Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here's where to hear a replay of the gubernatorial debate on the environment. To the no-shows: Click on the link and hear how candidates with courage sound!

Wednesday night’s environmental forum for gubernatorial candidates at Central Michigan University was a great dialogue, at least for the three candidates who cared enough about the Great Lakes and our other natural resources to show up: Virg Bernero, Tom George and Rick Snyder.
You can listen to it here:

To the four candidates afraid to take the microphone and defend their records and/or ideas on protecting our natural resources: Bad form guys. You should have strapped on a pair and got in the ring last night.

I have serious reservations about supporting candidates who are only willing to appear before adoring audiences. Voters should want a governor who shares their views, yes. But we should also demand a governor with the courage and self-confidence to engage with people whose ideas and world views differ from theirs. It’s a big, sprawling state with a diversity of people and opinions. Our next chief executive needs to represent all of us….including the 45 percent or so who will vote for someone else in November.

State Sen. Tom George, as an example, stood his ground on several issues that were at odds with the majority of the audience. He clearly understands the issues. Kudos to Tom.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and businessman Rick Snyder were sharp on the issues, especially Snyder whose answers plainly showed that he has invested time in understanding – in far more depth than talking points --  how Michigan’s natural resources are integrally linked to the economy and the health of Michiganders.

Mike Cox – whose views differ fairly dramatically from the environmental community on many issues – spoke with my colleagues at the Michigan Environmental Council early in his campaign. He gets credit for engaging. But where was he Wednesday?

Mike Bouchard, Pete Hoekstra and Andy Dillon? AWOL. Pathetic.

The forum was sponsored by Michigan Radio, the Detroit Free Press, and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters among others.

A shout out to for good coverage of the forum, even if one of their posters declared me a “jobs killer” MichLib’s counterpart, RightMichigan, carried no mention of the forum.
See you at the primary election in August.

Again, Mitten State’s views are my own, not those of my employer, the Michigan Environmental Council. As a 501c3 nonprofit, MEC does not endorse or promote individual candidates. MEC, as an aside, is willing and able to educate all candidates on issues affecting our natural resources. We will be doing so vigorously through November.

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