Schwarz: "Outside money defeated me"

March 5, 2012

Party primaries for Michigan's state and federal legislators are not until August, but the fundraising by out-of-state interest groups is well underway. As a result, the primary season has becoming increasingly dangerous for incumbents with moderate records, according to an article by Michigan Radio.

Ford School lecturer and former U.S. Representative Joe Schwarz, who left Congress in 2006 after he lost to a more conservative opponent in the Republican primary, recognized the role outside money played in his defeat.

"Well, outside money defeated me. [Conservative political action group] Club for Growth came in with somewhere between a million and a million-and-a-half dollars," Schwarz is quoted in the article. "As a result of that very significant investment, ads purchased and placed by Club for Growth, I lost a primary. And that's where Club for Growth comes in. Primaries are a different election."

Schwarz warns that conservative groups in 2012 are going after some of the state's most influential members in Congress, and, if successful, would diminish Michigan's clout in the Capitol. Republican Fred Upton is one such target.

"The Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee for goodness sakes!" Schwarz said. "One of the most respected Members of Congress and has been nothing but helpful to this state and they're going after him."