Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.  Political Note #353 The Traditional Economic Team, Political Note #355 Angie Craig MN 02, Political Note #356 Susie Lee NV 03

Political Note #357   Haley Stevens MI 11

2022                            General Election

In May, 2017 I wrote a Note about Haley Stevens’ 2018 candidacy for Congress.  The two-term incumbent Republican, Dave Trott,  would later announce his retirement.  He had initially been a supporter of gun safety legislation and same sex marriage, but his views was out of fashion among Republicans.  He voted with Trump on every issue in his second term.  Maybe he didn’t enjoy being in Congress. Maybe he saw the Democratic wave coming.

When I wrote Note #25, Haley Stevens was the only Democrat in the race.  I thought she had a chance to win against the incumbent even though the raters described M11 as Likely Republican.  Her record was particularly relevant for Detroit.  She had, after all, a recognizable role in saving the American automobile industry.

With Trott gone, raters decided the race was a Toss-up.  His withdrawal from the race brought out additional Democratic challengers.  Usually, I avoid choosing among Democrats.  For Michigan’s 11th Congressional District I had already urged people to support Haley Stevens.  As more Democrats entered the race, I saw no reason to withdraw my original recommendation for Haley Stevens.

Haley Stevens had grown up in this prosperous suburban Congressional district that curls around Detroit on the west, north, and northeast.  With a BA and an MA, from American University in DC, she became active in politics. She volunteered in Michigan in 2006.  She worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 and on policy for Barack Obama’s campaign that same year.

In 2009, Haley Stevens got a great job.  Steven Rattner hired her as his Chief of Staff.  Rattner He was the “car czar.” His team (include Chief of Staff Haley Stevens on the team) developed a plan to save the two automobile companies in danger of bankruptcy – General Motors and Chrysler.  They got over $80 Billion from the government, created a kind of controlled bankruptcy for each company, replaced the management for each company, and closed 2,000 dealerships.   Drastic as the remedy was, the cure sustained the existence of two iconic American corporations, corporations that were particularly important for Detroit and its suburbs.  The Task Force finished its job before 2009 was over.

Haley Stevens went to work in Barack Obama’s Commerce Department focusing on initiatives that restored manufacturing and led to economic growth. Next, she worked for Bloomberg Philanthropies in Kentucky supporting small manufacturers exporting what they made.   After two years, she went to work for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago – an entity which creates and showcases the most advanced, automated manufacturing systems.

In 2017, she came back to Rochester Hills and Detroit.  Thirty-three years old, she was ready to run for Congress in her home district.  Michigan 11 is prosperous, with a median annual household income of nearly $90,000. The district is more than 80% white.  The second largest demographic group is Asian.  Even as four more Democrats announced their plans to run, she looked like the best candidate even if she was a little young.  She won the Democratic primary with 27% of the vote.  The next three candidates earned 21.8%, 21.4%, and 19.4% of the vote.

In the general election of 2018, Haley Stevens ran against an equally young woman who ran her family industrial lubricant business, who simply could not acknowledge that the Obama administration had saved the automobile industry.  Despite “winning” the primary and the election in 2018, Haley Stevens knew she could not approach any election feeling like a victory was a certainty.

Haley Stevens had no primary opposition in 2020.  Her Republican opponent in this swing district was a former male nurse who earned a JD at the University of Michigan and had become a litigator for first one and then another powerful law firm.  Haley Stevens won that election with 50.2% of the vote. A Libertarian candidate received 2% of the vote – not quite the difference between her and the Republican, but a big help in creating a gap.

In Congress, Haley Stevens was a member of the New Democratic Coalition, the largest Democratic caucus – moderate and cautious fiscally.  She was appointed to the Committee on education and labor and the Committee on science, space, and technology.  Interestingly, the US Chamber of Commerce, having grown increasingly distressed with the erratic President Trump and his Congressional followers, endorsed twenty-three Freshmen Democrats in 2020.  Of these members of congress trying to get a second term, fifteen were reelected, among them Haley Stevens.

Haley Stevens recent press releases include her introduction, along with other Members, of legislation to protect the pensions of those who have worked for multiple employers and her reintroduction of her bill protecting supply chains that have been endangered by the pandemic.  She is a Democratic Member of Congress who knows about and is focused on making sure that businesses can work.

Help Haley Stevens get reelected in 2022.  It is not too early.  Getting 50.2% of the vote is no runaway. What’s more, Congressional mid-term elections are almost always tough for the President’s party.

Haley Stevens is among our most vulnerable.  In donating to her 2022 campaign, we help her where she has been successful and where she, nevertheless,  needs more help.  In 2018, she raised over $4 million to her opponents $2.7 Million.  In 2020, she raised $5.7 million to her opponents $1.3 million.

Outside spenders, on the other hand, favored the Republicans (no great shock).  They were important in 2020.  The race was only around 50th in total outside spending among Congressional races.  PACs spent $2.3 million attacking Haley Stevens and .3 Million more on positives for her opponent. Almost two thirds of the $4 million total outstanding spending for this race was on the Republican side.  Haley Stevens will need help in financing her 2022 run.

Donations directly to candidates are efficient; television advertisements are less expensive when purchased by candidates than when purchased by PACs.  Give her money she can spend efficiently.  We need Haley Stevens’ voice in Congress.

Members of Congress to Support. (There will be more)

 Iowa 03          Cynthia Axne  Received 48.9% of the vote in 2020

Illinois 14      Lauren Underwood Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 08 Elissa Slotkin Received 50.88% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 11 Haley Stevens  Received 50.2% of the vote in 2020

Minnesota 02 Angie Craig Received 48.21% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 03 Susie Lee Received 48.75% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 04 Steve Horsford Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

New Jersey 07 Tom Malinowski Received 50.61% of the vote in 2020

Texas 07 Lizzie Fletcher Received 50.79% of the vote in 2020

Texas 15 Vicente Gonzalez Received 50.5% of the vote in 2020

Two Relevant Organizations:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)  The official campaign organization of Democrats in Congress.

 The Democratic National Committee (DNC).  The official organization of the Democratic Party.