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May 13, 1994 - Image 63

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

good year to run. We had a new
governor (William Milliken) and new
legislators."
David Honigman took a different
route to office.
He wanted to work with his grand-
father after graduating from law
school. He spent two years with the
Detroit law firm Honigman, Miller,
Schwartz and Cohn before being elect-
ed to the Michigan House of Repre-
sentatives in 1984.
Sen. Honigman, who successfully
ran for the state Senate in 1990, said
he was always into fighting for caus-
es. He liked the idea of public service,
and in the back of his mind had in-
tentions of running for of-
fice. His first elected office
was high-school class pres-
ident. He was impeached
twice — for being a class
clown.
A recent illness and
surgery has given a recov-
ering Sen. Honigman a
new way of looking at life.
"Being sick makes you
think hard about what you
want to do with your life,"
said Sen. Honigman, who
also contends that if he
could hold any political po-
sition he would like to be
the mayor of Detroit.
"Being mayor would be
a difficult challenge," Sen.
Honigman said. "I like to
be able to help vulnerable
people."
David Gubow was born
into politics. Some of the
first words spoken by him
were: "Vote for Martha
Griffiths." At least that's
what his parents, who
were strong supporters of
Ms. Griffiths' legislative
races, told him.
In the 1970s, Rep. Gubow, 44,
served as the Oakland County trea-
surer, and in 1984 he ran for his cur-
rent seat in the state House.
Rep. Gubow, of Huntington Woods,
often will bring his two daughters to
community events. He likes to spend
much of his free time with his family.
They go on bike rides together, par-
ticipate in sports and spend time in
the park.
"I don't want to miss the things my
children are doing," he said.
Family is also important to Rep.
Sander Levin, who after attending the
University of Chicago returned to
Michigan and became active in B'nai
B'rith, the Anti-Defamation League
and the Berkley School District.
When he went on to seek elected of-

fices, two current Jewish lawmakers
were active supporters of his early
campaigns.
His brother Carl, now a U.S. sena-
tor, was one of them. He helped his
sibling get elected to a newly created
state Senate seat in 1964.
Ten years later, when Sander Levin
unsuccessfully ran for the second time
for governor of Michigan, a 24-year-
old David Gubow was working for
him. Rep. Gubow's job — driving Rep.
Levin on the campaign trail.
Rep. Levin captured his seat in the
U.S. House in 1982.
Sen. Levin began his journey to
Washington, D.C., shortly after the

politician are the negative reputations
and harsh criticism given those in the
public eye. The Jewish lawmakers are
no exception.
Sen. Pollack, who was drawn into
politics when her husband became a
precinct captain (she later ran for a
school-board position), can hardly es-
cape the reputation of having a "chip
on her shoulder."
"The Republicans are very chal-
lenged by me," Sen. Pollack said. "I'm
tough. I recently had a big fight in the
appropriations committee room.
Someone made a smart remark about
women. When you are the only
woman in the room and you speak out
against insulting attitudes, I suppose
that can give such an impression."
Sen. Faxon also drew a lot of at-
tention when he missed key votes on

Left:
Ann Arbor Democrat Lana Pollack
Top:
David Honigman would like to be mayor of
Detroit.
Bottom:
People often mistake Sander Levin for his
brother. Carl.

Detroit riots in 1967. He was elected
to two terms on the Detroit City Coun-
cil. In 1978, he won his seat in the U.S.
Senate.
The Levins, who were exposed to
politics during dinner conversations
with their parents — both avid fol-
lowers of politics, have been playing
squash together for 35 years. Their
families share 100 acres of property
40 miles north of Detroit, where they
go to relax.
"We are each other's best friends,"
Rep. Levin said. "We talk like best
friends on matters of state and issues
of individual importance, from our
family to a good program on television.
I called him to tell him the Red Wings
had won. If there is Michigan news,
we always talk about it."
Some of the downsides of being a

school finance last winter because he
was dancing in a performance of the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Nut-
cracker. Sen. Faxon essentially main-
tained that his vote would not have
changed the outcome of the vote.
Two years ago, when Sen. Honig-
man made a bid for U.S. Congress, a
bitter battle was waged between him
and Republican challengers Judge Al-
ice Gilbert and insurance man Joe
Knollenberg. It has been suggested
one of the reasons Mr. Knollenberg
won was because his campaign had
the least mudslinging. Sen. Honigman
referred to that election as a real or-
deal and said he was not responsible
for the mudslinging.
Judaism plays a varied role in the
lives of each of these politicians.
Sen. Faxon, whose grandfather was
an Orthodox rabbi in Lansing, can
converse in Yiddish. Sen. Levin was
one of the founders of Congregation
T'Chiyah, a downtown Reconstruc-
tionist synagogue.
"My religion affects my attitudes
about a lot of things I do," Rep. Levin
said. "In the last four weeks, it has
shaped how I looked at health care,
the crisis in Bosnia, my interest in the
Middle East and freedom in South
Africa. I come from a tradition that
places a great premium on liberty and
community and the protection of mi-
norities."
Rep. Berman agrees religion has an
effect on lawmakers.
"Each of us in the Legislature brings
who we are — our background, our
culture, our community and religious
beliefs. To that extent, of course you
perceive things in a certain way be-
cause of who you are," Rep. Berman
said.

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