By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
STATEWIDE – LGBT and allied voters won’t have a chance to throw George W. Bush out of office this year. But they will have the next best thing – a chance to help boot anti-equality Republicans from our state and national legislatures as well as to keep a pro-equality governor in office. In addition, fair-minded voters will have a chance to pick a new attorney general, judge potential Supreme Court jurists and keep a virulenty anti-equality, pro-Christian Nationalist candidate off of Michigan’s Board of Education.
The following is a breakdown of the races to vote in – and watch – this election. For more information and a complete list of BTL endorsements visit http://www.pridesourcevotes.com.
Governor: Equality-minded voters aren’t the only ones for whom this race ought to be a no-brainer. On one side we have Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who despite a Republican-controlled legislature has done what she can to get our state’s post-Engler economy back on track and protect equality. On the other we have Dick DeVos, who’s family funds every crackpot organization from the backers of both the 2004 and 2006 Proposal 2 to the American Family Association – and who has evaded Michigan taxes by moving his daddy’s company to Bermuda.
Attorney General: This race features Amos Williams – an African-American Vietnam vet, former cop and current civil rights attorney – vs. Mike Cox, a “family values” adulterer who has spent our tax money trying to take away domestic partner benefits.
Secretary of State: Yes, Terry Lynn Land has done a great job making it easier for drivers to do business with her office. She also thinks that transgendered citizens should have to have surgery before changing the gender marker on their drivers licenses – a position that makes their lives more dangerous since they have to live full-time as their true gender for at least a year before being able to have surgery. Democrat Carmella Sabaugh would waive this requirement.
State Board of Education: In this race, we have Tom McMillin; perhaps Michigan’s most anti-equality, anti-woman Republican. From pushing 2004’s anti-marriage Proposal 2 to his virulently anti-choice stance, McMillin is a good candidate to be against.
State Supreme Court: One incumbent, Maura Corrigan, has consistently ruled against the rights of LGBTs. Justice Michael Cavanaugh, on the other hand, has ruled for equality. While none of Michigan’s LGBT organizations have made endorsements in the race, the Dems nominated Grand Rapids attorney Jane Beckering during the same convention where they finally called for the repeal of Michigan’s anti-marriage constitutional amendment.
Proposal 2: No, they’re not trying to take away our right to marry yet again. This time around, Proposal 2 is an attempt to repeal affirmative action programs. It’s a bad idea for fairness and a bad idea for Michigan’s economy.
In your district – U.S. Congress
9th District: In this Oakland County district, Democrat Nancy Skinner is facing off against anti-equality “Toilet Joe” Knollenberg. Despite Republican confidence, your Bi Wonkette believes the LGBT and allied community has a real chance of making a difference in this race. Get to the polls and bring at least five close friends.
In your district – State House and Senate
The following are the races to watch and get to the polls for, according to Triangle Pride PAC elections committee member Sean Kosofsky:
6th Michigan Senate: Democrat Glenn Anderson, Westland, who currently serves in the House, is running for a promotion. Anderson is the primary sponsor of an anti-bullying bill that would make Michigan’s schools a safer place for our kids.
13th Michigan Senate: Democrat Andy Levin, Royal Oak, is running against anti-equality Republican John Pappageorge to replace Republican Shirley Johnson.
20th Michigan Senate: Current 60th District Democratic Rep. Alexander (Sandy) Lipsey of Kalamazoo is supported by LGBT organizations over Republican Tom George of Portage.
17th Michigan Senate: While he hasn’t been endorsed by any pro-equality groups, a vote for Democrat Bob Schockman of Temperence would help elect a Democratic majority to the Senate, as the seat is currently held by Republican Beverly Hammerstrom.
34th Michigan Senate: Democrat Julie Dennis of Muskegon is supported for this seat by Triangle Pride PAC, Michigan Equality and Between The Lines.
32nd Michigan Senate: Current 95th District Democratic Rep. Carl M. Williams of Saginaw is supported by pro-LGBT organizations over Republican Roger Kahn, also of Saginaw.
19th Michigan House: Take a pass on anti-equality Republican John Pastor of Livonia in favor of Democrat Brian Duggan, also of Livonia.
39th Michigan House: Democrat Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield has been endorsed by Triangle Pride PAC and BTL over incumbent David Law of Commerce Township.
64th Michigan House: BTL-endorsed Martin Griffin of Jackson is hoping to unseat anti-equality incumbent Rick Baxter of Concord.
91st Michigan House: BTL-endorsed Mary Valentine of Muskegon is up against anti-equality incumbent Republican David Farhat, also of Muskegon.
101st Michigan House: Democrat Daniel Scripps of Northport is favored by LGBT groups in and of himself, but also because he is running against anti-equality incumbent Republican David Palsrok of Manistee.
Incumbents to keep:
Democrats Kathy Angerer of Dundee, Pam Byrnes of Chelsea and Marie Donigan of Royal Oak, all pro-equality incumbents in the Michigan House.