Yesterday was the debate between the three senatorial candidates to replace the absolutely worthless Debbie Stabenow. Jerry Zandstra, Keith Butler, and Mike Bouchard all had a debate in an attempt to earn our votes. I could vote for any of the three in the general election, and thought all of them did well, and that this will make all the candidates better. If I have to pick a winner of the debate, I'd say Zandstra, for giving the most detailed answers.
My only complaint is that I wish the format called for more time in the answers as I prefer details over soundbytes, and that can't be done in 90 second answers.
Questions and Answers:
McCain's torture bill - Zandstra supports it saying torture speaks about the country. Bouchard and Butler both said they opposed torture. Bouchard spoke about the interrogation tactics used by cops and supports using those techniques.
MCRI (Michigan Civil Rights iniatitive) - Zandstra supports it, Butler and Bouchard oppose it.
Illegal Immigration - Bouchard - No Amnesty, remove illegals, protect borders and punish businesses hiring illegals. Zandstra - "We have the technology to stop illegals, but do not have the political will to do so(referring to congress)" Butler - Seal borders, illegal immigration is a national security issue, increase legal immigration.
Kelo/Eminent Domain - All support overturning it. Butler mentioned judges. Zandstra called Kelo socialist.
Gay Marriage/civil unions/gay adoption - Butler opposes all three. Bouchard opposed gay marriage and did not mention the other two. Zandstra opposes all three.
CAFTA - Zandstra supports it, and spend much time defending it. Butler supports Free/fair trade and opposed CAFTA. Bouchard hinted being against CAFTA and mentioned currency manipulation. Zandstra's defense of CAFTA stated that it increases exports(including cars) by reducing tariffs on American manufactured goods.
Economy - Bouchard stated we should cut taxes and spending. Zandstra mentioned 76% of Michigan's economy being manufacturing based, and due to the current tax structure, there 22% added costs in overhead to all which is manufactured. He mentioned up between Gary IN and Chicago and saw what happened with the collapse of the steel industry, and the social costs as well as economic costs due to the collapse. Zandstra supports balanced budgets, tort reform, and supports ending the current income tax and tax structure. Butler opposes a sales tax and supports cutting spending.
How Stabenow can be beaten: - Bouchard mentioned his track record as a state senator and winning votes in Oakland County as sheriff. Butler mentioned starting with nothing and building what he had, as well as gaining votes in Wayne County. Zandstra mentioned that he's solid on social issues, but that the economy is the biggest issue in this race, and that he understands the economic issues to improve Michigan's economy.
Bouchard emphasized national security from his experience as Sheriff, and fiscal responsibility.
Butler emphasised his real world experience growing up in Detroit and said that he's Debbie Stabenow's worst nightmare due to winning votes in Wayne County.
Zandstra stated that principals win elections, and that the county a candidate is from does not matter. He stated that he understands what needs to be done and emphasized his economic background.
AP Story on Candidate Forum