Jul 25, 2008
GOP candidates try to out conservative each other
BRIGHTON -- Any primary in Livingston County consists of Republican candidates trying to out-conservative and out-pro-life each other, and it was no different Thursday at a debate sponsored by The Livingston County Daily Press and Argus to fill the open seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Republicans Jason Corosanite and Bill Rogers are facing off to run against Democrats Donna Anderson of Brighton and Milford resident Tom Crawford for the open 66th District seat that includes the city of Brighton and the townships of Marion, Oceola, Brighton, Genoa, Green Oak and Milford. Crawford was absent.
Republicans Charlie Aberasturi, Cindy Denby, Carl Konopaska and Frank Portelli are facing off against Democrat and Hamburg Township resident Scott Lucas for the open 47th District seat that includes the City of Howell and the townships of Cohoctah, Conway, Deerfield, Hamburg, Handy, Hartland, Howell, Iosco, Marion, Putnam, Tyrone and Unadilla.
Over the years I have been to many debates, and I even coved this debate for the Press & Argus. But I was never more frustrated and disappointed after a debate. This is really the first debate I attend after working in both the Michigan House and Senate, and I’m much more familiar with the process. The Press & Argus did an excellent job like they always do, and I recommend you watch their video feed of the event. But their choice of questions was not the best. Why would they ask their position on stem cell research in a primary where five of the six candidates are Republicans? I already knew what their answer would be, and only Anderson favored it.
“It will go forward in Michigan, and it must go forward,” she said. “People need to understand where these cells come from.”
Embryonic stem cells are primitive cells that can be generated in a Petri dish after an egg is fertilized by sperm in a dish in a fertility clinic. I can’t get past the fact they will just toss them in the trash when they are no longer needed or wanted, but they can’t be used to conduct research that may help to find a cue for things like multiple sclerosis; cancers; cardiovascular diseases; circulatory and respiratory diseases and spinal cord injuries.
I am happy to say they used my question on whether they support a workplace ban on smoking. I was really surprised all the Republicans were against it, and only Anderson supported it. This is a bipartisan issue, and both the House and the Republican controlled Senate have passed a version of the smoking ban. The debate is will we ban it completely or will we allow exceptions for casinos, cigar bars and bingo halls, not that it will be banned.
“It one of the best ways to protect our health,” Anderson said.
There was too much talk about either banning tobacco in general, it’s hypocritical to ban smoking in bars because the tax on cigarettes balances the state budget and individual business owners should be able choose. First, this is not about smoking, it’s about secondhand smoke. The U.S. Surgeon General has said there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Simply put, second-hand smoke kills. Some said they support a ban in office buildings. But if I’m a bartender or waitress I can’t light up in their office, so why are people allowed to light up in my office?
The bottom line is there is little difference between the GOP candidates, so it comes down to qualifications and experience. I would endorse Cindy Denby in the 47th District only because I personally know her. I covered Handy Township from 2000-2008 where she served as Supervisor. Because I live in the 47th District, I will be voting for Scott Lucas.
In the 66th I endorse Bill Rogers for the GOP, only because I know him from covering the county Board of Commissioners where he currently serve as the chair. He is a really nice, sincere guy, and I respect and like him, as well as Denby. But frankly, I was more than disappointed by their positions. Clearly, Donna Anderson won this debate, and that’s who people should vote for.
I can’t wait for the general election debate.