This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rep. Goeff Hansen Interview - Candidate 34th State Senate Seat

The upcoming general election in 2010 along with its Primary is promising to be long, wild and wooly affairs, with several contentious campaigns from top to bottom.

Bottom Up Politics hopes to be able to help our readers learn from the candidates themselves as they enter the fray; who they are, what they stand for, what they are saying and doing through interviews such as this. Let candidates tell the voters what they stand for.

I hope to interview as many candidates as possible before the primaries, from the Townships on up to State wide candidates. This site is after all called Bottom Up Politics.

Before introducing our next interviewee, I will make a point of saying where I stand at the time. I will simply say Positive, Negative, or still waiting.

For Goeff Hansen, running for the 34th State Senate district seat I am Positive.


(BottomUP) - With that I’d like to welcome Goeff Hansen to “Bottom Up Politics”. Goeff is currently the State House Representative from the 100th district around Hart. Including all of Ocean, Newaygo and Lake Counties.

REPLY - Thank you for this opportunity to discuss my candidacy and vision for the future.

(BottomUP) - Representative Hansen, you have thrown your hat in the ring for the 34th State Senate District Race very early on. Conventional wisdom that I hear from others is to wait and see what will happen. I’ve been told that is the safe play. Can you share with my readers why you filed when you did?

REPLY – The 34th Senate seat will be a key race in 2010 to maintain Republican control of the state Senate. I’ve crunched the numbers and done my home work. I don’t do anything half-way and I’ve never lost an election. I’ve talked to community leaders throughout the district and listened to their advice. Everything that I’ve learned points to the same conclusion: I’m the only Republican that can hold this seat and I’m in this race to win. This is a large district and I’m committed to working hard every day to earn each vote.

(BottomUP) - Here is some more “conventional wisdom”. Some of the political big shots seem to think that a candidate outside of Muskegon County cannot win the 34th. The 34th for our readers information also includes Mason, Oceana and Newaygo Counties. It is a large district. Could you share with us perhaps some of the numbers that helped you to decide to run? Helped you decide that you can win.

REPLY – First, I’m very fortunate that my track record includes having never lost an election. Second, nearly half of the Republican primary votes in the 34th Senate district come from my current House district, Oceana and Newaygo counties. Third, my average win percentage and total county votes secured in Oceana and Newaygo counties proves my ability to get out the vote and also secure cross-over support. I have high name identification, strong favorability ratings and have performed above the GOP base in this Senate district. I’ve proven I have the votes to best represent this district and keep it in Republican control.

(BottomUP) - What characteristics do you have that you feel will let people in and out of Muskegon County want to vote for you; in the primary if there is one and then in the general election?

REPLY – I’m running for the State Senate to help fix our broken economy. I know how to create jobs because I’ve created jobs for hundreds of West Michigan families. Having built a business from limited savings working multiple jobs, I know what it’s like to struggle to meet payroll in tough times. I know what creates jobs, and what brings economic development to a screeching halt. Higher taxes and more regulations on small businesses send Michigan citizens to the unemployment lines, while smaller government and more freedom encourage entrepreneurship. It’s that West Michigan common sense that I’ll use from day one as your senator to get Michigan back to work.

I know our community because I’ve served our community for over 30 years.
I’ve served at the local level, as a township supervisor, a volunteer firefighter, and an ambulance first responder. Most recently, I’ve had the distinct honor of serving the good people of Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana counties as their state Representative. I’ve represented this diverse district that is bound by common values, and a common concern for the future or our state.

Michigan is at a critical crossroad. Decisions we make today will affect our families for generations to come. Now more than ever, our district, our region, and our state needs strong, focused leadership to help bring our state back to the power house it once was. I want to be that leader for you in the Michigan Senate.

(BottomUP) - You have served in the 100th State House District centering around Hart for three terms. What are a couple of examples of the service you gave Hart residents during your term, which you can point out to show what you can do for the residents of all Counties within the larger confines of the 34th district?

REPLY - Within the first 45 days in office in February 2005 I was faced with, what would become, the biggest economic development issue of my tenure in the House. The Governor proposed closing the private MI Youth Correctional Facility in Lake County; the third county in my House district. I spent the next three years working with the administration, company officials and the community on solutions to keep the facility operational, protect valuable jobs and maintain important tax base. I was able to have legislation signed into law to provide the company with the legal authority to enter into other out-state contracts so as to maintain their commitment to Lake County and surrounding communities. I fought for Lake County jobs and jobs in the 100th District despite political party affiliations or from people who traditionally didn’t support Republicans. My job is to represent everyone.

Similarly, after the Hart State Police Post was announced to be closed, I worked just as diligently with our state and local partners to craft a solution to maintain a strong public safety presence in the region. Fortunately, I was successful in securing funding to reopen the facility and residents of the district can now take comfort knowing that they will be well protected for years to come.

Overall, constituent service is of paramount importance to me and one of my top priorities, especially during these difficult economic times. For example, the state’s Unemployment Insurance benefit system has at times done a less than stellar job of providing expeditious service to residents. While improvements continue to be made to the system, it has become more important to me that I help clear the red-tape and make sure the unemployment benefits reached my constituents first.

The fine people of the 34th Senate District can expect this level of constituent service should I be fortunate to represent them.

(BottomUP) - I’m a blogger. Most of my info comes from the internet. While I’m a believer in “hands on volunteerism”; the internet is a powerful tool to get facts from and to then promote events and causes I get involved with. I was really excited (unashameably so) when I saw your You Tube Video.
Our readers might appreciate some insight into why you made this and some elaboration on the message of taking America back, especially in your view of how you can help the people do that. I freely admit that “Bottom Up Politics” is totally behind what seems to be the motivation of the video.

REPLY – All the credit for this video goes to Joe Jurecki from Montague. I had no prior knowledge of his intention to create this, but he did a fantastic job. It was well done. But I do believe for our state to be successful, we must get back to smaller government that is transparent and lives within its means, reduces taxes and regulations for small businesses and funds essential services that we all use before spending a dime on anything else.

(BottomUP) - Well sir, I appreciate your candor. Another useful aspect of the internet is its ability to network with other bloggers and their readers. Right Michigan has been a leader in this and “Bottom Up Politics” is doing our bit. At this point I would ask you to entertain a question from fellow Muskegon blogger Gordo Muskegon Pundit.


Rep. Hansen,
Winning elections is about having the right candidate with the vision and communication skills to convince voters to contribute to and support his candidacy.
But it is also about informing voters about the past voting record of your democrat opponent.

Doug Bennett and Mary Valentine are both possible candidates to run against our Republican candidate for the state senate.

What can you tell us about their specific voting records that voters might find interesting and counter to conservative principals and good government that you have espoused during your time in state government?

What would be your first, most important bill (or portion of a bill) that would bring employers back to Michigan?

GordoMuskegon (Jim Riley)

REPLY – Jim, I would concur with “BottomUP’s” statement (Ps at the end of this interview) about the first part of your question.

As to the second part of your question – As a local family business owner, I’ve created jobs for hundreds of local families. I know what works and what doesn’t. Government-based solutions don’t work. Private sector-based solutions do. I’m a proponent of entrepreneurial revitalization and believe that our current economic condition presents opportunity. In the 1970s, FedEx, Southwest, Microsoft, Apple, Genentech and Charles Schwab were started. Young talent migrated from previously lucrative jobs and toward start-ups.

GVSU recently published a report stating that fewer people in West Michigan were starting up their own businesses. One of the barriers includes expensive start-up costs and lack of investment funds from either the state or through lending institutions.

This report confirmed the need for legislation that I had been in the process of drafting. Soon, I will be introducing a bill that encourages and supports our state’s small and start-up businesses. Small businesses are the engine of our economy; I know this first hand in our community. Look for more information on this legislative initiative soon.

If elected, I would like to continue serving on committees that seek to remove the obstacles to doing business in Michigan, spotlights the agriculture and tourism industry, and promotes our urban core.

(BottomUP) - Bottom up Politics believes 2012 could be a watershed election; an election in which a Republican Governor could be elected, and along with increased control of the Senate could mean some real structural reform to our State government is possible. Could you give your thoughts on that and what part you could play in this.

REPLY – I sincerely hope you’re right. I’m working hard on those things that are within my ability to control. If we each do our part, I’m confident we’ll have a positive outcome.

(BottomUP) - Before we close, I would like to thank you for your time with us; I throw the floor open to you. Whatever you would like to add or let our readers know that I didn’t touch upon. Feel free.

REPLY - Despite our problems, I’m an optimist. We can turn Michigan around. We can give our children the future they deserve but we have to act now.

If elected, it will be my goal to help the lakeshore businesses prosper so that they will be able to hire more people as well as attract new business opportunities to the area. We also need to help draw tourists to the area to help stimulate businesses. The area’s agriculture base should be encouraged to grow and play an active role in the local economy.

It will be difficult, change always is. But I’m up to the task and ready to do the hard work for you.

(BottomUP) - Thank you Representative Hansen for this interview; and good luck in the campaign.

REPLY – Thank you Bob, I appreciate this opportunity. I would encourage everyone to go online to for more information about our campaign and how they can help.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

(BottomUP) - PS to my readers. Mary Valentine (D 91st) has just filed to run for the 34th Senate seat. As of now they are the only 2 declared candidates. There will be plenty of time If Rep. Hansen so elects to talk about her and the obvious issues they will be debating. I will hope to conduct such future interviews later in the election cycle.

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