Driskell vs. Ouimet: 52nd District House race features battle of economic agendas
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
Longtime Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell, a Democrat, is challenging Mark Ouimet, a one-term Republican incumbent from Scio Township who previously represented western Washtenaw County on the Board of Commissioners for six years.
Ouimet's plan is to create a better environment for businesses in Michigan communities by decreasing government regulations and developing a better tax structure, while Driskell says she wants to start with reinstating funding to educational institutions and local governments to create a knowledge economy.
For Michigan Democrats, a win in the currently Republican 52nd District could help them regain control of the House.
"Western Washtenaw is a huge opportunity for Democrats and it is critical to our statewide plan to make education a priority again," said state Rep. Jeff Irwin, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. He said Ouimet should not be able to survive in Washtenaw County on a voting record that includes cutting support for K-12 schools and the University of Michigan.
"We have an excellent candidate and we know that if we can effectively communicate Ouimet's voting record to the public, then we will win," Irwin said.
But Ouimet believes the odds are in his favor. He notes the district has been redrawn since he won election so that it leans more heavily Republican than it used to.
“I was elected in a Democratic district, and now it’s been redistricted to a Republican district,” Ouimet said of his 2010 win against Democrat Christine Green with 51.7 percent of the vote. “I really haven’t changed how I go about things.”
Ouimet has raised considerably more campaign funds than Driskell — but has invested more of his own money in the race.
The most recent post-primary campaign finance reports on file show Ouimet's campaign with a fund balance of $91,464 and Driskell's campaign with a fund balance of $54,490.
Driskell ran for the non-partisan Saline City Council in 1993, ran for mayor in 1998 and has served ever since. Professionally, she’s a commercial Realtor.
Ouimet is a freshman legislator in the State House and previously served three terms on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. He has a background in banking.
Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com
"You've got a great representative here — he's come up and yelled at us on your behalf," Snyder said to more than 100 people that gathered for the Saline town hall Monday.
Ouimet said he didn't pay Snyder to visit but said he did pay the rental fees for the space at Saline Liberty School Auditorium. Ouimet refrained from campaigning during the event.
Driskell said she was unable to attend, as a Saline City Council meeting was at the same time and her top priority.
Closely divided electorate
In recent elections, voters in the 52nd District have been closely split. Redistricting in 2011 eliminated the city of Ann Arbor from the district. It now consists of the townships of Lyndon, Dexter, Webster, Northfield, Salem, Sylvan, Lima, Scio, Sharon, Freedom, Lodi, Manchester, Bridgewater and Saline; as well as the cities of Chelsea and Saline and the Village of Dexter.
Courtesy of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget
In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama won 54 percent of the vote in what would be the new 52nd District compared with John McCain's 44 percent, according to an analysis of county election records.
Ouimet won the previously Democratic district in 2010. The redrawn district includes less Democratic territory than it did when it included Ann Arbor.
Driskell’s campaign views the electoral split as 50-50, but Ouimet believes the district leans right.
Ouimet said he also believes he’s gaining ground with his constituents since the 2010 election.
“When I was holding town hall meetings and events in April, May and June of last year, there were some of angered folks. Now, people — they get it. I’m not saying everyone likes it — every piece of legislation. But most of the people I talk to say, I’m willing to do the sacrifice if we’re all sacrificing,” Ouimet said. “Now, revenues are up, and we’re able to look back and fully fund things, and I think temperament has improved and unemployment has improved from 14.5 percent to 8.5 percent.”
The improving economy is one Driskell said she wants to capitalize on— and she said she doesn’t believe Ouimet and the House Republicans are doing enough to push the economy forward.
“There are times when we need to cut; I recognize when we were barely making ends meet that we couldn’t afford statutory revenue sharing, but as the economy continues to grow, I don’t see a correlation there — they aren’t bringing statutory revenue sharing back — they’re cutting more of it,” Driskell said. “Whatever we did in the past, that doesn’t mean that’s what we need to do in the future.”
As the campaign has progressed, anti-Ouimet ads and anti-Driskell ads have surfaced across multiple fronts. Both candidates have stated they have not funded the ads, and that the ads come from the state-level Democratic and Republican parties.
"I wish that third parties wouldn't do those types of things," Ouimet said. "You don't have any control over it — and I prefer that it not occur."
Driskell said she believes her multiple terms as mayor speak for themselves.
"A lot of people take it with a grain of salt," Driskell said of the campaign literature that surfaces during election season. "It would be really nice to talk about what the facts are."
Driskell came out strong early in her campaign this summer to criticize the Republican-led state legislature’s cuts to education funding.
During his 2010 campaign, Ouimet ran on a platform of balancing the state’s budget on time — something he now touts as his greatest accomplishment — and working in a bipartisan fashion.
Ouimet said he feels he’s held true to his bipartisan stance — citing a legislator of the year award he received during his first year in office from the Michigan Townships Association.
However, his bipartisan approach has made some of his campaign statements relatively cautious.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Driskell said Investing in the knowledge economy is her approach to turning the state around.
“If we want to diversify our economy and grow our economy, we need more adults and young adults educated,” Driskell said. “Education is the easiest way to bring the economy forward in Michigan.”
Though Ouimet acknowledges most of his constituents are concerned with the issue of education funding, he wants to focus on helping the state pay down its debt.
“It is an economic engine — our educational system. What do you do if you say let’s go back and fund public university education at 75 percent? Where are we going to get the money? If we did that, we would have to close every prison in the state of Michigan. And I’m not sure that people would feel that is the right thing to do,” Ouimet said. “I think we’ve got to continue to deal with our long-term debt in the state that’s on our balance sheet. We’ve paid down $15 million I think continuing to work on our balance sheet to make it much more manageable, to be less intrusive in how government has to act because it’s so deeply in debt.”
Ouimet said he is a proponent of free enterprise and small business.
“Getting the auto industry back on track had a lot to do with where we are in the state,” Ouimet said, but he also noted most of the job growth isn’t in the auto industry.
“The vast majority of growth in the state of Michigan have been small hirings. That’s where our economy really starts to make massive improvements.”
The tax structure needs to be improved and government regulations on businesses need to be decreased in order to create an environment for high-quality jobs in communities, Ouimet said.
Most of Driskell’s positions on issues in the race for the state House seat circle back to her criticism of the funding cut to public school districts.
“I think local communities can do a lot, if given the right tools, and I think now we’re not being given the right tools in communities and schools,” Driskell said. “I’m concerned about the direction of the state because I personally think, in my experience in recruiting business not only as mayor, but as a commercial Realtor, trying to work with business and establish business, they’re looking for communities with those quality of place: Good schools and a vibrant downtown and great parks and recreation and healthy infrastructure — all the investments that we need to make.”
Personal property tax
On at least one big tax issue — the personal property tax companies pay on their physical property — Ouimet and Driskell found some common ground. They both said public institutions are dependent on it.
Ouimet said though that he doesn’t think it’s a good tax for business.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Ouimet said he would propose setting a floor for a minimal amount for businesses to pay.
“It’s 20 percent of our revenue right now, 9 percent of our library’s revenue, 9 percent of our school’s bond,” Driskell said of Saline. “We invested in all these business parks and we’re counting on receiving that personal property tax revenue.”
Driskell said she would only support eliminating the personal property tax if there was a guaranteed replacement for the funding to public institutions.
Businesses in Saline are growing and investing in more property without worrying about the personal property tax, Driskell said.
Driskell acknowledges she’s heard from automotive industry leaders that eliminating the personal property tax would make them more competitive, but for Saline, the town needs the revenue to survive, she said.
“The only way we get our revenues is property tax and personal property tax and revenue sharing. Our property tax is back where it was in 2005, and our statutory revenue sharing is back down where it was in the '90s,” she said.
For the townships that make up the 52nd District, the possibility of hydraulic fracturing — a controversial exploratory way of extracting gas and oil — is an issue of strong local concern.
Under Michigan law, townships have no ability to control the oil and gas exploration activities that occur within their jurisdictions.
Driskell is more pronounced on her position on oil and gas exploration than Ouimet.
“I would like a moratorium on fracking until we understand it,” Driskell said. “We should be able to give local communities — whether they are cities or townships — more control.”
Ouimet has routinely marketed himself as a politician who can bridge the gaps between both parties — but he did not provide a solid answer to his position on fracking.
“It’s one of those issues I think we need, as a state legislative body, to really spend quality time on,” he said.
Ouimet said attitudes toward fracking differ greatly in the 52nd District.
Saline Township residents tend to believe in property rights and that landowners have the right to do what they want on their property, Ouimet said.
In Lodi Township, Ouimet said people are more worried about what’s going on next door.
“We haven’t done a lot at the state on this as of yet,” Ouimet said. “How do you support a Lodi Township and how do you support a Saline Township? That’s just kind of a microcosm as to what’s going on in the state of Michigan.”
Driskell’s Saline home sits on a block of North Ann Arbor Road littered with campaign signs — but they’re not all hers. Two doors down a house has an Ouimet yard sign prominently displayed.
Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com
Before being elected to his first term in the Michigan House in 2010, Ouimet served on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners as a representative of a Republican district in the western part of the county.
Saline residents state they’ve received anti-Driskell automated messages during the campaign and literature in their mailboxes.
A large billboard featuring Ouimet sits on the edge of a cornfield just west of Saline on West Michigan Avenue.
Along Ann Arbor-Saline Road, many neighbors have opposing signs squaring off in their yards.
Linda Kiser, a Saline resident for the past 30 years and an independent voter who lives two doors down from Driskell, said she views the mayor as even, fair and well-liked.
“(Driskell) would win again if she ran for mayor,” Kiser said.
Kiser said she’s concerned about her tax dollars and trusts Driskell to keep small towns in mind when making decisions at the state level.
But Bob Wild, 59, a professional photographer and Saline resident, said he’s voting for Ouimet because he doesn’t believe Driskell has done a good job of running the town economically during her time as mayor.
Wild, a registered Republican, said Saline has many state-of-the-art newly built facilities that he doesn’t find practical, given the economic climate.
“Mark Ouimet has a listening ear,” Wild said. “I believe he genuinely wants to hear from both sides and he’s a good man.”
Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2552, email@example.com or on Twitter.
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 4:57 a.m.
Driskell needs to stay in Saline & sit on the Fifth Corner!!
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.
I haven't been enthralled with Ouimet and thought I'd probably vote Democratic this year. I was impressed when Gretchen Driskell showed up on my front doorstep herself, canvassing. She was very pleasant. Unfortunately, the article statement "Most of Driskell's positions on issues in the race for the state House seat circle back to her criticism of the funding cut to public school districts" is right on the money. She may have great ideas about how to address education cuts, but she sure didn't seem to know much about other recent issues like the bridge, taxes on pensions, etc. She had no ideas on how to grow the economy except to "fix education." I wish it was that simple. I guess I'm going to have to really think about my vote.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.
Thanks to Alex Kar and samseabourn for finally exposing Tom Weder as the Liberal hack Job he is! Finally! And I seem to recall that Weder was involved in a lawsuit against the Ann Arbor Public Schools, raking in well over $12 million dollars for himself? Nice guy - robbing our kids of all this money ! He has nothing to stand on when he criticizes Republicans. What a hypocrite!
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.
Mark Ouimet is a good man. We are all very lucky to have a man of such great character representing us on the state level. He is a straight shooter who is approachable, smart, and I would even say wise. I hope he stays in politics for years to come.
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.
Hi is a LIAR!
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.
He said it himself folkes: A2.com did not want Mark in 10 and tried to destroy his campaign and according to him they are going to do the same in 12. The utter nonsense put forth by Ouimet supporters is breathtaking. It is best illustrated by A2Democrat (yeah, sure, he/she is a Democrat!) saying that A2.com doesn't say anything about Ouimet's accomplishments, because it didn't want him to win in 2010, and it doesn't want him to now. Uh...A2.com endorsed Ouimet for election in 2010. (See: http://www.annarbor.com/news/opinion/annarborcoms-endorsements-for-52nd-house-district-and-15th-congressional-district-seats/ )
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.
Ouimet has lost my vote after he spinelessly voted for all the punitive, anti-teacher/anti-public school bills. He has harmed all the students here in Saline and everywhere else in his district. I'm putting our kids and schools first and voting for Driskell.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.
Sorry to hear about your kids. My two are doing very well in the saline school district. Tops in their class. Even though the MEAP is a priority.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.
Time for some facts: The Republican tax plan -- which Ouimet supported and claims is creating jobs -- had no measurable positive impact on Michigan's economy. Michigan's unemployment rate peaked at 14.2% in August 2009 and had dropped 10.9% by the time Snyder and Ouimet took office in January 2011. When Ouimet voted in May 2011 to slash business taxes -- and pay for it by raising taxes on seniors and slashing funding for UM and the Chelsea, Saline, and Ann Arbor schools -- the unemployment rate had dropped even further, to 10.6%. When the tax plan took effect in January 2012, the unemployment rate had dropped to 9%, Since the tax plan took effect, Michigan's unemployment rate has RISEN to 9.3%, In other words, the jobs for which Ouimet takes credit were created BEFORE he took office and BEFORE his tax plan took effect. Since his tax plan took effect, unemployment has INCREASED. I hope the Ouimet supporter who are scrambling to pollute this site with their propaganda understand this truth.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.
Simply put: The business of America IS business. It must bhe robust for all else to succeed. If funding for education went to education rather than union bosses, Driskel's argument would be easier to buy into.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.
If anyone is wondering where commenter Tom Wieder stands, see the following quote from The Ann Magazine: Democrat activist Tom Wieder, an attorney who has lived in Ann Arbor for 43 years, agrees that Ann Arbor is more Democrat and liberal than ever. "Ann Arbor's not radical; people aren't demonstrating in the streets," he says. "But if you want to measure the voting behavior and political leanings of the electorate at large in Ann Arbor, it's more liberal than it has ever been in history." http://www.theannmagazine.com/2011/10/01/has-ann-arbor-lost-its-liberal-mojo/ The City of Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Township are no longer part of this district. Their extreme liberal influence is inappropriate. You can have Jeff Irwin, but don't try to stick us with his puppet, Driskell.
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.
Ouimet is a Tea Party Puppet if there ever was one!!!
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.
Ouimet is actually a puppet who has followed his orders from his Republican bosses and voted to harm seniors, kids, and the working middle class. I am voting for a humane, thinking person in Driskell.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.
Unlike some previous articles on AA.com, I think this was a fairly balanced piece. Nice to see a presentation of various issues. although I would say its a bit short on positions for both. What was presented. however, is quite good. I think ScioIndy's comment that there is nothing here that will change his or her vote is a good indication that the article was well balanced. Keep it up and keep doing more! By the way, how about one on the contentious race for Dexter Township Supervisor? Lots to write about in that one.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.
Mark Ouimet is a shill for the tea party. I live in Saline and I KNOW Gretchen has my best interests at heart.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.
The utter nonsense put forth by Ouimet supporters is breathtaking. It is best illustrated by A2Democrat (yeah, sure, he/she is a Democrat!) saying that A2.com doesn't say anything about Ouimet's accomplishments, because it didn't want him to win in 2010, and it doesn't want him to now. Uh...A2.com endorsed Ouimet for election in 2010. (See: http://www.annarbor.com/news/opinion/annarborcoms-endorsements-for-52nd-house-district-and-15th-congressional-district-seats/ )
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.
Still upset about blowing the race in 10 Tom? My advice is move on. Clearly, political strategy is not your strong suit.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.
Insulting people who support Ouimet is fairly base, don't you think? I find it utterly unbelievable that people who honestly support Mark Ouimet are only capable of nonsense comments. It is so off putting to read these types of comments and smacks of other agendas.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.
Great headline: Mark wants to continue to grow the economy and make Michigan a model for how states should be run. Gretchen wants to take us back to days of the Granholm administration
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.
No, Mark wants to give away more money (with no strings attached and virtually statistic free from any tracking) after we already gave them $1.8 billion. Where are the audited results that this created a single job? We'll hear how it worked because we're digging our way out of the worst recession since the Great Depression but that doesn't tell anyone if the $1.8 billion made any real difference. More likely result is that it went into the pockets of people who already have lots of money.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1 p.m.
When is A2.com going to run a positive piece that explains all the good Ouimet has done? My guess is never because they don't want win him to win. They did not want him to in 2010 but he still pulled it off. They clearly don't want him to win in 2012 but again he will prevail. Mark is a leader up in Lansing and despite what most people here claims he does not vote the Republican line. Examples of this would be him voting NO on the law to allow motor cycle riders to not wear a helmet and his opposition to the changing the no fault law in MI which I contacted his office about and they let me know if it is ever voted on he will be a not vote.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.
I concur with "First Presbyterian" and their points made...just an indicator. In addition, albeit a minor issue, I find it rather "strategic" that this Town Hall meeting was held parallel to the Saline City Council meeting...therefore Ms. Driskell could not attend. I also find it interesting that Gov. Snyder did not endorse at this prime opportunity.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.
Um, see the following directly from this article... Monday, Ouimet hosted Gov. Rick Snyder at a town hall meeting in Saline. Though Snyder did not formally endorse Ouimet -- as he had done in 2010 -- he did speak highly of him.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.
Gov Snyder does not endorse candidates never has my guess is never will.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.
"Ouimet's plan is to create a better environment for businesses in Michigan communities by decreasing government regulations and developing a better tax structure, while Driskell says she wants to start with reinstating funding to educational institutions and local governments to create a knowledge economy. " Create a better environment for businesses which creates jobs and taxpayers, which increases the tax base, which increases funding for education. I know who I'm voting for................
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.
Except the article said ouimet wants to do away with businesses paying property taxes and find some "alternative" to it. I have a feeling that won't work out in the schools' best interest. That makes me nervous.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.
"did not provide a solid answer to his position on fracking"? Ms. Biolchini, how is his response different from Driskell's in that regard? It sounds to me like neither of them is an environmental engineer and they would both like to learn more about it before moving forward. For his part, Ouimet hosted a town hall earlier this year that I attended where he brought in professionals who do fracking to explain it and answer questions. Sounds a lot like bridging gaps to me.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.
Is Mark Ouimet "a good man" as asserted in the final sentence of the article? Do you still think he is honest despite having taken money from the taxpayers on over 600 occasions for meetings where he wasn't authorized by the rules to take that money? Which meetings furthered his political ambitions? Do good men wait until being publicly shamed to refund money to which they are not entitled? Mark Ouimet was Chairman, President & CEO of a local bank and he received $465,000 in bonuses from the bank during that time (see page 14 of www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/811211/0000950124-98-002175.txt), yet the bank lost money every year he was president of it, for a total of $2.7 million (see page 15 of www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/811211/0000950124-99-002302.txt). As a result, he was asked to step down by the banks board of directors. Do good men act like banksters? Mark Ouimet during his years working for Northwood University asked people to refer to him as "Dr. Mark Ouimet", yet there is no evidence that he ever had a doctorate degree. Do good men ask people to refer to them by an academic degree they never earned? He was never entitled to be called "Dr. Mark Ouimet" so why did he ask for that honor? For two examples, see www.lancasterchamber.com/article.aspx?cid=503&bu=archive%3dtrue%26this%3dthat&bs=Archived Chamber News and www.groverproctor.us/china/1999Report.html
Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.
Gosh, who would lie about having to have a PhD and then try to act as if he had one. Laughable!
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.
Mark is nothing but a fraudulent LIAR that got caught up in his own "Phd" lie!
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 2 a.m.
@Michigan Man: Does an honorable man put an "honorary" PhD on his business card and call himself "Dr. Mark Ouimet"? In Ann Arbor, where there are thousands of people who earned their PhD the hard way? Does an honorable man get an MBA from a fraudulent diploma mill and pass himself off as having an MBA degree? "Republican state House candidate Mark Ouimet earned the master's degree he lists in his campaign literature from a Louisiana correspondence school that was raided by the FBI and determined to be a fraudulent diploma mill at one point, AnnArbor.com has learned." Quoted from www.annarbor.com/news/questions-surround-republican-state-house-candidate-mark-ouimets-academic-credentials/ Is this pattern of behavior the mark of a "good man"?
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.
First - I have a very cool business card from Mark which reads Dr. Ouimet! Not sure you understand how that Northwood University designated credential came about. Sounds like you are envious of the many civic, community and leadership contributions Mark has made to the Ann Arbor area over decades. Perhaps is you are really connected to First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor you will see Mark and his wife (who is also a Dr. as in Medical Doctor) sitting close by. Try to stop hating on Mark because he is successful.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.
Thanks for bringing these facts up. It's interesting that samseaborn doesn't dispute them; he just doesn't want voters reminded of Ouimet's failed business career and other sleazy past deeds. And the 'and solved' ? How? Some links please.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.
You are bringing this up AGAIN. Obviously, you are someone associated with campaign to work for the Dem party. That issue has been beaten to death and solved if it did not work in 2012 it is not going to work now. GO MARK GO
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.
Driskell will fall right in line with Jeff Irwin and the extreme liberal left. As stated in the article, this district no longer contains Ann Arbor, yet so much of Driskell's support comes from there. Western Washtenaw County is a much different place and deserves to be represented properly, without the influence of all the limousine liberals in Ann Arbor.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.
I attended the Monday night town hall meeting. I know both candidates. I am concerned about the liberal machine behind Gretchen. We are all making sacrifices and I believe that being responsible financely works best for all citizens. By the way, I read that there were between 200-250 people attending, and that reflects my observations, and it was the 2008 election, not the 2004 with McCain and Oboma
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.
I have spoken with Gretchen Driskell, I would not call her a lightweight. I will be supporting Mark Ouimet because I think he has earned that support, but I don't think calling Driskell a light weight helps anyone. She has solid credentials, considered position and a set of views that seems to be her own.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.
"2004 with McCain and Oboma" Really?
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.
Driskell is a light weight and has to have someone pulling th strings. All one has to do is talk to her to understand that.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.
Ouimet has made many tough decisions over the last two years - remember, Michigan was in serious trouble when he and Snyder came into office with failed the Granholm policies. He has won Legislator of the Year, a bipartisan award. You may not agree with all his votes, but you can't argue with outcomes. Driskell and Irwin would continue to tax and spend without any fiscal concerns for current or future generations. Ouimet should be re-elected to the House.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:06 a.m.
So, in less than two years Ouimet has been a part of balancing the budget, paying down $15 billion in debt, significantly decreasing unemployment, and won Legislator of the Year. And Driskell claims that his policies are not working?
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.
Ouimet had nothing to do with the paying down of the debt. He placed that burden on seniors, teachers, and the school children of Michigan. Also, unemployment is on the rise again.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.
Also, recent figures show Michigan's unemployment is rising again.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.
The reason for all these good numbers in the improvement in the auto industry, which mostly resulted from the federal bailout of the auto industry, not anything that Ouimet, Snyder or anyone else in Lansing did.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.
Mark Ouimet has been a reliable Republican vote. According to the August 27, 2012 edition of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, Mark Ouimet has voted the Republican party line on 80.4% of the key "litmus test" roll call votes during his time in the legislature, only 4.4% less than the Republican Speaker Jase Bolger (at 84.8%). In contrast Jeff Irwin voted the Democratic party line 84.8% on those same key "litmus test" votes. Any discussion that Mark Ouimet is a moderate is not borne out by his voting record.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.
There is nothing in this article that would change my vote from Ouimet to Driskell. More importantly, Driskell's close association with Irwin and the other extreme liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives clearly states how she would govern and vote. We don't need the 52nd District governed by the Ann Arbor Democrats and their Districts. We don't need to go back to the failed policies of the Granholm administration. Michigan needs to move forward.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.
Preach on brother Tom! Republicrites can't handle the truth!
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.
Face it, nothing would get you to vote for Driskell or any other progressive Democrat. It's really funny how Republicans view Michigan's economic situation. When Michigan's economy was in the tank, because the auto industry was collapsing, it was the Democratic Governor's (Granholm) fault, not the GOP President's (Bush). Now, with the auto industry coming back, they give the credit to the GOP Governor and Legislature and not the Democratic President. The decline of the auto industry had nothing to do with anything Granholm did or didn't do. It was a combination of global economics and bad management. There's really no doubt, however, that if Obama hadn't bailed out the auto industry, the Michigan economy the current GOP Lansing pols are presiding over would be an utter disaster.