Candidates Spotlight (a.k.a., Candidate Spotlights) is a special presentation put on by SWOCC Studios every election year, featuring as many candidates as can possibly be featured whose elections could in any way impact the three cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, and Novi. The special for 2010 is covered below here.
Each candidate was categorized by what they were running for, and then selected from there. Gubernatorial candidates went first, but were soon followed by candidates for Attorney General.
Three candidates for governor came on the show, even though more were invited. Rick Snyder and Virg Bernero were both fully confident that they could win the election without the aid of Oakland County, and both likewise blew off Novi and Farmington Hills. However, there was no Gerald Ford Establishment RINO Party figureheads with rich friends to put money in the election campaign of US Taxpayer's Party of Michigan candidate Stacey Mathia. She had to campaign wherever and however she could, on whatever little campaign money she could muster. The press was determined to see her lose, even if that meant pretending she didn't exist.
Also an underdog in the election was Green Party candidate Harley Mikkelson, a Democrat's Democrat. Not even Virg Bernero with the fullest of his parroting of Granholm could hold a candle to the unwavering belief in liberal politics to be mankind's savior that Mikkelson so proudly professed before audiences. What he lacked in fighting words, he tried to make up for in his kind demeanor and generous appeals.
Finally, the governor candidates section featured Ken Procter of the Libertarian Party. He came across in some respects as "Stacey Lite," but shared with her a whole shopping list's worth of criticisms against the Granholm Administration, and vowed to reverse it's perversions of government and public relationship.
Stacey Mathia of the US Taxpayers Party of Michigan jumped right into things by stating off that the first target of her campaign for governor was to do away with all the gratuitous red tape regulations passed by Jennifer Granholm and company which had been suffocating Ma and Pa shops in Michigan nearly into extinction. The Michigan Small Business Tax was, naturally, the easiest thing for her to target. But a lot of bureaucratic "fees" (hidden taxes that are not voted on by the legislature in keeping with the state's constitution) would also have been sent to the chopping block.
She didn't stop there, going on by stating that America's founders never intended to create a nanny state. Farmers in particular need to not be choked by red tape...their business is most crucial to survival. When stating that it was suicide to overregulate wasn't enough to get her point across, she pointed out that some of Granholm's policies were unconstitutional both on a state and a federal level. And yet, too many Michigan residents mindlessly allowed their rights to be taken away.
Another target she took aim at was Child Protection Services, which had abused its position and committed unlawful searches and seizures in Michigan and other states with zero accountability. She vowed that if elected, she'd make CPS accountable when it screws up. All bureaucracies require accountability, and claiming to exist "for the children" does not excuse bureaucratic recklessness. Period.
Calling the state to be aggressive about defending its liberty, she even went so far as to call the election a "deposing" of the state's current government, since Granholm and company's modus operandi "had become obstructive to the goals of defending life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Another target she pointed out was Granholm selling out to pro-abortion radicals; saying that she'd fight for unborn's rights whenever and wherever those rights were being challenged. This was immediately followed by allegations that the brokenness of education systems in Michigan was largely due to bureaucrats overstepping their bounds and exercising authority beyond their constitutional means.
Also, she argued that it is only when public schools have to compete with home schools for the best possible education offerings that public education will shape up and become efficient in the right ways to legitimately compete for quality. The current system encourages teachers, unions, principals, and other staff to be lazy about curricular quality and use the state as a bully to suffocate and eliminate any competition from the homeschool crowd that might actually pose a threat to the lazy MEA tyrants.
She finished with the following promises:
- She'd end Granholm and company's violations of the Second Amendment
- She'd devote some of her cabinet specifically towards looking for ways to make sure the Tenth Amendment is not encroached upon by Obama and company.
- She'd keep Obama from being a dictator on whether or not Michigan will fund its own Planned Parenthood branches; as well as keeping him from being a dictator to the state on any other matters.
As for topics pertaining to the economy, she was fairly silent most of the time. She did say this much: "I will never run a huge surplus. If the state is making huge profits, then taxes are too high and need to be cut."
Voters scared that Virg Bernero might actually win decided to pitch in their vote for Rick Snyder; but Stacey got the vote at Dozerfleet. She also won the vote of 0.5% of Michigan. This was an enormous feat, considering her minimal campaign funding and minimal media endorsement.
Harley came on not with the heroic fighting words of Stacey's intro, but with a simple plea: "consider me." He knew the odds would be against him from the beginning; and so the first cards he played in his round were to simply state his "qualifications" for governor. He had been a state employee working in the Education Department and two other departments, and "knew the way around government." He boasted a bachelor's degree in psychology.
He claimed that his plan was to make government bigger and bigger than it already is; to raise taxes, to "give state workers a better reputation," and to hire more government workers. He failed to explain how that would actually improve the productivity of private business in any way. He did admit that the loss of factories in Michigan was a huge issue. But he showed an unwavering belief that more government would "somehow" solve the problem. He finally made a plug for his website.
Ken came on with fighting words, but not as strong of fighting words as Stacey's. He pointed out that representative democratic power in Michigan was becoming increasingly undermined by establishment RINOs, which he argued were no better than Democrats in terms of both being merely mirror-image factions of one another each one concerned first and foremost with one having power rather than the other. Instead of voters having the major shareholds of power, each "mainstreamer" from either major party wanted to be a dictator in his own right. According to Ken, that is unacceptable.
He argued that most voters think their election is supposed to be about Democrat vs. Republican elites. But that the real purpose of elections is the right of voters to choose their own paths in life versus special interest groups making all the choices for voters. He insisted that he would make sure all Michigan residents would have real transparency to understand Michigan's budget; and could do something about it. This is a far cry from the not-so "transparency" of Obama's cabinet, where the only reason anyone knows anything is because of questionable Internet leaks.
Ken summarized his position as follows:
"Prosperity only occurs in an environment that cultivates freedom. Whenever freedom is lacking, prosperity withers like a plant without water..."
He further backed up his claim of offering transparency. Not by merely saying "it'll be transparent" like what Obama promised and then didn't deliver on, but by actually requiring every city and county in Michigan to post its budget online, and in very easy-to-find places. That way, it'd never have to be a secret to anyone except for the most willfully ignorant concerning how public money is spent.
He attacked the Michigan Business Tax, which both Stacey Mathia and Rick Snyder were also highly critical of. Clearly, only Virg Bernero and Harley Mikkelson actually liked the tax.
Daniel, a Libertarian candidate, spent most of his time stating that Granholm was bad news. He also said that her picking who gets to win and who gets to lose in the market is not only bad business and foolish, but makes everyone lose in the end. Also, it "only paves the way for corruption and cronyism." So true, so true.
He then spent most of his time preaching in what could only be construed as a scantily-clad, full-fledged assault on the infamously immoral Michigan Business Tax. No other candidates for this position came on to disagree, so it's highly likely that they knew voters would never side with someone (such as Harley Mikkelson or Virg Bernero) that actually believed in the tax.
US House - District 11
Libertarian candidate John Tatar, who looked an awful lot like Wallace Shawn did in The Princess Bride, came on to condemn "an unholy matrimony of Corporate and Bureaucratic America" that was "taking away life, liberty, and property rights with impunity." He also went on to something not as popular: opposing the war. Since this was before the death of Osama, he used that in his talking points to argue that the war was a foolish idea. He even went on to allege that American troops were being radiation poisoned due to reduced safety standards on depleted uranium weapons.
Under Obama, veteran hospitals are unable to adequately care for radiation-poisoned troops. Moreover, banks were bailed out at taxpayers' expense, with no future compensation planned. He then went along to say that the way foreclosure mills are operated violates one law after another after another, and that courts are too corrupt to intervene. He also pointed out that Congress was willing to bail out everyone and everything except for the voters that most needed to be bailed out.
Congressional figures, including Nancy Pelosi, got their worth upgraded from a few million each to about $1.5 billion each, even as jobs left the country. This is far beyond what the Constitution provides for Congress for self-promotion.
He also pointed out that not all Katrina victims' torn-apart lives were accounted for, and that the US dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power. He went on to allege that neither a Republican nor a Democrat can be trusted to solve the problem—that Republicans and Democrats alike are the problem!
John argued that the mainstream parties are like diapers, needing to be changed and removed often and for obvious reasons.
One after another after another came onto the program, all of which ranged between angry ideologues to narcissists out to prove the best about themselves and everything in-between. Hugh Crawford was a Republican running for District 38 of the Michigan Legislature. Democrat Michelle Berry gave her reasons why she believed she deserved to be the County Commissioner for District 8.
Republican Kathy Crawford decided she was the best pick for the District 9 County Commissioner. Her philosophy was one of: "It's better to be part of the solution than to only know how to complain about the problem." Other than abstract promises about limiting government, a lot of the aforementioned Libertarian candidates offered little concrete instruction on solutions. Instead, they made sure voters understood the problem. This suggests that a correct understanding of the problem is essential to drafting a solution, a point that Kathy sought to avoid in her speech. She did make a point of the fact that Novi only accepted federal and state funding for one thing-its roads. It took care of itself concerning all its other needs; and the results of that independence are obvious.
Dana Hathaway pitched her reasons for being a probate court judge, stating that she as an attorney had ensured the elderly aren't being screwed over. Kathleen Ryan also applied for the probate court. Democrat Elizabeth Bauer pitched her reasons for joining the Michigan Board of Education. Republican Richard Zeile, a doctorate writer and an LCMS member, countered with his own qualifications. He made a point of stating that he has experience with both the public and Christian day school systems, and therefore has a strong amount of respect for the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.
The Board of Trustees candidates also came on, including Amber Patterson.
The Dozerfleet founder primarily assisted in the lighting and stage setup for this piece, lending several personal library books to the background bookshelf in order to enhance the illusion. Of all the background props, the flag was nearly impossible to accurately coordinate.
Frank and Lamarr got to run camera some of the time, but also contributed heavily by way of working with audio and doing other gofer chores. Kat spent a lot of time overseeing the tech operations for this, and the graphics specialist did a lot of graphics. The overall editing process fell to Jayson Mojak, who had to turn an hour and 17 minutes of footage into something useful and watchful. End results were fairly rewarding, although staff did behind the scenes wage a bet on who would likely lose and what they would have said to contribute to losing.
Research on candidates was performed by the Dozerfleet founder, who spent a whole week finding contact information to aid Kat in her preproduction for as many candidates as would agree to come on the show whose elections were Oakland Country-relevant.
Candidates found by Dozerfleet
The Wikii channel found these candidates during the primaries to later feature in Candidates Spotlight:
This project was done with a fairly small budget, and involved a valid service of informing viewers of who they were voting for. Therefore, it ranks low by default.
Based on this rating, it is very likely that this item will remain viewed as an essential public service.
- Oakland County Elections Division official website