You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

Debbie Stabenow's past dealings with ABC program questionable

By Letters to the Editor

On Sept. 7, 2006, Senator Debbie Stabenow and four of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to ABC stating their disagreement with some aspects of ABC's program The Path to 9/11.

Had the letter simply expressed these disagreements, it would have been totally appropriate. Unfortunately, it did not. It went well beyond that, outlining the law under which ABC broadcasts and making an only slightly-veiled threat against ABC's broadcast license, if ABC did not respond to their demands (which were to cancel the program entirely).

Think about that. Sen. Stabenow is completely comfortable with the idea of using her government office to threaten a business that dared say something that she didn't agree with. It wasn't enough to simply register disagreement and cite facts to back up her position. She alluded to the very broadcast license that allows ABC to operate, while demanding a program's cancellation. The implication was clear: ABC should do her bidding if they liked staying in business.

Fortunately, there are 100 Senators in Washington, not five, and so they had no way of carrying out their threat. ABC knew this and broadcast the show anyway. But Sen. Stabenow and her colleagues were on-board with the idea of using governmental power against a broadcaster over a disagreement in broadcast content. That should be unthinkable in the United States of America.

Remember that when you go vote the first Tuesday in November.

John A. Dodds




Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

Time to take the keys from Grandma! This old bag has nothing new to contribute and has done plenty of damage to Michigan's biotechnology economy.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 6:31 a.m.

What damage? Being disrespectful only reflects badly on yourself. If Senator Stabenow warrants being called "Grandma" and "this old bag" at age 62, then I guess Mitt Romney deserves to be called "Grandpa" as well as "this old bag" at age 65. Actually, the grandma and grandpa labels are accurate.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Not everyone in Michigan believes that Senator Stabenow's effort to help develop the battery industry in Michigan is ill-conceived. "Businesses and organizations endorsing Senator Stabenow's Battery Innovation Act include: A123 Systems, Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Dow Kokam, Ford, GM, Johnson Controls, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Blue Green Alliance, Hybrid Truck Users Forum Stakeholders, Hybrid Truck Action Group, and the United Auto Workers." (


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 8 p.m.

"The Path to 9/11" Inaccuracies and misrepresentations. There is more to the story than Senator Stabenow. (from "9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, the ranking Republican, served as both a consultant and as a co-executive producer.""In response to one particular scene, Kean told an interviewer he "was all right with the made-up scene" where Clinton administration is accused of blocking a chance to kill bin Laden." " Richard Miniter — a conservative author and critic of the Clinton administration — was quoted as saying "the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there's zero factual basis for that."" "When asked if he thought of the script as a "historical document," (Cyrus, script writer -sic) Nowrasteh has responded: "No, but I stand by the original version of the movie, and I stand by the edited version... There has to be conflation of events."" "Anti-terrorism expert Richard Clarke said the film was "180 degrees from what happened."" "Anti-terrorism expert Richard Clarke said the film was "180 degrees from what happened..."" "A member of the 9/11 Commission, Richard Ben-Veniste also stated that the scene depicting Berger hanging up the phone on Tenet is fictional." "Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA Bin Laden Unit during the Clinton administration....says it was not Berger who canceled assaults on bin Laden,.." "Scholastic Press, which had a deal with ABC to distribute "educational materials" based on the movie, pulled the materials in question from their website on September 7..." and there is much more at the Wikipedia website. As you can ascertain by yourself, the Senators had justification for their complaint letter and their voices were only a few among many who pronounced against the "do


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Michigan needs Senator Debbie Stabenow in the U.S. Senate for many reasons. One of many good reasons to re-elect Senator Stabenow is her trust in people to make their own medical decisions. Women need to be able to choose among contraceptive, including IUD's and "the pill" which would be banned by the docile sounding, but repressive "Personhood Amendment." Even voters in conservative Mississippi defeated such a proposal when women and men realized the details of the proposal. I read comments by some that abortion is legal and we don't need to be concerned. Actually, we do need to be concerned. Locally, the right to choose has been diminished by the loss of independent hospitals in surrounding communities such as Chelsea and Saline. The on-line pr of St. Joe's doesn't hide the fact that they don't prescribe or dispense (prescribe and dispense are their words) contraceptives. U.S. Senators confirm (or not) a President's appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point we don't know who will be our President over the next four years. We don't know the makeup of Congress. We don't know if Planned Parenthood will be attacked. Those who believe health care should be between patient and doctor will vote to re-elect Senator Debbie Stabenow. Please don't come back with the argument that women would have control over their health and bodies regardless of who is wins this Senatorial election. What has been the law might not be the law if people such as Pete Hoekstra get control of the U.S. Senate and the White House. My father-in-law (now deceased) told us the horrors of women almost bleeding to death coming in ER's after botched attempts at abortion. Perhaps we'll hear from some retired doctors who recall that time.

Great Lakes Lady

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Stabenow Battery Innovation Act: A123: spend $1 million in lobbying and $6k in campaign donation; receive $249 million in taxpayer funds. Go bankrupt. Very high return on investment. Solyndra: investors contributed to Obama 2008 election; received $535 in taxpayer funds. Go bankrupt. High return on investment. Compact Power, owned by LG Chem, a S. Korean company, ....a Holland, Mich hybrid battery plant rec'd $150 million in taxpayer funds.. .workers placed on 1 week per month furlough due to lack of demand for lithium ion cells. Their existence was based on access to taxpayer money.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

$35 billion in DOE loans and guarantees since 2005. Only a billion in default seems like a pretty good investment to me. Cherry picking the bad news without the overwhelming success seems disingenuous to me.

Great Lakes Lady

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

In addition to suppression of free speech: Stabenow voted AGAINST labeling of GMO (genetically modified) food: S.Amdt. 2310 to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012) All of Europe...India....over 50 nations label GMO products. Don't kid yourselves. Stabenow does not represent YOU; she represents large corporations, such as Monsanto that produce GMO seeds. Most of Michigan is planted with GMO seeds.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

Exerts from the letter. Senate Democrats' letter to ABC Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Byron Dorgan sent a letter to Robert A. Iger, the President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Their letter includes the following statement: "Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation. "The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events."[48 Judge for yourself.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

John, I tried and apparently failed to give information so people could judge for themselves. I personally believed at the time the gang of 5 were way beyond the point of asking for clarification and were into intemidation. Not the role I would expect out of a high ranking member of the US political system. I think in a general exection Clark Durant had a much better chance of beating the Senator. However, Washing insiders seem to take care of their own, no matter how incompetent they are.

John of Saline

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

Go back and read the original letter, Outdoor. The issues in question between ABC and the Hon. Senators were not shown to be "deeply flawed and factually inaccurate." They were simply characterized as such. The threat to free speech and the free expression of differing opinions and conclusions was truly frightening for the foundations of our Republic.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

A democrat politician trying to suppress free speech. Who would have thought?


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

Debbie Stabenow is no friend of Ann Arbor. Her policies led to the closure of the Pfizer research site. She's all about intimidation and repression of free enterprise. And, she has left in her wake tens of thousands of job losses.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 6:15 a.m.

Pfizer closed its Ann Arbor research center because it was unproductive following the discovery of Lipitor, its only success story. When Pfizer developed financial problems it elected to close the Ann Arbor facilitate and concentrate its research effort on the East Coast. How about providing some examples of intimidation and repression. And how many of your mythical "tens of thousands of job losses" can you list? Uh-huh! I thought so.

Patricia Cockrell

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

I'd love to hear Stabenow's side of this!