Aug 08, 2012
Memo: Pestka Win Puts Congressman Justin Amash in Danger of Losing His Seat
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: DCCC Communications
DATE: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
RE: Pestka Win Puts Congressman Justin Amash in Danger of Losing His Seat
With Steve Pestka’s victory tonight, Democrats have an opportunity to unseat Congressman Justin Amash who has yet to be held accountable for a record that is is deeply out of touch with Michigan workers and middle class families. This is now a district that President Obama carried in 2008 and Congressman Amash has “cast himself” in the mold of Tea Party Congressman Ron Paul according to Politico – sharing the same “ideological purity.”
Three key reasons give Democrats the opportunity:
- The New MI -03 Improves for Democrats: Although Republicans controlled the redistricting process in Michigan, the third Congressional District significantly improved for Democrats with the additions of Battle Creek and Calhoun County. Voters in the new MI-03 would have supported President Obama and Senator Levin in 2008. With Michigan in play on the national level, turnout in these key Democratic areas could also give Pestka a boost.
- Pestka Has the Profile & Momentum to Win: Steve Pestka has the right background to resonate with Michigan families and win this competitive seat. As a lifelong West Michigan native, the first in his family to go to college, Pestka has built a strong reputation as a small business owner, judge, and independent-minded legislator. Early general election polling in this race highlighted Congressman Amash’s vulnerability in contrast to Pestka and indicated a clear path to victory. Pestka has also demonstrated he has the grassroots momentum to make his case to voters. In his first quarter, Pestka matched Congressman Amash’s cash on hand. Strong local support has helped Pestka keep pace with Congressman Amash, whose weak base support has made fundraising a challenge.
- Congressman Justin Amash Just Doesn’t Get It: Congressman Amash has made a broken system in Washington worse. By treating his role in Washington as if it were an academic exercise out of Ron Paul’s Constitutional Law class, Congressman Amash frittered away his chief responsibility to try and create jobs and stand up for Michigan middle class families. He carries more than the traditional Republican baggage from a deeply unpopular Congress. Congressman Amash will have to defend spending most of his time posting excuses for his “present votes” on Facebook in addition to his vote for a Republican budget that cuts Medicare and forces seniors to pay thousands more for their health care while protecting tax breaks for millionaires.
Steve Pestka emerges in a strong position for the general election in Michigan’s new third Congressional district with a proven track record as an independent voice doing what’s right for Michigan and important experience as a small business owner and judge to counter Congressman Amash. Pestka’s proven grassroots fundraising means that he will have the resources to hold Congressman Amash accountable for his failure in Washington in a new, competitive district that trends towards Democrats.