THE CONTINUATION OF THE WEEK!

Wednesday it is.  The week rolls on and we go along for the ride.  Hang on everybody, it’s gonna move pretty fast!  Buckle up for safety!

 

TALKING TANNING TAXATION.

CURT HEWITT AND MICHELLE LAMERE

Thanks to Curt Hewitt, owner and operator of Utopia Tanning and Skin Care Spa in Marquette and Michelle LaMere, owner and operator of Shape Up Fitness and Tanning in the Country Village in Ishpeming for stopping in this morning to discuss a little-known clause in the Health Care legislation that was approved by lawmakers in Washington, D.C. last year.

The legislation places a tax on tanning services and tanning stores that has caused them to have to raise their prices for tanning to absorb the extra expense.  This has caused a decline in customers for each of them and has eroded their bottom line.  They are calling on lawmakers to rescind this tax, calling it unnecessary and detrimental to their business.

To listen to the interview, please click “HERE“.

 

CATCHING UP WITH AND OLD FRIEND.

BART STUPAK

Former Congressman Bart Stupak called in to the program today to chat about what he’s been up to since leaving office.  He talked about his current experiences at Harvard and more interacting with young people interested in the political process.

He indicated that he misses a lot of being in Washington, D.C., but he is happy to be able to spend time at his home in Menominee.

To listen to the interview, click “HERE“.

 

THAT’S A WRAP!

 

See you all soon here on the big ol’ blog!

 

CHEERS!

-Walt

THE NUMBERS ARE IN AND THEY BRING CHANGE:

GOVERNOR-ELECT RICK SNYDER JOINING US IN THE STUDIOS ON A RECENT CAMPAIGN STOP.

Well, he began his first day of publicly exploring the possibility of running for Governor of Michigan right here on “Mark and Walt in the Morning” and now he has won the race.  Republican Rick Snyder easily defeated Democrat Virg Bernero for the position in yesterday’s election and now moves on to become the state’s 48-th Governor.  He will also have something that has not existed in Lansing since 1998.  That is Republican majority control in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate.

It was a strong showing by Republicans yesterday with wins by Tom Casperson over Mike Lahti in the race for the 38-th District State Senate seat, and Dan Benishek over Gary McDowell in the race to fill the seat in Congress vacated by the retiring Democrat Bart Stupak.  That is a significant win for Republicans because it is the first time in 18 years that the 1st Congressional District is not being represented by a Democrat.

Congratulations to the victors and our condolences to the vanquished.  Also, a hearty “Thank You” to all of you who took the time to vote!  Now it’s time for those we have elected to put their money where their mouths are and get to work and do what they promised…”Getting Michigan back to work and on it’s feet again!”  We, the people, will be watching.

-Walt Lindala

THE NUMBERS FROM YESTERDAY’S ELECTION:

State of Michigan – Governor

Rick Snyder (REP)     1,624,236

Virg Bernero (DEM)     1,068,916

Ken Proctor (LIB)               19,451

Stacey Mathia (UST)            18,400

Harley Mikkelson (GRN)     18,214

——————————————————————

UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RESULTS:

1st District of Michigan

Dan Benishek (REP)          113,904

Gary McDowell (DEM)        90,239

Glenn Wilson (NPA)              7,416

Patrick Lambert (UST)        3,835

Keith Shelton (LIB)              2,414

Ellis Boal (GRN)                    1,962

————————————————————

STATE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RESULTS:

Michigan State Senate – 38th District

Tom Casperson (REP)  49,868

Michael Lahti (DEM)    39,321

Michigan House of Representatives

108th District

Ed McBroom (REP)      17,734

Judy Nerat (i) (DEM)   11,872

109th District

Steven Lindberg (i) (DEM)  17,160

John Brock (REP)                   12,496

110th District

Matt Huuki (REP)            16,031

Scott Dianda (DEM)        12,814

———————————————————————-

MARQUETTE COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS:

Marquette County Board of Commissioners

District 1: Jim Cihak 963    Gus Rydholm 468
District 2: Mike Quayle 1162    Harvey Wallace 941
District 3: Bruce Heikkila 1845
District 4: Gerald Corkin 1413    Jim Hafeman 1090
District 5:   Nick Joseph 1601
District 6: Paul Arsenault 1536   Lee Guizzetti 1171
District 7: Deborah Pellow 1957
District 8:   Bill Nordeen 1333   Bob Struck 1263
District 9: Charles Bergdahl 1474   Jeff Kleinschmidt 1202

Marquette City Commission

John DePetro 3422

Jason Schneider 2125

Russell Kangas 2019

Marquette Board of Light and Power

Jerry Garceau 3571

Marquette Area Public Schools Board

Brian Cherry  4,272

Mike Kohler  4,165

Kellie Holmstrom  3,903

Norman Gruber  2,320

Negaunee City Mayor

Michael Haines 776

Peter Dompierre 600

Negaunee City Council

Richard Wills 986

Dawn Schuhknecht 895

Negaunee Public School Board

Martin Saari 1409

Virginia Paulson 1204

Fae Collins 1102

Michael Adams 1067

Tricia Anderson 1027

Patrick Thomson 933

Negaunee  School Board – Partial Term

Susan Goodkind Wideman 2127

Gwinn Community Schools Board

Ronald Libey 1375

Michelle Dolby 1374

Ishpeming City Council

Elaine Racine  1,190

Michael Tall     889

John French      636

Patricia Bureau  635

Ishpeming Public School Board

Michael Flynn 1316

Angela Kiviniemi 1313

NICE Community Schools Board

Wendy Pederson 1228

Brett French 1188

Eric Luttinen 923

Nathan Smith 908

Glenn Wing 792

Tonja Acker-Richards 741

Wells Township School Board

Steve Mileski 52

Celina Sundholm 52

Adrienne Sales 43

Heather Berglund 22


MARQUETTE COUNTY BALLOT PROPOSALS

Marquette-Alger Regional Education Service Agency Special Education Millage

Should .5 mills be restored, so the full 2 mills can be levied for 20
years for operations of the intermediate school district in Marquette
and Alger Counties?

Yes: 12250  No: 11734

Championship Township Operational Millage

Should 5 mills be renewed for 5 years for operations of Champion
Township?
Yes: 72   No: 31

Championship Township Road & Maintenance Millage

Should 2 mills be renewed for 5 years for operations of Champion
Township?
Yes: 74   No: 29

Marquette Township Road Improvement Millage

Should .85 mills be restored for 5 years to reconstruct Werner Street
and provided a non motorized trail in the township?

Yes: 759   No: 578

Michigamme Township Road Improvement Millage

Should the millage be increased 1.5 mills for 20 years for road and
street improvements in the township?

Yes: 126    No: 43

Skandia Township Library Services

Should 1 mill be renewed for 5 years for library services in the
township?

Yes: 215      No: 106

Ishpeming Charter Amendment Proposal 1

Should the charter be amended to change the latest date when the city
manager must submit a proposed budget from August 14 to October 15 of
each year.

Yes: 1259     No: 523

Ishpeming Charter Amendment Proposal 2

Should the charter be amended to make November 30 of each year, rather
than September 30 of each year, the final date for the City Council to
adopt a budget for the next fiscal year? If no action is taken on the
proposed budget by November 30, rather than September 30, then the city
manager shall deem the budget is adopted by the City Council?

Yes: 1203     No: 578

Negaunee City Bond Proposal

Should the city borrow $4 million in revenue bonds, in order to obtain
$1.75 million in grant funds and complete the sewer pipeline connection
with the Ishpeming Area Wastewater Treatment Plant?

Yes: 901     No: 543

———————————————————————–

ALGER COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

Alger County Road Commission

John Hermann 2711

Alger County Board

District 1: Catherine Pullen 490
District 2: Joe VanLandschoot 360   Clint Michelin 356
District 3:   Esley Mattson 465
District 4:   Jerry Doucette 546
District 5:   Mickey Rondeau 496   Steve Norman 312

Alger County Probate Judge

Charles Nebel 3515

Dan Beaton 3254

Grand Island Township Supervisor

Jeffrey Cromell 18

Onota Township Trustee

Sharon Stocking 142

Chatham Village Council

Gina Maki 66

JoEllen Swajanen 58

Kit Fortney  46

Burt Township Treasurer

Rosemary Duranseau 173

Andrew Mitchell 103

Burt Township Road Millage

Should there be an increase of 1 mill for 3 years for road maintenance
and improvements in Burt Township?

Yes: 162    No:  117

MARESA Millage Proposal

Should the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency continue to collect a maximum of 2 mills for special education as previously approved by voters?

Yes: 12250   No: 11734

THE FUTURE OF MARQUETTE COUNTY AND BEYOND, ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY SPEAKING.


THE VETERAN LAWMAKER SHARES HIS VIEWS.

CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK.

United States Congressman Bart Stupak joined us this morning on the program to discuss his views and perspectives about the current political climate in the country and here in his district, which covers the entire Upper Peninsula and a good portion of Northern Lower Michigan.  Stupak, who is retiring after this term from Congress, also commented on the current race for his seat between Democrat GaryMcDowell of Sault St. Marie  and Republican Dan Benishek of Iron River.  Stupak also gave us a bit of insight into his sentiments about not running for an office at this time of year for the first time in over two decades and he shared a bit of information about what the future will hold for him after he cleans out his office in Washington, D.C.  To listen to the Congressman’s comments, please click “HERE“.  For more about Stupak and his office, please click “HERE“.

THE VETERAN POLITICAL OBSERVER SHARES HIS VIEWS.

POLITICAL MAVEN TIM SKUBICK.

Michigan Radio Network and Public Television Senior Capital Correspondent Tim Skubick spoke recently with Mark Evans about the current political climate in the State of Michigan as well as his observations concerning some of the hot button political issues and key races going into the November general election.  Skubick, who was in the Marquette area for a speaking engagement with the Economic Club of Marquette County, also talked about how the lack of effective debates between the current frontrunners in the Gubernatorial race is a disservice to the voters in Michigan.  To listen to the conversation with Tim Skubick, please click “HERE“.



THE ECONOMY DRIVES THE POLITICAL CLIMATE HERE AND AROUND THE GLOBE.


The Economic Club of Marquette County

Joe Esbrook, the current President of the Economic Club of Marquette County, and Tom Baldini, the immediate Past President of the Club visited the studios to discuss the next speaker that will be coming to Marquette to meet with community leaders and Club members.  Donald Gallagher, the President of the North American Business Unit of Cliffs Natural Resources, will be appearing at the Club’s next dinner meeting on Monday, October 18th at the Ramada Inn in Marquette.  The event will feature an opportunity for networking with other business leaders as well as a dinner and an interactive question and answer session with President Gallagher.  To listen to the interview with Tom and Joe, please click “HERE“, and to find out more about the Economic Club of Marquette County, please click “HERE“.

SO, THE ECONOMY DRIVES THE POLITICAL SCENE, AND THE POLITICAL SCENE DRIVES THE ECONOMY!

So there you have it!  A quick overview of how the economy and the political scene interact and shape the future of Marquette County and the rest of the state and country and how the resulting forces and pressures move everything ahead into the future (Of course, sometimes it’s moving at a glacial pace and even feels like afew steps backward at times.).  Pretty interesting stuff, hey?

CHEERS!

-Walt

LOADING UP THE BLOG WITH A BIG PILE OF INFO!

LOVIN' THE KEWEENAW BREWING COMPANY!

So, this is one of those days where the blog loads up fast and furious.  Lots of community information and plenty of discussion points.  From a chat with a candidate for congress to a special event combining blues music and Cajun food all to help a good cause, this blog is certainly full of it!  Of course, so is the show!  HA!

OK!  That joke was bad, but I’m sure you had at least a brief snicker!

Oh yeah!  Be sure to check out the KBC “Name the Brew” page here on the blog for the latest on the tour to name the new KBC brew!  We’re headed to the UpFront & Company next.  See you all there!


CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DAN BENISHEK STOPS BY.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DR. DAN BENISHEK.

Dr. Dan Benishek joined us this morning to discuss his run for the 1-st Congressional District as a first-time politician.  Benishek, who is running as a Republican, is a general surgeon from Crystal Falls who is running for the seat being vacated by long time Congressman Bart Stupak.  Stupak recently announced he was not going to run for re-election after this current term.  Benishek, who declared his candidacy prior to Stupak making his announcement, says he is the right person for job for a multitude reasons including his lack of political experience.  To listen to the interview from the show, please click “HERE“.  For more on Dan Benishek and his campaign, please click “HERE“.


SO, YOU WANNA SMOKE ONE UP?

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MICHIGAN.

Attorney Brian Bloch, with the Lake Superior Legal Center in Marquette, visited our show to discuss legal issues connected to the recently-enacted Medical Marijuana Law in Michigan.  While the law has the potential to benefit those who are truly and genuinely ill and wish to use marijuana to ease chronic pain, Bloch feels the language of the law is overly nebulous and has too many unanswered legal questions attached to it.  He joined us to let us know that he is one of the few attorneys in town willing to discuss the law in depth with clients and would be available, through the Lake Superior Legal Center, to answer questions from the public as best as he could.  To listen to the interview with Brian, please click “HERE“.

SINGIN’ THE BLUES TO BEAT CANCER.

LORRIE HAYES AND CARL FULSHER IN THE STUDIO.

Lorrie Hayes, with the Flat Broke Blues Band and Carl Fulsher with the American Cancer Society stopped in to discuss the 4-th Annual Blues For Life Cancer Benefit.  The event will be held at the Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery in Downtown Marquette this Saturday starting at 5:00 pm. Activities will include live blues music, food provided by the Lagniappe, a silent auction and more.  The Blues for Life event will feature complimentary food from the Lagniappe and live music by FAST EDDIE’S BLUES BAND and THE FLAT BROKE BLUES BAND. Also on the bill is a silent auction and door prizes. A cash bar will also be available. All proceeds raised will go to the American Cancer Society for local cancer research and recovery programs.  To listen to the interview, please click “HERE“.

BUSY, BUT THAT’S THE WAY WE LIKE IT!

SERVICE WITH A SMILE (AND KEWEENAW BREWING COMPANY BEER)!

That puts the wraps on another day’s worth of the blog.  That’s a lot of information to pass on to you, and you can tune in tomorrow for more!  We like to keep busy by helping to keep you informed as a listener and a blogger.  It’s our pleasure!

See you again soon here on the internetz!

CHEERS!


-Walt

YIKES!!  WHAT HAPPENED?  WASN’T IT JUST THE WEEKEND?

AHHHH...THE GRILLING SEASON HAS BEGUN!

Wow!  It must have been a great weekend in and around Marquette County because this week is off to a slam of a start!  Lots of guests and lots of goings on to keep us busy.  I had a feeling things were going to go all kittywampus (that’s an official term…look it up) this week after I had a magnificent weekend that was all about rest and relaxation.  A weekend filled with warm weather, socializing, and yes (as you can see to the left), even grilling of seasoned beef kabobs over an open flame.  Oh dear weekend, please come back to me and bring you charcoal-grilled goodness with you!!  I miss you so!!

POLITICS AND MORE TO START OFF THE WEEK.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE GARY MCDOWELL (D-RUDYARD)

State Representative Gary McDowell, a Democrat from Rudyard in the Eastern U.P. joined us while he was in town as part of a State House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Higher Education hearing at Northern Michigan University.  He visited the morning show to talk about his interest in the 1st Congressional District seat that is being vacated by the announcement of Congressman Bart Stupak not running for re-election this fall.  McDowell, who has not officially announced he is running, discussed why he is interested in entering a very crowded field of candidates for the seat.  To listen to comments of Representative Gary McDowell, please click “HERE“.

BOY SCOUTS CELEBRATE AND GO GOLFING!

DEWEY JONES WITH THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA.

Dewey Jones, with the Hiawathaland Council of the Boy Scouts of America, joined us in the studio to talk about a major milestone in the local history of the local chapter.  He also told us about an upcoming golf outing designed to raise a few dollars for the Boy Scout and their programs.  To listen in to Dewey talk about both events, be sure to click “HERE“.

A BUSY WEEK IS UNDERWAY.

MARK WITH A BIG MORNING STACK.

Ahhhhh….starting the week off with a bang!  A full show, replete with educational awards and an official political announcement.  And don’t forget the Main Street Monday Classic Cartoon segment.  As you can see from the amount of entries in Mark’s hand in the photo to the left, many correct entries came in!  Congratulations to our latest winner, Gretchen A. of Marquette who walked away with two 14-inch 3-topping pizzas from Main Street Pizza.

What a fun way to start another great week in Marquette!  And here are the latest updates:


IT’S EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION WEEK IN MARQUETTE COUNTY.

THE GLCYD'S ANN GONYEA.

Ann Gonyea, with the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development joined us this morning to promote the 17th Annual Excellence in Education Week activities planned for this week in Marquette County.  The event features an awards and recognition banquet as well as a series of special events geared to reward students AND teachers for exceeding educational expectations.

To listen to Ann’s interview please click “HERE‘, and to log on to the CLCYD website, please click “HERE“.

STATE SENATOR JASON ALLEN KICKED OFF HIS CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN ON MARK & WALT IN THE MORNING.

JASON ALLEN LAUNCHES HIS CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN.

Thanks to State Senator Jason Allen for stopping in to formally announce his candidacy for the 1st Congressional District of the State of Michigan.  Allen is looking to replace outgoing Congressman Bart Stupak, who is retiring after 18 years in office.  Allen, a Republican, is running as one of a full slate of candidates , both Republican and Democrat, hoping to to be chosen to succeed the outgoing Menominee Democrat.

To listen to the complete interview with Senator Allen, please click “HERE‘, and for more on his candidacy, please click “HERE

CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK TALKS ABOUT RETIREMENT.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK (D-Menominee)

U-S Congressman Bart Stupak joined News Director Walt Lindala this morning to follow-up on his announcement on Friday that he would not be running for a 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Stupak became the center of controversy following his recent vote over the health care legislation that made political history in the United States.  The 58-year-old Stupak said Friday that he was stepping down after 30 years in public service, with 18 of those years in Congress.

In this exclusive interview with Great Lakes Radio News, Stupak re-iterated why he is stepping down now in the wake of all of the political heat generated by the health care vote and explained how, while it was impossible to ignore, was not a controlling factor in his decision.  To listen to the Congressman’s comments, please click “HERE

UPPER MICHIGAN CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT IN MARQUETTE.

CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK, JOINED BY HIS WIFE LAURIE, ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT AT THE SUPERIOR DOME IN MARQUETTE.

The latest chapter in the career of Congressman Bart Stupak unfolded today on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  Speaking at a press conference at the Superior Dome, and citing a 30-year career in public service including representing the 1st District in Congress for 18 years, Stupak announced that he will not seek re-election in November.  The announcement came after Stupak made the final decision with his family in the last day and a half or so.

Stupak had been thrust into the national spotlight of late due to his position concerning the public funding of abortion services in the extremely controversial health care reform bill as it made it’s way through Congress.  Stupak’s vote was

THE CROWD AND MEDIA GATHER TO HEAR CONGRESSMAN STUPAK ANNOUNCE HIS RETIREMENT.

considered by many as the “yes” or “no” to the bill becoming law.  Following his decision to vote in favor of the measure, Stupak became the target of many political activist groups including the Tea Party Movement, who had slated him as their number two Democrat targeted for being voted out of office after Harry Reid in November.

The Menominee Democrat says that the recent attacks against him and his family and the controversy over health care were not deciding factors in his plan to retire.  In fact, Stupak said he felt that if he would have ran this fall, he would have won the race handily.  Stupak says he will now take some time to plan for retirement and will explore other options.  He says he will continue to serve the people of the 1st Congressional District, but in a new way.

To listen to the comments of Congressman Stupak from an exclusive interview with Great Lakes Radio News following the official press conference, please click “HERE

The following is the text of Congressman Stupak’s comments that were delivered today at the press conference at the Superior Dome on the campus of NMU in Marquette:


The people of Northern Michigan have provided me with the honor of representing them in Congress for the past 18 years.  I am truly grateful for their support.

I have the distinct honor of serving as your Congressman longer than any other member in modern times – longer than Bob Davis, Phil Ruppe, or John Bennett.

When I first ran for Congress in 1992, I campaigned on a pledge to make affordable, quality health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.  I promised the people of the First District that I would not accept the insurance that Members of Congress receive – the Federal Employees Health Benefit Package – until all Americans could have access to that same quality of care.  For the last 18 years, I have kept that promise.

Since the day I took office, I have fought to improve the quality and accessibility of health care for people throughout Northern Michigan, and across this country.  Despite many set backs, in the process and in politics, I never gave up hope, and I never gave in.  As a result, we’ve made significant progress.

Today, in Northern Michigan, eleven Community Based Outpatient Veterans Clinics have been established to provide veterans with the care they need and deserve.

Broadband access for Northern Michigan hospitals serves as a model for the country of how to improve the quality and efficiency of care and lower costs in rural areas.

We’ve improved emergency rooms and provided updated diagnostic technology, leading to improved medical treatment and critical prevention services.

And, last month, we finally accomplished what I set out to do 18 years ago – we passed comprehensive national health care reform!

Throughout the past year, I have worked alongside my colleagues to achieve health care reform and I’m proud to have helped bring it across the finish line.

As a result of that work, today we are on a path to provide health insurance for 32 million more Americans, including 38,000 people living in Northern Michigan.

Today, because of these reforms, all American families – including more than 197,000 here in Northern Michigan – will see their costs lowered and receive important consumer protections so that they no longer have to live in fear of being one illness or injury away from bankruptcy.

Today, children can no longer be denied care because of a preexisting condition, and no insurance can drop you or your family from care, or cap your insurance coverage, due to a serious or chronic illness.

Today, because of reform, seniors will be able to afford their prescriptions drugs, and Americans will receive the preventive care they need.

And today, small businesses can receive tax credits to help make employee coverage more affordable.

After 18 years, together we have accomplished what you sent me to Washington to do.

My friends and family know that during the past several election cycles, when it seemed like health care reform was an impossible dream in Washington, I considered retiring from Congress.   I wish to spend more time with my family and begin a new chapter in my career.

But, in each of the past several election cycles, I chose to continue to serve the people of the First District, because I felt we still had work to do.

In 2004, after voting against the war in Iraq, I worked to elect John Kerry so that we could bring the illegal and immoral war to an end.

In 2006, when it seemed possible for Democrats to regain the majority and put this country back on track, I worked hard to make that happen.  When it did, I became Chairman of Oversight and Investigations, the most fascinating subcommittee in all of Congress!

Over the last four years, we have launched investigations into high-profile issues such as border security, nursing home safety, security breaches at nuclear weapons labs, food and drug safety investigations, excessive energy speculation, discriminatory practices of the health insurance industry, and the recent Toyota sudden unattended acceleration problems.

And, two years ago, I saw an opportunity to finally enact health care reform with the election of a new president.

While legislative accomplishments have been a significant part of my career, perhaps the thing I am most proud of over the past 18 years as your Congressman is helping you, my friends, my neighbors, and my constituents.

My staff and I have helped tens of thousands of people resolve problems and cut through red tape.  Problems such as helping secure benefits through the Veterans or Social Security Administration, or helping with a tax problem at the IRS, or securing medals for a service member who valiantly served our country.  We’ve helped people obtain passports, secure local mail delivery service, and obtain funding to weatherize their homes in order to save money on their monthly bills.

These may seem like little things, but to me and my dedicated staff they are the most important things.

I want to thank members of my staff, past and present, both here in Northern Michigan and Washington DC., especially those individuals who have been with me from the beginning of my Congressional career:

Chief of Staff, Scott Schloegel, District Director, Tom Baldini, Sue McCarthy, Ann Fix, Amy Wisti, and Sue Norkowski.  I thank them for their dedication, loyalty, and hard work.

I have spent more than 30 years in public service – as a police officer in Escanaba, a Michigan State Police Trooper, a State Representative and now a United States Congressman.   My service to the people of Michigan has been the greatest honor of my life.

But, it is time to begin a new chapter.

Last night and early this morning, I informed Democratic leaders and key supporters that I would not seek reelection to Congress.   I will always serve the people of the First District, but have chosen not to continue to do so as their Congressman.

I am committed to helping Democrats retain this seat as I believe we must continue to fight for our working families and small businesses, for our economic and national security, for our environment, and for our quality of life.

By announcing my intentions here today, potential candidates will have ample opportunity to organize campaigns and collect the necessary signatures before the May 11th filing deadline.

I want to thank the people of Northern Michigan for putting their faith in me.  For 18 years, I have traveled this district – from Keweenaw Bay – to Grand Traverse Bay – to Saginaw Bay – and all points in between – to hear your concerns and share in your joys and disappointments.

I have enjoyed almost each and every minute, and fought for you and your families each and every day.   But, now it is time for me to spend a little more time with my wife of 36 years, Laurie, whose love and commitment has sustained me through the years . . .  with my son, Ken, and his family . . . and my extended family and friends.

Thank you.

UPPER MICHIGAN DEMOCRAT BART STUPAK WILL NOT RUN AGAIN.

US CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK (D-Menominee)

Several news sources are reporting this morning that US Congressman Bart Stupak, a Menominee Democrat will not seek re-election.  The following report is from the Associated Press:

Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak tells The Associated Press he’ll retire from Congress rather than seek a 10th term this year.

Stupak has drawn stinging criticism from opponents of the recently enacted health care overhaul after leading a block of anti-abortion Democrats whose last-minute support was crucial to its approval by the House.

The Tea Party Express is calling for his defeat at rallies in his sprawling northern Michigan district this week.

But Stupak tells the AP the attacks didn’t influence his decision and he could win re-election if he tried.

He plans to announce his decision at a 12:30 p.m. news conference at Northern Michigan University.

He says he wants to spend more time with his family and start a new career after 18 years in Congress.

THE LATEST ON HEALTH CARE WITH CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK (D-Menominee)

Following yesterday’s historic vote on Health Care Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Bart Stupak joined Mark & Walt in the Morning once again for a conversation about his issues concerning the legislation.  Following negotiations with the White House and President Obama that resulted in an Executive Order being pledged by the President to formally exclude any federal funding being used for abortions, Congressman Stupak and an eight-member coalition of pro-life Democrats announced their votes for the measure.  It ultimately passed 219 to 212.  In this exclusive interview, the Congressman explains his vote and more.  To listen to the complete interview, please click “HERE“.