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Nate Smith-Tyge

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Nate Smith-Tyge
Nate Smith-Tyge.jpg
Former candidate for
Michigan House of Representatives, District 20
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolTraverse City Central High School
Bachelor'sMichigan State University
Master'sUniversity of Michigan
Place of birthTraverse City, Michigan
Campaign website
Nate Smith-Tyge was a 2014 Democratic candidate for District 20 of the Michigan House of Representatives.[1][2]


Campaign themes


Smith-Tyge's website highlighted the following campaign themes:

Economy & Jobs

Thanks to the reemergence of the domestic auto industry Michigan’s economy has seen an uptick in economic activity. However, we still have a long way to go for a full recovery. The Governor and Mr. Heise promised that their massive tax shift in 2010 would result in job growth but Michigan still ranks 46th in unemployment with a rate over 9%. This is unacceptable and we need investments in the things that really drive job growth – education, infrastructure, and support for small and medium sized businesses.We must also work to diversify our economy while supporting our strong manufacturing base. Nearly 40% of our recent college graduates must leave the state to find work. As a state we need to encourage investment in the next wave of economic growth – knowledge-based industries. The state must provide support to entrepreneurs and existing firms looking to grow in the economy of thefuture.

Education (K-12)
We have great public schools in the 20th District – the Plymouth Canton Community Schools and Northville Public Schools are model districts and essential to the fabric of our community. However, House Republicans voted in favor of the Governor’s Omnibus budget in 2011 that slashed $470 per/pupil and these cuts have still not been made whole. This has meant larger class sizes and reductions in programs and staff across the state and here in our community. But it didn’t have to be this way; in fact it should have been the exact opposite as there was a surplus in the School Aid Fund in 2011. But the Governor and Mr. Heise chose to raid the School Aid Fund to pay for a massive tax cut to large corporations. They put their big business pals over our children. I promise that if you send me to Lansing I will always chose our children and schools over Mr. Heise’s fat cat buddies.

In addition to cutting funding the current Legislature and Governor have rushed forth plans to turn our public schools over to private-for-profit corporations that want to open even more un-accountable charter schools and fully online “cyber schools.” One of the biggest corporations is K-12 Inc., which pays its CEO a salary of $5 million provided by taxpayer dollars intended for the education of our children. Meanwhile, nearly half of the K-12 Inc. online students never complete their courses. We must hold private for-profit charter and cyber schools accountable for their poor record of results. Additionally, I oppose the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) and will fight any further expansion of this failed experiment and any other backdoor attempts at school vouchers or privatization of our community schools (1). I also have very grave concerns about the Common Core and oppose its implementation in Michigan public schools (2). Finally, I have deep concerns about the continued reliance of standardized tests as the only measure of student, teacher, and school success. The research is quite clear that these tests tell us very little about real learning and are often counterproductive to deep learning and the development of critical thinking and higher order cognitive skills. We must change our approach to educational assessment and do so in a manner that supports student learning.

I am proud of my professional and academic accomplishments in the field of education. We need educational professionals from both the practice and research sides of the field helping to shape our education policy. That is missing in the current debate in Lansing and if I am fortunate enough to earn your vote I will help to bring the voice of the educational professional to Lansing.

Higher Education
Governor Snyder and Mr. Heise have exacerbated a multi-decade problem of state disinvestment in our public colleges and universities. The same vote Mr. Heise cast that cut our K-12 schools by $470 per/pupil also cut our public universities by 15% across the board. And let’s be clear again – this was a choice Mr. Heise and the Governor made to give a massive tax cut to large corporations on the backs of school children and university students. We must re-invest in our public colleges and universities as they are training the workforce for the future economy and often driving the developments that fuel our economy through cutting edge research. When the state invests in higher education tuition costs will go down and so too will the burdens of student loan debt that start too many young people off in life in a financial hole.

Michigan’s freeways, highways, and surface streets are in rough shape. We must fix our roads and repair our aging vital infrastructure resources. We must be creative in how we address our infrastructure repair needs, but this doesn’t mean cutting corners. Rather, we must fix our roads for the long haul and make sure the repairs we pay for now last for years to come. If we invest in our infrastructure we can put folks to work and improve our business climate (quality infrastructure is often cited as being more important than tax rates for relocating businesses).

Tax Fairness
We must have a tax system that is fair and predictable. The massive shift of the state’s tax burden onto seniors and their pensions and the elimination of tax credits that helped many middle-class families was neither fair or predictable. We must build a tax system that works for everyone, not just large corporations. I will work to repeal the tax on pension, restore the homestead property tax exemption, move the Earned Income Tax Credit back to the federal level, and close loopholes carved out by special interests in Lansing. We can have a tax system that works for seniors, businesses, families and individuals while at the same time provides the revenue needed to fund our schools, repair our roads, protect our natural resources, keep police and firefighters on the street, and provide the other essential services we expect from our state government.

Fairness for Women
I support equal pay for equal work. Mr. Heise does not. I support women having full access to and control of their health care decisions. Mr. Heise does not. I do not support forcing women to purchase insurance riders to cover legal health procedures should they face a deeply personal and private choice. Mr. Heise supports and voted for the insurance rider, even over the veto of his fellow Republican Rick Snyder. This is an extreme position and not in keeping with the views of most citizens in this district. Most Michiganders and most folks in Canton, Plymouth, and Northville believe it’s 2014 and all women should be treated as full and equal citizens. It’s time they had a State Representative that shared this view.[3][4]



See also: Michigan House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election was held on August 5, 2014, and a general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 22, 2014. Nate Smith-Tyge was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Kurt Heise was unopposed in the Republican primary. Heise defeated Smith-Tyge in the general election.[5][6][1][2]

Michigan House of Representatives, District 20 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKurt Heise Incumbent 61.4% 21,425
     Democratic Nate Smith-Tyge 38.6% 13,459
Total Votes 34,884

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