Michigan's 8th congressional district election, 2006
|Elections in Michigan|
Michigan's 8th congressional district was not a national headline making congressional race during the 2006 mid-term elections, but it was still tightly contested by opposition. Incumbent Mike Rogers (R) faced competition from a member of the Republican party during the primary election and then stiff competition from the challengers Jim Marinkowski (D), Dick Gach(L) and Aaron Stuttman(G) in the general election. The 2006 race for Michigan's 8th district is notable because the two media-watched candidates, Mike Rogers and Jim Marcinkowski, are both former employees of prominent government agencies; Rogers a former FBI agent and Marcinkowski a former CIA agent.
CQPolitics rating: Republican Favored.
Results: Rogers beat Marcinkowski 55% to 43%.
Incumbent Mike Rogers faced competition in the Republican Primary for Michigan's 8th from Patrick Flynn . At the time of the election, Flynn was the Business Manager of a Catholic Parish in Michigan. Flynn's platform was a conservative one inspired by his Catholic beliefs, which were in opposition to abortion rights, sex education, and LGBT rights, and in favor of the promotion of Christianity in government, e.g. by prayer in public schools and by publicly funding religious organizations.
Flynn's campaign contrasted with Rogers'  more moderate platform, concentrating on job creation, alternative fuels and green technologies, health care modernization, elimination of the "marriage tax penalty" and fiscal responsibility in government.
Both Candidates supported the involvement of U.S. troops in Iraq.
- Mike Rogers - 41,839 votes, 84%
- Patrick Flynn - 7,784 votes, 16%
Jim Marcinkowski ran unopposed during the primary elections.
- Jim Marcinkowski - 30,897, 100%
A May 2006 article in Roll Call newspaper noted that Marcinkowski raised more than $138,000 from January 1 to March 31, 2006—about $11,000 more than Rogers took in during that same period.
In June 2006, Congressional Quarterly changed its rating of the race to "Republican Favored", from "Safe Republican", noting that Marcinkowski's active early campaign efforts were presenting Rogers with a serious test. The CQ article that reported the change also noted that as of March 31, Marcinkowski had $146,000 in total receipts and cash reserves of $117,000, compared with Rogers’s $735,000 in receipts and $1 million in the bank, a figure that included leftover funds from his 2004 campaign).
In late October, the Detroit Free Press reported that Marcinkowski had trouble raising money, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had backed off its own financing pledges. Further, the local media had stopped mentioning his name. As of October 12, 2006, Marcinkowski's name had not appeared in either the Free Press or The Detroit News since the August primary.
Rogers won the November 7 election, with 55% of the vote.
- (I) Mike Rogers (REP) - 156,414 votes, 55.25%
- Jim Marcinkowski (DEM) - 121,576 votes, 42.59%
- Dick Gach (LIB) - 2,756 votes, 0.97%
- Aaron Stuttman (GRN) - 2,349 votes, 0.83%
James Marcinkowski (born 1955, Hamtramck, Michigan) is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) case officer and former administrative staff attorney in the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office (Michigan).
After finishing high school in 1974, Marcinkowski, then 18, clerked in the Computer Systems Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1974, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where, as an Operations Specialist he became an expert in anti-submarine warfare, was an Air Controller, and collected shipboard intelligence on the Soviet Navy during the Cold War. He served aboard the USS Rathburne FF-1057 and was a member of the commissioning crew of the USS John Rodgers DD-983. Following assignments to the 3rd and 7th (Pacific) and the 2nd (Atlantic) Fleets, Marcinkowski returned to Michigan where he earned his B.A. degree in Political Science from Michigan State University in 1982. At Michigan State, Marcinkowski ran Ronald Reagan's campus campaign in 1980 and served as the Michigan College Republican chairman in 1980-1982.  In 1985 he earned a law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law.
After graduating from law school, Marcinkowski joined the CIA. He completed the Career Trainee Program and the Operations Course to become a case officer in the Agency's Directorate of Operations. He served as an Operations Officer in Washington, D.C. and Central America. It was in the CIA that he first met Valerie Plame.
After leaving the CIA in 1989, Marcinkowski joined the Prosecutor's Office in Oakland County, Michigan where, as an executive staff attorney, he established the first special prosecution unit for domestic violence. In 1993, Marcinkowski abrubtly left the office, refusing to cooperate with the criminal probe of another assistant prosecutor who was arrested in a gambling raid. He then publicly accused his former boss, Prosecutor Richard Thompson, of corruption and demanded an investigation by Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelly. After a review of the allegations, Kelly, a Democrat, declined the request citing a lack of "specific information" that Thompson, a Republican, broke any laws. That same year, Marcinkowski filed a lawsuit against Thompson claiming defamation and violation of his First Amendment rights. The case was settled for $48,500. Source: Detroit Free Press . Later, as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Royal Oak, Marcinkowski obtained the first criminal conviction of suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian.
Marcinkowski trained with Valerie Plame when he started at the CIA in September 1985. On July 22, 2005, Marcinkowski joined two other former CIA agents, Vincent Cannistraro and Larry Johnson, in discussing the consequences of the Plame affair.
- "It's FBI vs. CIA in Michigan House Race", Roll Call magazine, May 4, 2006
- Marc Rehmann, "MI 8: Marcinkowski Aims to Take Down Rogers’ Rising Star", CQPolitics.com, June 28, 2006
- Brian Dickerson, "Media culpa: How the press serves status quo", Detroit Free Press, October 12, 2006
- Brian Dickerson,"As war rages, the press focuses on war chests", Detroit Free Press, November 3, 2006
- "Rogers wins 4th term in Congress", Livingston Daily Press, November 7, 2006