Your Candidates, My Candidates, and Science


Here’s a handy little tool: Scientists and Engineers for America has compiled the candidates’ positions on a number of science- and technology-related questions: everything from energy independence to sex ed to funding for children’s healthcare. You can search by office, state, or name.

Ironically, this website is also where I’ve heard for the first time who’s running against Michigan Senator Carl Levin, who is up for reelection this year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Jack Hoogendyk.

Michigan residents may or may not recognize Hoogendyk as a hard-core fundamentalist Republican and terror of my own Michigan legislative region. (I envy my best friend, who lived under the relatively benign reign of Alexander Lipsey, now a Kalamazoo County circuit court judge.) I remember Hoogendyk best as the man who stood up at my cousin’s graduation and informed us all proudly that he had defeated a bill that would have mandated the Gardasil vaccine for all female public school students entering sixth grade, “because this is a disease you only get if you are sexually promiscuous.”

In my wild liberal fantasies, of course, I stood up at that point and yelled “That is BULLSHIT and CRAP SCIENCE,” then managed a lucid and highly audible recitation of why that was bullshit and crap science before security dragged me away. In real life, though, I merely traded eyerolls with my mother and reassured my grandmother (who looked fit to yell “That is BULLSHIT” herself) in an undertone that the reason I went to law school was people like Hoogendyk. There are, after all, a dozen different ways I can explain to Hoogendyk that he is full of bullshit crap science (none of which would change his pea mind, I’m sure). There was, however, no way I could do it at that moment without forever becoming “the cousin who ruined my graduation” for my cousin and his family. Sorry, but not even telling off Jack Hoogendyk is worth that.

(I admit, I would hesitate at mandating Gardasil for all girls in public schools at this point. But I hesitate because the vaccine is prohibitively expensive ($360+ for the three-shot series), and the cost would only make obtaining a high-quality education that much harder for the very people who most need a high-quality education. I do NOT hesitate out of any sense of bullshit crap science.)

That said, I will, obviously, be voting for Levin. But I was doing that anyway. I totally less than three Carl Levin, especially since he once said something very near and dear to my heart: that Kylleen Hargrave-Thomas is spending her life in prison for a crime she very obviously did not commit; that this is a travesty of justice; and that Governor Granholm really ought to get off her ass and pardon this woman. Having met Thomas myself, and having fine-toothed her case file in multiple criminal law classes, I wholeheartedly agree.

Meanwhile, former Kalamazoo city commissioner Don Cooney is out for my dear old neighbor Fred Upton’s seat. Woohoo! Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Upton; you’re a delightful neighbor. But if I had my way, our yard would be as festooned with Democrat signs as everyone else’s. And I’m a Green!

So far, we’ve only got two ballot proposals: medical marijuana and stem cell research. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you where I, a chronic pain and nausea sufferer with a poorly-understood neuroendocrine disorder and a brand new shiny degenerative disease, stand on those.


4 Responses to “Your Candidates, My Candidates, and Science”

  1. 1 Ash

    I live in Hoogendyk’s district too. Regardless of what you think of his policies, at least he’s not a coward like all those other guys in Washington AND Lansing. Another thing I admire about him — he is respectful even toward those with whom he disagrees.

  2. 2 Dani

    Regardless of what you think of his policies, at least he’s not a coward like all those other guys

    You know, that’s a tough one. Which would I prefer, 538 “cowards” or one man who legislates based on his personal version of Jesus?

    Hey, d’you think Rep. Hoogendyk Googles himself?

  3. Stupid goddamn “No on 2” signs everywhere…grumble…I even saw one on the shoulder of I-94 near the State Street exit this morning! I immediately composed a ranty imaginary letter to the editor in which I said, “I wish people were more worried about the well-being of people that actually exist and not something that lives in a Petri dish.”

    For the record I will be voting YES on proposal 2.

  4. 4 MB

    Fred Upton has been moderate in the past but not the recent past. Anyone who knows Don Cooney should be supporting him in November!

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