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October 22, 2004 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-10-22

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oe. Knollenberg

orris ov. 28, 19 3, Mattoon,

• Residence: Bloomfield Hills
Key current affiliations:
hairman of the House Appropria-
tions Subcommittee for Military
Construction; member of the
Subcommittee on Foreign Opera-

Steve Reifrnan

tions; Republican co-chair of the
Congressional Armenian Caucus.
• Education: Eastern . Illinois
University, Charleston, Ill., 1955,
bachelor's degree in social science.
• Family: Wife, Sandie; sons,
Marty, 41, Stephen, 37.
• vvvvw.house.gov/knollenberg/

• Born: Aug. 4, 1948, Detroit
• Residence: Farmington Hills
• Current affiliations: Friends of
Woodward, Regional Citizens
League, Metropolitan Organizing
Strategy to Establish Strength
(MOSES), Farmington Hills 2000
committee member

• Education: Wayne State
University bachelor's s degree in bum-
ness, Detroit, 1970• law school grad-
uate, 1975
• Family: Wife, Pam; sons, Joe, 27,
and Ben, 24; daughter, Sara, 20.
• wvvvv. reifm.an4 congress . com

Against The Odds

Challenger Steve Reifman works grassroots in campaign to unseat veteran Congressman Joe Knollenberg.




t's two weeks before the Nov. 2
election and Joe Knollenberg's cam-
paign staff and volunteers still
haven't broken out the lawn signs in full
force. He's that confident about winning
his seventh term in Michigan's 9th
The Republican congressman has
weathered challengers of all types. This
time around, Steve Reifman of
Farmington Hills, a Jewish attorney and
community activist, is the latest chal-
As of the latest Federal Election
Commission filing on Oct. 15,
Knollenberg has raised $1.6 million to
Reifman's $83,476.
In 2002, another Jewish attorney,
David Fink, went up against •




Knollenberg's $2.6 million with a $2.3
million war chest of his own.
Then, in a redrawn district, where
someone else previously represented 62
percent of voters, Fink still lost by 18
percentage points.
Knollenberg and Reifman met sepa-
rately with the Jewish News to
discuss the issues and their
campaign strategies.
Knollenberg sat back,
reflecting on his tenure and
deflecting accusations thrown
by an aggressive, passionate, yet politi-
cally untested challenger.
Reifman said this race, which is the
closest he can get to his dream job of
"mayor of metro Detroit," is an uphill
Every incumbent has a tremendous
advantage with "20 people working all
day long for two years for re-election,"

he said.
Reifman thinks he might have a
chance if he can get his message out that
Knollenberg's conservative views do not
match the 9th District. His strategy is to
appeal to the grassroots level with neigh-
borhood canvasses and targeted mail-
Knollenberg, on the other
hand, likes his chances and is
looking beyond his own re-
"I'm doing everything I can
for the Bush-Cheney ticket," he said.
"I'm expected to do much better [than
in 2002], and the president knows that,
but he's looking for all the help he can


Foreign Policy

Both candidates agree the top foreign

policy issue is the war on terrorism,
which includes the war in Iraq.
"I support the president," Knollenberg
said. "If we weren't fighting the war over
there, it would be over here.
"Freeing the Iraqi people demonstrates
that there's a possibility of democracy
growing over there," he added.
"It won't be easy. It took Germany
over four years to get off the page and
establish what Iraq's done in 14 months.
We have some hurdles to go."
Reitman, however, wants out.
"We have to work very hard to get the
heck out of there," he said. "What we
have done there is so dastardly, it's done
incalculable damage.
"We've gone in there for the oil busi-
ness. We know that Bush and his
cohorts were moving to unsettle Saddam
Hussein from the start," he said. "Now
we're stuck in nation-building. And

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