Opinion

Roads, climate, public safety among reasons for House candidacy

Posted

The writer is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the new 75th state House District in next Tuesday’s (Aug. 2) primary election. 

I am running for state representative because I have the most legal experience and knowledge of state government to get things done.  If elected, I would focus on the key issues to: 

• defend the proposed constitutional amendments governing women’s reproductive rights and voter rights.   

• enhance infrastructure, including roads and bridges, more robust transportation alternatives, expansion of renewable energy and high-speed broadband communications services, and more reliable and cost-effective public utility services.   

• strengthen public education, skilled job training and support teachers.   

promote economic and small business development, living wage jobs and state policies to mitigate inflation by increasing the personal income tax exemption, the child tax credit, earned income tax credits, educational credits and home heating tax credits. 

• protect pubic safety in schools and public gatherings, and implement prohibitions on military-style rapid-fire weapons and ammunition clips, among other reforms.   

• advance environmental protection, clean air and water, safe drinking water, conservation programs and efforts to address climate change through expansion of cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. 

I am best able to accomplish these objectives based upon my 25-year experience as an attorney and supervisor under Attorney General Frank Kelley. In these roles, I personally participated in hundreds of cases and supervised numerous attorneys to: 

• force large polluters of Michigan’s ground waters and rivers to cease their pollution and undertake clean-up remedies. 

• successfully assist the state in dealing with the aftermath of the PBB cattle-feed contamination crisis. 

• regulate Michigan’s gas and electric utilities, motor carrier transportation, communications companies, and railroads, ferry boats, and oil and gas drilling and pipeline operations. 

• represent Michigan before state and federal agencies, including the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and all levels of state and federal courts, including the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. 

• represent Michigan and 35 other states to successfully challenge the federal government’s violation of its legal duties to dispose of high-level nuclear waste stored in Michigan and in 70 other sites across the nation. 

draft formal attorney general opinions,  meet with constituent groups and advise the attorney general on legal and public policy issues. 

My legal experience on public law issues during my 23 years in private practice has included: 

• Representing nonprofit residential  customer organizations in opposing    rate increases by Michigan’s electric and gas utilities, including obtaining a $90 million refund to customers of surcharges collected for a nuclear decommissioning trust that a utility never deposited in the trust. 

• Representing citizens in four rural Michigan counties to create a cooperative to construct a high-speed broadband network, and to obtain state and federal grants and loans, and meet all regulatory requirements before the MPSC, FCC and the Rural Utility Service of the U.S. Agriculture Department. 

• Representing a nonprofit residential customer organization to advocate for the expansion of cost-effective solar generation to replace higher-cost fossil fuel generation and for fairer compensation to utility customers investing in solar projects. 

• Representing a Native American community before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to address storage by a utility of high-level nuclear near the community and the Mississippi River. 

My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University, a J.D. law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and an MBA from Michigan State University.   

I have been a homeowner in this district for 47 years. I have also served as a former board member and president of a 93-unit condominium association for 15 years and for another 28-unit condominium association in Haslett for 10 years.   

Throughout my career, I have avoided all conflicts of interest and have rigorously complied with all ethics policies established by the state and by the Michigan Bar Association. 

I am endorsed by the Michigan Farm Bureau.  My website and email is donkeskey.com and donkeskey2022@gmail.com. 

keskey, roads, climate, public, safety, House

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