Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Elections are coming

26. October 2006 • Bruce Fields
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Thanks to the Ann Arbor District Library and others for pointing out some useful voting information:

  1. How do people feel about the governor’s race – Granholm versus DeVos?

    Who has made the best case for being governor?

    Who will you be voting for, and why?

       —David Cahill    Oct. 26 '06 - 04:33PM    #
  2. Another good voting link from the UM Library Documents Center.

       —Juliew    Oct. 26 '06 - 05:37PM    #
  3. I’m voting for the one that doesn’t support intelligent design wackos.

       —rich    Oct. 26 '06 - 07:02PM    #
  4. It would be nice if DeVos would outline some details of his proposed solutions…or even let us know what his policies would be!

    In my opinion he’s pretty much been a one-issue candidate (SBT), but his strategy has largely been to point out everything that’s wrong while offering very few practical solutions (other than talking about issues in very broad generalities).

    He hasn’t demonstrated that he has any substantial ability, experience, or vision to actually fix problems in the public sector.

    I don’t understand why people would vote for him…he doesn’t represent change of any sort.
    He really isn’t any different than the Republicans who have been controlling the MI legislature over the past decade…and we’ve all seen the results of their control of Michigan’s economy (not that the Democrats don’t have their share of blame in that).

    Once again I’ll be voting to keep a candidate out (DeVos in this case) instead of actually voting for someone.

       —kena    Oct. 26 '06 - 07:36PM    #
  5. A $5 million Israel Bond is held by the State of Michigan.

    During the last campaign, Governor-to-be Granholm had nothing to say about that issue.

    Does any candidate, from any party, statewide or local, have anything to say about it now, 4 years later?

       —$5 million Israel Bond is held by State of Michigan    Oct. 26 '06 - 09:31PM    #
  6. It’s nice that Michigan has such a diversified portfolio. Say YES! to Michigan!

       —paul    Oct. 27 '06 - 03:46AM    #
  7. only 5 million?
    what a cheap barmitzvah gift!

       —:-)    Oct. 27 '06 - 05:18PM    #
  8. What do people think about Proposal 5? I get the sense no one supports it, and maybe for good reason. Or not?

       —Just a homeowner    Oct. 27 '06 - 06:35PM    #
  9. Most of the money for Prop. 5 goes to teachers’ pensions rather than to the kids – that’s why I am not supporting it.

       —just me    Oct. 27 '06 - 07:12PM    #
  10. Because we all that “school” money should go straight to the kids. What’s this business with paying teachers and administrators and janitors and stuff? Just give ‘em an allowance and push ‘em out on the street!

       —Bruce Fields    Oct. 27 '06 - 07:36PM    #
  11. That’s what I heard. I supported it until I started to hear that none of the money would actually go to hiring more teachers or something.

       —Just a homeowner    Oct. 28 '06 - 01:20AM    #
  12. I’ll note that I’m not voting for it either.

    BUT! I think that this is weak reasoning here:

    Most of the money for Prop. 5 goes to teachers’ pensions rather than to the kids – that’s why I am not supporting it.

    If this is the case, there are two alternatives:

    1. Prop 5 passes, teachers’ pensions are paid.
    2. Prop 5 fails, schools across the state have to cut current teachers salaries, building improvements, books, and other “to the kids” spending in order to cover those costs.

    If that’s why you’re not supporting 5, then you’re kind of screwed either way.

    (Wait, there’s a third option: 3. School districts default – and get sued and striked by their teachers. Half of them win; the other half come off even worse than they would have if they’d ponied up.)

    My own reason for not supporting 5 is because this solution is too small for its problem. The issues of health care and retirement costs spiraling out of control are not a problem of just the schools, or just the auto unions, or just the small businesses, or just the farm families, or just anybody – this is a national issue affecting workers and families in all areas and industries.

    Sounds like something that needs to be addressed with more than just the band-aid of Prop 5 slapped over the schools’ problems for now.

       —Murph.    Oct. 28 '06 - 03:13AM    #
  13. Right. And I get the sense that all kinds of other public workers would get screwed because all the money would be earmarked for education. Does Michigan have community funds that comes from the state? All that stuff.

    I agree with you Murph. I think there’s something not quite right with how everything gets funded, but this seems like it’s not the right solution.

       —Just a homeowner    Oct. 28 '06 - 03:26AM    #
  14. Cities and townships get revenue sharing from the state – counties do not. However, you are right about other programs that might be cut by the state, especially the delivery of human services.

       —Leah    Oct. 28 '06 - 05:57PM    #
  15. The state revenue sharing actually comes in two components, statutory and constitutional. The constitutional chunk can’t be mucked with by the legislature. But the statutory amount has been slashed multiple times over the past several years so that money could be directed elsewhere to shore up the state budget. The last I read, that chunk is around $420 million dollars. If Prop 5 was passed, I would expect that $420 million to be one of the first areas targeted by state lawmakers. Locally, that would mean more cuts in services, higher local taxes to make up the difference, or both.

       —John Q .    Oct. 28 '06 - 07:40PM    #
  16. There are some things I really like in Prop 5, especially basing state money for schools on a 3-year enrollment average.

    I’m concerend, though, about shifting responsibility for pensions from districts to the state, it seems like it lets the districts off the hook a bit next time contract negotiations come up.

    And I do agree with Murph, this is part of a larger picture, which is actually why I’m considering voting for prop 5—to heighten the tension to better address these bigger issues.

    But then again, I’m not generally in favor of constitutional amendments to constrain the budgeting process.

    Ugh, I think these ballot initiatives are getting out of control. They’ve switched from a populist tool to circumvent political machines to being a tool of special interest groups to circumvent the legislature and of the parties to drive turnout on election day.

    I guess that’s an argument to vote “no” on everything.

       —Chuck    Oct. 29 '06 - 06:12AM    #
  17. I’ve gone back and forth on Prop 5 several times and probably won’t make up my mind until I’m in the voting booth.

    On the one hand, education is critical to Michigan’s future, and the state doesn’t have enough money to provide for everything that it is important to fund. So while all things the state does is important, some things are more important than others.

    On the other hand, I don’t favor “government by initiative”, and adopting this proposal would simply encourage more attempted earmarks.

    On the third hand, why should I trust a bunch of *#$%^ Republicans in the Legislature to set priorities?

    On the fourth hand, maybe the Dems will win both the State House and the State Senate on November 7.

    On the fifth hand, in your dreams… 8-)

       —David Cahill    Oct. 30 '06 - 03:55AM    #
  18. From a message to the University:

    “On the afternoon of October 30, 2006, the University’s faculty Senate Assembly will host two very important events in the Rackham Amphitheatre that we hope many of you will be able to attend. Both events are free and open to the public.

    The first event is President Mary Sue Coleman’s annual address to Senate Assembly on the state of the University beginning at 3:30 pm. After her prepared remarks she will answer questions from the audience.

    The second event is Senate Assembly’s Regent Candidates Forum featuring current candidates for this November’s election to the University’s Board of Regents that will begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. The Forum will provide members of the University community the opportunity to pose questions on important issues that affect the University community as well as to provide the candidates an opportunity to articulate their positions on those issues. Audience members will be able to submit questions for the candidates.

    Both of these events are in the Rackham Amphitheatre on the fourth floor of the Rackham Building, located at 915 East Washington on the central campus.”

       —Juliew    Oct. 30 '06 - 09:03PM    #
  19. See today’s ANN ARBOR NEWS; November 1, 2006, at:

    The Ann Arbor candidate for U.S. Congress champions “divesting from Israel”; and is against funding Israel’s “genocide against Arabs”...

    Her opponent, Congressman Dingell, boasts of moving $300 billion to Israel.

    In today’s “Ann Arbor News” (Nov. 1, 2006)—


    “Smith said she is an alternative to the longtime incumbent, pointing to a comment attributed to Dingell in which he said that more than $300 billion worth of American aid was moved to Israel during his 50 years on Congress.

    “Smith has championed divesting from Israel. ‘We shouldn’t be funding a genocide against Arabs,’ she said. ‘They can vote for someone else.’

    “Dingell responded in an e-mail that he wants to see the U.S. as an honest broker to all sides of the conflict, which can’t happen if people are pointing fingers…”


       —Ann Arbor candidate champions divestment from Israel.    Nov. 1 '06 - 11:13PM    #
  20. I’ve decided that I’m going to vote for Prop 5 after all. Reasons:

    1. This community is heavily dependent on educational funding to the U-M and EMU. The proposal would preserve that funding.

    2. The proposal’s requirements can be overridden by a 3/4 vote of the legislature. So if the folks in Lansing can get their bipartisan act to gether, Prop 5 won’t matter.

       —David Cahill    Nov. 2 '06 - 04:16AM    #
  21. OK!
    Glad to hear those reflections on Proposition 5.


    Who’d like to address the divestment issue?

    It really is an Ann Arbor issue now.

    Isn’t it?

       —Divestment an issue now.    Nov. 2 '06 - 04:22AM    #