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In SOTU Response, Dems Cite Kid Filling Pothole on His Own as Triumph for Party

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When Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union message, she sought to show that Democrats are the party of action in government.

However, one of the cases she used to make her point was that of a Michigan boy who filled potholes on his street because government didn’t get the job done.

Whitmer said she wanted to focus on young Americans who were getting the job done.

“Monte Scott is 13 years old and lives in Muskegon Heights, Michigan,” she said. “Monte’s street was covered in potholes. They were ankle-deep, and he got tired of waiting for them to get fixed, so he grabbed a shovel and a bucket of dirt and filled them in himself.

“During my campaign, people told me to fix the damn roads, because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous, and car repairs take money from rent, child care or groceries. And we, the Democrats, are doing something about it.”

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Whitmer then talked about other Democratic efforts to support infrastructure improvements.



“In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker passed a multibillion-dollar plan to rebuild their roads and bridges,” she said. “Gov. Phil Murphy is replacing lead pipes in New Jersey.

“All across the country, Democratic leaders are rebuilding bridges, fixing roads, expanding broadband and cleaning up drinking water. Everyone in this country benefits when we invest in infrastructure.”

Do you think Whitmer's speech was persuasive?

In March 2019, more than two months after Whitmer took office promising to fix highways, young Monte went out on a pothole-filled Muskegon Heights street with dirt and a shovel to fill in the holes himself. Video of him went viral, and he became a national celebrity.

“I [took] action on my own because the city wasn’t doing nothing about the potholes,” he said at the time, according to MLive.



While he was working, Whitmer and state legislators were debating how best to deal with infrastructure repairs.

“They need to start taking action faster … They need to deal with the stuff that they need to deal with,” Monte said then. “I want them to tighten up.”

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At the time he was fixing potholes, the young man had harsh words for government.

“What are they doing with the money people are paying with taxes?” Monte asked, according to the Muskegon Times.

“I want to go to college to be a mayor,” he said. “If I were mayor here, I would go to the homeless shelter and help people. I’d get them clothes and shoes and all the stuff they need to help them back on their feet. I’d fix the roads and help out around the community.

“I would have a big gathering for the community, where people could eat, play basketball and get together.”

At the time, Muskegon Heights Mayor Kimberley Sims lamented that “the problem is so bad that he feels he has to do that,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Sims — who was turned out of office last fall — said potholes are a symptom of a larger problem.

“[O]ur overall funding system is broke,” she said, adding that because Muskegon Heights is an economically struggling place, “the tax base isn’t there that would be in most communities.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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