Archive | October 15, 2012

Vote Gretchen Driskell for Representative of Michigan’s 52nd District

On my drive to Ann Arbor everyday, I am assaulted with signs calling for the re-election of Mark Ouimet, the incumbent State Representative for my District, Michigan’s 52nd.

I did some research to learn something about the man. He doesn’t make it easy. In fact, his website says absolutely nothing. There are some pictures of him with overweight seniors and a catch all statement that well, doesn’t really state anything at all. He was nice enough to include some statements from friends and family showing what a nice guy he is, but nothing regarding real issues. His Facebook page doesn’t help much either.

This strategy of not saying anything at all seems to work with my neighbors. Perhaps they really don’t care at all who gets in, as long as he or she is Republican? Likely.

A little more digging, and I found out he’s in the top tier of Tea Party candidates (77% rating), and has departed from the Republican only 10 times our of 1105 votes. Ouimet’s obviously a follower and would rather vote with his party, than with his diverse constituency.

Perhaps his inability to make public statements on anything is really a problem of not having anything to say in the first place.

Besides being a really, really boring Candidate, Ouimet votes against core issues I care about:

He voted to:

1. require photo ID to both register to vote and to vote (anti-poor, anti-immigrant, or slimy vote grab, which is it?).
2. ban the state from entering into collective bargaining agreements with employees (anti-union, anti-worker).
3. restrict access to abortion (anti-woman, pro-paternalistic big government control of reproduction, or vote panderer, which is it?).
4. require drug tests of people receiving state assistance (anti-black, anti-poor, anti-living kids).
5. deny providing medical coverage to domestic partners of public employees (anti-gay, pro-big government micro-managing of sexual/domestic partnerships).

In short, Ouimet is a pretty run of the mill Republican. He will appeal well to angry white people in the countryside who blame all their ills immigrants, gays, black people, unions and aborting women.

I fail to see how Ouimet’s lock step voting record with Michigan Republicans will do anything to improve the State of Michigan. Maybe a do-absolutely-nothing candidate is exactly what people want. There certainly is little to question.

Gretchen Driskell, on the other hand, publishes a list of her stances on the issues for all to see. Really, there’s nothing I can say here that she doesn’t already say herself. Driskell is very much a centrist, which would be a welcome change over the far right set of Representatives Michigan has now. Local politics in a diverse area like Western Washtenaw doesn’t really need radicals.

Driskell, as mayor of Saline, is pro-community and pro-business, though clearly a lefty on social issues. She is on the Ann Arbor SPARK executive committee and affiliated with other local business development groups. She’s a great candidate for the job.

Amazingly, Driskell has already become victim to a Ouimet inspired smear campaign using public resources.

Hopefully, she’ll win and we can get rid of all of these Ouimet signs forever.

RomneyCare: Let the Poor Die As Soon As Possible

PELLEY: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?
ROMNEY: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and — and die. We — we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

Having been out of the country and busy, somehow I missed this instance of verbal stupidity from Mitt Romney.

Sorry, Mitt, people certainly do sit in their houses and die of heart attacks because they don’t have health insurance. They die because they weren’t able to get care for a heart condition BEFORE they had the heart attack.

Though Mitt certainly must have suffered when he sold stock to get through college, he most certainly has never had to worry about health care. In fact, most politicians haven’t either. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that humans have a really, really hard time understanding the lives of other humans.

Nowhere is this more true than health insurance and access to care. People with health insurance really can’t imagine the lives of those who don’t. I remember those days well, having NEVER had insurance until I reached the ripe age of 38.

Every day is a risk. Even simple things like bike riding are filled with risk, not only for health, but financial security. A simple broken bone could leave a person financially broken, unemployed, and even homeless. It’s no mistake that people without health insurance are also likely to have zero savings.

But, in the world of the American right, people don’t have health insurance because they’re lazy. They’re too stupid to get a job that will provide it. They losers that weren’t born to wealthy auto magnates. Let ’em die.

Honestly, the abysmal access to health care is the US is the number one reason I consider taking a job in any number of more civilized countries and leaving this insanity behind. Not to overstate my worth, but the US can’t really afford to lose people like me. Though anecdotal, uncertain social welfare policies are driving qualified people out of the US. Who wouldn’t move to a good job in Canada, Sweden, Japan or Switzerland?

Right wingers would call this entitlement. I call it survival.

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