McCain or Obama? Hauenstein Center holds debate

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Deepen your knowledge of this year’s Republican and Democratic presidential nominees during a fiery debate on Constitution Day.

Grand Valley State University's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is bringing in Sen. Buzz Thomas, D-Detroit, who will support Barack Obama’s candidacy, while veteran Republican politician G.J. Rusty Hills will support John McCain.

The two will go head-to-head on issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, health care, immigration and the environment. The debate will take place Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m., in Loosemore Auditorium at DeVos Center, 401 W. Fulton, on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

“Election 2008 is one of the most important elections we have had in decades,” said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. “There is no incumbent or vice president running, so Americans are truly faced with a new choice. This debate should go far to highlight the differences between the two candidates.”

For more information, contact the Hauenstein Center at (616) 331-2770, or visit www.allpresidents.org.

BACKGROUND:
• Rusty Hills
Hills is a politician and educator who is currently the communications director for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Hills teaches at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and serves as chancellor and founder of Holy Spirits Institute, a non-profit educational venture in the Greater Lansing area. Hills has spent the better part of two decades in public service and politics. He was twice elected to serve as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Before that, Hills served 10 years as one of Governor John Engler’s chief lieutenants.

• Buzz Thomas
Thomas is known as both a political force and a dynamic legislative leader. He is a second-term member in the Michigan Senate, serving the state’s 4th district. He is one of the few Michigan legislators who has held leadership positions in both houses of the Michigan legislature. Prior to his 2002 election to the Senate, Thomas served six years in the House and held the position of House Democratic Leader. He is the ranking Democrat on the Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee, and he serves on both the Homeland Security & Emerging Technology Committee and the Energy Policy Committee.

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