Three Press Releases That Provide Some Insight Into My Politics
When asked what motivated him to seek election to the Michigan House of Representatives, Cliff Yankovich said,
"Blame it on pipeline #5, our terrible roads, and the subject of Michigan's water in general. When I saw a video in 2013 on the condition of a now 63 year old pipeline moving almost a million gallons of crude oil an hour underneath the straits of Mackinac I was so upset I couldn't sleep. The condition of our roads and the way our legislators totally dropped the ball on that matter was the second motivator."
The final push came from two water related items; lead contamination in Flint and reading about the sweetheart deal given to Nestle Incorporated to pump millions of gallons of water out of aquifers that feed Lake Michigan for little to no cost.
"Water is the future," Yankovich went on to say. "The guy who made almost a billion dollars betting against the housing bubble put most of his earnings into things related to water. Michigan is smack dab in the middle of The Great Lakes which represent 21% of the surface freshwater on the entire planet. Water crosses every political, social, and economic boundary - we have to safeguard what we have, protect the future of it, and not give it away to a corporation making billions in profit selling water globally."
Cliff and his wife have owned a mom and pop jewelry store in Lowell for 13 years. His previous political experience is limited to being a Republican precinct delegate and traveling to Washington DC to lobby Congress to tax internet sales as part of the Main Street Fairness group. It is Yankovich's intention to be a Green Party candidate this fall. (Candidates are chosen at the State Convention Saturday July 30th.) He is in complete agreement with the Four Pillars of the Party and is certain that third party candidates are a viable alternative in the current political climate.
"This is the year third party candidates can make inroads in Michigan," Cliff said. "When you look at the way our leaders in Lansing have let the infrastructure deteriorate and have all but ignored the imminent danger of a pipeline threatening the freshwater drinking source for millions of people in Michigan and other states it is astounding. The Green Party prohibits me from taking any PAC money, so the people in my district will know I am listening to them and not the lobbyists."
Yankovich wants to challenge other concerned Mitten residents to get involved and run for one of the 110 Representative seats this fall. He is convinced that 2016 represents a window of opportunity for a real grass roots movement in Michigan.
"One person with passion and enthusiasm can make a real difference," he concluded. "At this point there are five people I know of who are running this fall as Green Party candidates. There should be a Green Party candidate in every one of the 110 Districts. You want to know something? All five of us are men - we need women in Michigan to get involved as third party candidates. After years of emailing and calling Lansing, I decided to make an effort to become a law maker instead of just trying to get their attention. I would like to challenge other men and women in Michigan to do the same."
"PAC men (and women) are gobbling up Michigan one bite at a time," said Cliff Yankovich. "Their actions and the net result of them are wrecking our great state and in my mind they are unconstitutional."
Yankovich went on to cite the opening words to the Michigan Constitution: "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security and protection."
Yankovich contends that the current batch of legislators in the Michigan House for the most part are bought and paid for by PAC men.
"Because of PAC men, the majority of our legislators do not do what is right for the State and the people. They fail to do what they know is right. They do not do what they know in their hearts would be best for Michigan because the dance to the tune of PAC money," Cliff said. "They do what the PAC men and women tell them to do."
To prove his point he examined the effect of PAC money on three of the biggest issues facing Michigan today: Pipeline #5, roads, and public education.
"The water supply of millions of people remains under constant threat because of the power of the oil and gas PAC men. We cannot repair our roads because of the strangle hold of a pledge to a PAC to never raise taxes," he contends. "The best interest of our children are being pimped out for Charter school PAC money - all while paying lip service to 'doing what is best for the children'."
As a Green Party candidate Yankovich cannot take money from Political Action Committees no matter what side of an issue they represent. In an effort to learn more about the devastating effects of privatization and Charter Schools on public education, he recently requested and was granted a short meeting with a group of teachers. When he asked for the meeting he was told that they would be examining all the candidates before they decided who to support and pledge their PAC money to.
"I told them that I was not interested in their PAC money," Yankovich recalled. "My purpose was to dig deeper into the issue and learn what I could about it from their perspective. Sure, I would love their votes this fall, but I cannot take their PAC's money."
Yankovich contends that anyone with a moderate degree of common sense would realize that the roads in Michigan need to be repaired and that money needs to be raised to effect those repairs. He believes that nothing effective to fix the problem has been done because so many in the House have taken a pledge to a very powerful PAC, or set of PACs, to never raise taxes for any reason. The "equal benefit" of a good infrastructure that should be shared by Michiganders who use our roads has been thwarted by the power of PAC money.
"PAC men are not 'the people' mentioned in our Constitution," Yankovich concluded. "PAC men are cartoon beings that were created to gobble up what ever is in front of them in order to get to their objective. The only way to stop PAC men from devouring Michigan is to elect men and women who do not, will not, or cannot take money from them. I am one of those candidates and there are others stepping up around the state."
This one is 6/23
Cliff Yankovich, Green Party Candidate for the 86th District Michigan House, often refers to the opening words of the Michigan Constitution when people ask why he is running for office.
"All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security, and protection." Article 1, Section 1.
"These days both of the major political parties are ignoring and stepping all over the very foundation of our Constitution," Yankovich claims. "When you examine the reality of the situation regarding big issues facing our State it becomes crystal clear that the 'equal benefit, security, and protection' of the people is pushed to the back burner and the wishes of big business, corporations, and a few very wealthy people are given preference. The will of the people is subverted and common sense is ignored in order to further the agenda of big business due to the stranglehold PAC money has on Lansing."
Green Party candidates are not allowed to accept any PAC money in their bid for office. Even from PACs that might be in complete harmony with the Four Pillars of the Party. Yankovich contends that while this rule does restrict his ability to raise money, the net result is that it provides he and other Green Party candidates to better examine issues and make their decisions about them guided by their conscience and their desire to do what is best for the state and especially for the people who live, and pay taxes, in Michigan.
"I am not going to pretend that I have all the answers when it comes to how best to effectively govern, " Yankovich went on to say. "But the men and women in my district can rest assured that my decision making process will not be clouded by trying to factor in the desires of which ever group wrote me the biggest check last week. The third pillar of the Green Party is centered on the people controlling government through grassroots democracy which is in direct contrast to the PAC controlled legislators we have now."
Yankovich contends that there is hope for politics in Michigan. He believes that people on both sides of the established political aisle, as well as a host of new voters and voters who have ceased to vote after becoming discouraged by the increased influence of money in Lansing, will recognize the importance of returning the power of government to where it belongs: The People.