77% of GOP Voters Support Part Time Legislature Despite Outspoken Opposition from Lansing Insiders

Photo credit: DarKen Photography

MIRS News reports, “A proposal to make Michigan’s full-time Legislature part-time while cutting legislative pay to around $30,000 a year receives the support of 77 percent of Republican Party primary voters, according to a Mitchell Research and Communications poll.

Another 14 percent oppose the idea and 9 percent were undecided.

The survey of 435 likely Republican voters also found that 63 percent were more likely to support Lt. Gov. Brian Calley for governor once they were told he was leading a ballot proposal to have Michigan change to a part-time legislature. Another 17 percent were less likely and 20 percent were not sure.”

The media was buzzing a month ago when Brian Calley released an ad teasing a major announcement on May 30th. After the announcement was made on Mackinac Island last week at the Detroit Regional Chamber conference, reporters around the state still can’t stop talking about it.

Ironically, the announcement was made at a conference primarily attended by prominent Lansing lobbyists and legislators. CleanMiGovt, the Calley led ballot initiative that aims to amend the Michigan state constitution to switch from a full-time to part-time legislature, and slash the pay and benefits of legislators is a threat to their very existence.

Sources told Conservative Intelligence Briefing that many lobbyists on Mackinac Island could be heard bad mouthing the proposal due to how it would negatively affect their pay.

And many legislators weren’t afraid to publically speak out against the proposal.

Republicans and Democrats in Lansing are divided on a number of issues. One thing they are able to agree on, is that the Michigan legislature is in no need of any major changes.

In an interview with Tim Skubick on Fox 2, Senate Democratic leader Jim Ananich and Senate Republican Leader Arlan Meekhof ranked the proposal on a scale of 1 to 10.

“A negative two,” Meekhof said.

“We agree on that,” Ananich said.

Meekhof argued that only career politicians are savvy enough to know how to efficiently spend taxpayer dollars.

“Are we spending the taxpayer monies the most efficient way possible? That takes experience,” he said. “And there’s not a whole lot of other jobs where you want to look for the least amount of experience”

Remember, in 2015, Meekhof led an effort to purchase a new building for State Senators at a cost of $130 million to Michigan taxpayers.

Joining Meekhof in public opposition to the proposal included Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Brandon Dillon, Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee and many Michigan state representatives and senators.

In an interview with Fox 2, Calley said opponents are not representative of typical citizens.

“Go out there to the streets door to door and you will find enormous support,” Calley said “The people at this conference are not representative in the entire state of Michigan.”

Several political outsiders have backed the proposal. Former Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema and conservative gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck have both come out in support.

Calley has been an adamant supporter of moving to a part-time legislature for at least a decade. In 2009, he proposed a part-time legislature as a member of the Michigan House with Justin Amash, Dave Agema, and Tom McMillin. He also signed the petition for an unsuccessful part-time legislature proposal in 2014.