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Posted on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

A look back at modern-day John Dingell in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton

U.S. Rep. John Dingell officially is the longest-serving member of Congress in history as of Friday, and the national media is busy reflecting on his involvement in monumental pieces of legislation ranging from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.


John Dingell

Closer to home, Dingell also is recognized by Ann Arbor officials as a representative who has routinely delivered for his district — whether that was federal grant money to help pay for a new transit center, high-speed rail improvements, or reconstruction of the Stadium bridges.

Dingell has used the relationships he established throughout the last 57-plus years in Congress — with both Republicans and Democrats — to make those kinds of deliveries happen.

"I've been responsible for thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into this district," he said in an interview with last summer.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said he's been continually impressed with Dingell over the years.

"I've never met a representative at any level who cares more about the people in his district and I know that's going to be a big part of his legacy," he said. "As far as I can tell, he never stopped working for the people in his district from the day he was elected."

Hieftje said one doesn't have to look very far to see the effects of Dingell's leadership — the most recent example being the new Stadium bridges.

"Every time I see John, he says, 'Are we doing everything we can be doing for Ann Arbor?' and I just appreciate that," Hieftje said. "And he means it. If we bring something up, he gets right on it."

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder joined the chorus of those singing Dingell's praises on Friday, saying the state and nation owe a great thanks to Dingell for his leadership and devotion to public service.

"During his 57 years in Congress, John Dingell has been a champion for civil rights, clean air and clean water, and affordable health care," Snyder said.

"Most of all, he has been a champion for Michigan and its people. He has worked tirelessly to advance the interests of our state and all Michiganders."

Check out the slideshow above and leave your thoughts in the comments below. What do you think will be Dingell's legacy both nationally and locally?

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sun, Jun 9, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

We could do a test of his interaction with those of us that are not politically connected, send him a polite letter saying the government needs to live within its means and ask what he would propose to balance the budget. Do not hold your breath waiting for a reply that will not come.


Sun, Jun 9, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Not sure what the love affair is with the person who helped bring us an additional $15 trillion in debt. A person who refused to talk to his constituents during debate over affordable care act, and refused to debate his opponent during 2012 campaign. Someone who supports NSA collecting data on your movements. But then again a "free bridge " buy a lot of looking the other way. Hope you enjoy the dictatorship.


Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

WHOLE DUDE - WHOLE DEMOCRACY: I respect the democratic institutions and traditions of the United States. To defend Freedom and Democracy, and to secure Peace, and Justice in the occupied Land of Tibet, I had voluntarily served in a military organization known in India as Special Frontier Force, or Establishment Number 22. It represents a military alliance/pact between the United States, India, and Tibet. Unfortunately, this reputable military organization remains under the shroud of secrecy, a legacy of Cold War era. My belief in Democracy and my commitment to defend human rights is associated with unconditional adherence to the principles of transparency and accountability in governance. This military organization has received millions of dollars in financial assistance apart from military equipment, supplies, and instructional staff since it got raised during November 1962 during the presidency of John F Kennedy. The US Congress, a democratic institution that represents the power of the people, in which John Dingell has the distinction of representing the people of Michigan for 29 terms since 1955 deserves to be thanked for its support. In other words, I want to sincerely thank the people of Michigan for electing John Dingell as their Representative for all these years.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 10:47 a.m.

When Congressman Dingell was redistricted into the same congressional district as our Congresswoman Lynn Rivers I sought him out and pledged my support and we've been friends ever since. I've known dozens of top political leaders of both parties and can honestly say that he has been the most skillful, professional and unfailingly polite politician I've ever worked with. He is intelligent, honest, up front on his views and possesses a quick wit. Whenever he comes to town I try to go and observe him speak and interact with the crowd because it is like observing a professor giving a graduate seminar in political skills.


Sun, Jun 9, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

The highlight of his career was when he called ATF jack booted thugs. Since then he has sold out to those who give him money.