Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.   Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.   Political Note #358 Laura Kelly Kansas Governor, Political Note #366 Tony Evers Wisconsin Governor, Political Note #381 Gretchen Whitmer Michigan Governor, Political Note #402 Katie Hobbs Arizona Governor, Political Note #407 Janet Mills Maine Governor, Political Note # 367 Josh Kaul Wisconsin Attorney General, Political Note #360 Aaron Ford Nevada Attorney General, Political Note #415 Dana Nessel Michigan Attorney General, Political Note #378 Elissa Slotkin MI 08, Political Note #357 Haley Stevens MI 11

Up for election on November 2, 2021

 Political Note #396 Terry McAuliffe Virginia Governor, Political Note #401 Hala Ayala Virginia Lt. Governor, 

September 30th, 2021       Political Note #415 Dana Nessel Michigan Attorney General

2022                                  General Election

So far, Donald Trump has, endorsed 34 candidates for the 2022 election.  Three are in Texas.  Three are in Georgia.  And three are in Michigan.  For now, those three states win the prize.

In Michigan, Donald Trump has endorsed a candidate to defeat the moderate Republican Congressman from the state’s sixth district, Fred Upton, a Republican candidate for Secretary of State to defeat the incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson, and a Republican candidate for Attorney General to defeat the incumbent Democrat Dana Nessel https://www.dananessel.comHe called Dana Nessel a whack-a-doodle.

She is actually a tough prosecutor and a local.  She grew up in the toney Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield Hills where she was an All-State soccer player.  Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan.  Her law degree is from Wayne State in Detroit.  She was a prosecutor in Wayne County (again, that’s Detroit) for eleven years.  During those years, she worked on more than 1600 cases dealing with homicides and rapes, domestic violence and child abuse, and more.  After those eleven years, she spent some time in private practice.  She and a well-known Michigan defense attorney created the firm (You can’t make it up) Nessel & Kessel. While in private practice, she won a Michigan case, which became part of the federal case that led to confirming the legality of same sex marriages.

Not a small matter, while working on the gay marriage case in Michigan, Dana Nessel met her future wife.  Dana Nessel is a Jewish gay woman (the first openly gay person to be elected state-wide in Michigan).  In 2018, Republicans claimed she was too progressive while also claiming she was too tough; too hard on her employees.

Dana Nessel was elected Attorney General in 2018 after setting out priorities.  Regarding the environment, she would shut down an oil pipeline that went under the Straits of Mackinac (between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas) and she would watch for chemical contamination of bodies of water throughout the state and especially in the three  Great Lakes Michigan borders. Regarding health care, she intended to be aggressive protecting the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, she committed herself to making the Attorney General’s office less political than her Republican opponent’s was. While she acknowledged she might participate with other Attorneys General in national law suits, she was insistent that she would do so only if the law suit protected her constituents in Michigan.

Stopping the pipeline has been a challenge.  Before she took office, agreement to build a tunnel for the Mackinac tunnel became law — the state legislature passed a bill signed by the outgoing Republican governor to build the tunnel for the pipeline below bedrock.  The tunnel would protect this nearly 70-year old pipeline with an eroding outer coating.  So far, neither Dana Nessel nor conservation interests nor nearby communities have been able to get a court to require decommissioning the pipeline or to prevent construction of the tunnel. Canada has joined Enbridge in attempting to sustain this tunnel which provides fuel to Ontario and Quebec.

Dana Nessel has been in court about chemical contaminants in the water.  As Attorney General, she sued 17 companies for hiding the health and environmental risks of dangerous chemicals in water throughout the state, but particularly in the Great Lakes which border it (Michigan, Huron, and Erie).  Her approach to Michigan’s most famous water contamination case, the problems with the city of Flint’s water supply created by a state decision to save money, has demonstrated her contempt for the state’s approach under the previous Attorney General.  Saying that the previous administration had not pursued all evidence, she took steps to seize the previous governor’s telephone and telephone records and dropped all outstanding charges against various officials.  She explained that some charges may be refiled after further investigation.  She insisted that, in this case, justice delayed is not justice denied and has stressed the importance of getting the prosecution right.

Dana Nessel joined other state Attorneys General in defending the Affordable Care Act, explaining that thousands of Michiganders would lose access to health care if the Affordable Care Act were found unconstitutional.

Dana Nessel has taken on a variety of other legal issues:

  • Despite opposition from the Republican legislature, Dana Nessel created a Hate Crimes group to track and prosecute the increasing number of hate crimes in Michigan
  • To date, two men, one who had been incarcerated for 16 years, another who had been in jail for 32 years have been exonerated by the Conviction Integrity Unit she created in the Attorney General’s office.
  • Within the Consumer Protection Division, she created a Payroll Fraud Enforcement Unit and an Auto Insurance Fraud Unit. The Payroll Fraud Enforcement Unit has been particularly focused on addressing inappropriate designation of employees as contract workers. During its first year in existence, the Unit addressed more than 100 complaints.  Employment attorneys were advising their clients to examine their practices on their own.  The Auto Insurance Fraud unit was flooded with complaints – more than 3,000 in its first four months of existence. Dana Nessel led the Consumer Protection Division to intervene in cases when utilities were asking for rate increase.  After a year of that kind of work, the office claimed it had saved rate payers more than $350 million.
  • She created a task force to deal with elder abuse, cracked down on robocalls, addressed sex abuse in the Catholic Church (which had, apparently been ignored by the previous Republican attorneys general), and began an investigation of Michigan State University following the prosecutions of Larry Nassar for sexual abuse of women gymnasts.

 Dana Nessel has discomforted some, discomforted them enough so that there have been seventeen efforts to begin recall proceedings against her.  In all but one of these cases, the state Board of Canvassers has rejected the language of the petition.  The Board does not explain its reasoning, but its obligation is to consider whether the language is factual and clear.  In the one instance where the language was not rejected, the petitioner indicated he would not seek to collect signatures.

 Dana Nessel is an Attorney General who Michigan should keep.  She is not conventional.  In an interview intended for students at her old high school, she told them: “Elected office was not an obvious next step in my career trajectory, but it was something I felt compelled to seek out because I believed I could do a better job for the people of Michigan.  I was the admitted underdog as a candidate for the office of attorney general.  I embraced a nontraditional campaign style and led with my personality and my accomplishments.  That is the same way I conduct myself as attorney general.  I want to know the details of the cases being worked on in my department.  I want to know the challenges and accomplishments of the talented people who work with me.  I sought out the job because I wanted to do the job, not just hold the office.”  Help Michigan keep Dana Nessel regardless of who Donald Trump endorses.  Donate to the campaign.  Volunteer if you can.

Virginia votes in November, 2021.  Former Governor Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic candidate in a raise against a Republican ready to spend a lot of his own money. 

 Below are candidates for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State where there is an incumbent Democratic governor and where the governor’s seat is not considered solidly Democratic.  Take a look and see who you would like to provide some support for.  We need to defend these seats

Kansas Gov             Laura Kelly (Lean D)

Maine Gov               Janet Mills (Likely D)

Michigan Gov          Gretchen Whitmer (Lean D)

Michigan AG            Dana Nessel

Michigan SofS        Jocelyn Benson

Minnesota Gov       Tim Walz (Likely D)

Minnesota AG         Keith Ellison

Minnesota SofS      Steve Simon

Nevada Gov             Steve Sisolak (Likely D)

Nevada AG               Aaron Ford

Nevada SofS            Cisco Aguilar  (not the incumbent)

Wisconsin Gov       Tony Evers (Lean D)

Wisconsin AG         Josh Kaul

Wisconsin SofS      Doug LaFollette

More Democrats challenging Republican incumbent governors in battleground states:

  • Nuclear Engineer Chris Jones is attracting interest in Arkansas, a state where a Democrat does not usually attract interest.
  • Two Democrats running in Florida have won state-wide elections. Nikki Fried is that state Agriculture Commissioner. Charlie Crist was governor as a Republican before his conversion.  It won’t hurt that the nominee will be running with Val Demings, a very strong candidate for the US Senate.
  • The most spectacular Democratic candidate has not yet announced. Stacey Abrams is a serious contender for governor of Georgia, notwithstanding voter suppression.
  • Beto O’Rourke us about to announce. He’ll run for governor of Texas
  • Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, has succeeded is freezing out other candidates for governor of Pennsylvania while not yet announcing himself
  • Once Maryland sorts out is several Democratic candidates, Democrats should be able to recapture the state house there.
  • Unlike Maryland, Massachusetts Republican governor can run again. Third time may not be a charm.  Democrats could win this time.
  • One of two well-liked mayors – John Cranley of Cincinnati or Nan Whaley of Dayton will be a formidable candidate for governor, especially running along with Congressman Tim Ryan who is a strong candidate for the US Senate.
  • Don’t rule out South Carolina as a possibility where former Congressman Joe Cunningham or state senator Mia McLeod will run against the incumbent.

Organizations to support

Democratic Governors Association (DGA)  Organizes to elect Democratic governors.

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

The Democratic Attorney Generals Association at works to support and elect Democrats to that post.

DASS or the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State supports people in that role and those running for the office.

Fair Fight Promotes fair elections around the country

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