They felt that many of the things that they wanted to know weren’t being addressed. That may be truer than ever in this year’s Michigan gubernatorial race, for two reasons.
First of all, we don’t know either Virg Bernero or Rick Snyder very well. Most of us hadn’t heard of either a year ago, and have only a fuzzy image of them now. Second, they had only one debate.
A number of Michigan Radio’s listeners have been posting things that they’d like the candidates to answer, and for a change, instead of telling you what I think, let me tell you what some of the voters want to know.
If the candidates happen to hear their questions, I’d be thrilled if they’d give me some real answers, If they do, I’ll happily share them with everybody. So, first of all, a man named Nathaniel would like both candidates to tell him this: “What will you do to LOWER costs for higher education? What will you do to get more people in Michigan into college? What can we do to stop the brain drain,“ that has so many college graduates leaving the state?
Excellent questions, Nathaniel. He also asked this of both men: “Would you pay an extra penny in sales tax to save Michigan’s economy?” By that he meant a one percent regional sales tax to be collected in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, and used for a tri-county mass transit system. This, he argues, would bring in federal matching funds and result in five billion dollars in economic growth.
Peinck Muslimah wants both candidates to commit to a graduated income tax, which would require a state constitutional amendment. Shannon Jones wants to see if our current flat rate tax system can be made to work better instead.
So, which do the candidates prefer?
Another listener notes that there is a vast disparity in the size of of school districts in our state. He, like many education experts think that with more that 500 districts, Michigan has too many.
So he wants to ask the candidates: “Do you plan to consolidate municipal services and small school districts to save money and reduce corruption? If so, how and when?
Another listener doesn’t want to ask the candidates, he wants to tell them something: “Metro Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapdis and Kalamazoo need to come together as regions.”
That he thinks, would create new and larger government entities focused on solving economic and other problems.
Tom Williams thinks whoever gets elected should establish a new, user-friendly one-stop online shop for all economy-boosting services, and push for “an aggressive outreach campaign designed to encourage business to increase the state’s profile further.”
He also thinks if “jobs are indeed the number one issue, in the state“ they should be the singular focus in state government.”
My guess is that there are several hundred thousand unemployed Michiganders who might very much agree.