From A to Zowie
So few choices in the Michigan Gubernatorial Primary
By Richard Zowie
(This column was published in the July 28, 2010 issue of the Clio, Mich.-based Mt. Morris/Clio Birch Run/Bridgeport Herald)
There are times in life when my brain overloads from too many choices.
Sometimes, I look at my numerous Paper Mate pen collection and wonder which style and which color to use. Profile blue? Pro-Fit black? Comfort Mate red? 1.2 Blue? Dynagrip Black? Classic FlexGrip Blue? While I’m deciding, my family probably plans an intervention to send me to the Paper Mate Wing of the Betty Ford Clinic.
I wish I had that many choices for the Michigan gubernatorial race.
Since I am not a Democrat, did not vote for Governor Jennifer Granholm and since I don’t like any of the Democrats running, I will have to consider the republican side.
Four years ago, I voted for Dick DeVos in his unsuccessful bid against the incumbent Granholm. I liked DeVos’ track record as a businessman, but his political savvy and ambiguity on some of the other issues bothered me. He struck me as someone who adopted the Republican platform (not a horrible thing, by the way) rather than truly believe in it. It was a vote for DeVos but also a vote against Granholm who, despite being far from a popular governor, easily won re-election in 2006.
Now, the GOP frontrunners are U.S. House of Representatives congressman Pete Hoekstra, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, State Attorney General Mike Cox and businessman Rick Snyder. Cox, Hoekstra and Bouchard appear strong on conservative issues, but some wonder if the three might be too soft on Middle East issues.
Hoekstra has been endorsed by Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson (as a “private citizen”), which will appeal to some conservative Christians. As for this conservative Christian, I’m hesitant. Dr. Dobson in recent years has become a one-issue voter (abortion) who seems to believe that if we elect conservative Christians into office, all our nation’s problems will be solved. Can we really expect government to tackle the job churches should be doing?
Yes, abortion is a big issue for me, but there are also many other issues to consider. What if both candidates support abortion? What if the pro-life candidate is wrong on every other issue?
Regarding Snyder, I like a lot of what he says about business but would like to hear his views on other issues. And, frankly, he reminds me a little too much of DeVos. Is he just someone who wants to run for the top office in Michigan on his strength of being a smart guy who’s as tough as his pocket protector? Granted, we need someone who can implement business-friendly policies, but is that enough? Are Michigan’s economic woes far more complicated than he realizes? And if he gets the nomination, will he go down in flames against whomever the Democrats nominate?
Then there’s Michigan State Senator Tom George, who’s also running for the GOP nomination. George, who’s also a medical doctor, argues his four opponents aren’t the most solid of choices due to their plans to cut taxes but continue some spending patterns that could still result in bankruptcy in Michigan. He wants Michigan to live within its means.
Wow! A radical concept! The state’s expenditures must not exceed its revenues!
I’m still undecided whom to vote for in the primary, but I will read the candidates’ websites and watch Youtube clips of them in debates. Maybe we’ll get lucky this time and it finally won’t be an election about voting for the lesser of two evils instead of pinching our noses as we cast our ballots in November.
We can only hope.
Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and works in Michigan as a reporter and columnist for the Clio, Mich.-based Genesee County Herald. Visit his blog at www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.