Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Conyers resigns, setting up scramble for his seat

Original at Detroit Free Press.
I think John Conyers should retire.  He's had his term as the longest serving Representative.  Let someone else have the honor.  He doesn't deserve it anymore.
That was the opening paragraph of a comment I left in an open thread at We Hunted The Mammoth last month.  Well, I got my wish.  WXYZ reported yesterday Rep. John Conyers officially announces retirement, read resignation letter.

Rep. John Conyers, who has been battling sexual harassment allegations by former female staffers, says he is retiring. Conyers told "The Mildred Gaddis Show" on WPZR-FM Tuesday that this will be his final two-year term. The 88-year-old Democrat says he is endorsing his son to take his seat in Congress. Ian Conyers, the grandson of John Conyers' brother, earlier said his great-uncle would not run for re-election and that he would run for his seat in Washington, D.C. Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election last year in the heavily Democratic 13th District. The House Ethics Committee has been reviewing multiple harassment allegations against Conyers.
The man did a lot of good over the years, but it was time for him to go.  I that is not a new thought of mine, as I stated it in 2015.
Conyers almost didn't qualify for the ballot last year, as too many of his signatures were collected by paid petition circulators, which was illegal at the time (that provision of Michigan's election law was overturned in the process of getting Conyers back on the ballot).  That's a sign that Conyers has been losing control of his operation.  Along with other rumors about his age getting to him, it indicates that it might be time for Conyers to retire.
Now that Conyers has not just retired, but resigned, who will replace him and when will that happen?  WXYZ reported on that as well in Gov. Snyder reviewing dates for special election to replace John Conyers.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is reviewing possible dates for a special election in Michigan's 13th Congressional district to replace John Conyers. Rep. John Conyers officially announces retirement, read resignation letter The 88-year-old congressman announced Tuesday he is retiring amid sexual harassment allegations. Ari Adler, a spokesman for the governor's office, said they received his resignation letter and are reviewing potential dates for the special election. Conyers was scheduled to serve out his two-year term, which ends on Jan. 3, 2019, but because his retirement is effective immediately, there will now be a special election for his seat.
In addition to the two younger Conyers, Coleman Young II, who just lost to Mike Duggan for Detroit mayor, the Detroit News listed a long roster of potential candidates.
Democratic activist Michael Gilmore is running for Conyers’ seat. Other names circulating Tuesday as potential candidates included state Sens. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights and Coleman Young II of Detroit, former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Westland Mayor Bill Wild, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Councilwoman Mary Sheffield.
Counting both Conyers cousins, Young, and Gilmore, four candidates have already declared their intent to run for this now vacant seat in a safe Democratic district.  I fully expect more to throw their hats into the ring.  The one I would root for is Tlaib, who organized protests against Trump last year.  Those got my attention and respect.

I have one last item to note about this entire affair.  While it was past time for Conyers to retire and this scandal got him to do the right thing, I found the catalyst for it to be tainted, as I noted in the rest of my comment at We Hunted The Mammoth.
That written, the Wonkette article noted that a recurring subject of this blog, Mike Cernovich, was the one who broke the story and pointed out that it was reminiscent of how Roger Stone knew that Al Franken was going to be exposed before the news broke.  Josh Marshall noticed this and asked "Why Cernovich?"

This doesn't mean [Cernovich] and Stone are wrong -- even a stopped clock is right twice a day -- it just means that they're motives aren't pure and they are still not friends of women.  As Wonkette wrote, "beware of ratf*cking."
It also raises the question of "Why Conyers?"  Yes, the allegations were backed up by evidence and later accounts by other women and I think that Conyers needed to retire before the scandal, but why Conyers and not some other Representative who misbehaved?  I noted two years ago that "According to Voteview, he's the most liberal member of the Michigan Congressional delegation, as well as one of the oldest."  I suspect that may be part of the answer to Marshall's question, "Why Cernovich?"

Conyers isn't the only member of Michigan's Congressional delegation to announce his retirement.  Stay tuned for news about another U.S. Representative leaving under more ordinary circumstances.

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