By Carol Cain
Let the battle begin!
It’s game on for Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer in the 2014 gubernatorial contest. Snyder, the Republican governor who announced his first campaign via a Super Bowl ad introducing him as “one tough nerd” four years ago, is poised to announce his re-election with a commercial airing during Sunday’s epic football championship game.
Former Rep. Mark Schauer is the lone Democrat to take him on and lobbed a few verbal volleys during taping of “Michigan Matters” which aired at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS 62.
“Snyder’s Super Bowl ad will air between commercials for chips and pop, but the people of Michigan aren’t buying what he’s selling,” said Schauer. “It’s clear Snyder is desperate to start his rebranding tour,” he said. “After cutting over $1 billion from education and taxing seniors’ retirement to pay for a huge corporate tax break that’s not creating jobs, it’s no surprise that the Governor is so anxious to whitewash his record.”
Schauer is also appearing in a new TV commercial that hit airwaves this week across the state that was sponsored by the Democratic Governors Association. It talks up the Battle Creek resident and dissed Snyder’s record on education spending.
Snyder’s team has cried foul over the commercial, adding spending per pupil has increased under the Republican Governor and legislature. Snyder is scheduled to hit the road Monday and Tuesday as he crisscrosses the lower peninsula on a swing through towns including Traverse City, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Detroit.
Besides education, Schauer is convinced economic issues impacting the middle class will be hot buttons on the campaign trail. Schauer talked up his plan to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.25 over three years from its current $7.40 an hour. “Gov. Snyder has said that raising the state’s minimum wage has not been a significant issue for him,” Schauer added. Michigan currently has 550 school districts in the state – many with fewer than 1,000 students. At a time education spending is under siege at the federal and state level, when asked if he thought there should be consolidation of districts to lower costs, Schauer said “It’s something to look at.”
Watch “Michigan Matters” 11:30 am Sunday on CBS 62
(Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer/Host of “Michigan Matters.” She writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. You can reach her at email@example.com)