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.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

4 responses to “Vote Gretchen Driskell for Representative of Michigan’s 52nd District”

  1. Beth says :

    Wow. I have ever commented on an article before, but I have to say this article is incredibly erroneous and insulting! First of all, “literally assaulting” means the signs were “literally” physically coming into contact with your car while you were driving by. Secondly, the comment about how Mr. Ouimet’s ads showed “overweight seniors” is completely disrespectful and unprofessional. Also, you pointed out that Mr Ouimet voted for requiring drug testing of state assistance. Then, in parenthesis you indicate that means he is “anti-black and anti-poor.” Are you, Mr. Larson, indicating that it is only “black people” and “poor people” that receive state assistance? What an ignorant comment on your part! It is possible for a writer to support a candidate without being insulting…

  2. Pete Larson says :

    Your response is quite entertaining.

    Thank you.

  3. Ralph says :

    Pete, I too think that everyone who receives taxpayer money should be drug/alcohol screened. Starting with whomever resides at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, and everyone else on down the ladder.:)

  4. Pete Larson says :

    Agreed. It’s only fair. Besides, who knows what we’d find?

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