Editor's note: Vanguard Senior Vice President Jen Eyer joins a panel of political pundits to discuss candidates' messages and platform issues in Michigan's gubernatorial race.
Q. If it all ends up coming down to Bill Schuette running on tax cuts versus Gretchen Whitmer running on 'fix the damn roads,' which message wins?
According to Jen EYER, vice president of Vanguard Public Affairs, Michigan voters are sick and tired of being taken for a ride down the tax cutting road.
“First, Michigan voters have gotten wise to the fact that the Snyder tax cuts haven't boosted the economy -- they've just resulted in less funding for our schools, universities and yes, roads. Further, average Michiganders saw very little benefit from the Trump/GOP tax cut, while the richest 1 percent raked in the spoils. So, the truth on taxes is finally catching up to Republicans. It's going to be awfully tough to sell Michigan voters on another `tax cut' that puts pennies in their pockets while padding the bank accounts of people like Betsy DeVOS when our state is desperately in need of funds for roads and schools.”
“Our crumbling roads cost an average of $865 per motorist annually in car repairs, while we only spend $154 per person per year on road repairs,” Eyer continued. “That's insanely backwards, and it's because our state doesn't have enough money to just get it done due to Snyder's tax cuts. A responsible homeowner doesn't quit their job when their roof is leaking and they have a mortgage to pay. Voters know that a responsible government doesn't cut taxes when our roads are desperately - and dangerously - in need of repair.”
Q - Some recent polling has pegged support for President Donald TRUMP among African Americans as being over 30 percent. Are these being viewed as 'outlier' polls? Why aren't they getting more news coverage?
Eyer said it's clearly an outlier.
“Only 8 percent of black voters supported Trump in 2016, and we're now to believe 30 percent support him, after his embrace of white supremacists?” Eyer asked. “Please. This poll is an outlier that got only a C+ accuracy rating from FiveThirtyEight. Multiple polls from other, more reputable sources have consistently shown support for Trump among African Americans hovering between 10 and 15 percent.”
Q - Legislative Republicans are considering passing the minimum wage hike and paid sick leave citizen-initiated proposals. By doing this the GOP lawmakers would keep these measures off the ballot and be able to modify them in lame duck. Are Republicans likely or unlikely to move ahead with this plan?
“I would expect Republicans to take whatever steps they think they can get away with to lower wages, benefits and living standards for working people, as is their M.O.,” Eyer said. “If they think these measures will pass on the ballot - and I believe they will - and they think they can get away with watering down the measures in lame duck, they'll certainly try.”
Q - What does the selection of Lisa Posthumus LYONS as Schuette's running mate bring to this year's GOP ticket?
Eyer said that, after evaluating the Schuette campaign, Lyons is an excellent fit.
“Lisa Lyons brings two things to the GOP ticket: DeVos cash and a decade of failed Republican policies,” Eyer said. “Her infamous speech in which she called teachers `pigs and hogs' merely for wanting the pay and benefits they earned and deserve tells us all we need to know about Lyons' priorities. She stands for the billionaires and against working people. She is the perfect running mate for Bill Schuette, who has made a career of doing the bidding of corporate donors like the DeVos family, to the detriment of the middle class in Michigan.”
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