Friday, June 15, 2012

Upton Smears Jack (Part 4)

Congressman Fred Upton has continued his campaign to smear Jack Hoogendyk's record. This latest attack is particularly vile. This time, Upton is not accusing Jack of voting like a liberal, he is accusing Jack sympathizing with criminals.

Fred Upton campaign attacks Jack Hoogendyk on sex offender and drunk driving votes in new mailers

You can see the mailers in the article above. They imply that Jack opposes tough penalties for sex offenders and drunk drivers. But as Jack explains in the article, there were problems with both bills.
Hoogendyk said Thursday the statement that he doesn't "share...priorities" is a distortion. He said he voted against the bill because he said there was a flaw in the registration program related to "Romeo and Juliet" cases — when an underage person consensually engages in sex. An example, Hoogendyk said, would be if a 17 year-old and 15 year-old. Hoogendyk said a person could on the registry list for much of their adult life.

"I felt like the program and process needed to be fixed before going through with this," Hoogendyk said.


The other mailer depicts a series of bills that would strengthen penalties for convicted drunk drivers, including installing a ingestion breathalyzer device on their car. The mailer reads: "Jack Hoogendyk crossed the line and voted to go easy on extremely drunk drivers."

"That is an outright falsehood," Hoogendyk said. For one of the bills mentioned, he said he ended up voting for the final bill after it went to the state senate.

"I did not go easy on drunk drivers," Hoogendyk said. "I voted for bills that ended up being stronger than the original ones."

Hoogendyk actually votes against a bill that would establish .15 blood alcohol content level as a drunk driving offense. He did not vote for or against the final bill when the Senate version came back up in the House, which did not include the .15 limit.

Hoogendyk did vote in favor of a Senate bill for increasing penalties for drivers with BAC over .17, which is the current limit for a driver to be considered "super drunk." The two bills were part of a package that led to the "super drunk" driving laws in Michigan.
It is really awful to take Jack's votes out of context like this. Fred Upton certainly knows that there are often competing bills on an issue in a legislature, so you vote for the one you like best and oppose the others. Also, many bills have technical problems that would lead to negative consequences. You ought to be able to vote against flawed, if well-intentioned legislation without being smeared as supporting drunk drivers and sex offenders.

I hope that voters see through these distortions. We'll find out in August.

Upton Smears Jack (Part 3)
Upton Smears Jack (Part 2)
Upton Smears Jack
Jack's Response to Upton Mailer

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