Ignore the sideshow! Issues matter.

November is right around the corner. Campaign season is already in full swing, with candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate, and the state legislature launching their first TV and online advertisements.
 
With so much on the line this fall, there’s little wonder the politicians are already out in full force. This fall’s elections will decide Michigan’s future for the next 4 years. That’s why getting it right matters.
 
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Issues that matter this election

This article originally appeared in The Detroit News.

The field is set: Bill Schuette. Brian Calley. Patrick Colbeck. Jim Hines. Gretchen Whitmer. Shri Thanedar. Even Abdul El-Sayed, though whether or not his name will be able to appear on the ballot remains to be seen. Michigan governor candidates are introducing themselves, they’re pulling stunts, they’re maneuvering with their activist bases, and they’re hoping to catch their groove heading into the spring.

A word of advice to voters and political observers; the stunts, the phony town halls, and the early digital ad wars are a mildly titillating sideshow, but they won’t make much difference come August — or November.

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Gretchen Whitmer’s Double-Standard

Late yesterday, Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic candidate for governor, removed her second campaign manager, Keenan Pontoni, citing past allegations of inappropriate behavior with former co-workers (which Pontoni is now denying). Pontoni had been in the role for only four months, and his ouster is just the latest upheaval for Whitmer’s beleaguered campaign.
 
While Whitmer is claiming a “zero tolerance” standard in the #MeToo era, her actions speak a lot louder than words.
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Swiping Left

It’s Valentine’s Day and Michigan Democrats just aren’t feeling the love as Michiganders continuously “swipe left” on their candidates. 

The headlines have been harsh. While Brandon Dillon and the rest of the Michigan Democratic Party establishment seeks to coronate Gretchen Whitmer through dirty tricks and legal challenges to progressive darling Abdul El-Sayed – apparently they didn’t learn their lesson from the Clinton v. Sanders fiasco at the DNC - as their presumptive gubernatorial nominee, other prominent Democrats – led by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan – were actively trying to recruit a Whitmer alternative over concerns about her ability to actually win outside of a leftist enclave like East Lansing. 

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Jocelyn Benson Just Saw Her Shadow

It’s Groundhog Day and Jocelyn Benson just saw her shadow. That means at least six more months of scandal from the Democratic candidate for secretary of state.
 
Benson has tried this before. Voters already roundly rejected her once back in 2010. Unfortunately, she’s tried a few other things along the way, too. She was connected, for instance, in a huge scandal stemming from attempts by her senior staff members to defraud Michigan voters. Benson’s former senior staffer was indicted, along with another individual, on multiple felony charges stemming from an elaborate voter fraud scheme!

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In New Campaign Lows, Whitmer, Rossman-McKinney Stand by Joel Ferguson

The world has watched this week in shock and horror as 156 young women – all survivors of sexual assault by Larry Nassar  came forward to provide victim statements in a Lansing courtroom ahead of the predator’s sentencing.
 
Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison, while survivors continue to ask why no one at the University did anything to stop him.  Compounding the failure of administrators, coaches, and Trustees is their continued refusal to accept responsibility and, in the case of MSU Trustee Joel Ferguson, to speak dismissively of the entire trial.
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Michigan has come a long way, baby!

It’s hard to believe how far Michigan has come these last 7 years. Jennifer Granholm’s “lost decade” saw double digit unemployment, massive tax hikes and young people fleeing the state.

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Michigan’s comeback took work

This article originally appeared in The Detroit News.

Next week, Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver his eighth and final State of the State address. By every measure, the state of the state is stronger than it was during the governor’s first address in 2011. Michigan’s turnaround has been seven years in the making, and it didn’t come easy.

The speech comes at a critical time – at the beginning of an election year. This November, voters will go to the polls to select Snyder’s successor, a new state House of Representatives and a new state Senate. As Michiganians listen to the governor and reflect on how far we’ve come, they’d be wise to consider for more than a moment just what’s at stake this fall.

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That Tax Cut Fever is Spreading

Michigan’s tax code is intrinsically linked to the Federal tax code. So, when the Congress passed its landmark tax reform late last year, they inadvertently created a $1.5 billion tax increase for families and workers here in Michigan. Legislators in Michigan could easily have implemented a quick fix to restore personal exemptions and returned to the status quo.

Thankfully, they chose to go further!

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I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more tax cuts!

Last December, Congress enacted sweeping tax reform that promises to increase take home pay for millions of workers, and has already led to huge bonuses for working men and women across the country.
 
Hardly a day goes by without big breaking news about another employer sending thousands of dollars home with each of their employees. AT&T. Boeing. Wells Fargo. Fifth Third Bank. Yesterday it was Waste Management promising a $2,000 give-back to most of their staff nationwide.
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