Michigan Senate district 31: Mike Green (R), Jeff Mayes (D).
Mike Green, hailing from Mayville, Mich., cites his lengthy resume as one of his strongest campaign points. Though he never received an undergraduate degree in his youth, only attending Flint Junior College, he seeks an image in the public's eyes as a work-savvy, self-made man. Green owned and operated a family farm for 17 years, all the while working for General Motors making tools and die casts. He first ran for elected office in 1984, winning the race and serving as County Commissioner for the following eight years. His next win came in 1994 when Republicans swept the midterm election, securing a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives until 2000. Currently he is sitting on the board of several Thumb-based organizations, mostly having to do with health related issues. Green, in addition to his work accomplishments, also emphasizes his personal commitment to his of five children and 18 grandchildren as part of his campaign.
Green's policy issues mainly center around helping the private sector thrive in Michigan again through a combination of tax cuts and deregulation. He points people in the direction of his record as a state Representative, where he voted to cut taxes 31 times. He supports an end to the Michigan Business Tax, instead replacing it with a flat rate corporate tax. Closely related to this is Green's plan that would phase out personal property taxes for business owners, a measure that he believes would encourage entrepreneurial risk among those who drive Michigan's main street business sector. In his campaign, he stresses the need to reign in an out of control government that is inefficient and wasting taxpayer money. While in office , the Michigan Nation Federation of Independent business twice gave Green a rating of 100 percent.
Much like his economic ideology, Green appears to be quite conservative on social issues as well. He is pro-life, holding the belief that the life of a child begins with conception. He is also a strong believer is second amendment rights, toting an A+ endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
Green also says he will introduce or sponsor an "Arizona-like" approach to Illegal immigration in order to keep Michigan jobs safe. In regard to education, he supports a decentralization shift, giving local school districts more responsibility for themselves.
Born and raised in Bay City, Mich., Jeff Mayes received a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Communication from the University of Michigan before jumping into the political world in 1994 as a campaign manager for a state representative campaign. His own political career however did not begin until 2000 when he served as Bangor Township Supervisor. Four years later Mayes became a State representative for district 96, where he serves to this day as chair of the Energy and Technology committee. He is married and has several pets.
Mayes admittedly supports deregulation of industry to foster economic growth, especially in the agriculture industry. For instance he introduced legislation that would stop sugar beet processors from having to specially dispose of certain byproducts. He sees strength in agriculture as a key to Michigan's success. Mayes strongly supports tax incentives for farmers who practice soil and water conservation techniques, which he says will help them be more productive in the long run. He is an advocate of green energy playing a role in Michigan's future industry, supporting legislation to foster its growth in Michigan. Mayes is also a supporter of pouring money into infrastructure to create jobs.
On social issues, Mayes is more aligned with republicans. He is anti gun control, and is a member of the National Rifle Association. He is also pro-life, serving as the co-chair of a pro-life caucus for the last two years. Mayes plans to deal with illegal immigration through a business-centered approach, taking away licenses of companies who employ illegal aliens.
Social Issues: In essence, the candidates have the same views on almost all social issues--Pro-Life, Anti gun control, etc. The only major difference is, while both are members of the NRA, Green has a very positive endorsement from them while Mayes has nothing from them. However, their views on abortion could end up being quit different, as Green believes that life begins as conception. In the strictest sense this could mean that he disapproves of prescription birth control, and would advocate seeing it outlawed. However, he has not been that specific on the issue to the public yet.
The Environment: Mayes holds this issue almost exclusively, as Green doesn't mention the issue anywhere in his platform to speak of. Mayes looks to use tax incentives to build a green energy industry in Michigan; one he proposes could lead to many new manufacturing jobs and stable businesses. He also looks to use direct legislation to help jump-start the industry.
The Economy: To some extent, both candidates say that the government has been too overbearing. They both feel they need to cut down on regulation if real growth is to be fostered. But while Green believes the laizzez-faire policy will naturally work by itself, Mayes wants to use the government to help the process by pouring money into infrastructure improvements to create jobs, and using incentives to foster job creation in private companies.
Illegal Aliens: Both see illegal immigrants as a major threat to Michigan's economic security. Green supports strong, police-based closed boarder effort while Mayes supports punishing businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
Finances (aug.): Mayes - $146,679
Green - $16,080
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State Representative Jeff Mayes | Michigan House Democrats. Web. 19 Oct. 2010. <http://096.housedems.com/>