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Profile: 4th Congressional House of Representatives

Editor’s Note:

This is the candidate profile given to all local candidates for the Nov. 6 general election. Not everyone submitted a response.

Basic guidelines for the profiles were as follows:

  • Absolutely no mention of any political party;
  • Absolutely no mention of opposition candidate or their positions;
  • Avoid using boilerplate answers. The purpose of this questionnaire is to give voters an opportunity to hear what YOU have to say about the issues at hand.
  • Each candidate was given one opportunity to respond to the questionnaire.
  • Each candidate is given the exact same question and word count limitations. Do not exceed the word count or the answer will be rejected. In the space where an answer was to have been submitted, a note will say, “Answer rejected because it exceeded word count limitations.
  • Answers were rejected outright if they mentioned a competitor, a competitor’s position, or either political party. In that space will be a note that says, “Answer rejected because it included comments about the competitor or a political party.

Answers were NOT edited in any way.

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Name: Jerry Hilliard
Age:
Community of residence:
Education: (Optional)
Q: Michigan continues to experience the loss of many talented individuals in Northern Michigan due to a lack of quality employment opportunities. What specifically do you plan to do to bring more jobs to the Northern part of the state? (Do not use statistics, existing or currently planned business operations as examples)
Answer rejected because it exceeded word count limitations.
Q: Organizations such as the Children’s Assessment Centers in Roscommon and Iosco Counties specialize in helping minors who are victims of sexual assault. Despite widespread support by local government and law enforcement, the state continues to decrease funding for these types of organizations. If elected, what will you do specifically to ensure funding is secured to keep these programs viable?


Did not answer.

Q: For Northern Michigan businesses to be competitive across the state and nation, we need dependable broadband internet service, which we do not have in many areas. Would you be willing to support a broadband infrastructure program similar to the National Highway System in order to bring Northern Michigan up to speed? Why or why not? And if so, how do you plan to accomplish that project?
We need a world class broadband system to prepare for jobs of the future and attract businesses. The labor market is changing due to robots and other tech. It is essential that we have a world class rural broadband system to equip our schools to educate our citizens for the technology jobs of the future or be left behind.
Q: In regard to Line 5, the Canadian oil transfer line at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac:
The Great Lakes Business network, a growing coalition of Northern Michigan businesses, strongly opposes existence of the pipeline because of the danger to the waterway and its potential effect on tourism. Instead of forcing Canada to build a pipeline on its own property, the State of Michigan recently opted to allow Enbridge, the owner of the line and the company responsible for the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010, to start a permitting process to build a new pipeline beneath the straits. Do you support the rerouting of the pipeline to Canadian property and the subsequent closure of the pipeline in order to prevent a spill?
No! There is no logical reason to use underwater transportation of fossil fuels when land routes are available. Why take the risk when the stakes are so high?
Q: Due to groundwater contamination with PCB’s in the Grayling and Oscoda areas, do you support greater restrictions on the use of chemicals which may negatively affect Michigan’s greatest resource, the Great Lakes and our groundwater? What legislation will you propose to reduce the number of cancer-causing chemicals being used in the state. (Do not use existing Michigan Department of Environmental Quality or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines as a boilerplate response).
Yes! At the federal level my main power will be in control over federal dollars and what they are spent on. I will use my legislative power to ensure dollars will be withheld with out protections for our environment.
Q: The Michigan legislature and governor are largely exempt from the Open Meetings Act, even though local officials must follow the law. If elected will you introduce a bill to revise the act to include the written and online communications all appointed and elected officials, as well as employees at the state level, especially since many state meetings are not held in public? Why or why not?
It is embarrassing for our state government to have so little transparency, at the U.S. level the power is limited, I would put protections for transparency into legislation whenever possible.
Q: What individual or group is your largest campaign contributor at the time you completed this questionnaire? How will you handle potential conflicts of interest that may arise affecting that contributor?
UAW. Unions are essential to rebuild the middle class and I will work with them to benefit the overall economy.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
I have lived most of my life in our area and understand the challenges we face. My main goal in congress will be to rebuild the middle class in the 4th District.

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