Sunday, April 25, 2010

Party On

It's no wonder Mr. Rogers is so seldom home in the 8th District! He's been busy in Washington, D.C. raising money for his campaign. Thanks to all those Happy Hours, Ladies Nights and Five Guys Lunches, his campaign war chest is filling up nicely -- in the first quarter of 2010, he's taken in over $1 million in total receipts... with more than half of it coming from PACs.

Speaking of PACs, Mr. Rogers is also busy tending to his own personal PAC, the MIKE R Fund ("Majority Initiative to Keep Electing Republicans"). MIKE R Fund has helped support such Congressional luminaries as Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-SC) and the Republican Parties of Iowa and Louisiana.

Throw in his responsibilities as incumbent retention chair for the NRCC, and you can totally understand why Mr. Rogers can only talk to people who are willing to pay for the privilege.

UPDATE: Yesterday's Huffpost Hill also picked up the Five Guys lunch story, albeit in terms a bit less delicate than we Neighborhoodies prefer:

12:00 pm: Looking to evacuate both his guests' wallets and bowels,Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) hosts a "Five Guys Lunch" [National Republican Congressional Committee, 310 First Street SE].

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Company You Keep

Remember Mark Foley? He was the GOP representative who, among other things, exchanged sexually explicit instant messages with teenage Congressional pages and later resigned amid questions about coverups by the House Republican leadership.

Mr. Foley's scandal reached the 8th Congressional District when CNN ran film of Mike Rogers accompanying Mr. Foley to the White House. Both men were involved in GOP leadership and served as deputy majority whips. Mr. Rogers' assertion that he didn't socialize with Foley was weakened when it surfaced that the two men, both prodigious money-raising guys, often co-hosted fundraisers for fellow GOP incumbents and held a fundraising event at Mr. Foley's home.

Old news, you say.

Well, it turns out that Mr. Foley re-emerged last month, attending a Palm Beach political luncheon where Mitt Romney was the guest speaker.

Mr. Romney, ginning up for a possible Presidential run in 2012, has long had a pal in Mike Rogers.

Mike, Mitt, and Mark -- keep your eye on these guys during the coming year. Their paths will no doubt continue to intersect in some interesting ways.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Mr. Rogers hasn't been around much lately, since he's so busy with raising record-breaking amounts of money for Republican Congressional candidates. For over a year now, he's been working on the NRCC Patriot Program and there's no question that Mr. Rogers is really, really good at raking in the moola.

So good, in fact, that even when he was home this week the only people he talked to were the ones who paid $30 to attend the Howell Chamber of Commerce program (Chamber members got a slight discount).

Aside from coffee and muffins, what did they get for $30?

They got Mike Rogers in full oogedy-boogedy mode, warning of "bad omens for small business." The health care reform bill (which Rogers voted against twice) will make employers "nervous."

Not sure where Mr. Rogers has been, other than NRCC pep rallies -- because if he was here in the 8th Congressional District he would know that according to his own Energy & Commerce Committee, 15,100 small businesses would receive tax credits to provide employee health care coverage.

Mr. Rogers was also in a tizzy over proposed bank regulatory reforms, worrying that they would "inhibit access to capital." According to a 2009 report by the Federal Reserve, small businesses were already looking at the worst credit crunch in history. Credit cards, a traditional small business tool, are no longer as helpful, since the companies have raised their rates -- and small businesses weren't included in the credit card reform legislation passed last year.

Turning his gaze to the wider world, Mr. Rogers shared his thoughts on the "pretty frightening" situation in Iran, and
He said fear of a nuclear threat only compounds the worries of small-business owners, and that the country needs a stronger stance on the issue on the worldwide stage.

I'm willing to bet that if you went door-to-door on Main Street in Brighton or Grand River in Howell, and asked small business owners what was on their Top 10 List of Stuff to Worry About, Iran's nuclear threat wouldn't be on it. Probably not even on their Top 100 List, to be honest.

Basically, the whole breakfast was just another episode of Rogers Kabuki Theater: he strikes a heroic pose, says the same scary things about Iran, pushes the same tired health policy ideas and pretends he hasn't been hanging around Washington for the past decade. It's great value for your entertainment dollar, if you like that sort of thing.

If you would prefer a Representative who actually wants to represent you, please visit Democratic Congressional challenger Kande Ngalamulume's campaign website. You'll see what a real 8th District Congressman looks like.