Justin Amash's House Seat at Risk


Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a "Ron Paul Republican" who votes no at times when even Dr. No votes yes, got redistricted and is now, Politico reports, at risk of losing his seat to a Democratic challenger, if the pollster feeds the would-be voter the right supposedly damning details on an incumbent who most people seem to think they like at first. Details:

Amash, a libertarian who has clashed with his own party, registers only a 25 percent favorability rating and begins a race against a lesser known Democrat up by just 11 points, according to the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research memo shared with POLITICO.

The numbers are clearly designed to roll out the red carpet for Steve Pestka, a Grand Rapids native and former prosecutor and county commissioner who is strongly mulling a challenge to Amash.

The first test of an Amash-Pestka match up comes out 50 percent to 39 percent in favor of the incumbent.

After voters are read a positive profile on each candidate, the gap closes to just 2 points for Amash, 48 percent to 46 percent.

In the final test, using a "balanced battery of negatives on both candidates," it's 47 percent to 43 percent with Pestka in the lead.

The negatives used against Amash include noting that he was the only member of the state legislature to "vote to allow utility companies to shut off the heat to Michigan seniors and to allow health care professional convicted of a sex offense to keep their medical license."

Mike Riggs wrote about Amash last week in a piece about potential claimants to the throne of the House's most libertarian member when Ron Paul is gone in 2013.

More Reason on Amash. And yes, Rep. Amash appears in my forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution.

NEXT: FoolProof Approach to Gambling: First Hysteria, Then Facts

Campaigns/Elections Congress Ron Paul Republican Party Justin Amash

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47 responses to “Justin Amash's House Seat at Risk


  2. If Paul is voting no and he votes yes, yes might not be the right vote, as on one procedural vote I can think of regarding the Patriot Act. However, Amash is one of the best we have and particularly with Ron leaving, we need to keep him in Congress.

  3. Actually, Doherty notes the opposite, that Amash sometimes votes no when Paul votes yes.

    If Amash loses, he can run for the Senate in 2014 against Mr. NDAA, Sen. Carl Levin (or his vacated spot).

    1. If he wins he can still run for the senate seat....

    2. Give me an example of Amash voting no when Paul voted yes. So far the differences I've seen weren't in Amash's favor but I sure haven't looked specifically for that. Yes and No is too amorphous w/o the subject matter, though.

  4. The negatives used against Amash include noting that he was the only member of the state legislature to "vote to allow utility companies to shut off the heat to Michigan seniors and to allow health care professional convicted of a sex offense to keep their medical license."

    "Amash voted to see your dwellings in flames, female chastity violated and children writhing on a pike. Pestka did not. Who do you prefer for your district's seat?"

    1. "shut off the heat to Michigan seniors"

      Well THAT ought to motivate them to graduate in four years!

      1. lulz

    2. How can they be using negative rights against Amash?

    3. He's poisoned the water supply, molested our children, and sent a plague upon our houses!

      1. Well not yet, but are we going to wait around here until he does?

  5. Voting to allow utility monopolies the ability to shut off the heat of old people is a negative in my book. If the utility is granted a monopoly in order to provide a "public service" then it better damned well provide it and sometimes have to deal with old people on fixed incomes being behind on the bills sometimes. At least find a way to work it out.

    1. "If the utility is granted a monopoly"

      They are not monopolies. They are businesses that have been commandeered by government regulators.

      1. So consumers can chose between local utility companies? I don't know where you get that they aren't monopolies.

        1. Even if they are a monopoly, how does that equate to a right to not pay for goods consumed without consequences?

    2. "If the utility is granted a monopoly"

      They are not monopolies. They are businesses that have been commandeered by government regulators.

    3. Is there any point where you can cut it off? As utility companies usually do try to "work it out."

      1. "As utility companies usually do try to "work it out"

        Up in the north country, utilities can't be turned off duing winter months and there are many, many programs that assist the poor and indigent.

        And I've spent years in meetings at the senior-level at a multi-billion dollar utility and not once, not once have I heard anyone ever say anything akin to "let's fuck the customer out of their money. That the do is a bullshit fiction.

        1. "let's fuck the customer out of their money." That they do is a bullshit fiction.

          Not posting here much has made me rusty.

        2. I guess we need to know what was actually in the bill (at the federal level) and who was lobbying for it.

      2. I'd say no, not during the winter. Not up north anyway.

        1. So old people just get it free then?

          1. If they're on a fixed income, can't pay, and just for that winter. Yes.

            I've got no sympathy for the utility monopoly.

            1. Sure you do, it can be cut off in the Spring then.

              They'll just freeze next winter.

              1. No. I don't really care about the for-profit monopoly as much as I'd be worried about abuse and how it would affect the rates of other customers. If it went on and on with enough deadbeat grandmas it would be a good excuse for the utility to beg permission to raise rates (if it even had to). By the next winter, grandma needs to figure something out. If she's all alone and there's no one there to help pay her bill, then honestly I don't know what she could do. Frankly, if I were in that situation, I'd go looking for some charity group out there that could foot the bill or give me a wood burning stove and the wood. Something.

    4. I guess one would have to read the bill first to see if the negative spin is correct or not. I'm sure someone could counter claim that the prosecutor guy "was so incompentant that X number of rapists and child molesters went free because his jury presentations were flawed."

    5. Here in Texas you get to pick your own electric provider (except in a few cities *cough* Austin *cough*). You can even choose to pay an extra few cents a kilowatt to get 100% renewable yay free-market (kinda)!

      1. How the hell does that work? Is every house it's own substation? I've seen the programs where they ask you to pay 20% extra for having your power come from renewables, but really what it does is create a fund for starting up wind farms and the like. Your power still comes from where everyone else's power comes from.

        1. It works by having the cut from your bill used to buy power from the "green" sources rather than from the least expensive/most efficient sources.

          The actual electrons coming to your house are undifferentiated.

          1. I knew that, but how does one get to chose the power provider? The same way? If so, that's silly. Who manages the power lines and substations? I guess any competition is simply based on price or preference of power source, but it couldn't possibly be based on delivery, i.e. reliability. I guess it's better to have choices as to who sends you a bill versus no choice in that.

            1. I believe all the electricity providers have to lease capacity on the hard transmission infrastructure.

              1. Ok. Makes sense. Who manages that?

                1. Each individual power pole is managed by a co-operative board that meets every third tuesday. From these co-ops, a representive is elected for the bi-monthly meeting of the substation collectives. Of course no one person can be elected for more than 2 consecutive meetings, after which they must wait at least 3 meetings before becoming eligible again.

    6. When I moved to Texas in 1996, my electricity was cut off without warning about a week later, at about 105 degrees F outside. No AC, and a refrigerator full of wasted food. Turns out I was supposed to pay a bill that wasn't delivered to me, that I wasn't expecting. (After previous moves in other states, I was typically billed a month later. Credit is usually extended, but not to people who are new to the state, welcome!)

      Turns out they had a special pay window set up at the local pharmacy for people to pay their electric bills with cash to get reconnected. Seemed like a common practice. The summer heat seemed to be an effective motivational tool.

      Not looking for a federal or state law to protect me, but competing utilities with some incentive to provide better customer service would have been appreciated. A warning would have been nice though, since they had my phone number.


    1. I'm a fucking steamroller!

      1. I'm bound to fucking roll all over you.


  8. meh...will believe he's in danger when I see it for real...wasn't that crazy cat lady elizabeth warren supposed to be running away with that election. Saw this morning that she is down 11.

    1. The corporate media can only obfuscate so much in the age of the INTARWEB. The people are realizing that yes, Elizabeth Warren really is that much of a rabid-assed nut.

  9. Reason, you need to get behind Karen Kwiatkowski for Virginia District 6. Look her up.

    1. Oh yeah! Forgot about her.

      Damn, I'm so close yet so far away.

    2. her opponent, Goodlatte, sponsored SOPA and hates online gambling.

      no brainer.

      1. Fir your average voter, these are great things.

  10. Brian, no one reading this blog post was wondering if Amash was or was not going to make an appearance in your new book.

    1. not gonna lie, there's very few things concerning Brian that I wonder about.

      Fantasize...yes. Wonder...not so much.

  11. again.. lethargic armchair style of chatting away at empty talk on this important issue.. if it were the paul people, they would be organizing to do something about it already. LP has ZERO grassroots energy or capability, which is why it can't inherit the paul grassroots and never will.

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