Guest Columnist:  Sean Mullally Clear Choice for the 92nd

Local voters have a big choice to make on Aug. 2nd for 92nd District State Representative. Two candidates, Sean Mullally and Terry Sabo show very different character and job performance.

Terry Sabo makes promises that he should know his office has no authority to keep. Like his promise to ban grocery bags. County governments don’t have the authority for such a ban. And, making promises to fix Social Security and Medicare (both are federal, not state programs). Sabo should stop deceiving voters with promises he knows he has no authority to keep. This is just deceptive campaigning to get votes.

Mullally, on the other hand has held a leadership position in an environmental organization, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and has experience working with legislators on environmental policy. In addition to speaking out forcefully about the water poisoning in Flint, Mullally was active in the petition drive to ban the worst types of fracking in Michigan, and has pledged to enact better regulation as our representative. On this issue, the two candidates couldn’t be more different. Sabo’s #1 campaign donor in past elections according to public records is the owner of a company threatening to put our drinking water at risk by fracking in Muskegon County.

Another of Sabo’s top priorities was to build a much bigger jail.  When campaigning, he said he would seek voter approval, but after he was elected, he flip-flopped and built the jail without proper voter input. The result is the county is struggling to pay the $45 million he spent on the jail. Sabo has presented no plan to pay this huge bill. This will likely mean huge tax increases and cuts to local jobs and important services.  In contrast, when considering new MCC Science and Technology buildings, Sean Mullally insisted on getting voter approval. After the voters said yes, Mullally and the rest of the MCC leaders were very successful at negotiating $17 million in state and federal funding help cover the cost. The college’s finances have been managed very responsibly and students and taxpayers are better off for it.

On Terry Sabo’s watch, roughly FIVE MILLION tax dollars appear to have been misappropriated or embezzled. This scandal has been under a forensic investigation. A commissioner’s job is oversight, but Sabo seems to have been asleep at the switch. If he lets this happen in county government, how could he handle a whole state? On the other hand, Mullally is not just Treasurer for MCC, but also chair trustee responsible for financial oversight of his union, UAW 1243, and has worked in the private sector as a financial auditor. Nowhere with Mullally do we see the financial struggles and scandals we have seen at the county under Terry Sabo.

Additionally, Sabo led the county into wasting countless tax dollars on a frivolous lawsuit against our Democratic Drain Commissioner Brenda Moore, who has been doing a great job bringing our drains into compliance with required federal regulations while minimizing the cost to local residents. Sabo lost, appealed and lost again. Then he viciously attacked and maligned Brenda Moore, a fellow Democrat, trying to stop her reelection. He only surrendered after two townships backed him down and others threatened to withdraw their endorsement.

Sean Mullally has avoided such controversy and conflict in his role as an elected official. Since he was elected to the MCC Board, the college has been very successful in creating positive improvements benefiting both students and the broader community. Sean Mullally and his family have a long history of commitment to democratic values and supporting democratic candidates.

Sabo’s actions have resulted in a county government struggling to pay its bills while suing itself and investigating itself for millions of missing tax dollars. That’s bad leadership.

Terry Sabo’s support for the conservative agenda, his dishonesty and deceptive campaigning practices, his attack on other Democratic candidates, his unwillingness to commit to being a liberal or moderate, and his mismanagement of funds, suggest he’s not the best candidate to be our Democratic state representative.

Sean Mullally has shown better judgment and vastly superior ability to manage money and work well with others. Sean’s record of proven results is exactly what makes him our best choice for State Representative! Maybe that is why Marcia Hovey Wright our current representative has endorsed Sean Mullally as the best choice to fill her seat.

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Oscar Kent

Montague, MI 49437

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