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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gary Glenn's TEA Party Army Shocks and Awes Michigan Political Establishment

Volunteers collect over 27,000 signatures for US Senate race -- more than Hoekstra, Durant, and Hekman, who paid staff to gather signatures

Gary Glenn
LANSING, Mich. – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gary Glenn Tuesday submitted to the Secretary of State the signatures of 27,227 registered voters gathered by an all-volunteer army of TEA Party and other grassroots conservatives to place Glenn’s name on the August 7th GOP primary ballot. The total was thousands more signatures than submitted by GOP rivals Pete Hoekstra, Clark Durant, and Randy Hekman, all of whom had paid campaign staff gathering signatures.

“We witnessed a week ago in Indiana what it meant for a U.S. Senate candidate to have TEA Party support in a Republican primary election,” Glenn said. “Today is just the first example of what it means to have TEA Party support in the Republican primary here in Michigan.”

Glenn in February won the endorsement of Michigan 4 Conservative Senate, a coalition of 43 local TEA Party groups that has since grown to fifty, roughly 80 percent of all active TEA Party groups in the state. The coalition was modeled after Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, whose support was considered decisive in state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s upset defeat last Tuesday of six-term U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in that state’s GOP primary election.

Glenn said he had collected only 1,500 signatures before receiving the TEA Party coalition endorsement on Feb. 25th, meaning TEA Party and other campaign volunteers gathered over 25,000 signatures in only eleven weeks.

“This is how a TEA Party-driven grassroots-intensive campaign can and will compete with and outperform the big-name, big-money campaigns of the two GOP establishment candidates,” Glenn said.

State law requires U.S. Senate candidates to gather a minimum of 15,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, the highest requirement in the nation, and 100 signatures from at least half of the state’s 15 congressional districts. Glenn far exceeded both requirements, submitting signatures from all 83 counties in the state and more than 500 signatures from all 15 districts.

In addition to the MI4CS TEA Parties endorsement, Glenn has also been endorsed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee and by the National Right to Work PAC. State Rep. Mike Shirkey, R-Jackson, is chairing Glenn’s campaign in Jackson County.


Number one issue: bring jobs to Michigan


“The number one issue in the U.S. Senate race is this,” Glenn said, “that in the time Debbie Stabenow has been in the U.S. Senate, Michigan has lost 800,000 private sector jobs, the worst job loss in America. It’s time to give someone else a try.”

To make Michigan and America more competitive and better able to attract and create new jobs, Glenn proposed:
  • Repealing ObamaCare and other new regulations that have burdened American businesses under the Obama Administration.
  • Passage of state and national Right to Work laws banning compulsory union membership or dues payment, which he said is not only an individual freedom issue but a major factor in where American and foreign companies locate new plant sites and create jobs.
  • Dramatically reduce or ideally, eliminate, what is now the highest federal corporate income tax in the world, which discourages new investment in the U.S.
  • Aggressively harvesting America’s estimated 1.4 trillion barrels of oil, which a study by Penn State University said will create 800,000 new American oil and gas jobs.


Directional drilling for oil beneath the Great Lakes


Glenn over the last week distinguished himself from both former Congressman Pete Hoekstra and charter schools executive Clark Durant on the issue of directional drilling from onshore for oil underneath the Great Lakes. Such technology involves a wellhead on shore at least 1,000 feet away from the water’s edge, drilling straight down roughly 1,000 feet, then drilling at an angle to access oil found nearly a mile beneath the bottom of the lakes.

In 1996, the Michigan Environmental Science Board, comprised of university and other scientists with environmental and natural resource expertise, concluded that “there is little to no risk of contamination to the Great Lakes bottom or waters through releases directly above the bottom hole portion of directionally drilled wells." http://www.mackinac.org/9712

In a debate last week in Oakland County, Hoekstra and Glenn both said they would support directional drilling for oil under the Great Lakes. Durant said he opposed it. But days later, Hoekstra reversed himself, telling the media he does not support such drilling.

“Apparently, I’m the only candidate,” Glenn said, “who’ll stand his ground and fight to bring high-paying oil and gas jobs, lower gas prices, and energy independence to Michigan, rather than run for cover as Pete Hoekstra did.”
“If every U.S. senator took the same ‘not in my backyard’ position Clark Durant does on this issue,” Glenn said, “we’d be stuck right where we are with high unemployment, high gas prices, and giving hundreds of millions of dollars for oil from countries that don’t like us and would like to blow us up.”


Congressional term limits


In a debate Monday night in Grand Rapids, Glenn also distinguished himself from Hoekstra and Durant on the issue of term limits. Glenn supports a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress. Durant opposes Congressional term limits, while Hoekstra in 2004 broke a term limits pledge he made when first running for Congress in 1992 that he would serve only six terms.


Hoekstra’s record on deficit spending, the Brady Bill, and Right to Work


During the debate, Glenn also criticized Hoekstra for voting for the $850 billion Wall Street bailout, the $192 billion stimulus spending package, outrageous earmarks such as the $223 million Bridge to Nowhere, five times to raise the debt ceiling, the last time to $11 trillion, and for the Brady Bill gun control law.

He also criticized Hoekstra for being endorsed and funded in past campaigns by Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters, and as a result, opposing state and national Right to Work legislation. Hoekstra in 2007 also joined Stabenow and then-Sen. Barack Obama in cosponsoring a bill that would have, by federal mandate, forced all state and local governments in America to open their police, fire fighters, and paramedics to being unionized.


Stabenow on homosexual “marriage”?


Glenn said that President Obama’s recent endorsement of so-called homosexual “marriage” will help him hold Stabenow accountable in November for her opposition to the 2004 Marriage Protection Amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, which Glenn co-authored.

The amendment won nearly 60 percent of the vote statewide, including majorities in heavily African-American Democratic strongholds such as Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw. Polls at the time indicated that two-thirds of African-Americans and two-thirds of union members voted for the amendment.

Between the Lines, a homosexual advocacy newspaper in Detroit, reported in 2004 that Stabenow --during comments to that year’s state Democratic Party convention -- “denounced the ballot proposal banning equal marriage rights which is slated to hit the ballot this November."

“We’ll be asking this fall whether Sen. Stabenow on that issue stands with Barack Obama or with the people of Michigan, including African-Americans and union members, two core elements of her party’s own base,” Glenn said.

Glenn has a 33-year history of fighting for the cause of limited government and conservative values. As executive director of the Idaho Freedom to Work committee, Glenn led the successful effort to pass Right to Work legislation in that state in 1986, prohibiting compulsory union membership. He is a founding member of the Michigan Freedom to Work coalition, which is pushing to enact such a law in Michigan.

As a county commissioner, Glenn 16 years ago authored the first Health Savings Account-based health care plan for county employees anywhere in America and was invited to testify before Congress, where a top Congressional staffer in a news report called him a national “pioneer” in free market healthcare reform.

As president of the American Family Association of Michigan for the last 12 years, Glenn has promoted traditional family values, including coauthoring Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Glenn was an Eagle Scout, captain of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and served eight years in the Army National Guard, in which he won two Army Achievement Medals and was an honor graduate of both basic and advanced individual training. He attends Midland Baptist Church, and he and his wife Annette have five children and two grandchildren.


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