Voters Focus on Water in Great Lakes State
By Andy Sullivan
Posted January 15, 2008
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — The troubled economy isn’t the only issue on the mind of Michigan voters. Republican White House hopeful Sen. John McCain has been fielding questions about water rights at many stops on his campaign.
Unlike the parched states in the west, where the battle over water can make or break cities, Michigan is surrounded by the largest source of fresh water in the world.
Michigan and other Great Lakes states from New York to Minnesota want to keep it that way with a deal that would prevent that water from being piped outside the region.
When asked what he thinks about this proposal at townhall meetings, McCain starts off with a joke about his home in the desert state of Arizona.
“As much as I would like to see a great pipeline emptying into Cindy’s and my backyard, it will not happen,” he said Monday in Kalamazoo, referring to his wife.
He then assures voters that he would not override any decision reached by states on water rights. But he usually can’t resist squeezing in one more joke.
“In Arizona we have so little water the trees chase the dogs,” he said in Kalamazoo.