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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    RightMichigan Exclusive: An Interview with Representative Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc)

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:06:53 PM EST
    Tags: Exclusive, interview, Paul Scott, Genesee, MBT (all tags)

    We talk so often here about the things that are going wrong in Lansing and what the tax-and-spenders are up to that I think it's important to check in with the good guys from time to time to get their take on the issues facing taxpayers and the legislature today.

    The GOP House minority continues to sponsor and introduce legislation, to work behind the scenes and to try to figure out some sort of positive solution to this tax-hike / budget mess.

    We rarely hear about that in the MSM.

    Being a member of a legislative minority makes it tough to garner headlines. But they're working hard and they're trying to make a difference.

    This week I spoke with Genesee County's freshman REPUBLICAN Representative Paul Scott.

    Interview after the break...

    Representative Scott,  welcome to Right Michigan!  Really appreciate you being willing to take the time.  Speaking of, I know your schedule is packed today so I'll dive right in.

    First things first, this is your first term, you were just elected this past November and while the voters of the 51st District obviously got a sense of you, you're a newcomer to most folks on the state level.  What brings you to this form of public service?  Bottom line, what really motivates you on a personal level?

    First of all, thanks for the opportunity to talk with you, Nick.  I've enjoyed reading your site.  It's good to have a strong conservative presence on the Web when it comes to Michigan politics.

    What has always personally motivated me is a desire to help people, even when I was younger.   Growing up in Grand Blanc, I was one of the ones helping to organize community events or fundraisers.  As I grew older, I thought a lot about public service and it always seemed like it would be the right fit for me.   At the University of Michigan I got involved in political campaigns and enjoyed that immensely.  Being a state representative is so great because it's really at the grassroots level, where I'm helping and interacting with my constituents every day on a myriad of issues.

    It's extremely gratifying and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    Apparently that constant presence and willingness resonated with your constituents.  Last November was not kind to the Republican caucus in the House and all of the so-called experts had you pegged as a pretty significant underdog, didn't they?  How did you pull of such a stunner?

    I don't think I was necessarily the underdog.  I'm young, no doubt about it, but a Republican previously held the seat and I worked hard to win the 51st District seat.  I had a tough primary, but that made me stronger and even more eager to knock on as many doors as I could and talk with as many people as possible.  We ran an extremely coordinated campaign with tremendous grassroots support, and thankfully the communities showed that support on Election Day. It means a lot of long days, sacrifice and determination to reach your goal.  You just have to work hard and good things will happen.

    Now, I followed your campaign from a distance and a lot of what you campaigned on made a lot of sense.  You talked a lot about safety, security and opportunities.  Starting with the first one, and I want to relate these to some of the issues you're facing already at the Capitol, but with the safety issue, there's two or three tons worth of talk about reforming the corrections system right now.

    A recent report suggested that just about every inmate in the state be granted parole immediately after serving their minimum sentence, effectively turning thousands of dangerous criminals out into our neighborhoods despite the fact they may have been turned down for parole in the past.

    Have you had a chance to pick apart the report and their recommendations and what would they mean for folks in Genesee County?

    Well certainly there is room to cut in the corrections budget, but there is no way I will support letting dangerous criminals out on the street.  People who I talk to in Genesee County want safe neighborhoods and letting violent criminals out is obviously not the answer.

    And I guess that plays into the security part of your platform, too.  You talked about economic security and corrections does represent a $2 billion line item in the budget.  Do you have any sort of feel on where in that particular budget we can find savings?

    I do know we could improve efficiency in the corrections budget and privatize some services.  We can certainly shut down under-utilized facilities and use GPS and tethers as well.

    The MBT repeal.  That was something else you called for during the campaign and now the Senate has gone ahead and started that ball rolling by passing, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, Senate Bill 1 which repeals the MBT surcharge.

    The tricky part is that the Democrats control the House.  Have you or your caucus been given any indication on if or when this bipartisan bill might come up for a vote in the House?  And how frustrating is it to watch the Democratic leadership ignore a move that could immediately stimulate an economy that couldn't possibly need it more?

    It's extremely frustrating to watch the inaction on the part of House Democrats.  Seriously, I think we've voted on four or five legislative bills since we started in January.  It's ridiculous when you consider Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and is bleeding jobs on a monumental scale.  I have introduced legislation to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax surcharge, and I haven't been given any indication that it will see a hearing any time soon.

    The surcharge has proven toxic to businesses and it is imperative that we act swiftly in order to keep and attract jobs for Michigan families.  If we want to turn our economy around, we must take active steps to encourage companies to create jobs here in Michigan. Currently, we are hemorrhaging jobs, triggering declines in the state's revenue and tax base.  My goal is to gain jobs and increase long term revenues. This legislation will help attain that goal.

    Which leads right into that third item on your list... opportunities, especially for students.  What sort of action are you looking for or will you be generating to take care of students, especially college students, when Michigan over the last few years has really fallen behind our neighbors in surrounding states.

    Well, first of all, Michigan has some of the best colleges and universities in the nation.  I truly believe that.  Students here in Michigan are lucky to have so many diverse choices when it comes to colleges here in the state.  That being said, we certainly need to do something about rising tuition rates.  There have been some ideas floated about capping tuition rates at the rate of inflation, which definitely has merit, and there is also a recently introduced bill that would give students a sales tax exemption on purchasing college textbooks.  We all know that textbooks are very expensive, so every little bit helps.

    Representative, thanks again for the time.  Hopefully we'll get a chance to touch base again a few months down the road and to get an update on your efforts.  Is there anything else you'd like to cover before I let you go?

    Just that for your readers in southern Genesee County, who I represent, please give me a call or email me if I can be of any assistance.  I am here to help in any way possible and look forward to hearing from people.

    And thanks, Nick.  Keep up the good work.

    Thanks again!

    < Where have all the good local candidates gone? | Goodbye to the Matriarch of the Kent GOP >

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