2016-10-27 / News

Voter Guide

Michigan House State Representative District 107
League of Women Voters of Michigan Education Fund

General Election: November 8, 2016

2 Candidates on the ballot

Duties: The Michigan House shares responsibility with Michigan State Senate to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws.

Qualifications: State Representatives may serve a maximum of three full terms. They must be at least 21 years of age and a registered voter in their district. There are 110 State House districts which are re-apportioned after each census.

Term: 2 years VOTE for ONE (1).

LEE CHATFIELD, Republican

Website: www.leechatfield.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VoteLeeChatfield

Occupation / Current Position: State Representative, Michigan House of Representatives

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in History Education from Northland International University; Master of Arts in Public Policy from Liberty University. High School at Northern Michigan Christian Academy.

Qualifications / Experience: Lee served as a full-time high school teacher, coach and athletic director at his High School alma mater before being elected to the Michigan Legislature in 2014. An 8th generation resident of Northern Michigan, Lee married his high school sweetheart in 2008 and they live in Levering with their four children—three sons and a daughter (and a fifth child due in January 2017).

Questions:

1 Priorities: What are your top three state legislative priorities and how would you address them?

A: 1. Transparency in Government: I have introduced a bill and am working to pass a package of bills called the Legislative Open Records Act, that would open up public access to records of Legislature and Governor. 2. Protect our natural resources: I have introduced a bill that would require pipeline operators to report on annual basis their maintenance, inspection and emergency plans to the state. 3. Protect Constitutional rights: Our Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms are constantly being threatened. Also, we must do everything we can to provide assistance to women that are in need and protect LIFE of unborn

2. Education: What measures do you support/propose to achieve improved educational outcomes for students and for school districts?

A: 1. Each child learns differently, and it’s important that we improve skilled trades classes in our schools. Rather than seeking to prepare children simply for college, we should be attempting to equip them for life with valuable skills. 2. We must continue fighting for funding equity for our Northern Michigan schools. The gap was closed both years that I was in the Legislature, but we still have a ways to go.

3. Elections: What policy changes do you support regarding campaign funding and voting rights for Michigan voters?

A: The rights of American citizens to vote is fundamental to our Republic, and that right must be protected and made accessible to all law-abiding citizens.

4. Economy: What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions?

A: We must have a low tax structure that allows families and seniors to keep more of their hard earned money and that is welcoming to job providers in our area. By having a stronger Northern Michigan economy, this will provide options for our children and grandchildren to move back here and raise families of their own.

5. Energy & Environment: What actions or policies do you support to meet Michigan energy needs while protecting our water, air and land for current and future generations?

A: 1. As I mentioned previously, House Bill 5198 would provide increased transparency to the state by all pipeline operators. As my grandfather would always tell me, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.” 2. Due to excessive EPA regulations on our states, Michigan is facing an energy crisis. First, the Upper Peninsula needs energy independence by creating a sustainable, one state solution through the construction of a transmission link that connects the Lower and Upper peninsulas (HB 4575). Second, to protect families and seniors, we need to eliminate the exemption that ore mines have for electric choice, and that’s why I adamantly oppose Senate Bill 437.

PHIL BELLFY, Democrat

Website: https://philbellfy.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://https://www.facebook.com/PhilBellfy4107/?ref=bookmarks

Occupation / Current Position: Professor Emeritus, American Indian Studies, Michigan State University

Education: PhD, American Indian Studies

Qualifications / Experience: Dr. Bellfy is an Environmentalist, and he’s been active in environmental issues for over 40 years — at Tribal, International, National, State, and Local levels. Phil believes that the the environment is the District’s top priority; in Lansing, he will bring attention to the environmental threats facing Northern Michigan –our way-of-life, our economy, and our future generations depend on it.

Questions:

1. Priorities: What are your top three state legislative priorities and how would you address them?

A: Jobs/Environment --our economy depends on a clean/green environment. The 107th State House District is the only one (out of 110) that has Line 5 imperiling our environment at the Straits --it must be shut down immediately!! Jobs/Education --a strong state economy depends on a strong public education system. The current Republican administration in Lansing is determined to "privatize" the entire system. Jobs/Economy -- the economic vitality of Michigan cannot be sustained without a strong Middle Class. Making Michigan a "Right to Work" (for less) State was the biggest economic disaster to come out of Lansing

2. Education: What measures do you support/propose to achieve improved educational outcomes for students and for school districts?

A: --get the state to stop meddling in what must be local control of our public schools. --move more quickly to fund all students, state-wide, at the same per/pupil rate, which now varies by thousands of dollars. --fund our schools at the "statutory rate," high above current levels. --there should be no public funds going to for-profit charter schools, or being spent on for-profit privatized services. --stop blaming teachers (and/or parents) for the problems that our schools now face --the problem lies exclusively with the current Republican administration and legislature.

3. Elections: What policy changes do you support regarding campaign funding and voting rights for Michigan voters?

A: We should move toward full public funding of state-wide races --get the Big Money out of our elections!! Short-term, Michigan should immediately enact same-day registration, and extend "absentee" voting to all citizens, and, long-term, perhaps, move toward a vote-by-mail system. Michigan should establish a non-partisan redistricting committee to draw legislative district lines, perhaps modeled on the system in place in Iowa (Districts must be "convenient and contiguous" drawn to "preserve the integrity of political subdivisions like counties and cities," and be "reasonably compact").

4. Economy: What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions?

A: Jobs/Environment --Tourism is the lifeblood of Northern Michigan, which, in turn, depends on a clean/green environment. The 107th State House District is the only one (out of 110) that has Line 5 imperiling our environment at the Straits --it must be shut down immediately!! "Pure Michigan" requires an unwavering commitment to "Pure Water" --"Don't 'Flint' our Straits"!! -Shut Down Line 5 --Ban fracking --and Jobs/Education --a strong jobs market depends on a strong public education system. The current Republican administration in Lansing is determined to "privatize" the entire system, which reminds me of the Vietnam War --"we had to destroy the public education system in order to save it." Jobs/Economy --the economic vitality of Michigan cannot be sustained without a strong Middle Class. --Reverse "Right to Work" (for less), establish a $15/hr. minimum wage, restore and strengthen collective bargaining rights, and enact paid family and child-care leave policies.

5. Energy & Environment: What actions or policies do you support to meet Michigan energy needs while protecting our water, air and land for current and future generations?

A: Michigan should commit to a 100% clean energy portfolio as soon as possible. And it is eminently possible; the technology is already proven to be available, reliable, and cost-effective --all we lack is the political will to enact such a policy goal. Also,with this realistic goal in mind, we need to immediately "show the way" by enacting policies that would: require all state facilities to be "off the grid" by 2025; require all state-owned vehicles to be either all-electric or hybrid (with at least a 50/mpg rating) by 2020; encourage, rather than discourage, residential PV generation by not gutting the "net-metering" system currently in place. Michigan should also ban the use our fresh water for "fracking," move to eliminate all of our coal-fired power plants (and not consider cutting down our forests as a "bio-mass" "renewable" resource for power generation). We must decommission all of our aging nuclear power plants. We must prevent the diversion of any Great Lakes water.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan national organization whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League never supports or opposes any candidate or political party. Candidate responses are included as submitted and have not been edited except in cases where the replies have exceeded the stated word limitations. Spelling and Grammar were not corrected. The inclusion of candidates’ statements and opinions is solely in the interest of public service and in no way is to be construed as an endorsement by the League of Women Voters which takes no responsibility for any views or facts stated by the candidates

Return to top


Click here for digital edition
2016-10-27 digital edition