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Anti-Sanctuary Commissioner Zach Lahring ran on the campaign slogan, Make Muskegon Great Again

October 27, 2019

Muskegon County Commission Zach Lahring has been getting a great deal of press lately.

The County Commissioner has made a name for himself in recent months for taking two major political stands. First, Lahring pushed the commission to vote against continuing a lease for Planned Parenthood, which had been leasing space from Muskegon County. The conservative county commissioner framed Planned Parenthood as a “political” organization, even though he, and his supporter, objected to Planned Parenthood on religious grounds.

The second, and more recent controversy, involves Lahring’s effort to challenge Muskegon’s County’s decision to be a “Welcoming Community.” Lahring believes that being a Welcoming Community means that Muskegon County is a sanctuary community, which it is not. However, Lahring, has been successful in raising this point, since his goal was to talk about the need for Muskegon County official to cooperate with ICE and to push his anti-immigration agenda. 

Zach Lahring was only elected to the Muskegon County Commission last November, but he is following the Trump school of political organizing, both by being brash in public and by pushing overtly racist policies. Lahring campaign slogan last year was, Make Muskegon Great Again.

Lahring promotes many of the same Neo-Liberal policies that groups like the West Michigan Policy Forum, the Acton Institute or the Mackinac Center for Public Policy does, policies that benefit the business class and penalizes everyone else. In March, Lahring challenged the county’s policy of only hiring companies with unionized workers, arguing that it costs taxpayers more. However, the playbook of the Neo-Liberals is not to really defend taxpayers, but to undermine unions. 

Lahring brags about how he was trained at the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), an entity founded by former Constitutional Party Presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka. This is how the IOTC sums up their mission, “There is a God, our rights come from him and the purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given rights.” 

If you go to Lahring’s Facebook page, you get a clear sense of where he is coming from, with regular posts that vilify immigrants and Muslims. Lahring also was endorsed by Michigan Right to Life and regularly posts about abortion, links to pro-gun sites and why socialism is not Christian. In short, Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring is the kind of politician that normalizes violence against the most vulnerable people in society and he is clearly committed to imposing a broad Neo-Liberal agenda on the residents of Muskegon County.

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