(Lance Enderle is the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 8th District. His column will appear weekly until the election. It was shortened for space but otherwise unedited.)

Michigan can’t weather another term of poor leadership, and bad decisions we’ve come to expect from Mike Rogers. As Michigan’s 8th district Congressman, Mike Rogers has been working hard against the interests of the citizens he represents. This November, voters finally have a chance to tell Mike he needs to spend more time with his family.

Every day, many of Michigan’s eighth district voters open their mailboxes, and as usual during this time of year, there are campaign literature items scattered among the letters, bills, and junk mail. Recently, these items have been accompanied by a barrage of the latest messages from Mike Rogers, printed on full color postcards ranging in sizes from one half page, to full page.

His timing is impeccable. The fog has lifted, and Mike has discovered solutions to all of our problems just in time for us to reelect him. It’s insulting to Michigan voters that he must think we’re not intelligent enough to see through this age-old ploy.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, upon second look you’ll find these expensive full color campaign literature pieces are prepared and paid for by We The People! That’s right, Mike Rogers sends his constituents campaign fliers paid for with taxpayer dollars. How ironic for Mike to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to tell us he plans to reduce government spending.

One of these full color cards actually quotes Mike as saying; "The last thing we need is an out-of-control Washington, DC spending money we don’t have and sending the bill to our kids and grandkids." Then in an obscure area in the smallest of print, it reads; "This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at Taxpayer expense."

Don’t get me wrong. It’s acceptable, and a responsible use of our tax dollars, for congressional leaders to send constituents a progress report from time to time. We expect, and demand that of them. But, these are not progress reports, and it is not acceptable to use ones congressional expense account--our hard earned tax dollars--to fund election campaigns. Mike’s recent mailings are campaign propaganda pieces that cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

With taxpayers footing the bill for these fliers, Mike can save his campaign funds to use in a last minute barrage of television, radio, and print messages as we get closer to the November election. This will certainly put a smile on the faces of the special interest groups who own his vote.

The good news is that we have an opportunity to send Mike back home for good. As your next Congressman, I will never take money from special interest groups. I will never spend your hard earned dollars to fund any campaign unless you send me a check specifically telling me to do so.

My campaign will not include personal attacks on Mike Rogers. There’s no need to because his voting record, and his lack of productive results for the people of Michigan, says it all.

My first and foremost priority is to represent the people of Michigan in the manner they so desperately need and deserve.

Mike Rogers’ only priority is to stay in office and serve the interests of those who filled his campaign accounts.