Guest Post, Mark Schauer, Rick Snyder — October 14, 2014 at 8:46 am

GUEST POST: Observations from a Schauer/Snyder debate attendee: “The atmosphere was completely different than on TV”

    Eclectablog reader Mark was in attendance at the one-and-only debate between Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic candidate Mark Schauer on Sunday night. He sent me his observations as someone who was actually in the room and has agreed to allow me to share his comments with you.

    As you will see, the atmosphere inside the debate venue was considerably different than what many of us saw on television. What is clear to me from his report is that Gov. Snyder is afraid. And he should be. Mark Schauer is surging right now. Michigan’s economy remains in the dumps and the policies and governing philosophies of our corporatist Governor are not working. The latest New York Times/YouGov poll shows Mark Schauer up by one point over Rick Snyder despite the massive spending by those who want Michigan to be run by Republicans. Among women, Schauer is crushing Snyder by a full 11-point margin.

    This election is going to come down to turn-out on Election Day and this is something that we can have a decisive impact on. I encourage you – IMPLORE you – to get involved. Hook up with the statewide Coordinated Campaign or with your favorite candidate and start making calls or, better yet, knock doors to make sure every Democrat in our state votes on November 4th. It’s not often that you can have a direct impact on the outcome of an important election but, this year, you CAN. Please do.

    I was privileged to be in attendance at the debate on Sunday. The next day, I re-watched the debate on our DVR. Let me say, the atmosphere was completely different in the auditorium than on TV. There was tension in the air during the debate. The TV missed so much! Snyder wore a blue blazer with black pants. Looked kind of “what not to wear”. Looked kind of weird. The TV usually only showed the two “waist up”. During the proceedings, Snyder either had clenched fists or was doing this weird thing with his arms and hands fully extended. Like at full military attention. While his arms were extended, he was nervously fluttering his hand against his leg. My wife thought he was getting ready to Karate Chop Mark Schauer! LOL

    The TV actually missed some of the testiness of Snyder. It poured out during Rick’s defense of his cousin’s furniture dealings. He told the moderators that he wasn’t going to quit talking. While Rick was hyperventilating, Schauer was smiling and sipping water. I was impressed!

    Did you notice that they brought in [7th District] Congressman Tim Walberg in to intimidate Mark Schauer? [Ed. Note: Schauer beat Walberg in MI-07 in 2008 only to be defeated by him in 2010.] In a head-to-head debate with Walberg back in 2009, Walberg was the most aggressive bully in the auditorium. I think they did it intentionally to try to take Schauer off his game.

    Snyder mentioning the 3 states with a higher unemployment rate was lame. Snyder’s Pension Tax explanation was lame. The part about the seniors who have no pensions and cannot retire are somehow made better by this pension tax! What?!

    Because it was such a small venue, it was easy to size up the whole event. We were told by the emcee Christy McDonald not to make any sounds or comments. The crowd was very good. When Snyder once or twice asked for a hand raise, only a few dared to do it because of the stated rules. There were some low audible gasps when Snyder said his pension tax made things BETTER for seniors! We didn’t get the logic.

    I do believe that if Snyder gets another term, he will eliminate all pension tax exemptions so all pensioners will have to pay State Income Tax. What on earth would stop them?

    Your observation that Snyder’s “Let me make this simple for you” was patronizing and insulting was spot on. The idea that a 6% tax on net profits of business is higher than the 4% personal income tax is absurd! It would only be similar if I could deduct all my expenses (mortgage, utilities, food, maintenance, etc.) from my pension and be taxed on everything left over. I, too, would become tax free. So the 6-is-more-than-4 tax logic doesn’t hold true. An accountant knows that; at least a good one does.