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Tired of negative political ads

October 22, 2012
Daily Press


I am tired of the negative commercials firing back and forth between Congressman Benishek and opponent Gary McDowell. Much of what is said is untrue or half-truths, especially by Mr. McDowell. I am especially unhappy with his statement of him "making" Sault, Ontario, clean up there sewage disposal in the St. Mary's River. An extensive Google search indicates he accompanied then Congressman Stupak on a boat ride near the discharge point in the river around 2006. Publications indicate discussions with the Canadians who were currently upgrading their sewage plant. The effluents from the previous substandard plant were brought up from the bottom during an extended period of low river levels. It would be operating to full standards within two months of that trip. Mr. McDowell's name was virtually absent on this subject for the period in question: 2005 through 2008. It should be noted that to this day, Milwaukee and Detroit are serious polluters when excessive rainfall hits those cities. A recent international environmental report indicated Green Bay, Wis., having the best treatment and Detroit, the worst.

Regarding congressional votes on delaying cement plants compliance with new mercury discharge rules, it is obvious some Democrats voted for these bills. They had to weigh the amount of jobs that would have been lost with immediate compliance. Dr. Benishek did not introduce any objectionable bills in the 112th Congress.

Mr. McDowell also accused Dr. Benishik as being a polluter because of his yes vote for H. R. 2018, which as I read it, fosters better cooperation between the states and the EPA. At any rate, this is ancient history as this was over a year ago, and it apparently was not passed and signed into law. I was a state bank examiner and worked with two federal banking regulators. They could never agree on anything between them. States, in many cases, can do the job better. The feds spend too much time preserving their own turf. For example, I spent 90 days in DC working on bank examination software to be used jointly by the two fed agencies and the states. Within a year, the Federal Reserve system redeveloped their own program. The states, especially Michigan, have a good record enforcing their own laws.

Mr. McDowell also states Dr. Benishek is for dismantling Medicare. This is simply not true as anyone 55 or more will not be affected under Mr. Ryan's plan. Dr. Benishek endorses this plan. Age 55 was selected as a cut-off point as it is very obvious that the plan cannot continue much longer in its current form. Something else will have to be done as it will otherwise become bankrupt. Both Republicans and Democrats have had their heads in the sand for a long time on saving Medicare. Something will have to be done to protect it for those under 55. It may well cost, as quoted by Mr. McDowell, at least $6,400 per person. That would have to be done by assessing larger payments into the fund or raising the retirement age to 70.

I am not saying Congressman Benishek is innocent of negative advertising. However, his criticisms are based somewhat on fact. Gone are the days of clean campaigns. Congressman Stupak conducted very clean campaigns, even when he was challenged by former popular Congressman Bob Davis. I never saw any derogatory campaigning by either of them.

Gary D Groves

Rapid River



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