I’ve got to admit: Keeping Up With The Candidates is more fun when the candidates hate each other.
Which is why the race for governor has been rather lackluster? Rick Snyder and Virg Bernero have been so darn affable that Bernero can show up at a Snyder event and rather than being chased out by a torch and pitchfork wielding posse, he’s invited up on stage to address the group.
Even their TV ad campaigns are only lowering themselves to claims like “Virg Bernero spends too much on pencils.” Or something. Really? Where are the questions of someone’s citizenship? Or whether some distant relative is gay or Muslim or received a Christmas card from Nancy Pelosi? What have you done with our election process?!
And with Bernero so far back in the polls and seemingly not gaining much ground, the contest itself is starting to resemble a Lions road game.
But fear not, while the Snyder/Bernero race has turned into a buddy comedy starting John Travolta and Michael Keaton, other races, most notably the Congressional ones, feature the mudslinging and name-calling we’ve come to expect out of these things.
Most notably, the race for U.S. Congressman Gary Peters’s seat. Peters and his opponent, Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, are like two bad sports talk radio partners: they simply disagree on everything, no matter what the issue. (Unless that issue is immigration, a hot button issue in which pandering to either side can seriously jeopardize your campaign. The latest way of explaining your position? Heighten protection on the border! [Appeal to Tea Party]. Crack down on employers who hire illegals! [Appeal to Hispanics]Peters and Raczkowski seem to agree on that.).
The two candidates have become cartoon caricatures of their respective parties. Peters gets painted as a flaming liberal who kowtows to the “socialist” liberal agenda and Raczkowski is deemed a tin-foil hat wearing ultra right-wing lunatic.
Case in point: this Freep summation of their positions on the only four issues in this election:
On the issues
Health care reform
• Peters: Supported
• Raczkowski: Wants to repeal
Gays in the military
• Peters: Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy
• Raczkowski: Keep the policy
Federal enforcement of medical marijuana laws
• Peters: Wants Michigan voters’ legalization of medical marijuana implemented without federal interference
• Raczkowski: Wants no further expansion of medical marijuana law
Both candidates want the federal government to be more aggressive in protecting the borders, and they want penalties enforced for employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Peters has released an ad detailing a South Dakota court case involving Raszkowski’s company, Star Tickets. The company is being sued by a concert promoter for allegedly “grossly underestimated the number of tickets sold to a concert,” causing $6 million in damages.
In response, Raszkowski has accused Peters of being Gary Peters.
He’s also filed a defamation lawsuit concerning the ad. (The suit seems awfully frivolous since the ad reports of a court case that exists.)
This week, the two met for a debate in front of the Oakland County Commissioners, among other guests. Needless to say, the meetin’ was acrimonious. You can watch the whole thing via the Oakland Press here if you are so inclined.
In the MyFox2 video embedded in the Mlive.com link, one of the Oakland County commissioners was asked if it was getting ugly. She replied “It’s not cute.”
And not even beer goggles are going to make it any prettier.