Glenn touts Right to WorkPublished 11:39pm Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gary Glenn, 53, of Midland, supports state and national Right to Work laws as central to his campaign.
Glenn, who spent the day in Cass County Wednesday, complimented the 912 Tea Party for organizing candidate forums and wondered why other counties don’t.
In an interview at Zeke’s, the former Idaho county commissioner from Hickory, N.C., who has lived in Michigan since 1998, talked about his 12 years as president of the non-profit American Family Association of Michigan and co-authoring the Marriage Protection Amendment state voters passed in 2004, including in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Benton Harbor — “areas that are written off by a lot of Republican strategists. I think as the nominee I could win votes in areas where most Republicans are not competitive. I have pre-existing relationships with pastors.”
“People are mad at both parties,” Glenn said. “I get the same head nods in Republican Party meetings as I do in Tea Party groups. I was mad six weeks ago at this whole debt ceiling thing. Now, this destined-to-fail supercommittee with Fred Upton on it that’s supposed to cut a trillion dollars. If not, automatically cut defense spending, which is just like when local politicians put a millage on the ballot and say if it doesn’t pass, the first thing they’re going to cut is fire and police, which is the last thing taxpayers would cut. Defense spending, not the federal bureaucracy and all the things they do that are outside their Constitutional authority.”
Glenn led a successful 1980s campaign to pass a Right to Work law in Idaho.
“I feel fortunate to be able to spend my life advocating things I believe in passionately,” Glenn said. “It’s remarkable to me to think that there’s actually a plausible chance it might pass in Michigan. My expectation is that it will be on the ballot in 2014 if they passed it next year. Michigan would be a Right to Work state for two years before they’d have a chance to repeal it, but it looks like Indiana’s going to beat us to the punch next March as the 23rd state and the first in the Great Lakes. Right now, Iowa’s the closest.”
Glenn, who is running as much against fellow Republican Pete Hoekstra as Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, says the former’s votes as a congressman for the $850 billion Wall Street bailout, earmarks such as the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere” and for budgets and debt ceiling increases adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, are reminiscent of “Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Creating jobs for Michigan and America is, of course, the issue foremost in mind wherever he speaks, including around the county Oct. 19.
“Over the last 20 years, Debbie Stabenow and Pete Hoekstra have both voted for budgets and debt ceiling increases that resulted in trillions of dollars of crushing new debt on our economy and our children’s future,” Glenn said. “A Democrat who’s been there 14 years, a Republican there 18 years in Congress and two more as a lobbyist, over three decades combined as part of the culture that got us where we are now. Is it rational to expect we’ll change the fiscal insanity in Washington by sending either one back there again?”
“If we had gained 800,000 jobs,” he said, “Debbie Stabenow would include that as a line on her brochure, as if she was somehow responsible for it — politicians always take credit any time the private sector creates jobs — surely she’ll accept responsibility for the 800,000 jobs lost, worst in America.
“Three things we can do to create jobs are to pass a Right to Work law. It’s not just a freedom issue. It is the single most dramatic thing Michigan could do to be competitive in the global marketplace and likely to be chosen for new plant location and new job creation. Idaho had lost 8 percent of its manufacturing jobs prior to it passing and 30,000 people a year leaving the state — a familiar story to us in Michigan. Within 18 months, Idaho was No. 1 in the nation in not only per-capita income growth, but new job creation. Oklahoma passed it on the ballot in 2001. Within 12 months, No. 1 in the nation in new job creation and per-capita income growth. And neither of those states have the Great Lakes, plants sitting empty or the trained workforce, especially in the auto industry. If Michigan had a Right to Work law, we would automatically double the number of companies at least willing to look at us without writing us off. As a matter of freedom, every American should be free to choose whether or not to join or pay dues to a union and should not be fired either way from their jobs. In addition to a freedom issue, it’s a major job-creation issue. The 2010 Census said two-thirds of Right to Work states have higher per-capita income than Michigan.”
Second, “We should fully and aggressively develop and harvest our own domestic oil resources. It is estimated we have a trillion barrels in the 50 United States, either in liquid form or shale oil rock, some of which is here in Michigan. That’s more than the other 10 top oil-producing countries in the world, combined. Someone would have to educate me as to why I should have any objection to” the 1,900-mile Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to Texas.
Opponents cite environmental concerns, such as last year’s 860,000-gallon Enbridge spill in the Marshall area of Calhoun County and a lesser-publicized June 2010 spill in Constantine in neighboring St. Joseph County.
“I think we’re capable of controlling the risk,” he said. “We should become an oil-selling country instead of an oil-buying country and use some of that revenue to pay off our debt and be energy secure from a national security standpoint. A Penn State study said if we drill and frack, we’d create 800,000 American oil and gas jobs. With shale oil rock in Michigan, some of them will be in Michigan.”
Three, federal taxes need to be cut and, in some cases, eliminated.
“The inheritance tax, eliminated,“ Glenn said. “It makes people hoard their money for their kids instead of spending it to create jobs. Capital gains tax, substantially cut or eliminate. Federal income tax, corporate and personal. Reduce significantly or eliminate. Our corporate income tax is double the international average. If you had money, where would you invest it? A place that’s going to tax you 30 percent or a place that’s going to tax you 15 percent? In Ireland’s case, they knocked it down to 9 percent and corporations from all over the planet all of a sudden located jobs in Ireland. An estimated $1 trillion American companies made in other countries is sitting in Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts. They don’t bring it back to avoid writing a check for 30 percent to the federal government when they hit the beach. At 15 we’d at least be competitive.”
Glenn added, “Everybody assumes the IRS is part of life. But what if it wasn’t there? It would be liberating.”
Climate change he attributes to cyclical sun spots. “Man has very little ability to affect it, one way or the other.”
Of the Occupy Wall Street backlash, Glenn said, “Dodd-Frank, ironically, is named for guys responsible for threatening banks that if they didn’t make loans to low-income folks they knew couldn’t pay them back, they’d get hit with DOJ (Department of Justice) action and civil rights violations. Then when they can’t pay them back, the housing bubble burst and Barney Frank blames the banks. They passed this law where they can take over a bank’s board of directors and punish the banks for risky loans. Same with the health care industry with Obamacare coming down the tracks. Nobody wants to invest.
“The Environmental Protection Agency and its regulations … the EPA won’t even cooperate with the state. If we have 50 agencies at the state level, why do we have to send money from Michigan to people to tell us what to do? The same principle applies to the Department of Education. I graduated from high school the year Carter got elected and turned out okay with no federal Department of Education. Somehow we managed. What is its positive effect on American education? Since its creation, test scores have gone down. We take money from Cass County, send it to Washington to people who’ve never met our kids to dictate to the local school board how to educate kids it knows and local parents love. In the process, you lose some of the dollars in the various levels of bureaucracy. We ought to shrink the federal portion of our economic pie so the private sector can again expand. I was absolutely opposed” to bailouts from the $850 billion TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, for Wall Street to the auto industry.
“If you’re not allowed to fail, you don’t learn and get smarter for the next time around. If you succeed, you’re rewarded,” Glenn said. “That’s how private enterprise is supposed to work. For the government to step in and bail out people who made bad decisions so they don’t have to suffer consequences hurts our entire economy. I’m a true believer. Nobody is too big to fail. I disagree and I take Mr. Hoekstra to task for it in every public appearance I make. General Motors would have gone through a structured bankruptcy and would still be in operation. It wouldn’t have gone away, but when they do, business then goes to efficient, profitable companies with successful management policies.”
Glenn said the nation’s “economy, security, liberties, moral foundation and founding principles — all that’s made America and Americans exceptional in the history of the world – are under attack from within.”
“If they’re not stopped, liberal ideologues like Debbie Stabenow and Barack Obama will rob our children of their birthright of freedom and turn our country into the United Socialist States of America,” Glenn said. ”My mission and commitment is to do whatever I can to help senators like Jim DeMint and Rand Paul and Mike Lee stop them.”
Glenn, an Eagle Scout at age 13 who has three Eagle sons and a fourth, 13, who is a Life Scout as well as a daughter and a granddaughter from a 28-year union with Annette, said one statistic should be the focal point of the general election for Senate in 2012:
“In the 10 years Debbie Stabenow has been a U.S. senator, Michigan has lost 800,000 private-sector jobs — the worst job loss in the nation,“ Glenn said. “If we want jobs in Michigan’s future again, we must return to an environment of freedom and growth rather than trying to socialize American medicine, manufacturing and the rest of our economy.”
Glenn, the son of a Marine Pearl Harbor survivor he accompanied to Hawaii in 2002, accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at age 8 and has attended Midland Baptist Church since 1999.
He was president of School Choice YES!, a Michigan ballot campaign committee to promote the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s “Universal Tuition Tax Credit” for 18 months.
The proposal was endorsed by 72 percent of all Republican federal, state and legislative candidates in 1998 and by the presidents of the largest African-American religious denomination in Michigan and one of the largest national African-American denominations in America, but, ultimately, DeVos’ voucher proposal went on the ballot instead.
Elected to two terms as a county commissioner, Glenn championed private property rights, lower taxes, less government spending, reducing regulatory obstacles to economic development and proposed elimination of the county’s cable television franchise fee.
He proposed term limits on county elected officials and a ban on county official pay raises taking effect until an intervening election occurred. He served as chairman of a state chapter of the National Conference of Republican County Officials.
For his defense of traditional family values while in office, he was named “Statesman of the Year” by the state affiliate of Focus on the Family and a “Hometown Hero” by Focus on the Family’s CITIZEN magazine.
Before moving to Michigan from Boise in 1998, Glenn led the successful effort to win legislative and ballot approval of a Right to Work law, banning compulsory union membership or financial support as a condition of employment.
Glenn served as a Congressional lobbyist for the National Right to Work Committee in 1983.
He and actor Charlton Heston, the former Screen Actors Guild (AFL-CIO) president who grew up in St. Helen, Mich., were named co-recipients of the Center for the Study of Market Alternatives’ “Freedom Fighter of the Year” award for their leadership in that campaign.
As a Boise commissioner, following a model championed by former Rep. Dick Chrysler, R-Mich., he authored the first Medical Savings Account-based health care plan for county employees anywhere in the nation and was invited to testify before the U.S. House Civil Service Subcommittee chaired by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.
Mica’s senior policy director said, “We consider him a pioneer. The chairman believes (Glenn’s plan) strengthens the free market aspects of the federal health care program.”
Gary was also featured in a Capitol Hill news conference sponsored by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and his plan was cited during U.S. Senate floor debate on the Kennedy-Kassebaum Healthcare Reform bill. He was also invited to address the annual convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national conference of state legislators and testified before both the Ohio and Idaho legislative committees on the plan.
As a Republican activist, a magazine reported in 1990: “At 32 years of age, with over 10 years of political experience already under his belt, Glenn has probably helped elect more people to the Legislature than anyone else.”
In Idaho, he served as region chairman and a state executive committee member of the Idaho Republican Party, as Young Republican national committeeman, an alternate or delegate to half a dozen state GOP conventions and a George H. W. Bush alternate to the 1988 Republican National Convention.
In Michigan, he has served as a Midland County precinct delegate, an alternate or delegate to half a dozen state GOP conventions and a Mike Huckabee alternate to the 2008 Republican National Convention.
In 1992, Glenn ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Congress and was endorsed by Heston, former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, the late Sen. Jesse Helms, former Congressman Cass Ballenger of North Carolina, the National Rifle Association, National Right to Work PAC, Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and the Republican National Coalition for Life.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Persian Gulf War buildup in 1990, serving eight years in the Reserves and Army National Guard. He was an honor graduate of basic combat training and advanced individual training, received two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medalsand an “Expert” marksman, earning a perfect “40 out of 40” score on multiple rifle qualification tests.
Captain of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and track team, the 1976 graduate was the football “Academic Award” winner. He graduated with honors from Lenoir-Rhyne University and won the political science award.
Glenn was state semi-finalist for the Harry S. Truman Memorial Scholarship for students committed to public service, a Congressional staff intern for Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and former Senator and Congressman James T. Broyhill, R-N.C.