Saturday, March 03, 2012

Upton Smears Jack

UPDATE: Jack's Response to Upton Mailer

Congressman Fred Upton must be worried about being challenged by Jack Hoogendyk. He sent out a mailing smearing Jack's supposed record of "Higher Taxes and Increased Spending" (repeating this phrase three times). The piece is a two page, color, glossy piece complete with dramatic headlines and black-and-white, sinister-looking photos of Jack.

The piece attacks four items from Jack's record. It repeats the claims twice in detail and summarizes them yet again. These criticisms must be very important to Congressman Upton for him to emphasize them such. Lest you think that he is just making them up, there are citations in tiny print to various votes. Of course, 99.99% of people who get this mailing won't look up the citations, and it isn't easy to do so even if you want to. But I did! Let's look at them...

1. Upton Claim: "Voted for Granholm's billion dollar stimulus - to allow a government board to handout tax dollars to individual businesses and projects"

Reality: This refers to House Bill 5047 to create a "21st Century Jobs Fund". Here is a description from the Mackinac Center:
Introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R) on July 6, 2005, to establish a government “Jobs for Michigan Investment Fund” to provide grants, loans, and various subsidies to public entities and private businesses engaged in the research, development, marketing and commercialization of various “competitive edge” technologies identified by the state. A "Strategic Economic Investment Board” composed of government officials and representatives of the types of organizations likely to receive funding under the program would allocate the money. The money for the grants, loans and subsidies would come from the sale or “securitization” of the revenue stream from the 1998 tobacco company lawsuit, proposed by House Bill 5048. This is a House response to Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s $2 billion "Jobs for Michigan" debt proposal, and the Senate’s similar $1 billion debt proposal. See also House Bill 5005, another subsidy proposal that would rely on selling the tobacco revenue stream.
This bill was introduced by REPUBLICAN Bill Huizinga, then a state representative and now the Congressman for the neighboring 2nd district. The vote on this bill was 103-1, with all but one Republican voting for it. These include Rep. John Proos, former Upton staffer and presumed to be Upton's preferred successor.

2005 House Bill 5047: Create "21st Century Jobs Fund"
2005 House Bill 5047: Create "21st Century Jobs Fund" (House Roll Call 467)
JOURNAL OF THE House of Representatives
93rd Legislature REGULAR SESSION OF 2005

2. Upton Claim: "Voted to give special tax breaks to Hollywood fat cats while Michigan families and small businesses had to pay full tax rates"

Reality: Here Upton is attacking Jack for cutting taxes! Here is the Mackinac Center description:
1) 2005 House Bill 5206 (Movie production tax breaks ) by admin on January 1, 2001
Introduced in the House on September 21, 2005, to authorize Single Business Tax (SBT) credit equal to 130 percent of the costs incurred by a motion picture production company that spends at least $250,000 making a movie in Michigan. The company could sell the amount of the credit that exceeds its tax liability, or could carry that forward to a future tax year
This bill was introduced by REPUBLICAN Fulton Sheen (along with Jack, one of the most conservative members of the legislature). It was passed UNANIMOUSLY 103-0.

2005 House Bill 5206: Movie production tax breaks
2005 House Bill 5206: Movie production tax breaks (House Roll Call 576)
House Journal 11/8/05

3. Upton Claim: "Voted six times for Governor Granholm's revenue enhancements and for higher taxes on gasoline"

Reality: This refers to six votes from the 2003-4 session. Each of the amendments in question was supported by the vast majority of Republicans in the state house.

Rollcall 109: Passed 101-5.
Rollcall 110: Passed 101-4.
Rollcall 111: Passed 103-2.
Rollcall 113: Passed 101-4.
Rollcall 302: Passed 97-7.
Rollcall 303: Passed 106-0.
Rollcall 705: Passed 87-13.

The last one did not raise taxes, contrary to Upton's claim, but extended an existing tax.

4. Upton Claim: "Voted twice for higher property taxes and for higher motel taxes"

Reality: The reference goes the the subscription-only site MIRS. This story was almost certainly fed to MIRS by Upton's campaign. It refers to Jack's time on the Kalamazoo County Commission, 2000-2002. Notably, the supposed "tax increase" did not actually increase taxes, it extended an existing tax that would otherwise have expired.
And Hoogendyk voted twice -- once in October 2001 and once in December 2002 -- to override a triggered rollback of property taxes, which meant residents didn't get a tax cut they were supposed to under the Headlee amendment.


Hoogendyk told MIRS he also recalls voting as a county commissioner for a slight tax increase on the hotel/motel tax to fund the construction of juvenile home, which
he thought was an "important project."
The juvenile home was supported unanimously by the County Commission and was endorsed by both the Kalamazoo Republican and democrat parties. Is Upton against it?

Will Jack Hoogendyk's votes to increase spending and raise taxes be issues in his race against U.S. Rep. Fred Upton? (video)

Notably, Upton never actually says that he disagrees with any of Jack's votes. I doubt that Upton would have voted the other way on any of them. It is incredibly dishonest of him to attack Jack's record in this fashion.

Fred Upton: 64% Conservative in 2011
Fred Upton's Ten Worst Votes

No comments: