MEA submitted the following opinion piece to the Detroit News for President Cook’s monthly column. The News, without MEA’s permission, edited out the paragraphs in bold. MEA believes it is in the public interest to present the full, unedited piece.
With the upcoming primary on Tuesday, Michigan has become the focus of Republican presidential politics – especially for Gov. Mitt Romney, for whom a win in his home state is at stake.
For those of us who know our Michigan history, it’s interesting to view this campaign through the lens of another Gov. Romney: Mitt’s father, George.
In 1965, Michigan Gov. George Romney signed into law the Public Employee Relations Act. This legislation gave public sector employees (teachers, school support staff, police officers, firefighters and other public workers) the right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining.
In 1967, Gov. Romney signed the Michigan Income Tax Act, creating a flat rate income tax that helped drive greater investment in our state and its infrastructure.
Prior to becoming governor, George Romney was the CEO of American Motors, helping to build Michigan’s modern auto industry. He was also a prominent advocate for investing in and improving public schools in our state – so much so that the Michigan Education Association awarded Romney our “Distinguished Service Award” in 1960 for contributions to the cause of public education.