UPDATED: SoS relents; Kande is out, way is cleared for Lance Enderle!


The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has confirmed that Kande Ngalamulume is finally OFF the MI-08 ballot!! Read the details–as well as the explanation for the delay on the part of the SoS office.

In any event, it’s official: Kande is now off the ballot, and the path has been cleared for Lance Enderle to replace him.

Note: For the backstory on the ongoing saga in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, see this diary from August 1st. Much more has happened since then, as you’re about to see…

This is bigger than just the ongoing saga of MI-08; this is about the Michigan Secretary of State’s office playing games with the election process!

I just received the following press release, issued by the Democratic Congressional Committee of Michigan’s 8th District:

For Immediate Release

Contact: Judy Daubenmier, 734-612-7137

EAST LANSING – A special committee of the 8th District stands ready to appoint Lance Enderle as the Democratic nominee for the 8th Congressional District, but Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is putting up a roadblock.

Lance Enderle, a teacher from Clinton County, appeared before the special committee on Wednesday night and discussed his plans for a campaign to defeat Republican incumbent Mike Rogers in November. The committee recommended that Democrats in the 8th Congressional District endorse Enderle at their caucus on Saturday during the Michigan Democratic Party convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

Committee members are prepared to appoint him as the nominee but learned that Land has refused to accept that the party’s previous nominee, Kande Ngalamulume, has moved out of state, even though she directed Ingham County officials to remove him from the voter rolls. Ngalamulume has registered to vote in Pennsylvania and submitted to Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer a copy of his Pennsylvania voter registration receipt along with a notarized letter indicating that he has changed his permanent residency to Pennsylvania.

A copy of the letter was hand-delivered to the Bureau of Elections on Monday by the Michigan Democratic Party. State party Chair Mark Brewer informed the Bureau of Elections that the nomination was vacant and the Michigan Democratic Party would move promptly to fill the vacancy.

Under Michigan law, when a candidate for Congress moves out of state after the primary, the party may pick a replacement candidate to appear on the November ballot. The law provides that a committee made up of the chairs, secretaries and treasurers of each of the counties in the congressional district make the selection at a meeting convened by the secretary of the party’s state central committee. Nowhere does the law say that the party must wait for the secretary of state to declare a vacancy or remove a candidate’s name.

Committee members said since Ngalamulume was allowed to register to vote in Pennsylvania it is clear that he has moved out of Michigan and that Land is merely fabricating her own hurdles to try to keep a viable Democratic candidate off the ballot.

Land is term-limited and Democrats this weekend plan to nominate Jocelyn Benson, a Wayne State University professor of election law, as their candidate to replace her. Unlike the highly partisan Land, Benson has pledged to take an “Oath of Nonpartisanship” promising to be neutral and non-partisan in administering election laws.

The section of Michigan law in question says that once the party selects a replacement candidate, the candidate’s name “shall” be printed on the general election ballot and does not give Land authority to try to block the party’s action. The law states: “The name of the candidate so selected shall be certified immediately by the secretary of the state central committee to the secretary of state and to the board of election commissioners for each county, whose duty it is to prepare the official ballots; and said board shall cause to be printed or placed upon such ballots, in the proper place, the name of the candidate so selected and certified to fill such vacancy.”

(Paid for by the Eighth Democratic Congressional District Committee, P. O. Box 4278, East Lansing, MI 48826)

For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is diary-worthy (or Rec-worthy), I ask you to read the previous diary linked to above.

In addition, I’m working on additional updates/material as I type this, but needed to get this out there ASAP. Every minute is literally of the essence.

Note: I’ve added a scan of the letter in question. As you can see, it was notarized in Pennsylvania on August 17. The text of it reads:

“Pursuant to your request, here is my formal letter of withdrawal from the race for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 8th District.

I have also taken steps to move my permanent residency back to Pennsylvania, where I am now registered to vote. It is my understanding that these actions should allow you and other officials to remove my name on the November ballot with a replacement candidate. I extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the eventual nominee.

All the best to you and everyone in the 8th District.


[signed] Kande Ngalamulume

Included with the notarized letter declaring his change of residency, his change of voter registration and his explicit request to have himself removed from the November ballot, the letter also included a scan of the receipt he received from his voter registration in Delaware County, Pennsylvania on August 10, 2010.

Finally, both documents included a cover letter from the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee in Lansing, Michigan, sent to Chris Thomas, the Director of the Bureau of Elections, and signed by MDP Chair Mark Brewer, specifically requesting that Kande Ngalamulume be removed from the ballot. The cover letter specifies that all three documents were hand delivered to Mr. Thomas at the Treasury Building in Lansing.

Now, there’s two stories going on here:

The first is the backstory of the original Democratic candidate for MI-08, Kande Ngalamulume, who dropped out of the race back in June, after the Primary filing deadline, resulting in his name being the only one on the Primary ballot. OK, that was entirely his doing and his responsibility.

HOWEVER, the current situation is this: The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has now been hand-delivered official, undeniable, verifiable proof that Mr. Ngalamulume a) no longer lives in Michigan; b) is now legally residing in, and registered to vote in Pennsylvania; and c) Has explicitly and without any ambiguity declared his desire to be removed from the November 2010 Congressional Ballot for Michigan’s 8th District.

Ms. Land’s office could, prior to this development, rightly claim that the situation was not her fault nor her responsibility. However, with the 60-day change-of-ballot deadline quickly approaching (the lead time is needed in order to print and distribute absentee ballots), any further delay in removing Mr. Ngalamulume from the ballot–and, simultaneously, any further delay in replacing his name with that of Lance Enderle–is nothing more than pure political posturing and obstruction, denying the 600,000+ people of Michigan’s 8th Congressional District the right to choose an alternative to Mike “Let’s Drill for Oil in the Great Lakes!” Rogers.

Hopefully the SoS office will stop playing games, go ahead and strip Kande off the ballot, and replace him with Lance’s name immediately. With so little time to spare, however, Lance needs your help!

Find out more about him at his website:

Lance Enderle for Congress

Pony up a few bucks for Lance:

Lance’s ActBlue Page

Lance’s Facebook Page (link will be changed soon but this is the group for now)

Follow Lance on Twitter

Full disclosure: While I’m working at a substantial discount, I am still being paid. Mostly, however, I’m just upset at the mess caused by Kande’s withdrawl and am trying to help salvage the situation.

GAME BACK ON in MI-08; Help Give Lance a Chance!

(cross-posted at dKos; if you feel this diary is worth people knowing about, please Recommend it there as well as here, thanks!)

OK. As many of you know, I’ve been posting diaries about the unusual situation going on in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, where all-around wingnut Republican Mike Rogers has been in office for the past 10 years.

I’m not going to rehash the backstory in MI-08 again at this time; check this diary for the details.

For the record, MI-08 is the district of Mike “Kill the WikiLeaks Guy!” Rogers, who also wants to allow drilling in the Great Lakes.

The short version is this: Kande Ngalamulume–who had grown up in Lansing, Michigan, but had been living and working in Pennsylvania for several years before moving back to Lansing in order to run for Congress–filed for the Democratic nomination and ran a campaign for a few months.

Citing a lack of support and funding, he then decided to drop out of the race after the filing deadline. Since he was the only one who had filed in time, he was virtually guaranteed to be on the ballot in November, even though he had dropped out and moved back to Pennsylvania.

Lansing resident Lance Enderle decided that someone should actually face Rogers in November, and launched a last-minute, desperate write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination, which I promoted non-stop here and elsewhere in the blogosphere (Full disclosure: I’m also the campaign website developer; I’m not being paid much, but I am being paid).

Unfortunately, in spite of a flurry of last-minute activity, it just wasn’t to be: Lance only garnered around 2,100 votes out of 28,000 cast in the Democratic primary, or around 7.5%.

Now, on the one hand, this sucks given how much work and effort everyone on the campaign put in (along with some help from dKos and elsewhere).

On the other hand, typical write-in campaigns are lucky to get more than 1% of the vote at best, and that’s only when they have a decent amount of time and money, neither of which Lance had. For that matter, write-ins at the Congressional level are almost unheard of (I looked it up–there’s only been perhaps a half-dozen successful write-in campaigns in Congressional history, and that’s almost always been with much higher-profile candidates).

Lance only had about 40 days and a couple thousand dollars to scrape together his campaign.

Getting over 7% of the vote in a U.S. Congressional write-in campaign is actually pretty damned impressive, if you think about it.


Normally, this would be the end of it, right? Lance put in a good effort, but it just wasn’t meant to be, and he came up short.


Since the election, there’s been an important development:

After briefly flirting with the idea of jumping back into the race after all, Mr. Ngalamulume publicly announced that not only is he officially NOT running, but that–even more importantly–he is going to formally change his legal residency back to Pennsylvania, which would allow Michigans’ 8th District Democratic Party to have his name removed from the November ballot, and replace him with someone else’s name.

You know, someone like, say, Lance Enderle.

Yes, that’s right–Lance is now very likely to be named as the Democratic Congressional Nominee for the 8th District after all!

Now, I must stress that this hasn’t actually happened yet. For one thing, the various parties involved–the MI-08 Dems, the Michigan SoS office, and (I presume) the Pennsylvania SoS office, along with Lance, are all waiting for the actual paperwork to be filed. For another, it’s always possible that the MI-08 powers that be will name someone else to be the replacement candidate. However, this is considered pretty unlikely, especially since, to my knowledge, Lance is the only one who’s even expressed any interest in running.

The paperwork and legal processes necessary are expected to happen within the next few days. I’ve been holding off on posting about the situation until the process had completed. However, given the fact that every day that passes makes it that much more difficult to take on Mike Rogers, I’ve been given the OK to give an update on where things stand.

In the meantime, Lance needs your help to ensure that once his name is officially listed, he can get his (admittedly difficult) campaign up and running with minimal down time.

This coming weekend has a number of events–parades and other such things–that the campaign needs to retool for, and very little time to do so. To help prepare for this, we’re putting together a quickie money bomb goal of $3,000 for the coming week.

As for Lance himself, I just wanted to give a taste of one of the excellent 3rd-party blogosphere stories from The Political Carnival; to wit:

I just got off the phone with a someone I could have hung out with for hours. He owns a golden retriever he calls “Dude”, he is a 6th-12th grade social studies teacher going for his masters in special ed at Michigan State, and as lay back and wickedly funny as he is, he’s dead serious about representing the people of Michigan’s 8th district.

And when I say people I mean people. Not corporations. Not BP. Not K Street. Not like Republican Mike Rogers, the incumbent, who really ought to give the HBO movie “Gasland” a little look-see.

Oh, yeah–and I can’t forget the money quote:

After talking to him for quite awhile, I could easily draw parallels to Rep. Alan Grayson. IMHO, Enderle could very well become the new most dangerous man in Washington. Sort of an Alan Grayson with a James Earl Jonesish voice.

Yup. She went there.

You guys keep saying you want more Alan Graysons in Congress, right?

Now imagine Alan Grayson with Darth Vader’s voice.

Lance Enderle for Congress

Lance’s ActBlue Page

Lance’s Facebook Page

Lance on Twitter

Goal Thermometer


MI-08: 35 days to pull off the (near)-impossible

OK, first off, this is a very strange situation, so please bear with me. More importantly, please rec this diary up; we need as much exposure as possible, as quickly as possible.

Michigan’s 8th District has been “represented” (if you can call it that) by a Republican named Mike Rogers since 2000, when he won a squeaker of a race by just 111 votes to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by Debbie Stabenow when she was elected to the U.S. Senate.

You might be thinking that, given the closeness of the race, that MI-08 should be a district that the Dems could take back if they put their minds to it. Unfortunately, up until now, that hasn’t happened. He won 68/31 in 2002, 61/37 in 2004, 55/43 in 2006 and 56/40 in 2008.

The closest anyone has gotten to him was Jim Marcinkowski in 2006, a former CIA agent and Naval Operations Specialist–and that was in an extremely Dem-friendly year (Marcinkowski, a former Republican, actually ran for Congress mostly because he was furious about the outing of Valerie Plame, who was a friend of his from his CIA days).

Now, don’t get me wrong–Rogers isn’t a star in the GOP. As far as I can tell, he’s very good at raising money and getting re-elected, and not much else. Once in a while, he’ll pop his head up on TV long enough to say something incredibly stupid, like blaming Pres. Obama for McChrystal’s insults in Rolling Stone. Other than that, he’s kind of a cypher, a rubber stamp for the GOP, but boy is he good at keeping his seat.

OK, so, Rogers is sitting pretty, right? He has a million bucks in the bank, it’s a GOP-leaning year, and the district seems to have been pretty much ceded by the national Dems.

This, of course, is where Howard Dean’s 50-State Strategy kicks in, right? DON’T CEDE ANY DISTRICT TO THE REPUBLICANS; run a candidate everywhere, no matter how long the odds. At worst, you’ll at least make sure to get the Democratic message out and force the GOP incumbent to stick around their district and spend a few bucks out of their war chest. At best, the incumbent will be caught with their pants down (either figuratively or, more likely, literally), and voila, you pick up the seat after all!

Cut to the 2010 campaign.

Earlier this year, a young guy named Kande Ngalamulume (he was born in Zaire, now known as the Congo) decided to take a shot. No political experience, he’d lived outside of Michigan since 2002. His biggest claim to fame was having been a track star at Michigan State. However, he seemed like a good enough guy, and rightly got a lot of kudos for stepping up to the plate this year. He gave up his job in Pennsylvania to move back home.

I met him in February, and in March he hired me to take over the maintenance of his campaign website (someone else had set it up, but wasn’t able to do the day-to-day updates). I can’t afford to do campaign sites pro bono, but recognized the shoestring nature of his campaign and gave a hefty discount for my time. No one else seemed interested, so he was the only one to file, and had the Democratic nomination to himself; his name will be the only on on the ballot on the August 3rd primary.

Unfortunately, after finding a lack of financial support (he had only raised a total of around $25,000 or so, I believe), he dropped out of the race on June 2–and not only did so in a very public manner (via email press release), but did so several weeks after the filing deadline…and then left the state.

Since he waited until after the filing deadline to drop out, and was the only one to file, his name will remain on the August 3rd ballot anyway, unless either dies or registers to vote in a different state–and so far, he hasn’t filed elsewhere. If he does, then the 8th District Dems can legally challenge his name being on the ballot and could scramble to get someone else to replace him, but otherwise, they’re in a bind. Rogers now has a completely uncontested race, and is free to roam around the state, raising money for whoever the GOP has running against Democratic freshmen Mark Schauer (MI-07) and Gary Peters (MI-09), or turning over a chunk of his million-dollar war chest to the RNC, or whatever he likes. A GOP seat is now 100% safe, 2 Democratic seats are further threatened, and the 8th District Dems are in a pickle.

However, there is one more way out of this pickle: If someone runs as a write-in candidate against Kande Ngalamulume in the Democratic primary and wins, the problem is resolved. Yes, they’d still face the longest of odds against Rogers in November, but at least they’d be doing the yeoman’s job of keeping Rogers distracted, preventing him from helping the GOP out too much, and saving some face for the local party.

NOTE: Edited to remove the unnecessary negativity about Mr. Ngalamulume; I shouldn’t have been speculating on his reasons for doing what he did, and they’re irrelevant to the current situation anyway.

Which brings me to the point of this diary:

Meet Lance Enderle.

Lance is a government school teacher (he was laid off last year; don’t get me started about the state budget cuts by the GOP-controlled Michigan State Senate). He also happens to be a pro-choice, progressive Democrat, who was very active in Democratic politics in the ’90’s up north (He worked for Bart Stupak for a number of years; say what you will about Stupak, but aside from his recent HCR/Abortion debacle, he’s been a pretty solid Dem on most of the other important issues). He got burnt out and got out of the political game 10 years ago…until a couple of weeks ago.

Lance decided that he was so pissed off about the thought of Mike Rogers getting a free ride that he’s going to attempt the impossible improbable: He filed to run for U.S. Congress as a write-in Democrat.

Now, his previous political involvement is important for a couple of reasons: First, it means he has some idea of how to run a campaign; and secondly, it means that, unlike Kande Ngalamulume, he understands just how slim his chances are. His primary goal (pun intended) is to at least win the nomination. While stopping there would normally be pretty meaningless, given the unique circumstances at hand, this would be huge.

The bad news, of course, is that not only does he have to get more votes than the only name actually on the ballot on Aug. 3rd; not only does he have to hope that the voters of the district know how to spell his name; but he also only has 35 days to get the word out about it.

The good news (I hope) is that he has you…and me! Yep, after being burnt by one MI-08 Democratic Congressional Candidate, I’ve willingly signed on to help out another one, in the same race, even! I got in touch with Lance after hearing about him jumping into the ring and he’s brought me on board to handle HIS campaign website from top to bottom.

Now, I know what you’re saying: This guy doesn’t have a chance in hell. OK, probably, but if you’d told me on September 12, 2001 that the next President elected–with more votes than any other candidate in history, I might add–would be a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama, I’d have said you were nuts.

Alright, hyperbole and wishful thinking aside, Mike Rogers remains a total jackass. At the very least I think it’s worth a shot. Besides, look what happened to Mark Foley–a 12-year incumbent in a 65%+ Republican district. Then he gets caught sending porn messages to underage boys and voila! We have an extra Democrat in Congress! (Yeah, that guy turned out to be kind of a jerk as well, but you get my point; anything can happen in a political campaign, but if you don’t have someone running, you have no chance of picking up the pieces).

Here’s some articles/interviews about Lance:

Candidate against Rogers emerges

Post-Kande options open for local Dems

Teacher fills Dems’ void in House race

Radio interview with Lance on City Pulse Live (his segment starts appx. 15 min into show)

Radio Interview on A.M. Lansing (direct link to MP3)

So, with all of this in mind, I’d like to invite you to learn more about Lance, more about his campaign, and perhaps (of course) to pony up a few bucks for the underdog race of the year:

Lance Enderle for Congress (just launched)

Lance’s ActBlue Page (just launched)

Lance’s Facebook Page (this has been up for a couple of weeks now)

If you can’t donate money, please at least rec this up and spread the word. Thanks.

Full disclosure: While I’m working for far less than my normal rates, I am still being modestly paid. Mostly, however, I’m just pissed at the mess Kande caused and am trying to help salvage the situation.