State of Michigan Archives: on Government Reform


Donald Trump: Get rid of waste, fraud, & abuse in every single agency

Q: Your proposed tax cut would add $10 trillion to the nation's debt. You insist that you could make up for a good deal of that by cutting waste, fraud, & abuse.

TRUMP: Correct.

Q: Like what? And please be specific.

TRUMP: Department of Education. We're getting rid of Common Core. Department of Environmental Protection. We're going take a tremendous amount out. The waste, fraud, and abuse is massive.

Q: But your numbers don't add up. The total budget for the education department is $78 billion. The entire budget for the EPA, $8 billion. The deficit this year is $544 billion. Your numbers don't add up. You say that Medicare could save $300 billion a year negotiating lower drug prices. But Medicare total only spends $78 billion a year on drugs.

Q: But that doesn't really cut the federal deficit.

TRUMP: Of course it is. We are going to buy things for less money.

Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan Mar 3, 2016

Mike Bishop: Make state legislature part-time, with pay cuts

Source: 2014 Michigan House campaign website, ElectMikeBishop.com Nov 4, 2014

Mike Bishop: Limit people driven by thirst for power, pride, and envy

Q: The founders established pure democracy in the Constitution because they believed that it is the best form of government to ensure the safety and equitable treatment of all citizens?

Bishop: Strongly Agree

Q: What in the nature of mankind caused America's Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers within the Constitution?

Bishop: The nature of mankind drove America's Founders to carefully define, separate and limit powers within the Constitution. Man can be driven to accomplish great things when motives are pure and outcome is driven by humility and Godly intent. However, man is inherently flawed and, there are people whom are driven by a thirst for power, pride, and envy. By limiting powers and creating checks and balances, our Founders ensured an environment where no one man or woman could force change alone.

Q: People should be able to vote without photo identification?

Bishop: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Michigan Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Rick Snyder: Vetoed voter identification bill

Tea party conservatives criticize the first-term governor for vetoing a voter identification bill, proposing higher fees and taxes to fix Michigan roads, and supporting an Obama administration bailout of the auto industry early in the term.

Snyder, finishing the third year of his first four-year term in the only political office he's ever held, says he's neither RINO nor radical, but a governor who's doing what he can to turn the state's economy fully to the positive. "I'm a person that doesn't get overly focused on politics," Snyder said. "I don't spend time worrying about what the far right or the far left thinks. It's really a case of, 'Here's a problem, here's common sense, here's a solution.'"

Source: Macomb Daily on 2014 Michigan Governor race Dec 10, 2013

Gary Peters: Nuclear option: Allow confirmation of Obama's appointees

[Peters spoke] at an event held by the Progressive Democratic Women's Caucus of Muskegon. Peters said he supported the senate's Democratic-led rule change to weaken the power of the filibuster [which has blocked all Obama nominees]. "I support the changes in the rules," he said. "I support the old filibuster." He explained that he thinks the old rules have been abused. "Nominees have been stopped simply for politics. I think it's a big reason the American public are frustrated with Congress."
Source: Muskegon Chronicle on 2014 Michigan Senate race Nov 23, 2013

Terri Lynn Land: Super PACs are committed to Michigan

GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land is welcoming controversial super PAC money into her race to win Michigan's open Senate seat. Land [told an audience] that money raised by super PACs will be a resource in her campaign during a speech she gave last month at the Republican Women of Leelanau County Garden Party.

Created in the wake of the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, super PACs can raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions, associations and individuals to advocate for or against candidates, but money must be spent on independent political activity.

"The Citizens United lawsuit actually started here in Michigan," Land said. "And that changed the dynamics of politics, restricted the parties, but it let individuals and others raise resources to do that. Our campaign has talked to a lot of those folks," she added. "They're committed to Michigan. They really want to support us here in Michigan. And if we can do this in Michigan, that means they win in the other states."

Source: Huffington Post coverage of 2014 Michigan Senate debates Sep 25, 2013

Terri Lynn Land: Allow "dark money": secret campaign donations for issue ads

The State Bar of Michigan this month urged requiring everyone who contributes money to Michigan judicial campaigns to be publicly identified. It said a 2004 decision by then-Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land allowing those who bankroll so-called judicial "issue ads" to remain anonymous undermines the integrity of the judicial system & conflicts with more recent US Supreme Court decisions requiring such donors to be identified. Issue ads typically attack a candidate without endorsing an opponent.

The State Bar, which represents 43,600 Michigan lawyers and judges, said secret contributions--dark money--prevent the public from knowing when [an elected] judge is being asked to rule on an issue involving a major donor. Dark money increasingly is playing a role in Michigan judicial campaigns. Last fall, someone secretly spent $2 million on misleading attack ads in an unsuccessful effort to defeat an incumbent Oakland County Circuit Court judge.

Source: Bridge Magazine coverage of 2014 Michigan Senate debates Sep 16, 2013

Peter Hoekstra: Setting 12-year term limit a mistake; after serving 18 years

time and time and time again to increase spending," Durant said. "Earmarks, entitlements and all these things that put our country at risk: you can't do it for 18 years and then say 'Well, I'm going to change.'"

Hoekstra stood up to the shots, saying he made a mistake by setting a 12-year mark for his departure from the government. He pointed out his victory margins increased after he broke the promise. "The most important term limits are the ones people impose," he said.

Source: Nate Reens in Michigan Live on 2012 Michigan Senate debates May 14, 2012

Rick Snyder: Michigan Dashboard: measure progress & present it publicly

We are creating a means by which to actually measure Michigan's progress. I find it curious that we've had State of the State addresses for decades. Yet I don't know of one where we actually had a report card to gauge our success. Government tends to avoid measures and metrics, since it could lead to criticism. It is time for that attitude to disappear. True success is based on achieving real results for real people. We're going to have tough, hard measurements. Our achievements or lack of progress will be evident, so tonight I'm presenting the Michigan Dashboard.

I will present a summary of this dashboard in every State of the State address I give. It is composed of 21 different measures in five key areas. The measurable areas are economic growth, health and education, value for government, quality of life and public safety. These areas align with how we've organized the executive branch into the group executive structure.

Source: 2011 Michigan State of the State Address Jan 19, 2011

Rick Wade: Government doesn't invent but does create business framework

America has always looked to entrepreneurs and private sector innovators to generate the continuous flow of new technologies and new ideas we need to keep our economy going forward. This is who we're trying to help.

We know very well that lawmakers don't invent. But the government does create the conditions--the framework--in which businesses operate. And that matters. Because just as it is foolish to look to government for all of our answers, it is equally foolish to imagine that government has no productive role to play.

Think for a moment about the federal government building the interstate highway system, which for over half a century has sped the movement of goods across this country and delivered us immeasurable economic benefits. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone today who didn't think that was a good investment. But back in the 1930s, one prominent critic said, "it would be the first major step toward state socialism under which the federal government would take over private industry.

Source: Remarks at US Regional Business Tour, Battle Creek, Michigan Apr 6, 2010

Mitt Romney: Line-item veto can & should pass constitutional muster

Q: What about the line-item veto?

GIULIANI: The line-item veto is unconstitutional. I took Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court and beat him. Itís unconstitutional. What the heck can you do about that if youíre a strict constructionist?

ROMNEY: Iím in favor of the line-item veto. I had it, used it 844 times. I want to see Libby Doleís line-item veto put in place. Iíd have never gone to the Supreme Court and said itís unconstitutional.

Q: Do you believe it is?

ROMNEY: I believe the line-item veto, if properly structured, passes constitutional muster. Iím in favor of the line-item veto to make sure that the president is able to help cut out pork and waste.

GIULIANI: You have to be honest with people. The line-item veto is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled on it. I am in favor of a line-item veto, except you have to do it legally. If I had let Pres. Clinton take $250 million away from the people of my city illegally and unconstitutionally, I wouldnít have been much of a mayor.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Frivolous lawsuits eat up 2.2% of GDP

[We need to] do something about legal reform. Itís 2.2 percent of our GDP now is spent on all of these frivolous lawsuits. Itís double any other industrialized nation. We donít get control of that, thatís another way in which weíre going to eat up our future.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Supports line-item veto, but Clintonís was unconstitutional

Q: What about the line-item veto?

GIULIANI: The line-item veto is unconstitutional. I took Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court and beat him. Itís unconstitutional. What the heck can you do about that if youíre a strict constructionist?

ROMNEY: Iím in favor of the line-item veto. I had it, used it 844 times. I want to see Libby Doleís line-item veto put in place. Iíd have never gone to the Supreme Court and said itís unconstitutional.

Q: Do you believe it is?

ROMNEY: I believe the line-item veto, if properly structured, passes constitutional muster. Iím in favor of the line-item veto to make sure that the president is able to help cut out pork and waste.

GIULIANI: You have to be honest with people. The line-item veto is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled on it. I am in favor of a line-item veto, except you have to do it legally. If I had let Pres. Clinton take $250 million away from the people of my city illegally and unconstitutionally, I wouldnít have been much of a mayor.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mike Bouchard: Supports line-item veto on spending bills

I know from firsthand experience that spending is not a partisan issue. In many cases, Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats. To eliminate wasteful spending contained in Congressional Appropriations bills, the President needs a line-item veto as most governors have, including Michiganís. The President has proposed legislation that would provide him with a limited, constitutionally sound veto. I support providing the President with this common sense authority to help rein in all spending offenses
Source: Campaign booklet, ďRenewing Michiganís EconomyĒ Sep 14, 2006

Alan Keyes: Surrendering moral government to courts surrenders freedom

There may be terrible consequences for being good. There may be suffering, death, & deprivation. But we still have the choice. We can spit it all in the eye, or we can stand strong for what we know to be right. In that death we would vindicate the libert that God has put in our hearts: the liberty to choose His way. That means when we surrender moral government to the courts, we have surrendered the very essence of freedom and its only real meaning, and we will not be free again until we get it back.
Source: Rally for the Ten Commandments, Hillsdale, Michigan Feb 7, 2004

Mike Bishop: Limit campaign contributions; but no state funding

Do you support limiting the following types of political contributions? Individual?

A: Yes.

Q: PAC?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Parties?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state political campaigns?

A: No.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Q: Do you support voting on-line?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Michigan National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

George W. Bush: Agrees to no negative ads; stop tearing each other down

Q: [to Bush & Forbes]: Will you agree not to run any negative ads against each other?

FORBES. The answer is if being negative is telling the truth I will continue to tell the truth. People deserve it, we deserve an honest and open and vigorous debate. And if a man breaks a pledge [re 1997 tax cuts], the voters ought to know it.

BUSH: Iíll run positive ads. Listen, I cut taxes as the governor. Thatís a fact. That is the bottom line. The people of my state know my record and they endorsed it with an election. And yet if you look at [Forbesí] ads it doesnít say that. I donít mind debates. I do mind Republicans tearing each other down.

FORBES. Youíre not going to win the White House by making pledges that are then broken. Weíve been through that before, particularly on taxes. A pledge made should be a pledge kept. And in Texas it was your own party that saved you from breaking that pledge. You tried to break it, they blocked you.

Source: (cross-ref to Forbes) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

Steve Forbes: Negative ads are OK if they tell the truth

Q: [to Bush & Forbes]: Will you agree not to run any negative ads against each other?

FORBES. The answer is if being negative is telling the truth I will continue to tell the truth. People deserve it, we deserve an honest and open and vigorous debate. And if a man breaks a pledge [re 1997 tax cuts], the voters ought to know it.

BUSH: Iíll run positive ads. Listen, I cut taxes as the governor. Thatís a fact. That is the bottom line. The people of my state know my record and they endorsed it with an election. And yet if you look at [Forbesí] ads it doesnít say that. I donít mind debates. I do mind Republicans tearing each other down.

FORBES. Youíre not going to win the White House by making pledges that are then broken. Weíve been through that before, particularly on taxes. A pledge made should be a pledge kept. And in Texas it was your own party that saved you from breaking that pledge. You tried to break it, they blocked you.

Source: (cross-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Michigan Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)