Former congressman and state lawmaker Mark Schauer says he decided to launch his campaign for governor because Republican Rick Snyder has not been the moderate governor that Michigan voters had hoped for. Schauer was interviewed Monday for the WMUK program WestSouthwest. The Battle Creek Democrat says on a number of issues, including taxing pension income and “right to work”, Snyder has catered to the right wing of the Republican Party.
Snyder recently came under fire from some in the “Tea Party” who urged other conservatives to withhold support for him in 2014, mainly because of the governor’s push for expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Snyder also ran into opposition from lawmakers in his own party who fought his plan to raise $1.2 billion for road and bridge repairs by raising vehicle registration fees and a higher gasoline tax.
Schauer says probably no one could satisfy members of the “Tea Party”, adding that he agrees with Snyder that expansion of Medicaid is needed to extend health care coverage to an additional 470,000 of Michigan’s poorest residents. Schauer says his vote in favor of “Obamacare” may have cost him re-election to Congress in 2010 but is still a highpoint of his time on Capitol Hill. Schauer says expanding Medicaid would bring more federal dollars to Michigan and help control increases in the cost of health care and insurance. He says Snyder’s inability to get important issues like Medicaid expansion approved by his own party is a failure of leadership.
Schauer says he knows how lawmakers think and how the legislature works because he served in the state House and Senate before being elected to Congress. Snyder, the former CEO of Gateway Computers, had not held any elective office before becoming governor in 2010. Schauer says his legislative experience would help him work with lawmakers of both parties.
Schauer spoke on WestSouthwest with WMUK’s Gordon Evans and reporters Jennifer Bowman of the Battle Creek Enquirer and Alex Mitchell of MLive Kalamazoo. You can hear the full interview with Schauer on WestSouthwest Wednesday morning at 9:20.