Can Michigan republicans trust Laura Cox?
Just days from now, Michigan republicans will elect new party leadership during their bi-annual convention.
Last November, party members were reminded to take nothing for granted and that even the most red of republican areas can be subject to change. Case in point, the race which the party spent most of its resources on, State Senate district 7 pursued Laura Cox, who lost.
While there are many contributing factors to explain why republicans lost ground, today we find ourselves in a divided state government with slimmer margins in the State House and Senate, and Michigan republicans find ourselves at a crossroad.
Among the choices Michigan republicans will face at convention will be the choice for State Party Chair- The aforementioned former state senate candidate, Laura Cox, and long time MIGOP and RNC leader, Gina Barr.
Members seem to agree that both candidates will be challenged to raise the level of money which has was raised in the past, but many members seem to be focusing on which candidate will be trustworthy and able to motivate volunteers.
From across the state, various members of different “factions’ have pointed out the sort of vague and safe campaign rhetoric from the Cox team, the unnecessary personal attacks against Gina Barr. While Gina has demonstrated her continued pattern of hard work, often times being the first to appear and the last to leave events listening to party members.
Less discussed however yet more worthy of pointing out is a certain level of dishonestly from Laura Cox which is misleading to potential convention voters.
From her campaign emails, Cox points to her record of “opposing tax increases.” However, upon a quick search of her voting record during her time in Lansing, we find that in fact she has voted to increase taxes time and again. Here are just a few examples;
2015 House Bill 4736: Increase vehicle registration tax (Cox originally voted for a whopping 40% increase but ultimately the House approved a 20% increase.) https://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=718197
2015 House Bill 4738: Increase gas and diesel tax (Cox also voted to raise the gas tax.) https://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=718198
2015 House Bill 4616: House road funding package (Cox voted to increase a fuel tax) https://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=714977
If you recall in 2017, there was also the issue raised during Cox tenure as head of Appropriations when she denied having any knowledge of how an additional $20 million dollars was added to the budget which benefited the family business of former MRP Chairman, Bobby Schostak. Whether or not you agree with the clear cronyism inferred by the author of this story, the fact is that Laura Cox was in a position of leadership and responsibility for knowing how funds were appropriated, but she had no answer. Is this how she would handle our donor funds for MRP?
Cox voting record does not match her campaign rhetoric. This fact should be troubling to members whom have already been put through the emotional grinder by those they gave of their time and treasure to help get elected on the promise of restoring conservative principles only to be let down.
Republicans elected public servants to oppose Obama-care and instead their GOP lead legislature capitulated by expanding Medicaid and implementing “unhealthy Michigan." Party members watched in agony as their GOP lead legislature voted to increase taxes on gasoline just after they forced voters into a $10 million dollar special election in which 80% of voters rejected tax increases and instructed their legislators to “find the money”!
Leaders also take responsibility and never throw their working team under the bus, yet in a similar email, Cox has foolishly attempted to lay blame of our November losses to the workers at State Party. Inferring that they did not do enough, one can only imagine the reaction by our current leadership team which as not endorsed Cox.
Republicans are tired of the lies and deception; they are hungry for a positive change towards honest and trustworthy leadership.
Beyond 2020, our party will have to make some tough choices if we want to survive into a new generation. We must find creative and fresh messaging while centering returning our focus to our core principles, we must work to hold our public servants accountable, and each of us must be accountable and responsible for our choices. We must be attractive and consistent to the next generation to offer the better option for those on the college campuses inundated by messages of crony capitalism, corruption, and socialism.
February 23rd, convention goers will exercise one of the most important aspects of their role as Precinct Delegates, we cannot afford to get this wrong, or we run the risk of appearing complicit to all that we criticize in politics.
Take a bold stand to vote your conscious.
David A. Dudenhoefer-13th District Chairman