Will stand up to special interests

When someone thinks of Michigan, a few things typically come to mind. The Great Lakes, maybe some of our sport teams, and a particular industry — the auto industry.

Michigan is home to the Big Three American automobile manufacturers and these companies makeup a huge part of our state history. However, the state that is the birthplace of the American auto industry now has the highest costs in auto insurance. Many of the cars are built here in Michigan, but we pay the most to insure them. That is wrong.

In an effort to lower these outrageous rates, House Bill 5013 was introduced late last year and would have allowed drivers to buy different amounts of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage rather than being mandated to buy the unlimited coverage.

HB 5013 also allowed seniors who had Medicare or other retiree health insurance to opt out of PIP coverage — that way they wouldn’t have to continue to pay twice for health insurance.

These two actions would have lowered auto insurance costs considerably, with some drivers seeing an estimated 40 percent cut in their bill. Nonetheless, Rep. Scott Dianda and other House Democrats (along with a handful of Republicans) voted against this proposal and it failed in a late-night vote. It was a disappointing evening for Michigan’s drivers, to say the least.

My fellow yoopers: I am writing this letter because we have critical decisions to make in our upcoming elections. Rep. Dianda is now running to be our voice in the Michigan Senate. If you, like me, want lower auto insurance rates, I respectfully ask you to cast your ballot for a candidate who has publicly supported giving our drivers a choice, both as a representative and candidate.

That is why I am supporting Ed McBroom — a bold, pragmatic candidate who will stand up to special interests and put the people of our great peninsula first.