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November 05, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-05

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W The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

republicans take control of Senate

Race for regent
too close to call

settingthelegis-
scould mean
:lout in the Sen-
hed influence for
gation.
one of 17 sena-
aoffice in 2006,

"We're in for two years of
severe gridlock in Washington,"
he said. "If we thought the cur-
rent congress was unproductive,
it will be nothing compared to
the next one."
Though Republicans will

increased ease, the proposals
will likely meet the president's
veto. Traugott said securing
enough votes to overturn those
vetoes will be extremely diffi-
cult.
Though the executive and
legislative
branches have
e been divided
in the past,
gridlock Traugott said
C the increas-
ingly polar-
ized political
culture could
u "e further hinder
the possibili-
ty of enacting
bi-partisan
legislation or confirming White
House judicial and executive

branch appointments.
"There used to be a substan-
tial numbers of senators willing
to cross lines to reach compro-
mise and now we're in the situ-
ation where's there's almost no
voting across party lines," he
said.
Aaron Kall, director of the
University's debate team and an
expert on election politics, said
heisnotcertainthenewcompo-
sition represents a sure-fire sign
of additional gridlock. While he
said heightened partisanship
could cause increased gridlock,
he said there is also the potential
for the shift to promote compro-
mise.
"It could go either way," he
said.
With two years left in his

presidency; Kall said President
Barack Obama may have an
incentive to move more legis-
lation through Congress as he
tries to shape his legacy with
some final pieces of signature
legislation.
"The election result tonight
could be the impetus for a
broader congressional agenda,
more legislation being passed
and thegovernmentbeingmore
functional," he said. "I'm pretty
optimistic we could see that in
the next few years."
However, Kall said Republi-
can gains could be short-lived.
If gridlock continues, there
could be plenty of Republican
senators trying to defend their
seats in traditionally blue states
by2016.

have the ability to move legisla-
tion through both houses with

Sbel 2010 midterm election levels

to cast a ballot,
n 180,000 voted
nty during
ells from the
11 'data by Edi-
for this year's
on report that
orate was at 13
higher than in
statistic is sub-
within the next
chair of the
Iocratic Party,
'ut was a possi-
be election, yet
ism in the par-
i igible voters
eers reported
ots over 2010.
nout was good
as a midterm
sans, College
the Public Poli-
separate watch
daynight's elec-
attended the
"licans' watch
g LSA senior
sham. She said
ler members of
bn social issues,
marriage and
but are bound

by the principle of conservative
fiscal policy.
Cunningham said being a
conservative in left-leaningAnn
Arbor is difficult.
"I really wish that I could
be much more open about my
political views and I wish that
people would be more willing
to dialogue with me because I
think we have so much more in
common with Democrats, espe-
cially as young Republicans,
than most people think we do,"
she said.
LSA senior Gabe Leaf, chair
of the University's chapter of
..the College Republicans, said
'he was chiefly concerned with
reducing unemployment and
expanding Michigan's economy.
'His vote for Snyder stemmed
from the governor's gradual
increases in fundinghigher edu-
cation.
"He's a Michigan man him-
self," Leaf said. "He comes from
us; he knows what we've been
through, the kind of struggles
are for higher education to oper-
ate, and he's also a businessman
so he knows how to run these
things more effectively."
LSA junior Stephen Culbert-
,son, communications director
for College Democrats, said he
believed the Democratic Party
had a better understanding of

education issues. He also appre-
ciated U.S. Representative-elect
Debbie Dingell's advocacy for
Michigan jobs and women's
issues.

"While some of the results
are a bit disappointing, there is a
lot to look forward to with Gary
Peters and Debbie Dingell in
Washington," he said. "I think

they can represent Michigan
very well. They will be tremen-
dous advocates for Michigan-
ders and the middle class, so
that's a big bright spot tonight."

Republicans lead
in early results,
but Democrats
remain hopeful
By CLAIRE BRYAN and
ALLANA AKHTAR
Daily StaffReporters
As of 2 a.m. Wednesday, the
race for two contested spots
on the University's Board of
Regents was too close to call.
Republicans Rob Steele and
Ronald Weiser lead with596,732
and 594,196 votes, respective-
ly, compared to Democrats
Mike Behm's 440,903 votes
and incumbent Kathy White's
477,101votes.
Early Wednesday morning,
the Michigan Secretary of State
had yet to release final tallies
from several counties, including
the heavily Democratic Genesee
and Wayne Counties that con-
tain Flint and Detroit.
In 2012, the final election
results were not determined
until the following day. In that
year, the two Republican can-
didates led for most of the early
morning hours, but fell to Dem-
ocrats once votes from Wayne
County were tallied.
The board's two open seats
are currently held by Regent
Julia Darlow (D), who is not
seeking reelection, and White.
White, who currently serves
as chair of the Board of Rgents,
is a professor of law at Wayne
State University Law School in
Detroit, an instructor of law at
the United States MilitaryAcad-
emy at West Point in New York
and a Lieutenant Colonel in the
United States Army Reserve.
Weiser founded McKinley
Associates, a commercial real
estate company, and served on
multiple boards for nonprof-
it organizations including the
United Negro College Fund of
Washtenaw County, the Henry
Ford Museum in Dearborn and
the Detroit Institute of Arts.
He also served as the Amer-
ican ambassador to the Slo-
vak Republic under the Bush
Administration.
Steele, a University Inteflex
program alum, is a cardiologist
at St. Joseph Mercy Health Sys-
tem in Ypsilanti and served as
a clinical assistant professor at
the University for more than 20
years.
Behm works as a litigator in
Flint and served as president of
the Michigan Association for
Justice in 2011, a trade asso-
ciation. He worked on former
Secretary of State Hillary Clin-
ton's presidential campaign and
served as a delegate to the Dem-
ocratic National Convention in
2008.
The eight-member board is

elected for eight-year terms on
the statewide ballot. The board
is currently composed of six
Democrats and two Republi-
cans.
In 2012, Democrats Mark
Bernstein and Shauna Ryder
Diggs won the two open seats
on the board, carried to victory
in part by the presidential race
at the top of the ticket. Similar-
ly, Republicans Andrea Fischer
Newman and Andrew Richner
won the election in 2010, a year
that saw low Democratic turn-
out and the election of Republi-
can Gov. Rick Snyder.
In this election cycle, all four
major-party candidates empha-
sized affordability in their plat-

forms, but differed on their
plans for its execution.
Steele had said he planned to
finance studentloansbytapping
into the University's endow-
ment, while White said she
intended to strengthen financial
aid. Behm and Weiser see the
University's satellite campuses
in Dearborn and Flint as addi-
tional, more affordable options
for students and said they plan
to strengthen these campuses.
Earlier this month, the candi-
dates met for a candidate forum
at the Gerald R. Ford School of
Public Policy to discuss avariety
of University issues, including
campusclimate,theinstitution's
response to sexual assault and
working with the city of Detroit.
Mostofthe candidatesshared
similar views on these issues,
such as going to greater lengths
to aid survivors of sexual assault
and working to increase diver-
sity among students within
the boundaries of Proposal 2,
the 2006 ballot initiative that
banned consideration of race in
college admissions. Behm also
expressed support for the Uni-
versity's financial divestment
from fossil fuel companies.
In the last year, the regents
have been involved in several
significant decisions, including
the appointment of University
President Mark Schlissel.
Political Science Prof. Vin-
cent Hutchings said regent
candidates typically don't gain
as much publicity compared to
other races.
"These lower-level offices put
a bigger burden on the voter,"
Hutchings said. "It is harder
for people to gain information
about these people because
information in the media is less
plentiful."
Cynthia Wilbanks, the Uni-
versity's vice president for
government relations, ran
unsuccessfully for regent in
1986.
"Itwas agreatexperiencebut
I think what you learn quickly is
that the visibility of the regent
races is really pretty low in the
electorate," she said.
For that reason, Wilbanks
said the results in regents races
are sometimes driven by the top
of the ticket, particularly when
voters cast straight-ticket bal-
lots.
"Straight party ticket voting
may happen a little more fre-
quently when you are down at
the bottom of the ballot," Wil-
banks said. "That historical pat-
tern has held true."
In atelephone interview with
The Michigan Daily, Regent
Emeritus Frederick C. Matthaei
said he does not think parti-
sanship plays a large role in the
functioning of the board.
Matthaei was appointed
to the Board in 1967 after the

resignation of his father, the
namesake of the Universi-
ty's botanical gardens. He ran
for reelection a year later as a
Republican nominee, but lost
when Democratic presidential
candidate Hubert Humphrey
carried the state.
"I think their political party
is important only because they
have to run through it," he said.
"You don't want eight regents to
be all on the same party. I think
it's good to have avariety of edu-
cated people, number one, and
number two, it's a question of
how good their personal expe-
riences could be for serving as a
regent, not what political party
they're in."

d similar
1day night,
at divisiveness
,blame should
tical norm. He
imistic thatthe
me political
ogether.
se the standard
should operate
"he said.
ller margin of
ears later may
ns that he too
am his promise
Toting partisan
e some things
d in (Snyder)'s
at, showed he
political, so he
e@ same kind of
ersona that he

did in the first election, and
that cost him the mobilized
Democrats," Political Science
Prof. Mike Traugott said in an
interview with The Michigan
Daily.
In the legislature's lame
duck session in December
2012, Snyder signed right-to-
work legislation into law, out-
lawing union requirements
for members to pay dues as
a condition of employment.
The following December,
Snyder signed a measure ban-
ning abortion coverage from
private health plans, instead
requiring women who wanted
such a plan to purchase sup-
plemental insurance. He has
also declined to take a per-
sonal stance on gay marriage,
choosing instead to defer to
the pending decision in feder-

al appeals court on the state's
ban on same-sex marriage.
The Schauer campaign
attempted to differentiate
from Snyder on those issues,
and argued that the Gover-
nor's decisions to lower the
business tax and raise taxes on
retirees hurt the middle class.
Schauer also sharply criticized
Snyder for cutting both K-12
and higher education funding
in his first budget - though
both funds have increased in
each of the budgets since.
In a concession speech
Tuesday night, Schauer reiter-
ated his commitment to those
issues.
"We fought hard," he told
the crowd. "We left it all on the
field. We made this race about
our kids, about seniors, about
our middle class, about work-

ing people."
He said he was disappoint-
ed, but not discouraged, by the
results.
"This was not just about
2014," he said. "This was a
movement about the future of
our state. If I learned one thing
during this campaign, it's that
the people of Michigan never
give up. When we get knocked
down, we get right back up.
For me, this campaign is over.
But for all of us as Democrats,
as Michiganders who love our
great state, this work must and
will continue."
College Republicans Presi-
dent Gabe Leaf, an LSA senior,
said he has been happy with
Snyder's work in higher educa-
tion, despite public criticism.
"He's really putting a focus
on education," Leaf said. "He's

a Michigan man himself so he
comes from us, he knows what
we've been through, the kind
of struggles are for higher edu-
cation to operate and he's also
a businessman, so he knows
how to run these things more
effectively."
In closing his victory speech
Tuesday night, Snyder made a
commitment to carry over the
energy of reinvention into his
second term.
"The passion, the fire, the
excitement, the conviction to
do the reinvention that you've
seen this Tuesday, I'm goingto
have it on Wednesday, Thurs-
day, Friday and for the next
four years," Snyder said.
Daily StaffReporter Shoham
Geva and Emma Kinery
contributed reporting.

sident Barack
uto industry
ured prom-
campaign.
tes have
Semselves
his policies,
in Michigan
kilout, Peters
e only Senate
the president

host a rally for him this election
season.
In the night's other big race,
Democrats were less successful;
incumbent governor Rick Sny-
der (R) held onto his seat. Peters
said, as state representative, he
has already worked with Sny-
der on building a new bridge
between the U.S. and Canada.
"It's a project that I think is

vitally important for the state of'
Michigan, really for the whole
country, to increase trade
between the U.S and Canada
and I've worked with Governor
Snyder on that, and should he
be successful tonight we'll con-
tinue to work together," Peters
told the media on working
together with Snyder before the
race was called.

He will join U.S Senator Deb-
bie Stabenow (D-MI), now the
state's senior senator, in Con-
gress. In replacing Levin, Peters
told the media that he would
seek to continue expressing the
values Levin brought to the job.
"I look forward...to serv-
ing in the Senate, building up
seniority and doing the hard
work necessary for Michigan

and that means being a prac-
tical, common sense problem
solver," he said. "The thing
about Carl Levin, is it's about
doing the job with integrity and
thoughtfulness. And I look for-
ward to following his footsteps
and doing the same thing."'
Daily Staff Reporter Gene-
vieve Hummer contributed to
this report.

p

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