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March 14, 2013

Miller says she will not seek Levin’s Senate seat

Sen. Levin announced plans to retire from politics

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Congresswoman Candice Miller quelled rumors last week that she would be seeking the United States Senate seat being vacated by longtime political leader Carl Levin.

Levin, Michigan’s senior Democratic senator since 1979, announced on March 11 his plans to retire and not seek re-election in 2014.

“This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them,” he said in a statement.

The following day, Miller, R-Harrison Township, said that since Levin’s announcement, she had heard from friends and supporters inquiring about her interest in the U.S. Senate seat.

“While I am grateful for the interest people have shown, I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014,” said Miller, R-Harrison Township. “It is my sincere honor to serve the people of Michigan’s 10th District in the United States House of Representatives, and in 2014 it is my intention to seek their support for re-election.”

Miller, a resident of Harrison Township, is currently serving her sixth term after first being elected to office in November 2002. She also served two terms as Michigan’s Secretary of State.

Prior to that, Miller was elected to the Harrison Township Board of Trustees in 1979 and was the Harrison Township supervisor from 1980 to 1992. She was elected Macomb County treasurer in 1992.

In a prepared statement, Miller called Levin’s announcement a “surprise to many Michiganians.”

“We all honor and recognize Senator Levin’s many years of service to our great state, and I wish him and his wife Barbara a joyful retirement after we complete the important work ahead of us in the 113th Congress,” she said. “We are all so blessed to live in this magnificent, beautiful and special place called Michigan, and I look forward to continuing to work with every Michiganian to move our great state forward.”

Also in a prepared statement, Levin said he and his wife struggled with the question of whether he should run for election again.

“We focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come,” he said. “We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”

Some of those issues include how many of his years of bipartisan work by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that he chairs have shed light on tax avoidance schemes that are a major drain on the Treasury.

“The huge loss of corporate tax receipts caused by the shift of U.S. corporate tax revenue to offshore tax havens is but one example of the egregious tax loopholes that we must end,” said Levin, 78. “Thirty of our most profitable companies paid no taxes over a recent three-year period, although they had over $150 billion in profits.

“(Tax avoidance schemes” add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit,” Levin continued. “They lead to cuts in education, research, national security, law enforcement, infrastructure, food safety and other important investments in our nation. And they add to the tax burden of ordinary Americans who have to pick up the slack and accelerate the economic inequality in our country. I want to fight to bring an end to this unjustified drain on the Treasury.”

Levin said he also wants to continue working to ensure that “the manufacturing renaissance that has led Michigan’s economic comeback continues” and tackle “a growing blight on our political system that I believe I can help address: the use of secret money to fund political campaigns. Our tax laws are supposed to prevent secret contributions to tax exempt organizations for political purposes.

“Finally, the next two years will also be important in dealing with fiscal pressures on our military readiness. I also believe we need to pursue the rapid transfer of responsibility for Afghan security to the Afghans. And, as our troops come home, we must do a better job of caring for those who bear both the visible and invisible wounds of war.

“These issues will have an enormous impact on the people of Michigan and the nation for years to come, and we need to confront them,” Levin concluded. “I can think of no better way to spend the next two years than to devote all of my energy and attention to taking on these challenges.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.