Thanks to all those who worked so hard on my behalf -- who invested themselves physically, financially, and emotionally -- in my unsuccessful primary campaign.
Let me be clear. I have no regrets. No thought has or will enter my mind that if I'd only been quieter or less confrontational about the free market principles that I believe should apply throughout our economy, maybe the big bad utility monopolies wouldn't have come gunning for me.
In fact, in spending over $1 million in a single primary election to defeat me, they've provided a clear and very public demonstration of one of the evils of monopoly power, comparable to compulsory union dues:
The ability to take money from individuals who are forced by law to accept their product or service at an inflated price, then spend that money to advance political objectives with which the millions of individuals forced to pay may disagree -- in this case, maintenance of their government-privileged monopoly scheme of guaranteed market shares and guaranteed annual profits.
Two things come to mind politically:
1. The state of Nevada will have on the ballot this November a state constitutional amendment eliminating that state's government-privileged utility monopoly, guaranteeing citizens the freedom to choose instead where they buy their electricity. (Nevada requires such amendments to appear on two successive statewide ballots; Electricity Choice won 72 percent of the popular vote the first time around in 2016.)
Notably, one of the major proponents of that Nevada ballot measure is the high tech Internet company Switch, which just opened a major new facility in Grand Rapids.
Over the past 40 years, I've played leadership roles in successful statewide ballot campaigns on Right to Work, term limits, and defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.
Now that monopoly utility bosses have succeeded in relieving me of further legislative duties as of January 1st, I stand ready -- and just a touch committed -- to apply my communication and strategic skills to a statewide ballot measure in Michigan for the same purpose, bypassing the legislative process comprised of individuals who, in the wake of my defeat, will now be even more intimidated than they already were from acting to give electricity customers the reforms necessary to bring down the price of electricity and make Michigan more competitive for new industry and jobs.
(Salute to an exception, Rep. Tom Barrett, another fearless champion of Electricity Choice who withstood the second largest amount of cash expended by utility monopolists during this primary and crushed his opposition. Presumably, utility bosses will now spend a million or more of the money they force from electricity customers' pockets trying to defeat Tom in the general election. We must all rally to his defense. Volunteer or make a contribution today at http://tomformichigan.com )
2. Michigan law currently prohibits state-licensed casinos from making campaign contributions to candidates for governor, attorney general, or the state House and Senate. Why?
According to an attorney general's opinion by former Attorney General Frank Kelley, because a "public perception that improper influence has infiltrated the (regulatory and judicial) processes, however slightly, would undermine the trust that is essential to continued confidence in the industry and, what is more important, in state government.”
With utility bosses free to spend millions of ratepayer dollars on "dark money" front groups or direct campaign contributions to elect or defeat the very legislators who'll decide whether the utilities get to keep their 90 percent guarantee of market share and 10 percent guaranteed annual profit -- compounded by a Public Service Commission whose three members currently include a former Consumers Energy executive -- I assert from my interaction with citizens as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee that there is more than a "slightly" held public perception that improper influence by utility lobbyists has infiltrated our regulatory process, thus undermining the trust essential to confidence in the industry and in state government itself on this issue.
If Michigan prohibits involvement in electing or defeating legislators by government-licensed casinos, should the state continue to allow government-granted and privileged utility monopolies to do the same? That's a question that will be debated in Lansing in coming months, I suspect.
All that said, a few comments about my just completed primary campaign in particular:
Congratulations to former Rep. Kevin Daley, who won the campaign lottery when he drew me as an opponent, benefiting from a $1 million independent expenditure campaign that promoted his candidacy and attacked me.
All's fair in love and war, and to his credit, Kevin's personal campaign messaging did not pile on by echoing the messaging of the Consumers Energy cartel.
Kevin may have benefited from utility bosses' successful character assassination, but he was not the cause of it. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I called Kevin directly Tuesday evening to congratulate him and offer my help in his fall campaign to hold the seat for Republicans.
There's been some Facebook chatter about writing in my name or in same other way attempting to hinder Kevin's election in November. Let me be clear. I'll have none of that and will publicly disavow any hint of it of which I become aware.
As the Republican nominee, Kevin will have my full support. He is unquestionably pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Right to Work, and I trust him far more on protecting our 2nd Amendment rights than the Democratic nominee, Cynthia Luczak, who received an "F" grade from the NRA.
Ms. Luczak, by the way, on a liberal podcast interview in Lapeer County, expressed enthusiasm for legalizing recreational marijuana and stated her support -- in her role as Bay County clerk -- for issuing marriage licenses that contradict our state Marriage Protection Amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.
Ours is considered a swing district, so there's no margin for playing games. It's our duty as conservatives to support the more conservative candidate. Anyone who supported me in the primary, I strongly urge to join me in voting for Kevin Daley this November.
But more than that, truly committed conservatives have a mature adult duty and responsibility to set aside our personal feelings and disappointments and not just vote for Kevin, but actively work to help ensure his election over the nominee of an increasingly Socialist party that's intent on destroying the founding values and principles of our country and further implementing Barack Obama's promise of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
Do not allow anything -- I repeat, anything, and especially not any feelings you have for me -- to tempt you to give aid or assistance in any way to giving that party even one additional seat of influence and power in any jurisdiction in which you have a vote.
In the race for District 31 state senator on our November ballot, conservatives have a clear duty, one I will fulfill without hesitation:
Vote once, and vote Daley.
And may God bless and keep us strong for the fight!