaign Committee, he applied lessons learned from running in the Michigan battlefield as the organization worked to empower vulnerable incumbents in New Hampshire, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia and to tip a vacant seat in Pennsylvania.
The key, he said, is a focused ground operation: Aggressive door-to-door campaigning and one-on-one outreach to voters, vital in close races, to “carry you across the finish line.” Peters also paid tribute to incumbents who touted the laws they passed, ranging from climate change to prescription drug prices.
“Our incumbents were experienced people with character and a track record of getting things done, unlike Republican candidates who are very extreme on these issues. They were refusers, they were people who were clearly on the wrong side of the election issue,” Peters told The Detroit News. “We offered voters a very clear choice.”
The cycle marked the first time in modern history that the DSCC spent more on ground operations than independent spending on television advertising, Peters said. The committee spent $53 million on independent spending versus $60 million on direct contact with voters, including door knocking, voter education, mobilization mail, phone calls and other traditional field operations, according to a DSCC consultant.
“Ultimately, that’s history. Traditionally, a party in power in the White House always loses seats in the US Senate — the average is four or five per midterm,” Peters said. “No seats to lose and we’re very close to getting a seat because I’m confident we’ll win in Georgia…it feels good that this was a historic election.”
Larry Sabato at the Virginia Center for Politics attributed the Democrats’ outperformance in the Senate and House of Representatives elections in part to the US Supreme Court overturning abortion rights, voter concerns about democracy, and earlier President Donald Trumpand “really terrible” Republican candidates.
“The Democrats knew how to take advantage of the GOP’s troubles, and that’s where Sen. Peters and the DSCC come in. They have set aside a huge amount of donated money to maximize the party’s chances of getting an inside straight — which the Democrats have achieved,” Sabato said.
“Look at it this way, if the Democrats had lost control of the Senate, one of the first suspects would have been the DSCC chairman. It happens in both parties. So it stands to reason that Gary Peters should win since the Democrats have gained some credit.”
Lansing area legislators direct budgetary work
Michigan Democrats have selected two Lansing-area lawmakers to head the House and Senate’s powerful budget committees in the next term.
The Appropriations Committees are involved in preparing the state budgets and are responsible for the allocation of funds. On Election Day, Democrats won the majority in the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years. They will take control of the legislature in January.
More:Democrats are gaining control of the Michigan legislature for the first time in decades
Representative Joe TateD-Detroit, who will be the next Speaker of the House, named Friday representative Angela widower (D-Delta Township) Chair of the House Appropriations Committee for the 2023-2024 legislature.
“In her two terms in the House of Representatives, Angela has established herself as a strong leader, tireless advocate and independent voice for all Michiganders,” Tate said. “I have complete confidence in her ability to thoughtfully direct home remedies.”
in the Senate, Sen. Winnie BrinksD-Grand Rapids, who will be the next Senate Majority Leader, tapped Sarah Antony, D-Lansing, as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Anthony is currently a member of the State House and will enter the Senate in the next term.
She will be the first black woman to chair the Michigan Senate Budget Committee.
“The soon-to-be Democratic majority is committed to working towards responsible, just and fiscally sound government budgets that meet the needs of today and tomorrow, and we welcome all who are willing to do so with us in good faith” , Anthony said in a statement.
More:Democrats elect Michigan’s first black female Legislature leader
Amash for speakers?
Former Michigan US Rep. Justin Amashthe Republican-turned-Liberalist is offering to step in as bipartisan Speaker of the House if neither party can muster the votes to select a next term.
The offer came as House Republicans nominated California Kevin McCarty be their spokesman from January. But it’s unclear whether McCarthy will have the 218 votes needed to be elected to the House floor with a slim majority and at least three Conservative members of his conference who say they will not support him.
Speakers do not have to be members of the House. Amash said on Twitter last week he would ensure the institution “functions as it is meant to – a place where all ideas are welcome and where outcomes are discovered through the process, not dictated from above.”
Amash made several suggestions for improving House procedures to make the place more transparent and open, and less like a top-down oligarchy: let committees work “without interference” through bills; ensuring that rules are followed and not regularly suspended or lifted; allow amendments from the word circle; and giving members enough time to examine bills before they have to vote on them.
These would address some of Amash’s complaints about how recent speakers have run the House. Amash was also a severe critic of McCarthy, calling him unqualified, unprincipled, untrustworthy and an “establishment hack”.
Amash’s bid to be a speaker received at least one vote of confidence this week from a former colleague — the current Democratic governor of Colorado, Jared Polis.
“A Speaker for Amash would let the duly elected members of Congress do the work they were elected to do, with real opportunities for members on both sides of the aisle to contribute to a better outcome that is truly the sum of the best ideas from members of Congress.” represents Volkshaus,” Polis tweeted.
By law, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the second successor to the President, after the Vice President.
Name that turkey
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is looking for naming ideas for a turkey she will pardon before Thanksgiving.
The winning name will be announced on November 21st. Names can be submitted via the website www.research.net/r/TurkeyNameContest.
“My fellow Michigan citizens, Thanksgiving is just around the corner,” Whitmer said. “I know we’re looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends, but I need your help.
“Please submit naming suggestions for the very special turkey that I will soon forgive. All, especially young Michiganders, are encouraged to submit their names. I am so grateful to you all.”