I am a policy voter. I want to know where candidates stand on issues. I believe voters need a clear basis to make comparisons between candidates with respect to their issues positions. News media reports typically talk about candidates’ backgrounds without providing the details that voters may want for making comparisons.
For example, the most recent Detroit Free Press description (picked up and re-published by the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal) of my race provided few details about the candidates’ policy positions:
“[T]wo Democrats have filed to run: Chris Smith, a pro-labor professor of public policy and law at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice, and Elissa Slotkin of Holly, who held Defense Department appointments and worked in diplomatic and intelligence agency postings for both Obama and former President George W. Bush, also doing three tours in Iraq as a CIA analyst.
Slotkin, in particular, has been generating buzz in Democratic circles, outraising [incumbent Mike] Bishop in each of the last two fund-raising quarters, while also saying she won’t take corporate funding. She also has been attempting to strike a bipartisan balance, saying at one point that if former U.S. Rep Mike Rogers—a Republican from Howell who held the seat before Bishop and chaired the Intelligence Committee—was still in the seat, she likely wouldn’t have run.”
[Todd Spangler, “Races for Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts Are Seats to Watch in the Midterm Elections,” Detroit Free Press, February 8, 2018]
I am a progressive Democrat. There are no current or recent Republicans in Congress, including Mike Rogers, whose voting records are acceptable to me. Rogers, for example, voted against the Affordable Care Act, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against same-sex marriage, and against EPA action to stop global warming—among many other votes against the interests of people in the 8th District.
I strongly encourage voters to look at the issue positions presented on all candidates’ websites. Bear in mind that there are certain issues for which there is broad agreement among Democratic candidates—such as working to combat discrimination and enhancing fair electoral processes. There are other issues that generate agreement from Democrats AND Republicans (albeit with disagreements about funding): supporting programs and services for veterans; providing education and training for emerging technical jobs; investing in infrastructure; and addressing the abuse of opioid drugs.
Presumably, choices about candidates will hinge on other issues for which candidates advocate differing positions.
Paid for by Chris Smith for Michigan
Chris Smith for Michigan
P.O. Box 4100
East Lansing, MI 48826