[Photo of Jack McHugh]

Jack McHugh

Senior Legislative Analyst

Jack McHugh is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s senior legislative analyst and editor of MichiganVotes.org, a unique Web site that puts the activities of the Michigan Legislature at citizens’ fingertips. Since the site was launched in 2001, McHugh has written or edited concise, plain-English descriptions of every bill, vote and amendment in the state House and Senate: 12,000 bills; 10,000 roll call votes; 8,000 amendments; and 2,400 new laws. These can all be searched and sorted on the MichiganVotes.org Web site.

McHugh’s experience prior to joining the Center is wide and varied. He has been a floor trader in the treasury bond and gold futures “pits” of the Chicago commodity exchanges, writer and real estate developer. He entered the Michigan political and public policy scene in 1994, spending six years as a legislative chief of staff in the House of Representatives.

McHugh has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in political science from Central Michigan University (where he completed two highly relevant research projects, “Analyzing Michigan House Voting Records Using the ‘MichiganVotes.org’ Database” and “Analysis of Appropriations to Michigan’s Public Four-Year Universities, with Recommendations”).

Jack McHugh’s essays on public policy issues have appeared in The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The Grand Rapids Press and many other newspapers. He is also co-author of a book on Midwest mountain bike trails.

Analysis: Michigan Obamacare Implementation Now Illegal

Analysis: Follow the Money - No Wonder Corporate Welfare Bosses So Defensive

Michigan's 'Green Energy' Jobs Total: 315

What the Tea Party Is, Is Not, and its 'Core Competence'

Analysis: Transit Nonsense + State Health Care Rationing = Really Bad Policy (Roll Call Votes)

Analysis: Transit Nonsense + State Health Care Rationing = Really Bad Policy

Mutual Honor Society

"Green Energy" Subsidy Factory — not just Cap & Trade — the Real Test for GOP Energy Chair

Weekly MichiganVotes.org Roll Call Vote Report

Sen. Switalski: Don't Ban Double-Dating

Michigan Legislature Class of 2011 86 Percent 'Political Careerists'

Analysis: Renewable Electricity 'Net Metering' Capacity: 1/28,000 of Michigan’s Total Needs

Analysis: Good News on Natural Gas Threatened by Regulatory Overreach

88 Percent of New 2011 Legislators 'Political Careerists'

MEA Republicans

Governor Describes Film Subsidies as Jobs Program, so "Why Not Give Them Spoons?"

The headline of a story today's Detroit Free Press characterizes Gov. Jennifer Granholm's understanding of the state film production subsidies' role like this: "Goal of film tax credit is jobs, not more revenue." This reminds one of the late economist Milton Friedman's question upon seeing a U.S. taxpayer-funded public works project in a poor country where thousands of men with shovels were moving dirt one spadeful at a time. … more

Analysis: Horse Racetracks Are Beneficiaries and Victims of State's Gambling Schizophrenia

Bad Week for Michigan Corporate Welfare Machine

On Thursday the plug was officially pulled on a monumentally hyped film endeavor in Allen Park called "Unity Studios." There were no press releases from the Governor's office or the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announcing the evaporation of the mirage. … more

Legislature's Early-Out Deal: New Government Retirees 21, Taxpayers 3

Sept. 26 Michigan Legislature Roll Call Report

Would Tea Partiers Favor Wealth Redistribution Without the Bureaucracy?

Cost to Replace Lost Jobs with Michigan Film Subsidies: $39.4 Billion

Sept. 20 Michigan Legislature Roll Call Report

Will the Tea Party Fade if Republicans Win It All?

Analysis: Phony 'Sandbox Party' Uses Taxpayer Dollars to Lobby for More Goverment Spending

Brian Calley - Who Is This Guy?

Analysis: This Time It’s Liquor Distribution

Analysis: Michigan Legislature No Slouch at Fiscal Malpractice

Analysis: Plagiarism, Flawed MSU Studies, and the People vs. the Ruling Class

Alleged plagiarism in a study by an MSU scholar matters more than just as a violation of academic standards. The deeply flawed study wildly exaggerates the amount that could be saved by consolidating Michigan school districts, which will divert attention from the real solution to funding problems in Michigan public schools — scaling back outsized employee compensation and benefits. This is the second time in the last year that a flawed study was produced by an MSU professor that serves the interests of government employees and their unions. … more

'Bail Out Irresponsible Unions Act' Proposal Getting 11th Hour Push in Congress

Bernero or Snyder: Which Way Could the Public Policy Winds Blow?

Analysis: Michigan Primaries a Tea Party Failure?

Angelo M. Codevilla — Our Era's Tom Paine?

Here's how important I think Angelo M. Codevilla's American Spectator article is: It makes me think of Thomas Paine's Common Sense.
Excerpt: "Our ruling class's agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof." … more

Cost to Revive Economy With Battery Plant Subsidies: $5 Trillion

Yesterday, President Barack Obama and Gov. Jennifer Granholm came to Holland bearing gifts: cash subsidies for an electric car battery plant owned by the Korean firm LG Chem. The federal contribution is $151 million in "stimulus" money, and Michigan taxpayers are kicking in another $100 million. This means that each of the plant's approximately 400 jobs will cost taxpayers $625,000. At this rate, it would cost $5 trillion to provide employment to the approximately 8 million Americans who lost have their jobs in the current downturn. … more

Michigan Taxpayers Writing Check to Second Electric Car Battery Maker for $100 Million

Analysis: Michigan Taxpayers to Write $100 Million Check to Korean Battery Maker

Analysis: Gutted School Pension 'Reform' Could Come Back to Bite Schools

Analysis: 'Jungle Primary' Proposal Won’t Get Michigan Out of the Woods

Efforts to break the political stranglehold by rearranging the institutional furniture at best consumes energy better spent striking at the real root of our problems. … more

15 Specific Ideas to Move Michigan Forward

Analysis: Senate GOP Fumbles, May Approve $25.9 Billion Taxpayer Liability to Satisfy MEA

Michigan’s Best State Laws

MEA Wounds Governor’s School Pension Reform

Analysis: What's Next for Michigan Tea Parties?

Tax Day Tea Party rallies were held across the state and nation last week, with mixed results in turnout. Regardless of the exact attendance, the movement represents a potent new force on the American political landscape. Its leaders and members are currently focused on changing the composition of Congress in November, but their real challenge will be finding ways after the election to pressure the political class — especially Republicans — to stick to the fiscal restraint promises made in the heat of the campaign. … more

Analysis — 'Up North' Grass Roots v. MI GOP Establishment: Echoes of 1992 in Stupak Seat Race

In 1992, incumbent Republican Congressman Bob Davis chose not to run for re-election in the Michigan 1st District because he was one of the top five politicians implicated in the House “check kiting“ scandal. Davis had represented the district covering the northern Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula since 1978. Poor decisions made then by a state Republican establishment alienated many grass roots “true believers” in the district, opening the door for a former one-term Democrat state Representative, who won and went on to an 18-year Congressional career.
Fast forward to 2010: The 1st District seat has once again become open due to a misstep by the incumbent, that once little-known Democrat who won the seat in 1992. His name, of course, is Bart Stupak, and the misstep was his vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s health care bill. And once again, members of the Republican establishment are making moves that could diminish grass roots support for the party’s eventual candidate in the November general election, potentially leading to the ascension of yet another Democrat “dynasty” in the 1st District. … more