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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Switalski Hit By Rangel Mess

      State Senator Mickey Switalski probably doesn't know Congressman Charlie Rangel from Adam, but Mr. Rangel has had a profound impact on the senator's  effort to unseat incumbent Congressman Sandy Levin this August.
      Funny how seemingly unrelated political events can be linked and in this case the New York Congressman's behavior has influenced the outcome of the contest between the Macomb County Senator and the incumbent Democratic Congressman from Royal Oak.
      Check this out.  Switalski shocked the political establishment last year by announcing that he would challenge Sandy Levin who has served in Congress since 1983.
     What did the Mickster have to lose?  He was term limited out of Lansing, had no where to go, so why not take a swipe at the 78 year old incumbent and if lightening struck, Switalski could trade his Senator's label for U.S. Congressman.
     To be chartiable to the challenger it was a long-shot from the get go until Mr. Rangel got into trouble over ethical questions surrounding his personal finances.  In the wake of that Rangel stepped down as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
     And guess who is the new chair?
     Much to Switalski's chagrin, its  none other than Sandy Levin.
     Levin now has control over Congressional spending or if you want to be blunt, he can influence where the pork barrel funds go.  Which means he can campaign back here and tell local voters, if you send me back to Congress I will make sure Michigan gets its fair share of federal support. 
     In a battered economy, any ray of hope will be greeted with applause, and how does Switalski counter that?
     He might say, "I'm against pork barrel spending." 
     But Levin can counter, "So am I, but if other state's are going to take it, Michigan is now at the head of the line to get something, too."
     Mr. Levin will milk this chairmanship for all it is worth, and Mr. Switalski can't do much about it, accept send a nasty note to Rangel for messing up what little chance he had of winning in the first place.


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