Question #8: What would be your absolutely highest priority and first action upon election as Governor?
Rick Snyder says- "Jobs, jobs, jobs! Creating more and better jobs is at the top of my 10 guiding principles to the reinvention of Michigan."
Mike Bouchard says- "Simply put, I would lead. Michigan is going to need a governor who can sit down on the first minute of the first day and make the tough choices to fix Lansing. The first thing I would do as Governor is freeze all non-essential spending. That's the only way to begin to stop the bleeding.
I am the only candidate that has experience as a leader in the Senate, when we cut taxes every year and balanced our budgets. Also, of all the candidates, I have run the largest government agency with over 1200 employees. I've made tough choices and cut $20 million out of my budget. I adopted a three-year rolling balanced budget and I will do that in Lansing. My main priority will be to fix Lansing so we can get Michigan back to work. Recent tax increases have only compounded an already disastrous situation. If a ship is sinking, you don't add water - you'll only drown the people still left. But the tax increases are just a symptom of a larger problem - namely the current administration and Lansing's inability to control spending. To succeed we must do both - get spending under control and fix the tax system that's driving businesses out of Michigan."
Mike Cox says- "My first action as governor would be to bring instant tax relief to all Michigan taxpayers and businesses by cutting the Michigan Business Tax in half, and repealing the 2007 Granholm Cherry Tax Increase. Both of these actions combined would bring $2 billion dollars back into the pockets of Michigan taxpayers."
Senator Tom George, MD says - "Fixing Michigan will be a difficult task. There is no single bill or legislative matter that alone will transform Michigan. There are four things as governor I would work on immediately: 1) reforming Medicaid, 2) grant permits for the construction of a new "clean" coal fired generator plant, 3) create a redevelopment authority for metropolitan Detroit, 4) fix the budgeting process. You can read about these and some of my other initiatives at the "fix Michigan" tab on my website: georgeforgovernor.com.
Question #9: If you could meet every constituent personally, what would you like us to know about you?
Mike Bouchard says- "I will make the tough choices to fix Lansing, no matter what. Michigan businesses and families cannot afford to elect someone with a learning curve. I'm ready to hit the ground running on day one.
I'm under no illusions as I enter this race. It took us a long time to create the mess we are in and it will take time to climb our way out. Even if the next Governor makes the tough choices, we may not see a complete recovery for years. Relief will not be swift, that's why it's essential that we start immediately. The next Governor should go in with the mind set that he or she may not get re-elected by doing what is necessary to turn this state around. I can't live with that. It's about time we start focusing on the ext generation and not the next election."
Mike Cox says- "If I could meet every constituent individually I want them to know that I will create the environment to bring jobs back to Michigan. I am a leader and a fighter and I have a specific plan to cut taxes, cut spending, and reform government in order to bring jobs back to Michigan.
My plan, titled "Putting Michigan Back to Work: The First Steps" is available on my website at www.mikecox2010.com.
Voters should know that they can count on me to represent a change from the disastrous Granholm Cherry administration. I'm a fiscal conservative with the record to back it up, that's a record of doing more with less, and applying business sense and principles to my office.
Finally, I've never been afraid to take on the big fights - whether that's fighting Blue Cross or Utility company rate hikes, or my support for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative."
Senator Tom George, MD says- "I would want you to know that I am the only candidate who is currently serving in the state legislature. I have continued working part-time as a medical doctor which has allowed me to stay in touch with individuals and citizens outside of the political environment, and that I am thoughtful and compassionate."
Rick Snyder says- "I am a leader. I bring a fresh approach to solving our economic challenges, and I am not a career politician. My experience in the business world as well as my leadership in economic development programs, such as Ann Arbor SPARK, make me uniquely qualified to lead Michigan into a new Era, an Era of Innovation. Michigan is my home and a brighter future for my family, friends and neighbors is what we deserve. I am running for governor to reinvent this state, not further my life-long political career."
As you may have noticed I started the answers alphabetically and took turns with a "rolling sequence." Coincidentally they have come out exactly even with the 9th question. I call the last question my "signature question" because I think it gives us a chance to see a potential lighter side or the total personality balance. And I'm always looking for a little humor although I don't always find it.
We'll finish up tomorrow with "If you could be king for a day what would you do politically? Personally?" See you then--