Erard Campaign Featured Again in the Michigan Daily
The campaign of Matt Erard for State Representative was again featured in the October 30th edition of The Michigan Daily in the article, "Local candidates say students should get involved with city government"
Erard to Participate in Michigan Student Assembly's Local Candidates' Forum on Thursday October 30th
On Thursday October 30th, Matt Erard will be participating in a Local Politics Forum co-sponsored by Voice Your Vote, the Michigan Student Assembly, and Progressive Alliance.
The event will take place from 7-9PM in Rm. 296 of the Dennison building on the campus of the University of Michigan.
Erard Campaign Featured in the Sunday Ann Arbor News' Washtenaw County Voter's Guide
A portion of Matt Erard's responses to MLive Voter Guide survey for Michigan State Legislative candidates was featured, along with a campaign photo, in the 2008 Washtenaw County Voter Guide distributed within the Sunday October 26th edition of the Ann Arbor News. You can find find Erard's complete answers to the extensive MLive Voter Guide Survey, and compare them with those of Democrat Rebekah Warren, by clicking here
You can also read Erard's responses to the similarly formatted Detroit News Election Guide by clicking here
Erard Campaign Featured in Ballot Access News
The campaign of Matt Erard for State Representative was featured in an October 24th article in Ballot Access News. Click here to read the B.A.N. article. __________________________________________________
Erard Campaign Featured Again in the Ann Arbor News
The campaign of Matt Erard for State Representative was featured in the October 24th edition of the Ann Arbor News in the article, "Warren's Edge in the 53rd District, cash endorsements"
State Rep. Candidate Takes WJR's Frank Beckmann to Task on the Question of 'Socialism'
For Immediate Release
Click Here to Listen To the Podcast of Matt Erard's Interview on the Frank Beckmann show
DETROIT -- Dually-nominated Socialist/Green State Representative candidate Matt Erard (53rd District -- Ann Arbor) was invited to be a live, in-studio guest yesterday on the program of WJR-760AM's mid-morning radio personality Frank Beckmann. During his portion of the show, Erard answered attempted challenges on air from WJR callers, in addition to those from the host. Beckmann's two other guests on yesterday's program, following Erard, were Mitt Romney and 'Joe the plumber' Wurzelbacher.
The inevitably ensuing debate between the conservative talk radio host and socialist candidate, which predictably centered on the topic of socialism, demonstrated a remarkable divergence over even the most foundational premises for an objective understanding of either socialism or capitalism; both conceptually, and as they relate to modern conditions. As an apparent 'warning' to follower's of his program, Beckmann's official website presently lists the false quote attributed to former Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, regarding the insidious implementation of socialism through the guise of 'liberalism.' That this quote attributed to Thomas was in fact made up by Ronald Reagan is in no way exceptionally ironic within the present wave of obscenely demogogical distortions of the meaning of socialism, as present conditions increasingly demonstrate its realization as the only sensible solution for the working majority.
Erard suggests that equation of socialism with Wall Street's demand for a public bailout, as expressed nearly ubiquitously in recent weeks by conservative corporate media outlets, is largely of a similar product to their highly intensified anti-immigration rhetoric. Both, Erard contends, are aimed at diverting outrage over the corporate establishment's increasing reduction of jobs and wages, against the unified interests of working people.
"The manufactured conflation of such an obscene public robbery by the ruling class, with socialism, and with all general class-blind notions of 'spreading the wealth around,' is aimed precisely at diverting outrage from the distinct source of this devastating theft, toward demonization of the sole solution to the extreme social inequality and systemic decline that's created it. Such an effort is only imaginable within the context of the immense historical ignorance that it's made every effort to impose upon working people in the U.S. for generations," Erard said.
Erard further argued that the unceasing efforts of the Republican section of the corporate establishment to designate the presidential candidate of its other big business party as a "socialist," during this same period of financial crisis, stem from the directly related aim of entrapping all expression of such outrage within the walls of the two corporate parties. Such rhetoric, he asserts, is particularly directed at small business owners facing increasing insecurity in the prospects for growth and sustainability of their assets, as well as those within the working class, as most recently personified by Beckmann's later guest yesterday, 'Joe the Plumber', whose narrow focus on progressing to the ranks of petty capitalists displaces their recognition of their own class interests as members of the working majority.
When asked by Beckmann, at the end of his portion of the program, whether Barack Obama is a socialist, Erard questioned what such a designation would then make a past presidential candidate, whose positions on all related points of economic comparison were substantially to the left of those held by Obama today -- Richard Nixon!
Erard to be Morning Show Guest on WJR News/Talk 760
Starting at approximately 10:20AM on Monday October 20th, Matt Erard will be at the WJR News Talk 760 AM studio in Detroit for a live interview about his campaign for 53rd district State Representative with Frank Beckman Morning Show guest host John McCulloch. Erard will also take phone questions from WJR listeners for approximately 30 minutes.
Erard Campaign Featured in The Ann Arbor Chronicle
The campaign of Matt Erard for 53rd District State Representative was featured i on the front page of the October 14th edition of The Ann Arbor Chronicle in the article, "Standby with the music in 5, 4, 3…Behind the scenes at CTN's local candidate debates."
Erard Campaign Featured in The Michigan Daily
The campaign of Matt Erard for 53rd District State Representative was featured i on the front page of the October 14th issue of The Michigan Daily in the article "State House candidates debate election issues."
Note that while the Daily article quotes Erard as expressing concern about the Great Lakes Compact opening the door toward NAFTA and the WTO "modifying Michigan's water", Erard's actual statement on this subject during the debate was, "It opens the door toward NAFTA and WTO provisions commodifying Michigan's water to a much greater extent because NAFTA rules and WTO rules prohibit blocking out some corporations' [access] to a commodity once it's established as a commodity."
Erard Campaign Leaflet Updated
An updated version of the 2008 campaign leaflet for Matt Erard for 53rd District State Representative is now available. Please contact the campaign if you'd like to volunteer to help distribute the leaflet to Ann Arbor voters. Click here to download the updated campaign leaflet.
Erard to Participate in Televised Candidates' Debate
On Monday October 13th, Matt Erard will be participating in a televised candidates' debate, with his Democratic and Republican opponents for 53rd district State Representative. The debate, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, will air live from 7:00PM-7:45PM on Ann Arbor Community Television Network (CTN) and will be re-play numerous times on CTN until Election Day.
Erard Campaign Passes Project Vote Smart's Political Courage Test
For the second election in a row, the campaign of 53rd District State Representative candidate Matt Erard has passed the test sent by Project Vote Smart to all congressional and state legislative candidates in each election. The Political Courage Test, called the National Political Awareness Test in prior years, tests candidates' willingness to share their positions on a wide variety of issues with their constituents.
Click Here to Read Matt Erard's Responses to the 2008 Political Courage Test
Erard Campaign Calls for Immediate Passage of the Michigan Moratorium Act
In the wake of the U.S. Congress' recent maneuver to shift responsibility for the banking industry's bad-faith lending practices to working U.S. tax payers, Matt Erard, Socialist/Green candidate for 53rd District State Representative, renewed his call upon the Michigan State Legislature to immediately pass the Michigan Moratorium Act, which would impose an emergency moratorium on all home foreclosures throughout the state of Michigan.
The act was introduced earlier this year as Senate Bill 1306 by State Senator Hansen Clarke and as House Bill 5857 by State Representative Shanelle Jackson. The Senate version of the bill would establish a two-year moratorium on foreclosures, while the House version would establish a one-year moratorium. Erard contended that it is imperative that legislators ensure that final version of the bill reflect the language of the Senate version, as such relief would need to last for two years, at the very least, to provide an essential window of opportunity for the tens of thousands of Michigan families currently facing foreclosure actions.
Pointing to the extensive research conducted by the Michigan Moratorium NOW Coalition, whose grassroots organizing efforts led to the introduction of the two bills, such a moratorium already has an established precedent in Michigan. In the 1930s, Michigan was among 25 states to pass a five year moratorium on foreclosures. Not only was the bill successfully enacted by the Michigan State Legislature, but was upheld as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
With 7.1% of Michigan homes now facing foreclosure and a state unemployment rate now at 8.9% under the deceptively under-counting Labor Department figures, current conditions now compel emergency economic relief for Michigan workers more than at any time since the Great Depression. Such relief must not only include a moratorium on home foreclosures, Erard argued, but also numerous emergency measures addressed in his campaign program, such as a massive state public works program, statewide socialized health care, a 100% capital flight tax, and greatly expanded unemployment compensation.
Erard further noted that nearly 250 homes have fallen into foreclosure since July in the 53rd District alone. This period since July also marks the first time in recent memory that Ann Arbor's unemployment has risen above the national average - now standing within the city at 6.9%. As Ann Arbor Realtor Missy Caulk recently wrote in her local real estate blog, "to those of us who live in Ann Arbor, we have always
thought we were exempt from the rest of the state of Michigan when it
came to the housing industry downturns. Not this time...Most of foreclosed homes in Ann Arbor and in the State of Michigan are due to homeowners either loosing their jobs or being transferred and not being able to sell their homes for what they owe."
By all present indications, the hundreds of 53rd district residents now facing home foreclosures cannot look to their elected Representative in Lansing as a potential source of relief. Despite numerous appeals to her office from the Moratorium NOW coalition, not only has Democratic Representative Rebekah Warren failed to sponsor the House version of the Michigan Moratorium Act, she's given no public indication that she would support any kind of statewide moratorium on home foreclosures for any length of time. Erard suggested that Warren's reluctance to provide such desperately needed relief to her constituents can be traced to a whole different set of conflicting interests. Having received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from such entities as as the Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Association of Realtors, MORBAN (Mortgage Lenders), University Bank, and Lasalle Investment Management, support for such a measure would be intolerable to her foremost constituency.
Socialist/Green Matt Erard is First GPMI Candidate to Qualify for November State Election Ballot
Dually-Nominated Candidate Qualified for a Second Time to Challenge Rebekah Warren on the November Ballot for Michigan’s 53rd District (Ann Arbor) State House Seat.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday July 24th 2008
Contact: Matt Erard
Having already won the nomination of the Socialist Party USA by unanimous vote of its local affiliate, the ‘Washtenaw County Reds,’ Matt Erard, a University of Michigan alumnus and graduate student at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work, unanimously won the joint nomination of the Green Party of Michigan for the same seat at its Washtenaw County Nominating Caucus on Monday July 14th. After filing the necessary paperwork work with the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office following the Nominating Caucus last week, Erard’s name was added to the General Election Candidate Listing on Michigan Secretary of State’s website yesterday as the first Green Party candidate to qualify for the November General Election ballot
Erard, who currently serves as the State Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan, the National Ballot Access Coordinator for the Socialist Party’s 2008 presidential ticket of Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander, and the founding organizer of the Michigan Third Parties Coalition, is no stranger to restrictive ballot access laws. Although the nationally-affiliated Socialist Party of Michigan has over a century long history of running candidates across the state, including the past five state elections, it has done so without recognition by the state of Michigan as a ballot qualified party. Michigan’s extraordinarily prohibitive ballot access laws effectively deny minor parties a spot on the ballot in any race in the state if they do not have budgets of many tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a statewide qualifying effort.
Consequently, when Erard was first nominated by the Socialist Party as its candidate for 53rd District State Representative in 2006, he became the first candidate in over twenty years to receive the requisite number of signatures to be nominated for the General Election ballot directly by 53rd District voters. Despite being listed on the ballot as a candidate with “No Party Affiliation,” due to Michigan being among a minority of states that prohibits even independently qualified candidates from listing a party label on the ballot, Erard’s extensive campaigning during the 2006 election still led him to receive the votes of eight-hundred and forty-seven Ann Arbor voters.
Now a dual member of the Socialist Party and the Green Party, which has remained ballot-qualified in Michigan since 2000, Erard sought the Green Party nomination this year, in addition to the nomination of the Socialist Party, in order to build an even more formidable grassroots coalition for 2008 - organized around the complimentary aims and struggles for social equality, civil liberties, peace, ecology, and democracy, which the platforms of both grassroots parties to which he belongs represent.
“Serving as a candidate of both the Green Party and the Socialist Party doesn’t at all entail having to worry about any conflicting positions between the two that would inhibit me from representing both parties to the fullest. Although the Socialist Party of Michigan supports all of the programmatic demands in the Green Party of Michigan’s platform, it also takes these demands a step further toward a systemic analysis of the root of existing struggles” Erard said. “While the Green Party, as an even wider electoral coalition, includes both socialists and non-socialists in its membership, the socialist appeal of my campaign, which reflects the specific Socialist Party side of my dual nomination, serves only as a supplement to the overlapping political programs of the two parties I’m representing this year.”
Erard noted that the Green and Socialist parties in Michigan have long had an amiable, rather than competitive relationship. He suggested that the positive association between the two state parties, which have run jointly nominated candidates in each Michigan election since 2002, is partially out of similarity in political principle and partially a reflection of the state Green Party’s commitment to pluralistic democracy in the face of highly undemocratic ballot access restrictions. Erard hopes to use his 2008 campaign to help build both parties in Michigan as electoral forces that can speak to the real and immediate concerns of working people and youth against escalating corporate assaults on our rights, living standards, and environment from which the major parties have consistently provided complicity rather than relief.
With an extensive campaign platform that he feels incorporates all of the central positions of both parties as they pertain to this election, Erard is consistently identifying his candidacy this year with both party labels and listing the summaries of principles, key values, and membership information for both parties on his campaign’s website and brochure. Erard looks forward to the dual nomination of two other candidates already nominated by the Socialist Party who are also seeking the nomination of the Green Party at its State Convention in Marshall this weekend and who plan a similar dual campaign format: Dwain Reynolds for State Board of Education and Jean Treacy for 1st District Representative in Congress. He also looks forward to working side by side with other Michigan Green candidates this year, who he says may not all also be dual Socialists, but who nonetheless share underlying Green values, most of the same immediate demands, and will commendably serve as the anti-corporate voices for social justice and people’s power in their respective races.
Ultimately Erard hopes that the Socialist Party and the Green Party can work together to help build the mass movement for the widest possible break from the Democratic Party, which he argues Michigan workers in particular are coming to realize is inseparable from the corporate interests that finance it. “The Democratic Party cannot be transformed into anything other than a corporate apparatus for quelling social movements and disenfranchising the working majority,” Erard said. “But it can only continue to succeed with that function as long as we the people continue to take the bait of its politicians’ posturing and invest our political struggles and hopes within its clutches.”
Erard contends that that the first term of Rebekah Warren, the Democratic incumbent candidate for 53rd District State Representative whom he first challenged in 2006, has epitomized such corporate capitulation at the state level. “During the course of a financial meltdown cutting across the state’s public and private sectors since Warren first took office, she has failed to take a stand for any of the types of restructuring proposals that are urgently needed to bring paltry relief, much less solutions, to the emergency conditions facing working people of this state", Erard said. “While the nearly limitless number of major corporations that have bankrolled her campaign have been able to count on her votes to ensure that there’s no shortage of taxpayer dollars available for private industry handouts, the ‘progressive principles’ she touted during the 2006 race predictably appear to have been left in an old dusty bin reserved for contested Democratic primaries.”
Even more so, than in 2006, Erard looks forward to the coming campaign with optimistic enthusiasm. “With the support of both the Socialist and Green Parties this year, a growing grassroots support base among 53rd District voters, and so many Ann Arbor voters who are increasingly exasperated with their representation by the Democratic Party in both Lansing and Washington, we’re confident in swinging the pendulum further towards’ working people’s power in 2008. Unlike Warren and the rest of our Democratic opponents, our arena, in building an independent movement of the working and oppressed majority, is not limited to the Capitol Building, but rather extends to mass action in our workplaces and on the streets” Erard said.
The listing of the Erard Campaign’s Qualification for the November General Election Ballot can be found at: http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/candlist/08GEN/08GEN_CL.HTM
2008 Erard for State Representative Campaign Leaflet Available.
A leaflet for Matt Erard's 2008 campaign for 53rd District State Representative is now available as a PDF document to download, print, and distribute.
Erard to Speak at the 2008 Socialist Party National Organizing Conference in Ann Arbor, July 11th-12th.
Erard will be joined by 2008 State Board of Education Candidate Dwain Reynolds and 2008 Socialist Party Presidential Candidate Brian Moore.
Matt Erard, Socialist/Green candidate for 53rd District State Representative (Ann Arbor), will be speaking to both his direct local constituents and supporters from around the country at the 2008 Socialist Party National Organizing Conference taking place July 11th and 12th in Ann Arbor. Erard, will be one of the speaker's at the Conference's plenary session along with Socialist Party presidential candidate Brian Moore, State Board of Education candidate Dwain Reynolds, Socialist Party Women's Commission Convener Susan Dorazio, international activist Courtney Campbell, and socialist historian and author Eric Chester. The plenary is titled "Organizing for Socialism in an Election Year: Supporting Our Candidates, Building the Movement." During the plenary, Erard will specifically be speaking on what socialist campaigns can accomplish, proposals for increasing the resources and visibility of socialist campaigns, and his own second run this year for State Rep. in Ann Arbor. Erard will also be delivering a Conference workshop-lecture the following day on Sunday July 11th titled "Marxism 101."
The Conference plenary will take place on Saturday July 12th from 11:30AM - 1:30PM. The entirety of the Conference will take place at the ICC Education center at 1522 Hill St. in Ann Arbor (located behind the Luther Cooperative House at 1510 Hill St.). For the complete schedule of Conference events, visit: http://www.socialistparty-usa.org/natconf2008
Erard Campaign Again Featured in the Ann Arbor News
The campaign of Matt Erard for 53rd District State Representative was once again featured in the Ann Arbor News in an article covering Ann Arbor's hosting of the 2008 Socialist Party National Organizing Conference. Click Here to Read "Minor Party, Major Event"
Erard Campaign Featured in the Ann Arbor News
An article on the Erard campaign for 53rd District State Representative was featured in the May 3rd 2008 addition of the Ann Arbor News. Click Here to read the article
SOCIALIST TO RE-CHALLENGE WARREN FOR MICHIGAN'S 53rd DISTRICT STATE HOUSE SEAT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday April 21st 2008
Contact: Matt Erard
ANN ARBOR – Socialist Matt Erard announced his candidacy today to run for a second time against Democratic incumbent Rebekah Warren for the 53rd District seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. Erard ran as a Socialist for the same office for the first time in the previous election in 2006. Due to the Socialist Party’s lack of ballot access in Michigan, Erard was forced to appear on the 2006 ballot as a candidate with “No Party Affiliation” and was the first candidate for that office to qualify for the general election ballot by petition since 1984. Although not victorious in the last election, Erard received eight-hundred and forty-seven votes from Ann Arbor voters.
This year, Erard will be listed on the ballot as a candidate of the Green Party and will be dually campaigning as both a Socialist Party and Green Party candidate. He received the Socialist Party’s nomination to run on April 18th and intends to formally receive the nomination of the Green Party at its upcoming Washtenaw County nominating convention. “Michigan’s extraordinarily restrictive ballot access laws have rarely stopped Socialist Party candidates from qualifying for the ballot in Michigan elections,” Erard said. “In this race, our campaign will have the support of two parties committed to challenging the corporate politics that dominate our State Legislature.”
Erard argues that Warren, since first elected in 2006, has done little to change the course of attacks on the rights and living standards of Michigan working people. “[Warren’s] most significant accomplishment thus far has been the exponential increase in corporate campaign funding she’s received,” the introduction to Erard’s 2008 campaign website states. Erard contends that Warren has failed to introduce the meagerly progressive proposals in her 2006 platform while voting to fully fund corporate welfare and the prison industrial complex, rather than essential social and environmental programs.
During his 2006 campaign, Erard was an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. Having graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, Erard is returning to the University of Michigan this fall to pursue a master’s degree in its School of Social Work. While employed in the telecommunications industry, Erard is also serving as the Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan, the founding organizer for the Michigan Third Parties Coalition, and the Midwest Coordinator for the Socialist Party’s 2008 presidential campaign, and the Planning Convener for the Socialist Party’s National Organizing Conference to be held in Ann Arbor this July.
The Socialist Party chartered a new local branch in the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti last January, which operates in conjunction with the local branch of fellow socialist organization, Solidarity, as the Washtenaw County Reds. Erard’s campaign is among five Socialist Party campaigns announced in Michigan thus far. Jean Treacy of Marquette and Dwain Reynolds of Midville are seeking the joint nomination of the Green Party of Michigan for 1st District Representative in Congress and State Board of Education respectively. The Socialist Party’s ticket of Brian Moore for President and Stewart Alexander for Vice President is exploring options to qualify for the Michigan ballot this year and is filing for Official Write-In Status in Michigan as a back-up.
Erard notes that Ann Arbor voters elected multiple candidates of the Socialist Party-affiliated Human Rights Party to the City Council in 1972 and 1974, who introduced many of the radical and progressive policies Ann Arbor has been most well known for. “Michigan voters are only more fed-up with being ignored by the major parties than they were in the early 70s” Erard said. “This time we are prepared to make an even bigger splash than we did in 2006, and quite possibly, make it to the Capitol.”
Erard’s 2008 Campaign Website can be found at: http://www.erard2008.org