Why a Michigan Democratic Political Dynasty Just Fellow

AIPAC invests huge amount of external funds to oust Levin Its Super Pac Was Allegedly Spent At least $4.2 million in the race. But its attacks on Levine have resonated less with the Oakland Democrats, with whom I spoke in response to ads for his defenders at the J Street Action Fund, a more progressive Jewish political group. He attacked Stevens for supporting AIPAC and suggested she was with the January 6 rebels and members of the Republican House who tried to reverse the 2020 election.

In fact, Stevens supported the impeachment of Donald Trump over his actions on January 6. He has never tampered with electoral denial. And Levine’s aides’ suggestion that he had done so, according to several party insiders, fueled frustration among Michigan Democrats over the aggressiveness of Levine’s campaign message, and at least one senior leader in the local party personally called him. Inspired to ask to tone. Below

“It’s not helpful [to the party]and frankly, it doesn’t really register,” a Democratic insider and elected official told me ahead of election day. “It all just puts a target on the back of a lot of Democrats.”

“Dressing him up as a rebel? Come on,” says an aide to another member of Congress, describing the private backlash among the Michigan delegation. “That was a step too far.”

This prompted Woodward to endorse Stevens – an unusual move, considering his friendship with both candidates and the fact that the primary election was only five days away. “Efforts to link him to the rebels just went too far for me – and enough for me to put my reputation on the line,” he says.

With Mari Manoyogian, a second-term state representative who flipped a Republican State House seat in the wealthy Birmingham area of ​​Oakland in 2018. She considers both Levine and Stevens to be friends and remains out of the running until her closing days, when Stevens is attacked. Levine’s allies persuaded him to support Congressmen. “I can’t take the negativity anymore,” she says.

The local strategy shaped national funding, too: the Levine campaign ran a locally-driven ground game, knocking on more than 70,000 doors during the primary, while Stevens’ associates flooded the airwaves (and the Internet) with pricey advertisements. A Levin publisher going from door to door in Pontiac Reported seeing two kids in driveway playing with Barbies, He immediately recognized Stevens on a part of the campaign published as “the woman of TV” after seeing an ad for her on YouTube.

“I have to believe that if spending had been 5-to-1 in our favor, we could have won,” Levine’s communications director Bayer told me.

It could be true. But campaigns are about much more than ads and money. And some Democrats were confused by Levine’s message in the campaign’s final months, when he swung hard at Squad-style politics, eager for a ed marque-Changes to a lefty online icon. Meme accounts sprang up on Twitter, which strangely tried to force that rebranding (“We need an American Girl doll to canvas for Andy Levine,” read one, “Little Miss Judge for not donning you Andy Levine yet,” read second,

Levine invited himself Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) To campaign for him at Pontiac in the final days of the election. The tour was really important: of the 117,651 votes, nearly 70,000 came via absentee ballots, which were sent to voters 45 days before the election. Although the number of in-person votes was relatively close—in those ballots, Stevens defeated Levine by 55 percent to 45 percent—Stevens carried 64 percent of absentee ballots.

Actual campaign mechanics aside, Sanders’ visit was also a fundamental misinterpretation of voters in the Oakland County district, which, while increasingly Democratic, contains some of the wealthiest communities in the state.

“This is not Bernie country,” says an Oakland Democratic insider, who is friends with both Levine and Stevens. “If I were to prepare a rally to shut down voters in Oakland County, I would probably have Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib in Pontiac on the Saturday before the election. Doing so was clear political misconduct. … to me It’s an unbelievable failure to understand your district.”

In response to questions from the article, which included the above quote, Bayer, the Levine campaign’s director of communications, stated that “Stevens supporters in this story are prepared to alienate Congressman Levine’s loyal supporters and several moments in this campaign.” To those who matter a lot. It is a matter of misfortune.”

he considered failure To understand the new district, whether real or simply, mysterious Democratic officials, who saw a very clear electoral path available to Levine, were not taken by the candidate.

“Andy is deeply involved in the $15 minimum wage push. You wouldn’t know it because Andy never talks about it!” Oakland Dame Insider Says. “It’s this sort of thing: Like, we know the squad Andy Levine… but there’s another side to that which is very Charming and very electable in this district, and he hasn’t been there at all. … He focuses on things that are not important to the district. nobody cares about the unionization of the district [Capitol] Hill workers. ,

People who knew Levine say that the fights he chose were born out of honesty, not political gain. “What did he say and what did he do – that” Is Him,” says Chapman, who has known him for decades. which meant that if he was not Embrace squad-style politics, he’ll be pretending someone he wasn’t.

But some of the Jewish Democrats I spoke with had exactly that problem. And as Levine embraced the left, he tore apart a significant portion of the Levine family’s electoral coalition.

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