Voters in the 8th Congressional District should choose U.S. Rep. Debbie Stabenow for the U.S. Senate over her opponent, U.S. Sen. Spence Abraham.
Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat, served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990, the Michigan Senate from 1991 to 1994 and was elected to Congress in 1996. She received both her bachelors degree and her masters degree from MSU.
Abraham, an Auburn Hills Republican, was Michigans Republican state chairman before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. Abraham earned his bachelors degree from MSU and his law degree from Harvard Law.
While both candidates have experience, Stabenow will be an advocate for people in the district, not a political pawn for corporations and special interest groups.
Stabenows environmental record is considerably cleaner. She has been a powerful advocate for Michigans natural resources. However, Abraham has a consistent record of voting to weaken environmental regulations.
Stabenow is a strong supporter of campaign finance reform, co-sponsoring the house version of the McCain-Feingold bill to ban soft money. She understands the importance of campaign finance reform in the restoration of trust in the U.S. government.
Abraham, on the other hand, is well known for receiving huge amounts of campaign funding from special interest groups and corporations. Abraham voted against the passage of the McCain-Feingold legislation, and has a record of being a puppet for high-tech industries that have financially supported him.
Even some of Abrahams advertisements have been paid for by drug companies - not a positive sign for seniors about the effectiveness of his prescription drug plan.
Stabenow, however, has been a front-runner in developing an affordable prescription drug plan for seniors. She has created an innovative plan to modify Medicare and provide relief for seniors weighed down by prescription drug costs. Stabenow also supports placing both Medicare and Social Security into a lockbox that would prevent the money from being used elsewhere, and using the federal budget surplus to guarantee their solvency.
The two candidates share a common interest in the preservation of public education, and both are opponents of Proposal 1.
Stabenow and Abraham also share equal responsibility for the negative tone that has defined the race. Both should be criticized for running excessively negative campaigns.
The candidates have focused more on personalities than actual issues, abandoning grass-roots politics in favor of mud-slinging. Both candidates have run multiple negative attack ads against each other, yet claim the majority of the ads they have control over have been positive.
Still, Stabenow has the experience necessary to be an effective advocate for Michigan and has a record of representing the best interests of her constituents. She should receive support from the people in the state.