Talk:Debbie Stabenow

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Tags not quite correct[edit]

She is indeed an incumbent politician, but she is not currently up for re-election. The wording therefore implies that she involved in a *current* scandal. I am not aware of any scandals or controversies that center on her, and the two involving her former husband are not really current. Is there a better tag to use? — Preceding unsigned comment added by JimJJewett (talkcontribs) 15:20, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Leadership in Michigan House[edit]

She served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990, where she became the first woman to preside over the House

This seems to imply that she was speaker of the House sometime in this time period, but I can't find any record of her holding that position. Which party was in power during this period? Did she perhaps serve as a majority floor leader, minority leader...? --Criticalthinker (talk) 07:24, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Seriously, this needs to be clarified. Did she serve a majority leader, floor leader, minority leader..? -- (talk) 07:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I think (but don't have a citation right now) that "Presided over" is much more temporary, somewhat analogous to "the person who stands at the podium and declares that it is time to start the vote". Sort of a temporary stand-in for the leader, either for honorary purposes or during a low-attendance period, like a filibuster. That she was the first woman to do so would then say less about her formal leadership and more about how few women had served in the legislature at all. (I think she was in the first 8, ever, and only 1 or two had retired by the time she was elected. My source on that was info from a state capital tour that I didn't think to photograph at the time.)

Is This POV?[edit]

"Obviously her efforts to re-establish the fairness doctrine is a conflict of interest, as she stands to benefit substantially financially with her husband's position with left leaning Air America." JohnD —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

This was reworded in a more neutral manner. Can this talk section now be removed as resolved? (Obviously, it would still be in the history.)


Is the age discrepancy between Stabenow, 57, and her husband, Tom Athans, 46, noteworthy enough to be listed in this article? Or would its inclusion perpetuate the sexist notion that a woman significantly older than her husband is noteworthy, while the reverse is not? Should the emerging prostitution scandal affect this assessment? (talk) 18:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

The answer is no. Also the scandal belongs only to the Tom Athans article. Steelbeard1 (talk) 18:04, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, per Clinton, et cetera. She is now involved in a news story. Therefore it belongs in her article. I think it should be put to a vote rather than allowing one contributor to override others' edits.Kitchawan (talk) 00:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
That is an insufficient rationale. Following this logic, the pecadilloes and malfeasance of every prominent person's relatives will be cluttering up their pages. You would have a point if the information was not readily available elsewhere in a more relevant article, but it is available elsewhere. This is duplication that serves no legitimate purpose. This information is about Tom Athans and it is in his article. Why do you think it needs to be duplicated here? Perhaps the whole Sally Hemmings affair should be detailed on Martha Jefferson's page, too? Demesne Lord (talk) 03:35, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Steelbeard and Demesne Lord. As it is presently, the incident is only indirectly relevant to Stabenow. If perchance Stabenow had been a self-righteous moral crusader, then the irony of the incident might have been worth a mention. But as it is, it is primarily a personal matter. olderwiser 11:35, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Given the fact that her younger husband feels the need to pay prostitutes for sex, I would say the age difference is extremely relevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
How "extremely relevant" is it when a man's much younger wife feels the need to pop pills? I'll drop my objections to adding the information on this page, if you guys will run over to John McCain's page, add all the salacious details of Cindy McCain's drug abuse to his page, and then champion that edit as vigorously as you are pushing this one. Why is it that you guys feel that Clinton, Spitzer, and Stabenow should be subjected to one standard, but McCain to another? Is there some DiffeRence between them that I just don't get? Demesne Lord (talk) 00:17, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I think we're having two discussions at the same time in this section. Let's focus on the age disparity here, and move our discussion of the relevancy of mentioning her husband's affair below. If we decide to mention the disparity, I think we'll agree that including it as part of a larger narrative on the affair would be presumptuous. Rather, we should probably state it in a sterile fashion if, considering all variables (including the affair), we find it prudent to do so. (talk) 13:16, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Age Revisited[edit]

What is the consensus on including Tom Athans' age in this article? Is the age discrepancy between Stabenow, 57, and her husband, 46, noteworthy? Or, as I mentioned earlier, would its inclusion perpetuate the sexist notion that a woman significantly older than her husband is noteworthy, while the reverse is not? (talk) 21:38, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Tom Athans[edit]

Once again, I should mention that all material involving Stabenow's husband belong in his article, not this article. Steelbeard1 (talk) 22:24, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Your rationale is unfortunately inconsistent with similar WP articles. Please see Hillary Rodham Clinton and Silda Wall for information, albeit brief, on their husbands' extramarital affairs. (talk) 23:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree; perhaps this should be put to a vote?Kitchawan (talk) 00:41, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree (see above). Rational discussion is encouraged; however, voting is evil. olderwiser 11:38, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree that a short snippet about her husband's affair is fair and consistent with similar wikipedia articles ILuvTea (talk) 07:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

In addition to the argument by analogy mentioned immediately above (comparing this to the articles of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Silda Wall Spitzer, among others), I think we can agree that, as a public figure, how she handles this situation is certainly worthy of inclusion. Indeed, she has already released a short statement. And any discussion of her reaction must, of course, include mention of her husband's scandal in the first place. (talk) 13:28, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

We need more than a simple statement from Stabenow. To be included in this article, Stabenow must take action of some sort. That could be worthy of inclusion. Steelbeard1 (talk) 14:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Why should she have to take action in order for this to be mentioned? I think you're imposing an unduly high standard here. (talk) 17:17, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
It's the same high standard, as mentioned in the previous heading, which prevents material on the problems Cindy Hensley McCain had from being including in her husband's article, John McCain. Steelbeard1 (talk) 17:32, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
This is the general standard for well-known public figures:

If an allegation or incident is notable, relevant, and well-documented by reliable published sources, it belongs in the article — even if it's negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it.

The issue here is clearly notable and well-documented. And I find Steelbeard's argument (that it is not relevant to Senator Stabenow) unpersuasive. In addition to the counter-examples of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Silda Wall Spitzer, which Steelbeard failed to address, the Cindy Hensley McCain entry does, in fact, mention her husband's marital problems. Further, Senator Stabenow is independently a public figure. I'm convinced that the reason why news organizations published photos of Athans with Stabenow, framed headlines and articles in terms of the Senator, and immediately pressed her for comment following the scandal illustrates the relevance of the issue to this entry. I think it a glaring omission not to mention this situation in the Personal Life section of this article. (talk) 18:09, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
The Cindy McCain article mentioned 'undisclosed' marital problems concerning John McCain. No details are given in the passage. Unless Stabenow takes specific action concerning her husband, it is not worthy of inclusion. Steelbeard1 (talk) 18:39, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
But the information is not "omitted". It is fully included on the Tom Athans page. The question is whether the actions of Tom Athans should be detailed on Tom Athans's page or on Senator Stabenow's. I have yet to hear any kind of rationale for why this information needs to be duplicated on Senator Stabenow's page. The details of Cindy McCain's drug abuse and theft are not included on her husband's page. They are on her page, where they belong. That is the standard that should be applied in this case. Demesne Lord (talk) 18:54, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
By that measure, Demesne, you would (as a hypothetical) excise any and all information about Kennedy's assassination from Jackie Kennedy's article because, after all, that information is already on his page, et cetera. That is utterly illogical. If the individual has made a public statement about a said incident or is involved in such a way as to affect his or her public image, persona or reputation, then said incident should be included in the article. Outright duplication of the information from article to article is perhaps not the best course of action, but the information should be included, even if truncated.Kitchawan (talk) 12:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

This article shouldn't be loaded with salacious details about Athans' arrest, but to not mention it at all does a disservice to the reader expecting such high-profile information to be included. To say this has nothing to do with Stabenow is ridiculous, and the professional news media would disagree with you: "Senator's Husband Admits Paying for Sex" (Associated Press), "Report: Stabenow's husband paid prostitute in sting" (Detroit Free Press), "Senator's husband nailed in hooker bust" (Baltimore Sun), "Senator's husband caught in prostitution ring" (Dallas Morning News), etc., etc. Gamaliel (talk) 02:26, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

As has been mentioned repeatedly, it is already in the Tom Athans article. Unless Stabenow takes concrete action herself concerning her husband in the scandal, it does not belong in this article. If you want to read about the scandal, see the Tom Athans article. Steelbeard1 (talk) 02:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the information, but I am already aware that the main details of the scandal are there. What I am discussing is your desire to omit all mention of it here, which does a disservice to the article and the reader. Gamaliel (talk) 03:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
While I can live with the current edit, I'll wait until BKonrad (aka older ≠ wiser) gives his opinion. I believe he is the most principled and neutral Wikipedian concerning Michigan politicians. Steelbeard1 (talk) 03:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree entirely with Gamaliel, as my above comments indicate. I don't think anyone was arguing for a detailed description of the scandal in this article, but rather at least some mention (to avoid doing "a disservice to the article and the reader," as Gamaliel put it). To me, then, the present edit is acceptable. (talk) 17:23, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this edit by Gamaliel is reasonable. It states the facts simply and references Stabenow's statement on the matter. olderwiser 20:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Bkonrad. We got a consensus edit!. Thanks to Gamaliel for creating the compromise edit. Steelbeard1 (talk) 21:43, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, now that that is settled, which one of you has gone over to the John McCain page and inserted a similar statement about his wife's drug abuse and theft? You know, because omitting such a reference would be "a disservice to the article and the reader". Suddenly, you don't seem so interested in the matter... Demesne Lord (talk) 21:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope you are not implying political motivations on the part of editors who disagree with you. Not only is that unhelpful and uncivil, it shows that you are not at all familiar with my edit history. Though it is nice to be accused of something other than being king of the WP liberals for once. Gamaliel (talk) 21:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

2000 election[edit]

The numbers shown in this article do not match those shown in Spencer Abraham. Can someone find out which is correct and fix the incorrect one? Schoop (talk) 18:44, 4 November 2008 (UTC)