Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 7A
Chafee wins Rhode Island
as states, D.C. hold primaries
Tuesday was last big
day of primaries before
(AP) - Moderate Republican Sen.
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island,
who bucked President Bush on tax
cuts and the war in Iraq, defeated
a conservative challenger yesterday
in a contest crucial to the larger
fight for control of Congress.
With 99 percent of precincts
reporting, Chafee had 34,042
votes, or 54 percent, to Cranston
Mayor Steve Laffey's 29,431 votes,
or 46 percent.
Chafee, whose challenge was the
latest test of anti-incumbent senti-
ment and the polarization of poli-
tics, told supporters: "Our goal has
always been to find the common
ground for the common good....
Partisan politics must not prevail."
Tuesday marked the last big day
of primaries before the November
elections, with races also in Ari-
zona, Delaware, Maryland, Minne-
sota, New Hampshire, New York,
Vermont, Wisconsin and the Dis-
trict of Columbia.
ocrats swept aside primary chal-
lengers - Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton trounced an anti-war can-
didate in her re-election bid, Attor-
ney General Eliot Spitzer crushed
his opposition for the Democratic
nod for governor, and Andrew
Cuomo easily won the party nomi-
nation for attorney general.
In Minnesota, state Rep. Keith
Ellison won the Democratic nomi-
nation for an open House seat that
could make him the first Muslim in
Congress. In a reliably Democratic
district that's voted close to 70 per-
cent for the Democrat for nearly 30
years, he's likely the fall winner,
In Rhode Island, the importance
of holding onto a GOP Senate seat
brought Laura Bush and the GOP
establishment to campaign for
Chafee _ even though he was the
only Republican to vote against the
resolution to use force against Iraq
and he opposed the president's tax
cuts. Chafee did not even vote for
Bush in 2004 _ instead writing in
the name of Bush's father, former
President George H.W. Bush.
Polls show Chafee will still face
a tough contest against Democratic
nominee Sheldon Whitehouse,
a former attorney general. But
if Chafee had lost, polls showed
Whitehouse was almost assured a
victory. Democrats hope to build
on national dismay with Bush to
capture majorities in Congress, and
they need six Senate seats.
Chafee, 53, was appointed to the
Senate in 1999 after his father, Sen.
John Chafee, died in office. He won
election the following year. Like
his father, Chafee is an economic
conservative and social moderate
_ a classic New England Republi-
can whose more liberal views have
drawn support from unaffiliated
voters and some Democrats.
Rhode Island allows voters who
are not registered with a party to
cast ballots in either Republican
or Democratic primaries, and yes-
terday, many of them gravitated
An ecstatic Chafee pumped his
arms in the air and emphasized his
ability to work with people from
both parties. He thanked Demo-
cratic-leaning independents who
voted for him and said his victory
was important nationally because
it meant moderate Republicans
nationally were "alive and kicking."
In Arizona, a similar contest
played out between conservative
and moderate Republicans in a
House race for a Tucson-area seat
left open by retiring moderate GOP
Rep. Jim Kolbe. National GOP
leaders angered local Republican
candidates when they jumped into
the race to support moderate state
Rep. Steve Huffman.
But with a little more than half
the precincts reporting, Huffman
was in a razor-thin race with con-
servative former state lawmaker
Randy Graf, who had made his
opposition to illegal immigration
the center of his campaign. Graf
led by a 41-to-39-percent margin.
Party officials have expressed
concerns Graf may be too con-
servative to beat the Democratic
contender _ former state legislator
In the Maryland race to fill
the Senate seat held by retiring
Democrat Paul Sarbanes, 20-year
Rep. Ben Cardin was leading
Kweisi Mfume, former head of
the NAACP, by a 46-to-37 percent
margin. The winner will face GOP
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is
seeking to become the lone black
Republican in the Senate.
Judges extended voting hours in
Baltimore and nearby Montgom-
ery County by one hour because of
problems that delayed the opening
of some polling places. Officials
said some election judges did not
show up on time and others had
trouble getting into the facilities.
In New York, Clinton beat chal-
lenger Jonathan Tasini with more
than 80 percent of the vote. She
will face former Yonkers Mayor
Spitzer defeated Nassau County
Continued from page 1A
The future of the employees,
most of whom were notified of the
potential sale yesterday morning, is
"Precisely how many employees
will be retained and for what peri-
od of time has not yet been deter-
mined," Kelch said.
Until the sale is final, M-Care
employees will continue working
in their current jobs. If the sale
goes through, the University and
Blue Cross plan to keep on many
employees through the transition
period in a lease agreement.
Kelch said the University will
offer assistance and support to
employees seeking new positions
but will not offer a severance pack-
age. If their jobs are cut, employ-
ees will be given at least 60 days
notice, in accordance with Univer-
sity policy and federal regulations.
Following the regents' approval,
the sale will require an OK from
state and federal regulators, who
will review the agreement and
If approved by the regulators,
who will likely take a few months
to make their decision, the sale is
expected to be finalized late this
year or early 2007, Kelch said.
All of M-Care's HMO, PPO,
GradCare and Medicaid programs
will be included in the deal.
Kelch said M-Care customers
will not experience any gaps in
coverage during the transition. The
University plans to continue M-
Care coverage for employees, retir-
ees, graduate students and their
dependents through 2007.
After that time, former M-
Care customers can purchase a
plan through Blue Cross. The
University will work with Blue
Cross to develop a plan for
employees equivalent to current
benefits, Kelch said.
Premiums are not expected to
increase as a result of the sale, he
Because Blue Cross and M-Care
share many of the same health
care providers, Kelch said custom-
ers will likely be able to continue
seeing the same physician, "in an
almost seamless matter."
Continued from page 1A
tables in dorms and campaigning
at football games as well as holding
educational events, organizing let-
ter-writing campaigns and taking
people to large statewide events,
like the NAACP convention.
"We will use any and every
method we can to get our message
across to students," Tanner said.
"Even if that means talking for only
five minutes on the way to class"
Ruth said he is encouraged
by the diverse array of student
groups that have approached
him asking for resources to
oppose the initiative.
"Affirmative action is a tough
issue for this campus," Ruth
said. "But I think there is a con-
sensus that this proposal goes
too far, and I believe we can
Letting its stance be known
is not as easy for the University
Despite the fact that MCRI
will directly impact the Uni-
versity's admissions policies,
its status as a nonprofit and a
branch of state government pro-
hibits it from taking a public
stance on ballot proposals or
The rules restricting the Uni-
versity do not, however, apply
to actions taken by professors
on their own time and with their
own resources. Additionally, the
campaign finance rules do not
apply to academic research into
affirmative action programs or
the likely effects of MCRI.
There is an exception in the
state campaign finance law that
allows executives with policy-
making responsibilities, such as
University President Mary Sue
Coleman, to state their views on
ballot proposals in their official
Coleman has been active in
the MCRI debate, and Universi-
ty spokeswoman Julie Peterson
said she will continue to do so
through the fall.
President Coleman has two
minority outreach events sched-
uled for this fall where she
will likely address MCRI and
her concerns about it, Peterson
"I have been speaking about
this every chance I get," Cole-
man said in an interview last
Coleman frequently reminds
people that the proposal, if
passed, would have a negative
effects on programs like those
encouraging women in math and
science and men in nursing.
"I hope the voters understand
the consequences not yet antici-
pated," Coleman said.
Peterson said the University
is not taking any specific steps
to prepare for the possibility of
the passage of MCRI. However,
she added that the University is
always reviewing its race-con-
scious programs to ensure they
are serving their purpose and
are in compliance with the 2003
Supreme Court ruling Grutter v.
"We are not assuming it will
or will not pass," Peterson said.
"That is up to the people of
Michigan, and we will have to
see what happens in Novem-
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