Sunday, October 22, 2006

Major press endorsements for Granholm start to roll in

Last week the three right-wing papers in the state endorsed DeVos, and those endorsements conveniently showed up in a TV ad a few days later. Coincidence? Hard to believe.

Something tells me that Granholm is going to be able to produce a bigger list. This morning we hear from Detroit, Saginaw and Lansing.

Do press endorsements really mean all that much anymore in the face of 24/7 instant news? Probably not. They are pretty predictable- it's only when they go outside their usual editorial stance do they really garner notice.

But still, the following papers point out that DeVos has not produced his plans and has relied on "vague" and "fuzzy" ideas- and it's about time the press calls him out on it. I wonder why they waited until their endorsement.

Let's start with the big one- The Detroit Free Press-

"FREE PRESS EDITORIAL: Our choice: Granholm

Gov. JENNIFER GRANHOLM is the best candidate to lead the state through this difficult transition. The Detroit Free Press endorses Democrat Granholm for a second four-year term. She is a dynamic leader who is pushing Michigan in all the right directions against formidable economic and political forces.

Dick DeVos, her Republican opponent, has spent personal millions to wage a tireless campaign against the governor and in this, his first major race, established himself as a credible political figure. He has a number of good ideas (such as?), but also a lot of ambitious plans with vague financial details and a history that suggests he'd try to take Michigan hard to the right, further dividing a state that already has too many fractures for its own good.

The Lansing State Journal-
"Governor: Granholm's positive approach beats DeVos' vague plans"

Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her Republican challenger, businessman Dick DeVos, have built their campaigns around the central claim that they are best equipped to revive Michigan's economy. There are far more issues on the plate for the state's next chief executive, but jobs come before everything.

And, on point after point, it's Granholm with the better plan for Michigan's revival. We endorse Jennifer Granholm for a second term as Michigan's governor.


He backs a massive business tax cut via the elimination and only partial replacement of the Single Business Tax. He also wants to shed the personal property tax for businesses; again with some type of vague, partial replacement.

No one is thrilled by taxes. But DeVos, like his erstwhile GOP allies in the Legislature, can't show how Michigan would provide critical services without these taxes. And full repeal of the SBT and the personal property tax represents more than $3 billion for state, school and local government accounts.

All governments can run more efficiently. But taking billions out of public services isn't reforming government, it's deconstructing it.

LSJ gives us a very strong point to consider at the end, one that has been touched on briefly here and there, and that is the thought that the legislature will remain Republican due to gerrymandering. I hope they are wrong, but if they are right...

Voters should ask themselves: Do they want the executive and legislative branches in the hands of one party, or split between the two major parties?

Politically divided government might not be efficient, but it is an excellent way to temper partisan extremes. Michigan, as a state, is not politically radical. It has elected a mix of liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans and plenty of folks in between.

That's the point - it's been a mix, not a single vision, a single ideology.

Granholm's first term has been difficult. But her willingness to invest in Michigan, her belief that Michigan can excel, and her preference for compromise and moderation over uncertain alternatives make her the clear choice for governor.

The Saginaw News-

"Jennifer Granholm for governor"

We openly concede that our choice for governor in 2006 is a provincial embrace. All politics are local, as the political dictum goes, and more than ever Saginaw requires a leader in Lansing who understands the needs of one of the most economically challenged areas in the most economically depressed state.

So when it comes to deciding Tuesday, Nov. 7, between Republican Dick DeVos and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the choice for us is simple -- if not easy.

Gov. Granholm understands the Saginaw region's problems and has worked diligently with Saginaw Future Inc. and other economic development agencies to help address the region's needs. Her attention on the Interstate 675 downtown ramp, a pair of "Cool Cities" projects, Hemlock Semiconductor's expansion and a host of other smaller projects are evidence of her commitment.

DeVos' fuzzy stance on issues facing Saginaw and the Interstate 75 corridor makes it impossible for us to support the businessman in his bid for governor. He would eliminate Granholm's "Cool Cities" initiative, but he hasn't said how he would help Michigan's cities. When pressed by The Saginaw News Editorial Board to discuss how he could assist the region, his pat response was that he would be governor "for all of Michigan."

They go on to really rake DeVos over the coals for being out of touch with the Saginaw area, but they also wag their finger a few times at Granholm as they endorse her.

Michigan's challenge -- and Saginaw's challenge -- demands a long-term strategy that helps the state move from its century-old emphasis on the auto industry as an economic engine. That kind of change takes time, and Granholm has started Michigan down a more promising path.

That's not to say that Granholm hasn't made mistakes in her first term. She should have tempered her initial reaction to Delphi's announcement that it intended to close or sell U.S. plants, including some in mid-Michigan. Rather than criticize business and industry for positioning themselves to compete, the governor must continue to reach out and work with employers who want to create jobs in Michigan. She was slow to react to the global forces that created Michigan's economic fall.

That last bit of crticism is unfounded. The "global forces" can be traced all the way back to the 70's or earlier, and I'm not sure how she was supposed to "react" when she was busy fixing the budget. But, whatever-

In the end, however, we trust

JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM more to reach out to areas such as Saginaw as the state adjusts to new, painful economic realities. We endorse her for a second term.

These are the ones that are up so far- this early not all the papers have their editions online yet. If (when) I find more I will update this post.