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Congrats to U.P. lawmakers
August 1, 2014 - Evan Reid
Seeing four Michigan legislators from the Upper Peninsula, two Republicans and two Democrats, present themselves as a team at the recent town hall meeting in Iron Mountain was a breath of fresh air.
Senator Tom Casperson, and Representatives John Kivela, Scott Dianda, and Ed McBroom showed both the will and capability to rise above the toxic political climate and remember that they were elected to represent everyone in their district, not just those who voted for them or may vote for them in the future.
In fact, the words “Democrat” or “Republican” were barely uttered during the two-hour meeting.
Of course, you can always accuse a politician of putting up a front when interacting directly with the public. Even then, I’d rather see legislators promoting themselves as a team rather than attracting attention by name-calling, mud-slinging, and petty bickering.
All four lawmakers avoided sloganeering and emotional manipulation, and were polite and reasonable when discussing opposition they have faced in their various legislative efforts. They responded to questions clearly and were open about their views.
Best of all, it seems they genuinely want to advocate for what is best (or at least what they believe is best) for Upper Peninsula residents.
The “Who’s angry!?” approach doesn’t have to dominate every discussion of politics, legislature, and government, and the town hall served as a reminder that “What do you think?” is a more constructive question.
Notes on the story about the town hall meeting, which ran in The Daily News on Thursday, July 31:
— The issue of no-fault insurance reform was raised by Karl Weber of Channing, chairman and founder of the Michigan No-Fault Steering Committee.
— I failed to include any quotes from Rep. Dianda in the story, however this should not be inferred to mean that he was not an active participant in the various discussions at the meeting.
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