Frank Luntz's Ideal Small Businessperson: Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer

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You know that Frank Luntz memo telling Republicans how to kill Wall Street reform?

Republican message guru Frank Luntz has put together a playbook to help derail financial regulatory reform.

In a 17-page memo titled, “The Language of Financial Reform,” Luntz urged opponents of reform to frame the final product as filled with bank bailouts, lobbyist loopholes, and additional layers of complicated government bureaucracy.

“If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the bad decisions and harmful policies by Washington bureaucrats that in many ways led to the economic crash must never be repeated,” Luntz wrote. “This is your critical advantage. Washington’s incompetence is the common ground on which you can build support.”

Well, as Ben Smith points out, Luntz used a funny picture to illustrate his section on how best to reach out to small businesspeople.

Pollster Frank Luntz picked an unusual poster boy in his new memo instructing Republicans to kill attempts to tighten financial regulations by tying the new laws to the bailout: Michigan Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer.

Schauer and his wife, Christine, are used to illustrate a section suggesting Republicans “personalize the impact” of the legislation by claiming it will effect specific small business owners.

In his research, “”The most popular images of small business owners both projected optimism with signs saying ‘grand opening’ or ‘open.'”

The image above, which appears on page 14 of the memo, appears to be taken from Scheuer’s campaign website, which celebrated the opening of his wife’s store in a July, 2008 posting headed, “Mark Schauer: Small Business Owner.” The Battle Creek, Mich. shop, according to the item, is a kind of upscale consignment store.

Mark, of course, is the Congressman from just west of Ann Arbor. He is speaking like a proud progressive in one of the most closely contested districts this year. And, as Ben points out, Mark voted for Wall Street reform but opposed the bailout (he was first elected in 2008 so was not in Congress at the time).

I guess not only are Democrats better for the economy. But even astute political observer Frank Luntz recognizes that Democrats make the ideal businesspeople too.

Update: Mark Schauer’s office issued the following in response to Luntz’s gaffe:

To be clear, Frank Luntz is a paid consultant for Wall Street banks and big credit card companies, and this memo was written with one goal in mind – defeating a bill to end taxpayer-funded bailouts and clean up the mess on Wall Street.

As a small business owner himself, Mark understands the economic challenges entrepreneurs in Michigan are facing. That’s why he plans to support a new tax credit for businesses that hire more workers, and a measure that will make it easier for small businesses to obtain credit and expand their operations by taxing excessive bonuses at bailed out Wall Street banks.

GOTV: It Makes a Difference

I drove to the hometown of Blue America-endorsed Mark Schauer today to make sure Mark beats crazy wingnut Tim Walberg. I wanted to knock doors in Battle Creek rather than Ann Arbor because it doubles my power–every person voting for Schauer will help put Obama over the top in MI, and every Obama voter should vote to ensure Obama has another ally in the House with Mark Schauer. Plus, Ann Arbor can be a big bubble of happy Democrats (as can the lefty blogosphere), and I wanted to get out of that bubble to see how more swing areas of the state are responding to this election.

And the drive and the canvass were worth it.

My canvass partner and I were working in a neighborhood that was almost exactly 50-50 African-American and white (with a few mixed race couples as well). There were some beautiful old houses, but a lot of houses that needed some work, too. A number of young families. We spoke to a lot of first time or sporadic voters. And our conversations are going to make a difference.

There was the African-American guy out raking his lawn. He said he was supporting Obama, but didn’t really engage at first. But then when I asked him if he knew where he voted, he got more animated. I explained which Church he votes at. I explained how he could vote a straight ticket or mark off all the Democrats he wanted to support. I reminded him to flip the ballot over to vote separately for Diane Hathaway to replace the odious Cliff Taylor in the State Supreme Court. I warned him to bring a photo ID to fulfill MI’s new photo ID requirement. And I explained the hours.

I can’t guarantee he’ll vote. But I can guarantee that having someone come to his house to explain how to vote will make it much more likely he will.

There were a bunch of people like this–people who were really enthusiastic for Barack Obama but were really happy to have someone explain where to go, what to do.  Twice,  when people called out from behind still-locked doors, "what do you want?" they immediately opened the door with a smile when I said I was an Obama volunteer). And then there was the mother and son who had registered to vote this year, but had not yet received their registration card– Read more

Mark Schauer: Happy Birthday America

I managed to get some of Blue America-endorsed candidate Mark Schauer’s (candidate for MI-07, just west of Ann Arbor) time on Wednesday. We talked about the crummy auto industry, what he hopes to accomplish when we elect him to Congress next year, and his wife’s recipe for Pasty Pie–some of which I’ll write up at more length in the coming days. But for now, I wanted to share what Mark had to say, on Wednesday, as he looked forward to the July Fourth weekend.

emptywheel: The question is, as we go into the July Fourth weekend, and there’s lots of people feeling very frustrated about the status of our Constitution and the values that went into that original Fourth of July, what can you, Mark Schauer do, when you get to DC, to restore the Constitution and to restore those values that are all about Fourth of July?

Schauer: I think our country has been steered off a cliff by this Administration, they’ve compromised our Constitution in lots of ways. I’ve spoken out against the FISA issue and I’ve also talked with my constituents about basic things like signing statements that this President has abused. And a Vice President, Dick Cheney, on one hand insists he’s a member of the Executive Branch, and on the other hand, insists he’s a member of the legislative branch. I think one of the ways we restore our reputation abroad is by restoring our commitment to our Constitution. I will defend people’s privacy, I will defend people’s protection under the Constitution at every opportunity. I will take that oath of office seriously–frankly, as I have as a member of the Michigan legislature. And I think that that’s part of the change that this country is ready for and I look forward to helping to bring that about.

emptywheel: What do you think Congress can do moving forward–because so far Congress hasn’t been successful at bringing the Administration in check, even though we all admit that there are these problems and we’ve got a terrible reputation abroad. What do you think one Congressperson can do to help restore the Consitution?

Schauer: I think actively uphold that oath. I think one of the roles of a legislature is oversight over the Executive Branch. Now, I’m going to be enthusiastically campaigning for Barack Obama and I hope he’s our President. But let me be clear–my job is not to work for a future President Obama, Read more

Is Mark Schauer a Better Cook than Cindy McCain?

You’ve no doubt heard that Cindy McCain got caught–again–plagiarizing someone else’s recipes.

Frankly, I’m not really sure why we insist our candidates’ spouses prove their authenticity by whipping out family recipes they may or may not have (though you’d think Cindy might just avoid getting in trouble the next time by revealing Budweiser’s recipe for piss-water).

But I do think there’s something to be said for candidates who can negotiate the banal world of everyday existence. When the spouse of the $100,000,000 Sugar Momma tells Ohioans that the crummy economy is all in their heads, and when the President needs the press corps to tell him that gas is (was) approaching $4 a gallon, it’s gratifying to know that some politicians can still negotiate the little errands that you and I run on a daily basis.

Which is why I think this video of Blue America-endorsed candidate for MI’s 7th Congressional District, Mark Schauer, is so cool. Mark’s making his wife’s pasty recipe (for the uninformed, a "pasty"–with a soft "a": paasty–is the hand-held pot pie that MI’s Upper Peninsula is famous for). And doing so damned competently. If you had any doubt he’s used this recipe once or twice before, those doubts will be answered by the way he crimps the pie-crust.

And just as importantly, he does the shopping too, knowing from experience which onion to get for the recipe (if this were mr. emptywheel, at the point he got the onion bin, he’d be likely to call me to figure out exactly what we needed).

Now, they’ve re-released this YouTube as part of a fundraising gig: Mark’s going to pick one donor out of a hat; not only will he make pasty for that donor, but he’ll do the dishes, too. So if you’re local to MI’s 7th CD, see if you can win a pasty from MI 7th’s next Congressman. But if you’re just feeling the need to support better Democrats this week (I know I am), donate through Blue America.

Cindy’s abject failure to produce her own cookie recipe will likely have little effect on whether her husband decides to "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." But having a Congressman who knows his way around the average grocery store would sure be a welcome addition to MI’s congressional delegation.

Mark Schauer Condemns Bush’s and Walberg’s Fear-Mongering

Crazy wingnut Tim Walberg doesn’t yet realize what even the White House has realized–the fear mongering isn’t working any more. Here’s the op-ed Walberg wrote condemning Democrats because they insist on protecting Americans’ civil liberties and privacy.

House leadership will not support current FISA legislation because the bill would prevent trial lawyers from suing American telecommunications companies who cooperate with American intelligence agencies’ monitoring of foreign terrorist communications.

Recent news reports revealed that almost 40 lawsuits are pending against the very telecommunications companies who helped our country in a time of crisis. Gathering intelligence to defend America’s national security has never been and should never be a political issue.

It is shameful that some in Washington place the ability of trial lawyers to sue over national security. When American companies assist American intelligence agencies with monitoring foreign terrorist threats, they should be thanked, not sued.

We need the foreign intelligence surveillance law passed so America’s intelligence community can monitor al-Qaida and other terrorist networks without getting permission to listen to foreign terrorists plotting on foreign lands.

I guess Tim Walberg doesn’t even know that our intelligence community already has–and has always had–the ability "to monitor … al Qaeda without getting permission to listen to foreign terrorists plotting on foreign lands." If he doesn’t even know that most basic fact about FISA, then he surely doesn’t know that the reason the telecoms want immunity is because they agreed to spy on Americans based solely on the legal authorization of the White House Counsel–the President’s own lawyer!

Blue America is supporting Walberg’s challenger, Mark Schauer. Here’s what Mark has to say about FISA:

I’m Mark Schauer. Personally I’m tired of Tim Walberg and George W. Bush using fear about our national security to score cheap political points. Congress has passed legislation to ensure that tools are in place to protect our country’s safety, but Walberg and Bush seem more interested in protecting big corporations that have helped them listen to our phone calls, read our emails, violate our privacy, then they are about protecting law-abiding citizens. I believe our Constitution, and our rights, including our right to privacy, are worth fighting for. If our government or big corporations break the rules, they should be held accountable.

Support the guy who supports the Constitution, not more fear-mongering.

Help Me Stave Off Dick Cheney’s Michigan Invasion!

Dick Cheney is coming to my neighborhood on Friday to help scary wingnut Congressman Tim Walberg raise money. Walberg’s district (MI-07) begins about one mile from my doorstep, and I’d really like Tim and his crazy friend Dick to stay away.

Luckily, we’ve got a great candidate this year to replace Walberg–Mark Schauer. Schauer is currently the State Senator representing much of the district, as well as the Democratic leader in MI’s Senate. He is a wonderful person, a very energetic politician, and a true Democrat. And a good friend of the blogosphere.

This week, MI’s blogs, MichiganLiberal and Blogging for Michigan, and Blue America are running a fundraiser for Mark to punish Cheney for coming to Michigan. If you can help out, please do so. Think of it as an effective way to tell Dick to Go Cheney Himself.

Donate Here

Update: Title corrected per ralphbon.