Heads I win Tails You Lose. Now Go Ahead And Flip That Coin.
noun, plural du·plic·i·ties
deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing. Synonyms: deceit, deception, dissimulation, fraud, guile, hypocrisy, trickery. Antonyms: candidness, directness, honesty, straightforwardness.
Wayne Schmidt hemmed and hawed during the debate lead up in the right to work fight. As I was bringing a measure before our county commission to promote it, he was declaring it dead on arrival. The measure simply called for Representative Schmidt and Senator Walker to support and move forward the Freedom to Work (right to work) legislation that was ultimately passed in late 2012.
Instead of embracing it or endorsing right to work, Schmidt would repeat the mantra that “its not a good time;” something that did not make any sense of course, as a full Republican majority in all areas of Michigan government is a rare occurrence. If THAT was not a good time, what is?
Frankly, it was his reticence on this (low hanging fruit) issue, his payola partners in Lansing, and a number of other position disagreements that drove me to primary him for the 104th seat in 2012. One of the strongest Right To work advocates, Trucker Randy Bishop wrote this:
I was the Chairman of the Grassroots – Michigan Freedom to Work campaign from March, 2011 until Right to Work was passed in December, 2012.We had numerous conversations with both State Representatives Wayne Schmidt (104th) and Greg MacMaster (105th) during the arduous effort to make Michigan the 24th Right to Work state.I specifically challenged Wayne Schmidt during every public event to become an advocate for us passing Right to Work,…it wasn’t until the very end, when the “writing was on the wall” did Wayne finally come to help our efforts.
Yet for all the “its not a good time to pursue this” talk, he certainly took full credit when it became a winning play.
In a recent ‘press release’ email blast sent out (presumably to the GT GOP membership email list) announcing the Michigan Chamber endorsement, he touts as one of his ‘accomplishments’ the initiating of “Right To Work” law.
The absurdness of this statement:
As the chairman of both the Commerce and Transportation committees, Wayne Schmidt has been responsible for reforming and eliminating job-killing policies; paying off millions of dollars in state debt; introducing a plan, which was passed by the House, to start fixing Michigan’s roads without gimmicks or raising taxes; and initiating the legislation to make Michigan a “Right to Work” state.
Frankly, when it was up for a vote, my personal interactions with Schmidt up to that point led me to believe he might vote AGAINST it. I held my breath as the SENATE INTRODUCED BILL became law.
OK, OK, So maybe there was a HOUSE VERSION introduced right? Yes, actually there was.
January 13, 2011, Introduced by Reps. Knollenberg, Jacobsen, MacMaster, McMillin, Lund, Genetski and LaFontaine and referred to the Committee on Commerce.
HOUSE BILL No. 4054
A bill to amend 1939 PA 176, entitled
“An act to create a commission relative to labor disputes, and to prescribe its powers and duties; to provide for the mediation and arbitration of labor disputes, and the holding of elections thereon; to regulate the conduct of parties to labor disputes and to require the parties to follow certain procedures; to regulate and limit the right to strike and picket; to protect the rights and privileges of employees, including the right to organize and engage in lawful concerted activities; to protect the rights and privileges of employers; to make certain acts unlawful; and to prescribe means of enforcement and penalties for violations of this act,”
Huh.. no Schmidt there in the “introduced by” tag.
In fact, Lansing pols remarked frequently on the that particular house COMMERCE CHAIR’S ability and inclination to squash bills not deemed ‘timely’ or desirable by leadership, thus earning Wayne Schmidt the moniker “Undertaker of the Commerce Committee;” that place where bills go to die. The bill was introduced by the freshly installed Republican Majority, yet it found no sympathy from the new Republican Commerce Committee Chair Wayne Schmidt, who held it underwater hoping to drown it in its infancy.
And yet another area that might be highlighted bold in that quoted release statement by Schmidt above, might beg a different question; “why are our roads in such crappy shape Mr. transportation Chair?
Trains Planes and Complete streets ..perhaps?
Oh yeah. Money for roads have been marked for downstate rail projects. Those ‘self sustaining’ infrastructure improvements that have proven time and again to be Oh-So-Efficient, and reliable transportation methods.
While Northern (and truthfully, all of) Michigan has suffered the misery of a neglected road infrastructure, he has shepherded his pet train impulses on us, and added support for a complete streets as well. Of course everyone needs to have walkable, bike-able paths and trails in their rural areas paid for with ROAD dollars, wouldn’t you all agree?
Deception is an art finely crafted for some in the political trade. In the Chamber endorsement press release mentioned above, one might think Wayne was a champion of right to work. In a 2012 primary mailer sent out during my challenge to him, he implied that I was anti gun.
” On hunter orange paper stock, the Schmidt campaign identified an “Election Alert” stressing his support for the gun owners and urging a vote August 7, “to protect your 2nd Amendment Rights”.”
If not “nutty,” then straight out implied obfuscation of my impenetrable gun rights advocacy.
And he is willing to do it again, by not telling the whole story.
A recent mailer attacking Greg MacMaster for his attendance record seems damning, yet it is purposefully without a back story.
Many votes happen in the same day. Sometimes the house will convene and vote on one or two bills, and other times on dozens. A recent ‘Milk Carton Missing’ attack ad accuses Schmidt’s 37th Senate District opponent Greg MacMaster of missing `69 votes.
A postmark from Lansing reveals that the ‘powers that be’ don’t want to lose their boy Wayne, and are willing to smear others on his behalf.
Those votes happened when MacMaster was attending to his wife who was undergoing cancer treatments, one day with his daughter getting her tonsils out, and one other delay into Lansing, when Representative MacMaster’s car broke on Transportation Chair Schmidt’s crappy roads.
Has Wayne Schmidt refuted this mailer as insensitive or being a misrepresentation of the truth?
That would be inconvenient.
Certainly desperation after getting clobbered in a few public opinion polls calls for desperate measures.
A few weeks back, Wayne was able to convince a few of his closest friends in the Grand Traverse County GOP executive committee to ‘endorse’ him. He used that endorsement in an email and said the County GOP endorsed him, implying that the board spoke for all of its members. Many members of the party reached out to me to see if I could find out what was going on. They were not happy to be represented in this way. Funny, as Greg and Kim MacMaster are also members of the party as well.
After being challenged, the executive board rescinded its endorsement, then said it was exec committee members only. (minus an abstention, and a NAY vote by the Sheriff) Wayne Schmidt HAS YET to retract that endorsement and apologize for its misleading message.
Northern Michigan Values?
In a radio advertisement a local Senator extols the family values of Schmidt as an endorsement. We do have strong Right To Life support up here.
In fact the Michigan Right To Life Endorsement, and values opinion is questionable. In 2012 Schmidt backed a FAMILY COURT judge candidate who was the only one of four candidates to not receive the endorsement of RTL. This candidate also received strong support from MAJOR Democrat donors and primary funders of the local Dems.
But it shouldn’t have been surprising to see those relationships.
There are reasons perhaps.
He currently markets himself as a ‘Conservative’ but has previously made clear, that those are not his values. (start at 0:30)
Family ties To Democrats
Well into the 2000’s, Wayne Schmidt’s wife was a DUES PAYING Grand Traverse County Democrat. Until challenged recently, she was on the ballot to be a Grand Traverse County Republican party Delegate.
And folks wonder how the wrong message is being delivered by Republicans?
And in fact ..
Voting WITH Democrats.
Wayne often talks of “The fighting 43;” a reference to the 43 Republicans in the State house when Granholm was governor.
Wayne Schmidt was not fighting Granholm, but was an enabler! 93 Votes in 2009 and 2010 voting AGAINST the Republican caucus, and WITH the governor’s wishes. No other Michigan House member had that kind of ‘friendly fire’ record.
What a load of …
In Grand Traverse County, there is an issue which began back when Schmidt was a County Commissioner.
There are plenty of stories about the troubled septage facility in grand Traverse County on the web. To begin with; as a result of poor stewardship by county commissioners in early 2000’s, and greedy township supervisors, an overbuilt poop processing plant was installed, and soon became a white elephant threatening the financial stability of several local governments.
Prior to, and as a Grand Traverse County Commissioner, I watched as the plant owned and planned by five townships (the G5) became the problem of all the other townships and septic tank owners in the county. Its expensive operations and unpredictable use required the townships to go hard line on septage haulers, and require them to use that facility over others in the region which are a third of the cost, but outside the county line.
This put some of those business models at risk. Their ability to compete diminished, they sought relief through the legislature and they had to go outside the district to get it. Wayne was not volunteering to help.
Recently, the state house passed HB 4874. Its purpose was to offer regulatory relief to haulers, thereby reducing costs for residents with septic tanks as well. Though Wayne Schmidt voted for it ultimately, (it was supported 100% by the Republican caucus) he attempted to saddle Grand Traverse County Haulers with an exception to the law through a proposed amendment. Fortunately for homeowners and the haulers, it failed.
Perhaps he felt he was protecting the local governments (the G5) but if this bill passed through the senate and to the governor’s desk with his carve out, it sure would been a crappy deal for those who pump from time to time.
What a stinker.
And golly gosh, what to make of this?
I am not the only one to note a glaring effort at prestidigitation. A website called “WayneSchmidtRecord.com” has other information, including this:
Several reference websites FALSELY list Wayne’s education as B.S. Economics. Wayne “attended” college for 1 Freshman year and never was a student, attended or “Graduated” from Michigan State University. He took an independent workshop in the MSU campus hotel.
What to make of it indeed.