After facing withering criticism for failing to agree to debate Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, Republican Governor Rick Snyder announced with great fanfare that he was going to do ten town hall meetings where voters could ask him questions. They said Schauer was welcome to tag along if he wanted, and then slammed him with a truly unprofessional insult, calling him “lacking the intelligence” to keep up with Gov. Snyder:
Gov. Rick Snyder plans to hold a series of town hall meetings across the state this fall, answering question from voters — and his Democratic opponent Mark Schauer is invited to join him.
Snyder’s campaign on Wednesday announced plans to hold 10 open forums before the Nov. 4 general election, with the first three being in Kalamazoo on Sept. 29, in Sterling Heights on Oct. 2 and an Oct. 4 event in Detroit.
The governor’s campaign said Schauer is welcome to jointly appear with the governor at the events and take questions from voters, but with no ground rules.
“Rick Snyder is a confident leader who has a vision for Michigan and Mark Schauer lacks the intelligence to keep up with him in a format like a town hall,” Snyder campaign manager Kyle Robertson said Wednesday.
This is from a governor who claims he’s going to run a positive campaign.
Seeing that this may their only chance to get to ask Gov. Snyder a direct question, a couple of the folks from Progress Michigan, Executive Director Lonnie Scott and New Media Specialist Marissa Luna, signed up for the free tickets to tonight’s town hall meeting. Shortly afterwards, Scott received notice that his ticket had been cancelled:
Luna received a similar notice:
— Marissa Luna (@rissluna) September 28, 2014
The two of them began questioning the Snyder folks about this on Twitter only to be told by Snyder spokesperson Emily Benavides that the tickets were for “undecided voters” only:
— Emily Benavides (@embena) September 29, 2014
This is, of course, as laughable as Snyder’s claim that he hasn’t cut funding to Michigan public school classrooms. When signing up for a ticket, you aren’t asked if you are “undecided”. No Snyder supporter has had their ticket cancelled. In fact, when the town hall is aired via livestream, you can be sure that you’ll see supporters in the audience.
Maybe we’ll even get to see the one teacher who supports Rick Snyder, his neighbor at his Gun Lake vacation home in Middleville, Linda Thaler, who appeared in Snyder’s most recent attack ad on Mark Schauer. Here are some photos of Thaler from her Facebook page and from an article in The State News from election night 2008:
The fact is, Governor Snyder, for all his “tough” talk, is petrified of confronting people who disagree with him. Whether it’s young progressives, Mark Schauer, or any Michigander who disagrees with him, he does everything he can to avoid having to face them and their questions. Instead, he surrounds himself with supporters to create an appearance that he is beloved.
This is how CEOs operate in the private sector, of course, and is the genesis of the phrase “Yes Man”. It has no place in our political system or in our government.
Show some spine, Governor. Quit stacking the deck. It proves you to be the spineless, weak leader many of us have said you were from the beginning.
UPDATE: Lonnie Scott from Progress Michigan issued this statement this morning:
If the Snyder campaign is only allowing in undecided voters, then I should be considered ‘undecided’. I can’t decide whether Gov. Snyder is totally corrupt or completely incompetent.
UPDATE: If there is any question that the Snyder campaign is handpicking attendees for tonight’s town hall meeting, that was dispelled by Benavides in a Detroit Free Press article today:
Emily Benavides, a spokeswoman for the Snyder campaign, said the idea of the town halls is for the governor to take questions from undecided voters and tickets are screened to remove what the campaign believes are known supporters of Snyder’s Democratic opponent, Mark Schauer.
In other words, her candidate is a coward.