This is the entire version of the article which was submitted to the Holland Sentinel and reduced to be a letter to the editor due to violating the Sentinel's "no by name endorsement for pictured columnists" policy. Published on July 24th, 2008.
Hello West Michigan, and welcome to month 21 of the 2008 election cycle. Have you had enough yet? Are you tired of the rhetoric and the empty promises yet? Are you still wondering why you aren’t hearing anything about your key issue yet? Don’t walk away now; the real race is just about to begin!Michigan’s primary is just days away. The absentee voters are already doing their thing. There is a lot at stake for the future of the region, the state, the country and for each of us as individuals. This is not the time to be complacent about politics. Since elections are the only term limits we have in D.C., now is time to end the 30 year career of another Washington insider. That’s right, Senator Carl Levin is wrapping up his 5th term in the Senate and if West Michigan does our part, we can send Mr. Levin home, once and for all. State Representative Jack Hoogendyk from Kalamazoo is rallying everyone who is tired of the agenda driven antics of one of Washington’s senior politicians. Levin quit watching out for us a long time ago so it is only appropriate that we quit watching out for him. Thanks for your service Carl, but it’s time for you to fly. While there are few contested state house seats in the region, two of the most significant campaigns are taking place right here in the 88th and the 90th districts. With Fulton Sheen and Bill Huizenga being termed out, there are a number of candidates vying for the chance to represent you in Lansing. The 90th should be a no-brainer with Joe Haveman in the race. I have known Joe for a long time and would proudly vote for him, if I only lived in his district. I look forward to seeing him take his stand in Lansing on behalf of the good people of Ottawa County. The situation in the 88th is another story completely. With eight candidates in the race, the first one to achieve over 20% of the vote will most likely be the winner. Will it be the passionate and assertive Todd Boorsma, the dedicated and effective Jeff Farnsworth, or the focused and energetic Joshua Leatherman? Only you can decide Allegan County, so make your vote count. There are also a number of local races taking place which could impact your quality of life for some time to come. City and township officials can either help make your life much simpler or more complicated. If you fail to vote in the primary, you will have no one to blame but yourself for the outcome of the elections. So, don’t let the longest election campaign in the history of the country get you down. Don’t be discouraged because things are not going the way you want them to go. Don’t sit this one out, just because your first choice isn’t in the race or your chief concern isn’t being addressed. On August 5th, do your part; go to the polls; and cast your vote. Our future depends on it.