Thursday, January 5, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
MIRS, the Michigan Information and Research Service that provides news and analysis of state government in Lansing, recently came out with their annual ranking of “most-conservative” legislators. They do this by analyzing a sampling of a broad variety of votes and calculating the results to determine the legislator’s “conservative rating”. As a constituent and aide of State Senator Jack Brandenburg, I was extremely proud to see that Jack was named 2011’s most conservative senator.
There are several important reasons that this is something for Senator Brandenburg and his staff to be proud of. First, Senator Brandenburg campaigned as an “unapologetic conservative”, so not only did he “talk-the-talk” on the campaign trail, he “walked-the-walk” after he took office. All too often, politicians campaign on promises that are not kept because they cave under pressure from special interest groups or try to please all sides and lose sight of their principles. Not Senator Brandenburg; He campaigned as a fiscal and social conservative, and that is how he voted !
Senator Brandenburg can also be proud of the fact that his voting record closely reflects the views of his district. The residents of northern Macomb County are solidly conservative, and Jack’s votes are in line with the views of the vast majority of his constituents. He has not compromised his conservative principles and has proven to be a strong leader in the Senate Republican caucus, fighting to return our state to the sound fiscal principles that will improve our economy and attract businesses and jobs to our state !
Conservative fiscal principles may seem like “common-sense” to the average voter, but unfortunately they had become all-too “uncommon” in Lansing during the Granholm administration. Jack vowed to change that mindset in Lansing if elected, and he is helping to do just that. It won’t happen overnight, but Michigan’s credit rating has already been upgraded and it’s economic and employment outlook have improved dramatically after just 1 short year of conservative budgeting and fiscally-responsible spending. As reported in Crain’s Detroit Business magazine, “Credit rating firm Fitch Ratings has raised its outlook on Michigan”. In a news release, Fitch said “the change in the rating outlook reflects prudent budgeting and efforts to grow reserve levels in the context of an economy beginning to slowly rebound.” It’s been too long since we’ve heard that kind of optimistic talk about Michigan’s economic outlook, and Senator Brandenburg’s conservative leadership has contributed to the turnaround.
While much progress has been made in Lansing in the past year, much remains to be done. Senator Brandenburg has mentioned elimination of the onerous personal property tax as one of his top priorities in the Senate in the coming session, as he continues the fight to lift the burden that government puts on businesses in Michigan. As a small business owner, Jack knows that excessive government regulation and taxation has kept many small businesses from locating here in Michigan, and prevents others from growing and expanding. Improving the state’s economy and encouraging job growth must continue to be our number one priority, and Senator Brandenburg is committed to continuing to lead that effort in Lansing.
I am proud to be part of Senator Brandenburg’s staff, serving as his “District Representative” here in Macomb County, and Jack also has 2 committed conservative staffers working for him in Lansing; Chief of Staff Ken Matiyow, who also served as Jack’s Chief of Staff during Jack’s 6 years in the Michigan House representing Harrison Township and St. Clair Shores, and Legislative Director Dan Papineau, who is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Political Science, and who previously worked in the House Republican policy office. It is an honor and a privilege to work as part of “Jack’s team” here in the 11th Senate district, and I look forward to continuing to help him work to improve Michigan’s economy and business climate in the years ahead.