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The case for Rick Snyder

Robert Downes - July 26th, 2010
The case for Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder, the “one tough nerd” GOP candidate for governor, is hoping that
Democrats and independents will join moderate Republicans to help him
win the primary election on August 3.
Snyder has qualities that appeal to both Republicans and
Democrats, while maintaining credibility as an independent outsider.
The venture capitalist from Ann Arbor also has top credentials in
business at a time when Michigan could use some expertise in the jobs
department.
That’s not the case with his closest opponents, Mike Cox and Pete
Hoekstra, who are courting the tea party vote in hopes of winning the
primary.
Cox and Hoekstra represent more of the same in Lansing: stagnation,
bickering and a lack of imagination needed to move Michigan forward.
Cox, because he’s part of the same partisan apparatus that paralyzed
our state throughout the Granholm years. Hoekstra, because as his
finger-pointing, lecturing commercials suggest, he generally plays the
political blame game; adept at complaining about the Obama
administration, but unlikely to get much done for Michigan.
Snyder, by contrast, has rather courageously avoided courting any
special interest group or political action committee in his bid for
election. He hasn’t sought the endorsements of Right to Life, the
Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the NRA or other conservative groups and
has even declined to answer their questionnaires; nor has he courted
the UAW, Michigan’s teachers union or other liberal interest groups.
Despite this, Snyder has been endorsed by the Michigan League of
Conservation Voters -- the first time the group has ever endorsed a
Republican candidate for governor. He has also been endorsed by the
Michigan Chapter of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
This offers some evidence that Snyder really does have “the courage
to reach across the aisle” as one of his websites claims. He’s been
called a Milliken-style Republican, getting back to the more inclusive
days of the party, when good management and conservation were more
important than culture wars and divisive social issues. Last week,
Bill Milliken endorsed him as “a refreshing new presence.”
Snyder believes that protecting Michigan’s environment is good for
the state’s economy. He also has an interest in boosting mass transit,
controlling urban sprawl, and rebuilding our depressed urban centers.
And, while he’s a pro-life candidate, he also supports stem cell
research.
But the top concern for Michigan is jobs, and here too, Snyder
outshines other contenders. As the former president of Gateway, Inc.,
he built a high-tech company with $6 billion in revenues and more than
10,000 employees in the U.S.
On cutting taxes (the all-purpose-solution of every Republican
candidate), Snyder would do away with the Michigan Business Tax,
replacing it with “a flat 6% levy on business income that would result
in a tax cut of about $1.5 billion.”
Snyder isn’t perfect: critics say he sold out Gateway to the
Chinese when the company was threatened with going under, and he
doesn’t have any particular experience in government.
But one final thing sets Snyder above the other candidates -- both
Republicans and Democrats. While many seem to be Johnny-come-latelys
to their campaigns, Snyder has spent the past year visiting every
community of any size in Michigan, waging an arduous “town hall”
campaign that has reached out one-on-one to our citizens. He’s even
declined to participate in the debates of his own party, saying he’s
“not interested in the typical career politician playbook.”
That worn shoe leather and the 10,000 handshakes that went with the
effort to meet the citizens of Michigan demonstrates that Snyder is
his own man and a man of the people. Whether you’re a Republican,
Democrat or an independent voter, consider voting for Rick Snyder in
the August 3 primary to move our state forward.

 
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