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Forum: Knollenberg v. Peltonen and Howrylak v. Kerwin (video)

Double Duty Candidate Forum: Knollenberg v. Peltonen and Howrylak v. Kerwin (video)Judy_Palmer30years

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 19, 2014)


The League of Women Voters doubled up on a candidate forum last week, presenting candidates for the 13th District State Senate Seat and the 41st District State Representative Seat. All four candidates answered the same questions in round-robin style.


The video below has some of the questions. The entire video should be available on the League of Women Voters’s Oakland Area website before the election.

13th District State Senate

lisa schmidt lawCandidates for State Senate District #13 (4 year term) are Marty Knollenberg (Republican) and Cyndi Peltonen (Democrat).

Knollenberg’s opening statement touched on issues he said he would work on if elected to State Senate. He served for six years as State Representative during which time he successfully introduced legislation to eliminate lifetime healthcare for Representatives and to cut Representatives pay by 10%. Another bill prohibits politicians from using campaign funds for legal defense, which Knollenberg wrote specifically in response to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s trials. “I’m proud of my record,” Knollenberg said.

Peltonen has been elected to the Clawson School Board, a volunteer position, five times. She has also taught in Rochester Hills, Troy, and Bloomfield Hills. Her main issue is education, including restoring funding to public schools. “I’m taking on this challenge because I have been alarmednicholas-schrock-allstate at the legislation that has happened in the last three years which seems intent on dismantling our public education,” Peltonen said.

Candidates were asked what their plan was to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads. Knollenberg said he would not support any gas tax increase. “As people buy more fuel efficient vehicles we will collect less and less,” he said. Alternative ideas for raising money included allowing cattle grazing on public land, advertising on the back of lotto tickets, and selling naming rights to public buildings.

Peltonen said that instead of having the gas tax be “cents per gallon,” it could be a collected as a percentage so that it would increase or decrease along with the cost of gas. She also suggested looking at the State’s lax trucking regulations, to tax them more and reduce the amount of weight the can carry.

When asked who his role model is, Knollenberg said “My parents. They valued education. They got me into the right schools, helped me participate in athletics.”

Peltonen said it would be hard to name just one, but felt anyone who aimed to do what is best for sidebar01sponsorothers, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, would be her role models.

Knollenberg opposed the Common Core curriculum standards, while Peltonen supported them. Peltonen supported a graduated income tax for those making over $500,000 year, while Knollenberg did not.

41st District State Representative

Candidates for State Representative District #41 (2 year term) are Martin Howrylak (Republican) and Mary Kerwin (Democrat).

Howrylak was born and raised in Troy, and got two degrees from the University of Michigan. He said he got interested in politics because “I believe in service to the community. I believe in the beauty of the Democratic Republic and the fact that everybody and anybody should participate in the system in one way or another,” Howrylak said, calling the political system “the most beautiful modern natural baby inprogresssystem that God has given mankind.” He said that in the two years he has been a Representative he has had an Open door policy with constituents regardless of if they vote for him or not.

Kerwin’s stance is against unfair political games. “Are you as tired of the noise and nonsense of this election season as I?” Kerwin asked. She spoke about disparaging robo-calls and held up a mailing from the Republican Party that depicted her as a giant high heel with lightning bolts coming out of it crushing a house, referring to Kerwin’s time on Troy City Council when Rochester Road was expanded. The bi-partisan expansion was planned while Howrylak actually served on Council as well, yet the ad represents the idea that Kerwin crushed homes to make the expansion happen. She also said she would be a fighter in Lansing, bringing funding back locally, repealing the pension tax, and making sure schools are strong and communities are safe.

Candidates were asked what their plan was to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads. Hwrylak, who is 934_8600_Gen-Online_Bannersendorsed by the County Roads Association of Michigan, said he would adjust the gas tax to the rate of inflation and not pay such high wages to road workers.

Kerwin said that any changes to the gas tax would have to be carefully looked at so as not to unduly burden those with low incomes and that her priority would be to examine trucking regulations in the State.

When asked who his role model is, Howrylak said former President Ronald Regan. “Hi polling numbers were nothing spectacular but he knew he had to lead… He changed the course of history for the better.”

Kerwin said that her role models were other in the room, who volunteered in the community and served on boards and local groups.seed28diane_dengate

Howrylak opposed the Common Core curriculum standards, while Kerwin supported them. In terms of a graduated income tax, Kerwin said she would have to look into is, while Howrylak was opposed.

Other issues covered in the video include equal rights, charter schools, and how to work across party lines to get things done. The full video will be added if/when it becomes available.

For more election coverage see:

Also check out the League of Women Voter’s Oakland Area website for info on other forums and candidate questionnaires.

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