Monday, October 31, 2005


The GOTV Contest

It doesn't matter how many people want you to win an election, it matters how many show up to vote. I can't say I know what motivates people, but there are a couple big things up in the air right now for 2006 in Michigan.

First is the Senate candidacy of Keith Butler, an Oakland county reverend, millionaire, conservative black man. It's not the standard combination and not one that would beat Stabenow. What it might do, is make the GOP ticket a bit more appealing to black people, both in Detroit and elsewhere (and yes, there are black people in Michigan that don't live in Detroit). It might provide push the govs race over the top, or maybe seal a win for a couple congressional seats, lr state leg seats. But now we hear news that white Oakland county sheriff Mike Bouchard is back in the race after a breif period of health problems. Throw in Jerry Zandstra into the mix, probably the choice of West Michigan republicans, and who knows which candidate will come out on top.

Bottom line: I don't think any of them can beat Stabenow, Butler would take some of the wind out of the Dems sails but Zandstra or Bouchard might be able to give a push to the GOP ticket as a whole. Who knows.

But there's another issue coming down the pipes; it's the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. It doesn't really have anything to do with civil rights, but it would make illegal the consideration of race as a factor in both university admissions and public (and I suppose private) contracting. This could get a lot of attention from minority communities, or it might not. I think universities are going to find ways to let in poor black and hispanic kids whether they have high test scores or not, so I can't imagine what this bill hopes to accomplish except rile up a big group of people. This is another question make though. The proposal isn't even guaranteed to be on the ballot yet (it seems like it will though), but it seems like a lot of national money will be going into the race.

My take? I think this is a much bigger factor due to the contracting clause. Cities have all kinds of minority business agreements to promote small minority businesses. This proposal would get rid of all those programs, putting a lot of businesses out of business and a lot of people out of work. I think that is going to line up a lot of people against this and really work to get them to the polls. It was a bad idea for the MiGOP to let this get on the ballot. It's like gay marriage for the Dems, its just not the issue that brings out your side, but it sure does bring out theirs.

2006 is going to be a big one in Michigan.

[Update: -6:45 pm 10/31/2005- News today that MCRI is one step closer to the ballot, no news if there will be further challenges. Here's a link.]

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