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Obama Lakes Plan Could Help Woo Michigan

The sun rises over Lake Erie. Downtown Cleveland, Ohio, is in the background. (Dennis Brack / The Washington Post)

By Kari Lydersen
CHICAGO -- Michigan is one watery swing state, and the Obama campaign is likely hoping his proposal Tuesday for a $5 billion Great Lakes restoration program will help some votes flow his way there and in Ohio.

Michigan borders four Great Lakes and counts on them for commercial and sport fishing, tourism and shipping. Dependence on and affection for the Great Lakes runs high there across party lines, from red-leaning, independent-minded duck hunters to blue-hued environmentalist activists. Ohio sits on Lake Erie, which -- like the other lakes -- is plagued by pollution and invasive foreign species. Great Lakes states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota are considered blue-leaning, but still could be in play come November.

"We're not in the business of handicapping elections, but the fact he put out a concrete proposal speaks volumes about the importance this region has economically and electorally," said Jordan Lubetkin, spokesman for the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, which is made up of environmental and outdoors groups.

Because support for Great Lakes protection and restoration bills in Congress has usually been unanimous, McCain and Obama have similar voting records. Obama's campaign calls him "a long-time advocate for the restoration of the Great Lakes" going back to his state Senate days.

An Obama campaign release yesterday chided McCain for voting against funding for the Asian carp barrier, a controversial and problem-plagued electric barrier meant to keep the voracious invasive fish out of Lake Michigan.

State Republican Party chairmen from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin on Tuesday issued a response to Obama's plan saying, "John McCain has made his commitment to supporting the Great Lake Compact abundantly clear. He has a long record of working in a bipartisan manner, which is exactly what is needed to bring about real reform and solutions to challenges that we need to address now. Barack Obama's solution, like we've seen before, throws taxpayer money at the problem instead of reaching across party lines and working toward a comprehensive solution."

The Great Lakes Compact, which was signed by all Great Lakes governors and passed the Senate this summer, would limit almost all water diversions outside the Great Lakes basin but does not address lakes restoration.

Obama's plan calls for full implementation of the Compact along with $5 billion in new federal funds for sewage repairs, toxic cleanups and wetlands restoration, with a focus on mercury pollution and the control and prevention of invasive species.

Great Lakes advocates applauded Obama's proposal, but pointed out it is only one quarter of the $20 billion price tag a complete restoration is expected to cost. Lubetkin notes that the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, a sweeping plan for restoration, was created by President Bush's executive order in May 2004 -- but funding was never passed to carry it out.

"Bush signed the executive order in a closely contested election year, which was worthwhile and important, but once he got elected he turned his back on it," said Lubetkin. "There will be a lot of promises made during election season, but we want to make sure both John McCain and Barack Obama carry water on their promises to the Great Lakes."

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 17, 2008; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Battlegrounds , John McCain  
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Next: White House Avoids Standard Assurance About Economy


George Will on yet another reason to vote McCain/Palin-

"Divided government compels compromises that curb each party's excesses, especially both parties' proclivities for excessive spending when unconstrained by an institution controlled by the other party. William Niskanen, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, notes that in the last 50 years, "government spending has increased an average of only 1.73 percent annually during periods of divided government. This number more than triples, to 5.26 percent, for periods of unified government."

By picking Palin, McCain got the country's attention. That is a perishable thing and before it dissipates, he should show the country his veto pen."

Posted by: Scott | September 18, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

n a few weeks we will make a choice that will decide our future.
This time the stakes are much higher then most people could imagine
I would like to point out some things You may already know with a new perspective.
I follow a economist named bob proctor who has called the top and bottom of every market crash since the 70s correctly.
He perfectly predicted the current real estate market meltdown ,and the picture he paints about what will happen in the next couple years
Is terrifying. He thinks it could get worse then the great depression.
Banks in the US are going under one after the other. Country wide the largest morgage bank in the world
Bear Stearns and Lehman brothers , and Merrill Lynch which are 3 out of the top 5 wall street firms.
And now Fanny and Freddy which hold 50 percent of the home loans in the United States.
The goverment took them over because they are essentially bankrupt.
If they didn't the entire financially system would virtually shut down, the stock market would crash
And we would suffer beyond what any of us have seen before
The future of these companies will fall into the hands of our next president
And all of our economic future depends on them reorganizing these companies right.
Lehman, Merill Lynch, and Bear Sterns have survived for over 150 years and survived even the great depression
They are important because the are the biggest engines of growth in america and
they are connected to almost everything.
The last time the real estate market numbers looked this bad was during
The great depression and real estate often leads the way into major economic recessions.
One out of 10 Americans is somewhere in the foreclosure process.
During the last 8 years the average person saw there salary drop instead
Of increase. These are all facts no one will argue with.
The truth is we are only in the start of the worst economy we have seen in our generation
and a very real possibility of another depression.
Bush just like Mcain doesn't understand the economy.
That not just my opinion its his own words. Not only does he not understand how to fix it
He does not understand exactly what is broken. Its no surprise that he doesnt. The people that make up these
securities use complex math models very few people understand.
They are basically bundles of thousand of loans some good and some bad that are then given rules based on quantitiative
math. It will take the best and brightest minds in the world to get us out of this, and the same things bush and mcain have done for the last 8 years
Have not worked so far and wont work in the future.
If you do what you have always done then you will do get what you have always __________
90 percent of the time they have voted the same.
Please don't just take my word for it Start to read up on some of this yourself. MSN money, elliot wave and, bloomberg
Have tons of articles That prove we are in the heading into one of the worst economies any one has ever seen.
So why are the polls even close then ?
The chairman of mcains campaign recently said that people don't vote on issues
they vote on a personality composite which means. He is trying to sell personality instead
of results.
He believes people will vote against there own self interests.
Lets teach him we are smarter then that and elect the ticket that can
bring us back from the brink of a economic abyss.
If you think i am kidding do your own home work you will find
We are at the start of this mess not the end.
Mcain admits in the year 2008 he cannot use a computer even to send email
Its almost impossible then he will understand the complex securities such as cdos that are destroying wall street
and the home values on your street.
We are not bulletproof america it time to wake up and hold these people accountable.
How many people that you go out and have drinks with would you really want running the country?
Lets stand up and fight for our country now while it will still make a difference
Lets elect Obama Biden 08
Mccain straight out lied in his convention speech when he said that he would lower taxes for the common man while Obama would raise the taxes. Yes! Obama will raise taxes but not for the common man but for the wealthiest top 5% of the American people in which Mccain is included. And by the way political analysts agree that Obama's tax policy is more beneficial for the common man because he is going to decrease taxes for 95% of Americans which has to include the common man because a common man is not 5% of the American population.
!!!!!!!The Truth is Mccain lies and deceives voters like in his convention speech where he presented the incomplete truth about his policies.!!!!!1
By the Way Grant was also a military hero who won because of his character. And his term was full of corruption. Why?
it is because he had no clue about wat the common man experiences just like MCcain and Palin. Well for all of u who claim that Obama is too young and inexperienced and young to be president. Guess wat? Mccain is too old to be president and fighting as a soldier is different from commanding a whole country's army and handling the economy (which does not only depend on the fundamentals (workers) but on the policies of the president for investors to invest in a crashing economy)and Palin is the worst possible VP candidate because she has no foreign policy experience which is needed in diplomatic relationships with other nations which the VP is responsible for. And being incharge of the Alaskan National Guard which had no crisis to face is not a qualification to be 2nd to commander in chief.
Obama on the other hand is willing to go against issues because of his minimal exposure to the corruption in washington.
For example, he opposed the War in Iraq which mccain supported just because the oil prices would go up leading to more profits for people like Bush and others in washington who own an oil drilling facility.
Mccain is just like Bush who deceived the public and charged into the War in Iraq (very similar to Vietnam war which had no reason but destroyed that country). Mccain lied to the public in his convention speech on his and Obama's tax policy for the common man.
And Bidden is a very good choice for VP because the VP is supposed to be the invisible leader of the Senate and maintain diplomatic relationships with foreign countries( Bidden was in the senate in charge of Foreign policy)
i say Mccain would be a good VP candidate because of his foriegn policy experience and long time in the Senate but asking him to be president is going too far. Having good character does not mean he is right on policies ( especially regarding the economy and the common man).
Go Obama and Bidden the better qualified ticket for the Presidency and the VP.

Posted by: Obama ticket is better qualified | September 17, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Fight fascism, vote Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Obama and you will have DESTROYED Hilary's chance at becoming President!!

Consider this:
If you elect Obama for 2008 , Hillary CAN'T RUN IN 2012!! The incumbent always runs for their party in reelection.

Hillary will then be 69 when she gets a chance to run as democrat. Then people will call her old(like they do McCain who is 72) and she will NEVER become President.

Reagan was 69 when he got elected but he wasn't trying to break the glass ceiling at the same time.

So if you care at all about Hillary, you will VOTE AGAINST Obama this time around. Plus, you will break the glass ceiling and Hillary WILL BE THERE in 2012!!

Think about it!! It makes sense!!

If you support Hillary, YOU MUST VOTE AGAINST OBAMA!!!

Posted by: Eric | September 17, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Sure thing Barack, and you're going to tax the heck out of GM, Ford, Chrysler, all their suppliers, dealers, and every other large and medium company to pay for it, while possibly putting millions of more workers in the unemployment line, more foreclosures, more failed banks, etc. Cleaning up the lakes is a noble effort but you need to get your priorities right!

The U.S. already leads the world in high corporate taxes with an average combined federal and state corporate tax rate of 39.3% (Yup, I said 40 percent) and it's because their taxes are already so outrageously high that they need to find tax loopholes, like moving jobs and manufacturing overseas. Raising their taxes even more, IS NOT going to help them be competitive with the world!!

Posted by: Ruth | September 17, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama is on the campaign trail talking about how his "change" will "change the croanies" ?

He must mean the $125,000 and some "change" he was given by Fannie Mae to vote to ease lending guidelines and then added to the biggest bank/mortgage failure ever. Or does he mean his "croanie" that was the CEO of Fannie Mae that HE put in charge of picking his VP?

Or he may mean the lot and some $100,000 and some "change" he was given by the convicted felon Rezko.

Or maybe he means the "change" WE need in his pal and croanie, the DEMOCRAT Senator from CT, Chris Dodd, that took $135,000 from Fannie Mae while he was HEAD of the BANKING COMMITTEE!

Hey Obama,
You really want some "Change"?
Here is a quarter, call someone that truly trusts you.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Looking back at history, McCain appears to be Herbert Hoover incarnation! With the economy in a cliffhanger, McCain proclaimed yesterday that “the economic fundamentals are strong” and boosted his anti-regulation credentials before he backpedaled, of course. McCain is clearly out of touch with reality, if thinks “fundamentals are strong” in the middle of this economic meltdown. You have Alan Greenspan, probably the person most identifiable economist to the common American, admit that this is a ONE IN A CENTURY EVENT, and is the worst he's ever seen it. You have the collapse of the real estate market, where the majority of Americans have their wealth and retirement tied up in. You have large investment banks and giant securities failing one after the other, and John McCain thinks the economic fundamentals are strong”! WTF!

Herbert Hoover who was president during great depression (1929) which lasted over 10 years was the first to assert the soundness of the economy, even as it was evaporating around him. Unemployment soared to 25%, banks were failing left to right, millions had life savings wiped out overnight. (Does any of this sound familiar, folks?)…Despite McCain wishful assessment, we are absolutely in a very difficult period and more than any other time, we need someone that understands the gravity of the economy. Steady hand that can bring about a viable and equitable change. We can’t afford another Hoover and definitely not McCain/Palin at the WH, dumb and dumber, when we need our smartest people to guide this economic ship to safety.

Posted by: John HOOVER McSame | September 17, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Who knew the Great Lakes were polluted. I didn't.

Don't expect the GOP, other than those who live there and depend on them, to even acknowledge that the lakes are dirty.

That is an "earmark" that Michigan SHOULD have asked for considering at some point in time, all American's will benefit in some way or fashion from the Great Lakes, even if it is from a tourist perspective.

That is not a "Bridge to Nowhere" funging that Alaska accepted, before they rejected it, then accepted it again (the cash anyway).

Posted by: Ward6ForNow | September 17, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if it is true that the actual candidate that bumps off mutual opponent will win in November regardless of issues and poll numbers?

Apparently the mutual opponent is wealthy and exposed corruption within both parties and is presently targeted.

The question is how?

Will the GOP use Guiliani-like mob ties such as used by his protege, ex-NYPD commissioner and may be doing up to 140 years of jail time? Or Gotti, Jr. who is currently on trial for conspiracy and murder?

Will Dem use an OJ Simpson-like black convict with jail time? Coincidentally, OJ's trial with robbery and kidnapping is today too.

Will both political parties use the popular law enforcement practice of 'sweetheart exchange deals' where convicts commit crime/murder in exchange for less jail time, conveniently covered up and real culprits not publicly suspected?

Having shared this information, do we too have to worry about our personal safety? For example, does my husband have to worry about his life when he is doing his daily jog after work in the Hackensack/Bogota/Teaneck, NJ areas? Do we have to worry about the tampering of our food, water and air inside our home since our habits and plans are known in advanced due to bugging devices in private and public?

What do you think?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener | September 17, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: JACK | September 17, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Michigan. Go to the Detroit Free Press to see real coverage of this plan. Most see it as over-the-top pandering, and the conservative democrats in Macomb county automatically asked, "who's paying for it?"

Posted by: Kate | September 17, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, detailed, concrete proposals, rational's sounding like 'good and effective" government instead of "let the Corporations have their way" ideology.

48 hours ago, McCain was against the bail-out of AIG, today he's for it. By his own admission, he doesn't know much about economics. His advisers are right-wing ideologues who say everything is fine and people are just whiners.

America can't afford any more years of ideological jingoism.

No More Years!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 17, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If no other external events outside of the economy come into play between now and Nov. 4th, I predict Obama/Biden win in a landslide over McCain/Palin.

I'm with you JACK....

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | September 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: JACK | September 17, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: JACK | September 17, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Long Live the New Union of Socialist Republicans!!!

Welcome news comrades! We the People are now We the Owners. The People's Insurance Company, formerly known as AIG, was saved for the time being from the forces of capitalism by the new Union of Republican Socialists, formerly known as the GOP. Somewhere in the great beyond, the ghost of Karl Marx is grinning while the spirit of Adam Smith forks over the one dollar bet with an invisible hand:

"In a move aimed at averting a new global economic shock, the US Federal Reserve agreed an unprecedented 85-billion-dollar rescue loan for American International Group. The deal, sealed late Tuesday, saved AIG from collapse and gave the US government a 79.9 percent stake in the insurance behemoth."

Now that the People own a major insurance company, it's fair to ask how the People's Insurance Company, along with the People's Mortgage Companies and the People's Investment Banks, will benefit the People who Own them. Can we expect lower premiums, equity sharing, and corporate perks for our hundreds of billions of dollars? Should we start checking our mailbox for dividend checks? Who gets paid first, claimants, bondholders, stockholders, or we the new taxpayer owners?

We the Owners, want to know, and the Union of Socialist Republicans better damn well tell us, fast.

Posted by: McCain/Palin = FAIL! | September 17, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

In recent weeks, John McCain and the Republican Party have blatantly and without any shame adopted the Democratic campaign theme of “change”. It should be evident to an objective observer that Bush 43 and now McCain and Pailin are mere puppets to the true Republican national party leaders who control their strings. Cheney is one of the few of that inner cabal that have been calling the shots since the Nixon administration. They are in fact a continuation of the Nixon and Ford presidencies with only a disruption during the Carter and Clinton years. Bush 41( Head of the RNC during Nixon, former head of the CIA,VP to Reagan, and president is probably the real leader of this political Cosa Nostra if not a equal partner of this power sharing musical chairs game. His right and left hands have been Dick Cheney(former Sec.of Defense of Bush 41, former White House Chief of staff for Ford) and the other is Donald Rumsfeld(former Sec. of Defense for Ford and Bush 43,former special envoy to the Middle East during Reagan). Another member of this group, more likely a captain if not a full blown boss himself is James Baker (former C.O.S of Reagan, former Under Sec. of Commerce for Ford, former C.O.S and Sec of State for Bush 41, former Sec. of Treasury for Reagan, former chief legal advisor to Bush 43). Another captain or free lance enforcer is Karl Rove a college drop out and campaign manager for both Bush 41 and 43, also for Phil Gram who is McCain’s economic advisor.
Lets look at McCain’s staff of change.
On July 2, 2008, Steve Schmidt was given "full operational control" of McCain's campaign. Steve Schmidt prior to this was a top aide to Dick Cheney and a protégé to Karl Rove. Another advisor is Charles R. Black worked for Ronald Reagan's two Presidential campaigns in 1976 and 1980 and he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 re-election campaign of George H.W. Bush. Another advisor is Randy Scheunemann. He was project director for the Project for the New American Century. A neo-conservative think tank founded by non other than Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Bill Kristol and others in 1996. Other signatories to this group reads like a who’s who of the last 8 years of the republican administration.
These people have never cared about small town america or “values” All they care about is war profiteering. Many of the signatories have never served in the military. Cheney and Rove both dodged the draft. Look at the statement of principles by the PNAC. Rumsfeld was a good friend of Saddam Huessin in the 80’s Cheney didn’t want Nelson Mandela free. These are the real puppet masters, they throw out the talking points about the left of being elitist and not caring about middle america and these same guys other than Rove have advanced degrees and are worth no less than 10 million dollars. People who support them need to extricate their heads out of Limbaugh and Hannity’s asses and see what is really happening to them. McCain is not his own man he confuses stories of his real life with a book he read “The Gulag Archipelago", in which a fellow prisoner - not a guard - silently drew a cross in the dirt with a stick.” An ironic twist to all this is Eliot A. Cohen, a signatory to the PNAC "Statement of Principles", responded in The Washington Post: "There is no evidence that generals as a class make wiser national security policymakers than civilians. George C. Marshall, our greatest soldier statesman after George Washington, opposed shipping arms to Britain in 1940. His boss, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with nary a day in uniform, thought otherwise. Whose judgment looks better?" Even if you don’t like Obama there is no-way a sane person can want this continued blatant fleecing of our Nation.
Thes are all verifiable facts and can be found just with a google searches.
Other than the ultra affluent, how can anyone support the Republican Party? When will small town America realize that they are being duped into supporting the ultra-affluent agenda? The talking points of the right are so hypocritical that it becomes laughable. The red meat of the right is the so called Main stream Media as if Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. are not part of it. They demean celebrity status, however they tout one of their greatest presidents(Reagan) was an actor. They say they are the party of patriotism, yet many of the upper echelon of the party have never served, i.e. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Baker, Reagan. They say that they care about "Main Street" USA but only bail out the Whales of Wall Street. Yet small town America eat this tripe every year. They don't care about religion unless it can be used to stir up the base, nor science or technology unless there is a buck to be made. Small town America takes pride on its freedom but yet don't realize that over time we are becoming less free, ie wire tapping and other forms of domestic surveillance. They demean people of intelligence because they know many people of small town America don't have degrees and use it at a fake issue and call people who spent time in academia as elitist when many on the right serve on university boards and have part-time professorships. They say they are against affirmitive action but yet celebrate mediocrity, Bush43 and McCain graduating at the bottom of their classes. Who both came from already well established families and had all the opportunities and connections to excel. Why does small town America believes this is the party for them? Christian conservatives seem to the be the first ones who want to go to war and bomb someone before any diplomacy is tried. Why can't small town America and Christian conservatives realize they are being used as pawns just as much the Islamic fundamentalist are. Islamic fundamentalist come from small town Middle East and given the same kind of talking points as the evangelicals. They want prayer in school, no choice available to women, and believe to the core that their ideas about worship and country are the best. Wake up small town America you are being duped.
Talking about who is more patriotic, symbols, lipstick and wearing pins are nothing more than distractions to the real issue of how a few select group of people have held power almost continuously for over 30 years. Yes the left has their own political power groups but none have been so effective at pushing forward an agenda that is fundamentally bad for the U.S. and in a larger view the entire world. I stress again the now defunct PNAC and the AIPAC have been slowly pushing us closer to another World War. Bush41 and et al have been doing this and no one calls them on it. Every Republican administration has basically the same people recycled since Nixon. Just do a little research and you will see that these people are just pushing this agenda of some kind of Pax Americana and not taking into account that maybe other nations of the world might not like that and if not bomb them.
Many people who support the Republican party, really need to read "1984" by George Orwell and see how we as nation have been inching closer to that type of society. People think this story is about a communist society, but it is more about how a society is kept in a constant state of fear in order for the ruling class to stay in control. Doublespeak, patriotism to the point of frenzy, censorship, erosion of civil liberties (not respecting the Constitution) is happening right in front of us. The consolidation of government (the executive branch has never been more powerful than ever, gridlocked legislature with only two parties for representation, a judiciary that just kowtows to the executive branch). No real independent journalism. Cameras placed on every street corner. This may sound like delusional conspiracy stuff, but I implore people to research for themselves to really see what is happening to them. People think this could never happen here in the U.S. but all this has already happening, slowly, incrementally all under the guise of "keeping America safe"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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