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 Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 10:26 a.m.

Mark Ouimet disappointing as state representative

By Letters to the Editor

I have watched the campaign for my state representative with great interest. I voted for Mark Ouimet in the last election and I have been sorely disappointed. He has not been responsive to communications and has, on occasion, misled me about how he planned to vote.

Thumbnail image for Mark_Ouimet_headshot_2012.jpg

In addition, rather than demonstrating reasonable compromise, his voting record mirrors a Republican party line. Now his attacks on his opponent Gretchen Driskell have reached the point of absurdity. He is actually criticizing a raise in her salary (by an independent Board) from $3000/year to $4200 over 14 years! She is hardly getting rich off of community service!

I know that, in this political season, some feel it isn’t controversial to put forward inaccurate information. I disagree. I’d like my representatives responsive, transparent and truthful.

Gretchen Driskell will get my contributions and vote this year and I hope others will join me in electing a representative who represents her constituents, rather than his own interests.

Susan Allan

Ann Arbor, MI



Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Mark Ouimet has won the Athena award and has put on events for women empowerment, including a recent event with Susy Avery (Executive Director of Women's Rights). He has also been very involved in the Women's Exchange of Washtenaw, answering questions on public policy, and much much more. VOTE MARK OUIMET!


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Mr. Ouimet is a shill for tea party extremism. That has no place in politics be it on the local or national stage. Go Gretchen!!


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Mark, you also wrote, "we must endure temporary pain", specifically, what "pain" has our GOP led legislature endured? Also, will you support Jase Bolger for Speaker? Your character should be judged by your response...


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

Representative Ouimet, I read your response. I have a few questions: You say, "tough choices". I agree. Can you tell me if the elected representatives and representative retires have been included in the 20% contribution mandated by you and the legislature for health insurance? Can you tell me why you and the GOP gave the same per student allowance for cyber schools as brick and mortar schools? There's no infrastructure, no transportation, no social services, no special Ed. There is profit for the cyber school movement. Can you tell me why you voted for an abortion bill that would investigate "coercion" of an abortion, but not "coercion" to continue a pregnancy? Can you tell me how many jobs, not including the auto jobs that can be traced to a better national economy, have been created because of the 1.6 billion dollar tax cut for business? Can you give me any direct examples? Can you tell me how much more I'd have had to spend in Michigan's economy without your taxing my pension, without increasing my wife's contributions? I can.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Angry moderate, you are saying that NONE of the foundation allowance goes to infrastructure, transportation, etc...proof?

Angry Moderate

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

Since when does the per-student funding pay for "infrastructure"? It doesn't--that's why cyber schools don't issue $50 million technology bonds like AAPS.

Angelika Lewis

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

I couldn't agree with you more. Mr. Ouimet is a master of political framing: "tough choices" and "shared sacrifice" mean "we'll target certain people in order to reward our friends and donors" "friend of educators" means "friend of those who want for-profit schools, not all the students" "spirit of compromise" means "we'll ram this bill through, because we can" "improved economy" means " I'd like to take credit for President Obama's auto rescue" A strong economy depends far more on demand than on tax cuts. Businesses that receive a short-term gain from Mr. Ouimet's votes should realize that, as a result, the new reality for Michigan's middle class - seniors in particular! - is a lower level of spending for a time well into the future. How does that bring back our economy or create jobs in the long run? It doesn't. Mr. Ouimet continues to vote in a way that harms people and, yes, businesses too. Gretchen Driskell is a far better choice us.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

So the complaint is that he's representing his entire 52nd district rather then following your Granholmy emailed directions about how he is to vote in order to make you happy? ....and THAT makes him "disappointing"? LOL Talk about delusional! I know Mark and I know politics and he has been an EXCEPTIONAL REPRESENTATIVE every day he has been in office. Everyone I know - Republican and democrat are voting for Mark - only the left wing democrat Kool Aid drinkers following imagined orders from the DNC are considering otherwise. This is just one more attempt by cranks supporting left wing democrat drone Driskell desperately flooding news with these crazy pieces. Good luck with that!! LOL AA dot come needs to get some standards when they accept ill conceived "Opinions" like this that are so clearly political campaign pieces written by left wing cranks.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

Get a job Mark!

Michigan Man

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Mark in a rout! My condolences to the poor woman from Saline was was hoodwinked into running against Mark. This one not even close and a monster win for Mark.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

To say that Mark Ouimet only represents his own interests I think is absurd-- he has built a strong connection with his district and he is able to use his knowledge and experience to vote with its best interests at heart.

k. syrah

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

I am a former support of Mark Ouimet and voted for him in the last election but he will not get my vote in this election. Mark has changed and not for the better. The attack ads against Gretchen are awful, untruthful and misleading and Mark does not have to sink to this behavior. I know the MIGOP is running these ads, not Mark but he could condem them or ask them to stop, instead - silence. It's too bad when a good politician and leader goes down this bad path. I am aquainted with Gretchen also and will be supporting her with my vote. I am a Republican and have found Gretchen to be a fiscal conservative and she's done a good job in Saline.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

He does not seem very trustworthy. Did he ever repay the county for his disallowed expensees?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

NoSUVforME- Go back and re-read how the whole per-diem thing happened. One set of people were told one thing and then the audit decided the rules the county had been operating under were wrong. So Several commissioners owed money under the new way the same rules were interpreted. Mr. Ouimet was the first to cut a check back to the county. He followed both the old rules (getting the money) and the new rules (paying it back).


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

I feel better knowing that he paid money back after getting it stuck in the till. Do we need bad humans like this in office? Not at all. Send him packing.

Basic Bob

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

You must mean Conan Smith. Ouimet paid back the county even though he did nothing wrong. Smith did not pay back what he owes and voters refuse to hold his feet to the fire.

average joe

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 11:05 a.m.

"I know that, in this political season, some feel it isn't controversial to put forward inaccurate information. I disagree." Based on some of the comments here, Ms. Allan is adding controversy by submitting inaccurate information.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

Wrong guy for this piece. Mark is one of a very few politicians who can work with the other side of the aisle and still keep his principles. We need more guys like him, especially on the national level. He represents his constituients well.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

" reported on Sunday that Ouimet has collected per diem payments totaling $25,925 for attending 1,037 meetings in his nearly six years as a commissioner. Some county officials believe he billed the county for many meetings that shouldn't have been eligible, including meetings with and The Ann Arbor News." Posted on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 Pot calling the kettle black?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

umichjim - He was the first to pay back any money that was in dispute. A couple of serving members still have not paid the county back.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:52 a.m.

1) what do per diems have to do with this letter? 2) 3) what are you implying by "Pot calling kettle black?" ?

Eat Local A2

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

The only Susan Allan who lives locally is in Ward 2 Precinct 1 of Ann Arbor City (I won't post the actual address even though it's freely available on the internet). ****THIS IS IN THE 55th DISTRICT**** She is mistaken that she will be voting in this race, and it is disappointing that misses such basic validation of opinion letters.

Eat Local A2

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

The address used to be in the 52nd District, but is now in the 55th for voting purposes due to redistricting. Same address as a Susan Allan who gave Driskell $100 on July 19 (online state campaign contribution database). One would have thought that Ms. Allan voted after that in the August 7 primary, and discovered the new names for her state House candidates on the ballot.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 10:29 a.m.

Nice call Eat Local.

Laura Jones

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:12 a.m.

It would be interesting to know if that is indeed the same person. If so, it makes a lie of her having voted for him before or voting for Driskell now.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

Den I hate to pile on but you could not be more wrong. Ouimet currently lives in a 32% percent Republican congressional seat, there is a better change of Jeff Irwin voting with the Republicans than Ouimet being elected to congress. Secondly, saying he takes his office for granted is simply not fair. Mark has personally called be back, knocked on my door and I see him at every event even boring meetings.In 08 Mark got more votes than Obama in his CC district what more do you need to know. Does he lean right? yes. But he works hard, his vote is not for sale and I he has far more relevant experience than Gretchen. As for the life issue, those votes were silly and did not in any way, shape, or form change a woman's rights. Also, Gretchen CHOOSE to be mayor of Saline and knew the salery so that argument is pointless.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

To be clear: The salary comment is in response to the negative ads about Driskell's pay being raised by a large percent- Not that she didn't agree to it or that it is unfair. The percentage is misleading since the amount is relatively low. The smear campaign comes from both sides.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

I think we need to add a new rule to posting here an Ann before commenting everyone has to take a deep breath. I could respond to everyone of these posts about who is right or who is wrong. However, the Tigers are on an I am writing this during the commercial break. One, the attacks that are being levied against Gretchen are NOT being done by Mark he has no control over them and does not know about them until he seems them himself I know this sounds like BS but it is 100% the truth. I have met Mark a number of times and I have never heard him say one negative thing about anyone, even MSU fans. Mark has been a dedicated Representative who has made the tough decisions which is something that had not been done for 8 years in Lansing. If past administrations had done their job it would not have been put on Mark and others to help to turn to his state around. While I do not agree with everything Mark and the legislature have done, I appreciate they are doing smoething! Mark is a level headed individual who is willing to listen to anyone which is more than I can say for 90% of people in Lansing. WE NEED MARK IN LANSING


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

To reply to Deb Anderson: If Mark's campaign does not directly pay for the add it is illegal for him to hear, see, know basically think about someone may do on his behalf. Thank you SalineTeacher for knowing the law.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

@Deb Anderson 1) if the commercial doesn't say "paid for by Mark Ouimet" he has absolutely NO control over it. 2) regarding "ladder up": Ouimet lives in the 12th congressional district which includes Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Dearborn. The new State Senate district is also about 1/3 Washtenaw and 2/3 Livingston. Where is he going next?

Deb Anderson

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

His televised high profile commercials during the Tiger's games is putrid, to say the least. If he is a leader, how did he not know its substance. Can we delve into his charges also of his conflict of interest claims upon her too that was rejected? Can we compare her meager salary to hers? We need someone HONEST and Ouimet is not honest. Mark is not dedicated, He views his office as merely a ladder up. He wants to be the next Mike Rogers but he isn't. He is no Mike Rogers. He's mean, insincere, cold, and he is misogynist.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Ouimet has succumbed to the Right-wing extremists and sided with the anti-woman, anti-environment agenda. Oust him before he and his extreme agenda do more damage.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Mark Ouimet has won the Athena award and has put on events for women empowerment, including a recent event with Susy Avery (Executive Director of Women's Rights). He has also been very involved in the Women's Exchange of Washtenaw, answering questions on public policy, and much much more.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

I wouldn't dare shake his hand for fear of catching hate-monger fever. Bad human.

Deb Anderson

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

He is a right-wing extremist and he's more Libertarian than Republican.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

The black helicopters are circling.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

Since you have "have watched the campaign for my state representative with great interest" one might think you would have signed your letter "Scio Township" or "Northfield Township". The 52 district includes Ann Arbor mailing addresses (it appears you could be in the 48105 ZIP code), but none of either "Ann Arbor" city or township.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

If indeed "Gretchen Driskell will get my contributions and vote this year" you might be committing election fraud; the City of Ann Arbor's property database shows "ALLAN JOHN D & SUSAN D" near US-23/Plymouth which is not part of the new 52nd.

Angry Moderate

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

Her business domain name is registered to an address that matches up with Ouimet's district. What's odd is that she lists her occupation as "Retired" on her latest campaign contribution form, when she in fact runs a business website and her resume says that she is currently employed as a "private consultant": 2012 - website.pdf I wonder if that's legal.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

This is an opinion piece and should have remained on the opinion page! Will now put a letter to the editor condemning Gretchen Driskell in the news section? I would have said the same thing had this piece condemned Driskell without equal time for her!

Joe Baublis

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

Mrs. Allen is wrong. I am biased because I'm on the Washtenaw County Republican Executive Committee. Nonetheless, the word criticism does NOT necessarily imply blame. And because Mrs. Allen neglected to clarify herself, we don't know exactly what she meant. However, I've seen Mr. Ouimet's campaign ad, and it appeared to me to be advisory - not critical. For example, the people of Saline should know that Mrs. Driskell voted 8 times for a pay increase. And furthermore, the campaign ad references Saline City Council Minutes as a citation. In other words, this is a fact. In my opinion, if Driskell was not pleased with the pay, then she should not have asked for the job in the first place. In free-markets, fee-for-service contracts are agreed to up front. The fact the Mrs. Driskell used her office in efforts to change a pre-existing contract in her own favor is indicative of a political agenda which has driven our County, State, and Nation into insolvency. That is a real issue for the People of Saline to consider, and for voters who have any intention of resolving the State's $75 Billion debt which was accrued over the past 30 years under both democrat and republican administrations. It's not absurd. Joe Baublis


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

If you are indeed an executive of the Republican Party, then you do the party a disservice. You actually call the campaign material merely 'advisory and not critical'? Beyond ridiculous. I have gotten at least 1 postcard and 1 phone message about this every day for 3 weeks or more. There is nothing about either that is not insulting to a person of at least average intelligence. The fact that this appears to be the linchpin of Mr Ouimet's campaign is also extremely disappointing. Really, after one term in office, the main campaign tactic is to criticize your opponent for a $1200 increase in pay over 14 years?


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Mr. Ouimet's record indicates he's been feeding at the public trough for a generation, since he got run out of the banking business. I like him as a State Representative. It pays a living wage, with plenty of opportunity for per diem and expense sweetners, and it can cause relatively little harm. If we vote him out we'll have to support him one way or another for the rest of his life, anyway.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Your letter Ms. Allen does not support the headline. You give no examples of issues Mr. Ouimet supports that are bad for Washtenaw County or for Michigan. Your only info is the criticism of Ms. Driskell's performance noted in a current advertisement. That commercial also noted she voted to raise taxes several times among other issues I do not recall (sorry about that). Yet you only refer to her raises which you imply are piddling. I have news for you. Some local govt boards have taken no raises. I have heard no reasons so far to not vote for Mr. Ouimet and your letter offers none either.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

dems aren't satisfied with repubs and vice versa.that isn't exactly a revalation.

Laura Jones

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

I met Gretchen Driskell when she came through our neighborhood campaigning. Seems like a nice lady. I have nothing against her or her positions. I am going to vote for Mark Ouimet based on his continued support of Dexter and our serious problems in the aftermath of the tornado. He really came through for Dexter and based on that, deserves our support. It was a hard time and he was here and even brought the Governor. It matters. Also, I do have to say that every interaction I have had with him or heard him have has been polite and considered. I am surprised to read the comments here - sounds like an attempt at a hatchet job.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

It is funny how 52ndGirl created her account on the same day that announced Driskell was running against Ouimet. Are you Mark's mom?


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

Just goes to show how deep Mark Ouimet's support is! :) Go mom or whomever it may be!


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Mark Ouimet is the better candidate for State Representative of the 52nd District. Not only did he start his campaign months before Driskell showing his dedication to the district, he is also consistently available to his constituents. Mark Ouimet is genuinely invested in the community. Every week, I hear people (both Republican & Democrat) say how fortunate that they are to have a leader that they can trust and rely on. Vote Mark Ouimet for State Representative if you want someone that cares in office.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

She did not confirm her spot in the campaign as early as Mark Ouimet. He is much more dedicated to the community than anyone that I have come across.

Deb Anderson

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

Gretchen has been campaigning as long as Mark has.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Every time I have contacted Mr. Ouitmet with concerns about upcoming education votes, he sends back curt replies telling me, in short, that he does not support public education, pubic education students, or its teachers. His party line is that public school teachers are a bunch of union goons. That has hardly been my experience as an AAPS parent. He doesn't even pretend to listen to my concerns, and I agree with others who say that being pompous his most dominant personality trait.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

I asked him in 2011, along with many other parents and teacher's from AAPS: Don't cut K-12 education, rather give it the funding it needs and deserves. I was obviously paraphrasing what his message amounted to. Here is some of what he said: First, our state faces a $1.4 billion deficit and an economic crisis that has resulted in a jobs crisis. Because our state's recovery is impossible without real reform, current proposals - by Gov. Snyder and the Legislature - maintain a theme of "shared sacrifice" in order to bring Michigan from peril to prosperity.... Second, current proposals on the table to keep dollars in the classroom and encourage efficiencies in our public school system have amounted to approximately a 3.5% reduction in funding and a cut of $170 per pupil.... Even with other vital programs struggling to stay afloat, Michigan still spends a significant portion of its budget on K-12 education.... The recent correction in spending isn't enough for school funding to catch up to Michigan's population loss and return to previous per-pupil levels. Money continues to pour in, while the children who will supposedly benefit are nowhere to be found.... Now, not all solutions need to come from Lansing. As school districts streamline their budgets to maximize classroom dollars and incentivize reform on a local level too, reductions in funding on the state level will be decreased under the governor's plan. These have been tough choices. To truly restore Michigan's greatness, we must endure temporary pain to gain long term prosperity. If we remain focused in this direction, generations will have a real reason to work, invent, and stay in Michigan.... Sincerely, Mark Ouimet State Representative 52nd District


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

I interned in a Congressman's office and took in calls and letters. The news for you is that your single letter, Blerg is not going to change a politician's opinion on issues. The politician will follow what the majority of voters reflects. If s/he errs on majority opinion s/he will be voted out of office. Your give yourself away by writing, "he does not support public education, public education students, or its teachers." Absurd statement. No politician from either party can be classified as such. Perhaps you are upset about support of alternative education such as charter schools? That is an effort to make sure parents have choices to get their children in better schools than available in public schools and that shows a high level of support for education.

Laura Jones

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

I find it very difficult to believe he EVER wrote that he did not support public education. EVER. That would be political suicide. Sounds like fiction or wishful thinking. If he did, please send the note to and have them publish it. It would change my vote if true. I doubt the notes existence.

Deb Anderson

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

I am a Republican who will be enthusiastically voting for Gretchen Driskell. Not only will I vote for her, I will be helping on her campaign too in the Whitmore Lake area. Gretchen has a proven track record of solid leadership, an engaging commitment to serve all of her constituents, and she supports local business. She's done a tremendous job as mayor and she will do a tremendous job as serving as our House Representative. His smear tactics in this campaign is inexcusable and tacky. It speaks volumes and he did not make a palatable impact on improving anything in this district in the course of his term of office and he disappointed both Democrats and Republicans alike. Gretchen will make a positive difference for all.

Deb Anderson

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Sour grapes over losing the election? I am thankful I lost! I hope the voters choose the best trustees and I pray for the best for whoever wins the Supervisor role with the new Township Manager, a position created by the current BOT, not the voters. My support for Gretchen has nothing to do with our Township politics.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

This "support" is nothing more than sour grapes over Northfield Township politics. Ms. Anderson is a close friend of the incumbent Supervisor. They both lost in the primary and she is trying to blame Rep. Ouimet for that. Working in Saline, I've met Ms. Driskell many times. She may be nice enough (although opinions vary), but she's certainly not State Rep. material.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Mick52 - she also "liked" Republican Governor Jan Brewer's page on Facebook, as well as several other Republican politicians. If she's lying, she's doing a thorough job.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Anyone can run as a republican or democrat regardless of their real identity. Sometimes you just will not get elected if you state your real preference so you change to enhance your chances. I read Ms Anderson's post and I see a democrat. Her use of "smear tactics" is what gives her away. I have seen/heard nothing from her opponent other than facts on Ms Driskell's record. If there are smear tactics, lets hear what they are.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

Unlike Ms. Allan's suspicious story, Deb's checks out--it appears that she ran for Northfield Township Clerk as a Republican.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

I don't understand why Ms. Allan votes for a Republican and then complains he voted for a Republican legislative agenda in support of his Republican Governor. I really don't believe she did and this is just a disguised campaign letter. Nor can I understand a person who says she is a Republican complaining that by voting for his Governor's agenda he did nothing for his district. Maybe many voted him in to help Snyder turnaround a state rather than bring home favors. I'm not saying that anyone is required to vote for a person solely on the basis of party affiliation, but how can you be disappointed in someone who does exactly as he was expected to do? As for smear tactics, there is no shortage of any of that from any candidate in any party this year. Ms. Driskell's campaign committee has not distinguished itself in the robo calls I've received or the junk mail I get from her trying to paint Mr. Ouimet as a corporate shill because he voted for Snyder's pension tax. Everyone with a whit of economic sense knows that there's been an economic turnaround in Michigan if a slow one. That's a far cry from where we were when Granholm and her ilk used the tax trough as a larder for the public unions.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

This "letter to the editor" is absurd. If you don't like Ouimet (or anyone else) that's fine. But should at least print something that has some actual compelling evidence to support the headline and rise to the level of having this opinion piece placed on the front page. This letter by Ms. Allen doesn't quite do this. What compelled pull this one and elevate it?

Angelika Lewis

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Mr. Ouimet's voting record can be found at "", where readers can find the following, among many similar votes: HB 4480 - the pension tax on middle-income people, many already retired SB 1040 - the doubling of health premiums for some retirees HB 4361 - abolishing the Homestead Tax Credit HB 4770 - the denial of same-sex public employee benefit HB 5711 - the attack on women's rights and dignity Mr. Ouimet voted in favor of all of the above, and we in the 52nd District can do much better. I fully support Ms. Driskell.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

The letter is befitting of what one would find in a high school newspaper. The typical "We need to stop world hunger because world hunger is bad"letter to the editor.

A Voice of Reason

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Susan, and, please do not waste any more of my time with your jaded opinion pieces. Mark has done a great job and does well representing a very diverse area. We do not need people who think their job is to go to conferences and trips around the country on the tax payers dime. That is why they invented the internet--video conferencing the speakers. I am sure the tax payers of Saline are proud and support her lavish travel expenses. Boondoggles!

Basic Bob

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Mark Ouimet was following policy at the time. Kristin Judge got the policy changed so that Ouimet's local mileage was no longer paid but her junkets to Traverse City, Reno, and Portland were paid. Funny how NO current commissioners find these trips to be necessary. Pure political hit job, too bad her lies are still making the circuit.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Totally agree with the weather vane person's comment!! Did you not read about Mark's billing the county for mileage when he was Washtenaw County Commissioner?? He did eventually pay it back after quite a bit of controversy.

perfectly lubricated weather vane

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

Oh no! Going on trips on the tax payers dime! Google Ouimet and mileage.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

I'm an independent voter in the district, and have met both candidates in the past month. Mark Ouimet came off as a pompous jerk who had no interest discussing issues in our area, but rather his political connections and bashing the opposition. I was very taken aback. Ms. Driskell is not perfect, but seems like a more genuine and honest person. She listened to what we had to say, and conversed with us without robot campaign answers. She is a strong woman, but doesnt seem like a career politician. Very practical and honest. Ouimet got caught for using state time for campaigning (illegal) earlier in the year- I can handle a few "mistakes" and give him the benefit of the doubt, but I've heard way too many stories of his deception and condescendingly rude nature. I may not agree with Ms. Driskell on everything, but she seems like a MUCH better choice. District 52 isn't about special interests and lies.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Say what you will about the lad, but it be uncontroverted that he is the very model of a "retail" politician. I salute him for that. It is nice to be glad handed by an elected official, even if you don't agree with his politics. Nice lad, not pompous like so many Republican politicians.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Mark Ouimet is doing exactly what any reasonably informed person could have expected him to do as state representative, given his track record. If you don't like that, shame on you for voting for him the last time. On the positive side, the case can be made that Ouimet now has a statistically lower chance of really screwing up, since his vote in the State House counts less than it did on the smaller county board of commissioners.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

This letter looks very similar to the one sent out by the Driskell campaign asking people to submit it to Ann and the Heritage newspapers. Shame on the editorial staff for reprinting campaign material - this type of biased printing is why this news outlet continues to lose credibilty with the community. I agree with Angry Moderate- with allan's donation history, she certainly is not an independent and would most likely not have voted for Mark.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

I'm a Democrat in Chelsea and voted for Mark last election because he PROMISED he would be moderate. LOL. His voting record is straight Republican party line with the exception of the motorcycle helmet law. I'm voting for Gretchen Driskell and so are many, many other people I know who were taken in by Mark's assertion he would be reaching across to Democrats. And he didn't. I'm sure Allen voted for him and was taken in just like I was.

Laura Jones

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

If you still have the letter from the campaign, you should send it to them so they can print it beside this piece above.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Gotta make it look like independents are turning on the Republicans. Another reason why I believe about 1% of what any candidate says.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Are you the same Susan Allan from Ann Arbor who has donated over $2,500 to Democrats and $0 to Republicans since 2007, according to If so, why did you vote for Ouimet in the first place (if you really did)?

Angry Moderate

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

Yup, it also seems unlikely that somebody who made a career as a public school administrator voted for Ouimet who, form what I understand, is a school reform supporter.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

It's difficult to believe that someone who voted for Ouimet in 2010 would (apparently) contribute $1200 to Obama and Stabenow in 2012.

Laura Jones

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Thank you for taking the time to check into this. Makes Ms Allan's comment appear less than genuine. I was surprised to see them about Mark, but this explains a lot.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

Mark Ouimet is not my Ideal Candidate (Too Liberal) but compared to Gretchen Driskell, he is the better candidate! Why doesn't anybody complain about Democrats bring mind numb robots and voting the Party Line? "Rather than demonstrating reasonable compromise, his voting record mirrors a Republican party line"


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Michigan is at the bottom of the pit is because the party of Granholm, Blanchard, Kwame Kilpatrick, and Coleman Young rode it there. Once at the bottom, it is now the republican's fault.Yeah right. Leave the city limits of Ann Arbor for a day and drive around the state. Look at the towns and cities with their closed businesses and factories and boarded up homes. The solution is not handouts from Washington. (The city of Detroit is testament to that). It will take politicians with business backgrounds like Rick Snyder and Mark Ouimet who will work to create a new busines and industrial climate for the state.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

You are correct Gene and unfortunately we have proposals on the ballot that I am sure come from the supports of the former officials you have named.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

As a resident of Saline for many years, I am sure Driskell does not have the skills nor the ability to be our State Representative. Mark has done a great job. Ms. Allan certainly has not been following our state's progress over the last two years. I have called Mark's office on two occasions and he personally has called to answer my questions. Ms. Allan has also not commented on the ugly attack's Driskell's campaing has made against Mark. My vote will be for Mark this fall. Saline will be better off as well to have her gone a mayor.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Mark has been a great State Representative for the 52nd District. He is available, is present at all events and is interested in the many facets of our community. I agree that he has had to make the difficult decisions to help get this state back on track. Driskell would be a puppet of the Ann Arbor Democratic community, something the 52nd District does not need or want. I will be voting for Mark on November 6th - he will continue to to a great job.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Mark Ouimet has my vote! Keep up the GREAT WORK MARK!

Rod Johnson

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

You don't speak for the 52nd district. I'm happy to be neutralizing your vote in November when I vote against this perennial mediocrity.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Unfortunately Ms. Allan is interested in the old Michigan ways of Granholm , as Driskell is as well- Mark has been involved in moving Michigan forward- lowering taxes and making the state more inviting for business to create more jobs. This ellection is about the economy - we coan't go back to the old Democratic ways of tax and spend; Mark has my vote.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

I'm sorry genetracy...but I have to respectfully disagree. The economy was a lot better off when the people had more money to put back into the economy with less taxes.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

It is hard to spend if there is no tax base.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Did you ever notice how easily you can tell a Republican politician from a Democrat? I'm serious. The attire and look varies by party. Please don't dump this statement. It's a serious comment. Practice makes perfect. If the tie is askew and the collar wrinkled, Democrat. If he looks like thie...Republican.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Don't judge a book by it's cover. The other side are just bad dressers with dirty sheets.

perfectly lubricated weather vane

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

a wolf in grampa's clothing


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

He was once my City Council representative. Had to call him once with a problem. Useless as teats on a boar.

Laura Jones

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

It's funny how many people here are saying that he is rude......projection perhaps?