What do a felonious & murderous doctor, a former Lottery Commissioner turned (controversial) professor, a dude with a really big head, a Congressman, and a kid with a video camera accused of being “Virginia Tech dangerous” have in common? They’re all involved in the election for the 9th Congressional District of Michigan. This race just keeps getting wackier, so I’ll list the basics:
Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) is the current Representative for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district (“Oakland, Bloomfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills” – yeah, Okland county’s kinda weird like that). (Source: The Oakland Press).
There’s a dude with a big paper maché head who has a blog about “Joe Nollenberg” - opposing him mainly on the Iraq War.
Gary Peters is the Democratic candidate running for Congress. He was the former Michigan Lottery Commissioner, and now he is a professor at Central Michigan University who has come under heavy fire by…
Dennis Lennox, head of Students Against Gary Peters. Lennox is opposing Peters because he believes that there’s a conflict of interest if Peter’s is trying to be a professor and run for office in a county that’s at least 2 hours away (and that’s if you’re speeding). Lennox has come under heavy fire from CMU and has been compared to the VA Tech shooter. (Click on the categories for Peters or Lennox to see more of my posts about their adventures – there’s a lot of them).
And now today, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death,” announced that he will run as an independent. Kevorkian, now 80, was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison on second degree murder charges after he assisted in the suicide of Thomas Youk on September 17th, 1998. He aired a recording of the suicide on 60 Minutes on November 23rd and was charged on March 26th, 1999. He was let out on parole after 8 years on June 1st, 2007.
In a statement to The Oakland Press after getting petitions from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, Kevorkian said, “I plan to [run as an Independent]. I wouldn’t do this otherwise. We need some honesty and sincerity instead of corrupt government in Washington.” He said that he would have more details next week and that “everything’s in a formative stage.”
Kevorkian has until June 17th to gather 3,000 signatures in order to get him on the November ballot as an independent.
Here are some responses to the news:
Oakland County Prosecutor Dave Gorcyca, who sent Kevorkian to prison: “I would place Jack Kevorkian’s candidacy in the same ranking with Ron Paul’s [poor Ron Paul]. It’s probably more of a publicity stunt. To call attention to himself is standard protocol for Jack when he doesn’t have the limelight focused on him. I would not consider his candidacy to be a legitimate one.”
Gary Peter’s spokeswoman Julie Petrick: “Everybody has the right to run. Right now, Gary is focused on bringing real change to Oakland County. Knollenberg has heaped mountains of debt on our children, disastrous trade policies that have destroyed our manufacturing sector, and gotten us into a protracted war with no end in sight. It’s time for real change in Oakland County and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Representative Knollenberg has not yet commented.
I’ve gotta disagree with Gorcyca here. The Democrats saw an opportunity to take Knollenberg’s seat when he only won with 51.5% in 2006, but now that there’s 2 liberals running, I think Knollenberg is safe. Let me explain:
In 1998, Proposal B, “To Legalize Prescription of Lethal Medication to Terminally Ill,” was proposed and failed pretty badly. Specifically in Oakland County, 129,649 voted for it, and 265,888 voted against it – so 67.22% voted against it. I then looked at all of the 9th District (adding in some extra areas of Orion and Waterford, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts weren’t in the 9th District and excluding the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts of the cities that they lie inside of were their precincts). I came out with 77,776 voting for the proposal and 158,095 voting against it, so 67.03% opposed it. So, let’s assume that Knollenberg can only pull 45% of his districts support, which is a low estimate. That means that 55% will be split between Peters and Kevorkian. 32.97% of the district voted for Proposal B, and let’s assume that only 80% were Democrats (again, an extremely low estimate). So, 26.38% of the 9th District are Democrats who support assisted suicide. Now, let’s assume that Kevorkian only gets 40% of that group and nobody else. He winds up with 10.55%, leaving Peters with 44.45%. Knollenberg wins (and I actually didn’t mean for the calculations to turn out that close - I was just estimating numbers as I went). So, 1) I underestimated Knollenberg, 2) I supposed that a high 20% of Prop B supporters were Republicans and thus won’t cross over from Peters to Kevorkian, and 3) I assumed that Kevorkian won’t even get half of the Prop B supporters. I honestly think the election will fall more like:
It’ll be an interesting race, but this definitely helps Knollenberg.
Oh, and Kevorkian’s possible campaign slogan: “We slaughter the opponents” – wouldn’t that make a great slogan!