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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin (right) supported Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence who won the 14th Congressional District race in the Democratic primary, Aug. 5. COURTESY PHOTO

Brenda, Emily, Mildred and Aretha

Special to the Michigan Citizen

Potholes be damned.

Brenda, Emily, Mildred and Aretha kicked azz for all the women that have ever been told by know-it-all men to stand down. 

Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence refused to back down in the face of the entire Democratic National Committee status quo bullying lineup that included wanna-be feminist sellout Michigan expatriate Jennifer Granholm who endured the Carl Levin/Rudy Hobbs defeat.

Detroit absentee ballots were the key to the late Lawrence surge. 

Spurred on by the not-so-subtle support of the Queen of Detroit talk radio, Mildred Gaddis, and the unabashedly GOTV effort of the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, coupled with the tactical advice and dollars from Emily’s List, Mayor Lawrence will be addressed as Congresswoman Lawrence henceforth. 

Well-messaged mailings defeat poorly-messaged TV.

It takes money to win a congressional race and the costly mailings the Lawrence camp focused upon defeated the late and poorly-messaged TV ad campaign of the Levin manufactured candidate, Rudy Hobbs, who never connected with the few Detroit voters who still made a big difference. 

Detroit loves Hansen Clarke but in the end, too few dollars coupled with too few Detroit voters, spelled defeat for the personable Clarke.

The coalition mustered by Lawrence could be the key to defeating another bully with White House aspirations, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. That effort will require much more than the status quo operatives of Michigan Dems to generate an I-75 corridor turnout that will defeat Snyder.

Memo to Lon Johnson: Get with the women.

Positive free media exposure for State Sen. Bert Johnson as he directed Congressman John Conyers’ smack down of Horace Sheffield was the key to Johnson’s victory in his own election.

Queen of talk radio Mildred Gaddis backed Brenda Lawrence in the 14th Congressional Democratic primary

Queen of talk radio Mildred Gaddis backed Brenda Lawrence in the 14th Congressional Democratic primary. COURTESY PHOTO

Truth be told, all Congressman Conyers had to do for a campaign was get on the ballot, he could have done without that bunch of image mutilators. Jobs, justice and peace remain thematically intact people, leave it alone.

Steve Tabocman protégé Rashida Tlaib ran a slick campaign but it wasnt enough to defeat State Sen. Virgil Smith as Smith continues to benefit from a well-respected name and family history in Detroit. 

Elections come and go. The issues of the people stick around. That doesnt say much for the people who urge us to vote for them as they enable union-busting democracy destroyers. And you wonder why voter turnout is so low.

We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep the faith. Stay on the battlefield.

Sam Riddle is political director for Michigan National Action Network. Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at, @samriddle

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