Friday, February 17, 2006

Michael Arcuri's Position: I Know the Law

In his recent speech before a gathering of Lansing Democrats, still-undeclared-yet-official-candidate Mike Arcuri made his position of differentiation among the field of four Democratic candidates clear: He has public experience enforcing the law.

How does Arcuri intend to translate that experience into a qualification for Congress? It's trickier than it might seem, given that the job of a member of the House of Representatives is to write the law and oversee the Executive, rather than to enforce the law, as a prosecutor or district attorney does.

Yet, Arcuri has found a way to make the connection: To position himself as a tough guy enforcer who still respects the rule of law.

"I'm a prosecutor. I'm a DA. I have signed more wiretap applications than people in this room. I've done more search warrant applications in the middle of the night, and three in the morning, than the people in this room. I understand what we need. I understand how important it is to get a wiretap. I understand how important it is to get a search warrant, a certain criterion that must be met, and that this Administration is not meeting."

Of course, the more perceptive of you will note that this position is in contrast to George W. Bush more than it is to Les Roberts, Bruce Tytler, or Mike Arcuri. Then again, isn't every Democrat in America running against Bush this year?


Anonymous said...

Roberts has no local support, he's slipping, his headquarters is always dark, and the "travels with Les" blog has a flat tire.

Anonymous said...

When you heard Mr. Arcuri speak, was he asked why he has not formally entered the race?

The big problem I see with him is that a real campaign for Congress requires a full time commitment. A guy like Arcuri isn't going to give up the DA job without having a credible campaign for Congress going. That means something like a quarter million dollars on hand and commitments for that much more for the next report cycle. It means tacit DCCC support. It means lining up the support of the names at the top of the statewide ticket. It means big union endorsements from national unions with significant locals in the district.

A guy like Arcuri doesn't run an underdog campaign and win. Did he give an indication he gets that?

Anonymous said...

In some other world, candidates like Arcuri could take months off to run for congress to satisfy the demands of people who, surely, keep going to work to support their own families. Those independently wealthy candidates would be the only people who run for office. I'm not aware of Arcuri having the personal wealth to sustain such an effort and I don't think regular people should be precluded from seeking congressional office because they don't have the ability to say they're financially able to not earn a paycheck for the whole course of a campaign. I expect whoever runs to understand the substantial time commitment, but I don't expect them all to give up their day jobs. The alternative is government by the rich and privileged.

Anonymous said...

On the question of campaigning full time or part-time: it isn't only the rich and privileged who can afford to campaign full-time. Self-employed people who turn down all work and choose to live very frugally for the duration of the campaign can also manage to do that. Personally, I prefer the candidate who takes the job of running for Congress seriously enough to find a way devote himself to it full-time. And I prefer a candidate who builds support by actually making an impression on voters, through the substance of his person and positions, instead of counting on connections to power brokers, who have been known to make snap judgements about whom to support on the basis of anything but substance. People don't like being told what to do, or whom to support, and the Democratic Party risks perpetuating its own irrelevance if it can't seem to remember that this is supposed to be about Democracy. I support the candidate who shows me he/she's in it for me, for the good of my district, and not because running for Congress is a good career move. I support the candidate who sacrifices his perfectly fine career to step up and take back Congress to put a check on this administration. I support the candidate who knows that winning the race means running an all-out campaign that doesn't neglect building support among the actual voters. And I'm leery of candidates who, no sooner sworn into the office the voters elected them to hold, announce oh, by the way, that office you just elected me to? sorry, it was a mere rung on the ladder of my political career. I support the candidate who isn't in this for the good of himself, but rather for the good of the district. That candidate is Les Roberts.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the answer is fairly obvious. The candidate can take a salary from the campaign. He or she only needs enough faith in him or herself to do it. If you don't have the guts to do that, you don't have what it took our founding fathers to create this country.