Democrat chairman talks to local group.

May 19, 2015

lon_johnson_democratsBy Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Local Democrats listened to their state party chairman, Lon Johnson, speak Thursday morning at House of Flavors Restaurant.

“The real challenge for northern Michigan is how we can get people to stay here and succeed,” Johnson said. “We are losing too many of our kids and grandkids to cities like Chicago and Atlanta. We need to invest in the people. They (the Republicans) are willing to give Dow, Monsanto and General Motors tax breaks, at the same time they won’t put that same investment into our children and grandchildren. We need to show the people of northern Michigan precisely what that means, otherwise we are going to lose. We have to put teeth into everything we do.”

Johnson said Democrats are considering a plan that would pay off college debt for every eight years college graduates remain in the state.

Johnson said Democrats need to get their message out to the people in a more consistent manner.

Johnson admitted that the Democratic party did not have a concise message. “If you were to ask everyone what the Republican message is, we all know what it is: Less government, don’t raise taxes. But, if you asked everyone here what the Democrats’ message is, you would get at least seven different answers.”

Johnson talked about the recent defeat of Proposal 1 and said that Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republicans need to listen to the Democrats’ ideas to pass a road funding package.

He answered questions from the approximate 20 people present. They talked about strategies to select candidates in the 2016 state house election, especially in Michigan’s 101st district, which will be an open seat. The district covers Mason, Manistee, Benzie and Leelanau counties.