McMillin, VanRaaphorst Will Debate Issues Wednesday Night

They are vying for the 45th District House seat that represents Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township.

The League of Women Voters Oakland Area is sponsoring a candidate forum for State Representative for the 45th District at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the Rochester Hills City Hall.

Anyone can attend the public forum, which will also be broadcast live on Rochester Hills Television. Members of the audience will have the entire hour to ask the candidates questions. 

McMillin is seeking his third term in office; he is a certified public accountant and a former Oakland County Commissioner. He lives in Rochester Hills.

VanRaaphorst, a Democrat, is seeking her first public office; she is a businesswoman and community volunteer. She lives in Oakland Township.  

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization with membership open to anyone 18 years of age or older who would like to participate in hands-on work to encourage active and informed participation by citizens in government. For information, call 248-594-6602 or see www.LWVOA.org or visit the organization on Facebook.

Erin October 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Mike - who's the local fringe group? Everyone I know thinks McMillin represents the fringe.
Dan Welch October 01, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The more people who learn about McMillin in this community the less of the chance he will win. He has skated by because he has an R next to his name. A real R wouldn't raise taxes on seniors. I will ask him about raising taxes on seniors when he pledged never to raise taxes and his personal holdings in for profit charter operations.
Diane Young October 01, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I am sure they can discuss legislation Mr. McMillin has supported- like Light Bulb Bill, Barber Bills, Covenant Marriage Bills, Personhood Bills, as well as opposing Autism Bills, voted against texting and driving, voted for fireworks expansion, voted to silence women legislators on a women's health bill, and let's not forget he declined as the head of the Ethics committee to look into the election irregularities of Jase Bolger.
Ivy October 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Bad timing! The presidential debate is Wednesday.
Erin October 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Ivy - yes, I will tape one or the other. Channel 20 for the local debate
Will Hanson October 01, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I believe the Presidential debates don't start until 9:00 PM.
Kristen Famiano October 01, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Mike...When you say legitimate....is it the Todd Akin kind? That's pretty fringe and McMillin agrees with him.
Kristin Bull (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 04:42 PM
The Romney-Obama debate is from 9 to 10:30. This local debate should last one hour.
Mike Reno October 01, 2012 at 06:55 PM
This would be a legit discussion... does VanRaaphorst agree this was a good idea? (posted this earlier, but it somehow disappeared). Tax rate drop for all Michigan citizens Today, October 1st, the state income tax rate for all Michigan citizens drops from 4.35% to 4.25%. Earlier this year, as part of the budget deal for 2012/2013 fiscal year, I was one of the leading advocates for this early tax cut (by law, the tax reduction was scheduled for 1/1/13). Instead of finding ways to spend $90 million - we decided to let Michigan citizens keep it, through this early tax cut - no doubt you know better how to spend it than Lansing would.
Mike Reno October 01, 2012 at 08:24 PM
By the ways, I neglected to mention in the repost that the quote was from Tom's most recent newsletter. He really does a great job of regularly communicating with residents of the 45th district.
Eve Ts October 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Where are the jobs Tom?
Kristen Famiano October 02, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I will tell you I feel greatly disrespected by Tom McMillin. Not only has he voted for legislation that has been deemed unconstitutional and upheld in the Court of Appeals, but he regularly makes comments that demeans citizens. I am a woman and a Christian who does not fall in the GLBT demographic. His statements about the GLBT members of the community are disgraceful. He has gone up against the Middle-Eastern Representatives in other communities on local television. He has voted against certain protections, because, in his eyes, Christianity is under attack. Let me tell you...I grew up in a community where I was a minority as a Christian, and I've never felt judged there as a child or in Rochester as an adult. People are getting jumped and beat up in other parts of the state.
Kristen Famiano October 02, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I love diversity, and there is diversity in this district. I have been blown away by the sense of community in the 10 years I have lived in Rochester. There is bias in every community regardless of how wonderful it may be overall. I do not tolerate this from my State Representative. I expect him to vote differently from how I would like on various issues like education and women's reproductive rights. I believe we can have differences of opinion without judgement. I respect Tom McMillin's right to have different beliefs from mine, but I do not like his judgmental statements of others, when he is representing our community. My high school coaches taught me that when we wore the uniform with our school name, we were representing the entire community. When Tom McMillin speaks with the title of State Representative from Rochester Hills, he needs to be much more thoughtful in his representation of our community. Jobs are important, but integrity is fundamental. I am ready for a new representative!
Marianne Maurer October 02, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Mike, "The interesting question will be whether the debate will be about legitimate issues that affect us all, like jobs, schools, and taxes, or whether the debate will instead be co-opted by this local fringe group trying to further their divisive social wedge issues." In 4th grade this would be identified as a bullying statement. In other words a stab at trying to intimidate the League and Kristin Bull and the questions that are put forth to the candidates. Interesting approach but getting old, easy way to defend a poor showing by a candidate if they don't perform well. I am a member of the "fringe" you refer too, and am strong in my conviction that we need a change. The people I have met over the last year are dedicated to getting fair representation for the citizens of this district. Jobs, budget, taxes,autism, bullying,schools, and equal rights for all are our concerns. Joanna is working daily to meet with and listen, really listen to the citizens of the district she would represent. That is the sign of a good communicator, listening, asking questions, and answering them also. Showing up and picking and choosing what you will answer is not a good communicator. As for taxes, I will pay more state tax this year on same income, again not the whole story. Kristin is correct in stating we need more thoughtful representation and integrity is important. Joanna can bring that back to our district at both the state and local level.
Bruce Fealk October 02, 2012 at 08:48 AM
Actually, Ivy, you should be able to do both. The Van Raaphorst/McVader debate ends at 8:30 and the Presidential debate isn't until 9 p.m.
Bruce Fealk October 02, 2012 at 08:53 AM
Mike, I got a good laugh when I read your first comment, "The interesting question will be whether the debate will be about legitimate issues that affect us all, like jobs, schools, and taxes, or whether the debate will instead be co-opted by this local fringe group trying to further their divisive social wedge issues." The right-wing has used "social wedge issues" for decades to get their followers to the polls, gay marriage, abortion, etc. When people stand up for the civil rights of the LGBT community all of a sudden we're the "fringe." Give me a break.
Robert Gauthier October 02, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Mike Reno = The problem
Jo Nielson October 02, 2012 at 02:57 PM
When only 7 people show up at the city council meeting in RH to prove to the rest of us that LGBT civil rights are being violated, it's kind of obvious that this isn't a divisive issue for the majority of people who live in our community and could, legitimately, be classified as a fringe. 7 people out of how many who live in the city????? I mean, that's not even a single percentage (1%) of voters in the whole city. Now, if the numbers increased and it wasn't all the same people at the meetings month after month, I could be persuaded to reconsider labeling it as "fringe." Sadly, it's really the fringes of both parties that want to sit there and dictate these sorts of things to the rest of us. There's plenty of blame to go around for both parties on these things. A lot of Dems want to force everyone be just as open-minded and tolerant as they are and a lot of Reps want to force everyone to into sharing their morals and become as righteous as they think they are.....and neither can figure out why so many people are deciding to declare themselves independent of both. Most people are really somewhere in the middle when it comes these issues. Most people aren't tolerant of discrimination, but there's a disconnect between those who say that this is this "huge" problem and the average citizen - who doesn't attend city council meetings and barely registers that Rochester/Rochester Hills are actually two different cities.
Robert Gauthier October 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Jo, why don't you come out and speak your mind to City Council? Are civil rights important to you or not that big of a deal because your a straight, white woman? Maybe more people want to speak but are afraid to? Did you know most of the "fringe" fighting for the LGBT rights aren't even LGBT? Maybe they are just people with common sense who don't want others to be bullied by the disappointing Republican that represents us? I agree, I am more Independent than anything. My parents just taught me right from wrong and regardless of where your political views may fall, I hope you do too. Common sense, compassion, and open minds is what will move this city forward. Not hate group affiliates who push their religious beliefs into the decisions they make.
Linda Kaye Davis-Kirksey October 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM
It is interesting to me Mike Reno that you label citizens a fringe group when I and those members of Rochester Hills Together want all individuals treated and respected equally- It amazes me that we have representing this community a narrow visioned, extremist that is not looking out for the best interests of all- Tom McMillin has done nothing to promote legislation that is supportive of job creation, education or the economy. What he has done is embarrass the population he represents by his divisive and absolutely narrow philosophies. He is not an individual who is looking out for the betterment of his community but would rather use his platform to promote a very narrow and prejudicial agenda. Joanna VanRaaphorst is the absolute choice for state representation. I have lived , worked and raised my family in this community for over 25 years and I refuse to think that Tom McMillin's vision is what is representative of this community. You can bank on the fact that many people feel the same way I do.
Paul Sprague October 02, 2012 at 07:27 PM
That's interesting. So we should just forget that McMillin is introducing legislation that affects LGBT civil rights and requires death certificates for 10 week miscarriages? He is ruining our public schools by directing money to for profit charters, raised taxes on seniors and working poor, and spends time and tax payer money so that anybody with a pair of scisssors can be a barber? This guy is crazier than rest area vermin and is representing one of the best communities in the state.
doug October 02, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Linda: I actually agree with all your comments about McMilan. I also think Joanna is a viable candidate. I just can't get by her backers....MEA This state is on the brink of being relevent again, unless the union backed proposlas on the November ballot were to pass and then you can kiss any new business investment in Michigan goodbye. Quite a dilema.....not easy being a fiscal conservative / social moderate.
laurie puscas October 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
The low turnout to Rochester Hills meetings could be because people are tired of going to the council with an issue and being totally ignored time after time. In general they don't even have the courtesy to look at you when you are talking. I was told by a recently elected council member that some council members read their packets during public comment as they were too busy to do so ahead of time. Basically, unless you show up with a few hundred people and a lot of press, they don't even listen.
Bruce Fealk October 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Doug, the MEA is an organization that has been fighting for your children and for giving them a good education. The MEA stands up for teachers and students whose goal is to educate our children. Unions are not the evil entities you seem to think. Unions are probably more responsible for the economic standing of our country and the middle class than anything else. Don't drink the Kool Aid, Doug. Good union wages built America's middle class.
doug October 03, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Bruce: A blanket support for all unions is drinking the Kool Aid. Unions have played a tremendous role is building a safe work environment and higher wage scale for middle class americans. That said, there is a point where they cross the line and become destructive. The MEA is the best example. They spend millions on elections to load school boards (like Rochester) with their surrogates. They protect poor teachers and fight every attempt to hold teachers accountable for performance. They only get away with it, because they have a near legal monopoly. Its the kids of middle class families who pay the price for this. I did'nt like what I saw, so I pulled my kids out and sent them to private school where they received a far superior educational opportunity at 2/3 the cost (costs per student). If you want to break the cycle and give kids the opportunity to advance as far as their skills and desires will take them, it starts with education. Fact: The prison system bases their future capacity forecasts on elementary school test scores. If that doesn't make you think ......
North Hill Mom October 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I love RCS. My kids go to North Hill, Hart. Never had a problem with the teachers. I could care less if they are in a union. Women need protection in the workplace.
doug October 03, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Thats great. My comments on the MEA are not an attack on individual teachers. Most are good and there for the right reasons. I have known quite a few over the years and a surprising number aren't too thrilled with the MEA either. I am going to guess that your positive experience is also due to the fact you are an involved parent. Interesting observation between public and private schools happens on Parent/ Teacher Conference night. Our experience at Rochester schools was good, with decent attendance. Private school attendance was like trying to get tickets to a Lady GaGa concert.
Randy October 03, 2012 at 07:47 PM
McMillan is a right wing radical who works for ALEC. He does what he is told and propses bills they author, including spelling errors. JoAnna is a fresh and refreshing face to truly represent us. I'm a fiscal conservative and social moderate who finds our current representative a major part of our great state's problems. Tom needs to do as he once promised and get off of the public dole to go lobby for his real bosses.
Mike Reno October 10, 2012 at 06:38 PM
You all try to pretend that JVanRaap is moderate. Are you kidding? Scott, with all due respect, this notion that people are only voting for Tom because he is an "R" is just wrong. Let’s ignore these tinderbox social issues, and just look at some “meat and potatoes” government issues. Ballot initiative: Should Public Act 4, the law that increased emergency manager powers, be upheld? (Yes or No) Tom McMillin: Yes Joanna VanRaaphorst: No Ballot initiative: Should the Constitution be changed to guarantee workers right to collectively bargain? (Yes or No) Tom McMillin: No Joanna VanRaaphorst: Yes Ballot initiative: Should the Constitution be changed to require utilities to get 25 percent of their energy from clean, renewable energy sources? (Yes or No) Tom McMillin: No Joanna VanRaaphorst: yes Ballot initiative: Should in home care workers be allowed to collectively bargain? (Yes or No) Tom McMillin: No Joanna VanRaaphorst: Yes Ballot initiative: Should the constitution be changed to require a two-thirds vote to approve any new taxes? (Yes or No) Tom McMillin: Yes Joanna VanRaaphorst: No
North Hill Mom October 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/19781/tom-mcmillin Check out McMillin's record. Voted against ban on texting while driving law (seriously?), various mortgage bills put through to protect families from losing their homes (against his republican colleagues).


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