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November 03, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 5A

ATTORNEY GENERAL
GOP candidate Schuette
cruises to Mich. AG win

JAKE FROMM/Daily
Democratic state Senator-elect Rebekah Warren celebrates her win at the Arbor Brewing Company last night.
In A, Dems. capture
state senate, rep. rac",es

Former court of
appeals judge beat
out Dem. Genessee
Prosecutor Leyton
ByROBINVEECK
Daily StaffReporter
Republican Bill Schuette won
against Democratic candidate
David Leyton in yesterday's Mich-
igan attorney general race. The
election was called with Schuette
leading with 53 percent of the
vote to Leyton's 43 percent with
98 percent of precincts reporting,
according to The Associated Press.
Schuette had consistently
outscored Leyton in polls lead-
ing up to the election, and raised
more than twice as much funding
throughout the course of his cam-
paign, according to the Detroit
Free Press.
At the Michigan GOP's "One
Chance Election Night Party".last
night at the Westin Book Cadillac
Detroit Hotel, Schuette told the
crowd he was honored that the
voters chose to elect him to office.
"I am both exhilarated about
the outcome of this evening, and I
am humbled," Schuette said. "I am
humbled ... by the trust Michigan
has put in me."
After commending Leyton's
endeavors, Schuette turned his
attention to his goals as Michi-
gan's next attorney general.
"We must put Michigan back
on track," Schuette said. "Our
new Michigan needs to be a safe
Michigan with less taxes, less
spending, less government and
more freedom."
Throughout his campaign,
Schuette - a current senior coun-
sel at the private law firm Warner,
Norcross & Judd - emphasized
his tough stance on crime and his
desire to create "safe communi-
ties" throughout the state.
"I got fed up and tired and just
sick of the problems in Lansing,"
Schuette said in an Oct. 26 inter-
view with WLNS TV 6. "The lack
of leadership and closing prisons,

'U' alumni Rebekah
Warren, Jeff Irwin
win state Senate,
House seats
By KAITLIN WILLIAMS
Daily StaffReporter
Democrats Rebekah Warren
and Jeff Irwin, both University
alumni, claimed victory in their
respective races for the state Sen-
ate and state House of Represen-
tatives last night.
According to the Washtenaw
County Clerk's Office, with about
94 percent of precints report-
ing, Warren won with about 65
percent of the vote. Irwin beat
his opponent, Republican Chase
Ingersoll, with about 81 percent of
the vote as of 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Irwin will represent Michi-
gan's 53rd House District in the
seat that Warren currently holds,
and Warren will serve as state
senator of Michigan's 18th Sen-
ate District. The t8th District

State Senate seat is now occupied
by Democrat Liz Brater, who was
unable to run for the position
again due to term limits.
Warren said at her watch party
at the Ann Arbor Brewing Com-
pany on East Washington Street
last night that she is most excited
to ,focus on job creation as state
senator.
"We need to make sure we don't
leave anyone behind," Warren
said.
Warren ran against Republi-
can candidate John Hochstetler
of Manchester, Mich. The candi-
dates differed in their plans for
boosting Michigan's economy,
with Warren supporting job cre-
ation through legislation and
Hochstetler focusing on support-
ing local business.
Though Warren is a Democrat,
she told The Michigan Daily in
March that her work has crossed
party lines.
"I've been able to work pretty
successfully on some important
bill packages that were done in a
bipartisan way and were able to
become law," Warren said at the

AG-elect Bill Schuette celebrates his win last night with the GOP in Detroit.

time.
Warren is a strong advocate for
reproductive rights and environ-
mental protection. While serving
as chair of the House Great Lakes
and the Environment Committee,
Warren worked to pass the Great
Lakes Compact, which aimed to
protect the Great Lakes Basin
water supply.
Irwin also advocates for envi-
ronmental protection, and plans
to focus on these issues as well
as homelessness and budgeting
problems in the state.
Warren endorsed Irwin's can-
didacy for state representative,
and said tonight that it was "sur-
prisingly more personal" than she
thought it would be to watch him
run this year.
Irwin said he has big shoes to
fill in succeeding Warren.
Ingersoll told the Daily on Sat-
urday that he expected Demo-
crats to sweep the elections.
"I've already congratulated Mr.
Irwin," Ingersoll said.
- Mary Hannahan
contributed to this report.

now more than 10 prisons, releas-
ing dangerous criminals early,
more than 8,000, and cutting the
number of cops on the street."
Schuette also focused on his
breadth of political experience
as a former Congressman, state
senator and judge on the Michi-
gan Court of - Appeals. One of
Schuette's television advertise-
ments described him as: "A Reagan
Republican then, A Reagan Repub-
lican Now."
Schuette will succeed Republi-
can Attorney General Mike Cox,
whose term expires this year and
is prevented by term limits from
running for re-election. Cox made
a run for governor earlier this year,
butwas defeated inthe Republican
primary by governor-elect, Rick
Synder.
Leyton, currently the Genessee
County prosecutor, centered his
campaign on his experience as a
prosecutor and his lack of ties to
Lansing. In a radio interview with
WKZO earlier this month, Ley-
ton criticized Schuette for being
"shoulder to shoulder with special
interests."
"I'm a prosecutor, with that
background that we talked about,
and (Schuette) is a career politi-
cian," Leyton said in the interview.
"He's been in and out of elected

office for the last few years. When
it comes to public safety, I've been
on the front lines of that battle."
Michael Traugott, professor of
Communication Studies at the Uni-
versity, said in a phone interview
last night that Schuette's victory
reflected Michigan's high Republi-
can voter turnout yesterday.
"I thought that Rick Syn-
der would win the gubernato-
rial election, but I didn't realize
his coattails would be as long as
they were," Traugott said. "It's a
Republican night in Michigan and
across the country, and (Schuette)
has also benefitted from Snyder
leading the ticket and his sizeable
victory over Bernero."
But the result of yesterday's
elections don't necessarily indi-
cate a long-term trend in Michigan
politics, Traugott said.
"The electorate in Michigan
has always been fairly evenly
divided, and we've had Democrat
and Republican attorney gener-
als, Democrat and Republican
governors," Traugott said. "This
happens to be a Republican year,
and so the Republicans all up and
down the ticket are benefitting."
- Daily Staff Reporter
Bethany Biron contributed
reporting from Detroit.

PROPOSALS I AND 2
Michiganders vote yes on
felon law, no on convention

SECRETARY OF STATE
In close race, Republican
Johnson takes sec. of state

Johnson is the third
Republican in a row
to assume position
By SUZANNE JACOBS
Daily StaffReporter
"You know what brought us this
far? You. Absolutely everyone of
you that got out there," Republican
Ruth Johnson, Michigan's Secre-
tary of State elect told the crowd
at the Michigan GOP Watch Party
Westin Book Cadillac hotel in
Detroit last night.
With about 98 percent of the
precincts reporting, Johnson won
with 52 percent of the vote, beat-
ing Democratic opponent Jocelyn
Benson who garnered 44 percent,
according to the Associated Press
as of 4 a.m. Wednesday.
A resident of Holly, Mich., John-
son is the current Oakland County
clerk - a position she's held for the
past six years. Johnson will be tak-
ing the secretary of state seat of
incumbent Republican Secretary
of State Terri Lynn Land, who isn't
eligible to run for a third term due
to Michigan's state term limit laws.
During her time as Oakland
County clerk, Johnson reduced
office costs by more than $1 million
and decreased the office staff by 20
percent, according to her campaign
website. Johnson also served three
terms in the Michigan House of
Representatives starting in 1998.
During her time in the House, she
was chair of the House Land Use
and Environment Committee.
As a state representative, John-
son investigated state government
corruption through subpoena
power, which resulted in the oust-

ing of an official who used taxpayer
dollars for personal use, Johnson's
campaign website states.
Throughout her campaign for
secretary of state, Johnson prom-
ised that, if elected, she would
continue to fight against election
deception and fraud, make sure
all voters are Michigan residents
and reform the secretary of state
office to ensure transparency and
accountability. Johnson already
began implementing the latter
initiative during her campaign
by making campaign donation
records publically available online.
Michael Traugott, professor of
communication studies at the Uni-
versity, said last night that Snyder's
projected win throughout the gov-
ernor's race most likely encouraged
voters to support other Republi-
cans running for office in the state.
"I think it was clearly a Repub-
lican year, and they had a very
strong candidate at the top of the
Michigan ticket - Rick Snyder --
so I think that all of the statewide
Republican candidates benefited
from that," Traugott said.
The two candidates' varying
levels of experience was a point of
contention throughout the race.
Benson, a 33-year-old law pro-
fessor at Wayne State University
Law School, worked on the Har-
vard Civil Rights Project from
2002 to 2004 as the Voting Rights
Policy Coordinator. And in 2008
Benson put a stop to voters' eligi-
bility being challenged on Elec-
tion Day based on foreclosure lists,
according to Benson's campaign
website.
"We fought a good fight, but it
just wasn't our time. It wasn't our
race," T.J. Bucholz, a spokesman
for Benson's campaign, told The

Michigan Daily late last night.
As of now, Benson plans to
return to teaching law at Wayne
State, Bucholz said.
"We're hopeful that the fight
continues, and Jocelyn is going
to do what she's always done in
her career, and that's be an advo-
cate for the people of Michigan,"
Bucholz said.
Traugott said Benson's lesser
experience compared to Johnson's
most likely contributed to her loss
in the race.
"This was her first campaign,
and if the Democrats had been
better organized statewide ...
she might have done better, but I
think Johnson's experience clearly
worked to her benefit," Traugott
said.
Benson came to campus last
month and told students she dis-
agrees with Johnson's plan to
ensure only citizens are able to
vote, which would involve having
everyone carry licenses. Instead,
Benson said she would have people
present an ID card other than a
license that doesn't indicate a per-
son's citizenship status, according
to a Sept.17 Michigan Daily article.
"To treat two sectors of the pop-
ulation separately is a violation of
the equal protection clause," Ben-
son said at the time,
Like Johnson, Benson's cam-
paign promises included fighting
government fraud and increas-
ing transparency in public office.
According to her campaign web-
site, Benson specifically wanted to
expose corporations' influence on
elections.
- Daily Staff Reporter
Bethany Biron contributed to
this report from Detroit.

Voters split decision
on state-wide ballot
proposals
BY CLAIRE GOSICICKI AND
ROBIN VEECK
Daily StaffRepoters
Michigan voters approved a
measure that bars individuals
with certain felony records from
holding elected office and dis-
missed a proposal to revise the
state Constitution on yesterday's
ballot.
Voters approved a proposal
yesterday to prohibit individu-
als with certain felony records
from running for office and seek-
ing employment in various public
positions by a vote of about 75 per-
cent to 25 percent with 97 percent
of precincts reporting as of 4 a.m.
Wednesday.
The passage of Proposal 10-2
will result in a revision of the state
Constitution that will bar indi-
viduals from running for an elect-
ed position or entering a public
position if they have committed a
certain crime in the last 20 years.
According to the proposal, indi-
viduals are ineligible if they have
been "convicted of a felony involv-
ing dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a
breach of the public trust ... and
the conviction was related to the
person's official capacity."
The passed initiative is widely
thought to be related to former
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatick's
public scandal, though its spon-
sor - Senator Tupac Hunter (D-
Detroit) - told The Detroit News
last week that the motivation had
a broader scope than Kilpatrick.
"It's common sense. It's saying
that the people of Michigan want
a higher standard for us to meet,"
Hunter told The Detroit News.
A public opinion poll released
last week by EPIC-MRA showed
that 76 percent ofvoters supported
Prop. 2, while 19 percent opposed
it and 5 percent were undecided.
Vincent Hutchings, a professor
in the University's Political Sci-

ence Department and a research
professor at the Institute for
Social Research, suggested that
voters with strong concerns about
crime and corruption may have
been the most motivated to vote.
In an interview with The Mich-
igan Daily last week Hutchings
predicted that Prop. 2 would be
rejected. He also said the initia-
tive is unnecessary because there
are currently no issues with felons
running for office.
"I'm always wary of a solution
that's designed to fix a problem
that's nonexistent," Hutchings
said.
Representatives from various
political student groups around
campus, including the Universi-
ty's chapter of College Democrats
and College Libertarians, said
their groups had not taken strong
stances on Prop. 2.
According to a press release
issued by Hunter, the proposal
will require that all candidates for
elective office file an affidavit with
the Secretary of State. The affida-
vit must state that the candidate
has not been convicted of a felony
included in the proposal.
The other ballot question,
known as Proposal 10-1, appears
on Michigan's election ballot
every 16 years and gives voters the
option to call for a state constitu-
tional convention. Michiganders
voted down the proposal for the
third consecutive time since the
proposal was last updated in 1963.
The proposal was rejected by by
about 67 percent of the vote with
97 percent of precincts reporting
at 4 a.m. Wednesday.*
Doug Pratt, a spokesperson for
the labor union Michigan Edu-
cation Association - one of sev-
eral organizations that publicly
opposed Prop. 1 - said he expect-
ed that the proposal would be
rejected once again.
Pratt said one of the reasons he
thinks the proposal didn't pass is
due to voters' lack of education on
the issue.
"When people see something
on the ballot and they don't know
much about it ... they're probably

going to vote against it," he said.
Pratt said it was in students'
best interests to reject the pro-
posal, adding that constitutional
convention delegates could have
made changes to the Constitution
that would have affected higher
education funding and Univer-
sity governance in unpredictable
ways.
The Michigan Student Assem-
bly passed a resolution last week
supporting Prop. 1, saying a revi-
sion of the state constitution could
present an opportunity to add stu-
dent representation to the Univer-
sity's Board of Regents.
Engineering representative
Sean Walser, who helped draft
MSA's resolution, wrote in an
e-mail interview that a revision of
the state Constitution could have
reserved one seat on the Universi-
ty Board of Regents for a student.
"Students at the University
have been struggling with this
issue for nearly 20 years, and hav-
ing the Constitution rewritten
would certainly make it easier for
this initiative tobe taken upby the
state government," Walser wrote.
LSA freshman Simon Boehme,
who unsuccessfully attempted
to get his name on the Board of
Regents ballot last summer, wrote
in an e-mail interview that stu-
dents would provide "valuable
voices on pressing issues" if given
the option to serve on the board.
Michael Boulus, executive
director of the Presidents Council
of the State Universities of Michi-
gan, which lobbies for Michigan
public universities, said specific
complaints about the state Con-
stitution should be addressed
through constitutional amend-
ments instead of through a con-
vetion. He added that the state
Constitution has been amended 31
times since the 1960s.
"The Constitution works well,"
Boulus said. "I think the people of
the state know the best approach
is to put out an amendment and let
it get debated, rather than revising
the whole constitution."
The ballot initiative will appear
again on the state ballot in 2026.

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