Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Environmental savvy propels Bernero, Snyder to election victory in Michigan gubernatorial primaries! (or maybe not, but let's believe it tonight)

Rick Snyder
So businessman Rick Michigan (the artist formerly known as Rick Snyder) and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, (dubbed the “Angriest Mayor in America”) have won the Republican and Democratic primaries for Michigan governor tonight.

Since politics and elections and judging voters’ intentions is a complicated, tricky, unpredictably opaque business, it would be naïve and silly of me to suggest that the reason they won was because Bernero and Snyder were among only three of seven candidates with the courage to appear in an environmental debate in the spring sponsored by the Detroit Free Press and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

Virg Bernero
Or that both men, especially Snyder, were way ahead of their primary foes in demonstrating an understanding of how natural resources are integral to public health and the economic vitality of Michigan.

Or that both were endorsed by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (and Bernero by the Michigan chapters of the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action).

Or that both were able to articulate how so-called “environmental” issues aren’t about saving frogs and wagging fingers at Hummers……they are about modernizing our energy choices to stay competitive in the global marketplace; making our cities places where young people want to live, party, work and sleep; and keeping shitty things like carp and chemicals and sewage out of the world’s greatest freshwater system that we are so blessed to have on all sides us (that’s north, west, east, and…well, we are a pleasant peninsula but we do have Ohio to the south).

So I won’t say any of that. And, plus, both candidates are kind of wild cards so it’s difficult to know whether their rhetoric will match their deeds once elected.

So, I will stick to something safer and more defensible: It will be a good feeling to wake up tomorrow knowing that the two candidates who best understand the value of natural resources to the Great Lakes State are still standing.


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