In 1998, when Dave Woodward was elected to the state House at age 22, one of the things that immediately separated him from other young win-it-now political obsessives was his patience. He saw a trend: Bill Clinton had won Oakland County in 1996, the first Democrat to carry it in decades. If they could just convince those people to vote Democratic lower on the ballot, that could change everything.
Having grown up in Oakland during the ’80s and ’90s, Dave knew the county’s reputation as a place for the wealthy and well-connected. He also knew that it bore little resemblance to the lives of many people in the county—himself included. “In Oakland County, particularly, prosperity—in so many ways—is all around you,” he says. “The opulence is all around you.”
Born and raised in Royal Oak, one of the middle-class, inner-ring suburbs in the south end of the county, his family was neither wealthy nor well-connected. His dad worked retail at Sears for 25 years—a working-class living that put food on the table but wasn’t the kind of money that created feather-bed comfort. Woodward’s interest in politics started in high school, but when it came time for college, he needed to be practical: At Wayne State, he set himself up for a career as an actuary. But being an actuary didn’t excite him—not like politics. In 1998, Woodward ran for the open seat being vacated by his hometown state representative, a Democrat. Woodward didn’t have a whole lot of money or connections and Royal Oak was still a battleground with lots of moderate Republicans—and the year was otherwise miserable for Michigan Democrats—but he won anyway, with nearly 55 percent of the vote.
He arrived in Lansing, 22 and impossibly boyish-looking, as the youngest member of the minority party. And though he threw himself into constituent services and bread-and-butter issues like clean water and consumer protection, he quickly found that minority status imposed limits on what you could achieve through hard work alone. Still, he believed the rah-rah attitude of his more experienced fellow legislators who vowed to take back the House in 2000.
“And right after that didn’t happen, I and a group of people sat down to say, ‘All right, we’ve got to map this out,’” remembers Woodward.
On paper, they sketched out a 10-year plan to build the Democratic Party in Oakland County. At the time, the county party was more a loose confederation of local groups and elected officials’ campaigns than anything resembling a coherent organization.
“We had to build everything from scratch,” says Woodward.
He started by identifying local races where they stood a chance of making gains. Initially, the model for this calculation was crude. “It was like, ‘Where was the margin of loss less than 10 percent? Let’s start there,” Woodward laughs.
“I’ll be honest, there were some folks who got mad at me because we didn’t help everybody in the same way,” he says. “But this was about winning! It’s about winning elections and then winning majorities so that we can actually govern. … The goal, for me, is not just to compete in an election for the sake of an election; it’s what you do with the power once you have it.”
To start, that meant finding voters. Woodward knew Democrats existed in Oakland—Bill Clinton won in there 1996 and Al Gore in 2000, which, in retrospect, were early signs of a national shift in the political preferences of college graduates—but he also knew that those voters either tended not to vote in down-ballot races, or split their tickets.
“It’s all so high-tech now, the modeling and all that type of stuff,” says Woodward. “This was old-school: I needed to find us 5,000 more Democrats. So we’re going door-to-door and asking, ‘Are you a Democrat?’ We found them. And we built a database and made certain to put energy and resources into making sure that everyone we identified a year-and-a-half out from the election ended up voting. … It’s not rocket science. It was like, ‘This person should be voting with us, but just hasn’t.’”
In November 2002, Woodward won his third term in the state House—his final one, thanks to term limits. At 26, talk naturally turned to what he wanted to do next. In Oakland, Democrats made gains, but the hole was deep: Republicans had a 19-6 supermajority on the county board.
Woodward had attended one of those 19-6 county board meetings, and remembers speaking afterwards with Dave Coulter, a Ferndale Democrat elected to the board in 2002.
“That was my first elected office, so I was a bit crestfallen to see how little you can really get done in a minority that small,” says Coulter. He had worked to build collegial, productive relationships with the Republicans on the commission—and with Patterson himself, for that matter. But it wasn’t enough to actually manifest the change he wanted to see.
Woodward was offering to help. “I’m like, ‘OK, clearly we need some more Democrats elected,’” Woodward laughs. “He’s like, ‘Ya think?!’”
In the process of recruiting candidates, the tables turned on Woodward: Dave, you’re term-limited. Why don’t you run?
It was not exactly advisable for a rising star to leave the legislature to pursue lower office, running in a seat where he’d face a Republican incumbent whom Patterson was grooming to be the next chairman of the board. Plus, he would still be in the minority. But that was where his work was: turning Oakland blue.
In November 2004, Woodward upset the Republican incumbent. Several of his recruits won, too. The Republican majority shrunk from 19-6 to 15-10. Now it was time to slam on the accelerator. Woodward and Coulter came up with a new plan.
“For the next six years that I was [on the board], we sort of divided up responsibilities,” Coulter says. “He oversaw the ‘political’ side of things [for the Democrats], and I sort of oversaw the ‘caucus management’ and ‘negotiating with [Patterson]’ side of things. And that worked for us. … I would try to raise issues and policies, and then Dave would try to translate those into votes.”
They picked issues designed to contrast with Patterson’s Republicans, like transit, clean water, urban redevelopment and making sure middle-class areas weren’t neglected in favor of wealthier communities.
“It was a combination of raising issues that were emerging … and then getting candidates who were credible,” says Coulter.
“It’s not just a winning formula; these are things that the voters want,” says Woodward.
Patterson saw Democrats making gains and it perturbed him. But he understood the cause of it earlier than most in his party. “I’ve said all along that the far-right wing of the [GOP] has done a very effective job of running moderate women out of the party,” he told the Free Press in 2004.
But what Patterson might not have expected was that Woodward had his eyes on something that Republicans had taken for granted as theirs to control: redistricting.
It was a quirk of Michigan law: The state legislature controlled the once-in-a-decade redistricting process for federal and state legislative maps. New county commission lines, however, were decided by a panel made up of five people: the chairs of the county’s Democratic and Republican Parties, the county clerk, treasurer and prosecutor.
After the 2006 election, the Republican majority on the board was just 13-12. Whoever controlled the district lines after the 2010 census would likely determine the majority. All of the countywide posts would be up in 2008—a presidential year, which meant high turnout for Democrats—and one of those offices, Patterson’s old job of county prosecutor, was an open seat. In November, Barack Obama carried Oakland with 56.5 percent of the vote. Patterson won a fifth term as county executive with 58 percent of the vote. Republicans held the clerk’s office, but Democrats picked up the treasurer and prosecutor posts—which meant they would control redistricting in the county for the first time in generations. Woodward would get his majority. It was all going according to plan.
But there was one thing Woodward hadn’t planned for: Patterson’s sway in the state capital.
At Patterson’s behest, the GOP state legislature rewrote the rules of county redistricting to strip control from the five-member bipartisan panel and hand it to the GOP-controlled county board. And lest there be any doubt about why this was happening, the new law was written in such a manner that it applied only to Oakland County—only to counties with a population of more than 1 million (there are two: Wayne and Oakland) that didn’t operate by their own charter (just Oakland).
“Brooks came [to Lansing] and said, ‘Hey, make this exception for Oakland County,’” one top Michigan Republican strategist who was involved in the episode told me. “He wanted the board. When he was exec, it was more like they weren’t an independently elected board; even though they were, Brooks ran them. He gave them their agenda. … They did what Brooks wanted. He ran that county like a king. He wanted a compliant board. That mattered more to him than [them being] Republicans, quite honestly.”
TOTAL RECALL: Newsom Begs Californians to ‘Voluntarily Reduce Water Consumption’ By 15%
posted by Hannity Staff – 7.09.21
Embattled California Governor Gavin Newsom is pleading with Golden State resident’s to “voluntarily” limit their water consumption as the region struggles with high-temperatures and drought conditions.
“We’re hopeful that people will take that mindset they brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15% voluntary reduction, not only on residences but industrial commercial operations and agricultural operations,” Newsom said in a news conference.
“We’re not trying to be oppressive,” Newsom stressed, The Times reported. “Again, these are voluntary standards.”
Newsom will officially be recalled on September 14th as he fends of potential challengers eager to take his position.
The Governor has faced a growing backlash over a series of botched plans; including his decision to shutter businesses for more than a year to slow the spread of COVID-19.
TOTAL RECALL: Newsom Says Recall Effort Has Enough Signatures, Eating Out Was ‘Terrible Mistake’
posted by Hannity Staff – 3.16.21
California Governor Gavin Newsom admitted the obvious during an interview with ‘The View’ Tuesday; saying it “appears” there are now enough signatures to force a mandatory recall vote and potentially oust him from office.
“Am I worried about it? Of course I’m worried about it,” Newsom said. “The nature of these things, the up or down question, the zero-sum nature of the question is challenging…so we’re taking it seriously.”
“Am I worried about it? Of course I’m worried about it,” Newsom tells @TheView.
“The nature of these things, the up or down question, the zero-sum nature of the question is challenging…so we’re taking it seriously.” https://t.co/VQPtWw0qXe
After receiving backlash for going against his own recommendations last year by attending a maskless, mostly indoor dinner at a restaurant while much of the state was on lockdown, California Gov. @GavinNewsom
“This one appears to have the requisite signatures,” the Democratic governor said.
“I’ve only been in office 25 months, just 25 months there’s been six efforts to put a recall on the ballot. This one appears to have the requisite signatures. This started before the pandemic,” he said. “If you look at the list of grievances from the proponents of this campaign, it goes to our values, it’s less about me, it’s more about California and our values, Democratic Party values.”
“I have to do my job every single day, but I’m gonna fight this thing because I’m gonna fight for California values and the things I hold dear,” he added.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called-out White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Friday after the top Biden aide accused Republicans of moving to “defund” the police; saying it’s the Democrats who are “demonizing” the men and women in blue.
“Republicans are proud to support the police, to stand with the men and women of blue, while Democrats are demonizing and vilifying the brave men and women of law enforcement,” said Ted Cruz from the US Capitol.
Sen. @tedcruz: “Republicans are proud to support the police, to stand with the men and women of blue, while Democrats are demonizing and vilifying the brave men and women of law enforcement.” pic.twitter.com/MlpfwkPqRw
“I think the President believes we shouldn’t allow access to guns to those criminals who are illegally buying them from dealers across the country,” said the Press Secretary in June. “Part of it is also ensuring specific guidance to communities to ensure they have funding to get more community police. Something that was supported by the American Jobs Plan… Some might say the other party was for defunding the police,” she added.
“The President did mention that the American Rescue Plan, a lot of Democrats, could help ensure that local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country. It did not receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat!” claimed Psaki a short time later.
“Any local department would argue that keeping cops on the beat … is something that helped them fight crime in their communities,” she added.
Absolutely shameless. Under questioning from Fox’s Peter Doocy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argues it’s *Republicans* who have been defunding the police and not supporting law enforcement because they didn’t vote for Biden’s stimulus boondoggle the American Rescue Plan. pic.twitter.com/pIwfFkonu1
CRUZ MISSILE: Biden Admin Believes ‘American Jobs are Bad but Russian Jobs are Good’
posted by Hannity Staff – 5.21.21
Senator Ted Cruz called-out the Biden-Harris administration at the US Capitol this week; blasting the White House for suspending American energy pipelines while backing Russia’s oil industry.
“For whatever reason, the Biden-Harris administration seems to have a philosophy that American pipelines and American jobs are bad but Russian pipelines and Russian jobs are apparently good,” said Cruz.
President Biden suspended the Keystone Pipeline through an Executive Order the first day he entered the Oval Office, prompting outrage from energy workers across the United States.
Watch Cruz’ comments above.
CRUZ MISSILE: Cruz Asks Twitter to BAN CNN Over Post Promoting Same Drug That Got Trump Jr Barred
posted by Hannity Staff – 7.29.20
Senator Ted Cruz demanded Twitter ban CNN from its platform Tuesday night; pointing out the network promoted the same treatment for CoVID-19 that got Donald Trump Jr’s account frozen this week.
“Twitter, please ban CNN,” posted Cruz, citing the story.
Wild dash-cam footage was published on social media Friday showing at least 12 migrants escaping a smuggler’s vehicle after it was pulled over by police in the Del Rio sector of the US-Mexico border.
“Wild dash cam footage from Texas DPS shows a trooper in a recent pursuit of a human smuggler here in Del Rio. The smuggler bails, and at least a dozen illegal immigrants spill out and flee. Trooper focused on driver & caught him. Some of the passengers got away,” posted Fox News Bill Melugin on Twitter.
NEW: Wild dash cam footage from Texas DPS shows a trooper in a recent pursuit of a human smuggler here in Del Rio. The smuggler bails, and at least a dozen illegal immigrants spill out and flee. Trooper focused on driver & caught him. Some of the passengers got away. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/yfppLYQEuy
“Another Texas DPS pursuit of a human smuggler & bailout here in Del Rio last week. The driver and all of the illegal immigrants who ran were caught. Texas DPS tells me their troopers have been involved in 473 pursuits since the start of Operation Lone Star as of 7/15,” he added.
Another Texas DPS pursuit of a human smuggler & bailout here in Del Rio last week. The driver and all of the illegal immigrants who ran were caught. Texas DPS tells me their troopers have been involved in 473 pursuits since the start of Operation Lone Star as of 7/15. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/dKthGmysIR
The journalist posted other videos this week showing Federal Agents escorting migrants -some from Haiti and Senegal- into the USA.
“Another group of migrants has just been walked through the border gate into the U.S. here in Del Rio, TX. Most of the group is from Haiti. Some of the single adult men you see waiting in the back tell me they’re from Senegal, a country in West Africa. It’s non-stop,” posted the reporter.
NEW: Another group of migrants has just been walked through the border gate into the U.S. here in Del Rio, TX. Most of the group is from Haiti. Some of the single adult men you see waiting in the back tell me they’re from Senegal, a country in West Africa. It’s non-stop. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/3yL5gGECPo
“NEW: More groups of migrants being walked through the border gate to a waiting Border Patrol van here in Del Rio this morning. This is one of several groups we’ve seen come through today. Our drone team in RGV says 300+ have already crossed in La Joya, TX as of 9am,” he added.
NEW: More groups of migrants being walked through the border gate to a waiting Border Patrol van here in Del Rio this morning. This is one of several groups we’ve seen come through today. Our drone team in RGV says 300+ have already crossed in La Joya, TX as of 9am. @FoxNews
This group of Haitian men just walked through the border gate and turned themselves in to Border Patrol. We have seen hundreds of Haitians arriving here in Del Rio this week. The flow of migrants showing up is almost nonstop every day unless there’s a big storm. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/KmHcYccLul
BORDER CHAOS: 500 Pounds of Mexican METH Discovered in ‘DISNEY’ Figurines
posted by Hannity Staff – 4.11.18
The Drug Enforcement Agency discovered over $2 million worth of smuggled Mexican methamphetamines hidden inside Disney character figurines Wednesday; calling the haul the biggest “meth bust” in the Atlanta region.
According to DEA officials, the drugs were hidden inside over 500 figurines meant to look like beloved Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.
“DEA Atlanta Division Special Agent in Charge Robert Murphy says the meth originated in Mexico and was destined for Atlanta,” writes a local CBS affiliate. “He says another load containing legitimate ceramic figurines was intercepted and is believed to have been intended as a decoy.”
The discovery comes as President Trump pledges to crackdown on human trafficking and drug smuggling at the United States’ southern border; vowing last week to deploy the National Guard to help secure the region.
BORDER CHAOS: America TOPS GERMANY for Most Asylum Applications in 2017
posted by Hannity Staff – 6.19.18
Stunning new data released by the United Nations reveals that the United States now has more asylum requests than Germany; a country that has admitted more than one million refugees since 2015.
The UN Refugee Agency published the statistics Tuesday, showing that individual asylum applications in the US rose by 27% in 2017; reaching over 330,000 new requests and topping Germany’s 198,000.
“Meanwhile, more people last year from parts of North and Central America ‘undertook the perilous journey northwards to seek asylum in Mexico and the United States of America,’” writes Politico.
“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” added the UN report.