Thursday, November 22, 2007

9th District Campaign Intense, but not "weird"

Last November 15, the Birmingham Eccentric ran a story, "The Strange Saga of the 9th U.S. House Race" and an accompanying opinion piece entitled "Campaign is already weird" One thing conservative writers like Greg Kowalski are very good at is putting emotional words into their stories. Below is Greg's opinion piece, although it doesn't have his name attached, and my reply. Even though, when you ask, they say they are not partisan, reading their stories, you can't help but notice how biased they are. I do give Greg credit, though, for running my reply, unedited, except I had to shorten it to meet the 400 word guideline. And I do appreciate Greg's campaign advice, but with Joe's approval rating at 33% I tend to think that people are paying attention to this race and Joe's voting record and position on issues, maybe due in part to the letters to the editor campaign, the admittedly unique tactics and the truth being told about Joe Knollenberg.

Campaign is already weird (from the 11/15/07 Eccentric)

The November 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most bizarre in memory.

And it's still 2007.

The big race on the ballot locally will the be 9th U.S. House seat currently occupied by Joe Knollenberg. The Republican from Bloomfield Township has been in office since 1993 and has been a consistent conservative. Only recently has he tried to distance himself from President George Bush and taken up the cause of the American auto industry and its plight.

Knollenberg has come under bitter attack by political foes who are taking their message to the street - literally - following Knollenberg to businesses and even going to his home to challenge him with their questions on such issues as the Iraq war and health insurance coverage.

On an anti-Knollenberg Web site, Joe is held responsible for just about everything bad there is including the number of soldiers killed in Iraq and the $9 trillion national debt.

We're not in the habit of giving campaign advice, but the anti-Knollenberg camp might note that such overkill tactics are not particularly effective in this area where voters tend to be more moderate and reasonable.

We will, however, continue to push for clean election campaigns. Knollenberg is vulnerable on many issues and there is no need to resort to such cheap, and frankly weird, tactics.

My Reply in Thursday’s Birmingham (Thanksgiving Day) Eccentic

Not so weird (My title was, "Campaign is intense, but not "weird")

The only people that are calling the occurrences in the 9th District race weird are members of the press. I think it's important to point out a few things that Kowalski's story, "Strange Saga" overlooked and get a few facts straight. First, there was an incident in a drugstore in Rochester, but I have not been following Knollenberg around. I have been looking for an opportunity to question Knollenberg about the issues important to Oakland County and I had that opportunity in the drugstore.

In the recording in the drugstore, Knollenberg's chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, totally lost his cool when I questioned Knollenberg about his positions on children's health care and Knollenberg's continued support of the war in Iraq. Knollenberg is for more war and death and against providing health care for our children. I would like to see Knollenberg get his priorities straight. I have every right, as an American, in fact it's my duty as a citizen, to ask questions and get straight answers from my representative in the people's House.

Knollenberg also voted against the Health and Human Services bill and helped to block an override of President Bush's veto.

This bill would have provided $3.4 billion for state unemployment insurance and employment services, $340 million to strengthen mine safety protections, $183 million to enforce wage and hour laws, $37 billion for school districts across America, $16.4 billion to lower the costs of student loans, $2 billion for affordable, high-quality child care for low-income families, $7 billion for Head Start programs and $2.2 billion for community health centers, all worthwhile expenditures, especially when compared to more than half a trillion dollars that has been spent on the war and the estimated $1.5 trillion that has been spent so far when all the expenses to the American public are taken into consideration.

Knollenberg can no longer claim to be a fiscal conservative, as he has played a role in the $9 trillion national debt, twice what it was before Bush took office, caused by Bush's tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

As Kowalski's article pointed out, Knollenberg's approval rating is down to 33 percent, so people are now paying attention to this race and are starting to realize that Knollenberg doesn't represent their views on the issues and they are ready to vote a Democrat into office next November.

Bruce Fealk

1 comment:

MIKE said...

I long for the days when the media, mostly the press, use to present the pros & cons on issues, and readily posted the voting record of our Representatives. Now they barely cover anything - usually resorting to mouthing the talking points of this administration or belabor points and things that have little to do with our democracy. Apparently most media outlets think it is chic to tout the conservative line, but try to pass it off as objective journalism. That is hogwash. I wouldn't object if they honestly tried to present progressive commentators on an equal footing. Fat chance of that! Want to sustain our democracy then you have to take to the streets - demonstrate, agigitate AND VOTE.