House candidate Nancy Skinner makes climate a centerpiece issue — in a winnable race

Scheduling Note: I’m off in prep for Netroots Nation, so not much from me until after the event. If you’re in Detroit for the conference and you see my smiling name tag, please do say Hi. I’d be glad to chat with you.
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I couldn’t have better news for you. In a winnable race, a Democratic House candidate is making climate a centerpiece issue. If anyone deserves your support, this person does.

Can climate be a winning issue elsewhere? Let’s prove it can by winning this race.

The candidate is Nancy Skinner, and the race is Michigan-11, near Detroit. They’re still in the primary stage, but this is doable. The Republicans are in serious disarray, as you’ll see. Skinner could well take the seat. (In fact, she’s in the running for Bill Maher’s Flip-A-District contest.)

From friend-of-the-Holocene Peter Sinclair:

Michigan House District 11 Candidate Nancy Skinner is making  climate change a centerpiece of her campaign, going into next month’s primary, and has come out swinging with the piece you see above.

Last week I posted a bit of distilled climate paranoia, in a video from a Louisiana congressional primary, where Sara Pailin clone Lenar Whitney laid out the complete conspiracist’s looniest fantasy of climate science as a global plot. The piece has appeared in a lot of places, and I think its an example of looney climate denial having jumped the shark in the American mind.

Now, hardly a week later, I  can show you another view, above – one that every serious pollster tells us is true. Climate Change is becoming  a winning issue.

Sinclair, in a separate piece, links to a poll conducted by Anthony Leiserowitz tracking public opinion on climate issues:

88% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 61% of liberal/moderate Republicans think global warming is happening, compared to only 28% of conservative Republicans;

81% of Democrats and 51% of liberal/moderate Republicans are worried about global warming, compared to only 19% of conservative Republicans;

82% of Democrats and 65% of liberal/moderate Republicans support strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, compared to only 31% of conservative Republicans.

Of course there’s more at the link. This is s very promising issue.

Support Nancy Skinner for Congress

Even if  you don’t live in Skinners MI-11, you can help out. In fact, you can help a lot. Here’s how — Skinner’s “ask” is at the end:

The ask is simple — 11:11:1 — “$11 for MI-11 and the 1 candidate who leads on climate change”. As Skinner’s campaign writes at the YouTube site:

Nancy Skinner is running in one of the very few US House Seats in the nation that is “in play” due to gerrymandering, Michigan’s 11th District. The incumbent is a first term Tea Party (and major Climate Denier), Kerry Bentivolio. Roll Call has MI-11 in it’s Top Ten Most Vulnerable Seats.

Make climate a winning issue in 2014. Support Skinner for Congress.

If the Republicans savage each other, the race could be Skinner’s to lose

More on her rivals, the Republican clowns, from Howie Klein at Down with Tyranny (my emphasis and paragraphing):

One of the most bitter and brutal Republican mini-civil wars is raging in MI-11, west and northwest of Detroit and we took a brief look at it last week. Incumbent teabagger Kerry Bentivolio is up against a fatally flawed eviction and foreclosurer specialist, Dave Trott, who is being financed by the corrupt Republican Establishment. The teabaggers are currently running this very effective ad against Trott:

Steve Israel, sensing an opportunity to elect one of his vile mystery meat candidates, recruited an ex-CIA agent, Bobby MacKenzie, who refuses to talk issues and is hoping that Trott and Bentivolio will just kill each other off. Progressive icon and local radio talk show host Nancy Skinner just announced that she’s jumping into the race and is likely to get the kind of institutional support Israel hoped to be able to deliver to McKenzie.

Climate Candidate Nancy Skinner (MI-11)

Climate Candidate Nancy Skinner (MI-11)

Nancy is a known and trusted progressive voice in Michigan and across the country due to her countless media appearances as a syndicated talk show host who doesn’t shy away from taking the battle right into the face of fascist heroes like Ann Coulter and Larry Kudlow (see video up top).

She bravely took on Joe Knollenberg in MI-09 in 2006, then considered unbeatable after David Fink spent $2 million and lost big. Today half of MI-09 is has been redistricted into MI-11. Skinner used her radio fans and local roots and national base to raise $465,000 (with no DCCC help of course) to Knollenberg’s $4 million dollars and lost 51-47%. The Detroit Free Press called Skinner “Knollenberg’s near-death experience.”

Back then, her campaign drew national attention. She was endorsed by then Senator Barack Obama; then Senator Joe Biden fundraised for her; Joan Jett also raised campaign funds for her. Environmental hero  Robert Kennedy Jr. did a television ad with Skinner endorsing her for her leadership on global warming. Skinner was voted the “Best congressional candidate in America” in a national poll.

The two other Democrats in the race, wealthy Bloomfield Hills urologist Anil Kumar and the CIA guy, McKenzie, are not likely to muster what it would take to beat either Republican. Kumar, who has never run for any office nor worked on campaigns, is barely a Democrat at all. … McKenzie worked at the state Department for a few months after his secretive stint overseas with the CIA. If he runs, the Republicans will talk about nothing but Benghazi for the entire campaign, while he turns off the Democratic base with the only issue he ever talks about, anti-terrorism tactics. …

I spoke with Nancy Skinner yesterday. She was focused like a laser on three overriding issues: jobs, economic security for working families, and climate change. …

Klein has more a the link. It’s a nice piece.

Bottom line — Climate wins when Climate Candidates win

I think the bottom line is a simple one. To make Climate a winning issue, we have to make winners out of Climate Candidates. Skinner is backable and the race is winnable. Care to help? Here’s that link again — 11:11:1, $11 for MI-11 and the 1 candidate who leads on climate change.

And thanks.

GP

Twitter: @Gaius_Publius
Facebook: Gaius Publi

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • NameNames

    All Democrats and Republicans are war pigs. They just unanimously voted to give the terrorist nation of Israel $621 million more dollars to continue their slaughter of innocent children.

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  • FLL

    Any chance we can look forward to you leaving “this shithole nation” sometime soon?

  • Bill_Perdue

    ‘Americans’ won’t solve the problem of capitalism, workers will.

    Fascism is a variant of capitalism and the US is not a fascist state, even if some Dixiecrats, teabaggers, Libertarians, Republicans and the occasional Democrat flirts with it.

    If the Us was a fascist state everyone who had any decency would be in jail or underground. That is not the case.

  • pvequalkt

    “European “socialist” parties are analogous to the Democratic Party in the U.S.”
    Nothing could be further from the truth, and if you don’t know this, YOU are part of the problem.
    Our democrats are now analogous to thatcherites. Reaganites wearing blue. You think your Euro socialists would be cramming the TTIP and TPP down the throats of all 7B humans on earth, at the behest of the fortune 500? If our democrats were like, in any discernible way, the Euro socialists, ACA would have a robust public option OR it would be Medicare for all. Instead what it is is a government backstop to guarantee corporate profits and increase the role corporate health care (denial) plays in our every day lives.
    If you understand Mussolini’s definition of fascism, it is a trivial step to then call our 535 (make that 532-ish) the ‘fascist 535′. They whore for corporate money and serve their masters faithfully. Beyond the 535, look at the corporate smorgasbord of corporate lawyers and other corporate functionaries stinking up the cabinet and lower. It’s no accident that corporations have seeded DC with their flotsam. Through their faithful stooges in the oval, they also have a permanent plurality on the highest court and most of the circuits. Obama hasn’t, apparently, worsened the highest, but he’s put corporate/federalists on federal benches below. Not all, but many.
    So, if you’re so much smarter than me, how come you refuse to see/recognize this?
    See my reply to Bill above. There won’t be any change in this shithole nation until utter collapse. And the biggest reason is people like you who smell a fart and think roses.

  • pvequalkt

    Bill, you and I agree on almost all of what you said. Except this: We ARE in a burgeoning police/fascist state. The ruling party, both sects, are symbiotic with business/corporate interests (see Mussolini’s simplistic definition of fascism) and virulently anti worker. they all humor religion as did hitler. They run most of the media, as did hitler. They overthrow other inconvenient, socialist-leaning governments. They have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the former on utter lies, like hitler did in Poland et al. They have committed acts of war and war crimes in a dozen more nations, sometimes with the consent of the puppet governments we installed there (see the long list of black sites where torture was conducted for us/US). Elections are now largely an illusion in democracy-like machinations, but with little to no impact on the current vector, much like the “good germans” of the late ’30s and early ’40s. The Nazis never won a plurality in the reichstad did they… but they did everything they wanted because they manipulated the voters into supporting their policies.
    And you mentioned the enabling act? What do you think the NDAA is? It is the act that gives Obama and heirs carte blanche so long as they decide to declare it in pursuit of global terrorism, the gwot, the war on drugs or whatever they decide is convenient at the time.
    our unitary has the authority to snuff anyone anytime anywhere and by any means which amuses them. our unitary has the authority to bomb, strafe, drone and invade anywhere anytime at the time of his/her choosing so long as they declare it is in the defense of the homeland.
    We haven’t heard the equivalent of Liebenstraum yet… but how far away can that be?
    As to the election of nonfascists… well, it maybe COULD still happen, hypothetically. But American voters are truly imbeciles who have been well and truly inculcated with the illusory bipartisan myth such that even when we have the abysmal performance of a cheney admin, it can get re-elected (if we were at war) and then supplanted by “hope and change” that is “MOS, only worse” and then THAT gets re-elected.
    Americans aren’t smart enough to NOT elect fascists, therefore there won’t be any change to the current vector… probably not even to the rate of increase in its velocity (acceleration).
    As I see it, there are ONLY 2 things that can change our trajectory:
    1) utter economic collapse. Think 1932 only worse by orders of magnitude. No banking at all; no securities at all (the markets are all rigged and have been since, really, the first Reagan admin), no economic pulse (we have so little manufacturing capability left these days), and so on.
    2) ecological catastrophe… like the dust bowl only worse by orders of magnitude… no fresh water, crops, ocean fisheries depleted, poisonous food production (e coli, listeria and so on) due to indifference of government, which will be forced to abdicate due to 250M starving americans with their 300M guns marching on DC to exact revenge.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “The bottom line, as demonstrated by the last 34 years of Reagan and clones is this: Rs and Ds are indistinguishable in their deeds. You want fake empathy while you are being beaten, then you want democrats.”

    That part is true. The differences between Democrats, Teabaggers, Dixiecrats, Republicans and Libertarians are cosmetic.

    “the fascist 435 in the house” is not true. These people, and those in the WH are just ordinary run of the mill rightwingers, racists and warmongers who want to bust unions and cut the wages and benefits of workers. They are not fascists and we do no live in a fascist country. There are qualitative differences between a fascist state and what we have, which is a police state in the making. Fascism and police states are not synonymous. Fascist states are always police state but police states are not always fascist states. Fascism requires a mass, armed counterrevolutionary party like the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in Germany or the Partito Nazionale Fascista in Italy.

    We aren’t going to get change by electing “socialists, greens and labor supporters”. Change will come after the creation of mass movements for change that involve mass demonstrations and the organization of working people to compel change. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” Emma Goldman

    Here is the key difference between fascism and a police state in a banana republic:

  • FLL

    “When Republicans are in power, they studiously ignore public opinion (or “mass movements”).

    The most obvious example of an issue where public opinion in America has changed is civil rights, perhaps followed by medical marijuana and climate change. On those issues, Republicans simply ignore the overwhelming public support for change, whereas the Democrats have changed their positions in accordance with public opinion. There is ample documentation proving that.

    Now let’s move on to your example, which is a command economy vs. a mainly capitalist economy. Please don’t confuse typical political parties in Europe that use the label “Socialist” with what you’re talking about. Hollande’s Socialist Party is in power in France. Does that mean that France is any less of a capitalist country? Obviously not. European “socialist” parties support a mainly capitalist economy combined with a broad net of social services, including socialized health care. Therefore, European “socialist” parties are analogous to the Democratic Party in the U.S. On the other hand, when you use the word “socialist,” you are referring to political parties whose aim is to establish a command economy in which the government owns all or most of the major industries and controls prices. If I’ve misunderstood you, please let me know and I will revise my reply to you.

    Public support regarding the expansion of civil rights, marijuana reform and addressing climate change is overwhelming. Public support of a command economy is virtually nil, perhaps a fraction of a percent. You whine about the “fascist 435.” Gee, I guess you’re smarter than everyone else in the country. You demand a plurality of command-economy socialists in the House. How about winning one seat? Not 218 seats. Just one lousy House seat. Maybe then, people would take you seriously. Until then, you’re just amusing yourself with your rants. And who agrees with you outside the United States? Cuba and North Korea are the only command economies left. Even China is capitalist. So if you are suggesting that people support something like European “socialist” parties (which I don’t think you are), then you are referring to the rough equivalent of the Democratic Party in the U.S. If you are suggesting that people support socialist parties that aim to establish government ownership of all major industries (which I think you are), your suggestion is not one that will be taken seriously by anyone other than a handful. You may as well be posting your comment from your mother’s basement, hence the obvious name of your political party:

          The Maoist Shining Path Revolutionary Socialist Party
          of My Mother’s Basement

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  • pvequalkt

    coupla things:
    ok, she mentions climate. fine. But MI’s sole issue is jobs.
    And I’m quite certain that once she shows up in DC, the DCCC and superpacs will get their tentacles into her and she’ll start betraying and disappointing by her 3rd day.
    You want an example? Run your finger down the D roster in the house and stop on any random name. If it isn’t Grayson, you’re almost surely pointing at a name that does what it is told by the party’s money. Pelosi? Hoyer? They started out as good reps for their districts. They are now super whores who will sell and have sold often their positions for more party money.
    “impeachment is off the table”
    remember?

  • pvequalkt

    “When Republicans are in power, they studiously ignore public opinion (or “mass movements”)”
    Truth. Also truth is that the Obama admin is indistinguishable from the cheney admin. Same wars, torture, tax and trade policies, banking servility; MORE deportations, drone murders, spy scandals.. and so on and so forth.
    The bottom line, as demonstrated by the last 34 years of Reagan and clones is this: Rs and Ds are indistinguishable in their deeds. You want fake empathy while you are being beaten, then you want democrats. You want trash talk as you are being beaten, Rs are your (white) men. But you will be beaten.
    Your goal should be to create a society where you won’t be beaten. I think.
    And the federalist 5 on the court are true believers. It wouldn’t matter how society shifted… they’d interpret the constitution through the opaque lens of their ideology no matter what.
    As soon as “we the people” decide to replace the fascist 435 in the house with a plurality of socialists, greens and labor supporters, we can start the process of impeaching Roberts, alito, Thomas, scalia and kennedy.
    If we never manage to replace them… well, we get what we deserve.

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  • Bill_Perdue

    In the long run and the short run it’s better to be realistic and treat Democrats (and Republicans) as the enemies of working people, peace, the Bill of Rights, people of color, women and the LGBT communities. Because that’s what they are – the enemy.

    The left, which does not include Democrats, uses elections as a vehicle to organize and educate. The left doesn’t think democratic elections will be allowed. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” – Emma Goldman

    Our goal is to use elections as a vehicle to build mass movements that engage in mass actions and civil disobedience. We want to educate people about who their enemies are and how to compel them to make concessions. During the Vietnam war the left helped build the civilian and GI antiwar movements and along with the Vietnamese we we able to impose a humiliating defeat on the Democrats and Republicans. We help do the same – humiliate Obama – when he wanted to attack Syria.

    In more recent actions we won an election in Seattle, beating a long time Democrat liberal and are leading the fight across the country for a decent minimum wage – Obama’s proposal is anti-worker and insulting – and are doing the same across the country and linking it to the drive by the labor left to organize at Walmart, McDonald’s and other slaveshops.

    Anyone who wants real change will have to leave the Democrat, Libertarian, Dixiecrat, Teabag and Republican party’s behind. Success is not measured by who wins or loses in elections. That’s not important. Success is measured in our ability to impose the program of the left on the looter class and wring concession from them. That’s in the short run. In the long run the leaders of both parties, and the rich who own them, have created a government of massive corruption, a police state dependent on intimidation, a system that encourages economic chaos and poverty and that engages in wars of aggression. The American Republic resembles nothing so much the later stages of the Roman empire after the fall of the Republic and it’s led by criminals.

    It will take a workers state and a workers government to end their criminality.

  • trinu

    It should also be noted that when facing a Republican or retiring
    incumbent, you can vote in the Democratic primary for more liberal
    candidates.

  • FLL

    Very well articulated, but you may misunderstand Bill. If you take note of his avatar (“NONE of the above”), you’ll realize that he disapproves of voting in general, whether the candidate represents a major party, a third party or identifies as independent. His notion of “mass movements” (or public opinion, to use clearer English) is not associated with electoral politics at all. What is not acknowledged here is that Republicans are neither influenced nor intimidated by public opinion. If they were, Scalia, Thomas and Alito would change their ways on the Supreme Court. When Republicans are in power, they studiously ignore public opinion (or “mass movements”), which the era of George W. Bush clearly demonstrated.

  • taikan

    While a majority of voters agree that climate change is a problem and that government should attempt to address that problem, it’s questionable whether the issue of climate change is of sufficient importance to them to cause them to vote for a particular candidate.

    Most voters in MI-11 (or any other district) who will vote for a candidate primarily because he/she believes in climate change are likely to vote for the Democratic candidate, in any event.

  • taikan

    In the short run, it makes more sense to support a Democrat who believes in climate change and has a chance of winning an election than someone further to the left who has no chance of winning.

    In the absence of an individual or group of people willing to spend at least $5-10 billion over a period of years to establish a viable alternative party on the left, it also makes more sense to work to move the Democratic Party to the left rather than spend time and effort in a quixotic attempt to establish such an alternative without providing that alternative with the money necessary to wage a successful campaign on a national basis.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats are the main party enabling global warming and climate change. Republicans play the same role when they run things because the central difference between them is the desire by Democrats to pose as environmentalists while carrying out right wing and Republicans policies.

    Those who want to fight global warming and climate change should help build mass movements to do that and move left.

  • Mark Taylor

    Nancy’s platform includes the building of renewable energy jobs, jobs that Michigan and Detroit are well suited to take because the Michigan Universities train lots of engineers and scientists that can develop the tech, and Michigan has lots of skilled labor to run the industrial infrastructure that is here waiting ready to start up for a new business. Combating climate change, boosting the economy and saving Michigan’s natural beauty are the “what we need to tackle” and renewable energy job creation is just part of the “how we do it”.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Michigan’s 11th has been pretty much always Republican, if it goes Democratic, it’s only because the people of Michigan are finally starting to clue into the incredible damage Republican “leadership” has done to their state. I don’t for a minute think that climate change will be foremost on their minds when they go to the polls. Having their jobs shipped out of the state, their neighborhoods obliterated, their public assets sold off, their rights taken away… and having to live amid the decay of the greater Detroit area, climate change is not high among their priorities.

  • FLL

    Nancy Skinner’s campaign in the Democratic primary looks like a good shot, and…

    “If the Republicans savage each other, the race could be Skinner’s to lose”

    Skinner’s chances in the general election also look very good. I’m sure that climate candidates will become a growing (and winning) political trend, especially when people take notice of increasingly powerful hurricanes, water-surge damage to coastal real estate, drought/heat wave/fires in the Midwest and Plains states, etc. Of course, that political trend would involve voting for candidates whose name actually appears on the ballot and advising others to do likewise… and that would be rubbing salt in the wound as far as certain commenters on these pages. Have you noticed that I get a kick out of rubbing salt in the wound? Oh come on, lighten up!

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