Thank you for your vote of confidence and election to this position. I was sworn in by Chief Judge David Viviano and attended my first meeting as a Trustee. I take the role of Trustee seriously. I believe a Trustee is entrusted with the role as the final gate keeper of the public treasury, and is a "quality assurance inspector" of policies and work product by the administration as to policy and academics. It is not lost on me that "trust" permeates the langauge of the position. Trust is earned everyday, not just on election day.
The image of all public institutions as "honey pots" for insiders and special interests must be reversed. The role of Macomb Community College in the 21st Century, and how it serves this community, is paramount. There are myths being perpetuated which are properly the subject for discussion, debate and basic review. While Trustees, Boards, Council Members and other governing bodies must be held accountable with their oaths of office to "faithfully discharge the duties of the office of ... ," on election day, it is the public which should and must act as the ultimate watchdog with public comments and input. I am accessible to any employee, student, parent or visitor of the College, before Board meetings, after Board Meetings, and by appointment.
I believe in true conservative principles, not only when they benefit a particular special interest group, and not others. There is great danger in not having any principles, and if you do have them, willfully ignoring them. My conservative principles are not for sale to the highest bidder. My conservative principles sometimes mean I am at odds with so-called traditional power bases, such as banks and insurance companies. I do not check my Christian morality or its imperatives at the door of a campaign fund raiser. "Do Right and Fear Not" was a sign that Justice Elizabeth Weaver had in her Chambers while on the Michigan Supreme Court. I encourage every citizen of Macomb County to participate in the governance of the College by attending the information sessions and public meetings.
I am not afraid of different ideas, debate or controversy. I am seeking the truth - a supreme reality - not spin or perspective. This should be simple process, but it is not, especially in a political system where special interests, careerism, and money are more important than integrity, honor and the common good. What's good for the career politician seldom is good for the people. Instead of honest debate and development of consensus for the common good, I have found that there is constant, unrelenting, gaming of the system and it's processes by special interests, to the detriment of the minority. It is wrong whether it is done by the GOP or by the Democrats, and I don't care about what the issue is. If you would not accept it from the other party when you are in the minority, then you should not tolerate it from your own party when you are in the majority.
A Message from Citizen CusumanoThank you for visiting my web site. I graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Campus, with a Bachelors degree (dual majors) in Political Science and Philosophy. My law degree is from the University of Detroit Law School (now UD/Mercy). I have been continually licensed as an attorney in Michigan from 1989 through the present date.
Nothing is going to effect you and your family and grandchildren more than the economy, and job loss in this state. As a result, friends, neighbors, relatives and families are leaving our Great State. All problems flow from this undeniable fact: without revenue, a business fails. Without a robust economy, a state government fails its purposes, because it cannot collect enough tax revenues.
As I stated during the campaign, without a vibrant middle class to pay taxes, we will not be able to pay for our schools, roads, water and sewerage, and most government services.
Why does Michigan economy struggle in jobs creation? I have concluded that it is not because we are not a Right to Work State. I base this conclusion on the performance of Indiana and Kentucky. The reality is that our job loss is a function of globalization, and incredibly cheap foreign labor, not being a Right to Work State or not being one.
The reason many companies are locating to southern states is that the cost of living for workers is much less expensive there. Kentucky has among the lowest taxes in the United States. As a result, companies can pay workers less in those states. Ultimately, no US worker, north or south, east or west, can compete with $0.60 per hour Chinese communist labor. If companies do not transfer production overseas, they will be put out of business. Until our national representatives develop a national trade policy on true free trade ("Sane Trade"), in the short term, the overall taxes in a state seems to be the difference hurting Michigan most. Right to Work has nothing to do with our economic situation.
Additionally, the so-called conservatives are more than willing to interfere with lawful contracts between employers, governmental agencies, and unions, yet cringe at government regulation of environment, worker safety and child labor laws. This is not "free market" they argue, and is over reaching by the Federal Government vis-a-vis the "Commerce Clause."
I am curious – how is it that the Commerce Clause is okay for the Constitutionality of the Taft-Hartley Act (Federal Right to Work Statute) and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (also “LMRDA” or the “Landrum-Griffin Act”) but not the Democrats' so called social engineering projects such as Obamacare?
For example the LMRDA requires that:
1. Unions had to hold secret elections, reviewable by the Department of Labor.
2. Union members are protected against abuses by a bill of rights that includes guarantees of freedom of speech and periodic secret elections of officers.
3. Bar members of the Communist Party and convicted felons from holding union office. Note: The U.S. Supreme Court, on June 7, 1965, held unconstitutional as a bill of attainder the section 504 provision which imposes criminal sanctions on Communist Party members for holding union office; U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437.
4. Require unions to submit annual financial reports to the DOL.
5. Declare that every union officer must act as a fiduciary in handling the assets and conducting the affairs of the union.
6. Limit the power of unions to put subordinate bodies in trusteeship, a temporary suspension of democratic processes within a union.
7. Provide certain minimum standards before a union may expel or take other disciplinary action against a member of the union.
THE EXODUS FROM MICHIGAN
A recent study conducted at Michigan State University drives home the point of the impact. Every citizen that leaves Michigan profoundly effects those that remain, since their consumption of goods and services (and payment of taxes) is forever lost. Summary of Study Here Michigan is losing its greatest asset, its people. Our friends, relatives and neighbors are being driven from their home state. The study reminds us of the impact on the so called "new service economy":
"Within the broader area of services, retail and wholesale services generated about $29.1 billion in wages and other income; healthcare-related services generated about $27.5 billion; professional and technical services generated about $27.1 billion; finance and real estate services contributed about $18.9 billion; and information and transportation services generated about $12.5 billion (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2007). Most of these services are local to the state, and many are locally delivered within a region, county or community. Therefore, a significant proportion of the spending of individuals or households that move out of a region moves out along with them, potentially creating a downward spiral in economic activity."
Recovery will be slow and arduous given the decline and the new paradigm. The map below, drawn from the report summary, is sobering. Note that all other non-Right to Work states have increased in population. How can any incumbent politician ask to be re-elected again after this shameful performance or push a Right to Work statute? They can and do.
"LEAVING TOWN - Michigan is one of only two states to lose population between 2006-2008; Rhode Island is the other. Rhode Island lost 2,000 people, while Michigan lost 80,000 people."
On this issue of money paid, we should focus on why the private sector's wages are falling, not to cannibalize the education of our children. Although I am not an expert, I believe I know what the issues are. Unfortunately, it seems, that special interests continue to be well represented, but the state's policies appear to have drifted away from the common citizen's needs. Michigan now ranks 30th per median household income in the nation. Yet we are amongst the highest in spending by lobbyists. I can hardly imagine what is more important to a parent than their child's education. People from everyday walks of life, roofers, firemen, business people, realtors, neighbors and friends are all struggling or failing to keep their children in music, dance, or in athletics. It is rare to talk to a homeowner that is not "upside down" on their home equity.
My son, Francesco is 9 years old and wrestles. At these wrestling tournaments approximately 1000 or more parents and grandparents watch their sons (and daughters) in their matches. Clearly, the government exists for the benefit of those people including the children, and not for the gross enrichment of a few politically connected individuals and corporations. It is up to us, as voters, to make sure that those that we elect are not seduced by special interests.
Again search your Representative, and State Senator and hold them accountable if you believe they have been unduly influenced by PAC money and special interest donations. Search at: Michigan Secretary of State. The Public Education of an entire generation of Michigan children (approximately 1.5 million) and 29,000 in the Utica Community Schools, is not a political football. It is far too important to be treated as a game.
The data shown at right indicates where Michigan ranks in the Union in gross domestic product. The 2008-2009 reporting period was a tremendous and historic decline. In the face of this indisputable data, what if any changes has Lansing (or the private sector) enacted to effectuate real advantage in the playing field? It is no wonder that the incumbents blame each other for this utter failure. When the facts are against you, attack your opponent. What else can they argue?
As indicated on the map below, our Macomb County, and other districts nearby, have lost more population than anywhere else in the nation. Yet, our politicians, from our own districts, ask that they be returned to Lansing to "finish the job."
MICHIGAN'S PLACE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Michigan is still dependent on transportation exports as it was over a decade ago. Unfortunately, our national trade policy has sold our entire manufacturing base out. If you don't mind getting angry at the spokespersons for Free Trade insulting your intelligence. Click here and scroll down.
Michigan is a manufacturing state, period. We led this nation in manufacturing throughout the industrial revolution, and built rail cars before automobiles. The key to understanding Michigan's economic performance is the manufacturing sector. The pinnacle of manufacturing is automobile production. Southern states, and developing nations, all want to become manufacturing states that manufacture automobiles. These competitors strive to capture this sector and make their economies less diverse and therefore less impoverished. In other words, while we attempt to "diversify" our economy, our competitors seek to specialize and narrow their economies. Since infrastructure, human resources, and all other components exist here, it makes sense to keep these manufacturing concerns here in Michigan. Why can business, labor, and government work in harmony in competitor states in their drive to steal our manufacturing base, but fail to function here in our state to preserve our economy? Again, all public services and the private sector service industry depends on the state's economy, which is rightly dependent manufacturing."Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
GOALSIt is my goal for Michigan to have the highest test scores for our graduating High School seniors in the nation; the lowest unemployment in the nation, at ideally 1.0% or less, and the highest percentage health insurance coverage. I want our per capita income to return to the top ten of the States, where we had been up until the last decade. We must stop job loss and manufacturing transfers to our southern state competitors immediately. NO MORE EXCUSES. Business, labor, and government all have a common interest in this economic "war between the states." Lofty goals? Impossible? Never, never, never, give up.
In the 2003 season, the Michigan Wolverines were down 28-7 to Minnesota Gophers at the Metrodome. In the final quarter, John Navarre went 15-20 passing for 195 yards and 4 touchdowns. Chris Perry ran for two scores and Garrett Rivas kicked the game-winning field goal. The Wolverines scored 31 points in the final quarter to gain a 38-35 win over the Gophers. “It just speaks to the human spirit,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.The comeback set the tone for the rest of the season as the Wolverines rolled to six straight victories, including a decisive 35-21 win over the Buckeyes. Impossible? The Michigan players did not think so, and did not give up. They just got to work.
I ask for you vote in the November 6, 2012 General Election.