By Dawn Wolfe
LANSING – On March 10, the Michigan Senate vetoed the re-appointment of Dorothy Jones, originally an Engler appointee, to the Board of State Canvassers. Jones was the longest-serving member of that body, and had been serving state government since former Governor William Milliken appointed her to the Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse Services.
The Republican rejection of Jones, who stood up against both placing the anti-family Proposal 2 on the November 2004 ballot and voted for language that would explain to voters the proposal’s intended impact on domestic partnerships and benefits, began on March 9 when the Senate Government Operations Committee, under the lead of Republican Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, rejected the nomination.
In a press release issued March 9, Granholm called the rejection of Jones’ nomination, “outrageous.”
“Dottie Jones has been good enough to serve Democratic and Republican governors alike, from Governors Milliken and Blanchard to Governor Engler and now me. But, apparently, she is not good enough for Senator Sikkema,” said Granholm. “This is the first time in 15 years the Senate has rejected a gubernatorial appointment. This is a slap in the face to Dottie Jones and a slap in the face to a political process that requires bipartisanship.”
Granholm said that Jones was being rejected because she refused “to be a rubber stamp for anyone’s partisan point-of-view.”
Jones was also the only woman, and the only African-American, on the state Board.
According to the Gongwer news service, Sikkema told reporters March 9 that Jones’ vote against putting Proposal 2 on the ballot due to its vague and misleading language was “a violation of her oath and a violation of her duty.”
State Republicans were also outraged by the vote of Jones and of Doyle O’Connor to block their attempt to put Ralph Nader on the ballot as a Presidential candidate. O’Connor also joined Jones in voting against allowing Proposal 2 on the ballot and in the struggle over ensuring accurate wording for the proposal. According to Gongwer, Republican Senator Alan Cropsey said on March 10 that O’Connor should resign his position on the Board.
Let Senators Sikkema and Cropsey and your state Senator know how you feel about the latest Republican move to squash dissent and fairness in state government, and support Governor Granholm as she seeks to find and appoint a new member to the Board of State Canvassers who will stand up against the Republican party line.
Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema: 517-373-0797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. Alan Cropsey: 517-373-3760 or email@example.com.
To find your state Senator call the Michigan State House Clerk’s office at 517-373-0135 or visit http://www.vote-smart.org.
Governor Jennifer Granholm, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909; 517- 373-3400.