An Open Letter to the Honorable Jon Bumstead in Support of George Heartwell, Natural Resources Commission Chair Appointee:
Thank you, Senator Bumstead, for supporting George Heartwell’s appointment as Natural Resources Commission Chair. I know you stand alone among fellow Republican Senators on this, as you did with Michigan Republican Senators who voted to reject Ann Mitterling’s NRC appointment.
As Newaygo County residents, we know that Mr. Heartwell’s passion and tireless work for the environment would be the driving forces of any decisions he would make as an NRC Commissioner. He also has expressed his respect for the 2nd Amendment, seeking only to assure the safety of our community members in the past as Mayor of Grand Rapids, NOT in pursuit of taking anyone’s right to bear arms in a responsible manner. The fact that members of the NRA and Republican Senators are mixing these two issues in his appointment is not only moot, but is distasteful heavy handed partisanship as well.
I urge all Michigan residents to contact their State Senators NOW to support Mr. Heartwell’s appointment. In particular, we need to voice strongly this support to our Republican Senators who would consider voting against his appointment for fear of losing financial support from the NRA, or loss of votes from Great Lakes Gun Rights citizens who are swallowing erroneous statements about Mr. Heartwell taking away people’s guns. (Note: loss of financial support and votes can go the other way as well, and elections are on the near horizon).
As Mr. Heartwell stated in a recent mlive interview, he grew up hunting and is comfortable around guns. Plus, as he said, the board isn't in charge of guns. “So, for those who think that I’m going to somehow have the authority here on this board to do something about firearms, I really don’t. This is about hunting and fishing regulations and has little or nothing to do with firearms, other than in the use of taking species.”
George Heartwell is known for reaching across political aisles and community divides to find common ground. His passion for outdoor recreation enjoyed by us Michiganders, as well as support for hunting and fishing habitat conservation, makes him an ideal NRC community representative.
Creating division among partisan lines with regards to his appointment will only weaken the important work that the NRC must do. And perhaps even more damaging, will continue to reinforce and widen the political divide that is turning citizens and their representatives against each other, instead of respecting and working with each other.
Again, thank you Senator Bumstead for following the truth in your support of George Heartwell.
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