In honor of Black History Month, the Michigan Republican Party hosted its first annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Banquet last night. Details at http://www.migop.org/news/migop-hosts-successful-black-history-month-celebration-and-awards-banquet
We’ve put together some Valentine’s Day messages from Michigan Democrats. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
If Gary Peters is elected to the United States Senate, we already know his vote belongs to Harry Reid. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Harry and Gary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er-m8ngvzvk
From the Detroit News - Obamacare has become frustratingly predictable. The Obama administration promised more than it can deliver and Michigan families are suffering because of those false promises. The newest negative report on Obamacare came out last week, this time it was by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The report estimates that due to Obamacare, the labor force will lose the equivalent of 2 million full time employees by 2017 and more than 2.5 million by 2024.
The new CBO report estimates that the reduction in employees will come from a net decrease in workers’ hours. The CBO estimate claims that a portion of those hours lost will be tied to the new taxes under Obamacare.
The new projections add more hardship to families attempting to gain health care coverage. If increased taxes result in businesses having to cut hours, it not only means that families will be shut out of possible employer-based health care coverage, but it also means that families will be fighting to protect their jobs.
The possibility of lost jobs is already being felt here in Michigan. In west Michigan we have seen that new Obamacare regulations have resulted in lost hours for workers that have resulted in at least 1,000 fewer jobs being available.
What’s worse, both Gary Peters and Mark Schauer have made claims that one of the reasons they voted for Obamacare was because the law would help small businesses and create jobs. Well, less than two months into 2014 we have already seen Obamacare hurt Michigan employers, and now we have a CBO report that is claiming the number of lost jobs could be as high as 2 million in less than five years.
This newest report adds insult to injury. In Michigan, we have already seen individuals lose their health care, as well as people losing their jobs because of Obamacare regulations. Now, we have news that the jobs lost are going to be higher than originally projected. What makes this even worse is that Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters will not stand with Michiganians to help them.
Mark Schauer and Gary Peters continue to ignore the demands to tell Michiganians if they are running on or from Obamacare. Not only will they not tell us where they stand, but they have not come out to apologize for the heartache that Obamacare has caused to 225,000 that have lost their health care coverage, the 1,000 jobs lost in western Michigan, the security risks associated with Healthcare.gov or the now unknown future consequences of the health care law.
So, in the few months since the Obamacare rollout we have seen a great deal of problems associated with the law, but we have failed to see Gary Peters or Mark Schauer speak up. In Michigan we deserve real leadership and neither Peters nor Schauer have shown that they are suited for the job.
From the Detroit News - Gov. Rick Snyder’s record on education in Michigan speaks for itself: K-12 education funding has increased more than $700 million since Snyder took office, and school aid funding, what we call education funding, is at its highest levels in state history, at $13.36 billion.
Recently, Democrats have made it their mission to brand gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer as…well…we can at least say they’ve made it their mission to attack Snyder on education. Democrats’ claim that Snyder cut education funding by one billion dollars has received a lot of attention, but it doesn’t stand up to the black and white reality of funding history documents.
In 2009, the federal Stimulus program allocated money to Michigan for education spending for FY 08-09 through FY 10-11; the outlays Michigan’s school aid fund received were $600 million, $450 million and $500 million, respectively.
This is important because when Snyder took office in 2011, his first budget was also the first year the Stimulus money ended, spurring Democrats to claim Snyder cut education funding his first year. In reality, Snyder increased state spending on education to plug the $500 million federal stimulus hole left on his doorstep. By removing the federal Stimulus dollars for FY 08-09 through FY 10-11, the funding figures show the Democrats’ claim is smoke and mirrors, and that state spending has increased every year since Snyder took office.
Once Democrats realized people have the Internet and could easily debunk that explanation for their education cut claim, they moved on to a more creative theory based on the education foundation allowance.
Historically, Michigan’s foundation allowance was a line item in the school budget that included funding for both the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (“MPSERS”) payments and funding for general school operations; it was commonly referenced as education funding per-pupil. When Snyder took office, he separated out the funding for MPSERS payments and the funding for general school operations into two separate line items. The Democrats’ claim stems from confusion about the fact funding for MPSERS payments got a new line item name, while the school operations funding line item is still named the foundation allowance.
By separating the foundation allowance and the MPSERS payments, a ballooning underfunded pension liability was addressed, but it gave the appearance that per pupil funding was ‘cut’ when in reality it has increased by $632 per-pupil. School district leaders see the new MPSERS line item as a blessing, and have said that the separation has helped them spend more money on school operations, while also helping them honor their commitment to teacher retirement benefits.
Mark Schauer can continue making hollow attacks on Snyder’s education record, but they don’t hold up. Snyder has made education a priority and is making sure that our future generations will succeed so that they can be part of Michigan’s lasting comeback.
From the Detroit News - Jerry Cannon, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District, made headlines while on his five-day tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When Cannon was asked a simple question about a well known topic, his response, and the response to his response, was unlike anything I’ve seen in politics.
On January 15, Mining Gazette reporter Garrett Neese interviewed Cannon on a range of issues. After the initial interview, Jerry Cannon provided Neese with his personal cell phone number in case he had any follow-up questions.
The next day, Neese wanted to ask Cannon a follow-up question about Obamacare, so he called Cannon on a cell phone number Jerry Cannon himself had provided in case the reporter had any follow up questions. During the follow-up interview, Neese asked how Cannon felt about Obamacare, Cannon responded by saying,
After the follow-up interview, Neese published a story covering both the initial, and follow-up, interview in the Mining Gazette.
Cannon’s campaign manager contacted Neese soon after the story was published and claimed the reporter never had a follow-up interview with Cannon. When Neese questioned Cannon’s campaign manager, he explained Neese couldn’t have spoken with Cannon because the phone was off when the reporter called, so the quote critical of Obamacare could not be from Cannon.
Several days after the original discussion with Neese, Cannon’s campaign manager claimed that the Mining Gazette reporter had merely misquoted Cannon, the Mining Gazette then republished the story with the new quote.
The Cannon quote saga did not end with this second public explanation because a third version of the story emerged days later. Cannon’s campaign manager again spoke about the situation, but this time claimed that Cannon never made the statement at all and the campaign appreciated that the Mining Gazette pulled the quote.
If this story seems confusing, that is because it is. We have three versions as to what did or did not happen when Neese called Cannon to ask about Obamacare. What’s more, each version of the story created by the Cannon campaign has an entirely different theory as to what happened and how Cannon feels about Obamacare. The problem here goes beyond the troublesome fact that Jerry Cannon has no clue where he stands on Obamacare.
Why has Jerry Cannon refused to come out and tell the truth about what happened? Why is Jerry Cannon allowing his campaign manager to bully reporters into hiding the truth? Where are the phone records from the follow-up interview the campaign manager claimed never happened?
Cannon’s Obamacare saga is reminiscent of the worst qualities we’ve seen in politicians. Cannon is either hiding from the truth, or he’s turning a blind eye as his campaign manger ruins an innocent person’s reputation – neither are qualities one would find in a leader.
From the Detroit News - In May 2013, Mark Schauer announced his campaign, now eight months in it is becoming apparent how wrong he is for Michigan. If you haven’t been keeping track, the past two months we have seen union bosses reject him, his fundraising dry up and Democratic insiders all but say, ‘Mark who?’
Union bosses know Mark Schauer isn’t the answer.
Less than a week ago UAW president Bob King, the biggest union boss in Michigan, asked Gretchen Whitmer to reconsider running for governor, even though Mark Schauer has been the presumptive Democratic nominee for months.
What’s worse for Mark Schauer is that while Bob King backed off his endorsement of Whitmer, he has passed up the opportunity to publicly state he will support Schauer for governor. The silver lining for Mark Schauer in all of this was union boss Bob King announcing he might endorse him in the spring. If Bob King waits until after the filing deadline to endorse, it’s another clear signal that Mark Schauer’s support isn’t even skin deep amongst his own party faithful.
Democratic insiders know Mark Schauer isn’t the answer.
In November 2013, Democratic insiders acknowledged that the base isn’t fired up for Mark Schauer, due in part to the fact that he doesn’t actually have a plan to keep Michigan moving forward. Mark Schauer’s meandering focus from one bad policy idea to the next is a painful reminder he has no plan, and one of many reasons independent voters don’t view him as a serious candidate for governor.
Michigan families know Mark Schauer isn’t the answer.
Mark Schauer’s lack of support from small and large dollar donors is more evidence Michigan families know Mark Schauer isn’t the answer. This month, Schauer announced he would seek public funding for his campaign.
That’s right, Mark Schauer, the man without a plan, without support from his base, without support from independents, and without support from even the big union bosses, will use taxpayer money to fund his campaign for governor.
It gets worse. The $990,000 Schauer will take in public financing is for hisuncontested primary election. If you want a peek into what kind of governor Schauer would be, all you need to know is that he’s taking taxpayer money to fund a political race he’s running against no one. Don’t look now, folks, but you can bet he’ll raid the public coffers for another $1.2 million in the fall when he actually has an opponent. And you can also bet he still won’t have a plan.
Union boss rejection, Democratic insider skepticism and a lack of enthusiasm from the base have left Schauer with few options. Michigan families saw his record in Washington and made sure he wasn’t elected to a second term. Equally damaging to Schauer’s campaign is his time at the State Capitol, where he was Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s ‘go-to person.’ Eight months in, Schauer’s listless campaign is in survival mode. If he makes it to the general election, it will be not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Michigan’s comeback continues! With unemployment way down, personal incomes up and an increasing population, there’s no doubt about it — Michigan is the Comeback State!
Learning from Target’s data breach
From the Detroit News - Leading up to the holidays, Target was victim of a data breach that stole national headlines and shook consumer confidence in the retailer’s ability to protect sensitive information about its customers. Yesterday, Target’s CEO said the company is, “still shaken” by the breach and vowed to make it right.
Some experts estimate the cybertheft will affect 110 million people. The information stolen was limited to credit and debit card numbers, as well as the respective card’s expiration dates and security codes. Recently, news broke that Target was not the only victim, and that four other retailers were also affected by the breach.
Imagine, if you will, a data warehouse loaded with information that is significantly more sensitive than the information the retailers housed, including your birthday, social security number, income levels, home address, number of children etc. Imagine also that this warehouse is significantly less secure than the retailers’ that fell victim to the cyber-attack last December.
This data warehouse exists – it is the engine driving the famously glitch-riddled Healthcare.gov.
During the first three months following the website’s rollout, national news focused on the front-end glitches that crashed the site before anyone could try to sign up. But even with upgrades to that portion of the site, larger back-end issues and security threats persist.
The security risks that families face are some of the most troublesome issues still unresolved. Congressional leaders, including Michigan’s Rep. Mike Rogers, have pointed out major problems with the website’s security. Specifically, due the site’s improper construction, a cyber-attacker could steal sensitive personal information from millions of Americans, including social security numbers.
A reactive measure isn’t good enough for consumers. We deserve better than being notified a month or two later that our personal information has been compromised. We have a right to proactive measures that prevent attacks in the first place. Recognizing the security risks of the website, the GOP-led House passed a bill last week alerting consumers whenever Healthcare.gov is breached.
Healthcare.gov should be taken down and re-launched after the glitches and security weakness are cleaned up, but once again, the President and his team refuse to admit their failures. Instead of hoping and praying the website won’t be hit with a massive cyber-attack, they need to take action to ensure Healthcare.gov is a certified, secure website.
Much like Target, the Obama administration should acknowledge that cyber-attacks are a significant threat. Unless they step up and do something about it, this “what not to do” saga will remain a ticking time bomb for Americans.