By Brandon Fountain Guest Columnist On election day, one of two things are going to happen in the race for the 102nd seat in the Michigan House of Representatives currently held by Cadillac businessman Phil Potvin. One: Potvin is re-elected to the seat in a cakewalk as he did in 2010, beating out challenger Jodi Gabert by more than 10,000 votes. Two: Democratic challenger Brendan Maturen of Canadian Lakes unseats Potvin. How would that happen? In 2010, Western Concrete owner and millionaire Phil Potvin hit the campaign trail in the district, where banker Darwin Booher had served as its state representative over Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties. In the primary election that August, Potvin (3,861 votes) squeaked out the win over Morris Langworthy (3,526 votes) and Linda Howard (3,332 votes), respectively. Yet, Potvin failed to win Mecosta or Osceola counties. Now, as much as folks would like to chock this district up for a Republican win, believing this district is die-hard Republican or full of closet Democrats, is just not true. In 2008, presidential nominee John McCain narrowly claimed Mecosta County by 137 votes, 9,238 to 9,101. In Osceola County, the margin was the widest in the district, with McCain garnering 5,973 votes to Obama\u2019s 4,855 votes. In Wexford County, McCain won by only 665 votes. So, the Democrats\u2019 votes are out there. However, to win, Maturen will need more than just the Democrats voting for him, and he\u2019s got enough evidence, readily available to any person, to show Potvin hasn\u2019t accomplished very much for the district he represents. What about us, Phil? You don\u2019t have to use too many fingers to count the number of bills sponsored by Phil Potvin that have made it through the legislative process and found their way to Gov. Rick Snyder\u2019s desk. In fact, it\u2019s one. Uno. Singular sensation. Potvin\u2019s time in Lansing has mirrored his fellow freshmen Republicans\u2019 time in Lansing, which has absolutely accomplished quite a bit as a party, but with very little conviction for their consituents back home. While Potvin\u2019s district represents two of the poorer counties in the state \u2013 Mecosta and Osceola \u2013 you couldn\u2019t tell it had much influence on the millionaire\u2019s voting record. The governor, House and Senate\u2019s first order of business in 2011 was to eliminate the Michigan Small Business Tax, as it was heralded as a jobs killer. With the tax axed, and the promise of a brighter, business-friendlier environment, how many businesses have opened their doors with promises of jobs, jobs and more jobs in Osceola or Mecosta counties? What happened to all those jobs this tax cut was supposed to create? Our state\u2019s unemployment and jobless rates continue to remain higher than the national average, yet this so-called crowning achievement has done what exactly? The problem is, you\u2019re not going to find many Saturn plants or companies coming here, because it\u2019s hard to tout a region where the unemployment has been higher than the state average. It\u2019s ironic, a tax cut costs us more So, the small businesses no longer had to pay the tax. That worked out just fine cutting $1.8 billion. And how did Potvin and the boys decide to make up that $1.8 billion? They eliminated of tax credits, deductions and exemptions on individual income taxes and implemented a new tax on some pension incomes. Whatever happened to the old Republican mantra of not raising taxes? I guess it doesn\u2019t mean too much for a millionaire who is out of touch with the folks in his district. If Potvin had realized he represents some of the poorer counties in the state, he would have raised some red flags and spoke out when the state decided to slash the state\u2019s earned income tax credit from 20 percent to 6 percent. That\u2019s going to hit us in April when our taxes are due. According to the Michigan League for Human Services, in 2011, more than 8,700 in the 102nd district claimed the credit and it brought more than $3.5 million to the district. Thanks to the Potvin rubber stamp, the MLHS anticipates only $1.053 million to be generated. That\u2019s more than $2.5 million local businesses will not have spent at their stores, restaurants and other establishments. That doesn\u2019t sound too business-friendly to me. We keep hearing about \u201cfair\u201d and \u201cequal\u201d from Potvin\u2019s party, but there\u2019s nothing fair about giving tax cuts to businesses, and raising taxes on the individuals who are living on a fixed incomes. And if the state\u2019s personal property tax repeals passes the state House as it has the Senate, more than $470 million will be lost for local municipalities for revenue sharing. That money would be replaced by expiring industrial tax credits, the legislation says. Once again, this legislation aims at making it easier for businesses and to produce jobs. Hey, Phil, we\u2019re still waiting for jobs from the first tax cut you guys gave to businesses. Where\u2019s our tax cuts? At least the state\u2019s fine, right? While the state is right on track to be on sound, financial ground, the same cannot be said about public schools in this district, as state funds for education were taken back by the state because of the business tax repeal. All we have to do is look at any of our local districts, and any local school board member can tell you the extent at which these cuts has forced their hands to close buildings, lay off employees and cease programs like art and music. It\u2019s a far cry from strong, financial ground, especially as overall enrollment numbers in the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District continue to fall. And another novel idea to curb funding higher education was the state putting tuition stipulations on universities to reward them later. Yet, during Gov. Snyder\u2019s last announcement for funding more than a dozen university projects throughout the state, Ferris State University wasn\u2019t on the list. What have we learned? While I\u2019m sure every business-based and advocacy group will happily champion Potvin and his cohorts for more time in the state House, back here in our district, the results of Phil Potvin\u2019s time in Lansing has been less spectacular. This, my friends, is how Phil Potvin loses the election.