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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

Thousands show up at Ron Paul campaign stops in Michigan

Ron Paul speaking at The Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville Sunday afternoon.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Ron Paul speaking at The Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville Sunday afternoon.

Congressman Ron Paul is making stops in Detroit, Dearborn and Lansing Monday, a day before Michigan’s presidential primary. Paul attracted more than 1,000 people at two separate campaign stops in Mt. Pleasant and a Grand Rapids suburb over the weekend.

People wearing ‘Ron Paul revolution’ baseball caps and sweatshirts filled a banquet hall in Hudsonville to capacity Sunday. There Paul said the United States needs to end its involvement in foreign conflicts and privatize entitlement programs like Social Security. He also stressed the need for more civil freedom.

“We’ll never agree on how we want to use our freedoms. In a room like this there might be 50 different religious values and some with no religious values at all. But freedom answers the question because we don’t impose ourselves on other people. You do what you want,” Paul said.

His supporters cheered “end the fed” when Paul said the U.S. dollar needed to be based on a commodity like gold or silver again.

 “I think you knew about those problems,” Paul chuckled, “I don’t think I’ve given you anything new. But you’ve given me some more energy because of the enthusiasm, because I know you’re out there and there a lot of people out there and numbers are growing by leaps and bounds.”

85-year-old World War II veteran John Weakley, his wife Betty and their son drove an hour and a half from Berrien Springs to see Paul. Weakley agrees with Paul’s message promoting smaller government, civil liberties and less involvement overseas. “…Everything from land use to major finances,” Weakley told me. “And this financing foreign wars is ridiculous.”

Carol Hyde of Augusta, just outside of Battle Creek, compares Paul to President Abraham Lincoln. She says both were called 'unelectable' and both had a strong passion to fix a seemingly insurmountable problem.

“He has a passion and a cause and we are in slavery today but we don’t know it! We are slaves to debt. We’re slaves to a system and don’t even realize that we’re needing someone like Abraham Lincoln, Ron Paul, to come along and say you need to be set free. You need hope. There is a future,” Hyde said.

Hyde’s 17-year old son Timothy scowls at the media’s portrayal of Paul’s shot at the White House. Polls show Paul running behind frontrunners Rick Santorum and Michigan native Mitt Romney in the state.

“As long as you believe what the establishment and main stream media are saying about Ron Paul – that he’s losing, unelectable, and messed up in his ideas – then they are winning their war against freedom. We the people must show that he is electable by voting for him. We can make what they are calling impossible happen.”

Hyde is too young to vote in Tuesday’s primary, but he expects to cast a ballot for Paul in the general election.

Congressman Justin Amash represents Grand Rapids and is one of the only a few sitting federal officials who’s endorsed Paul. Amash says the other GOP candidates have had to defend their conservative values in debate after debate.

“Why did they support no child left behind? Why did they support cap and trade? Why we’re they opposed to right to work? Why did they vote to increase the debt ceiling? Ron Paul has never had to apologize for his voting record.”

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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