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September 05, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-05

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 2002-- 5A

Blank check

Posthumus, Granholm plan
only one concurring debate

By Jordan Schrader
Daily Staff Reporter
While Michigan's gubernatorial can-
didates both have said they want to
debate several times, the lack of overlap
in their schedules indicates they may
face off at only one televised event.
Republican Lt. Gov. Dick Posthu-
mus's campaign announced yesterday he
will attend nine televised debates before
the Nov. 5 election, but only one of them
is also on Attorney General Jennifer
Granholm's schedule.
Campaign officials for Granholm, a
Democrat, said Tuesday she will debate
on television twice, in Grand Rapids and
Saginaw, and at one non-televised event

in Detroit.
Posthumus' list
includes the Grand
Rapids debate, in
which Granholm
agreed to partici-
pate at 7 p.m. Oct.
7, but they differed
on the date of the,
Saginaw forum.
Posthumus The campaigns
were in negotiations
to work out debate schedules until yes-
terday, and spokespeople offered differ-
ing reasons as to why the lists are so
widely different after the talks.
"What we could not get them to
agree on at the negotiating table was (a

televised debate)
in Detroit ... or
statewide," Posthu-
mus campaign
manager Katie
Packer said.
"We weren't
willing to sit back
and say 'This is
enough for us.' ... I
don't think it's fair
to the voters of the
state."
Granholm spokesman Chris De Witt
had a different story for what put an end
to bargaining.
"They broke off negotiations," he
said. "They didn't want to work it out so

we said, 'OK, these are the debates
we're doing."'
He said the campaign's proposal to
limit debates to three is not unusual, as
the last three gubernatorial elections had
the same number or less.
The dates are final and not open to
more negotiation, De Witt said.
"I think (Posthumus) will be at
all of them. I would be very sur-
prised if he's not."
Posthumus's schedule includes
Detroit, Southfield, Saginaw, Flint, Tra-
verse City and Lansing.
Packer said the lieutenant gover-
nor also plans to be at the untele-
vised Detroit debate on Granholm's
schedule.

Incumbent state House candidate
faces tough match for reelection

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
LSA freshmen Elizabeth Vink, left, and Valerie Johns sign up for
hockey tickets at the Michigan Ticket Office.
Detroit CityC ouncil
-member dies after
undergoing surgery

By Louie Meizlish
Daily Staff Reporter

DETROIT (AP) - City Council-
woman Brenda Scott died from a severe
infection in her stomach, three days after
having stomach-reduction surgery, an
autopsy report indicated.
The medical examiner classified
Scott's death Monday as accidental,
caused by a condition called peritonitis,
administrator Steve Brown told The
Detroit News.
Peritonitis is an infection of the
abdominal lining, often caused by surgi-
cal mishap.
Last Friday, the 47-year-old Scott
underwent the LAP-BAND System pro-,
cedure to restrict the size of her stomach
at Port Huron Hospital.
She left the hospital Saturday morn-
ing. By Sunday night, she complained of
abdominal pain and was taken to Detroit
Receiving Hospital. She died Monday
morning.
Scott's family declined to comment
on her death, but according to a news
release from Geoffrey Fieger, they

retained the Southfield lawyer "to bring
appropriate legal proceedings against
those responsible for her untimely
death."
"I don't think there's any question the
operation was performed negligently,
and she was sent home improperly with-
out being stabilized," Fieger told the
Detroit Free Press. "Her life could have
been saved."
"From what we've looked at our case
here, we have no reason to believe that
the medical care here was related" to her
death, said Kevin Sullivan, medical
director at Port Huron Hospital.
Sullivan said he had not seen the
medical examiner's report or heard from
Fieger. He said hospital officials would
cooperate with any investigation.
The LAP-BAND System was
approved last summer by the federal
Food and Drug Administration for treat-
ment of severe obesity. Patients must be
at least 100 pounds overweight to be
candidates.

Incumbents in state House
races can usually expect to
coast to reelection. But that is
not the case for Rep. Gene
DeRossett.
DeRossett, a Republican {
from Washtenaw County's
Manchester Township, saw his
hometown and other areas in
his current district merged with
parts of a predominantly
Democratic district. DeRossett DeRossett
is now seen as one of the most
vulnerable incumbents seeking:
reelection to the House.
"I've been out knocking on v
doors for some time now," he
said. "The issues are the
same, but I have to get to
know people in a district that
has changed drastically."7
He is currently the repre-
sentative for the predominant-
ly-Republican 55th District, Byrnes
but his new district - the 52nd - has many
more Democratic voters since being redrawn to

include the northern part of Ann Arbor, includ-
ing North Campus, and other Democratic-lean-
ing areas. That change gives Democrats the hope
of gaining a seat in the Republican controlled
House.
His challenger is Pam Byrnes, an attorney and
Washtenaw County road commissioner from
Chelsea, who hopes to deny DeRossett a third
and final term in the state House.
"He's basically gone ... lockstep with the
Republican agenda," she said. "On social issues I
would prefer that we prioritize education and
early childhood education, and he has voted to
not fund these programs."
A mostly conservative - fiscally and socially
- lawmaker, DeRossett stresses property rights,
land use and economic development as his core
issues.
"I don't think we need more and more govern-
ment and I don't adhere to government being the
cure-all," he said. "I don't think we should have to
call in on a daily basis to find out what the regula-
tions have changed to."
He opposes abortion, while his opponent does
not. She believes the scheduled one-tenth of a
percent reduction in the state income tax should
be put on hold, but he is not so sure.
DeRossett wants to know more about the state
of the economy before the Legislature recon-

venes Sept. 17. "I was elected to be fiscally
responsible and I think my record speaks for
itself."
He said during his last term he wants the state
to develop a uniform system of septic tank
inspection and a uniform construction code.
He chairs the House Agriculture and Resource
Management Committee and said the state needs
to improve regional planning systems. And, he
said, agricultural areas should not be taxed based
on size, but based on use.
But Byrnes said DeRossett is too conservative
for his new district.
She also said his land use policy is tilted
toward land developers, considering that he is
one of them.
Byrnes supports giving the state resources to
purchase development rights from farmers so
that the farms cannot later be converted to com-
mercial or residential use.
And, she said he erred in sponsoring the bill that
would allow motorcyclists to no longer wear helmets,
as they are currently required to do. That bill passed
the House but the Senate has yet to vote on it.
"We need to look at the fact that increased
accidents and non-use of helmets is borne by all
automobile owners," because the cost of funding
the state's catastrophic fund for accidents soars if
there are more head injuries, she said.

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