U.S. Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land, R-Mich., says a record of efficient public service, two convincing statewide election wins and promises to repeal Obamacare and revitalize the state’s economy are the reasons she can and will win the seat this year.
Six-term Democrat Carl Levin is retiring and neither party appears to have primaries, so Land is already gearing up for a November showdown against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters. Land told WND her motivation for running is clear.
“Michigan needs a change,” she said. “I’ve lived here all my life and as a mother, a small business owner and a public servant, I really have seen firsthand how the broken policies of President Obama and Congressman Peters are hurting the folks here in Michigan. So I want to go to Washington to get it back on track and make government work for the people.”
Listen to Radio America’s interview with Terri Lynn Land, R-Mich., below:
Land said scrapping Obamacare is at the top of her priority list.
"I want to go down there and repeal Obamacare," she said. "I just does not work.
"It's driving up costs of health care, it's limiting access and it's hurting our economy," she continued. "In Michigan, over 225,000 folks have lost their insurance, and their costs are going up and deductibles are going up, and they've lost their doctors. So, those are things I think I will be able to do when I get down to Washington, D.C."
Land also ripped Peters and President Obama for failing to make good on their repeated vows that Americans who liked their doctors and health plans could keep them. She also said a much different course is needed in Washington to restore the economy in Michigan and around the country.
"The tax code does not work," she said. "As a small business owner, I've seen firsthand how much time and energy and resources go into preparing your taxes. We need to reform the tax code and make it simpler and more predictable. When I talk to businesses across Michigan, they want predictability. They want to know what their costs are going to be, what the tax burden is going to be and they want lower taxes. That's definitely a difference between me and my opponent.
"Frankly, we need to get America back to work. More than 10 million Americans are out of work. Six million have dropped out of the workforce because they've grown so discouraged. We really need to revitalize and grow our economy and get folks back to work," she said.
Land was easily elected Michigan secretary of state in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. While the responsibilities of a U.S. senator are much different, Land said the core principles she followed in that job would be followed in Washington as well.
"We had the Department of Motor Vehicles and also elections. Everything we did looked at how government could be cost effective, how we could make sure that customers were served and that government worked for the people. That was the most important thing, and we were able to do that.
"We reduced our operation by over 20 percent and were able to still deliver great service to our customers," said Land.
Land served as secretary of state at the same time Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm was overseeing a protracted recession that was spurred in part by the decline of the auto industry and pre-dated the national economic crisis by several years. Despite those challenging conditions, Land said she was able to balance and even cut her budget without layoffs while Granholm laid off personnel and still didn't balance the budget. Rep. Peters was a a member of the Granholm administration for five years, serving as state lottery commissioner.
While Democrats will likely shy away from making references to the Granholm administration, they are very focused on defeating current Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Elected in a landslide in 2010, Snyder maintained high approval numbers until a bruising but successful fight to make Michigan a "Right to Work" state. The move infuriated organized labor, and a lot of union money will be aimed at Snyder and his GOP allies.
Snyder now faces a competitive race, but Land said he's done a good job and believes running on the same ballot as Snyder is a good thing.
"Gov. Snyder has done something that D.C. needs to do and that's balance budgets. He's put money away. He's put money away in the rainy day fund and really worked hard to make Michigan the comeback state. Those are definitely things we need in Washington, D.C. – balancing the budget and not spending money we do not have," Land said. "Being on that same ticket, I think, is a good thing."
Land also backs Snyder's approach to addressing Detroit's fiscal crisis, saying it's time someone dealt with it seriously. She is convinced Detroit is salvageable and will emerge stronger than ever in due time.
Another Democratic tactic in recent national and state campaigns is the effort to portray Republicans as waging a "War on Women" based on opposition to abortion or the Obamacare contraception mandate. Land dismisses the effort, saying women care most about the same things all responsible citizens care about most.
"What we care about is jobs, being able to provide for our families, to be able to buy groceries and be able to afford it when our wages have not kept up with the costs that have increased, whether it's buying groceries or gas or sending our kids to college. Those costs have gone up too and, of course, savings and money for retirement," Land said. "As a woman and a Republican, those are the issues that I care about and I know other women care about. It's all about a good-paying job and being able to afford to feed your family, and that's what we're going to talk about."