On May 5th, Proposal 1 was defeated in what can best be described as a historic victory in favor of common sense over politics as usual. The final vote tally was 20% in favor and 80% opposed.
This election defied the traditional money politics spin. Money does not win hearts and minds.
The No team was outspent 40:1 by the Safe Roads Yes coalition.
It defied the traditional partisan spin. It was not a Republican versus Democrat issue. It was not a conservative versus Liberal issue. The entire spectrum of political ideology came together and emphatically said “back to the drawing board”.
The good news is that we don’t need to start from scratch. I’ve been collecting the best ideas from my colleagues in the House and the Senate. It is clear that we can fix the roads without increasing taxes and without decreasing funding to schools, police and fire (See Road Plan here).
With this decisive vote, the voters have helped to pry open the lid to the box holding back these good ideas. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with even more of my colleagues to bring these ideas to fruition on behalf of our citizens.
As we do so, we need to reject the post-mortem spin calling for a different kind of tax. We need to reject the scare tactics about cuts to schools, police and fire…there is no appetite for that policy in the legislature.
We need to focus instead on the effective use of existing tax dollars that respect voter priorities over Lansing priorities. In short, it is time to move beyond politics as usual. We need to restore voter trust in our elected officials. We need to restore their trust that we are representing their best interests not ours.
It is time to roll up our collective sleeves and give the voters a road plan of which they can be proud.