Michigan's three greatest assets are our people, our land and our Great Lakes -- and in 2014, Michigan will vote for leaders who will invest in our people, protect our land and stand up for our Great Lakes.
Over the last three years, Republican Rick Snyder has proven repeatedly that he's out of touch with Michigan values. He has consistently put corporate CEOs and wealthy special interests ahead of hard working middle-class families. Snyder's agenda has left our state with a new unfair retirement tax, one of the highest unemployment rates, forced school closings and severe cuts to police and fire services.
That's not the Michigan way.
We're very proud to have Mark Schauer as our Democratic candidate for governor, who has spent his life fighting to make Michigan's economy fairer for middle-class families. Mark has deep middle class roots, and was raised in Livingston County as the son of a teacher and a nurse.
Mark knows that cutting education is no way to build a strong economy. Rick Snyder's Michigan is third-worst in the country in unemployment, and 49th in job growth. Snyder's own MEDC released a report recently saying Michigan's economy won't catch up to the national recovery for at least another decade, yet Snyder refuses to support common sense measures to promote equal opportunity for everyone.
Meanwhile, a bright spot for Michigan's economy is the auto industry, doing better than ever in this state thanks to hard work and enormous sacrifices made by autoworkers, auto company leaders and the support of Democrats in Congress like Mark Schauer and Gary Peters, our Democratic candidate for Carl Levin's seat in the U.S. Senate.
That kind of leadership on behalf of middle class families contrasts strongly with the values of Republican politicians like Terri Land, who said if she were in the U.S. Senate, she would have voted to keep the government closed, costing Michigan families hundreds of millions and threatening Head Start programs, Social Security checks and support for veterans.
RNC Committeewoman Land has showed repeatedly that she values politics over Michigan families. While she made time to go to the RNC Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., her campaign has failed to hold public events to answer questions from Michiganders, and her website is empty of any policy.
Gary Peters is a proven independent voice for Michigan, and he's shown that middle class families and small businesses can count on him. He's fought to create good jobs in Michigan by expanding access to credit for our Main Streets. He was a leading voice for the auto rescue, and he's helped invest in manufacturing to ensure we make things in Michigan. He's stood up to special interests in Washington and Michigan -- opposing plans that would raise health care costs for seniors, slash protections for our Great Lakes and make middle class families pay higher taxes.
Gary has always put small businesses and middle class families first because of his deep roots in our state and his dedication to service. He grew up in a middle class family in Oakland County where he is raising his own family. At 34-years-old, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve where he worked his way up to Lt. Commander and after the 9-11 attacks, he joined again. Gary knows the challenges folks are facing across our state -- because he is out there meeting with them, hearing the conversations happening around their kitchen table, and those are the issues he fights for in Washington.
We'll undoubtedly continue to see disappointing failures of leadership and examples of Republicans' wrong priorities throughout this year. But Democratic leaders will continue to fight for you and your families, so that we can build a stronger Michigan for everyone.
This post was originally published in the Lansing State Journal.