In observing the NORTHERN MICHIGAN Democratic Primary campaign for the 1st Congressional District I have found that Gary McDowell is ignoring the fact that the privilege of running as the Democratic Candidate for the 1st CongressionalDistrict is even in contention, instead he seems to be acting as though there is no primary campaign, there is no Derek Bailey and that he, and he alone, is the chosen one to challenge Dan Benishek in November. This is a very arrogant attitude, insulting even– not specifically to Derek J. Bailey ( although it maybe helpful for him to campaign while his opponent is busy running against Benishek), but insulting to the voters of NORTHERN MICHIGAN in particular who have a choice to make on August 7th and who deserve a primary election where both candidates are focused on informing voters about who they are, what their beliefs and values are and what they will try to accomplish if elected by the voters of NORTHERN MICHIGAN.
I believe that this arrogance stems from the fact that McDowell has been endorsed so quickly and so heavily by organizations and interests from outside NORTHERN MICHIGAN that he feels immune to the challenge of anyone and assumes that he is the“anointed” one - the entitled one. That being said, I might also add that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ( DCCC ) ( to their credit ) has taken a “handsoff” position on this Primary,something that may not be generally known by many caught up in the rush to endorse. It may not be polite to mention this in his holy presence but he did LOSE to Dan Benishek in the previous election. I’ve heard people make the argument that , "well, he entered late and that was a disadvantage”. As President Clinton once said, “ that dog doesn’t hunt”. The truth is that his LOSS was attributable to several factors not the least of which is the fact that the voters of NORTHERN MICHIGAN didn’t want him as their Congressman. His loss was unfortunate and we all felt a great let down when Benishek took office but the fact remains that McDowell was rejected by the voters of NORTHERN MICHIGAN.
In a Congressional District where the seat had been solidly Democratic from 1993 – 2010, the Democratic candidate should have been able to carry the District. Gary McDowell LOST in 2010 NOT because he had a late start but because the voters of Northern Michigan simply didn’t want him.
This time around McDowell started early enough ... he has enough money ... and the downstate politicos and special interests have tripped over themselves to endorse him. He is THEIR candidate ... chosen by THEM ... financed by THEM ... endorsed by THEM and,dare I say it ? ... Controlled by THEM.
DerekBailey’s campaign comes from his heart and not the backroom of a bar in Lansing. He is the worst nightmare of the DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT because he has entered into the campaign to become the District’s Democratic Candidate with the intention of running a clean campaign and making life better for all NORTHERN MICHIGANDERS. His culture, his spirit , education and his leadership experience have prepared him to be a good Congressman for ALL of NORTHERN MICHIGAN, chosen by the voters and not by people and organizations whose personal and various narrow interests are better served by a candidate of THEIR choice.
Having said that there is one last thing I must mention that I have personally observed. One of McDowell’s campaign operatives, a man who should know better, looked me in the eye and lied to me about Derek having said that he’s running merely to better serve his people in dealings with the Bureau of Indian Affairs ( B.I.A. ). Nothing could be farther from the truth ! It was a blatant lie . I contacted Derek Bailey and he personally denied that the conversation ever happened and added that he has encountered several instances of racism since his campaign began. Bailey campaign Chairman , Rick Coates also added that "Derek has proven in four years as Tribal Chairman of the Grand Traverse Band that he has been all about the best interests of the region as a whole and not just people of a specific ethnicity...The Grand Traverse Band is the second largest employer in the region and has provided numerous jobs to people of all ethnic backgrounds". Coates went on to say, "Any suggestion that Derek Bailey is running for Congress to benefit only the Indian community is absolutly false and a racist tact to paint Derek as a greedy Indian leader when quite the opposite is readily apparent". The use of race to persuade voters to vote for Gary McDowell actually gives his campaign a rather desperate tone. This is something one might not expect from a Democratic candidate who should know better than to use “race baiting” in his campaign. The remarks of course imply the question to a voter, “would you prefer a white Congressman or an Indian” ?
Finally, I would ask that Gary McDowell take the appropriate steps to stop any racebaiting in his campaign by both he and his operatives, whether paid or not, and to make his position known on the use of race in this Primary campaign.
Lastly,I’m asking every NORTHERN MICHIGANDER to simply think about the choice they have on August 7th… think about whether you want the “Establishment’s”candidate or the candidate OF and FOR ALL of NORTHERN MICHIGAN… Derek J. Bailey.