Debate fizzles after no-show
By CHARLES CRUMM
Of The Oakland Press
BIRMINGHAM — In the end, it wasn’t much of a debate.
Democrat Gary Peters, who seeks to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, RBloomfield Hills, made about 20 minutes of remarks to an audience of less than 20 Sunday at the Birmingham Unitarian Church.
Then he left.
The only other candidate, the Green Party’s Doug Campbell, spoke after Peters left.
Knollenberg was a no-show. His campaign Friday said he had other commitments.
With three weeks to go until the election, Peters, 49, claims his polls show him with a lead over the eight-term incumbent in a district targeted for takeover by the national Democratic Party.
He used his remarks Sunday to criticize Knollenberg, 75.
“I don’t know that leadership has been shown by our current representative,” Peters said.
Peters, a former state senator and state lottery commissioner, called for universal access to health care and said more needs to be done to help the ailing financial sector.
“We are in an incredibly precarious situation,” he said. “We’ve got to do everything we can to restore confidence.”
He also threw his support behind mass transit for the region. “It goes hand in hand with economic development,” Peters said.
Knollenberg represents the 9th congressional district, which includes Oakland, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford township; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills.
Also on the ballot is assistant suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian as an independent and Libertarian Adam Goodman.
The League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Oakland University for the 9th district candidates.
Monday, October 13, 2008
No-Show Joe at Debate
Joe Knollenberg says he cares about his constituents, yet he couldn't make it a priority to show up yesterday at the Birmingham Unitarian Church for a debate with Gary Peters. I think that says everything we need to know about Joe Knollenberg. Knollenberg has one more chance to debate Peters, on Thursday at Oakland University. Even though Knollenberg is behind in the polls, he doesn't think it's beneficial to debate the issues of the day with his opponent. That is the height of arrogance, to not face your opponent face to face in front of the people you represent. But I've always known Knollenberg was arrogant, by the way his staff treated constituents at his office in Farmington Hills.