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Michigan Representative District 67

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

    Leon R. Clark
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Tom Cochran
    (Dem)

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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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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 support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

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

The Lansing region is home to nearly 15,000 state workers. What protections should those workers have from lawsuits filed against them for their actions in the performance of their job duties?

The Lansing region for many years had a Capitol Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of a dozen or so legislators from the region’s districts, which focused on solutions to local and regional issues, support for the FRIB being among them. It was disbanded in recent years. Do you support this type of caucus? If not, why? If yes, what specifically would you do to revive it?

Should Michigan’s Right to Work laws be expanded, repealed, or modified? Explain your position.

City of residence Mason
Age 62
Family Georgie, wife Christie Clark English, daughter Carley Clark Zambrano, daughter
Education Graduate, Mason High School
Professional Experience Repair Technician, Atlas Copco
Political Experience Mason City Council, 24 years 9 years as Mayor
Race/ethnicity Caucasion
Campaign Website http://leonforstaterep.com
Incumbent? false
I think that those that are already vested in the program are covered and new employees should be placed into a self-managed 401(K) or equivalent.
No, revenue sharing needs be returned to pre-recession levels in order to stop contributing to the bankruptcies of our municipalities.
The State's contribution to the Flint water crisis has been sufficient.
There were mistakes made across the board; at the State level, at the Federal level, and at the local level. The state has more than met their obligations as has the Federal government. Now it is time for the local governments to step up and accept their responsibility.
The Federal government's contribution to the Flint water crisis has been sufficient.
There were mistakes made across the board; at the State level, at the Federal level, and at the local level. The state has more than met their obligations as has the Federal government. Now it is time for the local governments to step up and accept their responsibility.
No.
No.
I would need to look at the total budget before I could comment on the tax structure.
I do not believe in emergency managers and I think that with the proper level of revenue sharing, cities should be able to manage their own business.
Yes. I do not agree with discrimination of any kind.
I would need to research this Act more before I could comment.
No.
Yes.
That is up to the city of Detroit.
I would have to complete additional research before commenting.
No.
Yes.
No.
I believe reform for non-violent offenders would be in order as opposed to incarceration and every other decision should be left to the criminal justice system.
State workers should not be any more exempt than any employee who works in the private sector.
I would support any effort to bolster bipartisan solutions to any and all issues. I would certainly research what steps were required to revive this Caucus.
The residents of the state passed this issue, so I do not think they should be expanded or modified without their approval.
City of residence Mason
Age 63
Family • Kathy Cochran (Wife) • Dominic (40), Jake (26), Cameron (23)
Education • Lansing Everett High School (1971) • Siena Heights University, Bachelor Degree with an emphasis in Management (2010) • Lansing Community College, Associate Degree in Fire Management (1978) • Western Michigan University, Labor Relations courses
Vehicles owned Buick
Professional Experience 29 1/2 year veteran of the Lansing Fire Department - firefighter and paramedic, retired as Chief • Served on the Tri-¬County Emergency Medical Control Authority Board (5 years) • Served on the Ingham County 911 Board (5 years) • Served on the Committee for the new Ingham County Regional 911 Center • Served on the Ingham County Elder Death Review Team (4 years) • Served on Mason School Board (10 years) • Former President, International Association of Fire Fighters Lansing Local 421 • Former Member, Greater Lansing Labor Council • Trustee and Chair, City of Lansing Police and Fire Pension Board • Former Member, UAW 1753 (8 years) – General Motors • Explorer Post Leader, Lansing Fire Department (10+ years)
Political Experience • Served on the Tri-¬County Emergency Medical Control Authority Board (5 years) • Served on the Ingham County 911 Board (5 years) • Served on the Committee for the new Ingham County Regional 911 Center • Served on the Ingham County Elder Death Review Team (4 years) • Served on Mason School Board (10 years) • Former President, International Association of Fire Fighters Lansing Local 421 • Former Member, Greater Lansing Labor Council • Trustee and Chair, City of Lansing Police and Fire Pension Board • Former Member, UAW 1753 (8 years) – General Motors • Explorer Post Leader, Lansing Fire Department (10+ years)
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? true
The amount contributed to the MPSERS system is dependent on the number of people working for a district. Many of our districts are currently losing teachers, staff and administrators to charter schools, or are seeing non-instructional services outsourced, meaning fewer dollars go into the fund. The first step in addressing the issue is to recognize this flaw in the funding system and to make sure legislation that is passed does not make it worse.
Republicans continue to cut revenue sharing, which means that our cities have struggled with funding for public services for the last several years. As a longtime firefighter, I saw how communities were forced to make do with less, meaning the quality of things like their police and fire services and the maintenance of their roads and local infrastructure suffer. The only way to make sure local communities are able to properly fund these services is to restore revenue sharing.
Given that state-appointed officials were responsible for the decision to switch the water in the first place, the state has been painfully slow, and much more work must be done.
I was proud to vote for the money that has been appropriated for Flint and its families, but much of that funding will not be available until the next fiscal year, despite families still not having safe water flowing from their taps. The state needs to prioritize immediate funding, which can be used to repair Flint's water infrastructure, to provide educational support to children affected by the lead, and health services for families.
Despite state-appointed officials being responsible for the decisions that led to the crisis, federal departments like the EPA had the power and authority to step in sooner when a problem was revealed, and yet the didn't. That hesitation was costly for many Flint families.
The first key is for the government to provide funding to help Michigan replace damaged water lines faster. It will also help other communities in the future for the EPA to ban practices -- like pre-flushing -- that make it possible for otherwise led-tainted water to pass inspection.
No
No
Families in Michigan saw their taxes increase dramatically after 2011, thanks to changes made by Republicans. This was largely to help fund tax cuts to corporations -- on the promise of job creation -- and now the state currently issues more in refunds to corporations than it receives in revenue from them. This system is built on the backs of working Michiganders, and it is absolutely unfair.
When emergency managers are appointed, their power is almost absolute, flouting democracy and the will of the people. Without retaining some element of local control, emergency managers will not be held accountable for their actions and will continue to make decisions based on dollars instead of people.
Yes. There is never a justification for discrimination of any kind.
No. It is never OK to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.
Yes, I have pledged to stand against discriminatory legislation of any kind and any attempt to hinder or halt access to necessary women's health care.
I was the co-sponsor of a resolution to create a nonpartisan commission that will be responsible for drawing district lines, and I will continue to support a system that puts what is best for the people, and not party interests, first.
I support the Detroit Educational Commission as it is a solution with broad, bipartisan support. The DEC is a way to blend the expertise of a number of invested groups, ensuring that local voices are included on issues that impact them so greatly.
Charter schools must be held to the same accountability framework as traditional public schools. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that every child in Michigan is receiving a quality education.
As a former firefighter and paramedic, ensuring public safety will always be my top priority. That being said, I will be interested to see the long-term impact of decriminalization laws in states like Colorado and Washington, and to discuss if and how those laws could work for us.
Yes
I have proudly fought for the last four years, along with my House Democratic colleagues, to ensure that one of Michigan's priorities is clean, renewable energy. As a member of the House Energy Committee, I support a number of changes which would both create jobs and save money for customers, like increasing Michigan's RPS to 20 percent by the year 2022.
While there is certainly work that can be done to improve our current criminal justice system, a better question is how can we prevent crime in the first place? While properly punishing violent criminals is important, the data is overwhelmingly in favor of early supports and interventions in communities, which means funding our public schools so every child is receiving a top-notch education, funding at-risk programs that give support to kids in dangerous neighborhoods or situations, and making sure our communities all have well-paying jobs with good benefits.
Our current system adequately weeds out the good employees from the bad. There is no reason to change that system now, especially when doing so could make it easier for officials to fill positions based on a system of favors, not on merit.
As a Lansing legislator, I will always welcome the opportunity to work on bipartisan legislation that will enrich the lives of every Michigander.
Right-to-work was crafted to weaken unions, and that is the only way it has been successful. In order for our working families and communities to thrive, it must be repealed.

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