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WHOA - Grand Rapids Press endorses Jocelyn Benson!

by: ScottyUrb

Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 20:36:17 PM EDT

Jocelyn Benson The Grand Rapids Press has a history of endorsing Republicans in general elections. They've endorsed Bush (twice), McCain, Posthumus, DeVos, and even Mike Bouchard when he ran against Stabenow. Usually when they support a Democrat, it's when the race is a foregone conclusion - examples of Democrats being endorsed include Carl Levin; the Democratic nominees running in the heavily Democratic 76th State House district (Steve Pestka, Michael Sak, and now Roy Schmidt); and, in one peculiar case, a 'paper candidate' running against a Republican incumbent in a solidly Republican state House district (from what I remember, the Republican incumbent was not admired by many of his fellow Republicans - he didn't toe the right-wing line!).

Imagine my surprise, then, when in addition to backing career politician Bill Schuette for Attorney General, they endorsed the one and only Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State!

Ms. Benson, a Democrat from Detroit, is a professor at Wayne State University Law School who specializes in election law. Ms. Benson has surveyed best practices among secretaries of state across the country and written a book on the subject.

She has good ideas for improving customer service at branch offices, including allowing people to schedule appointments and moving some services to more convenient locations in retail centers. She supports more aggressive efforts to increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan.

She would make a strong push for broader voter participation through early voting and no-reason absentee voting, the last a long overdue reform. Ms. Benson would insist in all of this on appropriate checks against voter fraud, a real concern when participation at the polls expands. In addition, she would push for greater transparency in campaign finances. Anonymous donors have too much influence in the election process. Ms. Benson would look for ways to make these shadowy players public.

Consequential questions will be raised in the next few years about elections and campaign finances. We believe Jocelyn Benson’s training and expertise make her best equipped to aggressively tackle those issues.

Ordinarily, I would be tempted to think, "If even the Grand Rapids Press won't endorse Johnson, then she must be terrible!" However, this one is different.

Next week I'll be proud to vote for all of our Democratic candidates - from Virg and Brenda to my neighbor, Kent County Commissioner Pete Hickey. But of all the people for whom I vote, Jocelyn stands out. She is one of the most remarkable political figures I have ever supported - right up there with our President.

That's why this endorsement does not, IMO, say that much about how bad Johnson would be. Rather, it speaks to how capable Benson is. I don't need to remind you of Benson's qualifications, already highlighted in the above blockquote. But I do think it's remarkable that even the Grand Rapids Press, for all their recent history of endorsing Republican candidates, has chosen the Democratic nominee in an up-for-grabs race.

ScottyUrb :: WHOA - Grand Rapids Press endorses Jocelyn Benson!
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I'd always taken the GR Press to be less to the right than the Detroit News is.  I'd taken it to be a centrist paper, but then again I didn't read the paper regularly.

It seems like quite a few of the major dailies are weirdly splitting their tickets, this year.  To me, this would be one of those election years you wouldn't want to split tickets.

Anyway, good for Benson.  The left-leaning LSJ here bizarrely endorsed Johnson.  Did the Press endorse Miles?  I can't seem to remember.

GR Press is living down to its reputation
Benson is the only high-profile Dem they've endorsed.  We will likely pick up a few in the County races, Courtade and maybe Hickey, probably not Synk. And I would bet on Koorndyk (R) over Tormala.

Predictions aside, they've been pretty much sock puppets for the Chamber.  Amash gets the nod because "the district is conservative." Really.  That was their reason. For the State Senate, Hildenbrand, why?  Because he was leader of the Republican caucus.  Those two endorsements have rational people scratching their heads.  

[ Parent ]
FWIW, don't forget this breakdown of her resume:

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