Gary Peters, Political Ads, Terri Lynn Land — September 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Gary Peters debates an empty chair after Land is a no-show (and other news)


Last night, Gary Peters appeared at the location for a proposed WOOD-TV debate with Terri Lynn Land. Because Land declined to share the stage with Peters, he debated an empty chair:

There was no debate Monday night for the U.S. Senate race.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters stood next to an empty chair representing his Republican opponent, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

“This is not the ideal format,” Peters told a crowd of 34 supporters at Grand Valley State University. “The ideal format would be a debate.”

Peters held a forum the same night WOOD TV 8 scheduled a meeting of the candidates. Land did not respond to the NBC affiliate’s invitation to debate, so it indefinitely postponed the event.

During the event, Peters took questions from supporters and multiple times said he wished voters could hear both sides.

“If a candidate isn’t willing, when they are running for office, to stand up and say what they are for, if they were elected, they would completely disappear,” Peters said.

Land, for her part, has taken to criticizing Peters in television ads for the fact that less than 1% of his many investments, around $19,000 worth, are in Total S.A., a company that, among its many other activities, creates petcoke. Peters took a leadership role in removing mountains of petcoke from the shores of the Detroit River that were contaminating Detroit neighborhoods and has taken a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline that would increase fuel costs in Michigan without benefiting our state:

Rather than providing the US with more Canadian oil, Keystone XL will simply shift oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, where much of it can be exported to international buyers – decreasing US energy supply and increasing the cost of oil in the American Midwest,” concludes a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental advocacy non-profit group, citing numerous TransCanada studies and the transcripts of Canadian federal hearings.

Because Peters is willing to take a stand despite his relatively small investment in Total S.A., Land and her supporters want voters to find that hypocritical. She’s up with an ad about it and is being helped with other ads from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and Ending Spending who, together, are spending over $1.1 million on ads against Peters in our state at the moment.

Land, of course, gets direct support from the owners of Koch Carbon who were responsible for the mountains of petcoke polluting Detroit, none of which was from Total S.A. She’s counting on voters not to make those connections.

Fun fact: the Koch brothers are responsible for nearly 1 in 10 television ads for Senate races this election cycle:

The secretive political network of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has aired more than 43,900 television ads this election cycle in an attempt to help Republicans take control of the Senate in the upcoming November election. That amounts to nearly 1 out of every 10 TV ads in the 2014 battle for the Senate, according to a new Center for Public Integrity analysis of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking service, covering spending from Jan. 1, 2013, through Sunday.

Despite the massive spending by Land and her partners, Peters leads Land in nearly every poll, including an internal poll released by the Land campaign, by 4-5 points. In fact, a PPP poll released today has him up by 7%, the highest margin so far.

Finally, the American Democracy Legal Fund, a group established to hold candidates for office accountable for possible ethics and/or legal violations, has filed a complaint against Land with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics for failing to properly disclose required information about her personal finances on her financial disclosure reports.

The group explained their complete in a statement saying, “[A]fter Land amended her 2014 disclosure report in July following a firestorm of media coverage surrounding the questionable circumstances under which she donated $2.9 million to her own campaign, Land still failed to amend her 2013 report to disclose sufficient assets to have made such a contribution.”

So much fail for just one campaign.

[Photos provided by the Peters for Michigan campaign. Used with permission.]