The Nov. 5 elections will provide Michigan voters with two very different choices for governor; Jennifer Granholm has emerged from a hotly disputed primary as a strong Democratic candidate and Dick Posthumus has risen through the state GOP to become Governor Engler’s right hand man. After reviewing both candidates’ platforms, The Michigan Daily believes that Granholm will provide Michigan with a needed change in leadership.
Granholm brings to the table a dynamic leadership style and is widely regarded for her support of civil rights. Her education package is comprehensive and her commitment to reducing crime has earned her the backing of a variety of police organizations. She will provide a stabilizing force in a torn Lansing. Granholm has worked to create a good relationship with Detroit and has done so to her political disadvantage. The economic success of Detroit is inextricably connected with the success of the state as a whole and Granholm is the candidate most willing to deal with Detroit’s woes.
Most importantly for University students, Granholm has recognized that the recent high percentage increases in tuition are unacceptable and pledged to assist Michigan’s public universities in reducing extraneous spending. Granholm also plans to expand eligibility for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program scholarships to students with greater financial need.
In the wake of the gubernatorial debates, it seems the Posthumus camp has only now begun to shift toward a coherent, proactive message. A few weeks ago, a glimpse of his campaign homepage heralded nothing but three different attacks on Granholm.
The upcoming elections give Michigan voters an opportunity to choose between continuing on the same path the state has been for 12 years or to change direction entirely. It could be argued that Posthumus’ employment as lieutenant governor is both his greatest asset and his most crippling weakness. Having worked so closely with Governor Engler for his last term, Posthumus separates himself from Granholm by claiming an intimate knowledge of the position’s demands.
But as Engler’s time in office draws to a close, Posthumus’ connection to him is more a curse than a blessing; Engler has failed Michigan voters on a number of counts. The current administration has not done enough to extend health care coverage to low-income residents, nor has it dealt with the horrific crime rates and ever-flailing economies of Michigan’s trouble spots. Sensing discontent, Granholm has made the right moves to distance herself from her predecessor. In fact, her separation from the position brings fresh blood and new ideas to a stagnated process. It could be said that the choice is not simply Granholm or Posthumus; it is Granholm or four more years of Engler. The right choice is clear: Vote Jennifer Granholm for Governor.