The establishment wing of the Republican Party finds resistance to their “tax and spend” road funding plans. This is good news for middle class Michigan citizens.

This resistance was a surprise to the Republican establishment as they expected quick and easy passage of this latest betrayal of Michigan’s middle class. The resistance also demonstrates the power of grassroots citizen advocacy and the influence exerted when you take the time to call legislators and voice your opinion on important issues.


The final outcome of this legislative battle is unclear. However, what is clear is that your phone calls, letters, and emails are making a difference. The cause of economic prosperity for all is advanced anytime we can delay or defeat legislation that is harmful to the middle class. Yes, even delaying the implementation of onerous legislation helps our cause as it requires the establishment to expend additional political capital pushing their agenda. The more time the establishment spends on this issue the less time they have to push other issues, like a taxpayer funded bailout of Detroit’s failed public school system.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened yesterday regarding the road funding battle taking place in Lansing.

Late yesterday the Detroit Free Press reported,

 “Despite eight hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the state Senate failed to muster enough votes Tuesday to pass a plan to raise gas taxes and registration fees . . .”

This development is good news for all Michigan citizens who are struggling to keep their financial heads above water. This is especially true for Michigan’s seniors on Social Security as they won’t be getting a cost of living increase next year. Is it fair that Lansing gets a raise when Michigan seniors do not?

The Senate Republican establishment moved quickly to vote on a package of road funding bills because they thought they had the votes to foist, yet another, tax and fee hike on weary taxpayers. The headline of a mLive story published earlier in the day put it this way,

$1.2B House road funding plan set up for swift action in Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate is set to consider a controversial road funding plan approved last week by House Republicans, and supporters are hoping for swift action.

It is clear that some rank and file Senators surprised the establishment when they did not deliver the needed votes. The only reason these Senators would change their minds and push back against their own leadership is pressure from their constituents. These Senators see the writing on the wall. There could be a political price to pay for, once again, sticking it to those who voted them into office. A recent poll by the Platform Republican Caucus indicated that 79 percent of voters would be less likely to re-elect a representative who voted to increase registration fees by $50 per vehicle, which is roughly $10 less than what the Republican establishment is pushing.

Normally immune from constituent pressure, some term-limited Senators have cause for concern as they ponder what office to run for next. Two term-limited tax hike supporters, Senator Mike Kowall (R) and Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R), have expressed interest in running for Secretary of State and Attorney General, respectively. These two seasoned pols know a vote to hike taxes, when it is clear that road funding could be accomplished otherwise, would tarnish their chances of winning the Republican nomination for these two offices.

Rightfully so, these two aspirants to higher office should be concerned that support for this unpopular road funding legislation could come back to haunt them. Organizations friendly toward middle class Michigan citizens will not quickly forget their betrayal. In fact, The Gadsden Center already has distributed an educational flyer at the Republican Party’s bi-annual Mackinac Leadership Conference. This flyer reminded key Republican activists from across Michigan of Senator Schuitmaker’s votes and public comments in support of raising Michigan’s gas tax.

With your support, The Gadsden Center will continue to inform voters and raise awareness about who is on the side of the establishment elite and who is on the side of the middle class citizen.

Add your voice to ours and we will leverage your efforts to promote economic freedom and prosperity for all. Subscribe to our email and we’ll keep you posted on key issues of importance to Michigan citizens.

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