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tim walberg

Republican incumbent Tim Walberg beat Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell in 2016. Now, Driskell is announcing she'll run again in 2018.
Tim Walberg for Congress; Gretchen Driskell for Congress

Despite losing by 15 points in one of the most expensive congressional battles in the state last year, former Saline mayor and state representative Gretchen Driskell believes 2018 could be different.

Surgeons operating on patient in operating room
Phalinn Ooi / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

On Thursday, the U.S. House approved a new health care policy designed by Republicans representatives to replace Obamacare. Each one of Michigan’s Republican representatives voted in favor of the replacement bill, while no Democrats (in Michigan or any other state) gave the bill their support.

Michigan Republicans were likewise united in the condemnation of Obamacare – also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Representative Tim Walberg, for instance, said, “Obamacare is on the brink of collapse and has failed to live up to its many promises.”

Representative John Moolenar called the ACA, “the collapsing health care law.”

Not everyone agrees with those assessments.

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act would require employees to undergo genetic testing and hand over those results to their employer.
Wikipedia.com

How would you feel if your boss demanded you undergo genetic testing and hand over the results? And if you refuse, you could wind up paying a penalty of up to 30% of your health insurance's total cost?

A bill to do just that cleared a House Congressional committee last week. 

slgckgc / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

American workers are facing an enormous retirement savings deficit. In Michigan, nearly 1.7 million workers have jobs where the employer does not offer a retirement savings plan.

In response to this shortfall, two Democrats in Lansing introduced legislation that would set up an alternative statewide retirement savings plan for employees of businesses who do not have a plan of their own.

Congressman Tim Walberg addressed a sometimes disagreeable crowd at a packed town hall event in Hillsdale Friday.
Tyler Scott

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-MI-7, hosted an hour-long town hall at Hillsdale City Hall Friday morning, with specific rules mandating that constituents submit questions to Walberg’s staff in writing in order to be considered.

Several people from the crowd of roughly 100 voiced their disappointment with the format.

“I find it curious that they call these town halls,” said Susan Fecteau of Dexter. “If we’re not allowed to agree or disagree, or clap, or engage in any way back-an-forth, that’s not a town hall, that’s not a discussion. That’s a speech.”

Constituents of Rep. Dave Trott protest at his office in Troy, demanding that the Congressman hold in-person town hall meetings.
Sarah Scwiek / Michigan Radio

Across the country, members of Congress have been holding town halls and some have gotten a little heated.

Here in Michigan, constituents of Republican Congressmen Dave Trott (R-Birmingham), Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) and Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) are calling on their representatives to hold in-person town halls.

Three constituents of those elected officials joined Stateside to discuss the challenges they've faced while seeking audiences with their respective congressmen.

A sign is posted outside of Rep. Dave Trott's office in Troy
Sarah Scwiek / Michigan Radio

Progressive constituents say Republican Congressmen Dave Trott (R-11), Mike Bishop (R-8) and Tim Walberg (R-7) are avoiding them. Stateside spoke with three such constituents today. 

Below are responses from the offices of the three named Congressmen:

Tim Walberg
US House of Representative

Where is Tim Walberg? The Republican congressman from Michigan’s 7th district is in a fierce battle for reelection, raising millions of dollars, and pouring huge amounts of money into a slew of attack ads against his Democratic opponent. You would not think he’d be an especially hard guy to reach these days.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Election Day is less than a week away, and one of the most competitive races in the nation is right here in Michigan.

For our segment This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou talk about Democrat Gretchen Driskell's bid to win the state's 7th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Tim Walberg.

They also talk about the race in the 1st Congressional District that could be important on a national level and whether third-party candidates stand a chance in Michigan.


Gretchen Driskell
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

The race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District is one of the most competitive in the country. The two major-party candidates have both raised more than $2 million for their campaigns.

Gretchen Driskell, a former seven-term mayor of Saline and the a current member of the Michigan House of Representatives, is the challenger in the race. And although she’s running as a Democrat, she considers herself an independent.

Downtown Eaton Rapids, in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, a race that's become one of the most expensive in the state.
Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

So you’re flipping around TV one night, and this campaign ad comes up:

 “Walberg DID vote yes on every trade deal. And just last year, he voted to give Obama enhanced power to negotiate T.P.P.” 

Gretchen Driskell got into politics by accident twenty-some years ago, when she was home with a toddler and a neighbor knocked on her door.

He was running for city council and wanted her support; she was an accountant and an MBA who had taken a few years off to raise her three kids, and was happy to talk to another adult.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s sagging poll numbers in Michigan may be behind a surprising rise in TV ad buys in one state congressional race.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Two U.S. representatives from Michigan announced at a farm near Monroe they plan to introduce legislation that would reduce pollution that causes harmful algae blooms in the Great Lakes.

Republican U.S. Rep. Candice Miller of Shelby Township and Tim Walberg of Tipton will sponsor a bill, the Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act, that would reward farmers for voluntarily taking conservation measures. 

Tijl Vercaemer / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg says he can't support a new deal negotiated between Iran and six world powers – the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany – because it gives Iran too much freedom to continue developing weapons and does not include a provision for the release of four U.S. citizens currently in Iranian prisons. One of those Americans is Amir Hekmati, a marine from Flint, Michigan, who has been in prison in Tehran for over three years on spying charges.

Catherine Shaffer / Michigan Radio

A  veterans fair in Washtenaw County today offered one-stop shopping for employment, counseling, health, and other services. About 20 groups participated in the event at Scio Township Hall. Michigan U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg and Debbie Dingell hosted the event. 

Organizations on hand to offer help included the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, the VFW Department of Michigan Service Office, the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs, Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program, Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors, and many more. 

Democratic state Representative Gretchen Driskell’s nascent campaign for Congress relies in part on the assumption that Hillary Clinton will be at the top of the Democratic ticket next year.

Gretchen Driskell
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Just three months after the November elections, a Democrat has announced she’ll run against Republican Congressman Tim Walberg.

Second-term Michigan State Representative Gretchen Driskell (D-52nd) is challenging Walberg in the Seventh Congressional District.

Thirty years ago, I was briefly involved in the dog show world, when we had a collie that went on to become a champion.

That was during the long ago and now long-forgotten race in which President Ronald Reagan was running for re-election against Walter Mondale.

Both offered vastly different views of America. There were a some people who were very passionate about that campaign, either because they loved Reagan, hated his policies or were excited about the first woman on a major party ticket, Geraldine Ferraro.

But when I came off the campaign and consorted with regular humans, I learned that wasn’t true for most. The show dog people I knew, for example, were more bitterly passionate about their rivals and paid more attention to the idiosyncrasies of the various judges than most people did the election.

Most of them could recite their dogs’ pedigrees at the drop of a hat, or point at a collie and say – “see, you can tell from his hindquarters that he’s out of Champion La Estancia Travolta.” The woman who told me that did ask me once “who’s that guy running against Reagan?” but I think she did so to be polite.

What I took away from this is that America is a land of a million subcultures, and increasingly, politics is just one of those.

There are big differences between the candidates for governor this time, and the candidates are spending tens of millions to try and get your attention in the hope that you might actually vote. But we know already that most people won’t. Apart from the candidates themselves, I’ve seen just two races this year where people seem energized and excited.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out before Election Day, and some groups think their money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Associated Press reports Republican groups are pulling ad buys supporting U.S. Senate Candidate Terri Lynn Land.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled nearly $1 million in ads for the weeks of Oct. 21 and Oct. 28, according to a political operative who tracks ad spending. Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land in Michigan.

A Republican group is attacking Democratic congressional candidates, using online sites that resemble news websites. One of those 20 websites is called the “South Michigan Update.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Opponents of Obamacare turned out for a meeting in Jackson today.  

Congressman Tim Walberg is holding a series of town hall meetings this week on the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican congressman is showcasing small business owners and patients who say they are paying more for health insurance under Obamacare.

Official White house Portrait

Michigan’s congressional delegation had a mixed reaction to the president’s State of the Union address last night.

Democrat John Dingell says Congress is capable of acting on the president’s call for a higher minimum wage and restoring federal jobless benefits.

“Whether they will or not I don’t know because as you know, the Republicans run Congress,” Dingell said after the president’s speech.

primerates.com

Last night’s vote to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling divided Michigan’s Republican congress.

The legislation reopens the government through Jan. 15th and permits the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7th or perhaps a month longer.
 

Congress faced a midnight deadline Thursday. That's when U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The reelection chances of three Michigan congressmen might be hurt by the federal government shutdown.

The poll numbers show Republican Congressmen Tim Walberg, Kerry Bentivolio and Dan Benishek all trailing significantly behind a generic Democratic opponent. 

Tuesday’s local primaries have come and gone. The November runoffs are set. But don’t think people, political people, aren’t looking ahead even further… to next year’s primaries and beyond.  We have big statewide races for governor and an open U.S. Senate seat, and some big congressional races.

At this juncture, it still looks like Democrats are succeeding in their plan to avoid expensive, bitter primaries in their big, key races. In the “D” column, former Congressman Mark Schauer looks uncontested as the candidate to face Governor Rick Snyder. Congressman Gary Peters is in line to be the Senate nominee without a fight. And, this week, in northern Michigan, retired general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Democrat Jerry Cannon announced his plans to challenge Republican Congressman Dan Benishek. The First Congressional District is one of the state’s very few true toss-up races and Democrats have big hopes to win it come 2014. In fact, the campaign arm of the House Democratic conference is already airing radio ads in northern Michigan. The First is considered winnable by the right pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, conservative Democrat. And, interestingly enough, Democrats think their chances in this seat will actually improve next year without President Barack Obama at the top of the ballot.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A former state lawmaker is launching her bid to challenge mid-Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg in 2014.

Pam Byrnes announced her campaign for the Democratic Party nomination today.

She is an attorney from Chelsea with a background in family law.    She is the former Director of the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court.  Byrnes was also the Executive Director of the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute. 

Byrnes says Washington is broken and that is hurting middle class families. 

Jim Wallace / flickr.com

A new report from a Washington-based watchdog group finds Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun spending a lot of money to influence Congress.

The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington--or CREW--tracked campaign donations from Moroun’s family, company, and associates.

Their examination of campaign finance data found more than $1.5 million in Congressional donations from 2004 through the first quarter of 2012.

The budget President Obama delivers to Congress this week will spend about 8 billion dollars less on the Defense Department.  That's going to directly affect two Michigan Air National Guard Bases.

The debate over how to extend a payroll tax cut is dividing Michigan’s congressional delegation.   

The U.S. Senate voted for a two-month extension over the weekend. But the U.S. House is expected to reject the extension this evening.   

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is among those who voted yes.   

“What we’re talking about is a tax increase happening on over 5 million Michigan workers come January 1 if this doesn’t get extended at least in the short run," says Stabenow. 

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