THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
Posted In: Politics, , Local, Candidates, From Issue 899 By: Robert E Martin
14th July, 2020 0
For the State House of Representatives seats in the 94th & 95th Districts the August 4th primary race pits Democrats Kevin Seamon & Demond Tibbs vying for the 2-year seat currently held by Rep. Rodney Wakeman in the 94th District; while the 95h District contest consists of Democrats Brandell Adams, Clint Bryant, James Graham, Amos O’Neal and Carly Rose Hammond who face Republican Charlotte DeMaet in the November general election.
In the interest of cultivating better informed citizens, we reached out to all candidates with the following questions; however, Demond Tibbs, Brandell Adams, Amos O’Neal and Carly Hammond opted not to participate in the Forum or respond to our questions; which when it comes to transparency, is perhaps the most important fact voters should embrace going into this primary contest.
REVIEW: What are the personal qualities and professional background that you feel qualifies you for this position and distinguishes you from your opponent?
Clint Bryant: For the past four years, I served as a member of the Saginaw City Council and have been actively engaged in my community for over a decade. I come to this fight experienced through my years as a substitute teacher, as a legislative aid in the Michigan House of Representatives, as a union negotiator and now as a former city councilman.
Hard work is nothing new to me. I grew up on the southwest side of Saginaw, the eldest son of a single mother who worked two to three jobs at a time to make ends meet. Growing up I didn’t have much, but my mother instilled in me the commitment to service and it is that spirit of advocacy that I will take to Lansing to fight for the citizens of my community and the State of Michigan at large.
James Graham: I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Northern Michigan University and have studied Criminal Justice and Political Science at SVSU and am half way to my Master’s degree. I’ve served 12 terms on the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners and a licensed builder from 1974 to the present and a licensed realtor from 1990 to present. Currently I am serving on the Saginaw County Board of Health & Human Services for my third term, so have learned from the ground up how to handle a public health crisis.
Kevin Seamon: I am Sr. Commander Commando Legionnaire Kevin Christopher Seamon of the United States Military in Saginaw Michigan. I am also a Federal Agent. Code Name: White Knight 196. James Bond is 007. I am 196. I am in the Spy Industry. I am out in the open. I design projects that are worth Mega Money. I have a Double Major in Banking / Financial Management from Northwood University in Midland Michigan. I went to College to be a Wall Street Stock Broker / Commodities Broker or work at the Federal Reserve Bank or the IMF in Europe.
Now, you say IMF and that is Mission Impossible people, which is something like James Bond or even Jason Bourne. I design Federal Operations that are worth Mega Money. I design Companies and their Products. I am a Job Creator. I am literally the Number 1 Agent in the entire United States Federal Government. I tested above a Mastermind Genius on my Government Testing. I am on a World Scale and I am running for Michigan House of Representatives in District 94 (Saginaw) as a Pro Worker Supporting Democrat to push ahead a good number of My Projects that haven't been done yet and create Jobs in Michigan.
One of the biggest things that I do is bring in tax revenue so the government can spend it. I work on Cost Savings that are Natural, as I try and put people to work so they are not living on Unemployment and Welfare (Tax Payer Dollars). As you put these people to work they now Pay Taxes into the Government and that is Cost Savings as we are no longer paying out Unemployment and Welfare. I push for better wages to bring in more Taxes. As I boost the Economy the Stock Market goes up and that Generates Capital Gains Tax. I have personally created Millions of Jobs. I am not Bull Crapping you either. So this is what I have to offer that distinguishes me from Demond Tibbs and Rodney Wakeman.
REVIEW: Michigan lawmakers will have to make $2.6 billion in cuts and adjustments to the state’s nearly $60-billion budget because of the COVID-19 pandemic, on top of $3.3 billion less revenue than previously projected for its next budget according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. What areas would you target for cuts and what proposals would you advance to address this shortfall?
James Graham: Government has not been covering itself in glory lately. From the COVID pandemic, to the proper role of law enforcement, to telling people to stay home and then making it hard for them to get unemployment, people are confused. We need calm, steady leadership. As a builder for 47 years, I know what it means to work for a living and take care of employees.
This is a tough question to answer without the budget in front of me, so it’s hard to say whether across-the-board cuts of 3 to 5% would be the best solution or not. I don’t want to pick on any one enterprise, as all states and cities are running deficits right now. I’m not for raising any taxes at this point, so every department should be able to make small cuts.
Clint Bryant: When cuts like these become an imperative for state governments, our most vulnerable employees and community stakeholders suffer the most. What we can’t afford to do is make cuts to our state employees that already make barely enough to put food on the tables. This pandemic has struck our communities in a way we couldn’t have foreseen.
Kevin Seamon: First off this is a very hard question. I don't think we can make cuts. I think that we are going to have to borrow money and people are not going to like it, but we have to spend to boost the economy. Now as we borrow the money, how do we pay for it? That is what we need to look at. I am the Go To Person for this, as I have Projects lined up that will bring in a lot of Tax Revenue and Boost the Economy. I am working on Bringing Fidelity to the City of Detroit with a Brand New Skyscraper and 1,500 High Paying Financial Jobs that will boost Detroit's Economy more than you think. I am working on E15 which will boost Michigan's Economy as we go from E10 in our Gasoline to E15 (Ethanol). This is huge for our Farmers in Michigan. I am working on Two Hemp Paper Plants in Northern Michigan which will boost Farming and it will create badly needed Jobs in Northern Michigan. I am working on a Michigan Gambling Bill in Advance that will Legalize RaCino's and it will revamp the State Lottery, as right now the State Lottery brought in $1.07 Billion Dollars last year. My Goal with the Revamping will bring in $1.3 Billion Dollars a year or more. I am on a World Scale, but I am running for office in Michigan to push for these Projects to happen to boost the Economy and bring in not just Taxes for the State of Michigan but for the Federal Government. I have brought in so much money with my work that I should be able to ask Washington D.C. for Money for Projects in Michigan and be able to get it where others can't.
REVIEW: A $1.2 billion deficit is projected for the School Aid Fund in the next fiscal year, yet recently the legislature approved $53 million towards additional ‘hazard pay’ for each teacher in Michigan. Much of this is being achieved through public safety cuts. Do you support this shift in funding?
Kevin Seamon: I support the Hazard Pay. but I can pay for it with what I have talked about in Question 2. I don't support cuts to Public Safety. In fact I had plans to open back up 2 Prisons in Michigan and to bring on a few hundred brand New State Police Officers that are Solid Narcotics Officers that will be stationed out of Bay City Michigan. I am running on Jobs / Education / Wages and then Public Safety. I have plans on opening back up Standish Max Prison and 1 other Prison.. I don't sit and Waste Money. I don't support Raising Taxes unless we absolutely have to. I bring in Taxes Naturally. I do Cost Savings that is Natural. I am already going to be asking the Federal Government for Demolition Money. I am looking at around $35 Million for the City of Saginaw. I am looking at around $65 Million for the City of Flint. I am looking at around $200 Million for the City of Detroit. As Construction of the New Buildings goes on taxes come in from people's paychecks. You add all of this up and it chips away at what they gave us for Demolition Money. I have more things planned in advance to get money out of the Federal Government. I know I can get it where other people can't. Again I work on Projects worth MEGA MONEY
Clint Bryant: Educators function as therapists, social workers and counselors, In addition to all their other responsibilities. This COVID-19 has also revealed that they are also magicians transitioning lesson plans into a digital format and have regularly checked in on them. As a former substitute teacher and school bus driver, I can tell you first hand that the Michigan legislature has not prioritized or appropriately funded our schools.
A breakdown of the funding recently appropriated is as follows: $350 million from the state's $1.1 billion rainy day fund and squeezing out $490 million in savings through a hiring freeze in state government, slashing discretionary spending and other identified savings, not solely public safety. The coronavirus has revealed the holes in our education funding. When students return to learning, education will look vastly different from what we remember, and we have an obligation to rise to the occasion. Our students will need digital resources: tablets and computers, in addition we must increase broadband access to our students in the rural community. Furthermore, we cannot expect teachers to provide a first class education while treating them as second class.
James Graham: Regarding these education deficits, I realize the state is taking a big chunk out of lottery winnings; but I’d like to look at placing restrictions on casino advertising in the 83 counties throughout the state. The money saved could be re-directed into the education fund. I know casinos give local and state governments 9.6% of their revenue, but maybe we could raise that percentage up and decrease their advertising. I feel casinos should be able to advertise their entertainment, but not gambling, as its caused a lot of financial problems for people and in a sense I feel it’s a health hazard. As I go door-to-door many people in the district express agreement with me on this. Another issue where taxpayers should be able to save money is with water rates, especially in the City of Saginaw and Saginaw Township and Zilwaukee. When the new water treatment plant went up a tremendous amount of money and federal funding came into this 30 years ago and water rates went up then, so they should be coming down now and I’d like to check that out and do something about it if I am elected.
REVIEW: What are the three biggest priorities that need to be addressed in Michigan, not necessarily from a statewide perspective so much as how your involvement in Lansing could impact the 95th District?
James Graham: My number one issue is people finding good decent jobs. Working people comprise a large part of this district, so I’d like to see the building trades unions get back together. I’ve been a union contractor for many years and would like to see the private sector unionize a little more so we can get wages moving upward. I believe in a living wage, but do not think that $15 or $20 per hour is sustainable in this region. We’re not like New York or Chicago.
Secondly, with all these millages that constantly surface in Saginaw County, I think the state should have a Millage Evaluation Committee appointed by the Governor that includes a CPA, a lawyer, a private citizen, and someone from the Republican & Democratic party - similar to this Re-Districting Committee that is evaluating proposals. The Board of Commissioners have the authority to put these millage questions on the ballot and have legal counsel evaluate them, but we need to have a better portrait regarding the specifics of each millage proposal. We don’t have a Watchdog Media around anymore eyeballing local government, so that’s been a real problem for the political culture to be educated about the issues facing us locally. People don’t know what they’re talking about and it’s even harder to do with COVID 19 happening. Plus, people are sensitive to political issues, which is a real shame. There’s no middle ground anymore.
Clint Bryant: My motivation to run for state representative is in response to the effects of harmful legislation under a state legislature that has failed to put the people of Michigan first. As a council member, I have fought devastating cuts to state aid and the severe lack of funding coming from Lansing. As a union negotiator and substitute teacher, I have witnessed our students fall through the cracks because of reduced resources. I am the eldest son of a single mother who worked two to three jobs at a time to make ends meet. I understand that my story is like many within our district, and I am running to tell our stories and fight for necessary change to eliminate inequities in Food Security, Mobility/Transportation and Education in our district and throughout urban and rural Michigan. We cannot wait to take action, the time for action is now.
Kevin Seamon: I am running in the 94th District but a lot of people in the 94th District go to work in the City of Saginaw which is the 95th District. First, I need to get elected so I can work on making these Projects I am talking about happen. I am supporting Local Labor. I state that I am Pro Worker. That means that I support Union Workers, Non Union Workers, White Collar Workers, Government Workers, Military Soldiers, Farmers, and etc. I put the 99% First then the 1%. Second. I am going to be fighting to get companies in my district work. I am not going to be playing Bull Crap Games. I am serious and to the point. I want as much money flowing into the area as possible and I am not going to play Mr. Nice Guy and be some Weak Pathetic Brown Nose Politician who Bows Down to people in Southern Michigan.
One of the Biggest Problems we have is that our people in the area are Weak. They have No Power. They bring very little money back to our Community because they Brown Nose with everyone in Southern Michigan. We get hurt badly as we get left out of Contracts because they are Weak. They may represent us, but they are weak. They are Followers. I am a Leader type person. A person that Takes Charge. A person that doesn't take No for an answer. I have already stated that I want to be the Head Democrat on the House Floor. Number 1. I mean it too. With everything that I have to offer I should be able to make this happen.
Number 3 is I work my Butt Off. I move Fast and Swift. I don't sit around and Waste Time and move slow as a snail. I have so much to offer that I know I can work with Republicans in getting things done. I have Jobs for some of their Districts. I have what they need badly. I am willing to work hand-in-hand with them on things, but as I reach my hand out to them, they had better not Stab Me In The Back. If they do, I won't forget it. I am Extremely Smart and I want them to know it.
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THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)