Michigan's 2006 Democratic Ticket

Here it is, Michigan's Democratic Ticket for the 2006 election!

While I was unable to go to Cobo Hall for the state convention, I am pleased to give you (courtesy of Michigan Liberal) your 2006 Democratic ticket!

  • Jennifer Granholm for Governor;
  • Debbie Stabenow for US Senate;
  • John Cherry for Lieutenant Governor;
  • Carmella Sabaugh for Secretary of State;
  • Amos Williams for Attorney General;
  • Michael Cavanagh and Jane Beckering for Michigan Supreme Court;
  • Reginald Turner and Casandra Ulbrich for State Board of Education;
  • Kathy White and Julia Darlow for University of Michigan Board of Regents;
  • George Perles and Faylene Owen for Michigan State University Board of Trustees; and
  • Eugene Driker and Debbie Dingell for Wayne State University Board of Governors.
I'll share a few of my reactions in a later post.


Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) on GOP: "I think we've lost our way"

Senator Chuck Hagel is one of the more moderate Republican US Senators, at least foreign-policy-wise. And he's from Nebraska. If he were from a place such as Michigan or New England, I am tempted to think he'd almost be a Democrat.

Why do I say that? Well, Take a look at this article, where Hagel talks frankly about the state of his party:

Republicans have lost their way when it comes to many core GOP principles and may be in jeopardy heading into the fall elections, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) says.

Hagel, a possible presidential candidate in 2008, said Sunday that the GOP today is very different party from the one when he first voted epublican.

"First time I voted was in 1968 on top of a tank in the Mekong Delta," said Hagel, a Vietnam veteran. "I voted a straight Republican ticket. The reason I did is because I believe in the Republican philosophy of governance. It's not what it used to be. I don't think it's the same today."

Hagel asked: "Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in '68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined — fair, free trade, individual
responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?"


"I think we've lost our way," Hagel said. "And I think the Republicans are going to be in some jeopardy for that and will be held accountable."

Of course, he's not the first Republican to say something like that. Former Michigan Governor Bill Milliken endorsed John Kerry in 2004 for much the same reason.


Controversy over affirmative action ban heads to federal court

Here's an update on the Michigan "Civil Rights" Initiative:

Witnesses testified in federal court Thursday that they were tricked into signing or collecting signatures on petitions to put a proposal to ban some affirmative action programs on the November ballot.

State courts so far have sided with the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, whose proposal to ban race and gender preferences in government hiring and public-university admissions is to be put to voters Nov. 7.

Joseph Reed of Detroit testified that when he applied as a petition circulator, "I was told it was for keeping affirmative action, that they were trying to get rid of it and this was a way to keep it."

Reed collected signatures and told voters, "You're signing to keep affirmative action," he said. But after a few weeks, people began accusing him of deceiving petition signers, and he learned the proposal's true goal.

I guess the questioon is, can they prove that enough signnatures were collected wrongly to warrant its remval from the ballot? If not, then remember to vote NO on this backwards plan in November.

(Isn't it just odd that leading Republicans want the Ten Commandments posted in public places and government buildings, but shudder at the thought of actually FOLLOWING some of them, i.e. the one about not lying?)


DeVos names his second banana: My thoughts on Ruth Johnson (and John Cherry)

Dick DeVos named his running mate Monday: Ruth Johnson, a former state rep and current Oakland County Clerk.

It's clear to me that this was based solely on politics, and not on ability to govern should the need arise. This was meant to add gender and geographical balance to the ticket. DeVos is banking on the idea that people in that part of the state will vote for him because his second banana happens to hail from the same part of the state as them (the fact that Granholm lives in Northville notwithstanding), and that more women will vote for him because his #2 is a woman (the fact that we have a pro-choice woman in the Executive Office notwithstanding).

Both Democrats and Republicans aim for regional balance (i.e. Kerry picking Edwards in 2004, Dick Posthumus picking Metro Detroiter Loren Bennett in 2002). However, regional balance is no guarantee of victory in the fall. I mentioned Kerry and Posthumus. In 1996, Kansan Bob Dole and New Yorker Jack Kemp lost to Clinton and Gore, who hailed from neighboring states. Four years earlier, Clinton and Gore beat Texan G.H.W. Bush and Hoosier Dan Quayle, who had previously beaten Michael Dukakis (MA) and Lloyd Bentsen (TX). So regional balance guarantees nothing. That said, do I expect DeVos to pick up a few votes because of this? Yes. Will it be enough to win? It may be what wins it for him, but only if it's very close.

However, regional balance isn't the only issue. Remember that in the event the governor is unable to perform his or her duties, the The question must also be asked: is the person ready to become governor? Voters must ask themselves if they would be fine with a 'Governor Cherry' or a 'Governor Johnson.' Only a few governors have ever resigned (often to take positions in a Presidential cabinet), and only one has died. But the question must still be asked.

Me? I'm obviously siding with Cherry:

Cherry's focus on families and education has meant that more of Michigan's children have the opportunity to go to college. He has led the Lt. Governor's Commission on Higher Education & Economic Growth, making a series of recommendations that has brought higher education into the larger discussion of creating and retaining jobs here in Michigan. He also serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Midwest Higher Education Compact.

Cherry's interest in politics began as a teenager through organizing and political activism. He took a job as administrative assistant to former State Senator Gary Corbin, later serving as political director for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO until his election to the Michigan House.

As a legislator, Cherry focused on the issues that were most important to him - families, the quality of life in Michigan, the environment and Michigan's great outdoors. He has authored and co-sponsored several milestone Michigan laws dealing with workers' rights, environmental protection and conservation.

As for DeVos and Johnson, the Michigan Democratic Party has come out swinging:

“It is no surprise that extreme Dick DeVos chose extreme Ruth Johnson as his running mate,” Brewer said. “Johnson met every one of DeVos’ litmus tests because they both are out of step with mainstream Michigan.”

“Ruth Johnson has a record of being opposed to: stem cell research, raising the minimum wage, affirmative action, a women’s right to choose including victims of rape and incest, improving water quality, support for cities including Detroit, improving education, and stopping insurance company redlining,” Brewer added. “The DeVos/Johnson ticket is a perfect match of two extremists.”

“Governor Granholm and Lt. Governor Cherry have been a powerful voice for the entire state of Michigan. They are executing the nation’s most comprehensive and aggressive jobs plan, protecting public education and are fighting for healthcare for everyone,” Brewer continued. “Voters now have a distinct contrast between the extreme right wing policies of Dick DeVos and Ruth Johnson and the Granholm Administration which is putting Michigan first.”


CMU among most GLBT-friendly colleges in US

Just when I think the climate for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people in Michigan couldn’t be more hostile, along comes this article:

A highly regarded gay and lesbian newsmagazine has named Central Michigan University as one of its top 100 campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, released Aug. 1, features CMU based on the university's efforts "to create a welcoming, safe college experience for all students," wrote author Shane L. Windmeyer in a letter congratulating CMU Director of Gay and Lesbian Programs Ana Guerriero.

The guide profiles each institution's size, tuition rates, admission application deadlines, gay-affirmative policies, events, LGBT student groups and resources, housing for LGBT students, and more.

The colleges and universities featured in the guide, which Windmeyer calls "the first of its kind," were selected from among 680 nominees following interviews with more than 5,500 LGBT students, faculty and staff nationwide. Institutions were selected based on institutional policies, commitment and support; academic life; housing; student life; counseling and health services; campus safety; and recruitment and retention efforts.

Another reason to not only be a proud Democrat, but also a proud CMU Democrat. Fire up Chips!


My 2006 Primary voting story

Tuesday was our primary here in Michigan. Voters decided which candidates will face each other for various offices, and passed or defeated local ballot proposals.

Turnout was 18% statewide, 19% in Kent County, 17% in Kentwood, 20% in my precinct. It was a little higher in Kent County as a whole because the other state senate district (District 28; I live in District 29) had a hot Republican primary, while a couple House and county commission races were also competitive.

I voted in the Democratic Party primary. The only contested race on the Dem side of the ballot was that for US Congress. (Vern Ehlers usually wins more than 65% of the vote.) Jim Rinck won by 424 votes; it would’ve been 425 except that I voted for Peter Hickey. I also voted for Helen Brinkman (non-partisan) for Circuit Court Judge; she will face Mark Trusock in November. Three city Charter amendments and a county senior millage all pased with 70-plus percent of the vote, including mine. Oh, and I voted for myself for precinct delegate. ;-)

Elsewhere in West Michigan: Mark Jansen pulled off a surprise win over Joanne Voorhees in Senate District 28, and, given the Republican leaning of the district, is expected to win in November. I’m glad Voorhees lost; She and her husband Harold have been in politics for too long, IMO.

Tim Doyle, a 2002 Republican Senate candidate in District 29, edged out Chris Meyer for the right to take on former Grand Rapids City Commissioner Robert Dean in District 75. Term-limited incumbent Jerry Kooiman won in 2004 because the inexperienced Democrat barely campaigned. Now, Dean will campaign aggressively in a district where John Kerry got 54% (before Bush’s approval rating slipped below 40%), while the inexperienced Doyle lacks incumbency.

Fritz Wahlfield (R), David Morren (R) and, by 26 votes, Paul Mayhue (D) were renominated to the County Commission. Expect them to win in November. A closer race will be in the district where Carol Hennessy (D) faces Eric Schmidt (R) for the right to succeed Tom Postmus (R). Hennessy lost the last two elections to Postmus by fewer than 100 votes. Postmus vied to succeed the late Roger Laninga as Drain Commissioner; William Byl beat him for the Republican nomination.

Elsewhere in the state: Eric Welsby, former VP of College Democrats at CMU, came oh so close to winning the Democratic nomination for state house district 99 (part of Midland and all of Isabella counties); Loren Partlo won by just 61 votes. Former CMU College Dem Dave Tibergien lost to Julie Dennis for the right to take on incumbent Senator Jerry VanWoerkom in District 34. I hope they both run again in the future.

And of course, Mike Bouchard gets to take on Debbie Stabenow. What puzzles me is that Keith Butler won Kent County. Even the unoposed Stabenow outpolled Bouchard here!



Welcome to my newly created blog! Here you'll find my thoughts on politics, life at Central Michigan University (where I am a sophomore), the Tigers, and more.

A little about me:

I live in Kentwood, MI, with my parents, two dogs, and bird.

The Communications Director for the College Democrats at CMU, I recently became a card-carrying student member of both the Michigan Democratic Party and the Kent County Democratic Party. I have written letters that have appeared in Central Michigan Life and The Grand Rapids Press. I just became a precinct delegate in Kentwood. During this election season I hope to help with not only College Democrats, but also the Kent County Coordinated Campaign, David LaGrand for State Senate, and the Isabella County Democratic Party. I hope to someday serve as an elected official other than precinct delegate.

While not studying for my major in Political Science and minor in Accounting, I work at the Carey Residential Restaurant. I am also a senator in SGA, secretary of Kulhavi Hall Council, student member of an Academic Senate General Education Subcommittee, and member of ReachOut at St. Mary's University Parish.

I am a Catholic, and am not afraid to profess my love for God and the teachings of Christ. I have been involved with St. Mary's Church in Grand Rapids, and with St. Mary's University Parish in Mount Pleasant. I've also been active with the Knights of Columbus Council 4362, where my dad is a past Grand Knight.

Feel free to say hi anytime!