In his quest to unseat Gov. Rick Snyder, Democrat Mark Schauer of Battle Creek has made early northern campaign swings in both peninsulas, including stops below the bridge last weekend.
Shortly after announcing in May, the former congressman and state House and Senate lawmaker made five campaign stops in the Upper Peninsula, where his wife, Christine, was raised in Negaunee as daughter of a miner, and five stops in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.
Last week, the former state Senate minority leader also made Friday and Saturday stops in Traverse City and Leland. Tickets to his Friday evening fundraiser at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club ranged from $250 to $1,000.
Among points Schauer, 51, made during our chat over his car phone:
n Medicaid: He criticized Snyder for failure to win immediate effect of the GOP-ruled Senate vote to provide health insurance to many thousands of low-income residents. “This would have been unthinkable under (GOP Gov. John) Engler.”
He also ridiculed the GOP-sponsored legislation pending in the Legislature to name the ceremonial Governor’s Office in the Capitol after Engler, arguing, appropriately, that such an office should not have a tag of either party.
n Great Lakes: He said Snyder needs to be more assertive on lakes issues and the federal government “has to be more aggressive” in spending for its programs. He complimented the current Michigan congressional delegation, including Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, for cooperative efforts on Great Lakes issues.
n Education: He lamented the acceleration of charter schools managed by for-profit corporations that he says are “part of a broader corporate take over of public education in Michigan that is wrong for our kids, for our communities and for taxpayers.” Essentially, he contends, children have dollar signs “on their foreheads.”