2016-10-27 / Columns

Kudos for Election Officials

Michigan Politics
By George Weeks

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spent considerable time last week touting his unsubstantiated contention that the election is rigged and there’s an extensive problem with voting by noncitizens and those using names of the dead.

In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Saturday, Trump said: “The system is totally rigged and broken,” and the process is plagued by “dishonest mainstream media.”

Also on Saturday, it was good to read in FACTCHECK.ORG: “Donald Trump is citing unsubstantiated urban myths and a contested academic study to paint a false narrative about rampant voter fraud in the U.S. and the likelihood of a ‘rigged’ election.”

When I say “good to read,” it is because I have long admired the job Michigan and local officials do in conducting elections.

Trump presumably does not know of the solid reputation of retired longtime GOP Secretary of State and U.S. Representative Candice Miller and current Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson in running elections.

I have for decades voted in a rural northern township, where the local clerk and her colleagues run a tight ship.

Stabenow Gets National Nod

Michigan’s senior senator, Democrat Debbie Stabenow, has had quite a prolonged political surge since her 1976-1978 chairing of the Ingham County Commission: member of the state House (elected at age 28), state Senate, U.S. House, and elected in 2000 to the U.S. Senate.

In the Senate, she has had assorted leadership positions, including in her first term the No. 4 Democratic leadership position, and now chairing the Agriculture Committee with leadership on such issues are urban farming.

With Michigan’s junior senator, fellow Democrat and former state legislator Gary Peters, she has been a champion on Great Lakes issues.

So it was no surprise last week when word came out that Stabenow was reported to be among a huge array of 39 people pondered by the Hillary Clinton campaign to be Clinton’s running mate.

Also on the list from Michigan was General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

Stabenow, speaking to reporters in Detroit before a speech there by Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who emerged among the 39 to be Clinton’s running mate, said: “Well, it’s always a compliment to be included in any kind of list like that.”

Michigan on World Seas for America

My cherished home coffee cup is emblazoned with the state map encircled by USS Michigan (SSBN-727), designating the nuclear submarine I once visited. It’s a powerful weapon.

Just commissioned with quite a flurry last week in Detroit was the new 390-foot surface Navy warship USS Detroit, but it requires some further weapons testing before deployment.

George Weeks, a member of the Michigan Journal Hall of Fame, for 22 years was political columnist for The Detroit News and previously with UPI as Lansing bureau chief and foreign editor in Washington. His weekly Michigan Politics column is syndicated by Superior Features.

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