Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doug Geiss - NO to Jase Bolger as Speaker of House

Posted tonight by Doug Geiss as why he made a nearly unprecedented vote against Bolger.

"I voted against Representative Jase Bolger becoming the Speaker of the House of Representatives today, the first time in my lifetime that a Speaker received any "No" votes. Dian Slavens joined me in a final 107-2 vote.

Here are my reasons, as will appear in the House Journal:

I cast a no vote for Representative Bolger for the position of Speaker today, because I do not believe he is the correct person to lead the Michigan House of Representative. I could have cast a yes vote for any other member of the majority party, other than Representative Bolger. This is my first and only opportunity to weigh in on the actions taken by Representative Bolger during the 96th Legislature. Based on past actions, I cannot see improved working relations or practices taking place under the leadership of Representative Bolger.

First and foremost, the lack of ethics exhibited by Representative Bolger during the last legislature reflects poorly on the institution of the Michigan House of Representatives. While it was political to orchestrate the party switch of Representative Roy Schmidt, it was abhorrent that the then Speaker also worked to have a false Democratic candidate file to run in the same election, in an attempt to keep a real Democrat from filing to run. This is political gamesmanship unprecedented in Michigan history. Not only did Representative Bolger coordinate this abomination of the electoral process, but he lied about his involvement in the process. This cannot be condoned.

Next, the Representative Bolger orchestrated cuts to Michigan's public schools and taxes on Michigan's seniors, in order to pay for a $1.8 Billion tax cut for Michigan's businesses. While talking about making Michigan more competitive for businesses, Representative Bolger failed to discuss the negative impact of the cuts in school funding on our children and the inability of those living on a fixed income from affording these new taxes. I did not support those actions and am fearful of similar additional burdens on Michigan's families in the 97th Legislature.

Finally, Representative Bolger rammed through legislation in the lame duck session which concluded the 96th session. In particular, the Freedom to Freeload legislation was introduced and passed through our chamber in less than two session days of the House of Representatives. There were no committee hearings for this legislation. There was plenty of time to have them. I personally attended numerous meetings of the House Education Committee and the Insurance Committee during November and December, while many of my colleagues were hunting or on break. If this process was correct for deliberation of the EAA legislation and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield legislation, then why was it not proper for the most onerous changes affecting labor in Michigan's history? The reason is that Representative Bolger knew that a majority of Michigan's residents did not support the Freedom to Freeload legislation and that it would not stand the light of day. This is contrary to the true nature of our legislative process, to talk, discuss and ultimately vote on vital issues to the people of the State of Michigan.

If, in the spirit of bipartisanship, my colleagues and I are being asked to forgive and forget these transgressions, then so to should my historic no vote for the election of Speaker Bolger be forgiven. This is the cathartic process of stating your opinion for the record, then moving on to new challenges and issues facing the people of the State of Michigan. I look forward to serving the people of Romulus, Taylor and Van Buren Township, and all of Michigan, for the next two years."

Doug Geiss on passage of Right To Work bill on December 11, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment