NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 MICHIGAN GOVERNOR’S RACE
Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages.
Visit billschuette.com and gretchenwhitmer.com to volunteer. Other gubernatorial candidates include Keith Butkovich (Natural Law), Bill Gelineau (L), Jennifer Kurland (G), and Todd Schleiger (U.S. Taxpayers). Due to limited space, we can’t include their responses, but encourage you to check out their websites. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.
Abortion: Ban or legal? Support Michigan’s 1931 pre-Roe law that criminalizes abortion?
Whitmer – Legal. End 24-hour waiting period & pre-Roe ban, protect in state law.
Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose largest funders? Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?
Schuette – Unknown on limiting campaign spending or donations. Supports candidates releasing tax returns. Backed Americans for Prosperity not disclosing donors for their political ads.
Climate Change: Consider climate change a critical threat? Limit creation of greenhouse gases? Participate in U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to climate change action?
Whitmer – Yes. Opposed Trump withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord. Called on Gov Snyder to join U.S. Climate Alliance. Create state Office of Climate Change.
Contraception: Allow employers to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if disagree with it morally? Stance on related family planning funding?
Crime: Prosecute all 17-year-olds as adults & house with adult criminals?
Schuette – Yes.
Whitmer – Unknown. Prioritize rehabilitation efforts for first-time offenders.
Courts: Support President Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court? (before current allegations)
Economy: Support Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel and other products?
Whitmer – No. Renegotiate trade deals but fears longlasting negative consequences from new tariffs & chaos caused by Trump’s “disorderly rollout.”
Education: Increase funding for K-12 education?
Schuette – No statements found on overall funding. Focus on literacy. “Grade schools on an A-F scale, giving schools performance-based grants as incentives.”
Education: Support vouchers to send children to private schools with public money. Expand charter schools?
Schuette – Yes. Use vouchers to send children to any participating school (public, private, religious). Expand charters.
Whitmer – No. Opposes vouchers. Stronger oversight of charters. “Stop the dismantling of public education.”
Education: Increase state funding for higher education?
Elections: Support Michigan’s redistricting ballot initiative 2 to address charges of partisan gerrymandering?
Schuette – Opposes initiative. Asked MI Supreme Court to reject for creating “a fourth branch of government.”
Whitmer – Yes. “Gerrymandering continues to disenfranchise voters in Michigan.” Don’t let partisan legislators draw political boundaries.
Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?
Schuette – No. Defended voter-enacted marriage ban as “a simple recognition that biology matters.” But will respect Supreme Court decision allowing it.
Whitmer – Yes. Introduced 2013 bill to repeal Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, two years before Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.
Governing: Governor can appoint emergency managers for cities without consent?
Schuette – Unclear. Defended law against federal lawsuit.
Whitmer – No. Repeal Emergency Manager Law.
Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?
Schuette – No. Repeal existing state restrictions. Challenged restrictions on semi-automatic weapons. NRA 100% rating.
Healthcare: Support or Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Accept Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants? Require people to work to receive Medicaid?
Schuette – Repeal ACA. Replace with private insurance. “ACA violated the very first principal of medicine: Do no harm.” Has called to cut state’s Medicaid expansion, now says settled law. Calls work requirements “the welfare reform of the 21st century.”
Whitmer – Supports ACA. Held “Save Healthcare” rallies and led state Senate negotiations for Medicaid expansion. Opposes work requirements, which remove coverage “when we should be expanding.”
Healthcare: Allow Planned Parenthood public funds for non-abortion health care?
Immigration: Support DREAM Act (DACA) recipients who arrived illegally as children, to achieve legal status under certain conditions?
Schuette – Declined to comment during campaign, but joined 2016 lawsuit to block DACA expansion.
Whitmer – Yes. Supports clean DREAM Act that protects Dreamers from deportation & offers a path to citizenship.
Labor: Right-to-work law, preventing unions mandating dues for workers they represent?
Whitmer – No. Repeal right-to-work law.
Marijuana: Support or oppose MI legalization initiative, Proposal 1?
Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr?
Whitmer – Yes. Increase to $15/hour over three years.
Net Neutrality: Require internet providers to provide all users equal access?
Schuette – Unknown.
Renewable Energy: Government support for renewable energy?
Whitmer – Yes. Strong support for renewables.
Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts? Cut Michigan taxes?
Whitmer – No. Trump cuts help millionaires & billionaires, not families just trying to get by.” Repeal retirement tax. Increase state user fees to pay for infrastructure.
Voting Rights: Support stricter or broader voting and registration rules?
Schuette – Stricter. Supported end to straight-ticket voting.
Whitmer – Opposes strict voter ID laws, supports straight-ticket, automatic registration, letting anyone vote absentee.