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Weekly Legislative Update

October 15, 2010

SBAM’s Small Biz PAC has endorsed Rick Snyder in the race to become Michigan’s next Governor.

SBAM chose to endorse Snyder over Virg Bernero because we and Michigan’s small business owners believe that Rick Snyder’s experience as a leader in innovation and job creation gives him unique and valuable insight into what it will take to help Michigan excel in entrepreneur-centered economic development.

Michigan needs jobs, and jobs overwhelmingly come from economic gardening: the nurturing of successful, home-grown entrepreneurs. Rick Snyder is far and away the best choice for entrepreneurs, small business owners and anyone who works for a small business.

SBAM has also taken a position urging a no vote on Proposal 1. Proposal 1 will ask the voters if there should be a constitutional convention (con-con) to look at re-writing the state’s Constitution.

We urge you to vote no on Proposal 1. We are part of a coalition called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, made up of a wide array of business groups and other associations.

Our current Constitution was written is 1963 and as part of it the voters are asked every 16 year to vote on a constitutional convention. The proposal was defeated handily in both 1978 and 1994.

There are a number of reasons that SBAM is opposed to Proposal 1. But chief among them is a report from the Senate Fiscal Agency that estimates the cost of a Con-Con would be $45 million. The state has faced budgetary shortfalls for years and any additional costs would only lead to further cuts or tax increases that Michigan can ill afford right now.

There are other ways to amend the Constitution without the complete overhaul that a constitutional convention would call for. Extreme groups from both sides of the ideological spectrum would push for numerous changes that would possibly cause more harm than good.

As election day approaches, Republicans on the federal level are looking to take over both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. While Michigan’s Senators are not up for re-election this year, all of the House seats are. There are four Michigan seats that may be up for grabs.

In the 1st Congressional District, which covers the Upper Peninsula and a large portion of northern lower Michigan, Congressman Bart Stupak retired earlier in the year. That left this seat open and both parties are waging a serious campaign to win it.

The race features Democrat State Representative Gary McDowell against Republican Dan Benishek. Stupak has held this seat since 1993, so Republicans are looking at this seat as a possible pick-up. Both campaigns are very active and the latest polling shows Benishek with a 43-39 lead.

In the 7th Congressional District, which covers the Lansing, Battle Creek, Jackson areas and other southern mid-Michigan counties, first term Democrat Congressman Mark Schauer is fending off a re-match with former Republican Congressman Tim Walberg, whom Schauer defeated to win the seat in 2008.

The latest poll shows Schauer with a 44-40 lead.

In the 9th Congressional District, which covers parts of Oakland County, first-term Democrat Congressman Gary Peters is facing former State Representative Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski. The latest polling also shows this race to be neck-and neck.

The most surprising race in Michigan is in the 15th Congressional District. The 15th District includes Southern Wayne County, part of Washtenaw County and Monroe County. This has been a strong Democratic area for years.

Congressman John Dingell, who has served longer than any other House member in the history of Congress, (he was first elected in 1956), may be in trouble. The latest poll shows Republican John Steele with a 44-40 lead. Should this race become a Republican seat it will typify the anger that voters have with Congress.

While SBAM only endorses in State races (and reports on federal races) there are many other important races and issues to be decided on Nov. 2. Please click here to preview what will be on your ballot.

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