Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kalamazoo City Commission Forum

On Tuesday, a forum was held at Western for candidates for the Kalamazoo City Commission. Thirteen candidates attended--the eleven who will be on the ballot, plus two homeless candidates running as write-ins.

The Western Herald and Kalamazoo Gazette provide excerpts of the candidates' statements.

The forum began with a question that was asked to all the candidates. The question was what they will do about Western's budget situation. This wasn't a very good question, because the city commission has no control over Western's funding. All of the candidates basically said that they would lobby the state legislature.

Next, the moderator asked different questions to each candidate. Several specific statements stood out.

Don Cooney attacked the Iraq war, even though the question that he was asked was about the city budget. This was clearly pandering to the audience. He did the same thing at a forum two years ago.

Aaron Davis said that the police department is not protecting Kalamazoo and suggested cutting its budget in half.

Angela Jackson endorsed Detroit's policy against "profiling" based on a number of factors including immigration status. This is a sanctuary city policy. Policies like this protected Mohammed Atta and many illegal alien criminals from arrest and deportation.

Jonathan Braun, one of the homeless candidates, could at least put a few sentences together. Angie Suarez, the other homeless candidate, completely blanked on two of the questions before saying that she didn't know anything about them.

Mayor Hannah McKinney and Commissioner Barb Miller are the best choices for conservatives. The other current commissioners, while liberal, at least know what they are doing. The same cannot be said of many of the challengers.

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