On the Issues

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While Michael is not one to shout political ideologies from the rooftops, he does hold strong to fundamental principles of small government, state’s rights and servant leadership. The bedrock of our democracy is found within the Constitution. All too often political leaders eschew the Constitution in favor of decisions made to appease special interest groups and vocal minorities; policies are made in response to Federal issues, while local issues from constituents fall on deaf ears.

Michael does not have all of the answers. However, with the fundamental principles in mind, Michael has taken the pavement to meet the voters of the 84thDistrict to get feedback on the issues they hold most dear. Below is just a sample of the issues that Michael has learned from the people

A Better – Accountable – Government

Ronald Reagan once called Democracy the most deeply honorable government ever devised by man. From Girl Scouts, to Right to Work Protests to Harry Baals, Fort Wayne constituents are increasingly losing faith in our government. Our legislators cannot effectively govern in an atmosphere of polarizing headlines and sideshows. Reason must prevail. Always. Fort Wayne citizens deserve better – and they demand better.

Constituents want leaders willing to set aside the rhetoric, propaganda and petty differences in order to work together to increase jobs and wages, support education and fight for the most efficient use of your tax dollars. Election into office does not mandate that one check his or her common sense at the door.  Fort Wayne deserves common sense leadership willing to work together to help make our community better. As an engaged citizen and practicing attorney Michael knows that there are times to zealously lead, while there are other times to listen, learn and follow. Michael offers a transparent, common sense approach and a voice of reason to confront the issues plaguing government. Michael promises to work with constituents to help restore faith in our government.


Advocate for the Youth, Young Adults and Education

Over the past ten years our community has seen its young adult population decrease nearly 8% more than the national average. In 2011 a three-year national study found that Fort Wayne is not a community that is attractive to young college graduates. The future of our community requires that we confront this downward spiral. Fort Wayne cannot prosper if its biggest export is its young, talented college graduates. Michael has been a champion of efforts to attract and retain young adults, including serving as a President of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana and organizing the My City Summit. Michael will continue to work with elected officials and community leaders to ensure that we attract and retain the knowledge-based workers required to diversify the economy in the 21st Century.

At the same time the children of the community need our support more than ever. Recently, nearly 30% of Allen County 3rd grade students failed to pass the reading portion of the I-Step+ exam. Sixty-eight percent of Fort Wayne Community Schools children receive free/reduced lunch. Often times, disadvantaged children enter Kindergarten to learn for the first time. Despite studies that show that a child’s learning capacity is strongest before age five, Indiana is one of only 11 states that does not provide support for early childhood learning. Too many children are entering Kindergarten starting to learn for the first time. The costs of trying to bring these children “up to speed” over the years outweigh the investment in early childhood education where studies show there is a higher return on investment.

From the debate over Common Core, grading schools, funding formulas, vouchers and pop-up charter schools, education has been a political battleground leaving teachers and parents frustrated with the constant rhetoric. Indiana is a national leader in school choice options; however, it cannot rest on this premise alone. Schools don’t operate in free markets; therefore, legislators must be cognizant of ensuring that resources are used appropriately and that parents are provided with the appropriate information to make valid and rational choices for their children. More choice isn’t always better if we don’t hold all schools accountable for the funds they receive.

Teachers need to be treated fairly and allowed to provide a curriculum based on local standards. Our community needs legislators that are dedicated to putting aside the rhetoric and ensure that we get tax dollars into classrooms so that children have the best opportunities to achieve academic excellence. Michael is married to a teacher that has taught in public and private schools for almost ten years, and has seen first-hand the impact of dedicated educators. A strong public school system is an essential element to a thriving community. He is committed to helping find practical and innovative solutions to help keep our schools accountable for providing the best opportunities our youth.

Business Advocate

The citizens are concerned about jobs and job growth. In recent years the state of Indiana has made great strides in positioning itself as one of the more business friendly states in America. But low cost of living and low taxes are not enough. Since the early 90’s wages in Allen County have dipped 15% of the national average. More than ever our community needs strong and innovative leadership to help Northeast Indiana address the downward trends that have developed in terms of personal income and gross domestic product.

Over the past several years Michael has worked with a host of organizations such as the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Regional Chamber and Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership to address these issues. As an attorney he has seen local businesses that have both prospered and languished. Michael will be a zealous advocate to help bring a diversity of better jobs and opportunities to the community. Such opportunities can only exist in Fort Wayne if we have a strong and credible Northeast Indiana delegation fighting for our share of opportunities.

A Conservative Approach

Michael believes that he is the best candidate to represent the conservative values espoused by the constituents of our corner of the state, and the best candidate to stand up to the forces of big government from Indianapolis dominating our state. All too often government tries to solve problems when it is government that causes the problem. Constituents have expressed concern regarding top-down Federal government initiatives such as Obamacare and Common Core.

Michael believes in a smaller, efficient government. Michael believes in strong conservative leadership at the state level to allow communities to prosper. Our democracy works best when citizens can live and work in the communities that are free from interference of government. Michael is a pro-life conservative and believes that a more effective message can be conveyed without inflammatory headlines or punch lines. Michael will fight to limit government regulation of businesses and personal lives while working to lower taxes.

Michael believes that a strong fiscal conservative approach is necessary at both the State and Federal levels. He will fight to cut bureaucracy, duplication of services and wasteful spending of your tax dollars.  Michael will continue efforts to address streamlined government – including issues left unchanged following the recommendations of the Kernan-Shepard Commission on Local Government Reform. Strong leadership is needed to help implement the conservative values that our community demands.

Strong Leadership & Work Ethic

Above all, constituents want a strong leader that is willing to listen and take principled stands on tough issues. Michael promises to bring the strong, blue collar work ethic and leadership skills that he began early in his life – even as President of his class at East Noble High School. While working two and three jobs at Notre Dame Michael took on three majors and graduated with honors in four years. Again working his way through law school at Loyola he was recognized for his academic achievements and service to the school community while displaying leadership among his peers.

In his professional career Michael has quickly established himself as a hard working professional and community leader. He has been named a Rising Star by Indiana Super Lawyers and also received the Leadership in Law – Up and Coming Lawyer by the Indiana Lawyer publication. He is a past President and four year Board member of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, and is in his fourth year of service on the Fort Wayne Chamber Board of Directors.

Michael does not believe in token level involvement. He believes in leading by example and rolling up his sleeves to get to work. Representing the constituents of Fort Wayne and restoring their faith in government will require the type of work ethic and strong leadership that Michael has displayed throughout his life.

Our community deserves nothing less.