Campaign Fluff vs Addressing the Issues
One of my supporters sent me the latest of at least 15 mailers sent out by my opponent. As a service to the voters, I thought I’d break down the campaign fluff and compare it to the real issues affecting the 97th.
While conventional campaign wisdom suggest a candidate avoid mentioning his opponent’s ads, I think it is important to continue my strategy of showing the difference between the campaign fluff used by my opponent and the well researched positions I take. At stake is YEARS of more stagnation in Lansing vs me and the other fresh voices running to make Lansing change for the better. We are not ‘business as usual’, special interest driven politicians.
The Wentworth Mailer
This is actually a nice market piece. Center stage is Mr. Wentworth, pointing toward a future goal, with the former leader, Joel Johnson in a supporting position at his side, but behind him. The Call for Action is bright on a dark background at the top of the page, and a similar treatment is at the bottom highlighting his endorsements. Note the emphasis in size on the NRA endorsement- more on that later.
The psychological effect of the presentation is to show the popular subject of the piece, be it my opponent or a turnip, is taking the torch from the former master and leading us to the future. You can do your part to join the parade by voting Nov 8th, along with your friends from the NRA and the Farm Bureau (is he a farmer? what are our major crops and how thick is the topsoil?). To give you permission to do this, Joel is right there and his endorsement is superimposed on his photo.
Campaign Fluff in Bullet Points
On the left side of the piece we see the campaign fluff- Generic, Bland statements with no detail designed to let the reader give them personal meaning and feel good about the future. This is called a ‘Cold Reading’ and is used with Tarot Cards and fortune telling…
‘You will face struggle at first but have a strong personality so you will succeed and find happiness with the help of a close friend’
Fight for Smaller, More Efficient Government- This is a core principle of all Republicans. It appeals to our desire not to have expensive government (but enough to be there when we need it), and sets up the contrast with the Democrats, who they portray as proponents of ‘Big, Wasteful Government’.
Invest in a Bright Future for Our Children- Great Idea! I’m all for that too!. I’ll do it by investing in Schools and Teachers, Supporting Healthcare, and helping their parents get a decent job! My opponent supports taking their public school funding and giving it to private, for profit, charter schools. When the defunded public schools fail, he’ll bail them out with your tax dollars. Rather than improve education or healthcare, he’ll just eliminate the troublesome programs without an alternate plan.
Honor Veterans and Law Enforcement- Ok, what exactly does this mean? Send them a thank you card? Hold the door open for them? How about supporting our vets with healthcare, counseling and job training? How about funding training for our law enforcement, giving them the non-military equipment they need to be safe, and making sure EVERY ONE of them has a body camera? Let’s not forget fire services and EMS either! State issued disability for vol fire and ems workers injured on the job.
Protect All Life, Endorsed by RTL- Again, a core Republican position. This is a controversial subject. Fewer than 20% of the voters support the rather extreme position of RTL, that ALL pregnancies go to delivery. I respect both viewpoints, and my opponent has stated it is a matter of ‘Responsibility’. I agree it is a matter of responsibility and believe that responsibility really kicks in once the child is born. I support helping the parents feed, house, clothe, and provide healthcare for the child. I support job training and daycare for young parents trying to get back into the work force. Will my opponent support and vote to pay for those services? Or will he concentrate on ‘fraud and waste’ in social services as he claimed in the debate and cut them loose?
One more word on that last point. The implication that there is widespread fraud in social services is a common ‘buzzword’ in campaigns. Notice they never really put numbers to that ‘fraud’. We are seeing many popular efforts to ‘cut fraud’ such as drug testing those on public assistance. Sounds good, but how much money is actually saved with this measure- run through the legislator by Joel Johnson and our current politicians? The programs actually cost FAR more than they save. This information was already available before Michigan implemented their program, but, like Mr. Wentworth at the Debate, they didn’t do their homework and passed it anyway. Their solution? Rather than have the state pay for the testing, make the people struggling on public assistance pay for it themselves even if the test comes back negative, repeatedly. Think about that.
Standing up for families and seniors- I really have no idea how to address this. My idea of ‘standing up for families and seniors’ involves improving the economy and schools. I like after school activities and senior centers. I think all people should be treated with dignity without regard to their economic status, race, sexual orientation, age or gender. I think we should look at our priorities on spending our limited funds- I’d rather see roads improved, an after school activity center funded or a new senior center built than people prosecuted for simple possession of marijuana.
Standing up for Families and Seniors also means being fair. Recently over 500,000 Michigan Residents signed petitions to get three issues on the ballot in November. It doesn’t matter what they were about, half a million of your friends and neighbors wanted to give you a chance to vote on them. With a little legislative slight of hand, Joel Johnson and our current crop of politicians in Lansing changed the rules on signatures, put those changes into immediate effect, and removed YOUR VOICE on the issues two weeks before the signatures were due. He has endorsed my opponent to keep that political gaming going in Lansing once he term limits out. Is that your idea of ‘Standing up for Families and Seniors’???
What does ‘Standing up for families and seniors’ mean to you? Leave me a comment!
Special Interest Funding
My opponent has some slick marketing pieces and campaign fluff to try and convince you to vote for him. The actual debate between he and I in Beaverton clearly shows this is not really a race between political parties, but between a well researched candidate with a wealth of life experience and a front man for a marketing program. I don’t mind the fact he has the money and is spending it on marketing, I’m running on the issues and well researched positions.
In my opinion, the state of Michigan should join the other 44 states that report this information (people banned in Michigan from buying guns due to mental health issues) to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The NRA says I shouldn’t support legislation like this….What are your thoughts? I knew this was not the preferred answer that the NRA was looking for.
Jacob Link(R): AQ
George Gilmore(R): AQ
Tom Winarski(R): B-
Jason Wentworth(R): B-
Robert Townsend(D): B-
Robert Corbett(D): Didn’t respond
Brian Johnson(R): Didn’t respond
I would caution you to look at candidates who received an AQ rating. I refuse to just go along with the status quo and when something isn’t right, I will stand up against it.
When Jason Wentworth published that statement on his Facebook page on July 11th, I complimented him on his political courage to stand up for what was a common sense position. But it was false political courage. Mr. Wentworth’s convictions went by the wayside in favor of an A rating and an endorsement from the NRA. That is what money and endorsements do to candidates. That is why I do not accept outside special interest money. My decisions and positions are based on the interests of the 97th and the state, not the NRA, DeVos Family or the many special interests funding my opponent.
When the needs of his special interest backers are at odds with the needs of the 97th District, who will Wentworth support? His “flexibility” with the NRA is an indication.
As a side note, I am a military and public safety veteran. I’m a member of the NRA and have been for years, and an active hunter and long distance target shooter. I also have taken the training and have a CPL. There is little question I am strongly pro-second amendment and this has never changed, nor have any of my positions changed. Yet my NRA rating went from B- to C+ when my opponent ‘modified’ his stance to get the endorsement of the NRA. My sincere hope is that people realize that having someone with actual convictions supporting the second amendment is more useful on the democratic side where I can be a voice for reason.
Or you can buy into the campaign fluff and vote for my opponent. After all, the stars spent billions of years coming into a particular alignment to say you are going to meet someone with brown eyes today….
For these and many other reasons, if you want an informed representative with integrity and a plan, you should
VOTE FOR DR. ROBERT TOWNSEND FOR 97TH DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE!