Detroit residents like the rest of Michigan voters face a big choice at the November 2, 2010 election polls: who will replace incumbent Governor Jennifer Granholm? Virg Bernero, mayor of Lansing is the Democratic hopeful. Rick Snyder leads the republicans. Virg Bernero is strategically placed as mayor of a large and oft-financially struggling city to lead Michigan. Bernero is ‘closer’ politically and economically to Detroit residents. (Vote Virg) Detroit, with the loss of many auto industry jobs and overall struggles with economic hardship, will find a champion in Virg Bernero. Even residents in privileged communities in Detroit can relate to Virg Bernero’s proactive, common sense approach to money.
You can’t make money or keep what money you have by squandering it. Taxes are a given in any viable community; that’s never going to change. It costs money to enjoy public safety, education, public works and other services available in communities. People can’t and shouldn’t work for free. However, how and where taxes are appropriated is another matter. Snyder proposes a 6% tax on small businesses. No mention is made about big business. (Gubernatorial Candidates Answer Issues, Questions). Do we make our local schools as educationally sound as possible? Do we keep our local roadways in good repair? Do we provide public safety with the resources it needs to keep us all safe? Do we foster arts and community venues for the betterment of all? Rick Snyder doesn’t seem to want to (A 10 Point Plan to Rejuvenate Michigan)
Republican platforms tend to drain money out of public resources and shuttle them into ambiguous general funds. Michigan’s last Republican governor John Engler did just that. Michigan’s state lottery was started as a way to fund public education. Whether residents agreed ethically with lotteries and played them or not, residents knew that the money was for the schools. Period. Engler changed that. Engler tweaked the MSL to divert funds into a ‘general fund’. (1994 Michigan School Finance Reform). Rep. Engler was known as the Privatization Governor, cutting state jobs and bringing the private sector in to rake handsome profits on money allocated for public workers (Michigan’s Former Governors). Republicans do that with other funds too. Social security for example.
Rick Snyder as former CEO of gateway knows about diverting funds. While his corporation was floundering and while asking workers to make concessions, he sent jobs to China (Ann Arbor’s Rick Snyder Talks about Gateway Outsourcing of Jobs and Bid for Governor) and pocketed larger than life annual salaries (in the millions). (Virg Bernero Ad Says Snyder Made $14 as Gateway Jobs Outsourced). If given access to Michigan’s coffers, would he follow his Republican predecessors in draining them?
Detroit residents whether in poorer or wealthier districts have worked to make their schools healthy. Most have done by taking a personal, local interest in what happens to their school. If local residents who have worked so hard to pass mileage elections want to maintain the level of education in their schools, it will be difficult to do so with politicians taking liberties with school funds.
Michigan is slowly moving up from dead last on the economic food chain. Our unemployment rate is getting lower. (Bureau of Labor Statics, 9/21/10). President Obama visited auto workers (Reuters) and cut the ribbon on the new LG Chem battery factory in Holland (MiLive). Michiganders are seeing some encouraging things happening. It only makes sense for Michigan that a vote for Virg Bernero, who has experience improving economies, is an upward move. If Virg Bernero can make good things happen economically in Lansing, he can do it with the state. Republican Rick Snyder on the other hand, with his Gateway track record, is a thumbs down for Michigan.