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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What's in a name? Not much apparently

 They teach us in high school civics that voters are supposed to be informed before they vote.  That would include at least knowing the name of the candidate and what she or he stands for.
 This may shock you but the vast majority of voters flunked that course.
 A recent MRG poll underscores that point.
 Asked about whom they would vote for in the State Supreme Court race, only 14% went for Cliff Taylor and 16% for Diane Hathaway.  That means a whopping 68% of everyone else either didn't know who these guys were or were undecided.  It's a good bet they just didn't know.
 Cliff Taylor is the incumbent justice and Ms. Hathaway is on the Wayne County Circuit Court. Perhaps after they run some TV commercials, the number of informed voters will go up, but dollars to donuts, half of the folks who show up on November 4th won't know squat about either.
 But Taylor and Hathaway should not feel hurt.  They've got company.
 On the same survey, 45% had no idea who the candidates were for the MSU Board of Trustees.  That number is lower because Scott Romney is one of the candidates and that name is familiar with lots of older voters, even though some may think he is George Romney the deceased former governor.
  And then to top it off, the other night at a Macomb County debate with candidates for the State Board of Education, three contenders favored letting the voters pick the winners rather than giving the governor the power to appoint the board.
 Apparently they support a system where voter ignorance is bliss.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. Name recogniton is important. The good people of Lapeer County State Rep. Dist 82 decided not to sent John Stalh's son to Lansing in his recent primary attempt to capitalize on dads name.

Looks like the Detroit voters also got taken in by name recognition with Monica Conyers. Her last name was so identifable that she councilwoman received the second highest number of votes in the last city council election, which awarded her the 'president pro tem' position.

Anyone who thinks Conyers has more expertise than colleagues such as Shelia Murphy Cockrel is out of their mind.

Of course, there is a federal probe looking to see if Cockrel has any illegal connection to the Snyagro scandal. We'll just have to sit back and see, maybe Kwame's downfall is only the beginning of what's happening in Detroit city governance? The manner in which Conyers has acted during the resignation of the former mayor should be a good sign indicating that she may have something to hide. Just a hunch, the way I see it, honorable public officials don't act is such foolish and freaky manner.

September 29, 2008 at 7:16 PM 
Blogger Scott Jenkins said...


I think my point related to the voters "knowing" the candidates for the state board of education is not, on its own, justification for amending the state constitution.

Secondly, the board should be doing more to use the authority and responsibility granted through the Michigan constitution to transform Michigan education. Currently, very few people know the members of the debating society known as the State Board of Education. It shouldn't be that way. If I am elected to the board this election, I will do everything within my power to make the board relevant and consequential.

September 30, 2008 at 12:45 PM 

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