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“I left the legislature in 2002 after serving 2 years as Caucus Chairman, 9 years as Minority Leader and 7 years as Speaker of the House.  Look what the two of you helped start. …Good luck Rick in your run for the legislature. You will be outstanding.” 

Former State Representative Clyde Ballard
(E. Wenatchee, Washington)

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The Voice for the People"
525 Judd Road
Saline, MI 48176


The legislature considers many, many issues each legislative session. I will be discussing many of these issues here and in my blog, Sharing Ideas for a Better Michigan as the campaign progresses. However, I can tell you now that my focus will be on making Michigan more competitive again in the world economy, and special focus on what we can do for our small business job providers to prosper, grow and create jobs.

For a general discussion of some of my underlying beliefs, see The Role of "Democratic" Discussions and "Public Voice" from my site Coming Together: Reaching Common Understanding which I use to promote more bi-partisanship by moderating National Issues Forum "deliberative dialogue" forums.

I have many posts on a wide variety of topics on my Facebook Page.

Issues Discussed: MP3 recordings of answers to issues questions

What issues are you most interested in or concerned about? Let me know!

“What one sees depends on where one stands.” This surely has meaning to an exceptionally short or exceptionally tall person in the physical sense, but also has meaning in one’s outlook in life. That is, our past experiences color how we see the world today. Two people with different backgrounds can see the exact same thing and interpret the occurrence entirely differently.

Because of this, Peter Senge in “The Fifth Discipline” promotes dialogue to explore such differences in backgrounds and perceptions, with the goal to more often arrive at collaborative solutions to problems and issues. He also advises exploring our own perceptions and their origins, and scrutinizing them to see whether they square with reality.

This phenomenon of how external stimuli are filtered by our past experiences to create our current perceptions partly explains our political differences. In the hopes that my views can be better understood and thus make finding common ground more possible, I have given some thought to and hereby share My Origins and How They Affect My View of Public Policy Issues of the Importance of Education, the Welfare State and Poverty, Medical Care as a “Right”, Our “Dependency Culture” and Immigration.

If I had to pick one group of ideas proposed by any one group, it would be the Business Leaders for Michigan, with its Michigan Turnaround Plan: (in great measure along the lines of Rick Snyder's Reinvent Michigan: Rick's 10-Point Plan)

Five Steps For A Better Michigan

  • Changing the Way We Manage Our Finances

  • Right-sizing & Enacting Structural Budget Reforms

  • Getting Michigan Competitive To Attract & Retain Jobs

  • Making Investments That Create A Great Job Environment

  • Accelerating Job Growth Through Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Of course, the devil is in the details. For example, in the point of "Getting Michigan Competitive to Attract & Retain Jobs" is the notion of drastically reducing or eliminating the Michigan Business Tax and its 22% surcharge. One way to do that is by adopting the Michigan FairTax (which I happen to like in general, but need to learn more of the specifics), but there may be other ways. For the National Issues Forum style Issue Guide on this topic, see Reforming the Michigan Tax Structure: Putting Michigan Back to Work, which is my site for conducting civil, informed discussion forums on serious, complex and difficult subjects, with the goals of reaching better understanding of others' perspectives and hopefully find some common ground.

But, one thing I am very much in line with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business is that we must have restructuring of state spending concurrent with reforming the tax structure. We cannot leave in place a bloated bureaucracy and excessive spending on salaries and benefits for public employees and simply fund them better. We must cut state spending to live within our means!

Responses to Candidate Questionnaires from MANY groups

Posts on my blog:

State Issues:

Local and Federal Issues:

National Health Care Reform Legislation: