Election 2012: Michigan Edition

did you?In just a few short hours, Michigan residents (hopefully including our readers) will head to the polls.

We at Absolute Michigan have a straightforward and simple endorsement in 2012 – that you get out and vote. Michigan needs active & engaged citizens and you can be one of them.

Beyond the Presidential contest and the US Senate race, there are a whopping 6 statewide ballot proposals a lot of regional & local issues and candidates.

A great place to find out what you’ll be voting on is at publius.org, a Michigan-produced website that will show you your actual ballot.


November 2011 Michigan Event Calendar

November by Karen from Michigan

Here’s a bunch Michigan festivals & events for the month of November. As usual, there’s no way to get them all, so please add links and information about the one’s we’ve missed (or reviews of ones we have here) in the comments below.

Michigan Election Resources & the 2010 Election

Voting is Patriotic (Michigan)In one week Michigan goes to the polls to elect a governor and other officials. We’ve stuffed the ballot box with information and links to help you make your decisions. One decision that should be easy to make is to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 2nd!

Sometimes you have to lead trump, and the best site for Michigan election information is publius.org. The site is fantastic resource. If you go there and enter your name as it appears on your voter registration,   you can see your actual ballot! Ballots have links to the candidate’s web site, information about the ballot measures, the salary the candidates will receive if elected and their campaign finance reports! You can even see the location of your polling place and even what machine you’ll be voting on and how it works.

The Secretary of State’s Election page has a lot of information as well including lobbyist disclosures. Another resource to track the influence of lobbyists and campaign contributions is the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN). You can get the details on candidate and party spending from MCFN, and their overview notes:

Competition for control of the Michigan House of Representatives is nearly dead-even in campaign finance terms. However, in the contest for control of the Michigan Senate, Republicans have raised twice as much money as Democrats, they’ve already spent 60 percent more money than Democrats, they have twice as much cash on hand as Democrats, and party support favors Republicans by a wide margin.

…The RGA Michigan PAC, a creation of the Republican Governors Association, has given the Michigan Republican Party $4,036,000 since August 31st, which has, in turn, been spent as independent expenditures supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats. The Michigan RGA PAC has taken in $8.4 million this year, a record for a Michigan PAC, and it reports a cash balance of $1.3 million. The political parties are not required to file any form of balance sheet, so it is impossible to determine what sort of cash reserves the MRP has.

The Center for Michigan has been delivering excellent coverage of Election 2010 including their guide to the race to become Michigan’s Governor. You can watch the only debate between Democratic candidate Virg Bernaro and Republican candidate Rick Snyder there or at MIvote.org. Billed as your video guide to the election, MIVote brings solid information to the table about the issues and they also offer a chance for ordinary folks to upload their video thoughts on the election.

mLive’s Politics & Elections section is a solid resource and the Freep and Detroit News have their sections as well. You will also want to tune into Michigan Radio’s 2010 Election coverage for stories and a look at Proposal 1 asking if the Michigan Constitution should be revamped. Proponents cite our restrictive term limits, tax structure, school funding and the large number of units of local government. Those opposed list re-opening issues already decided by voters, the cost of a constitutional convention and the uncertain climate that such a convention would create for schools and job providers.

The blogs tend to be more partisan, but they also tend to provide livelier reading. On the left side of the aisle, there’s MichiganLiberal.com, Blogging for Michigan and the Michigan Senate Democrats blog. On the right, the Michigan Republican Party blog, Right Michigan and Republican Michigander. Somewhere in the middle is my personal favorite, Jack Lessenberry.

We’ll close with the recent Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Michigan’s Economic and Environmental Future with Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder presented by the Michigan LCV Education Fund, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Radio and ConservAmerica. It’s about 1/2 hour and well worth your time. If there’s anything we missed or something you have to say about the 2010 elections, post them in the comments!

Post-election withdrawal Wednesday

Voting is a family affair by Eye See 360
Voting is a family affair by Eye See 360

Election 2008 is more or less in the books and while we don’t have complete results, we can hit the high points before politics slides off the front page and those elected get down to the very difficult challenges that await them.

CNN reports that Michigan went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama (57% – 41%). They have a nice map of the nation’s results as well. The Freep notes that despite historically long lines, weather and general good cheer seemed to carry the day. In other national races, incumbents in Michigan generally carried the day from Sen. Carl Levin (D) on down. Two exceptions were Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters wresting control from Republican incumbents.

The two ballot proposals also carried the day, with Proposal 1 (medical marijuana) passing by a wide margin and Proposal 2 (stem cell research) passing 53%-48%:

“This is a great night for the state of Michigan,” said Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology and a vocal supporter of the proposal… “I can tell you this: We’ll be meeting within the next week … to expand our embryonic research program. We expect in the short-term millions of new dollars of grants to come from the federal government and private foundations to support the expanded research.”

The Detroit News has a complete list of state results. One notable change was the first ever defeat of an incumbent Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as Diane Hathaway unseated Chief Justice Clifford Taylor.

Thoughts? Comments? Cool blog posts, photos or videos? Share them below!

The Week for November 3-9

Autumn Leaves by cedarkayak
Autumn Leaves by cedarkayak

Welcome to ‘The Week‘ for November 3-9. This is where we will be posting comments such as news items, interesting blog posts, cool video and media, coming events, new web sites added to Absolute Michigan and other items of note.

We invite you to do the same!

Tomorrow, November 4th, is election day and we encourage everyone able to vote to get out and exercise your right to do so. Last week we published Electionpalooza Tuesday: The 2008 Election in Michigan and invite you to revisit this post and get informed about the issues and the candidates.

The weather this week looks great with temps in most areas of the state expected to reach into the 60′s making it a great time to get outside and enjoy autumn. Looking at this week’s events we see that the C.S.Lewis Festival in Petoskey runs from November 3 – 25. It is a four weekend festival celebrating the life and work of C. S. Lewis through collaborations by the arts, education, and faith communities. The Kalamazoo Russian Festival happens on November 6 – 8. Celebrate the partnership between Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pushkin, Russia at this years Kalamazoo Russian Festival; a unique Russian cultural event in the Midwest.

Although not happening this week we feel we should give advance notice of the Annual Fitzgerald Memorial Service in Paradise on November 10.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum will present the 13th annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service at 7 pm on Monday, November 10, 2008, at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point, Michigan. The public is invited to attend. The service includes reflections, music, and the Call to the Last Watch Ceremony in which the ship’s bell is run 29 times for each crewman who went down with this famous vessel – plus a 30th ring for all who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes.

Are we there yet Monday?

expressionism by powerbooktrance
expressionism by powerbooktrance

If you’re anything like me, you’re more than ready for tomorrow and an end to the arduous Election 2008 cycle. Here’s a few things that can help you pass the time.

mLive notes that a record number of voters (over 5 million) are expected to vote tomorrow in Michigan. That number would be 70% of a record 7.47 million Michigan residents are registered to vote. They advise you to be patient   and offer some tips including tips for those taking kids to the polls, a look at some election day tricks and a nifty voter guide that will let you check out your ballot. They also have a cool “Election Day Dos and Don’ts” article (click for the graphic).

From the Detroit News interactive dealy-jig comparing Obama & McCain I learned that Barack Obama owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali and that John McCain’s pet collection includes two dogs, two turtles, a cat, a ferret, three parakeets and 13 saltwater fish. The News also reports that the latest Detroit News-WXYZ poll has Obama up 50-38 over McCain in Michigan (with 10% undecided). The same poll shows 18-term incumbent Carl Levin (OK, maybe not that many) cruising over challenger Jack Hoogendyk. Real Clear Politics has more polls from Michigan.

The Freep says that Election Day will be warm & sunny. They have a really nice video looking at how folks around the state feel about the issues surrounding the election. Check it out.

How about you – how will you pass the time, what are you thinking about and will you vote? Let us know in the comments and click below for much more coverage of Election 2008!

Electionpalooza Tuesday: The 2008 Election in Michigan

Guardian Building Flag by paulhitz
Guardian Building Flag by paulhitz

Election Day (November 4, 2008) is just a week away. That means that today is probably a good day to focus on the election and how to get informed about the issues and the candidates. We also invite you   to post your comments and thoughts about the candidates and issues below. One caveat: please do not post attacks or bile – we all know that Barack Obama is BFFs with terrorists and John McCain only has about 8 seconds to live. What we’d like to hear is why you are voting FOR a candidate or measure or what issues you’re most concerned with.

The Freep notes that Michigan is one of just 19 states that doesn’t allow early voting. Exceptions are only made for those over 60 or who will be absent. They say (and we agree) that “The opportunity to vote early is a blessing for people who don’t always know how their schedule will end up on any given day. Among the 31 states that now allow early voting, some even make it particularly easy by setting up poll locations in storefronts and other convenient spots.”

Since you can’t vote early (and you shouldn’t vote often a la Chicago) we hope you can vote informed. Far and away the best site for Michigan voting is publius.org. Just go there, enter your name as it appears on your voter registration and you can see your actual ballot! Ballots have links to the candidate’s web site and information about the ballot measures. You can even see the location of your polling place and even what machine you’ll be voting on and how it works (mine is a Diebold Accu Vote … darnitall). If you don’t show up, they give you links to contact your local clerk – a good thing to check sooner rather than later! They also have a place where you can send eLection eCards to your friends and family to encourage them to vote.

A news item that we somehow missed was Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s announcement last week that 7.47 million Michigan residents have registered to vote – a record voter registration of nearly 98 percent of the voting age population! They remind you that voter ID is required – all the details at michigan.gov/vote where you can get all kinds of information including a list of all 688 candidates running for state office.

In addition to candidates, Michigan voters have two statewide proposals to consider. Ballotpedia’s 2008 Michigan Ballot Measures page explains that Proposal 1: The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care Initiative would allow the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients. Proposal 2: The Stem Cell Initiative (or CureMichigan) would allow the donation of embryos produced in fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded and would allow researchers to create embryonic stem cell cultures to study disease. It would also allow government funding of stem-cell research and human cloning would continue to be illegal. Both pages list arguments and organizations pro and con and it’s really a great resource.

Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry has interviewed people for and against the measures and it’d be worth your time to listen to the views of Senator Tom George (against Prop 1), Diane Byrum of the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (for Prop 1), David Doyle of Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation and Dr. Sean Morrison of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology (for Prop 2). You can also read what Jack thinks about Proposal 1 and Proposal 2.

Voting is Patriotic (Michigan) by farlane
Voting is Patriotic (Michigan) by farlane

OK, so 98% of you are registered to vote – how many will make it to the polls? The Detroit News notes that while every four years we face ‘the most important election ever’, that may actually be the case this year.

“We’ve got two wars, and the economy is dying,” said William Rustem, president of Lansing’s Public Sector Consultants and a former aide to Republican Gov. William Milliken. “The enormity of the issues is something we haven’t faced.”

Even when Ronald Reagan was staring down the Russians at the end of the Cold War, Rustem says, no one was watching the daily numbers on Wall Street and talking about the Great Depression, or debating the need to retool the entire energy sector to avoid climatic disaster.

Finally, I thought this article on How to Pick a President was one of the best things I’ve read about the voting process this year. Please share things you’ve read or heard in the comments.

And oh yeah: Vote.

Meet the Candidates in Michigan

Student Introduction of Candidate by farlane
Student Introduction of Candidate by farlane

The Center for Michigan says Don’t just sit there! Meet the candidates!:

Concerned Michigan residents and community leaders have every opportunity to get familiar with the new wave of leaders headed to the Michigan House of Representatives next January.

The Center for Michigan’s ‘Great Debates’ partnership with Detroit Public Television is underway. Click here to watch the first three debates in metro Detroit races. More debates will be posted next week.

Click through for their statewide list candidate meetings & forums. Add a comment there (or here) if you know of one they missed!

John McCain & Michigan

Sarah Palin Addresses Michigan, photo by b24chicago
Sarah Palin Addresses Michigan, photo by b24chicago

Last Friday, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain made his first major visit to Michigan. In McCain Makes a Run at Michigan, A Wavering Democratic Stronghold, the Wall Street Journal observes that Michigan could be critical in November:

If John McCain becomes the nation’s 44th president, it may be thanks to Michigan — a prize the Republicans think they can claim for the first time in nearly 20 years. On Friday, Sen. McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, arrived in this auto-plant town in Detroit’s suburbs to begin their final election sprint.

…in the crucial Detroit area (where about half of Michigan’s votes will be cast) some results foreshadow trouble for the Democrats. Most important: A Detroit Free Press poll in late August showed some 30% of area voters saying that they’re open to switching preferences before November — a significantly higher figure than normal. The vast majority of these wavering voters are white, polling experts say, making the state’s racial politics particularly important.

The Detroit News reports that with an estimated 10,000 attendees, McCain’s rally at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heighs dwarfed any previous appearance. They also have a panorama of the John McCain rally at Freedom Hill by Anne Savage that you’ll want to check out. You can get some pics from McCain’s visit right here on Flickr and also in this gallery at the Detroit News.

There’s a video of McCain at the rally from brkcmo93 below, and another of VP Sarah Palin speaking. You can also see a video from the rally at the Freep.

You can also check out Barack Obama & Michigan from Absolute Michigan and leave your comments and/or more links below!

The Week for July 21-27, 2008

Fun on Pleasant Lake by MWOOD19
Fun on Pleasant Lake by MWOOD19

Welcome to The Week on Absolute Michigan. Summer is in full swing around the state and candidates in Michigan primaries are trying to chicken dinner their way to an August 6th victory.

Our July Michigan Event Calendar says that events folks can check out this weekend include the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival (Ypsilanti – man would I love to go to this!), Art On The Rocks in Marquette, the Hoxeyville Music Festival,   and the Yale Bologna Festival. Bologna Festival?? Early next week, the Traverse City Film Festival begins as well.

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