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.