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August 19, 1994 - Image 59

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-08-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

JENNIFER

FINER

There Is Life After
Political Campaigns

B

arry Brickner was eating pointed to a three-year slot on
a blintz at one of Jack the Novi Planning Commission.
Faxon's fundraisers when
In 1990, the Democratic Par-
members of the Democ- ty also approached Marcia Flig-
ratic Party suggested he run for man, a resource teacher at Hillel
state representa-
tive.
Running for office
had been in the
back of Mr. Brickn-
er's mind. So when
he was asked to
consider the 1990
election, the Farm-
ington Hills attor-
ney didn't have a
hard time deciding.
Mr. Brickner lost
the election, but he
remains active in
the Democratic Par-
ty and has left open
the possibility of
running again.
"Going into the
race, I knew the dis-
trict was 70 percent
Republican. I ex-
pected to get 28 per-
cent of the vote,
which is what I got,"
Mr. Brickner said.
In past elections,
Mr. Brickner and a
handful of other
once- aspiring politi-
cians put them-
selves into the
limelight, let their
opinions be known
and devoted their
energy to cam- Denise Alexander
paigning in hopes of
being elected to
public office.
Day School, to run for a vacan-
None of them won. In many cy in the House of Representa-
cases, their political affiliations tives. She, too, was a Democrat
put them among the minority in in Republican territory.
the district. But with few ex-
ceptions, these former candi-
dates remain active in their
parties.
"(Former Gov. Jim) Blan-
chard wanted a Democrat to run
for an open (House) seat in a
strongly Republican area," said
Robert Taub, a Novi attorney.
"I was the sacrificial-lamb can-
didate. I was not going to win
unless my opponent joined a
monastery in the middle of the
campaign."
Ms. Fligman spent a total of
Mr. Taub lost that race and a
1992 bid for Novi City Council, $12 on the election.
"I was prepared to give all the
but he said his experiences
taught him a lot about political energy I could to the campaign,
campaigns. In addition to prac- but I could not finance it," Ms.
ticing law, Mr. Taub was ap- Flig-man said.

Former Southfield
City Council
Member Denise
Alexander was
unsuccessful in
trying to oust State
Sen. Jack Faxon.

Ruth Broder Retires
From Sen. Levin's Office

Former Southfield City Coun-
cil Member Denise Alexander
was unsuccessful in trying to
oust State Sen. Jack Faxon in
1990. But the exposure this Re-
publican got during
the campaign landed
her jobs in Lansing
and Washington.
In 1991, Gov. John
Engler appointed her
executive director of
the Domestic Vio-
lence Prevention and
Treatment Division
of the Department of
Social Services. The
following year, she
took a job in the U.S.
Department of Hous-
ing and Urban De-
velopment.
Ms. Alexander re-
cently returned to
Michigan where she
practices law. As for
politics: "I'm not ac-
tively involved right
now," she said.
These former can-
didates left the polit-
ical center stage
taking away a
heightened aware-
ness of the process.
"Politics is a mid-
dle-of-the-road
game," Mr. Taub
said. "If you really
want to win, you
have to be careful
about your message
and try to get a con-
sensus of votes. If you
support six things and are
against three, how are you go-
ing-to find enough people whose
views are exactly the same?"
"The experience of running
was a real eye opener," said Ben
Mayer, a Southfield Republican
who lost both his bids for state
representative to Maxine
Berman. He also lost a race for
a seat on the Oakland County
Board of Commissioners. "Every
voter has his own pet issues. It
may be motorcycle helmets or
veteran affairs or the lottery.
There are a lot of things you
don't know about until you talk
to people."
Mr. Brickner said he would
probably run for office again.
"I learned that, win or lose,
it's a way to get your viewpoints
expressed and maybe even
adopted by the othet. side." ❑

A

fter 16 years and three
elections, Ruth Broder, an
aide to U.S. Senator Carl
Levin, retired earlier this
month.
During her tenure, Ms. Broder
served as a liaison between Sen.
Levin and the Jewish communi-
ty as well as other ethnic con-
stituencies and worked on a
variety of special projects. She
took leave from her staff position
on two occasions to coordinate
campaign fundraising for the sen-
ator.
"I don't know how to sum up
16 years of working for a U.S.
senator," she said. "It has been a
privilege td have a job like this,
where all the action is."
Next month, Ms. Broder will
assist the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit in prepar-
ing for the May 1995 Miracle Mis-
sion to Israel. She has not decided
what she will do after the mis-
sion.
"Ruth has been an indispens-
able part of our staff over the last
15-plus years because she has
had the ability to work with di-
verse groups of people with ex-
traordinary sensitivity and
insight," Sen. Levin said. "I have
been lucky to have Ruth so long
because she's always been will-
ing to support me when I'm right

Ruth Broder

and let me know when she thinks
I'm wrong. Her qualities are all
too rare in public life."
Highlights from her work with
Sen. Levin include accompany-
ing him to Israel and Lebanon in
1982 and being on the floor while
the Senate voted on whether to
sell Airborne Warning and Con-
trol Systems aircraft to Saudi
Arabia. ❑

NJDC Mustering
Forces In Michigan

NJDC is a grassroots organi-
etroiters will soon be asked
by a national political or- zation which organizes Jewish
ganization to roll up their . activists to participate in Demo-
sleeves and get involved in cratic campaigns. With over 5,000
members and chapters in 14
Democratic campaigns.
states,
"We're
NJDC is
mobilizing
inviting
so the De-
Detroiters
mocratic
to attend
camp will
an Oct. 9
know there
introduc-
are Jews Nations! Jewish Dernocr stic Council
tory meet-
who will do
ing. A
more than
write a check," said Susan Miller, location and national speaker will
a member of the National Jewish be determined soon.
Annual membership dues for
Democratic Council board of di-
rectors. "These campaigns need NJDC are $25. ❑
money but they also need man
and woman power."
1E1 For information contact the
Members do anything from NJDC national office at (202)
stuffing envelopes to phone bank- 544-7645.
ing for Democratic candidates.

D

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