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For the lakes' sake



Appearing at the fourth Binational Lake St. Clair conference last week at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, Sen. Debbie Stabenow insisted policy and funding for environmental action shouldn't be politicized.

"I tell people all the time: It's really not a partisan issue," she said.

But Stabenow, a Democrat, also pointed out the Bush administration's dismal record for funding projects in the region, including the administration's proposed 16 percent cut in Great Lakes programs in the recently submitted 2009 budget.

She cited the need to better fight invasive species, better control ballast water discharge and better fund environmental projects in general in the region.

"I believe the federal government has to step up in a much bolder way," she said.

Stabenow also talked about the presidential contenders — presumed Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona and his Democratic challengers, fellow senators Barack Obama of Illinois and New York's Hillary Clinton — and the view of the Great Lakes region one of them will bring to the White House in 10 months.

"We have two Great Lakes senators and one from a state that wants to take our water," Stabenow said, alluding to discussions about exporting Great Lakes water to the arid southwestern United States. "Keep that in mind. That's all I'm going to say."

And remember, there's nothing at all partisan here.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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