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January 31, 2010

By Dave Phillips of the Oakland Press
Pontiac, Michigan


Protest Permeates Rep. Gary Peters' precinct

Going door-to-door in the neighborhood of U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, organizers said a group of about 60 people handed out information and protested Peters’ stance on multiple issues Saturday morning.

Organized by Glenn Clark, chairman of the 9th congressional district for the Republican Party, the event also featured a speech from former state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk.

“It’s really good to see the growing interest in recognizing the government is out of control,” Huntington Woods resident Steve Zimberg — who described himself as an independent voter — said during the event.

“We need to reduce the size of government, we need to control mega-corporations, and we need to have three separate divisions of government. Lawyers have taken over.”

Zimberg said the No. 1 goal of the country should be to “stop the entitlements.”

“Creating jobs should not be the No. 1 issue if they think we’re gonna fund it all,” he said. “Everyone who is entitled to something cannot continue to get handouts. If the government is gonna spend that money, they’ve got to (use it on) services that everybody wants.”

Zimberg added that corporations should not be able to donate to political campaigns or to pay lobbyists.

“Those companies are controlled by one guy, and that’s the chairman,” Zimberg said. “An individual can’t compete with those guys.

“If they want to give to pure charity, fine, but not for lobbyists and politicians,” he said.

Clark said the protesters were concerned that their health care options would be taken away if current legislation passes.

“(The protesters are not) some wild-eyed, rabid Republicans,” Clark said. “We have a new message here. We want everyone to know how bad this (health care) bill is and how badly their representation has been misrepresenting them in Washington.”

Peters’ communications director, Cullen Schwarz, said Peters “has always been committed to finding bipartisan solutions to lower health care costs for families, seniors and small businesses.”

“At this point, it’s unclear whether or not another form of health care legislation will come before the house, but if so, congressman Peters will thoroughly review it before deciding how to vote,” Schwarz said.

Clark accused Peters of misrepresenting his constituents and of voting along party lines.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that people will rise up and vote him out of office,” Clark said.

Schwarz disagreed with those accusations.

“Congressman Peters remains focused on fighting for jobs, middle class tax cuts and reducing the deficit, not partisan politics,” Schwarz said.

“This is a protest staged by the Republican Party,” Schwarz said. “This is the same small group of Republicans who protested a few weeks ago at our office and now at Congressman Peters’ home.”

Schwarz said protesters stopped at Peters’ home Saturday, where they left “anti-Gary Peters literature.”

Clark said the protests included “kind of a collage of people,” including “pieces and parts of the old Reagan coalition.”

“We have won the hearts and minds of independent voters,” Clark said. “We have won over conservative Democrats which are very important. These people are all coming out in huge measure.”

Contact Dave Phillips at 248-745-4631 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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