The state”s top lawyer said yesterday that if elected governor she will make “outside of the box thinking” and diversity the hallmarks of her term in office.
After three years as the state attorney general, Jennifer Granholm is one of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. She discussed her candidacy with about 150 students and community members at a meeting of the University”s chapter of College Democrats at the Michigan Union.
“It is very important when creating policy that you don”t do things the exact same way you did them before,” she said.
The former Wayne County corporation counsel and Harvard University Law School graduate, who supports affirmative action and considers herself pro-choice, cited her proposals for improving education and reducing crime as an example of outside the box thinking.
Granholm proposed better treatment of the mentally ill. She said many of these people should belong in hospitals rather than jails, in which they have been incarcerated for committing crimes as a result of their untreated illnesses.
“Every one of those people in prison was once a child and you wonder if they would have been there if we had taken care of the problem on the front-end,” she said.
She also said a bigger focus on parenting in the early stages of childhood development is tantamount to improving education in Michigan.
She said she does not, however, see charter schools or vouchers as possible solutions.
“The public school system should be the public school system,” she said. “People should not be making a profit on public education.”
The attorney general also lambasted the Republican Party in Michigan, which now controls the governor”s office and the Legislature. A state law passed in 2000 requires residents to vote according to their place of residence as printed on their driver”s license requiring University students to declare Ann Arbor as their place of residence in order to vote.
“This government has systematically set up programs and proposals to cut people out of the political process,” she said. “There are more Democrats in the state. They know that and they want to limit your franchise and thus stay in control.”
Granholm also said she currently supports the phase-out out of the state”s single business tax and a lowering of the state income tax citing a need to maintain a favorable business climate in Michigan.
“I thought she was a very intelligent speaker and what she had to say was very thought out and inspiring,” said LSA sophomore Mariska Bardos, who said she is still considering her candidate for governor.
The other Democratic candidates for governor are U.S. Rep. David Bonior of Mt. Clemens, former Gov. James Blanchard, and state Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith of Salem Township. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus faces off against state Sen. John Schwarz of Battle Creek. The primary election to choose each party”s nominee will be held Aug. 6. The general election will be held Nov. 5.