Michigan Education Association and UAW brawl for control of state Democratic Party

February 6, 2013

Trevor TenBrink Trevor TenBrink

Trevor was website administrator for EAG from December 2012 to March 2014.
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LANSING – It’s no secret Big Labor is influential in the local, state and national Democratic Parties. There’s no better example than Michigan. But when the unions’ ploy to insert collective bargaining “rights” into the state constitution failed, the finger pointing ensued. Now there’s a battle for control of the party between unions.

The Detroit Free Press reports: 

Battle lines have been drawn in the Michigan Democratic Party.

donkeysIn one corner are the UAW and the Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation, who have been lobbying for a new chairman of the party for weeks.

In the opposite corner is Mark Brewer, the chairman of the state party since 1995 who is now fighting to save his job. His efforts are being backed by several dozen county party chairs and the Michigan Education Association.

Internal Democratic politics are usually played out behind the scenes in Michigan. But the battle to boot Brewer as chair of the party burst into the public sphere Tuesday when the seven Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation signed a letter urging party members to consider supporting Lon Johnson, a Kalkaska Democrat, as the new head of the state party.

The unusual letter called on members to start a “new and inclusive chapter in MDP’s leadership.”

“In 2012, we were able to achieve some important victories,” stated the letter signed by U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Reps. John Conyers of Detroit, Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, Dan Kildee of Flint, John Dingell of Dearborn and Sander Levin of Royal Oak. “Unfortunately we suffered disappointing state losses and we now face many challenges in Michigan with the actions of the Governor, the state Legislature and the Michigan Supreme Court.”

The letter did not mention Brewer by name, but members of the delegation and the UAW have been orchestrating efforts to oust Brewer at the state’s Democratic Party convention on Feb. 23.

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