Auburn, Mi. -- Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., a Republican candidate for the state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties, Monday said that Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison are using corporate funds to finance nearly $300,000 on television and radio ads aired over the last month promoting the candidacy of his Republican primary opponent, former state Rep. Kevin Daley, R-Lum.
"Michigan's current monopoly system, which as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee I've vocally opposed, guarantees Consumers and DTE a 10 percent annual profit from the money we're all forced to pay them for our electricity bills. That means monopoly utility bosses have millions in state-guaranteed profits to spend on deceptive TV ads trying to handpick and elect politicians -- such as Kevin Daley -- who they believe won't stand up to their Lansing lobbyists or threaten their monopoly privileges," Glenn said.
"Monopoly utility bosses know that if I'm elected to the state Senate, I'll continue to oppose their government-privileged monopoly and promote Electricity Choice to give homeowners, businesses, farmers, and schools the freedom to buy electricity from the cheapest provider available," Glenn said.
Glenn supports giving all electricity customers the freedom to choose, but in order to illustrate the negative economic effects of Consumers' and DTE's monopoly status, he has introduced legislation to exempt all farms and food processing operations from the existing cap on Electricity Choice. Electricity is the biggest cost of doing business for the Michigan Sugar Co. in Bay City, the POET ethanol plant in Caro, and the Dairy Farmers of America facility in Cass City.
He's also supported legislation to exempt all public schools from the Electricity Choice cap. The program has saved $200,000 for public schools in Bay County, over $800,000 in Tuscola County, and over $1.5 million for schools in Lapeer County. Schools save $17 million a year under the program, according to Tuscola ISD Supt. Gene Pierce, president of the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative, but 75 percent of the state's schools by law are blocked from participating in the program, being forced to buy from Consumers and DTE because of their government-granted monopoly.
Glenn noted that utility lobbyists' TV and radio ads promoting Daley deceptively don't mention such energy issues at all, but repeatedly mention Daley's name without expressly advocating his election, which under IRS 501(c)(4) regulations allows utility lobbyists to finance the ads with corporate funds without being required to disclose the source of the funding.
In a May 10th report, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network reported that a secretive front group called "Faithful Conservatives for Michigan" had spent over $100,000 on the ads promoting Daley. http://mcfn.org/node/6901/it-will-send-a-message-some-of-the-first-state-senate-ads-of-2018-are-funded-by-secret-donors
That figure has since grown to nearly $300,000, according to a more recent review of public records the Federal Communications Commission requires television and radio stations to make available to the public.
"Faithful Conservatives for Michigan," which refused to identify its board of directors or source of funding to MCFN, nonetheless shares the same street address -- 2145 Commons Parkway, a law firm in Okemos, east of Lansing (see attached photo) -- with another utility front group, "Citizens for Energizing Michigan's Economy," which a Consumers Energy spokesman in a 2014 MLIVE interview admitted the utility finances using corporate funds. https://www.bizapedia.com/addresses/2145-commons-parkway-okemos-mi-48864.html
Over the last three years, that front group has aired TV ads opposing Michigan's "electricity choice" program and defending utilities' monopoly status, under which Consumers and DTE are guaranteed 90 percent of the electricity market in their respective service areas plus a 10 percent annual profit by law. http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/02/michigan_consumers_energy_elec.html
"Citizens for Energizing Michigan's Economy" has also run a reported $55,000 in radio ads over the last month promoting the state Senate candidacy of Rep. Brett Roberts, who has supported utility executives' monopoly status. Roberts is opposed in the Republican primary by Rep. Tom Barrett, who agrees with Glenn that electricity customers should not be forced to buy from a monopoly utility.
Glenn said utility lobbyists got sloppy and tipped their hand when -- according to publicly-available records at WSGW Radio in Saginaw -- "Citizens for Energizing Michigan's Economy," the front group Consumers Energy has admitted it funds, scheduled a radio buy in Glenn's media market and then later switched the buy to "Faithful Conservatives for Michigan," which utility spokesmen have thus far publicly refused to confirm or deny funding. Glenn said Consumers Energy has admitted in private conversations, however, that the corporation is responsible for funding the Daley ads.
Three other related "dark money" front groups also list 2145 Commons Parkway, Okemos, the law office of attorney Eric Doster, as their street address:
* Michigan's Voice, which in 2016 spent tens of thousands of dollars on mailings attacking state Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, in his special election campaign to fill the state House seat vacated by former Rep. Todd Courser, who resigned. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/10/29/gop-challenger-gamrat-mystery-attack/74835628/
* "Save Roads Yes" and "Michigan Citizens for Better Roads and Schools," which lists Democratic political strategist Howard Edelson as its treasurer, both of which supported Proposal 1, the May 2015 statewide ballot measure rejected by voters that would have raised Michigan's gas and sales taxes by $2 billion.
Glenn has made Proposal 1 a focal point of his state Senate campaign, citing Daley's vote in favor of the $2 billion tax increase, which Daley called "historic" and "sustainable" in comments published in late 2014 by the Lapeer County Press. Glenn and now-Congressman Paul Mitchell were leaders of the ballot campaign opposing the massive tax hike, which Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected, including 85 percent of voters in Bay County and 88 percent of voters in Lapeer and Tuscola counties who voted against it.
"The same monopoly utility bosses who doubled or tripled many homeowners' electricity bills this past winter, who've turned people's power off if they object to having so-called "smart meters" installed, and who are pushing to put industrial wind turbine projects up across our rural landscapes, they're the ones who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to elect Kevin Daley to the state Senate," Glenn said. "It's entirely reasonable for voters, every time they see one of those 'faithful family farmer' ads that utility bosses are buying for Daley, to ask why."
Glenn noted that during a Consumers Energy shareholders meeting earlier this month, a proposal by shareholders -- to require utility executives to publicly disclose corporate spending on advertising intended to affect the outcome of legislation or elections -- was narrowly defeated, 55 to 45 percent, after Consumers' board of directors urged shareholders to reject it.
Glenn said in response that he would introduce legislation requiring utility monopolies to disclose such spending.
"Electrical utilities are the only corporations in Michigan who have the privilege of a government-guaranteed 90 percent of the market plus a government-guaranteed 10 percent profit each year," Glenn said. "As long as monopoly utility bosses enjoy those government-granted privileges, ratepayers have a right to know how much of the money that utility bosses collect from our electricity bills is being used to try to buy elections and block legislation that would allow electricity customers more freedom of choice."
Glenn said he assumes utility executives "thought they were being clever" in naming their newest front group, "Faithful Conservatives for Michigan," hoping it would offset what Glenn believes are among his biggest strengths among Republican primary voters:
* He was ranked as the most conservative member of the state House of Representatives in each of his first two years in office by the American Conservative Union, based on his votes on fiscal, social, and veterans issues. His voting record was also graded A+ by the National Rifle Association during the 2016 election, which graded Daley only a B-minus in his last race in 2014 against Sen. Mike Green.
* As president of the American Family Association of Michigan for nearly two decades, Glenn has led a faith-based advocacy group for traditional family values, in which capacity he coauthored with Catholic law professor Patrick Gillen the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by nearly 60 percent of voters on the 2004 statewide ballot.
House Energy Policy Committee to hear bills later this month
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, discusses a package of bipartisan Energy Freedom legislation unveiled Tuesday during a news conference at the state Capitol in Lansing. Rep. Glenn’s legislation, House Bill 5861, is the main bill in a package intended to allow homeowners, farmers, businesses, and other individuals or organizations the freedom to form cooperatives to own solar or other renewable energy sources without being dependent on monopoly utilities such as Consumers Energy or Detroit Edison. Glenn’s bill will allow more innovative and diverse methods to power homes, businesses, churches, or agricultural production and processing activities at lower costs for electricity.
Rep. Glenn is joined at the news conference by other bill sponsors (from right) Rep. Steve Johnson R-Wayland; Chairman Glenn; Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor; Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte; and Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet.
Rep. Glenn plans to have committee hearings on the bills later this month.
Republican says legislative duties, state Senate campaign will continue
Williams Twp., Mich. -- Rep. Gary Glenn's service in the state House of Representatives and his candidacy for the state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties will continue uninterrupted despite the return of prostate cancer which had previously been in remission for over two years.
Glenn, a second-termRepublican from Williams Township in Bay County, was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer in January 2016, just as he began his second year representing parts of Bay and Midland counties in the House, and just after being named "Freshman Legislator of the Year" by Michigan Information and Research Service, the state Capitol's oldest daily news organization.
The tumor had destroyed the L-5 vertebrae in Glenn's spinal column, breaking his back. After radiation and hormone therapy, the cancer went into remission five weeks after its discovery, and in the following months, the destroyed vertebrae regenerated and has fully healed, which is considered unusual.
The cancer remained undetectable until last Friday, when a bone scan at Mid-Michigan Medical Center revealed two small tumors, one on Glenn's L-1 vertebrae and another on his hip bone.
At the recommendation Wednesday of doctors at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Glenn will undergo immunotherapy to boost his immune system, radiation to remove the identified tumors, and additional hormone therapy to treat any tumors that may be present but not large enough to be detected. The treatments are intended to send the cancer back into remission.
Glenn echoed the comments he made when he made his diagnosis public over two years ago:
"I'm publicly disclosing this development, first, because my constituents have a right to know, but more importantly to me, so that I can once again ask people I may never even meet to pray for me and my family. Throughout this challenge, my ultimate hope has been in the power of prayer and in the healing power of Jesus Christ. I continue to have faith that there's more work the Lord would have me do in the life of my family, community, and state, and I will act on that belief by continuing to faithfully fulfill my duties and responsibilities as both a legislator and candidate."
Glenn has already demonstrated his level of commitment by maintaining a perfect attendance record throughout over three years of legislative service -- never missing a caucus, committee meeting, or vote on the House floor -- even when undergoing five months of chemotherapy in 2016, a "brutal" treatment, he said, which resulted in extreme fatigue and other severe side effects.
Glenn said doctors have told him that there are no similar side effects associated with his upcoming treatments that would in any way limit his continued service in the legislature or his ability to actively pursue his campaign for the state Senate. He faces former state Rep. Kevin Daley of Lapeer County in the August 7th Republican primary for the 31st District state Senate seat.
Glenn serves as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem and as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, in which position he has been a leading advocate of making Michigan more attractive to new business and industry by restoring free market principles of competition and consumer choice to the state's energy markets to reduce the cost of electricity.
Lansing, Mich. -- A mid-Michigan Republican is among only seven members of the Michigan House of Representatives to receive a perfect score on their 2017 voting record from a statewide free market advocacy group.
Rep. Gary Glenn of Williams Township in Bay County, associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem and chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, received a 100 percent score on 17 roll call votes selected by Americans for Prosperity of Michigan, which released the results Tuesday during a gathering of the group's grassroots supporters at the state Capitol in Lansing.
"I've purposely maintained a consistently conservative record that reflects the mainstream values of the families in Bay and Midland counties that I've been privileged to represent for the last three years," Glenn said. "Families in Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties can be confident that I will keep my pledge to continue that conservative record if I'm privileged next year to serve as their state senator."
AFP-Michigan said its scorecard measures lawmakers' commitment to free-market, limited government policies -- including a roll back of the state personal income tax -- that will move the state toward expanded economic freedom.
“Our scorecard will empower citizens to hold their lawmakers accountable to the principles of economic freedom and limited government,” said Pete Lund, AFP-Michigan state director. “We hope citizens will discuss scorecard results with their elected officials and use those conversations to express their appreciation and identify areas for improvement. Our freedoms expand or shrink with many of the votes our lawmakers take. We are thankful for those lawmakers who consistently prioritize the fundamental principles of economic freedom.”
Lund noted that support for reducing unnecessary regulations, curbing local regulatory overreach, and overhauling the public education pension system lifted lawmakers' scores.
Williams Twp., Mich. -- Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., a Republican candidate for the state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties, Friday signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge offered by Americans for Tax Reform pledging that if elected, he will "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." Glenn, now in his second term in Lansing, signed the same pledge as a successful candidate for the state House of Representatives in 2014.
"Michigan taxpayers want the state to prioritize its spending, not raise our taxes," Glenn said. "My definition of 'fairness' is taxpayers getting to keep more of their own money to spend as they see fit, not the government."
Glenn said signing the pledge will sharpen the distinction between him and his Republican primary opponent, former state Rep. Kevin Daley, who voted in favor of two major tax increases while serving in the state House of Representatives.
* Daley voted in favor of imposing the state income tax for the first time on retiree pensions, telling a Republican women's forum in November that it wasn't "fair" that pensioners weren't required to pay taxes on their retirement income.
Glenn, who as a candidate in 2014 expressed opposition to the Pension Tax, has cosponsored legislation in each of his two terms to repeal and eliminate the tax. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-HB-4052
* Daley also voted in favor of Proposal 1, a $2 billion roads tax increase he said in the Lapeer County Press was "historic" and "sustainable" and would lead to "smoother and safer roads." But when it appeared on the May 2015 statewide ballot, the massive tax increase was rejected by 85 percent of voters in Bay County and by 88 percent of voters in Lapeer and Tuscola counties.
Glenn was a leader of the ballot campaign to defeat that roads tax hike, holding his own town hall meeting and appearing on WNEM-TV with now-Congressman Paul Mitchell to urge voters to oppose it.
Glenn also voted against another roads tax increase that was passed into law in November 2015. http://michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=718568
Lapeer, Mich. -- Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., Monday challenged former Rep. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, to a series of six public debates, one in each of remaining six months before the Republican primary in August for the state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties.
"Our two candidate forums to date have provided valuable information to voters about our candidacies," Glenn wrote in an e-mail to Daley. "I propose we continue to give voters the opportunity to hear us explain our views and defend our respective records on gun rights, taxes, and other issues that illustrate distinctions between us."
Glenn and Daley have already debated the issues twice, each time in Lapeer, once in November before a forum of Republican women and again last week before the Lapeer County TEA Party.
Both events were marked by sharp distinctions in the two candidates' positions on gun rights and tax policy.
Glenn noted that in 2016, he received an A+ grade and was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, while in 2014, when Daley lost the Republican primary to sitting state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, Daley received a B- grade and was not endorsed by NRA. This year, Green is supporting Glenn's candidacy.
Glenn also noted that according to VoteSmart.org, the NRA graded his voting record in the 2016 election as 100 percent consistent with protecting 2nd Amendment gun rights (Click here for the grade), while NRA graded Daley's record in 2014 at only 57 percent (Click here for the grade). Daley said during the TEA Party forum that VoteSmart.org is a "very liberal, very left-leaning" organization "that makes stories up."
Glenn also noted his leadership role in the ballot campaign against Proposal 1, the $2 billion roads tax increase that appeared on the May 2015 ballot and was rejected by 85 percent of voters in Bay County and 88 percent in Lapeer and Tuscola counties. Daley voted in favor of the massive tax hike, telling the Lapeer County Press the day after the vote that it was "historic" and "sustainable" and would lead to "smoother and safer roads." Click here for the Proposal 1 information.
Glenn also noted that he is a cosponsor of legislation to repeal the recently-imposed state income tax on retiree pensions, which Daley voted for. Daley told the GOP Women in November that he didn't think it was fair that his daughter's family was required to pay taxes on their income while the retired couple across the street didn't have to pay taxes on their pension.
Glenn said he wants more voters to have the chance to hear the two candidates discuss their differences on those issues and others.
"I am confident -- if you and I agree -- that we can easily secure the venues, sponsors, and moderators to stage those opportunities to further inform voters," Glenn wrote Daley, citing the Lapeer County Press, Lapeer Community Schools, League of Women Voters, Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau, Lapeer Extension of Mott Community College as potential debate sponsors.
Glenn told Daley that he is "happy to give you the home court advantage. If you wish, we can schedule all six of the proposed discussions in Lapeer County." Daley was elected by Lapeer County voters to three terms in the state House of Representatives.
Glenn proposed that each of the six debates focus on a particular topic, and suggested the following topics:
March -- Michigan's Business, Jobs, and Tax Climate
April -- 2nd Amendment Rights in the Wake of School Shooting
May -- School Choice and Education Reform
June -- State Farm Policy
July -- ObamaCare, Medicaid Expansion, and Healthcare Reform
August -- Michigan's Energy Market: Free Enterprise or Monopoly?
"I hope you agree that voters have a right to witness and decide for themselves which candidate is most qualified and which of us can best, most effectively, and most passionately communicate our party’s conservative and free market principles," Glenn wrote. "If you agree, I look forward to an enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining series of debates that will unquestionably be the best way to help voters make a fully informed choice in the August Republican primary."
Producers testify at committee meeting
LANSING -- State Rep. Gary Glenn, chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, today said Michigan's agriculture industry should be able to choose alternative energy providers outside the 10 percent cap currently allowed by law.
Glenn (R-Williams Township), sponsor of House Bill 5387 extending choice to the agriculture industry, Tuesday heard testimony before the committee from producers and others in the agriculture industry about energy costs and how money could be saved if they were allowed to choose a utility company instead of being limited to DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.
Glenn said the state's farmers, producers and processors already struggle to grow crops, raise food animals, and prepare those products for sale, and saving money on electricity could mean the difference between success and failure.
"Michigan's agriculture industry contributes $101 billion annually to the state's economy," Glenn said. "The profit margin in agriculture is slim, so anything we can do to help them keep some of the money they work so hard to make is of immense help to them. If we allowed more electric choice for farmers, they would have that opportunity.
"Allowing agricultural operations to choose where they buy their electricity will potentially save millions of dollars for Michigan's second-largest industry and lower the cost of products for consumers," Glenn said.
Testimony was offered by representatives of Michigan Sugar Company, the Michigan Agribusiness Association and the POET ethanol plant in Caro. Both said energy costs are among the top expenses of doing business in Michigan, and having choice of energy providers could save money and make production more effective.
The committee continues to consider the legislation.
Legislation cosponsored by Canfield, Howell to expand energy choice
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., chairman of the Michigan House Energy Policy Committee, will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 20th, on House Bill 5387, legislation he introduced to help farmers and other agricultural operations save money on electricity bills, a major cost of doing business.
Spokesmen for the Michigan Sugar Company plant in Bay City, the POET ethanol plant in Caro, and the Michigan Agri-Business Association are expected to testify, along with other industry representatives, about the impact of electricity costs on agricultural production and processing operations. Individual farmers are also encouraged to attend and testify Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on the 5th floor of the House Office Building across the street from the state Capitol in Lansing.
Glenn's bill - which has two cosponsors, Rep. Edward Canfield, R-Sebawaing, and Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch -- would allow agricultural production and processing operations to choose where they buy their electricity, potentially saving millions of dollars for Michigan's second-largest industry and lowering the cost of food products for consumers. Currently, most agricultural operations do not have the option of capitalizing on potential savings through alternative suppliers to Consumers Energy and DTE because Michigan law caps the electricity choice program at 10 percent of the market -- a limit reached almost a decade ago. The practical result is that some agricultural operations are free to buy electricity from an alternative provider, but the overwhelming majority are forced to buy power from Consumers or DTE.
"The arbitrary 10 percent cap on Michigan's electric choice program protects utility monopolies at the expense of customers, including our state's farmers and agricultural processing operations," Glenn said. "It artificially raises the cost of doing business in agriculture, which in turn results in higher prices for families. It's unnecessary and unfair. This legislation is an attempt to reverse this harmful state law and help lower costs for food producers who are vitally important to Michigan residents and our economy."
Glenn called agriculture "the backbone of Michigan's economy," citing state statistics which indicate that agriculture comprises 22 percent of employment in Michigan and contributes more than $101 billion to the state's economy each year.
Michigan produces more than 300 commodities for commercial sale. The state has more than 52,000 farms.
State Senate candidate contrasts his record with Daley's support for raising taxes
Lansing, Mich. -- Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., an officially filed candidate for the state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties, Thursday voted to approve a package of bills aimed at providing substantial income tax relief for Michigan families and seniors. He will face former state Rep. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, in the August Republican primary.
Glenn, who serves as Associate Speaker Pro Tem of the state House of Representatives and chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, said his record of support for cutting taxes will provide voters a sharp contrast with Daley's past record of voting in favor of major tax increases.
The bills Glenn supported Thursday increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their state income taxes, while providing additional tax relief targeted specifically for senior citizens. Glenn voted for the three-bill package that will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money.
"This legislation delivers much-needed tax relief to the hardworking taxpayers in mid-Michigan," Glenn said. "A technical adjustment to state law related to President Trump's new federal tax cuts will save taxpayers $172 per person on state income taxes each year - or $688 for a family of four. Raising the personal exemption will provide an additional $102 in relief for a family of four."
The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will:
* Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, and increase the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020;
* Certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions; and
* Help senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase by providing a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older - or $200 for joint filers.
Last week, Glenn also voted in favor of reducing the sales tax charged when a car buyer trades in an older vehicle, and last year, he voted in favor of cutting the state income tax back down to the level it stood before former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's "temporary" tax increase a decade ago.
Glenn noted that in contrast, Daley voted in favor of increasing taxes on senior citizens by applying the state income tax to for the first time to pensions, a move Glenn said unfairly burdened seniors after they had already retired.
Daley in 2014 also voted in favor of a $2 billion sales and fuel tax increase that later appeared on the May 2015 statewide ballot as Proposal 1 and was rejected by 80 percent of voters statewide, including 85 percent in Bay County and 88 percent in Lapeer and Tuscola counties.
Glenn was an outspoken leader in the ballot campaign to defeat what would have been the largest state tax increase in half a century, teaming up with now-Congressman Paul Mitchell to debate against the massive tax hike during a televised town hall on WNEM-TV Channel 5 and holding his own town hall at the Midland Public Library to urge voters to reject the increase.
Daley praised the tax hike in a statement to the Lapeer County Press the day after voting for it, calling it "historic" and "sustainable." Click here for his statement.
Glenn, six months after voters rejected Daley's tax hike on the ballot, voted against a different $400 million roads tax increase that later passed the Legislature and became law.
"Republican primary voters want a candidate they can trust to reduce taxes, not vote to increase taxes on families and seniors as former Rep. Daley did," Glenn said.