This is what I know about Kerry Bentivolio, Michigan Republican for Congress

    A few days ago, I told you about Kerry Bentivolio, the Republican candidate running to represent Michigan’s 11th congressional district in the House. As you may recall, Bentivolio, a self-described Tea Party activist, only came to be on the ticket when the incumbent, Thaddeus McCotter, was forced to drop out of the Republican primary after it was discovered that a majority of the signatures submitted with his nominating petition had been forged. This left the avowed Libertarian Bentivolio, who had been seen as a long-shot at best, as the only Republican on the primary ballot. Establishment Republicans attempted to mount a last-minute write-in challenge, but their efforts came up short. When their candidate, former state legislator Nancy Cassis, failed to edge him out, Bentivolio moved forward, into the general election.

    Bentivolio, even by today’s Republican standards, is not an ideal candidate. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, when asked about Bentivolio, had the following to say… “I went to his website and found that he was very extreme on several issues. Basically, he’s Ron Paul on steroids. I don’t believe that his positions represent most Michigan Republicans. According to the polls they don’t.” Regardless, though, he’s on the ballot, and, from what I’m hearing, he’s got a good shot of winning, in spite of his history.

    Not only did Bentivolio recently lose his job as a teacher at Fowlerville High School for threatening and intimidating students, but, as I mentioned in my previous post, his extremist, anti-government views seem to be winning him the support of white nationalists. In a rational world, this would probably be enough to ensure defeat, but it seems as though Bentivolio has a few things working in his favor. One, he’s in a district that was recently gerrymandered to heavily favor Republican candidates. Two, he’s done a good job of avoiding the press, and staying out of the public eye. And, three, he’s got a 21 year old, out-of-state benefactor with deep pockets, who seems willing to pour unlimited advertising dollars into the 11th district.

    Bentivolio has been given more than $660,000 by Liberty For All, a PAC in Texas operated by John Ramsey, a young acolyte of Ron Paul who had the good fortune of inheriting obscene amounts of money from a grandfather who had made millions by exploiting natural resources, such as gas and timber. Ramsey, for what it’s worth, has said that he looks at Bentivolio as “an investment” that could pay off. And, given the current dynamics at play in Michigan’s 11th district, he very well may be right. Ramsey’s budding “liberty movement” could have very well just bought themselves their first Congressman.

    I’ve got to think, though, that there’s percentage of the Republican electorate in the 11th district, which includes Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Westland, Novi, Milford, South Lyon, and Wayne, that would vote against Bentivolio, if only they knew what he was really like… And, fortunately, it looks as though, thanks to YouTube, we’ve now got video to help us make the case that he’s unfit for the position…

    First, we have footage of Bentivolio in an absolutely execrable film about the Bush administration’s coordination of the 9/11 attacks, entitled The President Goes to Heaven. (Bentivolio plays the lead doctor attending to a dying Dick Cheney.)

    And, second, we have footage of Bentivolio addressing a crowd of Tea Party faithful, talking about how, when he was a teacher, he defiantly allowed God into his classroom. (He doesn’t, you might be curious to know, mention that off-color comments concerning the pubic hair of his young female students were also allowed in his classroom, right alongside God. For more on that, I’d suggest that you check out his official letter of reprimand from the school district.)

    And, one last thing… Apparently Bentivolio showed up on Reddit today, answering questions. Here, just to give you a flavor, is a clip.

    To be fair, I think he did a pretty good job. Clearly, since the Republicans failed to force him out of the race during the primary, with their write-in candidate, they’ve gotten behind him, as evidenced by the link he references above, and they’re heavily coaching him, in hopes of making him more palatable to Michigan voters. He does an admirable job on Reddit of distancing himself from the militia movement, birtherism, and Ayn Rand, among others. And, he even offers an excuse for bailing out on last week’s debate… “I never skipped any previously scheduled candidate forums,” he says. “I declined to attend the League of Women Voters event because they had two Democrats in two races who were going to get double my time, plus a few third-party candidates who were going to trash me as a group. It didn’t seem like a fair setting.” (According to the League of Women voters, he told them he had to miss the debate due to a prior commitment, which, if we’re to believe what he just said on Reddit, would be a lie.)

    Those of you who aren’t buying Bentivolio’s conversion to level-headed, moderate statesman, are encouraged to donate to the campaign of Sayed Taj, his Democratic rival… And please forward this post to your friends and family members in Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Westland, Novi, Milford, South Lyon, and Wayne.

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      21 Comments

      1. Edward
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        It’s sickening to see the Republican leadership, who, not too long ago, were referring to this man as an extremist, now lining up to support him.

      2. Eel
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Welcome to the new Republican party.

      3. KKT
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I think I’ll stop making fun of the acting in “Innocence of the Muslims” now.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAiOEV0v2RM

      4. Observer
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Skipping out on debates is just something Republicans do. It happened here in Ann Arbor last night, at the League of Women Voters’ debate.

        http://annarborchronicle.com/2012/10/09/kestenbaum-flies-solo-in-candidate-forum/

      5. Observer
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        And you can tell he’s an old timer. Everyone knows that public hair went extinct with Generation Y.

      6. R2Me2
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Is that movie satire? Are they making fun of truthers, or do they believe what they’re saying? I watched subjected myself to that video three times and I still can’t make sense of it. Mark, could you interview the director? Also, if anyone is planning to vote for this man, I’d love to know why. I promise not to judge.

      7. Jim
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Those letters of reprimand are astonishing. How can he still have his job?

      8. Posted October 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Jim, I’m not sure of the series of events, and whether or not he was actually fired, but it’s my understanding that he’s no longer teaching.

      9. Jim
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I missed that. I guess that those who can’t teach legislate.

      10. K2
        Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        I wish someone on Reddit had asked him about this film.

      11. Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Someone just sent in this video of Kerry Bentivolio running away from a constituent asking about the debt ceiling. It was apparently shot a while ago, but I still found it interesting and worth sharing. I’ve yet to hear if there’s footage of last night’s appearance.

      12. Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        NPR seems confident that Taj will lose.

        Honestly, the feature kind of pissed me off.

      13. Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Do you have a link, Pete?

      14. Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        No, I heard it on the radio the other day. I’ll try to find it though.

      15. Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, it occurred to me that I think I’ve actually met Kerry Bentivolio, about four years ago, in downtown Detroit, outside a presentation of Nut Cracker. I got up this morning and went though my photos. There’s nothing showing his face, but you can see a bit of the man I’m thinking about in this photo. He was outside with his reindeers. I remember him being surprisingly gruff and unfriendly, but otherwise I don’t have much of a memory of him. Weird.

      16. BigUgly
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Gee – this “article” isn’t the least bit BIASED is it?

      17. Claudia Acosta-Lenis
        Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Maynard,

        I have a story to share with you, which include the Congressman Bentivolio and his staff (TJ Dhadli).

        I am a foreign who became an American dentist. I graduated in 2012 from the University of Michigan. I went legal to America and due to the wrong-doing of my employer who knows very well how to play with the system, I had to leave USA. I left USA legally.

        In my need of help, since I used to live in Canton MI (District 11), I looed for the representative who is the Congressman Kerry Bentivolio; 7 months before I left the country.

        Disrespect, disinterest, lack of knowledge and avoidance was the only help I got from them.

        I have all the supporting documents in order to verify all my case.

        I greatly appreciate your help and prompt answer.

        Best,

        Claudia Acosta-Lenis

      18. Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Mark,

        I think it’s time for an interview.

      19. anony
        Posted June 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        thought I’d bring this to you…seriously?

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/27/michigan-gop-candidate-ignore-my-arrests-for-publicly-masturbating-other-peoples-cars/

      20. Tom
        Posted July 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        I am a Marine, and a libritarian at hart, and I do NOT trust this man. I was a precinct delegate, and met him in person. He is a LIAR. He claims to support libritarian views, yet he has repeatedly voted for legislature that violates the constitution. I believe he is power hungry, and lies to the so called “tea party” to gain the support of the growing grass roots movement.

        That being said, I don’t support his establishment opponents either, but this man is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

      21. Meta
        Posted August 8, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        One good thing about Tuesday’s primary – Bentivolio is out on his ass.

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kerry-bentivolio-david-trott-primary-impeach-obama

      9 Trackbacks

      1. [...] weeks explaining why it is that I think that folks shouldn’t vote for either the tea partying Kerry Bentivolio or the white supremacist Daniel Johnson in the race to represent Michigan’s 11th [...]

      2. By A song for Taj on October 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

        [...] Syed Taj, in hopes of giving him the extra little boost that he needs to defeat Tea Party favorite Kerry Bentivolio in the final days of their neck-and-neck race to represent Michigan’s 11th congressional [...]

      3. [...] due to allegations of election fraud, leaving only an extremist Tea Party crackpot by the name of Kerry Bentivolio, who’d recently been fired from his teaching position at Fowlerville High School due to his [...]

      4. [...] 11th district, if you read this site, have already made up your mind not to support Kerry Bentivolio, and support, instead, our friend Dr. Syed Taj for Congress. In case there’s one of you out [...]

      5. [...] Taj and Barack Obama, and against the likes of “mentally unbalanced” Tea Party-favorite Kerry Bentivolio, the race-baiting Pete Hoekstra, and the global warming denying serial liar Mitt Romney, I [...]

      6. [...] the “mentally unbalanced” Kerry Bentivolio, finally made the big-time, scoring not only a feature story in yesterday’s New York Times, [...]

      7. By health marketplace on September 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        [...] speaking of crazy, our own Kerry Bentivolio took enough time away from his investigation into chemtrails to send out an unsourced warning to [...]

      8. [...] to start putting pressure not just on our favorite local Congressman, the terrifyingly delusional Kerry Bentivolio, but on all those Republicans who serve alongside him and his fellow Tea Partiers, who, for [...]

      9. […] one of my favorite Facebook comments from a thread today started by Michigan Congressman Kerry Bentivolio. It’s not one of the most extreme. I just like it because it’s from a man whose […]

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