Friday, October 17, 2008

Peters and Knollenberg face off in forum

Click here to watch the stream from WXYZ. It really wasn't a debate. There was no back and forth between Gary Peters and Joe Knollenberg. At least Knollenberg had the courtesy to show up this time. The house was packed with about 300 people. Knollenberg seems to be proud of his ties to the Bush adminstration and their ruinous policies. The candidates were asked about campaign financing by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News. Knollenberg had the nerve to actually accuse Peters of accepting big money from PACs. I guess he missed the irony of his support from Big Pharma, the National Association of Realtors, the insurance and financial industry, and others. I would have liked more of a chance for Peters and Knollenberg to address each other and for that reason I didn't like the format.

One thing is for sure, there is a clear difference between Peters and Knollenberg.

Taxes, spending and the war in Iraq dominated a tame debate between four of the five candidates running for Oakland County’s 9th Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Township, told about 250 people that he’s consistently delivered for Oakland County residents and would continue to “fight with all my might” if he’s returned to Congress.

Gary Peters, former state Senator and Lottery Commissioner, said the current economic crisis proves that Washington is broken and is in desperate need of change.

“Whatever has happened in the past is not working now,” Peters said. “We do need to change how things are done in Washington.”

Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Douglas Campbell had one of the best lines of the night when he urged that when voters watch the increasingly negative ads that Knollenberg and Peters are running against each other, that they “contemplate the possibility that they’re both right.”

The sharpest differences were on taxes.

Knollenberg said that raising them would be the worst possible thing to do at anytime, but especially in the current economic climate.

Peters said that he thinks tax cuts should be concentrated on the middle class and that tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas should be eliminated.

“If you look at the Bush tax cuts, they favor the people at the very top. If we do need to generate some revenue, that would be where I would look,” he said.

The ninth congressional district, which covers a wide swath of Oakland County from Farmington Hills through Oakland Township, has become a much more competitive district recently. Click here for the rest of the story.

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