Yesterday, the Small Business Association of Michigan heard from both Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor and the U.S. Senate. They were asked a single question to answer: “If elected, what will you do to help small business thrive in Michigan?”
Republicans Rick Snyder and Terri Lynn Land appeared in person while Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters appeared via video to answer the question.
After the event, Land posted this comment on her Facebook page:
I had a great time at the Small Business Association of Michigan candidate forum today … It is unfortunate that my opponent was not able to make time to attend the event with Michigan’s small business owners.
Why was Peters not there in person? Not because he “was not able to make time to attend the event”. Rather it was because he, a member of the U.S. House Defense Appropriations Committee, was in Washington, D.C., doing his job as a Congressman representing Michigan’s 14th Congressional District. In fact, he had to be there to cast votes involved with funding our troops. The vote was, in fact, on H.R.4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
Democratic State Representative David Knezek of Dearborn Heights, the first Iraq War veteran to serve in the Michigan Legislature, lit into Land for her insulting comment:
Our men and women in uniform need to have confidence in their representatives in Washington to have their back and provide the necessary funding and equipment that’s need to keep our nation safe. Terri Lynn Land demonstrated today she would rather put politics before the troops.
“Ms. Land’s political games are insulting not just to members of the military, but all Michiganders who are looking for leadership on these critical issues. How can our servicemen and women and our veterans trust someone like Terri Lynn Land who doesn’t care about the responsibilities of public service and would choose politics over voting to fund our troops?
I was proud to answer the call to serve our nation and defend our freedom, so I am glad that Gary Peters isn’t afraid to put our military first. It’s clear that Michiganders need a robust debate between these candidates because only one of them will fight for Michigan.
Knezek has standing here. He served in the United States Marine Corps, rising to the rank of sergeant while completing two tours of duty in Iraq as a scout sniper platoon member.
Land, on the other hand, is a wealthy Republican with no current job other than to run for Senate. Given that, you’d think she’d make more public appeances where she could answer reporters’ questions. But, after her catastrophically embarrassing performance on Mackinac Island recently, I suspect we won’t be seeing much of that any time soon.
In general, candidates who are behind in the polls as Land is clamor for debates with their opponent to help turn the tide. In Land’s case, the opposite is happening. While Peters has asked for a series of five debates since this is the first open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan in decades, Land has yet to accept even one debate. She has said she’ll consider it after the primary in August. It’s yet another dodge, of course. Neither Peters or Land have primary opponents.
Still, given her current status as The Michigan Embarrassment, I suppose her reticence to have to actually take questions requiring her to think on her feet is understandable. Land, who is still running on ending Obamacare, would much rather let the Koch brothers do her speaking for her.