opinion: Anti-Gretchen Driskell mailers, phone calls bogus to those aware of her experience
By now many voters in Michigan's 52nd State House District already know just how bogus the anti-Gretchen Driskell phone calls and mailers really are. We know Gretchen and can trust her to represent us well in Lansing.
We understand that the attacks on Driskell spring from the fact that our current Representative, Mark Ouimet, has a voting record that is way out of sync with most of his constituents. He can't run on his record, but the Michigan GOP wants him back in the legislature to do their bidding — thus the indignant voices blasting from our answering machines to savage Driskell. (Analysis of Ouimet's record can be found on the Project Vote Smart).
To put the claims from the anti-Driskell mailers and phone calls in context, I offer the following information:
Gretchen Driskell has been mayor of Saline for 14 years. During that time her salary has increased from $3200 per year to $4000. That's the 25 percent you've been reading and hearing about. And, if you spread the cost of all the taxpayer-funded trips she's taken representating Saline over her 14 years as mayor, the average for those is about $2500 per year.
To put this in perspective, as a Washtenaw County Commissioner for 6 years, Ouimet received a salary of $15,500 per year and nearly $36,000 in reimbursements. It was determined that $14,386 of those reimbursements (about $2400 per year if spread over 6 years) were inappropriate and he decided to pay the County back for them.
It's a common Republican Party tactic again this year to take what is dubious in your candidate's record and try to project it onto his or her opponent. Let's make sure this doesn't work in the contest for Michigan's 52nd House District.
Gretchen Driskell is an excellent candidate. She has my vote.