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August 05, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-08-05

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 5, 2002
letters@michigandaily.com Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
STUDENTS AT THE Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN the majority of the Daily's editoral board. All other pieces do not
SINCE 1890 necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
emocratic voters m the 18th District pri- legacy of Engler's conservative social policies.
mary for state Senate have experienced B a e s b t e Democratic voters of the 18th District are fortu-
candidates to choose between. Both nate to have two such candidates. Liz Brater
candidates, former state Rep. Liz Brater (D- Former Ann Arbor mayor would be a strong senator and John Hansen have both served their con-
Ann Arbor) and state Rep. John Hansen (D- stituents well in the past and would continue to
Dexter) are accomplished legislators with pro- do so if elected. The main factor that separates
gressive platforms that would serve Ann Arbor . mental protection and fighting urban sprawl. rights, consumer protection and affordable the two is Brater's local experience and diverse
and the University well in Lansing. They are She is on leave from her job as land-use direc- housing. She has a long record of community array of experiences.
running a clean and principled grass-roots cam- tor of Ann Arbor's Ecology Center in order to service and has proven herself a capable leader.
paign. Both are staunch defenders of higher run for the Senate. The 18th District includes John Hansen is running on a similar plat- The Michigan Daily endorses Liz
education, the environment and worker rights. two cities - Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti - that form that would benefit students, the environ- Brater as the Democratic nominee for the
Although they have few ideological differences, are increasingly threatened by the urbansprawl ment and seniors. He has served in the House 18th District's state Senator.
Liz Brater, is the more dynamic of the pair and of Metro Detroit and face sustainability issues. for two terms and is the minority vice chair of
she possesses a wider breadth of experience. Both cities require revitalization of older dis- the House Education Committee. If elected, In addition to these candidates, The
Brater served as an Ann Arbor City Council tricts and special attention to polluted areas. Hansen would be well placed to push his pro- Michigan Daily has also endorsed:
member and as the city's mayor. She also served Brater's experience in the field would make her education agenda. His defense of the environ-
the Ann Arbor area as a state representative for an effective legislator in this area. ment, health care and civil liberties has been * Lynn Rivers as the Democratic
three terms. With her experience in local and Brater is also a strong proponent of compre- admirable. Hansen, however, has often limited nominee for U.S. representative
state government, Brater would be an effective hensive health care and mental health. Her himself to his main cause, education, and does
advocate for the interests of the 18th District. tenure as vice chair of the House Mental Health not possess the diverse background of govern- * Jennifer Granholm as the
She would fight to keep tuition costs down and Committee gives her the necessary background ment experience that has marked Brater's career Democratic gubernatorial nominee
to secure additional state funding for higher and knowledge of mental health issues to fight in politics.
education. to reverse Republican Gov. Engler's irresponsi- At this juncture in Michigan history, it is John "Joe" Schwarz as the
A former Sierra Club Environmentalist of ble mental health policies. important that Michigan's voters choose solid, Republican gubernatorial n
the Year, Brater has been committed to environ- Brater is also an ardent advocate for worker progressive Democrats to help turn back the

Byrnes is superior
Road commissioner is best choice for state House
D avid Nacht, a Scio Township of EMILY's List. She is also an
attorney, and Washtenaw County unapologetic supporter of unions and as
Road Commissioner Pam a result has earned both the endorse-
Byrnes have both pledged to make edu- ments of the the AFL-CIO and the
cation a centerpiece of their terms in United Auto Workers. Byrne's familiar-
Lansing, if they are elected to the state ity with the intricacies of the district
House. The two candidates are eager to and her experience in local government
arrive in Lansing and believe that they make her the strongest candidate*to rep-
are uniquely qualified to represent the resent the district in Lansing.
district's interests in the state On the Republican side of the ballot,
Legislature. While both candidates have two-term state Rep. Gene DeRosset of
clearly illustrated their support for edu- Saline is pitted against Ingrid Caroline
cation and other aspects of a Depp, a local farmer.
progressive agenda, such as With rapid growth DeRosset has access to sig-
prescription drug benefits for throughout the nificant campaign contribu-
the elderly, these similarities district, planning tions and is the heavy favorite
should not obscure the crucial issues will be to win the primary against
differences between these two of central Depp. Both candidates
candidates. importance believe that the district must
Byrnes has recognized that for the future of prevent urban sprawl and
legislators cannot idly watch the region. maintain the district's high
the state's financial situation quality of life standards. With
escalate into a full-blown crisis. She is rapid growth throughout the district,
open to reversing the state's tax cuts in planning issues will be of central impor-
order to provide needed funding for the tance for the future of the region. It is a
state's coffers. Nacht, on the other hand, positive sign that both the Democratic
has committed himself to supporting the and Republican primary candidates have
states' tax cuts, despite the fiscal tur- recognized the need to balance growth
moil that has disrupted state projects and sprawl in the district.
and put the health of the state's econo- However, neither of the Republican
my in jeopardy. Nacht has also argued candidates for the state House has
that the state's single business tax renounced the Republican Party's exclu-
should be repealed. In these lean times, sionary social conservatism. They both
this tax revenue is important to fund fail to offer adequate challenges to the
government projects and ensure the wel- Republican status quo.
fare of Michigan's citizens. Byrnes
staunchly opposes any repeal of the sin- The Michigan Daily endorses Pam
gle business tax under the current eco- Byrnes as the Democratic nominee for the
nomic climate. 52nd District's representative in the state
Other positive attributes of Byrnes House and refrains from endorsing a candi-
include her strong pro-choice beliefs, date for the Republican nomination for the
which have earned her the endorsement 52nd District.

Pondering the proposals
Voters should support Michigan's ballot initiatives

A fter contemplating the numerous salary raises and that needs to change
heated races in the August pri- immediately. With the state mired in fis-
maries, Michigan voters must cal crisis, their must be a higher standard
also decide the fate of two more impor- for future salary increases.
tant issues: A reform to the method by One of the numerous issues involved
which pay raises for state officials are in Proposal 02-02 is the ability of the
approved and new mobility in investing Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
for state endowments. These issues are State Park Endowment Fund and the
not controversial, in fact they are some Veterans Trust Fund to invest their assets
of the few issues that political candidates in stocks. While the current instability
across the state have been able to agree and bearish outlook in the markets may
upon. Although the text of the make some voters wary of this
proposals is somewhat confus- Although the text proposal, in the long run the
ing and opaque, voters should of the proposals ability to invest in stocks
recognize that these are impor- is somewhat could provide needed funding
tant initiatives that all confusing and to the MNRTF. With millions
Michiganders should support opaque, voters of dollars in assets, the
when they travel to the polls should recognie MNRTF can create a diverse
tomorrow. that there are portfolio of investments that
Proposal 02-01 addresses important will not be overtly susceptible
some of the problems that have initiatives that all to volatility in specific sectors
been created by the pay raise Michiganders of the market. Another impor-
system for the state's elected should support. tant aspect of this proposal is
officials. Currently, any salary that if passed, the MNRTF will
raises are determined by the State have the authority to expand its asset cap
Officers Compensation Commission and from $400 million to $500 million. If
the figures that the SOCC proposes to passed, the MNRTF would have addi-
the state Legislature are accepted unless tional funding capacity to implement
the state House and Senate reject them environmental projects across the state.
with a two-thirds majority. Proposal 02- These reforms will only improve the
01 would amend this policy so that the operations of the MNRTF in their quest4
SOCC's increases would only be imple- to preserve Michigan's environment.
mented if the majority of legislators These proposals will not increase
voted for the SOCC's numbers. This is a taxes and they will both eliminate sig-
subtle, yet significant improvement over nificant problems in the state's bureau-
the current system. While the state sena- cracy. Although these proposals appear
tors and representatives would still have dry and uninteresting, they will effect
the authority to decide upon their own the intricacies of state government in
salaries, under the proposed system, pronounced ways.
unnecessary compensation increases
would be more difficult to pass. Right The Michigan Daily supports both
now, the deck is stacked in favor of ballot Proposals 02-01 and 02-02.

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