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October 29, 2008 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-29

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I Wenesdy, ctobr 29 208 Th.Miciga Daiy :

CAMPAIGN TRAIL TO NOWHERE
* The trials and tribulations ol this cieetion's long-shot candidates*

MCCAIN THE MOUTH VS. BLUNDERIN'JOE BIDEN
A collection of the election season's worst (best) gaffes from D.C's favorite straight talkers

By JACOB SMILOVITZ
Daily StaffWriter
The campaign website of Edward
J. Gubics for Congress, is like most
websites of candidates running for
Capital Hill. It has the requisite
links to the candidate's biography,
policy positions and, of course, a
large button reading "Donate"
Unlike other politicians' pages,
there is no way contact Gubics
or his campaign. No e-mail. No
phone number. No office address.
Although, according to the site,
donation checks can be sent to
Gubics for Congress 2008, P.O. Box
97, Wyandotte, MI, 48192. For those
trying to reach the campaign to con-
duct an interview with the candi-
date, ahome phone number accessed
via White Pages for a Mr. Edward
Gubics in Wyandotte appears to be
the only option.
"Hi you've reached the house
of Edward Gubics, candidate for
U.S. House of Representatives, 13th
district, Michigan," states Gubic's
home answering machine. "Please
leaye a message at the tone."
And cca retheiimpaigns of
iiinp sho c hallengec laciig dccp
seatcd, and wel1-fuinded mccin-
bcts, wcre candidates' houses
doub c as rampaign headquarters
and thc Lamily car plays the part of
tour -u:s ,r Gubci, it's a white
1999 Coge Grand Caravan with
n "dward J. Gubcs for U.S. Con-
gress" decal on the side windows).
Of the four long-shot congres-
sional candidates interviewed for
this story - three for the House and
one for the Senate - all suffer from
a similar toxic combination of a sig-
nificant financial disadvantage and
external factors they cannot control,
like district demographics, electoral
history and incumbent advantages.
State Rep. Jack Hoogendyk
(R-Texas Twp.), who is running to
unseat five-term Democratic Sena-
tor Carl Levin, faces an especially
steep financial hole compared to his
opponent.
At the end of September, Levin
had 35 times as much cash on hand.
"We know it's an uphill battle,"
Hoogendyk said in an interview
last week. "But the voters are very
unhappy."
Levin, the current chairman of
the Senate Committee on Armed
Services, has been representing
Michigan since 1979. Recent polls
uggest Levin has as much as a 25

x should have a choice, a clear choice"
when voting.
Bob Alexander, who has helped
organize thelast three campaigns
against four-term incumbent U.S.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) and
is now running for the seat himself,
said that he knows how to run a
campaign facing a financial disad-
vantage.
On Sept. 30, Alexander had a
little more than $4,500 cash on
hand, while Rogers had more than
$847,000 at his disposal.
Without the money to have a
large door-to-door canvassing oper-
ation in previous elections, Alexan-
der said his campaigns would attend
any kind of large gathering to get
the issues out. They would also call
in to talk shows to get more name
recognition.
"That's how you run a low-in-
come campaign, and usually those
don't win," he said with a laugh.
"But we're going to show that the
ruledoesn't always apply."
In interviews, Gubics and the
other long-shot candidates all
expressed the sentiment that their
races were in a dead heat. Maybe it
was just spin for the press, but each
semed uninhibitedly optimistic
lthat in a matter of weeks he would
a-' 'CS. be representative-elect of his dis-
n Michiga's trict.

"I think - I'll have my staff get to you.
It's'condominiums where - I'll have
them get to you."
-In an Aug. 20 interview with Politico in Las Cruces, N.M.
McCain was asked how many houses he and his wife own.
Politico concluded that McCain owns at least 8 properties.
"I was concerned about a couple of
steps that the Russian government
took in the last several days. One
was reducing the energy supplies to
Czechoslovakia."
- In a July 14 meeting with reporters in Phoenix, Ariz.
Czechoslovakia split into two countries - the Czech
Republic and Slovakia - in 1993.

"Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I
am to be vice president of the United States of America.
Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."
-At a Sept. 10 town hall meeting at Nashua Community College New Hampshire.
"I mean, you got the first mainstream
African American who is articulate and
bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
-In an interview with The New York Observer in January 2007,
when Biden was still running for the presidency.
"You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a
Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a}
slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.'
-In July 2006, speaking on the CSPAN series
"Road to the White House."

sPHk
Democrat Iab Alexander is runing gainst U.S. Rep Mike Roger
gressional district. (BLOW) pblia Edwa ubics (secon
>line Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Detroit).

ing both to elect his representa-
tive for the 13th district to Congress
two years ago, he was stunned. He
looked at the ballot and realized the
Republicans had not fielded a can-
didate in the race against six-term
incumbent Carolyn Cheeks Kilpat-
rick (D-Detroit). Dismayed, Gubics
wrote himself in.
,Two years later, when he found
out that once again nobody was
going to run against Cheeks Kil-
patrick, Gubics said he wanted to
at least offer his like-minded neigh-
bors an alternative.
"I t'ought for all the people that
I know who share different values
than she has, I wanted to be the
other name on the ballot," he said in
a phone interview last week.
For Gubics - a chemical research
technician - the road is rough
to unseat Cheeks Kilpatrick, the
mother of former Detroit Mayor
Kwame Kilpatrick. Gubics is a white
Republican running in a district
that is 60 percent black and voted
for both John Kerry and Al Gore for

bid - Cheeks Kilpatrick's last race
against a major party opponent -
she tallied more than 78 percent of
the vote.
What the campaigns of Gubics
and other long-shot candidates ulti-
mately lack is the very life blood
of politics today: money. Whether
it's phone banks or deep-pocketed
donors, voter mobilization efforts or
political action committee financial
backing, campaigns live and die by
the dollar.
As late as last week, Gubics still
hadn't taken the basic step of fil-
ing campaign finance reports with
the Federal Election Committee,
according to the Center for Respon-
sive Politics.
"It's been going very well, sur-
prisingly well," Gubics said. "I'm.
presently preparingto filethe report
for the Federal Election Commis-
sion because I'm about to break the
$5,000 threshold."
Compare that number to the war
chest of Cheeks Kilpatrick, who,
iuough the and of September, had
-~~~ ~~ "' 0 r~ rMI0c3still

Topping Gubics's financial dis-
advantage is that of John Lynch, a
database manager who is running
against Rep. John Dingell (D-Dear,
born). Dingell, who has represented
the 15th District since 1955, is cur-
rently the longest serving House
representative. In 2004, the last
time Republicans fielded a candi-
date against him, Dingell racked up
more than 70 percent of the vote.
This election cycle, Dingell has
raised more than $2.5 million, or
more than 134 times as much money
as Lynch, who has $4,431 on hand,
compared to Dingell's $1,040,267.
In a phone interview last week,
Lynch said that he understoo.d what
he was up against when he entered
the race.
"We knew going into this we
weren't going to get big money being
a relative unknown," he said. "And.
we would have to make due with
rather meager resources."
When asked why he would get in
a race in which he had such a finan-
cial disadvantage, Lynch, a graduate
of t iva C ,'.aslbo

Despite still significantly trailing
in the polls, both Gubics and Lynch
described their candidacies as the
realization of a special purpose to
represent their political ideologies.
Gubics said his run was "a call-
ing . its something I feel deep down
inside."
When asked why he was run-
ning, Lynch said "absolutely above
everything else, the feeling that I'm
supposed to do it, that I'm called to
do it."
Hoogendyk - who said that he is
running to once again "make gov-
ernment the servant of the people
rather than the master" - said his
chances are getting better everyday,
especially after Senator Levin's vote
in favor of the Wall Street bailout
package.
And Alexander said that by his
numbers - a poll conducted by his
campaign found that only 30 to 35
percent of respondents said they
would vote to re-elect Rogers - his
race is now tightening.
Other recent polls suggest the
election might not be as much of
a cake valk ftr Rogers as it once
'err . , oat. IriAt ecenatc'areer.

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