We usually have our live chats with Blue America candidates on Tuesdays at 11am (PT)/2pm (ET). But our newest candidate, Dr. Syed Taj, sees patients on Tuesdays and he asked if we could move the chat to Wednesday. I think that's a good reason to move the chat-- so, we'll be meeting Dr. Taj live tomorrow here, same time.
Dr. Taj's Michigan district is the newly drawn 11th, covering southwestern Oakland and northwestern Wayne counties. He’s spent 40-plus years in the medical field, working his way up to Chief of Medicine at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan, and in 2008 became a rare Democrat elected to the Canton Board of Trustees. You might know the 11th district from the electoral scandal that led to former Congressman and failed-Presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter’s resignation earlier this year. This leaves taxpayers on the hook for a $650,000 special election to fill his remaining term, which Dr. Taj has opposed and will not participate in.
With the open seat, Dr. Taj has a more than favorable chance to win. His opponent is Kerry Bentivolio, reindeer rancher, failed business owner and part-time actor who has never held elected office. He has strong ties to libertarian financiers and Tea Party activists but has been ostracized by the Republican Party establishment, having taken large donations from Liberty for All Super PAC, affiliated with Ron Paul. Bentivolio sells his candidacy on the belief that America’s greatest achievements were gross infringements of government that are bankrupting our nation, all while lauding the tax giveaways for the rich that left us in this mess in the first place. Although he never balanced a budget, he did bankrupt a company but Bentivolio claims to know how best to address our federal deficit. With student loans, tax reform, the environment, energy, education and health care, he supports the Ron Paul, everyone-for-themselves prescription. These are dangerous Tea Party talking points, not real solutions.
Dr. Taj likes his chances and knows that, with the right help, Democrats can take back a district once designed to be a Republican stronghold. “I’m running to bring sanity and reason back to our political process,” he tells us.
“As a physician and small business owner, I know how the medical and financial sides of our health care system actually work. This experience has taught me how to treat the symptoms of a problem and when to treat the actual problem. My number one priority in Congress is to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as we know it because these are public trusts, not merely entitlements. We need proactive leadership in Congress, not more of the same obstructionism that’s left faith in public institutions at historic lows.”
This is a guy who knows his stuff, and people across Michigan are taking notice. The Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Observer and Eccentric Newspapers, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the Michigan Nurses Association, the American Federation of Teachers, among others, have endorsed him. Dr. Taj is enthusiastic about his campaign and with good reason: as well as President Obama, Senator Carl Levin would also have won in the new district in 2008, making it not as conservative as people have come to believe.
Coming off a clear primary victory against a lunatic LaRouche Democrat in August 7, Democrats' first task is presenting voters with the stark choice they face in November: Bentivolio, a Ron Paul minion and star of a low-budget conspiracy film that blamed the Bush administration for 9/11; or Dr. Syed Taj, a distinguished physician, public servant and proven champion of the progressive movement with fantastic ideas to bring to the table. Health care is much more than a consumer good or service, which is why we need real medical professionals in Congress to write healthcare legislation, not lawyers or career politicians.
Dr. Taj can win this race, but he needs our help. Please consider helping his campaign and Blue America prevent another Tea Party, right wing extremist from shutting down Congress by contributing here on our Act Blue page. And come meet Dr. Taj tomorrow at 2pm (ET) at here at CrooksandLiars.