Archived Story

O’Brien ‘taking it’ to Upton

Published 8:48pm Monday, September 17, 2012


U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s “No More Solyndras Act” and desire for a “Keystone economy” amount to “political pandering,” Douglas Democratic challenger Mike O’Brien said Friday.

H.R. 6213 cleared the House 245-161, but the Senate will not take it up.

Congressional candidate Mike O'Brien

Upton, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote in the Sept. 14 Washington Times, “These two energy projects tell a dramatic, yet revealing story, that explains our slow economic recovery, our burgeoning federal debt and our over-reliance on Middle Eastern oil.”

“Why does he spend so much time on those two with so many other pressing issues?” O’Brien asked. “At the end of the day, (the proposed pipeline carrying tar sands from Canada), that processed oil goes on a barge to the highest bidder in Europe or China.”

O’Brien works in Holland for Herman Miller, where he leads the development and commercialization of new product designs for the furniture manufacturer. As a young man, O’Brien served in Marine Corps reconnaissance.

Later, O’Brien developed and led the real estate department of the trucking company USF Holland while growing a family farming business in Fennville and Holland.

O’Brien and his wife, Teresa, have a 10-year-old daughter, Rose.

“We look forward to taking it to him,” O’Brien said. “The choice voters in southwest Michigan have for Congress gets clearer by the day. Fred Upton has voted for and endorses the Ryan budget plan that would gut Medicare, raise the retirement age and nearly double health care costs for future retirees. I want voters to know that in Congress I’ll oppose anyone who wants to pay for tax breaks for the rich by putting the load on the backs of seniors. It’s wrong, and it’s why Fred Upton should not be re-elected.

“Fred Upton’s support of the Ryan budget is another example of how he’s lost his way back home. Upton has been in Washington, D.C., for so long that he can no longer relate to the issues seniors are facing here in Michigan. Upton’s blind desire to please the party bosses in Congress has made him lose touch with the 6th District.

“I believe that if you worked hard, paid your dues and paid into Medicare, Congress needs to protect it — not eliminate it. It’s time to send someone to Congress who will honestly represent all of Michigan’s seniors, and not pick and choose winners. The people of this district deserve someone who can break through the gridlock instead of walking in lockstep with partisan politics.”


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  • Paul Rifenberg

    The “Ryan Plan” does not gut Medicare. Our reality is that the trustees of Medicare have informed us that unless changes are made…it will go broke in 2024, and THAT will “end Medicare as we know it.” The Ryan plan seeks to salvage it. It doesn’t affect anyone under the current age of 55, and even those younger than that can still access traditional Medicare when they get there. It is irresponsible to say you’re not doing to do anything, because that’s the same as saying “it’s okay with me if it goes broke in twelve years.”

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