On Tuesday night, I faced Mike Rogers in a debate held at the Johnson Center of Cleary University, sponsored by the Voters' Voice, Livingston Press & Argus, and the local Livingston County libraries and Chambers of Commerce.
View full video of the debate here. (Some parts of the video were corrupted, but the gaps have been filled in with audio from a separate source. We apologize for that.)
This was the first debate that Rogers, the 6-term Republican Congressman from Michigan's 8th Congressional District, has shown up for in years. Just the fact that Mike walked in the door last night shows that we have him worried.
The debate didn't do much to salve Mike's anxiety. We took Mike to places he didn't want to go, calling him out on his reckless and false claims about the Affordable Care Act, his support of the Ryan budget, and his campaign donors, which include such shady characters as the Koch Brothers, a good number of the major insurance companies in Michigan, and Alabama Congressman-turned-Enbridge lobbyist Bud Cramer.
Mike's responses were often vague, noncommittal and confusing, including in one instance where he alluded to being part of a group of Congressmen who meet "in secret" to formulate bipartisan solutions. He did not reveal the names of any members of his secret club besides himself. Not only does Mike seem to to think that bipartisanship means an after-work cocktail party with some Democrats, but is there any proof that his secret club even exists?
The people of the 8th District deserve to know who has been their representative in Washington for the past twelve years. That's why, in my closing, I invited Mike to two more debates, one each in Ingham and Oakland counties.
Mike was silent.
Mike hightailed it out of the room not five minutes after the debate concluded, completely ignoring most of the relatively meager crowd of supporters on his side of the room.
He also completely forgot to thank the organizations who hosted the debate.
So, on behalf of both candidates for Michigan's 8th Congressional District, I would like to thank the Voters' Voice, Livingston Press & Argus, and Livingston County libraries and Chambers of Commerce for putting on this debate, and extend my thanks to Cleary University for graciously providing the venue.
And Mike? I look forward to seeing you in Ingham and Oakland counties for two more debates.
And now a recap of the rest of the week:
On Saturday, we visited the Ortonville street festival, and hit every door in the village. Response was positive, especially on the issue of Enbridge, which is especially important in Ortonville and Brandon Township, where Enbridge is engaging in a pipeline "replacement" project.
On Monday, besides preparing for the debate, we also hit 700 doors in Lansing and put out yard signs in Lansing.
On Tuesday, we hit around 630 doors in the morning, then prepared for the debate that night.
Yesterday (Wednesday), we attended the UAW retirees meeting in Howell, and hit another 700 doors.
We're looking forward to getting out to Oakland County later this week, to drop literature, place yard signs and meet with constituents.