"As an Eaton County Commissioner, Theresa Abed is supposed to protect our tax dollars. But Theresa Abed voted to provide free lifetime health insurance to career politicians in Eaton County."
Theresa Abed is the Democratic candidate for the 71st seat in the Michigan House of Representatives, running against Republican Deb Shaughnessy. The flier references a 2008 vote on a resolution the Eaton County Commission made. The problem is, Ms. Abed and all the other county commissioners, Republican and Democrat, DID protect the taxpayers because the resolution cut county commissioners pay by 5 percent. That was the main thrust of the resolution, and it passed unanimously.
The flier is technically accurate because the resolution included all other provisions of commissioner compensation, and that included a provision that commissioners who have served 25 years on the county board are eligible for health insurance at the county's cost. The problem is that provision was not new, it had been on the books in Eaton County since 1998. According to county officials only two former commissioners have qualified for the provision, and they expect almost no other commissioners would qualify since it would mean winning 13 elections to the commission.
"If we elect Theresa Abed, will she simply be another vote for the liberal Obama/Granholm/Bernero policies of overspending and higher taxes? In Lansing, liberals voted to give state workers unlimited benefits for a lifetime."
Why what the U.S. or Michigan House of Representatives did in March 2009 is relevant to the current campaign is not made plain in the flier. Neither candidate was in either chamber at the time; neither voted on the issues. Nor does the flier pose the issue as a question to Ms. Abed, so it fails to provide direct relevance to the campaign.
But the flier implies that it is now state law that state workers are guaranteed "unlimited benefits for a lifetime" and that is false.
The House did vote on a party-line basis for HB 4073 in March 2009 that included a section that did guarantee contractual rights to retirement health insurance. BUT, that section was stripped from the bill before it became law, PA 77, 2010. In fact, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop made a statement on the Senate floor stating that that provision had been eliminated and that new language was inserted in the bill to ensure that "does not in any way guarantee health care benefits in the future."
The flier clearly intends to inflame the voter by suggesting intent in the county commission vote that was not the intent of the commission at all, and by selectively misleading by giving the impression that the county commission created a new policy on health care benefits, when the policy was actually 10 years old. In addition, it brings into the race something that is not part of the campaign, by bringing up the state House vote, and then leaves a false impression that the vote put something into law, which is not the case.
TRUTH SQUAD CALL:
Foul for giving voters incomplete, incorrect and misleading information about Abed's record and the actual votes of the Eaton County Board of Commissioners and Michigan Legislature.