We're all in this crazy thing called "life" together.
We have one earth - to sustain us.
We have one economy - to generate wealth.
We have only one race - the human one.
I'm not a potted plant.
Trust me. I will make a difference!
Filming an endorsemnt ad with Robert Kennedy Jr. for 2006 on my leadership on climate change.
Wow - the ad (back in 2006 before the meltdown)said "let's take the $6 billion in oil subsidies and help the US auto industry become more fuel efficient" and the industry did get walloped for $4/gallon gas...and I had to fight for the bailout.
Fighting to Keep Michigan's Film Tax Credits!
Speaking at a rally. At my media studios in Troy, I recorded the videos of hundreds of ordinary Michiganders who had reinvented themselves or found new jobs in the new film industry and ran two ads helping to stop the "brain drain" of young people from our universities," rebrand Detroit" in the eyes of the nation and make Michigan cool and promising again. Snyder axed it sadly.
My first race for an open US Senate seat in Illinois.
After 8 years on WLS in Chicago, my listeners talked me into running for an open US Senate seat. On our first debut at the Illinois State Fair, it was a scorching hot day. Little did I know that one of my primary opponents would become the President of the United State!
Life is a box of chocolates - as they say. You just never know. Very cool losing to POTUS!
Who became the President of the United States - Yes I lost to POTUS
Then-US Senator Obama came to Michigan and gave me an amazingly cool endorsement for my 2006 congressional race in 2006. Who knew?
The friendly but loyal oppostion on Fox (with Bill O'Reilly)
It's no secret that I was the loyal opposition on Fox with the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Hannity, Neil Cavuto and on all the shows for over a decade. I strongly believe that one can hold firm convictions and win a debate but still be respectful and yes, even share a laugh with those who oppose you.
And with Sean Hannity...
Loved being a guest "host" because he couldn't cut me off he like he did when I was a guest....
And even the loyal opposition on MSNBC with Buchanan.
I often guest hosted with Buchanan. People always ask me if "they" - the opposition, were nice. Actually they were. I can't agree with them (and am pretty good at clobbering through their nonsense) but I can say we are all Americans and most are very decent and nice. It gave me a different perspective (read respect) for those who I disagree with.
And with Curtis Sliwa (never boring)...
Loved Curtis. He means well but was misguided as a conservative on MSNBC. But we had many a hilarious moments mixing it up. Especially when it came to the battle of the sexes...
Fighting for my hometown 'The D' during the Auto Bailouts
All the networks knew I was a Detroiter, so when most of America was against the auto bailouts, I parked myself in New York and did every network and every show I could- explaining to them just how economically devastating it would be if the government didn't provide us the bridge, as in 1 in 10 jobs in America. No matter your political stripes. It took guts for Obama to do the right thing. And Michigan would be devastated if he followed the polls.
And caring about a homeless woman in real life
As a finance major from the University of Michigan I get it that free markets are the main driver of prosperity. But all economists understand that there are many flaws in theory, predators manipulating their market power as they did during the housing meltdown and just the human reality that in the richest country in America, we should not be seeing an elderly woman (as precious as any soul) discarded like trash.
Believing in the power of markets (on CNBC with Larry Kudlow)
As a finance major from U of M, I understand that when the market signals are right, business is a force of great good and used my knowledge to help businesses adopt sustainable technology and make a profit. But as the founder of modern capitalism Adam Smith said in "The Wealth of Nations", market excesses can only be curtailed by "we the people".
But explaining that we all share this one pale blue dot.
I've studied Climate Change for 21 years now and have advocated for common sense solutions in adopting Sustainable Economic Development design and technology (energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies. Not only the world's scientific bodies, but our own - NASA, NOAA, the US National Academy of Scientists, the AMA and hundreds of our professional scientific organizations are now at Defcon 5 at what they see. We are 60 years ahead of their worst case scenarios. The debate is well past over. We need leadership and cooperation to ensure survival - blunt, but sadly true. Transitioning to a new energy future in a world of water scarcity yields enormous opportunities and certain risks, especially in Michigan where the world's water-scarcity will be of supreme importance to us. We need "science-based" and "special-interest independent" leaders from our state to guide us through this transition.
Biden coming to Michigan to help elect Skinner to Congress in 2006.
Then-Senator Joe Biden came to Bloomfield Hills on behalf of my congressional race. He gave a speech that all those at Jessie Reiter's Law firm and a small group of Michigan lawyers will never forget. He shared so much detailed knowledge of the Middle East and all the challenges, it was simply incredible. This amazing event was topped off by a surprise visit by Senator Stabenow. What a memorable day!
Anwering to the media is so important...
Having been in the media for so long I can say this" rightly or wrongly", in this day and age, communicating effectively with the media (and the public) is essential. It shouldn't be a world of 30 second sound bites, but it is. You have to be not only knowledgeable on all the issues confronting America but express them on terms that most Americans can comprehend. Communicating effectively is the difference between winning and losing.
(That's why the ridicule of talk show hosts is kinda funny - their life is the study of issues and the history, the rhetoric and counter rhetoric, and their skills are finely honed).
Some advice from the next Veep.
I remember this moment like it were yesterday. Like my football coach father, Senator Biden was telling me that I had to follow my beliefs and my heart "no matter what". I could be killed (that is in modern politics) but I would never be dishonored in doing "what is right" in my heart. It's one of those hard to describe moments. This man lost his wife and son in a car accident. Could have thrown it all in and wallowed in self-pity, but he did not. He got on the train every day and went to work for ordinary folks like us.
Voting for Me with Mom and Dad in Birmingham
I am so lucky to have my 83 year old parents with me. My Dad, Chuck Skinner, was the head football coach at Birmingham Seaholm and in the Michigan Football Coaches Hall of Fame. My mother Anna should be in the Best Michigan Mother's Hall of Fame. They helped me campaign and supported me all the way to my voting booth in 2006. I'm happy to report that we will be at the same voting booth this November 2014! They said the third time is my charm. Gotta love your parents (they always think you're perfect). Plus I have 4 sibs and 50 + cousins in these parts.
Loved all this (I didn't know till afterword). My parents at a photo opp for our respective parking places at the Biden fundraiser (courtesy of ABC Law and Jessie Reiter). I just know my Mom was thrilled when Biden called her "that beautiful woman" at the conference table without knowing it was my mother. He's right; she is beautiful!
Good to see old opponents, seriously!
After Barack Obama won our US Senate race, he visited Michigan on his presidential exploration. After so many forums, debates and our and campaigns sharing so much good fun sparring, it was very cool to see him in Michigan. He called me his sharpest opponent and heartily endorsed me that night during my 2006 campaign. Suddenly became cool to lose (to POTUS that is).
Bobby Kennedy Jr. endorsing me for my leadership on Climate Change.
The film crew and Bobby Kennedy Jr. and me filming his endorsement ad for my 2006 campaign. Funny he said- "The debate about climate change is over. All the technologies we need are here. All we need is leadership. That's why we need to elect Nancy Skinner in Congress". But for a few points, I would have both started that leadership in 2007 and helped our auto industry avoid the meltdown.
Sundays at church in Pontiac were truly inspiring and uplifting days on a long campaign trail with these fine Pastors.
Exhausted campaigning at the Dream Cruise.
Exhausted campaigning after the Dream Cruise from my office on Woodward and 14 mile in Birmingham, but what fun! Not only did we have many local people stopping by but we had serious hero's like the beloved late state representative Aldo Vagnossi (Farmington Hills) and his dear Pat working with us the whole day, and many dignitaries and friend Senator Stabenow stopped by the Skinner Dream Cruise event.
A local true life hero!
God I love people. I just happened to read about this Midland man who donated a kidney to a 10 year-old girl (a complete stranger) because he just happened to read it in the Midland paper. Of course I inserted myself to help, and Jim Johnson (WOMC radio host ) and I (who are dear friends but are drastically different on politics) pulled off a fantastic fundraiser for Brian Martindale of Karma Apparel Inc. and his donor Jessica at Harmony Park Café in the D. I introduced the donor and recipient before the surgery (even though I probably shouldn't have). I didn't care. This was the most noble act I had ever seen. Postscript: both Jessica and Brian are doing well. People really are so cool!
When he wasn't POTUS.
Then-Illinois state senator, Barack Obama, is laughing because I grabbed an SIU (Southern Illinois University) cap off my staffer and put it on as I was announced and walked toward the dais at the "Big Debate of the South" to the applause of a huge college audience. He said "Skinner, you're good." I said "Barack have you seen the polls, I have to pull stunts like this ". It was pretty funny. That shot made the front page of the local paper. How fun!
Skinner for Congress Campaign Office 2006
Boy we did have a great campaign office on Woodward and 14 mile during the 2006 election. So many volunteers just walked in those doors! And we had a Little Caesars across the street that was always "hot and ready" for hungry campaigners.
At Senator-Elect Obama's Unity Breakfast
As tough as Chicago politics go, every single candidate in a field of seven showed up very early the morning after the Democratic Primary for the US Senate (I know the date because it was my birthday), to show a unified front with Senate leaders like Dick Durbin and others. That's how we roll.
Talking VP Debate Prep I did on Sarah Palin for Governor Granholm and Senator Biden.
As if it wasn't weird enough, I was tasked with helping VP Candidate Joe Biden by doing debate prep for Governor Granholm (my old boss) to be Palin in the mock debates with Biden. I was on with Chris Matthews the night before the debate to preview the debate.
My name on the ballot.
It is quite a moment to see your name on the ballot because it's my name but so many people worked to make it happen. We had 300 volunteers and hard working folks in labor organizations phone banking, and so many women especially, who got us within a hair of beating Joe Knollenberg. Thanks to all of you. Our work did not go to waste!
The US Senate Ballot
Great story behind this. In Illinois you have a week to file petitions (I filed 12,000 signatures that me and my dear friends and supporters collected all winter on train platforms and bus stations in the freezing cold). If you file on Monday, you entered the lottery for top ballot spot (which is the best) and the last person to file on Friday by 5:00 PM) gets the last (second best). I rolled the dice on last. Obama won the lottery for first. I was downstate attending the funeral of Senator Paul Simon (a major hero). My campaign manger drove the petitions down to file. Being the stickler (ok - pain that I can be) I insisted on a review. I found an error labeling pages (a ten page gap) and we had to renumber all the pages or we would been disqualied. We arrived with 5 minutes to file and all the workers in the Springfield office (the only place to file for the Senate) gave us a small round of applause for not missing it. The only other candidate who waited till Friday, Joyce Washington, had filed at 2:00 PM. Thus the statewide ballot placement. That was freakishly too close for comfort, but my awesome little gang pulled it off!
Politics Should Be Civil, Seriously
Six years after a bruising congressional battle, Joe Knollenberg and I ended up working the same poll for relatives. We had a very nice chat and he said I was a tough opponent but he really admired me. That was very gracious and we laughed at how we were both still at it - but now for family. I wish we could go back to the good old days where politics was not a blood sport!
The Whole Family
Yes I am the baby of six. Love this picture of the whole wonderful familia up north. We were so lucky because my Dad was a teacher and head football coach at Birmingham Seaholm, so we spent our summers up north growing up (and even now that we're not so young). My eldest brother Chuck Jr. (bottom right) is only with us in spirit now, but is still my brother and a Skinner.
It may be 2 parts fundraising, 1 part speaking and 1 part listening. That's messed up. (We need to fix that for the sake of democracy). Our Representatives should listen more to everyone (not just the rich and powerful who pay for access).
My Schooling- Guardian Angels Grade School (Clawson), Bishop Foley High School (Madison Heights) and U of M (Ann Arbor)
Was very lucky to attend Guardian Angels Catholic School in Clawson for 1-8, Bishop Foley High in Madison Heights for high school and graduated with a Business Degree from U of M (Finance major) and never missed a football game in the Big House! Thanks Mom and Dad (but I did have to wait tables and get student loans to pay for Michigan) because all 6 of us went college (2 Wolverines, 3 Spartans and 1 Albion grad). Guardian Angels is now the top level of Michigan Green Schools (go GA), Foley is still an outstanding school (Go Ventures) and I really don't need to say anything other than Go Blue! (I do root for State, except when we play them).
As a political radio show host, I've had the pleasure to interact with so many members (from both sides) in Congress. Love Hillary's toughness and resilience (it's so hard to be a woman in politics), I scrambled in Denver at the DNC convention to get the only seat available - on the stairs - to see Senator Ted Kennedy miraculously emerge from being bedridden with a brain tumor to giving one of the best speeches of my life. "We have seen victory and defeats but have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. The torch is passed to a new generation now. The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on".
Senator Carl Levin has always been a hero for me and all of America. He has been a sage and effective voice, not only as Chairman of Armed Services Commitee, but on all pressing issues before this nation. Thank you Senator Levin!
Helping Start and Grow Michigan Businesses
I've been on the front lines of being an entrepreneur to help new start-ups and second stage companies in Michigan expand as the President and CEO of NextWave Media Studios in Troy. I managed the design and construction of the state-of-the-art media studio, with fiber optic uplinks to all national networks, to a premiere "digitorium" (an auditorium upgraded with all digital tools to be an international venue) - for webcasts with amazing events like Beaumont Hospital's national webcast on Pancreatic Cancer with 8 leading doctors, to an audition for Michiganders with great business pitches auditioning before the movers and shakers of Michigan, I used my Business Degree to help them develop professional Business Plans, Media and PR plans and general consulting. It was rough sledding here during the recession.
So yes - I am a Capitalist!
Hosting Film Premieres at our Studio
We hosted the Michigan-made premiere of the film "Approaching Midnight"" at Nextwave Media Studios in Troy, which was a moving film on the life of a Afghanistan veteran returning home and uncovering some astounding truths. I actually had a small role as an undercover CIA agent who was supposedly a lawyer in this military/action film film. WE SHOULD HAVE KEPT THE FILM CREDITS - it gave so many out-of-work people second chances, kept our young people and college grads at home and made Michigan cool again.
My Baby - Sadie
I never had the experience of having my own children, but I was a mother to Sadie from 6 weeks old to 16 years old. Dog lovers get this - she was my baby. She was so smart and so sweet and kept me company on the campaigns - whether she was looking cool in our Sebring convertibles or on my lap while making fundraising calls till midnight (Pacific time cut-offs). I had to put her down a few weeks before my election in 2006 because she was in pain and I was being selfish in keeping her alive. But I took a couple days off, gave her the bomb -every McDonald's cheeseburger and ice cream she could eat - and stayed with her in my arms until the end. I do believe God gave us dogs to help us cope with life. They are such joys!
Handling the Big Nerves of Big Debates
The local Fox Network in Chicago carried a live debate with all 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans in one of the most colorful US Senate races in history. Luckily my many years of debating on national TV on all the issues gave me a certain level of calm. To my left side was the next President to be, and lots of rich and/or powerful men on both sides. I just had my very nerdy study of all the most pressing issues facing America and the words in my head from my parents that I could take on any challenge. (Yes, I lost to POTUS but I did so well at all my debates).
Healthcare and My Total Thyroidectomy
I never talked about this publicly because it could have effected my ability to get any kind of health insurance. In 2000, I had a total thyroidectomy to prevent what might be a very aggressive cancer spreading beyond my thyroid. Turns out the thyroid is one the most important organs in your body, I asked my surgeon how long I would live if I didn't take Synthroid (replacement thyroid hormone). He said six weeks, max. That is scary - and a very short leash between life and death. So many outright lies have been cast on Obamcare. I will just add this; the woman on TV, Julie Boonstra who has leukemia didn't mention that she saved $1200 dollars a year net and that her doctor was in her network (as reported by Washington Post, Detroit News and Politifact), but more importantly she could never be dropped by her insurer now (which was all too common), she will never again be denied for a pre-existing condition, or face yearly or annual caps. The truth is that if we didn't get some kind of handle on healthcare, our long term deficits would have doomed us. It's new, it's change -that's stressful for many, but so was Social Security and Medicare when they were launched. Ignore the TV ads (you do know there is no truth in advertising laws right?) In fact those ads are funded by Americans for Prosperity (a.k.a the Koch brothers - net worth $80 billion according to Forbes) trying to buy control of the Senate. Cancer is scary - trust me I know, But it's never ok to fib about your treatment for political purposes.