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15th District congressional candidate out to oust Dingell ( Rob Steele)
The Monroe News ^ | 10/17/2010 | CHARLES SLAT

Posted on 10/17/2010 8:50:43 AM PDT by taildragger

As a cardiologist, Dr. Rob Steele knows about surgical precision, long odds, and chances of survival. He’s brought that to bear in his campaign to “retire” U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Dearborn, the venerable Democrat and longest-serving House member, during the Nov. 2 election.

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TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: 15thdistrict; dingell; michigan; steele
Dr. Steele might be a political newcomer, but figures that’s to his advantage as the Republican challenger to Mr. Dingell, who he consistently brands as “a career politician.” “I went to my first county convention in August. I’ve not been in politics at all, and I think that’s why I’ve been accepted so well,” says the 52-year-old resident of Washtenaw County’s Superior Township.

Little known within the district before his win in a four-way race for the Republican nomination in August, he now cites some recent polls that show him with a slight edge over Rep. Dingell in these last weeks before the general election. But polls have built-in margins of error and often are flat-out wrong.

Polls aside, does Dr. Steele think he can win? “Absolutely I can win,” he said. “I hear it on the ground every day. I hear this (of Rep. Dingell) every single day: ‘I voted for him 25 times, but I’m not going to vote for him again.’ ” As in the medical field, there’s always room for at least a second opinion in politics. “I won’t say he has a good chance, but he has a chance,” says Bill Ballenger, long-time political analyst and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. “He’s been pretty aggressive. He’s obviously got the Dingells a little bit rattled. “I have seen some polling data that shows that Steele has been leading Dingell down in Monroe County, but that’s a relatively small portion of the district. I expect that Dingell’s going to win, but not by the 70 percent-plus like he’s used to.”

Dr. Steele has a similar assessment. “I think it’s pretty much a coin flip. I think it’s going to be extremely close, one way or another. It’s not going to be the typical 75- 25.” He said it was the right time for him to run for election. “This is the time. It’s the national environment. It’s the local environment,” he said. “I didn’t decide to do it because I just wanted to do it. I did it because it’s a special time.” “This is a Republican year, so if the Republicans are ever going to score a breakthrough, this will be the year,” agrees Mr. Ballenger.

But to try to enhance his chance of winning, Dr. Steele hammers away at a three-pronged theme designed to resound with those beyond partisan Dingell-bashers. “I think the major situation I hear about is that people are concerned about out-of-control spending — their grandkids’ future being stolen from them.” Accountability is another of his points. “People feel they aren’t being listened to and feel they have a Congress and representative that don’t represent them,” Dr. Steele said. The third is transparency in government. “There are all kinds of special interests, career politicians and middle-ofthe- night deals,” he said. “Everybody in their every day job has accountability. There’s accountability everywhere you turn except in Washington, D.C., and Congress.”

A Greenville native, Dr. Steele grew up in Montcalm County where his father was a dentist. He said he went to medical school at the University of Michigan using a combination of loans and working summers at the now-vacant General Tire & Rubber plant near his hometown. But he says his rural upbringing gives him an edge in places such as Monroe County. “I look at rural areas as my sweet spot,” he says. He said he got into the race because his father and grandfather were big on public and military service and this is his way of doing something for the country and future generations. “It’s not just my grandkids — it’s whole generations that will come to see a whole different type of opportunity — one that’s very limited. Their whole career will be spent paying for government debt.”

For the record, he has four children, but no grandkids — yet. But he says he has 28 nieces and nephews who will be affected by government decisions made yesterday and today. His stands on some key issues include:

■ Health care: He’d vote to repeal the health-care reform bill. “We have many problems with the healthcare system,” he says, “but the current health care bill makes virtually every problem worse,” he says. He said he’s trimmed health insurance costs at his cardiology practice through a combination of higher deductibles, health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.

■ Social Security: He suggests the creation of a parallel system for younger people that would put automatic deductions into a trust fund protected from career politicians. He said accusations that he favors privatization of Social Security are “an absolute fabrication. I’ve never said anything about privatizing. I’ve never said anything about investing on Wall Street.”

■ War in the Middle East: He says we need to support Israel as a democratic force in the Middle East. Policies in Iraq and Afghanistan should be pursued with clear goals set by military leaders, not politicians. He worries about Iran and says it should be kept from having nuclear weapons.

■ Government spending and accountability: He suggests that Congress needs to enact one-topic bills that are put before the public for a week before any vote is held on them, showing where the money’s coming from and where it’s going, similar to the detail on local property tax bills. “Most of the damage done in Washington is they say ‘it’s this bill,’ but then they tack on eight things behind that have nothing to do with it.”

Dr. Steele said he’s not after Rep. Dingell’s job as some sort of career move or Republican strategy. “I’ve never voted a straight ticket before in my life,” he said, acknowledging that he has voted for Rep. Dingell at times in the past. “We need to have accountability and transparency, and I don’t see that as a partisan issue whatso ever.”

But he said he has a good practice and satisfying career, so he won’t be crushed if he loses. “If I get beat it doesn’t affect me. It makes my life better,” he said.

1 posted on 10/17/2010 8:50:49 AM PDT by taildragger
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To: taildragger


2 posted on 10/17/2010 8:59:38 AM PDT by taildragger ((Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger


3 posted on 10/17/2010 9:19:20 AM PDT by GitmoSailor (AZ Cold War Veteran -Will the NOV election only be LOST under MARTIAL LAW?)
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To: GitmoSailor

I sure hope so. The winds would help sweep the good Dr. in.

4 posted on 10/17/2010 9:20:29 AM PDT by taildragger ((Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger

But what about Dingell-Norwood? /Goron

5 posted on 10/17/2010 9:27:00 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: taildragger

John Dingell needs to go ahead and retire (isn’t he 84 years old?) and enjoy life before he dies.

6 posted on 10/17/2010 1:59:53 PM PDT by no dems (DeMINT / PALIN 2012 or PALIN / DeMINT 2012.......Either is fine with me!)
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To: no dems

Yes he is 84. Take a look at some recent photos....

7 posted on 10/17/2010 3:23:05 PM PDT by taildragger ((Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger
I didn't know that Dingell was from Dearborn. Bet he was the one who engineered all of that muslim immigration.

This is a little off subject but I would like to know if Senator Carl Levin is up for reelection this November? I really want this traitor out as he pressured people to say nice things about islam during the Hassan/Fort Hood massacre hearing in the Senate. I have never seen anything so craven before.

8 posted on 10/17/2010 7:41:32 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: cradle of freedom
Carl Levin no, his brother is in deep doo-doo Sander in his district.

No Dingell did not engineer the Muslim Immigration.

It is a funny story historically. It is Danny Thomas's fault!

Seriously he was of Lebanese decent and made it big, and he was from Dearborn ( or was it Toledo?) and Middle Eastern folks thought if he could make it their so could they!

I kid you not!

9 posted on 10/17/2010 7:56:02 PM PDT by taildragger ((Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger

I know that Danny Thomas was from Toledo because I remember him making jokes about it on his old tv commedy show.

10 posted on 10/17/2010 9:33:31 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: taildragger

Danny Thomas is from Deerfield, Michigan, in Monroe County.

Henry Ford brought the muslims over to work in the River Rouge plants outside of Dearborn.

11 posted on 10/18/2010 1:27:43 AM PDT by Mountain Bike Vomit Carnage (Tattoos are for identifying corpses and criminals.)
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To: taildragger

12 posted on 10/18/2010 1:49:37 AM PDT by william clark (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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