IMP 2013 election winners and losers (PDF)

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IMP’s 2013 Election Winners and Losers
Duggan Unites Democrats and Republicans, Unions Take it on the Chin Again
Contact: Publisher Susan J. Demas, 517.420.6779,

Now that the dust has settled, Inside Michigan Politics is offering our take on who triumphed
and who was trounced in the 2013 election.
1. Mike Duggan, the Great Uniter. It’s not every day that former Gov. Jennifer Granholm
and current Gov. Rick Snyder agree on anything, but that’s the power of Detroit’s new
mayor. Even Michigan GOP Regional Press Secretary Luke Londo took to social media to
praise Duggan, underscoring the fact that many Republicans and Democrats alike are
comfortable with the former Detroit Medical Center CEO, who’s said he’ll work with the
Snyder administration through Motown’s bankruptcy. In fact, MSNBC on Tuesday
mislabeled Duggan as a Republican, causing some liberal Democrats to snark that the
network had gotten it right.
2. Gay Rights as a Wedge Issue. Royal Oak voters solidly upheld a nondiscrimination
ordinance, becoming the 30th municipality in Michigan to have a measure on the books.
This would seem to be a no-brainer in a reliably Democratic city, but arguments that it
would lead to “sex crimes” and an at-times disorganized “yes” campaign made this one
interesting. Even more interesting is that savvier Dems now believe that gay rights is an
official wedge issue in their favor, quite a turnaround from the 2004 election when
Michigan passed its gay-marriage ban. If a federal judge next year doesn’t legalize gay
marriage here, a 2016 ballot measure is a foregone conclusion.
3. Establishment Republicans. Two gaffe-prone Tea Partiers lost in suburban Detroit – an
area key to the GOP’s hopes for the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in 2014. The
Tea Party’s energy is still appreciated, but Republicans don’t need or want extremists as
the face of their party. So few tears were shed when recalled Troy Mayor Janice Daniels,
known for colorful remarks about gays and lesbians, on Tuesday lost her City Council

bid. That goes for bombastic Sterling Heights City Councilman Paul Smith, who’s had
several run-ins with the police, and lost his re-election bid by a wide margin.

1. Unions. Two of the biggest unions, the UAW and AFSCME, put their muscle behind
Benny Napoleon in the Detroit mayoral race, despite all indications that Mike Duggan
would cruise to victory. It’s reminiscent of their quixotic support of Virg Bernero in
2010, who unions helped win the Democratic primary, only to see him crushed by 18
points in the general election. This latest defeat, less than a year after Right to Work, is
one more indication that union power ain’t what it used to be.
2. Dave Bing. He was the last, best hope of the business community to save Detroit, but
critics said his lack of government experience proved he wasn’t up to the job. With
Detroit’s bankruptcy, it’s clear that Bing wasn’t. And since Emergency Manager Kevyn
Orr was appointed, it’s been more like “Dave Who?” Bing was a non-issue in the Detroit
mayoral race, reflecting the non-existent imprint he’s left in the state’s largest city.
3. Anti-Pot Advocates. There were three measures on the ballot to decriminalize small
amounts of marijuana. Lansing, Ferndale and even conservative Jackson passed them
with flying colors. An alliance has been forged between the libertarian wing of the GOP
and liberals in the Democratic Party. Look for a statewide initiative, like ones that
passed last year in Washington and Colorado, to be in Michigan’s future.

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