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Editorial: Dems' chair battle could be worth price of admission

February 7, 2013
The Alpena News

We think we'd pay admission to witness this cage fight.

State Democrats will gather Feb. 23 in Detroit for their annual convention, at which time they will choose who will lead the party for the next two years. In an incredibly interesting struggle within party and union ranks, current Chairman Mark Brewer faces formidable opposition from Lon Johnson of Kalkaska.

Brewer is an interesting, colorful and sometimes controversial leader. He has led Democrats in Michigan for 18 years, making him the longest-serving state Democratic Party chair in the country. He also has served as the Democratic National Convention vice chairman for three terms, from 2003 until 2009.

Johnson unsuccessfully sought a state House seat last year. He is the president of a private equity firm, TVV Capital, and his wife, Julianna Smoot, is well connected to President Obama's inner circle. She is a former White House social secretary and was deputy campaign manager for the president's re-election efforts.

Earlier this week the entire Michigan Democratic congressional delegation publicly supported Johnson.

And, adding suspense to the whole fight is that it has divided the state's top two unions - the United Auto Workers, which is backing Johnson and the Michigan Education Association, which is backing Brewer.

And then there is the drama. Last week a man convicted of perjury for falsifying candidate filing documents accused Brewer in a MLive news story of getting false Tea Party candidates to run for positions in Detroit to split the Republican vote in key races in that area.

And, in an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Brewer recently called on Bigfoot to his defense.

"If my opponents are to believe I'm to be blamed for the failure of Prop 2, I'm to be blamed for becoming a right-to-work state, then the next thing I expect to be blamed for is being Bigfoot."

It's going to be exciting.

 
 

 

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