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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Apology on Prop 2

   Upwards of $12 million was spent, tons of commercials flooded the airwaves, and the emotions reached a fever pitch but in the end one simple and uncontrollable factor determined the outcome of Proposal 2…voter turnout.
    Turns out that more democrats turned out on November 4th and lots of R's stayed home so when they counted everything up, embryonic stem cell research won going away.
    During the contentious campaign the Michigan Catholic Conference remained on radio silence.  The group's affable lobbyist Paul Long has broken the silence and says he'll issue no apology for the tone of the anti-Prop 2 effort.
    "No, not at all," he argues in a debrief of what went wrong.
     The other side took strong exception to one commercial aimed at African Americans.  They were told without regulation of this research there could be a repeat of history where minorities were abused in a federal research program.
      "It was a scare tactic," complains Rick Johnson who helped mastermind the yes vote.
       Long begs to differ.  He says the ad was not aimed at one voting block and to prove it, the commercial aired in the Upper Peninsula.
       He says, "I don't understand the flak…The other side was expecting a debate about theology, ethics, and morals.  We wanted to talk about the policy ramifications."
       Long and company, including Michigan Right to Life, had no choice but to argue ancillary issues because if they argued the pros and cons of the research, the loss would have been even greater.
      Turns out in a struggle between fear on one side and hope for a cure for diseases on the other, the voters voted for hope.
      "We knew we had an uphill battle. The notion of hope and a cure was a very difficult" hill to climb.
       Long came up short on that front.


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