Monday, October 29, 2012

Examiner.com article on AnnArbor.com endorsements

Caption: Senator Debbie Stabenow earned the endorsement of AnnArbor.com for U.S. Senate. Credit: Public Domain (Wikipedia)
AnnArbor.com endorses Obama, Stabenow, Ouimet, school district consolidation
Bright and early this Sunday morning, AnnArbor.com issued four endorsements for the general election. The online newspaper endorsed Barack Obama for President, Debbie Stabenow for Senator, and Mark Ouimet for State Representative.

In its endorsements of all three incumbents, AnnArbor.com cited their accomplishments on behalf of job creation and growing the local economy.

The virtual paper also recommended a yes vote on consolidation of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts.
For the details (and there are lots of them), plus a video of Bruce Springsteen being introduced by Bill Clinton and then endorsing Obama, click on the link in the article headline.

As for my opinion of all this: Endorsing Obama and Stabenow, good; endorsing the consolidation of the school districts, probably a smart idea, but not my problem; endorsing Ouimet, not to my liking at all. I used to live in Ouimet's district, which was represented by Democrat Pam Byrnes when I lived there. I was fine with Pam. I even talked to her at the end of the Whitmore Lake 4th of July Parade in 2006. Good woman who listened to her constituents and represented people like me. I'm not OK with Ouimet.

Part of my issue with Ouimet is what happened in 2010 when he first ran for his current seat. That race got very rough and dirty very quickly about a month before the election, as I documented in the following article in Examiner.com.

Negative campaigning and vandalism against Christine Green campaign in 52nd Michigan House race
Over the weekend, the campaign in Michigan's 52nd State House district turned negative as the Washtenaw County Democratic Party accused Republican candidate Mark Ouimet of improperly billing the county for expenses incurred while he served as a Washtenaw County Commissioner.

Ouimet was not alone in having his campaign beset by outside forces. An article published by AnnArbor.com summarized how the Michigan Republican Party has been attacking Democratic candidate Christine Green with negative campaign flyers mailed to potential voters in the 52nd House District.

In addition to the attack ads, Green has been the subject of a series of robocalls attempting to link her local campaign to national and state Democratic policies. There have also been several incidents of vandalism against her campaign signs.

Green has objected to the negative campaigning and called upon Ouimet to "renounce and stop the misleading attacks." In response, Ouimet has maintained that his campaign was not responsible for the attack ads on Green.
While the controversy was fun to cover, it left a bad taste in my mouth, along with a dislike of Ouimet, even though he wasn't directly responsible for any of it.

As for Ouimet's behavior since them, in a less partisan atmosphere with less extreme members of his own party and a Democratic governor, I'm sure he'd be the bipartisan, pragmatic person he was as an Ann Arbor City Councilman and a Washtenaw County Commissioner. In the current legislature, he's enabling a bunch of know-nothing extremists who silence women like Lisa Brown. I really don't like him continuing to represent my old neighborhood, any more than I do Tim Walberg in Congress. I'd much prefer Gretchen Driskell. I hope to find some newsworthy material about her.

In some meta news, I'm currently ranked fifth out of 170 elections Examiners nationwide. I also got promoted to "preferred source." That's enough of an ego boost to induce me to write more during the next two weeks.

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