Voter's Guide Provides Look at Major and Third Party Candidates Running for State and Federal Office Michigan

The League of Women Voters has put together a useful voter’s guide for the 2006 election that looks at a variety of state and federal candidates running for office this year.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan has put together a voting guide for the 2006 election and as the election gets closer, Media Mouse thought it would be pertinent to post locally relevant portions of it below. Unlike much of the election coverage in the corporate media, the voter guide includes candidates outside of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Governor – Four Year Term – Vote for One (1)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words, “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


How do you propose to bring additional revenue into the state of Michigan budget?


What new measures would you advocate to preserve Michigan’s natural resources, including the Great Lakes?


Beyond creating an attractive business climate, what specific proposal would you offer for increasing jobs in Michigan?

Dick DeVos, Republican

I was born and raised in Ada, Michigan. I graduated from Forest Hills Public Schools and received a Bachelor of Business Administration Northwood University. I led Amway/Alticor as president for nine years, and I am currently the president of The Windquest Group, a private investment company. I have been involved with many community revitalization projects in Grand Rapids through the Grand Action committee.

1. Making Michigan’s business climate attractive to job providers is vital to our state budget. As governor, I will create a pro-jobs tax structure that will end Michigan’s reputation as an unfriendly business climate and make Michigan more competitive with other states. To ensure that we can provide funding for important state services such as education, public safety, road projects and Medicaid, we must create in Michigan a climate that fosters job creation and economic growth.

2. Any conservation strategy for Michigan must start with the Great Lakes. It is absolutely essential that we keep our water clean, safe and plentiful. As governor, I will fight against polluters, guard against water diversions and work to stop dangerous invasive species. I also believe in the importance of practicing conservation for people, not from people. My administration will fight to ensure access to our natural resources and protect Michigan’s strong outdoor heritage.

3. In The Michigan TurnAround Plan (, I outline 134 specific steps that will bring jobs to Michigan. For example, we must make state government a friend of job makers by creating one-stop shopping for businesses. We must make sure job training results in a job. We must improve our education system to make sure every child has a chance. Finally, we must do more to sell Michigan-made products around the world resulting in more jobs.

Jennifer M. Granholm, Democrat

I previously served as federal prosecutor in Detroit, where I had a 98 percent conviction rate, and as Wayne County’s chief lawyer, where I reduced taxpayer funded lawsuit payouts by 87 percent. Elected Attorney General in 1998, I continued to protect consumers and Michigan’s families by cracking down on gas gougers and prosecuting nursing home employees who abused elders. My husband Daniel Mulhern and I have three children.

1. I balanced the state’s budget, despite inheriting $4 billion in deficits, without a general tax increase. I will not shift the tax burden from corporations to working families. I am bringing in additional revenue by going anywhere and doing anything to bring jobs to Michigan. I made government more efficient and improved our business climate. I have improved our quality of life, workforce, and infrastructure – the most important factors in business location decisions.

2. I am modernizing Michigan’s economy with pro-environment investments in alternative and renewable energy. My administration is drafting a statewide rule that will reduce harmful mercury emissions by 90%. I recently signed landmark laws to protect the Great Lakes from water diversion and from ships who dump toxic chemicals, and I will vigorously enforce these laws. I will continue to enforce steep penalties on polluters and fight to keep out-of-state waste from being dumped in Michigan.

3. My $6 billion Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow plan is the nation’s most aggressive economic plan. My $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund has already funded 61 startup projects, creating thousands of jobs in growing industries. Our stringent new high school curriculum and my proposed $4,000 scholarship for every child will give Michigan the world’s most qualified workforce. I am putting Michigan to work today by speeding up construction projects and training workers for existing openings.

Douglas Campbell, Green

A graduate of Ohio State University and a registered professional engineer in Michigan, I am currently employed as a white-collar autoworker and am a member of IFPTE local 2001. Like all Green Party candidates, I accept only individual contributions. No PAC, soft, corporate or other special-interest money and the expectation of payback it brings. Only by funding campaigns with clean money can elected officials remain loyal to The People, not corporate special interests.

1. I propose redirecting Michigan’s priorities away from current corrupt and unjustifiable practices such as corporate welfare and incarcerating people for simple possession, and back toward the fundamental business of the State. Ending the siege of Iraq will free up Michigan’s eleven-billion-dollar share of the cost. I also propose closing loopholes such as the Diesel fuel road tax subsidy, eliminating tax exemptions, revitalizing the estate tax and taxing money, not people.

2. Existing law is adequate if vigorously enforced. New measures are unnecessary and will be ineffective if inadequately enforced. We need more investigators, more field personnel and above all, whistleblower protection. The working people at facilities potentially threatening Michigan’s natural resources are best positioned to know what’s going wrong; we need to assure them they will not lose everything for speaking up and reporting wrongdoing. We need to permanently set aside wilderness areas.

3. “Creating an attractive business climate” is a thinly-veiled code phrase for corporate welfare: Giving away tax dollars to large corporations and transferring the tax liability to individuals. It has never increased the number of people employed and it never will. I will hire people directly, WPA-fashion, to do the State’s business. Reopen the Lafayette Clinic and the Recorder’s Court, clean up environmental disasters, build roads to a Michigan specification, operate public transit systems …

Bhagwan Dashairya, US Taxpayers

I have a BS degree in Mathematics from Allahabad University, BS in Mechanical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University, PhD in Engineering from Mississippi University and MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from Davenport University. I am President and CEO of Dashairya & Associates, a management consulting firm and Executive Director of the Council of Organizations of Asian Indians in Michigan. I have been married for 32 years and have 3 children who have attended U of M and MSU.

1. Bring good paying manufacturing jobs back to America by replacing the Federal Income Tax with revenue tariffs. Reduce government by privatizing services. Part-time pay for part time legislature. Every department will have an indexed budget relationship proportional to tax revenue creating a balanced budget forever. Eliminate all advertising and media expenditures by state government. Eliminate economic development grants.

2. The natural resources are our nation’s wealth and hence, must be preserved and protected physically and environmentally from foreign invaders, natural or manmade. We believe the natural resources should be used to benefit our people.

3. Bring good paying manufacturing jobs back to America by replacing federal income tax with revenue tariffs. Eliminate single business tax. Privatize government services. Eliminate all taxes for seniors. Privatize all education. Part-time pay for part-time legislature. Use U.S. Constitution as a guide to conduct our business with only one motto “Government of People, Government for People, and Government by People”. Indexed Budget.

Gregory Creswell, Libertarian

I was Born and raised in Detroit Michigan. I have been married for 24 years, and am a father of two. I graduated from Chadsey High School in 1975, and attended Wayne County Community College. I am a member of Brass Roots and a donor to numerous free-market and individual rights groups. I attend a Baptist church and have volunteered numerous times for certain causes. My family has supported charities for years.

1. The politicians do not need additional revenue; they need to stop wasting our money. Prisons should only be used to protect the public from dangerous criminals; everyone should be free to engage in any peaceful, honest activity. Libertarians advocate tearing down barriers to entrepreneurism, economic growth and privatized education. Instead of maintaining the welfare system, we should establish a dollar-for-dollar tax-cut for charitable donations.

2. Libertarians advocate privatization to preserve and protect all of Michigan’s natural resources, along with making all polluters (not other taxpayers) pay for clean-ups. The great lakes are threatened by the introduction of non-indigenous wildlife. Ships that have passed through international waters should be required to prove they have purged their ballast prior to being admitted to the Great Lakes system.

3. A free-market economy, not government planning, is the best way to create jobs, keep the cost of goods down, and provide a better standard of living for everybody. To that end, Libertarians support eliminating the single business tax and replacing it, not with new taxes, but by making necessary budget cuts. Libertarians oppose corporate welfare and burdensome regulations that keep small businesses from being competitive. We oppose all attempts to regulate and tax internet transactions.or township clerk.

Secretary of State – Four Year Term – Vote for One (1)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


What are the most important functions of the office of Secretary of State?


What would you do to ensure accessibility to the polls and fairness for all Michigan voters?


What measures do you support or oppose regarding campaign finance reform?

Terri Lynn Land, Republican

In 2002, Terri Lynn Land was elected to serve as Michigan’s 41st Secretary of State. Since then, she has worked to make services more efficient and user-friendly. From offering expanded hours to instituting cutting-edge technology in branch offices, the department is providing services faster and easier than ever. Also under Land’s leadership, Michigan’s elections are now unified by one optical scan system. Other accomplishments include introducing new voting equipment for disabled voters and consolidating elections.

1. The Michigan Department of State touches more lives than any department in state government. It is my goal to ensure that every transaction takes place as efficiently and as easily as possible. Whether renewing a driver license, registering to vote for the first time, or registering a new vehicle, my mission as Secretary of State is to ensure that Michigan’s citizens are receiving the world class customer service they demand – and deserve.

2. I am proud of the work we’ve done in elections since taking office. With the help of local clerks, we have successfully implemented new federal standards for administering elections. Today, every polling location in Michigan is unified under one optical scan system, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. Additionally, we recently introduced new equipment in every polling location designed to allow those with disabilities to vote private and independently for the first time in Michigan’s history.

3. The campaign finance process should be open and accountable. I propose sweeping to our current system, as I believe that contributions should be posted online before they are deposited or spent. I also advocate greater accountability, which can be achieved by granting audit authority and subpoena power to the Secretary of State. With real-time, on-line disclosure and greater accountability, voters will have more access to information. Visit for more information.

Carmella Sabaugh, Democrat

I am currently serving my fourth term as Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds. Our office has received several National Association of County Officials “Good Government Awards” for programs offering “outstanding service to taxpayers.” In 2006, I was honored in the U.S. Congressional record for “an innovative new partnership” to fight document fraud with the Social Security Administration. Previously, I served four years on the Warren City Council and eleven years as Warren City Clerk.

1. The Secretary of State are responsible for keeping records on vehicle ownership, driver’s licenses, business services, elections, notary and document certification and organ donations. All are important functions but elections stand out. The office must ensure fair election procedures and must encourage new voter registration and voter participation. Every elector must have a clear understanding of the function of voting machines and the issues on the ballot. Voter education must be a top priority.

2. The Secretary of State must ensure all voting equipment is working properly, especially the new “Automark” machines designed to assist disabled voters. If elected, I would serve as an impartial official, insist on election transparency, and provide voters with as much information as possible, including offering sample ballots at branch offices. I support same day voter registration and no reason absentee voting. I am opposed to requiring photo identification to vote.

3. I favor making public, candidates who do not file campaign reports on time. I initiated this policy in Macomb County as Clerk and it should be the policy of the Secretary of State. I also favor higher daily fines for candidates who are filing late reports. Candidates who do not file campaign finance reports must be prosecuted. The public has the right to information about campaign contributions and expenditures.

Lynn Meadows, Green

Lynn Meadows earned a B.A. and M.A, was a Manager and Independent Sales Representative who recently retired from the UM Hospital Gift Shop. She is an avid volunteer, is currently chair of the Tamarack Greens, co-secretary on the Steering Committee of Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and President of the Committee for Chelsea Parks. She was recently honored by the Gray Panthers as one of the top activists in Washtenaw County.

1. Administering elections may be the most critical part of the Secretary of State’s job at this time. The Help Americans Vote Act has introduced new voting machines that have caused some concern among voters about the authenticity of our voting process. Another important challenge is to provide efficient customer service for licensing and voter registration both online and at local SOS offices. Long lines and 2 hour waits are unacceptable.

2. Election day should be declared a Holiday, or be on a Saturday and/or Sunday. Another option is to make Absentee Ballots available to all voters or to “vote by mail” as is done in Oregon. Voter registration should be automatic on the 18th birthday of US born citizens on record with the SOS and for new citizens on the day they become naturalized.

3. The kind of public funding that has been instituted by Maine, Arizona and others would greatly improve our current system in Michigan where outrageous amounts of special-interest money are spent. Public office is intended to serve the people, not just big campaign contributors. Television and radio stations are to give “public service” in exchange for licensing. Each qualified candidate should be given an equal amount of air time and/or be provided opportunities for debates.

Attorney General – Four Year Term – Vote for One (1)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


What is the most important issue facing the Attorney General and how do you propose to deal with that issue?


What would you do to enforce current Michigan environmental laws?


If elected, what would be your priorities?

Mike Cox, Republican

Did not respond in time for publication.

Amos Williams, Democrat

Amos Williams went to work at Dodge Main in Hamtramck as a member of the UAW in 1965 after high school. Williams joined the Army, fought in Viet Nam where he was decorated for Valor and received a Bronze Star and Purple Hearts. In 1968, he joined the Detroit Police Department, rose to Sergeant then Lieutenant, and received a Department Citation for service. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1980 and WSU in 1982…

1. The most important issue in this election comes down to a basic choice: do we want to continue to employ an Attorney General who does the bidding of special interests, or do we want an Attorney General who will faithfully execute his oath of office: to protect and defend the People and Constitution of our great state. From insurance companies who overcharge and wrongfully deny claims to environmental scofflaws to gas gougers, this Attorney General…

2. People who pollute our water and air should be held responsible for their actions. The Attorney General has the authority to prosecute those who violate the law, including environmental violations. The current AG has ignored referrals from the Department of Environmental Quality. I will conduct thorough investigations and initiate prosecutions of polluters. I will not bow to special interests who seek to make a profit at the expense of the environment.

3. I will protect seniors from scam artists who prey on them. I will vigorously enforce consumer protection laws. I will establish a strong child protection unit to protect our children from internet predators. I will protect the reproductive rights of women.

Charles F. Conces, US Taxpayers

4 Years in US Air Force, Electronic Countermeasures, B.A. in Languages, Married 43 years, Chairman of Lawmen Public Interest Group, Give Lectures to various groups, Has taught many classes in Pro-se law, Done research on laws for the last 8 years.

1. Corruption in government is the single most important issue. The incumbents have felt safe enough from public scrutiny, to break the law and deceive the public that it has turned into a “good old boy” network of protecting them from prosecution. That is why there are over 1 million illegally filed notices of lien filed on our fellow citizens, and Mike Cox, the present A.G. refuses to even address the issue.

2. The environment is very important. Government is guilty of pollution, as well as some private citizens. I would also work to see that new technology is not blocked by private interests to get more M.P.G. fuel efficiency.

3. a) Order all illegally filed “notices of lien” that do not have a certification or a court order accompanying them, be removed. b) Review cases where citizen’s constitutional rights have been violated and take appropriate action. c) Embark on a public education program to inform citizens of their rights. d) Order that all Ordinances, that were not properly adopted, be rescinded. e) Have an “open door” policy.

Bill Hall, Libertarian

Attorney/partner in Warner Norcross & Judd, one of Michigan’s largest private law firms, specializing in real estate and election law. More than 25 years’ experience with Warner Norcross advising individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Managed my firm’s Real Estate Services Group for more than 10 years – approximately 40 attorneys/paralegals. Boy Scout leader more than 12 years. Honors graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and Wabash College. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

1. Attorney General Mike Cox’s term has been marked by scandal, impropriety and extreme partisanship. We need an Attorney General who is truly independent, not beholden to Republican or Democratic bosses or special interests, and will restore respect, integrity and a commitment to excellent service. One who will defend individuals and Small Business from Big Government, root out corruption and incompetence at all levels, and ensure politicians and bureaucrats follow the law and respect our rights.

2. Michigan governments at all levels own more land and control more of the Michigan economy than any other business. They don’t have the same incentive to preserve public resources against environmental damage that private owners have to preserve their own property. My first priority is to enforce environmental laws against government agencies. Second, I will prosecute polluters whose wrongdoing impacts many others, not private owners for minor impacts to wetlands on their own property.

3. First, being a watchdog against big government. Rooting out corruption and incompetence. Ensuring politicians and bureaucrats follow the law. Second, being a friend to Small Business. Working for, not against, a business climate that encourages job creation. Third, being family-friendly. Reforming the divorce/child support system. Ending Mike Cox’s crusade to jail parents who can’t pay child support. Fourth, defending medical freedom. Ending prosecutions of sick and dying cancer and AIDS patients for using medical marijuana.

United States Senator – Six Year Term – Vote for One (1)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words, “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


Are you concerned about the size of the federal deficit? Explain your answer.


What government measures would you propose to improve access to affordable health care?


The United States uses a great deal of fossil fuel for power generation and transportation. What measures would you support to tackle the ever increasing need for energy?

Michael Bouchard, Republican

From the many conversations I’ve had with Michigan citizens since entering the race for the U.S. Senate, one thing has become increasingly clear. We’re concerned that the American dream of a good job, affordable health care, secure retirement and most of all – a safe place to live – is less secure than it has been in the past. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because we owe it to our children and grandchildren to turn this around…

1. The government is running a deficit, not because it does not have enough revenue, but because it is spending too much. The level of federal spending has reached an absurdly high level and must be cut. I helped pass a balanced budget every year I was in the state legislature, and will do the same in the U.S. Senate. I also believe that every President should be granted line item veto authority to reduce spending…

2. The rising cost of health care has affected all Michigan businesses and our state is approaching crisis status. Yet universal healthcare is not the solution. I have yet to see an example where the government takes over a service from the private sector and delivers it more efficiently for less money. The government can help lower costs by passing medical malpractice reform, encouraging more consumer choice, and consumers to take greater responsibility for their health.

3. The energy problems we are facing are due, in large part, to Senate Democrats’ efforts to block the development of a comprehensive energy policy that encourages development of alternative energy sources. Energy independence is a homeland security issue, as we are currently dependent on volatile nations for many of our energy needs. By exploring and encouraging the development of new energy sources such as clean coal and ethanol through a comprehensive energy policy, we can…

Debbie Stabenow, Democrat

Senator Debbie Stabenow was born in Gladwin, Michigan and raised in Clare, she then attended Michigan State University. An acknowledged leader for many years, she has served in county government, the state legislature, the U.S. House and now as the first woman from Michigan ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Senator Stabenow’s home is in Lansing where she lives with her husband, Tom Athans. She has two grown children, Todd and Michelle, and one stepdaughter, Gina.

1. After the Clinton administration, we had the largest surplus in our history. Now, we face the largest deficit in our history. I opposed both the poorly planned economic policies and the war in Iraq that left us with this stunning deficit. We must return to sound economic policies that allow us to balance the budget while focusing on critical support for our troops and investments in education and innovation to grow the economy.

2. Skyrocketing health care costs are costing Michigan jobs and threatening Michigan families. I have authored real solutions to: a) Invest in new health technologies that experts say would reduce health care costs up to $300 billion while improving the quality of care. b) Reduce prescription drug prices by increasing competition, through greater access to generic drugs and safe re-importation from Canada. c) Help our automakers and manufacturers deal with huge “catastrophic” health care costs.

3. I fought for the Energy Act of 2005, which has jump-started the construction of ethanol and bio-diesel plants in Michigan, through tax incentives and a new renewable fuels standard. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, I helped author a new Energy Title to the Farm Bill that focuses on production of bio-fuels and creating new jobs in this emerging industry. I want Americans to buy fuel from “Middle America” instead of the Middle East.

David Sole, Green

Anti-war, anti-racist, union activist starting 1960’s. Ann Arbor SDS 1969-70. Venceremos Brigade to Cuba 1970. Arrested fighting KKK, 1972. Member UAW since 1971- co-chair Local 15’s Stop Plant Closings Committee. Marched for workers’, immigrants’, women’s, LGBT rights. Protested U.S. attacks on Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran. Defying sanctions, delivered antibiotics to Iraqi hospitals 1998. Opposes Israeli crimes against Lebanese, Palestinian people. Member MECAWI; IAC; Workers World Party; President UAW Local 2334.

1. End federal deficit by immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and ending U.S. wars and threats to keep economic control of the world for the profits of giant corporations. Take the hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending and use it for education, jobs, housing and healthcare. Tax corporate profits and the rich, cut taxes for working people, and eliminate interest payments to the banks on federal debt to fund human needs not war.

2. Slash the Pentagon and military budget, tax the corporations and rich, and eliminate interest payments to the banks on federal debt to pay for free national health care for all, including prescription drugs. Takeover the price gouging pharmaceutical industry and put it under public control. Guarantee reproductive rights including safe legal abortion for all women. Fund stem cell research. Eliminate role of greedy insurance companies in the healthcare system. Healthcare is a basic human right!

3. Dismantle the Pentagon war machine, the biggest guzzler of fossil fuels. Oil companies should use their record profits to roll back gas and fuel prices. No utility shut offs. Oil should belong to the people, not the corporations! For a massive jobs program to build fuel efficient mass transit systems in every city that lacks it. Make the corporations and Pentagon clean up and reverse the environmental destruction they have wreaked around the world.

W. Dennis FitzSimons, US Taxpayers

B.S. Electrical Engineering, Lawrence Technological University. Elected VP Freshman, President Sr/Jr. years. Member student council three years. Served on three Governor’s task force committees in Benton Harbor: Family/Parenting, Criminal Justice System, and Police/Community Relations. Spoke weekly to the city commissioners/Mayor four weeks before civil unrest and ten weeks after. Government’s a spiritual gift (1Corinthians 12:28 KJB.) Candidate for Congress 2004. Suggested the Brake Light in the Rear window 7/7/77. (PTL)

1. Eight trillion dollars of debt equals $100,000 for

each of 80 million workers. The other workers are too near minimum wage to pay the debt. Our constitution was written to eliminate flat paper money. Used God’s money of silver/gold. Today use our coins – eliminate paper. Twenty seven hundred years ago Isaiah spoke of the dump dogs that can’t bark in the KJB. Could that be our Federal Reserve System? Not Federal/No Reserve!

2. When the extended family was intact, Grandmother was the herbalist/primary care giver. Today the parents may have three children in three different states. Divide/Conquer. The physicians desk reference (PDR) is 75% about the side effects of drugs, while God’s healing herbs are safe and effective without dangerous side effects. We should immediately train up an army of naturopathy doctors using God’s natural remedies including Colloidal Sliver which cured my Lyme disease.

3. Thirty years ago the energy problem became apparent and government, industry and oil companies did little to solve the problem. Twenty years ago, I drove East on a four lane freeway and there was just as much traffic going West. If the rich lived with the poor they created, then our communities would be more _(?)_ and travel greatly reduced. True brotherhood in America would pay fair livable wages and employ all Citizens!

Leonard Schwartz, Libertarian

Retired professor of law & economics. Born 1945 and raised in Detroit. BA in history and philosophy, U. of Chicago. MA in economics, Johns Hopkins

U. JD, Wayne State U. Law School. See for more information.

1. I’m very concerned. Making future generations pay for excessive expenditures by this generation is immoral. To reduce the deficit, we should reduce expenditures, not increase taxes. Democratic & Republican politicians don’t respect you. They think they can spend your money and manage your life better than you can. Libertarians aren’t busybodies. Libertarians don’t want to spend your money or manage your life.

2. (1) End the prohibition of discounts to patients who pay doctors and hospitals directly, rather than use Medicare or insurance. (2) Reduce the cost of health care by ending the expensive war against herbal medicines. Because they can’t patent herbal medicines, drug companies make higher profits on synthetic drugs. The claim that synthetic drugs are safer than herbal medicines is ridiculous. The war is about money, not safety.

3. (1) Reduce the amount of fossil fuels used by government bureaucrats by reducing government expenditures. (2) End tariffs on imported ethanol (made mainly from sugar cane, which grows well in the tropics) and subsidies for domestic ethanol (made mainly from corn). Making ethanol from sugar cane, rather than corn, is more efficient and creates less pollution. We don’t need high taxes, subsidies and burdensome regulations to deal…

United States Representative 2 Year Term – Vote for One (1)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words, “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


Are you concerned about the size of the federal deficit? Explain your answer.


What government measures would you propose to improve access to affordable health care?


The United States uses a great deal of fossil fuel for power generation and transportation. What measures would you support to tackle the ever increasing need for energy?

3rd District

Vernon J. Ehlers, Republican

Ehlers was elected to Congress in December 1993. A former Physics Professor and research physicist, and active in community service, Ehlers served previously in the Michigan House and Senate. Ehlers serves on the Committee on House Administration as Chairman; the Science Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards; the Education and the Workforce Committee; the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.

1. Yes, I am extremely concerned about the federal deficit. It is unfair to burden our children and grandchildren with a huge national debt. We need to slow the growth of federal spending and reform our entitlement programs, many of which are outdated and inefficient. We have made very large commitments in Social Security and Medicare, and we must be mindful of these huge impending costs as we consider federal spending in the coming years. …

2. I have supported several bills to expand affordable health care. The Medicare Modernization Act provides prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare. Health Savings Accounts allow Americans to contribute to a tax-free account to pay for routine medical needs and to save, tax free, the unspent contributions. Community health centers provide primary health care for the poor without them having to go to the hospital emergency rooms for routine care. In addition, I have voted …

3. I have strongly supported the development of alternative and renewable energy resources, and I have promoted efforts to conserve energy, increase energy efficiency and improve fuel economy so that we can decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. This includes tax credits for electricity produced through wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas facilities and trash combustion facilities. I also support incentives for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle purchases and tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements. Nuclear…

James R. Rinck, Democrat

After graduating from Calvin College and Illinois Law School, I have been a practicing attorney since 1982. I am currently self-employed. I handle cases involving Social Security, workers compensation and personal injury. In 1993, I was elected to the Grand Rapids Public School Board, where I have served in numerous capacities. I am also a father of two sons and serve as Scoutmaster for their Boy Scout troop.

1. Our current Administration has created massive deficits, which would be compounded by my opponent’s efforts to repeal the Estate Tax, and eliminate billions from tax revenues for the sole benefit of millionaires. Our tax code currently works for corporations instead of everyday citizens. Let’s start on this problem by eliminating earmarks. Finally, a huge portion of the deficit is due to our misguided War in Iraq; let’s cut costs there.

2. Massachusetts’ plan will be in full effect as July 2007. Just as welfare reform was modeled after an individual state’s plan, we may follow Massachusetts’ model for health care reform. We must examine how its plan works and modify it for America. We simply cannot continue to have uninsured Americans. The humane and just response is to insure people up front and limit costs and suffering later.

3. I would support mass transit systems. We have existing rail systems that we should take advantage of, as they are more energy efficient. I also support the development of solar, wind and even safe nuclear energy. We need to place luxury taxes on those who insist on driving vehicles that get less than ten miles per gallon. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil should be a top priority.

Rodger Gurk, Green

Rodger Gurk, 58, married 22 years, 4 children, 2 grandchildren. Graduate of Aquinas College. Clinical Social Worker. Born in Niles, Mi. Last 20 years in Grand Rapids. Green Party Candidate for 3rd District Congress.

1. Yes I am concerned, since 1975 the debt has risen from $542 billion to $8 trillion. The money has to come from somewhere to pay this off. Most likely it will be from Social programs that serve the poor, who do not Vote.

2. Improve access to health care. I support Global Health Care, and will support any legislation already in place, and if elected I will write legislation to start the Global Health Care movement.

3. Energy. I support alternative energy sources that are eco friendly. I would like to see more wind energy, and ethanol as long as the farmers don’t grow so much corn they knock the market out from under themselves. We may have to look at different construction in housing, and public transport.

Jeff A. Steinport, Libertarian

Jeff Steinport is a regional technology director in Grand Rapids for Advantage Sales and Marketing, a nationwide food broker and marketing agency. Jeff has his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ferris State University. Jeff was a member of the Grand Rapids Board of Education from 2001 to 2004, and served as the board’s treasurer, as well as on several committees.

1. Yes. Every year, more debt is added to the burden of trillions of dollars that the American people are responsible for. Not only that, but unfunded future liabilities will cause the deficit and national debt to balloon into the tens of trillions of dollars if nothing is done to correct the situation. Our nation’s financial and economic health is at risk because of the reckless spending habits of the congress and president.

2. Health care must be subject to the same market forces that keep prices low for other essentials. We wouldn’t dream of having the government run farms, housing construction firms, or car manufacturers, but today the government’s regulation and isolation of health care from the market causes prices to be artificially high. Medical savings accounts must be expanded and Americans encouraged to be good consumers so that health care costs are scrutinized and competition is injected.

3. Market forces are very powerful in regulating the cost and consumption of commodity items, such as fossil fuels. As prices go up, the feasibility of alternate fuels and technologies increases. In addition, the profits that oil companies make during boom times finance the exploration and innovation required to explore other methods of crude oil extraction. I also support allowing more clean and safe oil drilling in America and in America’s ocean waters.

State Board of Education – Eight-Year Term – Vote for Two (2)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


What long term evaluation plans should be in place to assess the results arising from the implementation of the new high school graduation requirements?


What new role/roles do you think the state board should undertake or, on the other hand, eliminate from its portfolio?


What measures should be taken to encourage the development of qualified Mathematics and Science teachers and to encourage young students to enter these fields?

Tom McMillin, Republican

Tom McMillin is President of Prevail Academy Charter School Board in Mt. Clemens. Tom graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Economics. He is a CPA and CFO of a property management company. Tom is happily married to Dalila McMillin and he has a wonderful 17 year old daughter, Jessica McMillin. Tom is former Mayor of Auburn Hills and County Commissioner. He is a member of the Charles Wright Museum.

1. Great care must be taken whenever the State interferes with local control and mandates what local districts must teach. Assessing the “success” of the newly imposed high school graduation standards should be done, not only by measuring any increased success of college-bound students, but also by measuring the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of teachers and parents these new requirements have created.

2. Since parents and local teachers know what is best for their children/students, the authority of a state body, like the State Board of Education, should be limited. The State Board of Education should have the additional role of ensuring independent measurements of a district’s or school’s ability to advance below-grade level students to at or above grade level, as well as various parental satisfaction metrics. It should also ensure good parental choice in education.

3. Basic free market mechanisms should be allowed to take care of any lack of supply of specialized teachers. If a lack of supply of good Math and Science teachers exists, then the salary for those teachers should be allowed to increase, which would increase the interest of students to enter those fields. Additionally, some good teachers who are not specialized in these fields would naturally be interested in gaining that expertise for more pay.

Eileen Weiser, Republican

BA (MSU) & MM (U of M), piano performance. Held a variety of positions – from renovating a polluted scrapyard into a nonprofit center, to representing our country with my small son and husband, U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia (2001-2004). Served in many professional, philanthropic, civic and political roles that have provided knowledge and experience for this Board. Current Board member for The Nation’s Report Card (NAEP), working on national and state assessment.

1. Assessments are important long-range evaluation tools. Two exist: Michigan’s junior-year ACT and 12th grade NAEP, anticipated to evaluate preparedness for post-secondary education and employment without remediation. State law requires a subjective school evaluation – Education YES! – which now contains provisions for legislative oversight and intervention if needed. SBE will monitor implementation and results closely. Achieve, Inc. (Michigan’s HS reform advisor) works with many states, including Indiana, which is implementing a similar new curriculum successfully.

2. With limited staff, SBE concentrates on constitutional duties. One critical role is supervision of college and university teacher preparation programs. K-12 standards are increasingly rigorous. We must evaluate whether new teachers have matching content knowledge, and whether teaching methodologies prepare them for today’s students. Half of the best new teachers leave teaching within five years; we have to start this evaluation quickly. We must also finish both science and social studies content expectations.

3. Higher K-12 rigor should help more students earn college mathematics or science degrees. Students taking Algebra 1 in 8th grade can take enough high school mathematics for college entrance without remediation, which nearly halves graduation rates. We must improve transition for math and science professionals wanting to become teachers. Michigan should consider incentives for underserved subjects or teacher scarcity areas such as college loan forgiveness, merit pay and bonuses that work well in other states.

Reginald Turner, Democrat

State Board of Education Member Reginald Turner is an executive committee member in the Clark Hill law firm. He previously served on the Detroit Board of Education. Turner has volunteered in Michigan schools for many years. For ten years Turner and Dennis Archer Co-Chaired the Medical-Educational-Legal-Law Enforcement Program, an anti-drug and violence-prevention initiative, reaching over 5,000 children each year. Turner is a leader in many civic organizations, including the United Way.

1. We should assess the results of our more rigorous graduation requirements by tracking Michigan Merit Examination results, by measuring the nature and quality of achievement of students in post-secondary work, and by correlating such data regarding individuals, local school districts, intermediate districts and statewide, for purposes of support and accountability.

2. The State Board should play a greater role in partnership with intermediate school districts to drive constructive changes in the way we deliver services. We should hold ourselves accountable for ensuring that all of our children have opportunities to reach their potential. We should also develop mechanisms to provide more support and oversight to children in diverse educational environments, and particularly in our schools that have achievement challenges.

3. We can increase the development of highly qualified math and science teachers through rigorous K-12 curriculum standards and improved career counseling at K-12 and post-secondary levels to encourage promising students to consider teaching math and science. We also need better coordination with teacher preparation institutions on curriculum, and more financial incentives such as college and graduate school scholarships and loan forgiveness programs.

Casandra E. Ulbrich, Democrat

Casandra Ulbrich is a Senior Director of Development at WSU and a small business owner. She serves on the Boards for the U-M Club of Greater Detroit & Walter Reuther Library. Casandra is the Past President of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Michigan. Casandra earned an AA from St. Clair County CC, a BA from the U-M (Ann Arbor), and a MA from WSU. She is currently completing a PhD, also from WSU.

1. The Michigan Merit Curriculum is designed to ensure that students have the skills necessary to compete in the global economy. As such, benchmarks should be developed. Long-term evaluation plans should include quantifiable data related to the number of students who enter some form of post-secondary education, as well as college completion rates. In addition, the Michigan Merit Exam should provide data on high school achievement in critical areas.

2. It’s essential that the State Board of Education continue to place a high emphasis on preparing students for post secondary education. The Board must continue to outline high standards for all Michigan students. In addition, studies have shown that parental involvement is directly related to student achievement and school improvement. The State Board of Education should lead and support efforts to increase parental and community involvement in local schools, and create partnerships with stakeholders.

3. We need to look at best practices. For example, allow college students majoring in math and science to intern at local schools during their freshman or sophomore years, to experience a career in education. In addition, encourage those in the twilight of their professional careers, or seeking a second career, to consider the educational field. Teachers should be given the tools necessary to engage students through innovative methods.

Kevin A. Carey, Green

I am a graduate of Wayne State University, with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Member of Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice and Workers World Party. Former substitute teacher with Detroit Board of Education and Detroit Federation of Teachers. Active in civil rights, anti-war and union work for 30 years.

1. The State of Michigan should eliminate MEAP testing for students. Create much smaller class sizes and give time to teachers to give personal attention to the progress of all students. Develop the abilities of all students.

2. Immediate end to unequal funding for school districts throughout Michigan by bringing all districts up to the highest level in the state. Special funds for poorest urban and rural school districts that have

special burdens. Require preschool programs and after school programs in every school district. Give students art, music and sports programs for all around development.

3. Increase pay for all public school teachers to attract and keep the most qualified personnel. Demand money from the military budget that is draining away from Michigan be used to improve school buildings, provide computers, books and supplies. Special scholarships to math and science students.

Jacob Woods, Green

Did not respond in time for publication.

George A. Emerson, US Taxpayers

Did not respond in time for publication.

Gail M. Graeser, US Taxpayers

Declined to participate.

Erwin J. Haas, Libertarian

Born in Buffalo NY, 1942, Michigan Resident since 1972. US Army, flight surgeon in Vietnam and Fort Dix, NJ. BA Canisius College, Bio-chem, minors in Philosophy and Classical languages. MD, State University of Buffalo, MBA, GVSU. Practiced medicine as an Infectious Diseases Consultant in Grand Rapids. Married to K. Kitzsteiner MD. 3 Kids, all graduated from City High in Grand Rapids, all successful graduates of various colleges.

1. The State of Michigan’s board of education must assure the tax payers that their dollars are spent giving graduates tools to advance their own educations. Graduates must have excellent skills of reading, writing and facility in doing simple mathematics. The student can use these skills to learn anything that they need to pursue their own happiness, be it founding a business, becoming a scholar, or achieving religious ecstasy.

2. The state has no role in uncalculating good citizenship, moral or other religious values, or in crime prevention, or racial integration, or in preparation for a careers, or as day care centers for kids while the parents work, etc. These current, rather muddled goals of the public schools are either chimerical, or too subject to ideology to be invoked in justifying public expenditures.

3. I would encourage unrestricted charter schools, and a voucher system that would follow the student, even paying for home schooling. This would allow the kind of highly individualized learning that a liberal society will need in a post industrial, multicultural and global economy. Students will gravitate to areas like science if there be a market for those skills. Please visit my website. for further details.

Ernest A. Whiteside, Libertarian

Did not respond in time for publication.

Debra Hayden, Natural Law

Did not respond in time for publication.

University of Michigan Regents – Eight-Year Term – Vote for Two (2)

Candidates were asked to summarize their backgrounds in 75 words and were allotted 75 words to answer each question. If the candidate did not reply by the required date for publication, the words “Did not respond in time for publication” appear under the candidate’s name.


What role should this university play in the economic development of the state of Michigan?


What is the most important issue facing this public university today and what is your position on that issue?


Given the current economic climate, what measures will you support to maintain the quality of this university’s education?

David Brandon, Republican

1999 – present: Chairman, CEO Domino’s Pizza, recognized world leader in pizza delivery. 1979 – 1999: Chairman, President and CEO of Valassis. Under his stewardship, Valassis recognized as “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” 1974 – 1979: Graduates from the School of Education at UM, joins Procter & Gamble Company. Native of South Lyon, MI; recruited by Coach Bo Schembechler; full football scholarship to UM. 1998: Elected to the UM Board of Regents.

1. Technology transfer is a very important way to leverage the strengths of the university to meet the needs of our state. The university is a significant source of human resource capital, product innovations, and breakthroughs in research and development that benefit the State of Michigan today and for years to come.

2. Combined answer for 2-3: Our most important issue is how we can effectively invest in the quality of the education experience while dealing with the significant budget pressures impacting higher education today. Rapidly inflating faculty salaries and operating expenses, exacerbated by continuing reductions in state funding put significant pressure on financial management of the university. The university’s resourcefulness in successfully completing capital campaigns, securing funding through research and grant proposals, and prudently managing expenses

3. while continuing to fulfill the institution’s educational mission, without diminishing quality, will be critical to our future. We need to do a better job of convincing state legislators of the importance of the university’s operating role the university plays in state and the significant, quantifiable return the state receives for every dollar it invests in higher education. At the same time, securing more resources through fundraising and cost management is also critical to the equation.

Susan Brown, Republican

U of M graduate, 1963 (BA). Served on the U of M President’s Advisory Board; Serving currently on the Boards of the U of M Museum of Art and Ford School of Public Policy. Lifetime member of the Alumni Association. Served as Trustee of Kalamazoo College; founder and President of the Kalamazoo Historic Conservancy for the Preservation of Art; member of the Kalamazoo College Women’s Council, Junior League, First Presbyterian Church; owns interior design company.

1. A positive future for U of M depends upon developing a knowledge-based economy. U of M is the engine behind the states economy and has the ability to become a leader in technology transfer; the spinning off university sponsored research into viable businesses which create jobs. Today U of M is a $4.8 billion enterprise and the 3rd largest employer in the state with 40,000 people on its payroll. Its success and viability is crucial to…

2. The most important issues facing U of M are financial: rising costs, tuition and state support. U of M must hold the line on tuition by better management of finances. U of M cannot rely on the fluctuation of the state support. If the huge increases in tuition (30 – 40% over the last 5 years) continue, U of M might effectively price out the very students it is trying to attract. A Regent represents the taxpayers…

3. In order to maintain the quality of U of M’s education they must look for alternative sources of revenue. Along with the successful transfer of technology in which the University can claim an ownership interest, the partnerships and programming at the satellite campuses, renewing and solidifying relationships with alumni and supporters and proper stewardship from the board, U of M has a bright future.

Julia Donovan Darlow, Democrat

Actively involved in social, economic and educational issues as a lawyer and community leader for 35 years, I practiced international business law in Detroit until 2004 and now represent nonprofit organizations. Offices have included President, Michigan State Bar (first woman); Chair, Michigan Supreme Court Gender Bias Task Force; State Officers’ Compensation Commissioner; Trustee, Marygrove College; Executive Committee, Detroit Medical Center; Chair, Hutzel Women’s Hospital; and founding Trustee, Michigan Women’s Foundation. (BA, Vassar College; JD, WSU)

1. The University should play a vigorous economic development role: to pursue needed research in economically relevant fields such as life sciences; to expand its technology transfer to the business and nonprofit sectors; to increase its interaction with leaders in business and industry; and, together with other public universities, to implement the Cherry Commission recommendations. It should prepare students for entrepreneurial roles, for success in a knowledge-based economy and for team-based problem solving.

2. The most important issue is accessibility to the University for students regardless of economic status and background. Accessibility includes affirmative action and affordability. I strongly support affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity and diversity and oppose Proposal 2. I believe urgent attention must be given to lowering the costs of education for lower and middle income students through tuition controls and financial aid.

3. The extraordinary quality of the University’s education must rest on a solid financial foundation. I will support its capital campaign and other fundraising programs, technology transfer programs and other potential new revenue sources and its vital health care system, which has a positive operating margin. I will demand intense, continuing scrutiny of administrative and operating costs. The top priorities must remain the education of students and the preservation of academic excellence.

Kathy White, Democrat

Education: Princeton University, BSE, Electrical Engineering; University of Washington School of Law, JD; George Washington University Law School, LLM; Ann Arbor Public Schools. Work: Law Professor, WSU; registered patent attorney; White House Fellow, Fulbright Senior Scholar-Germany; Vice President Fulbright Association, Judicial Law Clerk, Randall Rader, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit; Intellectual Property Counsel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Captain, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), active duty; Major(P) JAG, reservist; UM Regent.

1. As Michigan transforms from a traditional manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy, the University of Michigan must be a leader in the state’s economic development. Because the level of knowledge and skill required to compete globally is increasing, higher education is central to this transformation. Higher education must become more flexible to address the changing demands of the global economy, as well as increasing the engagement in public/private partnerships to further its goals.

2. Because of the increased costs of higher education, the most important issue facing the University of Michigan is accessibility. As the relative amount of state funding declines, it is imperative that the University of Michigan increase financial aid commensurate with any tuition increases for in-state residents. For students who cannot afford four-years of University of Michigan tuition, transfer opportunities should be increased. Investing in greater outreach to community colleges should be a central priority.

3. In times of limited state funding, it is paramount that the high quality of education at the University of Michigan is maintained and enhanced. The university must build bridges between education, science, industry and government to create the synergy needed to sustain and improve the quality of higher education. The University of Michigan is well positioned to translate knowledge to solve problems of general public interest so that many societal needs can be met.

Edward Morin, Green

Teacher, writer, and 40-year Michigan resident, Edward Morin has a B.A from Maryknoll College, an M.A. from U. of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Loyola University, (Chicago). He taught 30 years in 3 colleges and 5 universities, including the University of Michigan. He also worked 19 years as, research, contract proposal, and technical writer and as executive writer at Blue Cross of Michigan, General Motors, and Unisys. He is married and has 4 grown children.

1. By teaching students how to think, the U of M strengthens their job performance and mobility. World class instruction and exposure to state-of-the-art technologies prepare them for a changing world. University research attracts government and corporate funding, which encourages job growth and start-up companies. Cultural benefits of vibrant University communities make them attractive places to live in or visit. Links to scholarship and research throughout the U.S. and the world make Michigan a cosmopolitan place.

2. Students from families without high income and substantial health insurance find campus life more difficult than those with these advantages. UM must extend efforts to foster a “student friendly” environment beyond staff administered seminars and building programs. To restructure campus culture, enlist faculty involvement in remediation. Require sensitivity training of students. Increase counseling opportunities through Student Health Service. End early admission procedures, which favor applicants from affluent families and prestige prep schools.

3. 1) Increase faculty participation in governance. For example, enfranchise the untenured health care clinicians connected to the Medical School by allowing them into the Faculty Senate. 2) Improve fiscal transparency through a legally mandated and overdue (by 22 years) State Audit of research and academic performance. 3) Review support that the University gives to advanced weapons and surveillance technology through its research and investments.

Karen Adams, US Taxpayers

Did not respond in time for publication.

James Lewis Hudler, Libertarian

Born in Jackson, Michigan in 1952. A.S. degree received from Jackson Community College in 1972. BS from U of M received in 1974. I completed graduate school work at U

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