The Lighthouse Initiative involves four words, four values, four strategies, and four solutions.
In. God. We. Trust.
The First Amendment was designed to protect the religious rights of American citizens. Though our National Motto, In God We Trust, has been challenged numerous times over the past 50 years, it has been successfully upheld by the Supreme Court every single time. Note how the Michigan Constitution offers its support. The preamble reads “We the people of the state of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution.” Article VIII. Sec. 1 addresses the preamble in more detail and reads “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Truth. Dignity. Respect. Love.
“Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” – Abraham Lincoln
It seems almost unusual to have to mention truth as a value of our platform. You would think it would be something obvious in every platform. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Ralph will always be truthful, transparent, and committed to addressing each situation and dialogue from that perspective. Truth is true even if 51% of the population votes against it. Where ideas are respected, there is free speech. Ralph is a man of truth, integrity, and transparency. Michiganders deserve the truth, and from Ralph they will receive the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
From the moment of conception, each person is assigned a unique DNA, even if they are an identical twin. Dignity is also assigned to each person, and our founders echoed this in the Declaration of Independence when they stated “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Family background, nationality, race, or ethnicity do not determine dignity. Dignity is for all. It is non-negotiable, and can not be removed by any government or other entity. You are exactly who you are meant to be. You are special and unique.
Father Frank Pavone once said, “We are told that we cannot speak about abortion in church because it is too political. We are told that we can’t speak about abortion in the political arena because it is too religious. We are told that we shouldn’t write or talk about it in the media because it is too disturbing. Not in business because it is too distractive. If we talk about abortion in education, it is too controversial. You can’t talk about abortion in schools because it is too disruptive.”
Ralph speaks out on behalf of the protection of human life. He supports state legislation and citizen initiatives that will uphold and protect the life of unborn boys and girls and the conversation central to that protection, and is a staunch proponent of life.
“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Matthew 7:12
The “golden rule” has become tarnished in our society. News headlines attest to this every day, and much of the divide in America is a direct result of failure to implement the “golden rule.” When we fail to imagine what it would be like to walk in someone else’s shoes, it’s often because we have failed to listen to each other. There are those that want to silence the opposition, but it is only by compassionate listening that we can completely understand each other. Ralph is a compassionate listener. His life is characterized by listening... even to the opposition. Respect involves compassionate listening and sharing in the concerns of others. You will find that respect is a key component of our vision for Michigan.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
Genuine love is sacrificial, kind, thoughtful, purposeful, and intentional. It involves action. Government is an entity. It can’t love. This was made apparent by the many ways government tried to fix the pandemic. People were pushed aside and the government stepped in. Executive orders were made that endangered the lives and livelihoods of the citizens of Michigan. This must never happen again. Love would never have abandoned the business owner, the shopkeeper, the student, the church member, or the dying family member left alone in a hospital without their family at their bedside. If big government is removed from its lofty position, it will carve space for individuals, churches, and community groups to love and care for each other, and to make decisions based on a person’s name rather than a government I.D. number.
God. Family. Country
The Lighthouse Initiative
God. Family. Country
The best way to implement change is by considering those who would be affected by it. Too often, bureaucratic ideas and projects are embraced because they sound good to a group unrelated to those who will experience the fallout from those decisions. Rarely is God discussed, seldom is the family unit considered, and what is best for the country has been replaced by global aspirations. It’s time that a strategy be employed that includes an intentional discussion on how God, family, and country are affected by a policy.
Ralph is fully committed to ensuring that Michigan is a safe place to raise your children. Michigan has some of the best police officers, officer programs, and law enforcement agencies in the entire country. A Roundtable will be tasked with addressing the growing problem of Child and Human Trafficking. Michigan will be a leader state in eliminating child pornography. Our children must be protected. Neighborhood security will be developed through community policing efforts that build bridges with the citizens. Ralph has served for 30 years as the police chaplain for the Michigan Chiefs of Police, the Southeastern Michigan Chiefs of Police, and for two local police departments in Michigan. He has seen first-hand the professionalism of Michigan’s police officers, not only on the streets, but also in pro-active training for law enforcement personnel. He will never defund the police, state, county, or local. These men and women boldly put their lives on the line every day to protect you and your family. His partnership with Michigan Chiefs of Police will make Michigan a model state for law enforcement. He will fight tirelessly for the security of your children so that they can play safely in their neighborhoods, wherever they live.
Operation Roundtable is the practical arm of our strategy. A roundtable is different from a boardroom table where there are seats for special member delineations. A roundtable says “we’re equal”, “we’re in this together”. There is no place for prominence. Politics has always been about who is in control. Participants, lawmakers, lobbyists, and special interest groups all try desperately to gain the majority and, figuratively speaking, to sit at the head of the table. This is the traditional approach to governing that often leads to disunity not only in approach but in vastly differing solutions; solutions that divide and leave large segments of society out.
Citizens are left frustrated and unheard. Today, many of you feel the same way; unheard, unrepresented, and misrepresented.
That is why a roundtable strategy will benefit you as a citizen. It will bring all segments of society together to solve Michigan’s toughest issues. Representatives from business, arts/entertainment, media, government, law enforcement, education, the faith community, non-profits, and family will work on issues together.
The Lighthouse Initiative
The Lighthouse Initiative is a partnership between public, private and social segments of society born out of Operation Roundtable. This pilot program is a partnership focused on transforming low income areas in Michigan. The partnership will include businesses that will mentor persons in low income areas who are interested in owning their own company aimed to improve their own neighborhoods, not limited to their own neighborhoods.
A sample plan might look like this:
The state of Michigan would purchase a vacant piece of property in a low income area. Interested persons in the given neighborhood who would like to start a business would apply to the program. For example, if a young person desired to start a landscaping business, the ability to secure lawn equipment through partnerships with those businesses who sell them is created. The young person is then contracted to care for the landscaping in that area. Through entrepreneurship and an increased skill set, they can grow their business by offering their services to others. In exchange for the partnership, the young person might be encouraged to donate time to cut grass for those who are physically disabled or the elderly in their neighborhood. Duplication of this in other industries such as demolition, carpentry, painting, plumbing, etc. will result in developing skills, generating pride, and fostering self-worth that comes from ownership. The Lighthouse Initiative enables residents in their community to become successful business owners and to experience the joy of a job well done.
The Lighthouse Initiative is a partnership between public, private and social segments of society born out of Operation Roundtable. This pilot program is a partnership focused on transforming schools in low income areas in Michigan. The partnership will include seasoned teachers in Michigan who are within five years of retirement to participate in an opportunity to teach in low income areas in exchange for an earlier retirement.
Whatever your party affiliation, your vote should be protected, and you should be able to vote with confidence in the system.
- Accuracy of voter registration lists
- Verification of citizenship and requirement of photo I.D.
- Restoration of previous absentee ballot requirements including signature verification of all mail-in ballots, and ballots by request only; no ballot harvesting
- Adherence to election rules and ballot safety protections including mandatory election observers
- No private funding of election officials
- No automatic voter or same day registration
We need a government that is more efficient, more effective, more accountable.
When you get up in the morning and turn on the water to wash your face, you’ve paid a water tax and a sales tax before you even eat your breakfast, which by the way was taxed before you brought it home from the grocery store. Keep in mind that you’ve paid six percent sales tax on the clothes you’ll put on, and property taxes on your home. If you drive to work, school, or a day out, that comes with a tax too. You paid a tax on your car, even if it was given to you. As you progress through your day you might also pay a gas tax if you fill up at the pump and a tax on your cell phone. If you work, you’ll have to pay for that privilege too, and it comes in the form of a state and federal income tax. Everything you touch has been taxed. Everything you do is taxed.
Michigan will need a strong leader to navigate through the post pandemic economy. Ralph has tapped on the shoulders of the nation’s finest and most respected economists to develop a plan that will allow Michigan to not just coast, but soar through the aftermath of closed businesses and unemployment without raising taxes. This is especially important as it relates to the economic security of your family.
Ralph has signed the National Pledge from Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes. Ralph will make Michigan more affordable for you now - and later, by not raising taxes, by making Michigan attractive to others looking to begin a small business, and by innovative incentives.
We have an Eight Point Plan to lower taxes. It’s a common sense approach to Michigan’s budget. We will work with the legislature to encourage corporations, small business, and individuals to make Michigan no.1.
- The right metric. Government spending should decline as a percentage of the economy
- Reforms should be made in entitlement programs
- Term limit appropriators
- Keep and limit the earmark ban. “Earmarks are the currency of corruption”. Targeted spending for special interest groups in return for massive spending bills often referred to as “legal bribery” is presently banned. Not surprisingly, however, some appropriators would like to end the ban
- Reinstate the “anti-appropriations committee” to combat the appropriations committee
- Re-create successful models of wealth creation
- Create a bi-partisan “Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential State Expenditures”
- Reduce “entitlements” by incentives to work
- Eliminate Government Control and Red Tape, and put the power in the hands of the citizens
You work hard for your money, Ralph will work hard to protect it. There will be metrics for a measurable track record of results, solutions, and success.
Government was designed to act on behalf of the citizenry, not in place of it. Government is accountable to the people, we, the people. Where government works, it should stay, where it doesn’t work, it should be dismissed or reformed to work properly. Michigan has not tapped into the wealth of its educational potential. Each parent should have the privilege of choosing what kind of education is best for their child, and where they should receive it. Educational reform in the form of school vouchers and parental choice is a good start. Public, private, and home schooling options should be available to every parent. Roundtable discussions will include specific ideas based on a variety of schooling options.
College and University
Michigan has some of the best graduate programs in the country, and these programs should be protected from hostile foreign actors whose number one goal is to influence the next generation from core values of western civilization to global values that embrace socialism and communism. Communist China Confucius School programs that exist on college campuses must be removed as well as the obligations that they impose. If those institutions refuse to remove them, all grants should be removed from those institutions. Parents and taxpayers should be made aware of which schools endorse Confucius School policies so they can choose to disassociate from them.
The Mackinac Center continues to make great progress in the area of education and has assembled a team to evaluate how to cut costs and make college more affordable. The ideas advanced are worthy of Michigan's consideration and implementation.
A Roundtable team will be established to determine the best way to cut costs of higher education and prepare the next generation for employment in the trade and vocational careers. Not every person needs to have a college degree. Each person is uniquely gifted. There is no “one size fits all” approach to education, and there is no such thing as “essential” and “non-essential” work. Those who desire to earn a living in a trade should have the best options available to them. The Roundtable is designed to bring together universities, community colleges, the business sector, and private entities to discuss reform in the trades, as well as institutions of higher learning.
Our Declaration of Independence provides the structure by which the U. S. Constitution was framed, and with the understanding that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Constitution being the “supreme law of the land” will be respected and safe-guarded. Ralph echoes the words of Abraham Lincoln, "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
Your First Amendment Rights to religious liberty, free speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the government will all be protected. Many of these rights have been challenged recently, but the words from George Washington, "If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it", affirm their importance to us today.
Your Second Amendment Right to gun ownership will be aggressively protected. Ralph is a gun owner and a Second Amendment rights advocate. Neighborhoods are a safer place where the citizens are given every opportunity to protect themselves.
"The Constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." – Samuel Adams
Legislative Bill Transparency
When a Legislative Bill is sent to Ralph for his signature to become law, the Bill will be posted online for two weeks to allow for citizen comments before he signs.