MARQUETTE - Terri Lynn Land, Michigan's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, visited Sault Ste. Marie Friday as part of her "Michigan First" campaign bus tour of the U.P. and northern Michigan.
"We're up here visiting folks, talking about our campaign and getting good paying jobs here in the great state of Michigan," Land said in a phone interview with the The Mining Journal Friday morning.
Land said she visited local residents in Manistique Thursday in her first U.P. stop of the tour before making an appearance at the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba, where she met with Gov. Rick Snyder for lunch. Land said she would continue her tour with a visit to "Cup of the Day" coffee shop in Sault Ste. Marie Friday.
U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land poses for a photo with Mooly Carmody, owner of Marquette Harbor Cruises, during her recent “Michigan First” campaign bus tour of the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan. (Photo courtesty of Terri Lynn Land)
Land said the focus of her campaign is attracting jobs, the need for lower and less complicated business taxes, less regulation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and repealing the Affordable Care Act.
"We want to make sure that there's good-paying jobs in the state, affordable health care and also (fewer) regulations," she said.
Land said the ACA, often referred to as "Obamacare," was hurting Michiganders and called for the ability for people's health plans to be valid in other states, because of an increasingly mobile workforce. She also stressed the need for patients to be able to keep their doctors and health plans. She said 225,000 people have lost their insurance because of Obamacare.
However, this oft-repeated factoid, which first appeared in a 30-second TV ad - sponsored by Americans For Prosperity, the super political action committee of multibillionare industrialists Charles and David Koch - against Land's Democratic opponent and ACA-supporter U.S. Rep. Gary Peters refers to an Associated Press article from November which said 225,000 state residents "could be subject to having their policies discontinued."
A week later, state officials informed insurers they could reinstate canceled policies. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 272,000 previously uninsured Michigan residents signed up for insurance due to the state's expansion of Medicaid, 87 percent of whom received some sort of financial assistance to do so.
Land also said that the Americans For Prosperity superPAC operated independently of her campaign and had given her no money. But according to an April article in The Detroit Free Press, AFP has spent more than $5 million on ads targeting Peters. And the Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee has donated the maximum allowable $5,000 to Land's campaign in December and March, Federal Election Commission documents show.
Land said she was pleased with how her Congressional bid has been progressing.
"The campaign's going great," she said, saying that polls show she and Peters in a dead heat and adding that she had raised more money than her opponent.
According to a Huffington Post poll chart updated Aug. 7, which tracks the polling data of 31 polls from 19 pollsters, Peters has a 4.7 percent lead over Land with a 92.6 confidence probability.
Land has raised a total of $8.6 million in campaign contributions since July 2013 to Peters' $6.8 million, though Land has given $2.9 million of her own money to her campaign.
Land also said that, though she is a believer in global warming, current EPA regulations are onerous and burdensome. She said U.S. companies have already cut emissions by 15 percent (since 2005) and further implementing carbon emissions regulations will only hurt the state's ability to attract jobs in manufacturing and other industries.
Asked to clarify comments Land made addressing women in 2010 that women's flexibility in the workplace was more important than equal pay, Land said she supports both equal pay and flexibility for women, and that as Michigan's Secretary of State she hired more women to the department than were there when she was elected.
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.