Former U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford), an eccentric Tea Party darling and ex-Santa Claus impersonator, appears to want his old job back representing the 11th District in Southeast Michigan.
Bentivolio served one term from 2013 to 2015 before losing a primary to now-former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott (R-Birmingham) and unsuccessfully tried to reclaim the seat last year after Trott announced his retirement.
Bentivolio’s congressional campaign, which is not yet registered for 2020 with the Federal Election Commission, sent out a fundraising email over the weekend titled, “Socialism or Freedom?” asking for “$20.00 for 2020!” for Bentivolio for Congress. The email from is from “campaign volunteers to re-elect the Honorable Kerry Bentivolio to the US Congress” even though U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) now represents the seat.
“Here are the facts: In the last fifty years, no other U.S. Congressman was as successful or effective during his first term! None,” begins the all-bold type missive. “No other U.S. Congressman from Michigan was rated the 1st Most Transparent his first year in office and 2nd Most Transparent member of Congress overall his second year. None!”
The pitch stresses his bipartisan credentials and then things start to get weird. The email ties Bentivolio to President Donald Trump, saying they’ve both “battled the likes of [U.S. House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and corrupt Republicans to get things done.”
“Like President Trump, the corrupt politicians on both sides of the isle [sic] want to destroy good hardworking elected Conservatives who support and fight for the average working middle class,” the email reads.
Then the campaign attacks a host of Democrats:
“A $20.00 donation to his campaign is all we are asking. No more, or no less. $20.00 for our fight to protect our Freedoms people like Hillary Clinton, Pelosi, [U.S. Rep. Adam] Schiff, [former U.S. Rep.] Beto [O’Rourke] and [U.S. Sen. Elizabeth] Warren want to take away!”
And the email ends with:
“There is no longer compromise for the crooked DNC, there is no longer a middle ground for the hardcore Socialist Democrats. For them, they want everything. They want it all! The battle lines are drawn! Do you choose freedom? Or shall we be slaves to the Democratic Socialist Nanny State? It is decision time! SEND A PROVEN WARRIOR TO CONGRESS WHO WILL NEVER SURRENDER! WHO WILL FIGHT FOR US! $20.00 for 2020!”