`Electable LaRouche' Demsby Marla Minnicino and Rochelle Ascher
Score in Michigan Primary
LaRouche Democrat Kerry Lowry won the Aug. 6 Democratic primary for the Michigan House of Representatives' 19th District, with 61.3% of the vote in a two-way race. Lowry's fellow LaRouche Democrat Joseph Barrera, running against a City Councilman who had the official endorsement of the Democratic Party and the Oakland, Michigan newspaper, came within 750 votes of another victory. Barrera polled 48% in the 12th State Senate District, with 8,838 out of 18,000 votes cast. In the city of Pontiac, Barrera won by over 1,200 votes.
The political significance of Lowry's victory and Barrera's strong vote extends far beyond Michigan: by choosing a candidate who is clearly identified with 2004 Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche, voters there took a major step toward restoring their state and nation to political sanity. The votes for LaRouche candidates in Michigan come at a time of worldwide financial collapse, hitting every state and municipality in the nation, when the United States is careening toward strategic economic and other global disasters. The breakthroughs represent a major step-up in the American population's response to this strategic crisis.
In the past few weeks, LaRouche's 2004 Presidential campaign has begun mass distribution of two crucial leaflets with a combined run of 5 million, intended to break the policy stranglehold represented by the paired Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), whose combined leading influence today is the greatest single threat to the nation and its Presidency. The first leaflet, entitled "The Real Corruption: McCain and Lieberman," addresses precisely this problem and how to defeat it. The second mass leaflet, "The Electable LaRouche," puts forth the candidacy of LaRouche as an absolute necessity to restore the nation and its Presidency to reality in confronting the biggest financial crash in more than a century.
Both Lowry and Barrera, joined by other LaRouche activists in Michigan, have flooded the state with these two leaflets. The two candidates put LaRouche's economic program at the forefront of their door-to-door campaigns and speeches before diverse groups of constituents and ethnic groups. They campaigned on the streets, at mosques (Michigan is a major center for Arab-Americans), and with community organizations, hitting hard at the primary issues: the collapse of the U.S. economy and the global strategic crisis.
'Only LaRouche Told Us the Truth'
In messages to the voters in their districts, Lowry, a project manager at a telecommunications company, and Barrera, a pest-control technician, urged their fellow citizens to adopt a "top-down" perspective in their approach to the economic devastation of municipalities across the country. Kerry's campaign included a four-page brochure with its unmistakeable message that LaRouche was right in his economic forecasts: "To borrow a quote, 'It's the economy.'... Long before, during and since the year 2000 Presidential Primary, one candidate, and one candidate only, told us the recovery was a fraud. That candidate was Lyndon LaRouche, who has already announced his candidacy for President in the 2004 election. While Al Gore and George Bush were busy blabbering about how they would spend the 'surplus' to help Americans, Lyndon LaRouche told us there was no surplus. He told us the economic crises that were, and would be, occurring were not cyclical in nature; they were systemic. He told us the U.S. and world financial systems were, and are, hopelessly and irreversibly bankrupt. Since the 2000 primary, the events that have occurred have proven that LaRouche was the only candidate who told us the truth."
The brochure then describes the necessary emergency economic measures that must be taken, the projects required, in areas such as health care and mass transit, as well as restoring Classical education, and a true war on drugs.
So closely was Lowry associated with LaRouche, that the local coverage of his campaign in the Observer and Eccentric newspaper on July 18 was entitled: " 'LaRouche Dem' Sees Economic Doom." In the article, Lowry is identified as "self-proclaimed Lyndon LaRouche Democrat." He describes his campaign as being "from a broader national perspective than it is from a state and local perspective. The spillover effects would be obvious."
Lowry's brochure (a similar one was issued by Barrera) noted that in Michigan's 2000 Presidential primary, LaRouche received over 12,000 votes, though "many of us supported Gore as the 'lesser of two evils.' " Fearing LaRouche's influence, the Michigan Democratic Party tried to shut down the state's non-binding Democratic primary, refusing to acknowledge LaRouche's vote.
Now, two years later, and with the economy reaching catastrophic conditions, voters again turn toward LaRouche, while the Democratic Party faces another debacle with Lieberman—who is hated even more than Gore—not only emerging in the forefront, but collaborating with his Republican counterpart McCain to put the nation in deep peril. LaRouche announced in a nationally broadcast radio webcast on Aug. 3, that the purpose of his 5 million-leaflet mobilization was to break this hammerlock on the Presidency.
Michigan: Economic Microcosm
As a state suffering a severe budget deficit compounded by layoffs in the manufacturing sector, Michigan is a microcosm of the country's economic plight. The latest state legislative session, after depleting the tobacco settlement monies and rainy day funds, ultimately passed—under pressure from Republican Gov. John Engle—a 50¢ per pack cigarette tax increase. Despite the tax hike, Engler then imposed $859 million in revenue-sharing cuts statewide. Lowry's district, Livonia, is a working class/middle class suburb in Wayne County, south of Detroit. Along with every other city and municipality in the Michigan, Livonia is reeling from the overall economic collapse and the Governor's revenue-sharing cut. Barrera's district encompasses Oakland County north of Detroit, also feeling the sharp economic pinch.
The effect of the Governor's "cure" has been staggering. Even prior to this cut, cities such as the former industrial giant Flint, and the former center of auto production, Highland Park, have both gone into bankruptcy receivership. But no locality is not stricken by the new cuts. In Pontiac, the president of the City Council described waking to find $10 million gone from his budget. It was in Pontiac that the Council president asked a LaRouche representative to address the City Council on the financial crisis. The address, plus questions and answers, were broadcast to 20,000 Pontiac residents.
In Livonia, the headline in the local paper was: "Governor's Proposed Cuts Leave City Fretting." The article stated that Livonia will lose $4.3 million—more than one-third of the expected $10.9 million in state shared revenues. The paper quoted Livonia's city finance director as saying, "This can't stand. We are already anticipating a $2 million shortfall due to puny returns on investments and a fall-off in building fee revenues."
Lowry was one of two Democrats seeking the nomination in the 19th District. In November, he'll face former Livonia City Council member John Pastor (who ran unopposed in the Republican primary) for the open legislative seat. With voters in no mood for "politics as usual," and running on LaRouche's program to smash McCain-Lieberman and take emergency measures to save the U.S. economy, Lowry stands a good chance of winning.