MICHIGAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATECandidate name: William C. CobbsCandidate website: https://www.billcobbs.com/Application submitted on December 24, 2017 at 11:24amQuestionnaire ResponsesCIVIL RIGHTS: What’s your position on systemic problems facing people of color, including police brutality and the prison industrial complex?My position on the systemic problems facing people of color are real. As Governor I want to attack the root causes like educational opportunities and poverty. If we can begin to take race out of the availability of opportunity for education and economic stability we can make substantive progress in having a balanced society.As a citizen and as the future Governor of the state of Michigan I will fight to insure that every we protect the rights of all citizens. As a former police officer I am acutely aware of the pervasive abuse of police power. As Governor I intend to change the certification process for police officers in Michigan. Part of the new licensing process I want to implement is a provision which would prevent any officer dismissed for cause to ever return to law enforcement in Michigan.Regarding industrial complex the prison I intend to institute major reform. Rather than incarceration for non violent offenses I want to find other ways of protecting our citizens that don’t involve incarceration. By using electronic monitoring rather than incarceration we can significantly reduce what we spend on prisons and foster a better opportunity to reintegrate our returning citizens.CIVIL RIGHTS: What’s your position on LGBTQ+ rights, and what actions do you plan to take to protect those rights?I fully support equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community and will move to fully articulate these protections into Michigan’s constitution. I will move to make efforts to protect the employment rights of the LGBTQ community in the same way that we protect other groups within the state.DRUG WAR: Do you support the war on drugs?The war on drugs is actually a war on people. We’ve criminalized drug use for decades and we still are facing an opioid epidemic. I am an advocate for redirecting resources into treatment and prevention rather than criminalization.DRUG WAR: Do you support legalizing recreational marijuana and remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 drug classification?My position on Marijuana is that we should legalize the use and possession of cannabis. I fully support removing it from schedule 1 drug classification. I am concerned with the incongruity between revisions in state law and nothing changing in federal law. I am fully in support of removing the distinction between marijuana and alcohol consumption.ECONOMIC JUSTICE: What are your thoughts on economic justice in Michigan, and what, if anything, do you plan to do regarding the matter?Economic justice must be a goal for all of Michigan. I support and advocate for a $15 hour minimum wage. To get there I want to change the hourly minimum that we currently have to $10 per hour with a mandate that it increase by $1 per hour every year for the next five years. In Michigan we have a welfare to work program. For the next five years that program would serve as the financial augmentation vehicle to get to $15 an hour immediately. In year one the employer would pay $10 per hour and welfare to work would provide a $per hour supplement. In each subsequent year the employer rate would increase by a $1 and the welfare to work subsidy would decrease by $1 per hour until the employer was paying $15 per hour. ECONOMIC JUSTICE: What actions do you plan to take to protect those most vulnerable among us, including those living in poverty or barely getting by in the working class?Broadened educational opportunities for everyone. Overturn right to work law. Create tax policy that ties tax rate to income. Strive for Universal healthcare by the end of my term in office.ECONOMIC JUSTICE: Do you support raising the minimum wage? If yes, how would you accomplish this raise and how high would you raise the minimum wage? If no, why not, or do you have an alternative suggestion to increase low-income wages?Yes. See explanation above.ELECTIONS: In 2015, Michigan ranked last in a national study of state ethics and transparency. What initiatives or concepts do you support in the areas of campaign finance reform and influence of money in our political system?In the area of campaign finance I would advocate that the state allocate $12 dollars of every state income tax return to a state campaign finance committee. That money would be equally distributed between candidates. The amount of money that a candidate could raise individually would be limited to a predetermined amount based on the office they were seeking. Individual contributions would be capped at lower levels. ELECTIONS: Do you intend to accept campaign donations from Super PACs, large corporations and other forms of “big money”? If yes, how can you demonstrate to us that you will not be under the influence of Super PACs, large corporations and other forms of “big money” or “dark money” before and after you are elected?No I do not. Anyone serious about campaign finance reform needs to pay special attention to the candidate campaign finance reports. Dark money and special interest money is filtered through individuals.ELECTIONS: Is voter suppression a concern of yours? What do you plan to do to ensure a free and fair elections process for all?Voter suppression is a significant concern for me. Crosscheck is currently used in Michigan to challenge voters, I would stop its use immediately. I would also stop challenges base on identification methods that significantly disadvantage people of color and the poor.HEALTHCARE: Do you think healthcare should be a right to all people and if so, what steps will you take to protect that right?I do believe that healthcare in a civilized society is a human right. I support universal healthcare and would like to see it become a reality in Michigan. The challenge is making sure we have adequate resources to make it happen.EDUCATION: What are your views on education? Where do you stand on tuition for higher education? Do you support public education, and if so, what will you do to protect our public school system?I have said as Michigan’s next Governor I am committed to quality education for all of Michigan’s young people. I’ve also said that I want to immediately create a state fund that Michigan youth can apply to for grant based aid for education. I would love to provide tuition free education for our young people but we still need to find away to finance it.I firmly support public pre k-12 education. I want to make sure that we are resourcing it across this state so that every child as an opportunity for success. I’ve also said that while I have no problem with private charter schools I am vehemently opposed to using public tax dollars to support them. My team is currently working on a ballot proposal to defund private charter schools in Michigan.ENVIRONMENT: What legislation would you propose or support to ensure we are doing more to protect our environment?I am proposing a bill to place a five year moratorium on Fracking in Michigan. I want. I want to restrict the commercialization of Michigan’s water resources and develop a comprehensive great lakes water policy. I want to restrict the further expansion of landfills in Michigan. ENVIRONMENT: What steps will you take to transform our energy systems away from fossil fuels as we transition into renewable energy systems?As part of my infrastructure replacement program I intend to incorporate a wind, solar, and geo thermal energy development program in place. The challenge before us is over coming the entrenched utility lobby and their hold on the legislature.IMMIGRATION: What’s your stance on sanctuary cities and other protections for immigrants?I support support sanctuary cities and protection for immigrants in Michigan.RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Do you support mosque surveillance?I am against mosque surveillance predicated on religious bigotry. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Should businesses be allowed to discriminate based on their beliefs or the beliefs of their customers?Businesses should be required to conform to the law. If the law prohibits discrimination based upon their beliefs or the beliefs of their they should be accountable to the law.TAXES: What is your stance on our current tax system? What would you do differently?I have said that as Governor I intend to support a Constitutional amendment to modify our tax laws. I want to go from a fixed tax rate to a progressive tax rate. The maximum rate under my proposal would be 10%. To reach that 10% rate household income would have to exceed $600k. Our current tax structure is not fare nor does it provide the resources we need to do the business of the state and deliver the services that citizens require.WOMEN’S RIGHTS: What is your position on a woman’s right to choose? Will you legislate based on your position? Explain.I support a woman’s right to Choose and I will fight to maintain that freedom in Michigan.WORKERS RIGHTS: Do you support workers co-ops and/or unions? Will you legislate based on your support or opposition of either? Explain.I have gone on record to say that as Governor I will immediately work to overturn right to work in Michigan. I support unions/organized labor. I am the only candidate running for Governor that ever belonged to and paid dues to a union.WAR: What is your stance on America’s declaration of and involvement in war, foreign or domestic?War should always be a matter of last resort. Having served in this countries uniform I do not advocate sending young men off to fight old men’s wars.