Economy Dominates Second Debate

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

This time around, it didn't take long for candidates to launch their attacks.

"I saw the governor of Michigan look at the camera and lie to the people of Michigan," Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos said in his opening statement.

DeVos' accusations refer to the last debate, in which Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) mentioned DeVos' investment in a healthcare company charged with abusing those in its care.

But the topic quickly moved to the economy -- and the candidates were asked for specifics.

Granholm outlined six specific ideas: "Elminate the (Single Business Tax) ... train workers victimized by the global economy ... lift our standards for public education ... speed up building projections in Michigan ... diversify our economy ... provide universal access to affordable healthcare," she said.

DeVos pointed to ideas of his own: "Make sure it remains eliminated, the Single Business Tax ... expand the nubmer of trade offices ... a 30-day plan for a shovel-ready permitting process ... include process agriculture as well as ethanol production ... eliminate the personal property tax and the problems it causes for our manufacturers," he said.

What's not sufficient, DeVos argued, is the governor's record on fixing ecnonmic problems, problems she tied to dependence on the auto industry.

"You can't flip a switch and change the economy," Granholm said.
The two were also asked about education.

"We have not been able to get it done in many schools," DeVos said.

So the Republican says he supports school choice, but not vouchers -- the state giving parents money to spend on private schools. The governor said DeVos did support the idea given his contributions to pro-voucher groups.

On abortion, the pro-life DeVos wouldn't say whether he'd sign abortion restrictions into law. Both candidates agreed a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion makes sense.

All that before the candidates had one last chance to sell themselves.

"We need to fire the governor and head in a new direction," DeVos said in closing.

Just as time ran out on the governor's closing remarks, she said, "I'll go anywhere to bring jobs to Michigan."

It's a discussion that'll have to continue at the next debate.


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