Voting out the Michigan politicians who helped scrap the Bill of Rights

A Reddit user who goes by the name of DrowningSink has compiled a list of potentially vulnerable politicians up for reelection in 2012, along with their voting records on controversial legislation, such as the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which, as we’ve discussed here repeatedly, gives the government the right to imprison American citizens indefinitely, without trial. You can find the whole list here, but I’ve cut and pasted the Michigan-specific entries below. First, though, here’s a clip from DrowningSink’s introduction, which explains the PVI scores you’ll see in the third column.

…To explain how I deduced which seats were “vulnerable,” I used the Cook Partisan Voting Index, or PVI.

PVI, per Wikipedia definition, “is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole.”

“The index for each congressional district is derived by averaging its results from the prior two presidential elections and comparing them to national results. The index indicates which party’s candidate was more successful in that district, as well as the number of percentage points by which its results exceeded the national average. The index is formatted as a letter followed by a plus sign and then a number; in a district whose CPVI score is R+2, a generic Republican presidential candidates would be expected to receive 2 percentage points more votes than the national average. Likewise, a CPVI score of D+3 shows that a generic Democratic candidate would be expected to receive 3 percentage points more votes than the national average.”

In a nutshell, the higher a PVI score is, the more likely that district is to vote for that political party in the upcoming elections. Generally, any score greater than or equal to 5 (D+5, R+5) is considered a “safe” seat. For this reason, the mega-list below only contains PVI scores 4 and lower (with the exception of some incumbents who are at a significant PVI-disadvantage)…

Now, here’s the lowdown on the seven elected official from Michigan who made the list. [note: The last column just indicates co-sponsors of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act, and its counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP bill, not whether or not these individuals are likely to support the legislation when it comes to a vote. Given the overwhelming corporate support for the measure, though, I imagine that most of the people on this list will vote in favor of it.]

So, what do you say we get our shit together in 2012 and vote some of these sons-of-bitches out of office?

Regardless of party affiliation, can we, at the very least, all agree that we shouldn’t support politicians that would vote to destroy the cornerstone of due process upon which our nation was built?

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  1. Posted January 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    And I should have mentioned that I don’t know how good of a vulnerability predictor PVI is, in and of itself. It’s certainly interesting to note, but I don’t think it’s an insurmountable obstacle, as same-party candidates can be found to mount primary challenges, etc.

  2. Mr. Jimmy
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Stabenow, I can give a first hand account of her deception. I met her at a fund raising reception last year. She WAS drinking from a glass with a bleeding man in it, pretty sure it was an arab. She definitely has blood on her hands!

    Vote Team Hoekstra

  3. Edward
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Who do we have that could take on Stabenow? The only person I can think of with the name recognition necessary would be Michael Moore, but he’s so despised by the right, I can’t see it happening. I’d love to see some mount a credible primary challenge against her, though. We have to be able to do better.

    As for Peters, I didn’t know that he voted no on the NDAA. Maybe he’s alright.

  4. Edward
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    “drinking from a glass with a bleeding man in it”

    Is this some kind of conservative code?

  5. Topher
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    A neat website that my friend made that allows users to see how their representatives vote and how it compares to their personal vote – currently it’s in its first version:

  6. Posted January 2, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    You too can be Tank Man at Tiananmen Square, stand up to the oppression and dictatorial rule of Debbie Stabenaw.

    *I like Peter*
    Vote Hoekstra

  7. Meta
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    One of the most extraordinary documents in human history — the Bill of Rights — has come to an end under President Barack Obama. Derived from sacred principles of natural law, the Bill of Rights has come to a sudden and catastrophic end with the President’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a law that grants the U.S. military the “legal” right to conduct secret kidnappings of U.S. citizens, followed by indefinite detention, interrogation, torture and even murder. This is all conducted completely outside the protection of law, with no jury, no trial, no legal representation and not even any requirement that the government produce evidence against the accused. It is a system of outright government tyranny against the American people, and it effectively nullifies the Bill of Rights.

    Learn more:

  8. Meta
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Oath Keepers has launched a national effort to recall (or remove by any other lawful means) all of the oath breaking members of Congress, in both the House and Senate, who voted for the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 (NDAA), which contains provisions that authorize indefinite military detention and trial by military commission of “any person” – including U.S. citizens and lawful residents – upon the mere say-so of the President or one of his subordinates in the Executive Branch, such as within the Department of Defense or CIA.

  9. Eel
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I think it’s funny how you can equate voting for Hoekstra with throwing yourself in front of a Chinese tank, as though it’s an act of super heroism. The truth is, he probably would have voted for all of this shit himself if he were in Debbie’s place.

  10. Eel
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    As for Stabenow’s drinking a man’s blood in the company of Arabs, my guess is that the man in question is Jesus, and the author is somehow suggesting that Debbie has sided against America’s persecuted Christian minority.

  11. Maria
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Uh oh, is Tater gone and now Hoekstroika is his replacement?

  12. Edward
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Based on this, it looks like McCotter might be on his way out. Can anyone in his district add insight? Is there a credible opponent?

  13. Eel
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Debbie wants money. I just received the following from her.

    You’ve probably been hearing a lot about a critical fundraising deadline that is looming.

    Let me tell you why the one at midnight tonight is so important.

    In just a few days, 65 Tea Party organizations in Michigan will converge to unite behind one Republican Senate candidate. Once they do, the 2012 campaign will start in earnest and I need your help to make sure we are ready.

    We are building one of the most powerful grassroots organizations in the country, but we must hit our fundraising goal at midnight tonight to succeed. We have less than 14 hours to go.

    If you have been considering making a donation and joining the campaign, please take a moment and do it now.

    $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford will ensure we have the resources to take our opponents head on, stand up for the middle class and win in the New Year.

    After midnight, the books close on 2011 and there is no going back. Please take a moment and do what you can right now.

    Click here to make a contribution.

    Thank you for all you do and for your incredible support in 2011.

    Happy New Year!

    Debbie Stabenow
    United States Senator

  14. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Has any credible Democrat ever talked of mounting a primary challenge against Stabenow? I can’t accept that our state does not have one person that wouldn’t be more attractive to the Michigan electorate. I’ve heard it said before that the Democratic party in Michigan is controlled by the unions. Is that the key? Are they keeping her in power?

  15. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Who want to chip in and buy Russ Feingold a house in Michigan and a one-way bus ticket?

    Houses are super cheap.

  16. Posted January 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Barack Obama and his “Transformation of America is to usher in Socialism and is now taking over America. There will be a huge correction beginning in November 2012.

    Video #1 –

    Video #2 –

    Stabenow will be gone in 2013. For sure! McCotter will be re-elected…for sure!

  17. Posted January 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Unions (UAW) is donating big bucks to keep Stabenow in the seat she holds. With that said, the UAW is not liked in Michigan because Jesse Jackson stands on podium with the UAW emblem and goes into his typical diatribe which conservatives in Michigan see and turns them off to anyting UAW. Just a fact!

  18. anonymous
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    What happened to McCotter’s presidential bid?

  19. Meta
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    It looks like the people won. SOPA has been dropped. PIPA is still hanging on though. We need to keep up the pressure.

    Over the weekend, the White House released a strongly-worded opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The President has threatened to veto any legislation that “reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” which includes SOPA and PIPA. Just hours after this, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa said that SOPA had now been shelved indefinitely by the House of Representatives. It will not be voted on when the 112th Congress reconvenes for its 2012 session. The internet has won.

    Only… it’s not quite that simple. PIPA might still be passed by the Senate (though it’s very unlikely). More importantly, though, the House of Representatives hasn’t said that SOPA is dead; merely that it’s on hold until a “consensus” can be reached. This probably means that SOPA itself is dead, but in its stead Congress will now try to pass a similar law with a different name when the internet isn’t looking.


  20. alan2102
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I note that supporters of SOPA include many good liberals (?) and progressives (?), e.g. Feinstein, Durbin, Franken (yes, Al Franken!) and Conyers (yes, John Conyers!). Meanwhile, SOPA is opposed by the evil Ron Paul, and son Rand.

  21. alan2102
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


  22. anonymous
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Follow the money.

    I’ve found the SOPA/PIPA information from Open Congress to be quite good. The “money trail” links are particularly useful.

    But, to your point, Alan, it’s not enough to make me vote for Paul that he’s right on three issues. He’s wrong on many more.

  23. Meta
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Al Franken defends his support of PIPA/SOPA:

    As you may know, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided not to bring the PROTECT IP Act (the Senate’s version of SOPA) up for a vote next week. And since I’ve heard from many of you about this issue, I wanted to take a moment to share why I support copyright protection legislation – as well as why I believe holding off on this bill is the right thing to do.

    As someone who has worked hard to protect net neutrality, I understand as well as anyone the importance of keeping the Internet free from undue corporate influence. There are millions of Americans who rely on a free and open Internet to learn, communicate with friends and family, and do business.

    At the same time, there are millions of Americans whose livelihoods rely on strong protections for intellectual property: middle-class workers – most of them union workers – in all 50 states, thousands of them here in Minnesota, working in a variety of industries from film production to publishing to software development.

    If we don’t protect our intellectual property, international criminals – as well as legitimate businesses like payment processors and ad networks – will continue to profit dishonestly from the work these Americans are doing every day. And that puts these millions of jobs at serious risk.

    That’s reason enough to act. But these criminals are also putting Minnesota families in danger by flooding our nation with counterfeit products – not just bootleg movies and software, but phony medications and knockoff equipment for first responders.

    We cannot simply shrug off the threat of online piracy. We cannot do nothing.

    I have supported the approach Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has taken in crafting legislation to respond to the threat of online piracy – and I appreciate his leadership on this important issue.

    But I’ve also been listening carefully to the debate – and to the many Minnesotans who have told me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and good old fashioned phone calls that they are worried about what this bill would mean for the future of the Internet.

    Frankly, there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there: If this bill really did some of the things people have heard it would do (like shutting down YouTube), I would never have supported it.

    But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take seriously the concerns people have shared. And if holding off on this legislation gives us an opportunity to take a step back and try to bring everybody back to the table, I think it’s the right thing to do. This is a difficult issue, and also an important one. It’s worth getting this right.

    I strongly believe that we need to protect intellectual property – and protect the free and open Internet. I think most people, even those who have expressed concern about this particular bill, agree. And it’s my hope that we can now build a stronger consensus around how to accomplish these two important goals.

    Thanks for reading. And for those of you who have written to me about this issue (even if it was an angry letter), thanks for being honest with me. I’ll always return the favor.


  24. Meta
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    It should also be noted that Franken took over $88,000 from the entertainment industry lobby.–mn-senator

  25. A letter from Levin
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Carl Levin just responded to my letter. Here’s what he had to say.

    Thank you for contacting me about the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act of 2011 (S.968). I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

    Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the PROTECT IP Act aims to safeguard intellectual property on the Internet from foreign websites dedicated to illegal infringing activities. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are legal rights granted by governments to encourage and reward innovation. These rights ensure that inventors reap the benefits of their work. Through IPRs, governments grant a temporary, legal monopoly to innovators by giving them the right to control the use of their creations by others. IPRs also allow inventors to trade or license their work to others in return for fees and/or royalty payments.

    The PROTECT IP Act would authorize the Attorney General or the owner of an IPR harmed by an Internet site dedicated to infringement activities (ISDIA) to take a number of steps to act against the operator or owner of an ISDIA site. U.S. industries that rely on the protection of IPRs contribute significantly to U.S. economic growth, employment, and international trade. Counterfeiting and online piracy in other countries may result in revenue losses in the billions of dollars for American firms, as well as the loss of American jobs. Additionally, health and public safety advocates are troubled by the potential consequences of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs and other products.

    Concerns have been raised that the PROTECT IP Act would stifle innovation and openness on the Internet and would restrict Americans’ free speech. Opponents of the bill also have claimed that it would place an unfair and unworkable regulatory burden on Internet companies and would weaken Internet security.

    I am concerned about the current version of the bill. I have been meeting with people on all sides of the issue and hearing from many constituents. After scheduling a vote on to the PROTECT IP Act, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on January 20th that Senate consideration of the bill would be postponed, citing legitimate concerns that had been raised about the bill. I think this was the right course of action given the large number of issues that have been raised. Senator Reid encouraged Senator Leahy to work with the various stakeholders to resolve their concerns with the PROTECT IP Act. I will review the revised version carefully when it is available.

    Thank you again for writing.

    Carl Levin

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