Jul 16, 2010

GOP Senate candidate envisions black helicopter coming for his handgun

HOWELL -- Republican candidate for the 22nd State Senate District Joe Hune has drunk so much tea lately that he thinks a black helicopter from the UN is coming for his gun.

Hune and his opponent in the Aug. 3 GOP primary, Howell City Councilman Paul Rogers, squared off in a debate Thursday night sponsored by the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. It’s tradition to play to the base in a primary election, but Hune has gone off the rails in his mad sprint to the right. He apparently is now subscribing to the philosophy of the Michigan Militia.

The seat is open because of term limits, and the winner of the Aug. 3 primary will face off against Democrat Chuck Fellows of Green Oak Township.

“There are conversations going on today at the U.N. (United Nations) to turn that (2nd Amendment) right over to the U.N,” Hune said.

Basically, Hune tried to go as far to the right as possible, by saying no to any and every possible tax increase and throwing out every single talking point and applause line that gets teabaggers fired up. Hune has been seen at many extremist “tea parties.” He calls taxes that pay for the roads, our police and fire, parks and his salary “stealing.”

“I’m a conservative; both socially and fiscally,” Hune said. “Lansing needs to rein in spending. We need to get government out of the way.”

That’s just ridiculous. The fact is tax cuts are not the solution, and if it were we would not be in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Michigan has cut taxes continuously in both good times and bad times, and taxes have been cut 30 times since 1993. Michigan has less state government employees now than it did in 1973.

Rogers, a businessman and former Howell Mayor, also played to the base, but he also said Lansing has been broken for the last 10 years. The fact is Hune was in Lansing for six years – four of those when his party controlled both the House and Senate – and has nothing to show for it and no solutions.
The debate was an unusual format, and it resembled a newspaper editorial endorsement interview. The paper’s publisher and news editor asked questions and then as many follow ups to get a straight answer. That was difficult with Hune, who stuck to his talking points and teabagger applause lines, like his response to gay marriage.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period," he said. "Period; I don't need to explain further."

He stuck to that talking point even when he was asked what was a bigger threat to his marriage: no fault divorce laws or gay marriage.

Predictably, both candidates were against the historic health care insurance reform bill passed in March that will give 32 million Americans life saving health coverage and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says cuts the deficit by $130 billion in the first 10 years. However, after much discussion they conceded Americans should have access to health care, but they never defied what access meant.

Hune has bashed state workers at every opportunity, and he didn’t disappoint last night. He ignored the fact that state employees took six unpaid days off to help make up the deficit last year and we also have less state employees now than we had in 1973. State employees have made concessions that have saved the state more than $3.7 billion since 2001.

Michigan spends more for prisons than it does for higher education because Michigan’s incarceration rates were the 2nd highest in the 12-state Midwest region, and our rate is the 11th highest in the nation. Instead of addressing why that’s the case and look at reforming sentencing guidelines, Hune wants to privatize Michigan’s prisons.

“No one wants to use the word privatize,” he said.

Both candidates said they would not vote for the film incentive package passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature in March of 2008, but when Hune was asked why he voted for it, he tried to claim he didn’t know or understand the package included a tax rebate. Is he serous? He’s either lying or doesn’t read very well, but it was clear in the testimony in committee that it included a rebate. Howell has been the beneficiary of some film production, and Rogers acknowledged that.

“I don’t think I would have voted for it in its current form, but the film industry is worth having,” he said.

Both candidates tried to out conservative each other, coming out against issues that have a lot of support. But Hune clearly won that dubious honor. Hune came out against a graduated income tax despite the fact that a majority of Michigan residents support it, according to a poll by EPIC/MRA for the Detroit News, WXYZ, WOOD, WILX and WJRT television stations.

Both are against the popular workplace smoking ban passed last December. Both supported the package of bills introduced by Sen. Tom George, R-Kalamazoo, to place restrictions on stem cell research that critics have said places so many restrictions on stem cell research that it will effectively kill it. George was the chief spokesman for the opponents of Ballot Proposal 2 that will allow embryonic stem cell research and was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2008, and the bills are his way to kill it.

Hune went so far as to say the voters were full of crap, and he is so anti-choice he doesn’t think it should be allowed at all.

No comments: