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Michigan Representative District 23

Choose one candidate. Representatives in the Michigan State House serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $71,685.

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  • Candidate picture

    Darrin Camilleri
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Bob Howey
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

How should the state assist other municipalities and school districts whose solvency is threatened by its financial obligations to current and future retirees?

Is the way the state funds our cities adequate to ensure safety and service delivery? If not, what changes would you support to our municipal finance model?

When cities are struggling, what is the appropriate way for the state to intervene? Should state intervention – through the emergency manager law or some other avenue – come with dollars attached? Why or why not?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the state’s response.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the federal government’s response.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you believe Michigan’s tax system is generally fair? If not, what changes do you support?

Would you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

What changes, if any, would you support in the way Michigan authorizes and regulates charter schools?

Do you favor amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you support state-level laws modeled on the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act?

Have you signed any public pledge to support or oppose any organization’s public policy objectives, such as outlawing abortion or barring any increase in taxes?

Do you support legislation to minimize or eliminate the influence of political parties on drawing lines for legislative districts?

Do you support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Do you support the renewal and/or expansion of renewable energy mandates for Michigan energy producers?

Do we incarcerate too many people in Michigan? What would you change in the criminal justice system?

City of residence Brownstown Township, MI
Age 24
Education Gabriel Richard Catholic High School; Kalamazoo College
Vehicles owned 2014 Chevy Cruze
Professional Experience Teacher, Detroit Consortium College Prep High School; Brownstown Parks and Recreation Commissioner; Formerly employed in Congressman John Dingell's office.
Political Experience Member, 12th District Democrats Former President, Michigan Federation of College Democrats Former Student Body President at Kalamazoo College
Race/ethnicity White and Hispanic
Campaign Website http://votecamilleri.com
Incumbent? false
The state has an obligation to seek the best outcome for Michigan’s working families, and thus should work with these municipalities and school districts through legal and financial avenues to restructure existing debts in order to prioritize the pension obligations that these municipalities and school districts have made.
The way we fund our cities is not adequate to ensure stability within safety and service delivery. The current revenue sharing model is not adequate, and when combined with additional funding cuts, puts our citizens in danger because their local government cannot fully support public safety systems.
The state emergency manager law simply is not working. We have to redesign our model for state intervention in financially strapped cities in a way that does not ignore our democratic principles or devalue communities’ voices. Ultimately, these plans should come with state funding attached because in most cases the state is going to be responsible for many debt obligations. Not only is this legally the case, but also as a result of longstanding state oversight and control in situations like the Detroit Public Schools, where a significant portion of the district’s debt was amassed under state emergency managers.
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The state’s response to the Flint water crisis has been a total failure of leadership and represents a complete breakdown of the public trust. An improved state response would have empowered community voice, reformed state agencies that regularly cut corners and doubted experts, and also avoided the type of profit-driven decision making that elevated cost concerns over Michiganders’ well-being.
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The federal government also failed in significant ways because it did not uphold its duty to protect citizens in light of evidence of harm. Their response was not adequate in scale or urgency, and I believe that both Congressional action and departmental action should have been accelerated.
No.
No.
No, I do not believe that the system is fair. First, a flat income tax is regressive and hurts working and low-income families most. Second, the corporate tax break gave too much to businesses while taking away from schools and infrastructure. I would support a graduated income tax and revisiting of the business tax.
I support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission because I have experienced first-hand the ways that the current absence of charter regulation has harmed students. I work at a high school in Detroit, and there is a plan for a brand new high school to open up down the street from an already established high school, in an area of southwest Detroit that is already oversaturated with schools relative to the rest of the city. This does not give greater choice for families, but rather undercuts the ability of good schools to serve students in a stable education environment.
We have to make many changes to charter regulation if we are going to improve education in our state. We have to eliminate for-profit charter school operators to make sure that no one profits off of our students. We need to hold charter schools to greater financial and legal transparency standards so that we can hold them accountable in their spending of public dollars. We have to make it easier for teachers at charter schools to unionize so their voices are heard. We also have to hold both charter school operators and authorizers responsible for the academic achievement of students at their schools, not allowing those who do not have a record of success to continue to profit off students.
Yes, I favor such amendment, and I look forward to making this a priority in Lansing. LGBT Michiganders deserve a state government that treats them with dignity and holds accountable those organizations which would use an individual’s identity as a means of discrimination.
No, I do not. Too often such pushes for expanded religious freedom are simply thinly veiled acts of discrimination. Michigan must be a welcoming state and leader in ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities.
No.
Yes, I support a non-partisan redistricting commission, because the inaction around some of our state’s most urgent issues are largely a result of the hyper-partisan politics that has resulted from political districting.
Yes. The scientific evidence regarding marijuana’s effects make clear that it is no more dangerous than many already legalized substances in our state. We should commit to a process of decriminalization that mirrors the successful process of a state like Colorado --in a highly regulated fashion--that protects citizens while creating an additional revenue source for the state.
Yes, I will proudly stand with our first female President of the United States.
Yes, I support a requirement of a 1.5% increase in renewably sourced energy, alongside improvements in energy efficiency, from Michigan energy producers. In turn, these energy producers are provided a stabilized consumer base to incentivize this investment. Our state has an opportunity to be out in front of our regional competitors in this area, and I believe it should be made a greater focus.
Too many individuals are incarcerated in Michigan, and I believe that we have to make significant changes in our criminal justice system to guarantee that it is fair and operates to combat recidivism. Too many business interests stand to benefit from the mass incarceration of Michiganders, and I believe we should limit the influence of business interests in the prison industrial complex. In addition, we need to reform our public defender programming that is often underfunded and results in an unjust criminal defense system. Lastly, this can be addressed by reforming discipline practices at schools that can lead to an end to the schools-to-prison pipeline.
City of residence Trenton
Age 54
Family Married 27 years to Karen Howey Conner-17 Spencer-15 Kara-12 RJ-9
Education Trenton High School Graduate Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture Lawrence Institute of Technology
Vehicles owned Ford F150 Truck (2013) Ford Explorer (2012)
Professional Experience Business Owner R.J. Howey, Inc., Architects Trenton, MI Business Owner Master Craftsman, LLC Builder Trenton, MI
Political Experience 2nd Term Trenton Councilperson Past Chairman Trenton DDA for 8 Years Current Trenton Representative for SEMCOG/Past Executive Director for 3 Years
Race/ethnicity White/Caucasian
Campaign Website http://www.HOWEY4REP.com
Incumbent? false
As a City Councilperson, I understand the challenges municipalities and school districts are faced with. The current state mechanism is absolutely necessary to prevent financial bailouts so that Sate tax payers are not on the hook.
While constitutional revenue sharing has increased, statutory revenue has diminished. I am advocate of more local control and my role as a City Councilperson is to engage in fiscal responsibility. If elected officials are spending tax payer dollars irresponsibly.... shame on them.
The emergency manager mechanism is a necessary tool. Each situation can have different circumstances, therefore you can't just provide a blank check. State tax payers can't be expected to continue bailing out financial mismanagement. Tax payers I talked to are saying, enough is enough!
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Another example of bureaucracy failing the system. When the left hand and right hand are not communicating, it results in the ball being dropped. Such was the case in Flint. There is plenty of blame to go around, but we must move forward with a strong focus on oversight and accountability. NO MORE FLINTS!
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Again, a bureaucracy failing the system. When an agency such as the EPA communicates with the State four months before the calamity strikes, and the problem gets shuffled around we see the tragic results. To be sure, there is plenty of blame to go around, but we must move forward.
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I will advocate rolling back the State income tax to the 3.90% level in 2007 before Gov. Granholm signed the biggest tax increase in Michigan history. One of my first legislative bills to introduce will be to repeal and replace the current pension tax as we know it.
No! An appointed DEC would be just another bureaucracy not elected by the people. I support a competitive educational environment that includes parents and teachers to advance student achievement. accountability is crucial for both public and charter schools.
Standards should co-exist the same for both public and charter schools.
No, without actually reviewing any specific changes first. I do not believe in unlawful discrimination towards anybody.
Yes.
I believe just the National Association for Gun Rights - NAGR.
I believe the Federal guidelines pursuant to the VOTING RIGHTS ACT of 1965 guarantees necessary enforcement.
No!
Yes, I will support whoever the Republican candidate is. I have no need to attend presidential events as I plan on working hard communicating with the citizens of the 23rd district.
I support all types of energy capabilities, provided they are efficient and cost effective. I don't like the term mandates for energy issues.
There are far to many non-violent offenders that are incarcerated in our State. Our judicial system needs to take a closer look in their sentencing guidelines. I also believe there is considerable waste in our corrections system. The $2 billion plus spent annually could certainly be reduced and said dollars could be diverted to education and roads.

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