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As Campaigns Wind Down, 11th District Race Charges Heat Up

Even relatives are drawn into the mix of odd stories coming out of the district.

 In the final days before the Nov. 6 general election, the 11th District Congressional race has taken more twists and turns than a Six Flags roller coaster. 

The race started out in strange territory, when a review of re-election petitions for former 11th District Congressman Thaddeus McCotter showed he hadn't gathered sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot. McCotter aides are facing trials in connection with the campaign scandal. 

Politico.com reported Nov. 1 that the brother of Republican candidate Kerry Bentivolio told Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS), a subscription-based news service, that his brother is "mentally unbalanced". Phillip Bentivolio also claims his brother owes him $20,000; Politico.com quotes Kerry Bentivolio as saying his brother has “serious mental issues.”

Bentivolio's campaign recently posted a news release on his website criticizing Democratic opponent Dr. Syed Taj of "spamming" a group of Oakwood health care system physicians with a letter signed by, among others, "David Green, Detroit chairman of Democratic Socialists of America, a group that claims to be the largest socialist organization in America and an open supporter of single payer schemes."

In an Oct. 29 article in The Oakland Press, Taj's campaign accused Republican National Committee member Dave Agema of making "racial and religious slurs," after Agema referred to Taj as having "ties to Islamic extremism," a reference to a donation Taj, a Muslim, received from Washington-based CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim advocacy group. CAIR's website includes a section rebutting the terrorism claims. 

What do you think about these kinds of issues being raised at the tail end of political campaigns? Tell us in the comments. 

Tim Reynolds November 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I don't feel Kerry Bentivolio has both oars in the water. He won't speak to the press so people can see who he is and hear what his message is if he has one. I believe he won the primary by a fluke and mistakes by the other guy who need a couple oars. His own party disowned him before the primary. I will vote and even help promote Dr Taj for congress the 11th district or my area in Highland hasn't had responsible representation in years.
Frank and Annette Cafferty November 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Frank and Annette Cafferty Thank you for your very informative and factual article. It is important that, as responsible citizens, we make crucial decisions based on facts and not on myths and untruths. We, and our extended family, have know Dr. Taj for more than 30 years. He has been our primary care physician and has been with us through many a crisis. He was the Medical Director of Oakwood Hospital for many years. This was a job with many responsibilities which he performed admirably. He had the respect of all of his fellow physicians. We have know him to be a fine, dedicated, informed, patriotic human being who is very concerned about the future of our country. We are saddened to see such a fine person being maligned with bigoted and untrue assertions. We are confident that he would do a wonderful job representing all the people of the 11th district.
Brad Jensen November 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Republicans need to realize that even their own party does not support Bentivolio. McCotter was am embarrassment. Bentivolio will be worse. Dr. Taj is a great candidate and will bring respectability back to the 11th District. However, if you are too partisan to bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, write someone in - just don't vote for Bentivolio.
Nancy Janoch November 05, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Agree with you totally Mr Jensen!
Lynn Sturla November 05, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I personally know Kerry Bentivolio and I can vouche for his mental stability along with his integrity and honor. He has served our country in the military, served our communities in the school system (note that his record was unblemished until he decided to run for office), and he has been in the small business world so he understands the needs of small business. So we have your down to earth citizen that wants to selflessly represent the 11thdistrict. I'm tired if the mainstream media bias Do your research. See where he stands on the issues and vote based on that. I choose Kerry. He believes in the American spirit, lowering our obscene debt, allowing the free markets to flourish, transparency and accountability. He has leadership experience and will serve with honor once again.
Brad Jensen November 05, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Yes, do your research - absolutely. You neglect to mention that he resigned in disgrace from his teaching position (his negative evaluations started in 2006 - long before he announce any candidacy) and his construction business went bankrupt - owing $620,000. His other venture into small business is a part-time business playing Santa Claus. I am not saying this is bad - I am just putting into context the "understanding the needs of small business" and "leadership experience" you speak of. At least you can say he understands "obscene debt". His own party and his own family are the source of the negative attacks - the press just reports them. According to his own brother: "I've never met anyone in my life who is conniving and dishonest as this guy. He's my brother so it's hard to talk about this, but I believe that if he gets elected, he'll eventually serve time in prison." This isn't stuff that the press is making up. The Republican Party does not support Mr. Bentivolio. So how exactly does he intend to accomplish any of his goals in D.C.? Do you think he will be appointed to any committees? Be able to convince people to support his proposals? If the Republicans will not support him, then do you think the Democrats will? Then who? If a candidate's mental stability is even in question (I almost forgot his quote saying that he thought he was Santa Claus) - then we need to find another candidate.
Don November 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Looks like he won. Why does this district put one laughingstock Republican after another into office?

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