To the Journal editor:
I was absolutely disgusted to see the Art on the Rocks festival marred by partisan activists passing out fans misrepresenting U.S. Rep. Benishek's Medicare position, coupled with a billboard touting the same point.
I've lived in Marquette most of my life, and never have I seen campaigning for or against a particular candidate at a festival that provides solace from the inundation of election ads every four years.
Save the Wild U.P. is present yearly, and I value their mission to preserve Upper Michigan's beauty, and never have they leveled such outlandish attacks. Art on the Rocks is not the forum for these tactics.
I visited the website featured on the fans, and found this particular statement troubling: "(Rep. Benishek) voted to end guaranteed benefits for seniors." This is an outright lie, and the article they cite as support disproves this very claim.
From the Wall Street Journal article they cite: "Mr. Ryan's proposal would apply to those currently under the age of 55." So, not only would the bill Rep. Benishek supported leave the current system in place for seniors, it wouldn't affect anyone 55 and older.
The claim that "Republicans voted to end Medicare" was exposed as Politifact's "Lie of the Year" in 2011. It's unfortunate that this false claim is still being presented.
The worst part of this ad campaign was that it was run by the Michigan Nurses Association. The MNA is the largest association for RNs in the state of Michigan, professionals who are well-versed in healthcare policy and have first-hand knowledge of governmental programs.
Many nurses I've spoken to about healthcare policy are quite knowledgeable and conscientious. I wish the union headquarters exhibited these same characteristics. Their deception and defamation is irresponsible. If they care to weigh in on healthcare policy, I suggest they get their facts in order first.
It's worth noting that if Medicare is left as-is, it will run out funds by 2024. I won't retire until about 30 years after that. I applaud Rep. Benishek's commitment to keeping Medicare solvent for my generation, while ensuring that the existing benefits remain in place for those currently utilizing them, as well as those who plan to enroll in Medicare in the next 10 years.
Rep. Benishek's district has one of the largest elderly populations outside of Florida and he's represented their interests well and will continue to do so if re-elected.