From the chair
Violence is infecting our political system both directly and indirectly.
Last week in Lansing, one of our party’s local volunteer leaders was gunned down while canvassing on behalf of a city council candidate. The shooting was not motivated by politics.
Ted Lawson, secretary of the Ingham County Democratic Party, was the victim of a holdup attempt in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. He was allegedly shot by a 15-year-old who had asked him for money.
It wasn’t directly political. But this random act of deadly violence wouldn’t have happened if Ted hadn’t been out there knocking on doors. This growing street violence is something that weighs on the minds of every volunteer knocking on doors. It amplifies the recommendation that when you canvass, you do it in teams of 2 or more … just to add a layer of safety.
As tragic as this senseless murder if, even more frightening is the open advocacy of violence by some political leaders. In a time when political leaders should be speaking out against using violence in politics, some are actually encouraging it. Donald Trump regularly speaks in praise about violence, topped by his open praise for the January 6 rioters. But that certainly wasn’t the first time. He’s done it often – there are links below to Trump’s history of advocating violence.
We’ve had more than our share of violence and intimidation attempts in Michigan. Among them: the April 2020 armed invasion of the Capitol; the plot to kidnap and murder Governor Whitmer; the gun-toting protesters outside Jocelyn Benson’s home after the election; the angry mob outside the TCF Center when the 2020 ballots were being counted; the countless death threats against public officials at all across Michigan (including Attorney General Nessel). Sadly, the examples are endless.
We need to begin with all political leaders, Democrats and Republicans, forcefully and repeatedly speaking out against violence and against those advocating violence. There’s no room for politicians who talk about “2nd amendment solutions” to political disagreements, and certainly no room for a candidate for President openly encouraging people at his rallies to physically attack protesters, or hint that they physically assault the news media.
It has to stop.
There is some good news from our elected Democrats this week. While DC Republicans play out their leadership soap opera that’s paralyzed Congress, Michigan Democrats are focused on a future that combines clean energy and good-paying jobs. Joining the podcast this week is state House Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash who is sponsoring a package of bills that are good for the planet, and good for Michigan workers.
Stories We’re Following This Week
Michigan Policy and Politics
- Can a $20 million ad campaign attract more Michigan residents? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hopes so – Bridge Michigan
- New MSU program will eliminate tuition costs for eligible students starting next year – The State News
- Bills adding ‘Obamacare’ provisions to Michigan law headed to governor – Bridge Michigan
- Early, ranked choice voting gain attention in Royal Oak – Detroit Free Press
- Carpool lanes coming to Michigan’s I-75 – Bridge Michigan
- Michigan GOP electors acted ‘at the direction’ of Trump: court filing
- Craig, Trump lead with Michigan GOP – Public Policy Polling
- Rashida Tlaib, facing censure motion, calls Hamas actions ‘war crimes’
- Ted Lawson GoFundMe
National Policy and Politics
- Biden team launches organizing pilot project in Wisconsin and Arizona – The Washington Post\
- Biden-Harris Administration Announces Broad New Actions to Protect Consumers From Billions in Junk Fees – The White House
- Junk fees: FTC proposes a ban and says hidden charges push up prices – AP News
- Opinion | On Hamas, Biden passes a decency test that Trump and others fail – The Washington Post
- A new ballot measure would dramatically reform redistricting in Ohio. Here’s how it would work
- North Carolina Republicans override governor’s veto on key election law – The Washington Post
- How Republicans lauded RFK Jr. — before he was a threat – The Washington Post
GOP Crime Watch
- Is Donald Trump normalizing political violence in America? – WBUR Public Radio On Point
- ‘No Blame?’ ABC News finds 54 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults. – ABC News
- Trump’s intensifying rhetoric offers insight into how he might govern again as president – AP News
- Trump Deceived Deutsche Bank, Former Exec Testifies – Mother Jones
- Santos Indicted for Fake-Donor Scheme Exposed by Mother Jones – Mother Jones
- Jim Jordan Tried to Help Trump Mount a Coup. Now He Gets to Be Speaker? – Mother Jones