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We’re Electing a Governor, but the Nov. 2 Election Has Other Important Races and a Crucial Ballot Question

October 28, 2010

(By David Palsrok, vice president government relations for the Small Business Association of Michigan. Originally published in the association’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine.)

We’ve seen a lot of attention on the race for Governor. However, the races for Attorney General and Secretary of State are extremely important to Michigan as well. Why? Here are three reasons that small business owners should pay attention to the candidates and cast a well thought-out vote:

1. The Attorney General is Michigan’s chief law enforcement executive and makes crucial decisions about consumer protection and the deployment of the state’s legal resources. (The Small Business Association of Michigan has endorsed Bill Schuette.)
2. The Secretary of State has important responsibilities for the administration of elections and election law.
3. Both offices can be steppingstones to the governor’s office, so choose wisely!

Congressional Races Important to Michigan

SBAM does not endorse in federal races, but you need to pay close attention to the candidates in your congressional district. Control of the U.S. House and Senate is up for grabs in this election (note: Michigan’s Sens. Levin and Stabenow are not up for re-election this year.) It is widely expected that the Democrats stand to lose seats in both chambers, potentially turning control of the House, and possibly the Senate, over to the Republicans.

The question in Michigan is which seats will be targeted by each respective party? Congressman Peters (D) and Congressman Schauer (D) both defeated sitting Republicans, so those seats will likely be high priority targets of the GOP. Also, the retirement of Congressman Stupak (D) leaves an opening for the GOP to target his seat that was previously held by a Republican.

SBAM Urges You to Vote “no” on Proposal 1 to Hold a Constitutional Convention

A broad coalition has come together to oppose Proposal 1 and urge Michigan voters to Vote NO. Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution is made up of SBAM and leading groups representing agriculture, education, faith, manufacturing, business – both large and small, transportation and infrastructure, real estate, and medicine. Coalition members may often disagree on matters of public policy, but they agree a Constitutional Convention would be a costly ($45 million), lengthy (two years or more) and dangerous process.

A constitutional convention will reopen every contentious issue either passed or rejected by voters over the past decades; issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gambling, tax limitations, school vouchers, stem cells, and the death penalty. It’s also virtually certain that a constitutional convention will be populated by delegates selected in low-turnout special elections dominated by extreme partisanship and special interests.

Michigan has many problems that need to be addressed, but none of these problems will be solved by an expensive and controversial Constitutional Convention.

Making Change in Michigan

Your vote counts. Don’t let Tuesday, November 2 be just another day. Take time to understand the candidates’ positions on Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan and other matters important to small businesses and cast your vote wisely. Making change in Michigan is on the line and your vote will directly contribute to revitalizing our promising state.

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