Friday, October 31, 2008

Walberg Attacks... Michael Moore?

On October 9th, 2008, the Walberg campaign released this television ad:

Contrasting it to their latest ad on the economy, the Schauer campaign had this to say:
It's an interesting contrast. Schauer is focusing on the economy and how the incumbent's policies and supporters are making things worse, whereas Walberg's ad focuses on... Michael Moore.

With the Congressman trailing by 10-points in our latest internal poll, it now appears that Tim Walberg has officially jumped the shark.
More seriously, though, what about the substance of the ad?

Yes, Michael Moore does support Mark Schauer, and has contributed to him. Lots of people support Schauer, and that in and of itself shouldn't be a bad thing. It's not like Schauer's been flaunting Moore's endorsement.

The tax increase attacks have been common throughout the campaign, and don't need to be addressed in this post. But the thing about giving drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants has been used less. Is there substance to that attack?

Well, it turns out, yes and no. Yes, because Senator Schauer was against a provision that would prevent illegal immigrants from getting drivers' licenses, and no, because on the substance of the issue, Mark Schauer was right.

Chris Gautz brings us the statement of then-state Representative Schauer when he cast his vote:
"Mr. Speaker and members of the House:
While I strongly support efforts to protect Michigan and the United States, I voted no on HB 5497 (H-1) because in a rush to pass necessary anti-terrorism legislation, there will be unintended consequences that could have been avoided by taking more time with this bill. This is a package of 60 bills. This bill represents only a small piece of the overall package and is unlikely to make any positive change to our current licensing system. Furthermore, if passed with the current language, HB 5497 would place a burden on the office of the Secretary of State that they are ill-equipped to handle. In considering my vote on HB 5497, I am compelled by the testimony of the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They say that this bill will not accomplish its intended purpose. It will not drive undocumented persons out of Michigan. They are persons with homes, jobs, and families and are making substantial contributions to our communities. Depriving them of a drivers license will just make their lives and their children's lives more difficult. It will also result in an increased threat to the safety of all our people and increased auto insurance costs. This bill will also have negative consequences for Michigan's agriculture industry. In the Diocese of Kalamazoo, there are 20,000 migrants working each year in area fields and orchards. Many of these are undocumented immigrants."
In other words, complicated problems require thoughtful solutions, not panicked moves without considering the consequences. It's easy to make bold pronouncements like, "Illegal immigrants shouldn't get drivers' licenses!" It's much harder to think through the tough situation that would create for everyone.

Mark Schauer brings with him a thoughtful point of view. Tim Walberg brings only a rigid, out-of-touch ideology.

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