Tag Archives | Jocelyn Benson

INTERVIEW: Josh Silver of Represent.Us, keynote speaker at next week’s Michigan Election Reform Conference

A week from today on Friday, April 4th, 2014 the Ann Arbor-based group Reclaim Our American Democracy (ROAD) is holding their 2014 Michigan Election Reform Conference at Cleary University in Ann Arbor. You can have a look at the brochure for this important event HERE (pdf). Registration is only $25, $10 for students and you may purchase a boxed lunch for $10 (deadline is Monday for ordering the lunch.) You may also register at the event for an additional $5. Click HERE to register.

The conference features an all-star cast of participants:

Yesterday I spoke with Josh Silver from Represent.Us about his organization and about his keynote speech.…

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Jocelyn Benson wisely declines to run in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District

Like many Democrats, I’m all for seeing Benson run for office. But not running for this one is a smart move.

It’s been a topic of great speculation in the last month or so — especially after meetings with high-level Democrats in Washington — but Jocelyn Benson announced on Tuesday that she will not be running for Congress in Michigan’s 11th District in 2014.

The interim dean of Wayne State University law school and a 2010 candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, Benson made the announcement in an email to faculty, according to the Detroit News:

While I am touched by the efforts of people in the 11th congressional district to encourage me to represent them in Washington, my priority is leading the law school as interim dean.…
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Jocelyn Benson looks likely to enter the race in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District

The story’s still unfolding, but this could be one heck of an interesting race.

In breaking news on Friday, Inside Michigan Politics (IMP) reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been calling members of Michigan’s congressional delegation to say Jocelyn Benson is running in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. The information came from two “highly placed” Democrats, but a DCCC spokesman declined to comment on whether the calls were made, IMP said.

Benson did not comment on the DCCC calls, but said this to IMP.

I can confirm that many people in the district are encouraging me to run.…
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Two Democrats are officially running for Kerry Bentivolio’s Congressional seat

There’s a third possibility, too, in what’s shaping up to be an interesting race.

In his first media interview, counterterrorism expert Bobby McKenzie told Inside Michigan Politics early Thursday that he’s running for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District as a Democrat.

McKenzie, who most recently worked for the U.S. State Department, is set to announce his bid on Thursday. He told Inside Michigan Politics he’s running for Congress because of his commitment to the area, whose economy has been “devastated.”

McKenzie earned a degree in economics from Michigan State University. In his work with the U.S. State Department, he specialized in North Africa and Middle East strategic counterterrorism, focusing heavily on guiding youth away from involvement in extremist organizations.…

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Jocelyn Benson considers run for Kerry Bentivolio’s U.S. Congressional seat

Democrats may soon have a strong candidate to get behind so they can take back Michigan’s 11th Congressional District.

Democrats have been looking for someone to run for Rep. Kerry Bentivolio’s seat in the U.S. House in 2014 — and they may have found her.

Jocelyn Benson, Dean of the Wayne State University Law School and the Democratic Party’s nominee for Michigan Secretary of State in 2010, attended Wednesday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting and told attendees she’s considering running for the seat. According to Roll Call, this information came from two Democratic sources.

One of the sources said that House Democrats tried to recruit Benson in the past, but the government shutdown is a source of motivation for her run.…

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GUEST POST: A report from the Michigan Election Reform Conference in Traverse City, MI (10/11/2013)

As I wrote about last month, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Michigan Center for Election Law, and Common Cause Michigan held a conference on election and campaign finance reform in Traverse City last Friday. Although I was unable to attend, my good friend and blogging pal Amy Kerr Hardin was there and put together a comprehensive report. At the request of the conference organizers and with Amy’s permission, I am cross-posting her piece here.

You can find more of Amy’s writing at her site Democracy Tree

Michigan Campaign Finance Reform –Something Old, Something New
The statewide Michigan Election Reform Conference of 2013 was held last Friday in Traverse City with about 100 attendees and 16 distinguished speakers, including former Michigan Supreme Court Justices, state lawmakers, union and advocacy group leaders, and various experts in their field.…

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INTERVIEW: Dan O’Neil talks about the Michigan Election Reform Conference in Traverse City – Oct. 11, 2013

A conference for anyone who is interested in fair government.

The corrosive impact of money in our elections, particularly here in Michigan, is clearly evident to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention. Even the elections for our state Supreme Court justices are fueled by money from corporate interests and wealthy individuals. Unfortunately, due to the permissive laws of Michigan, much of the money spent to influence our elections is from unknown sources, the so-called “dark money” of politics.

There is a groundswell of activism in Michigan on this issue with a variety of groups working on it. On Friday, October 11, 2013, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Michigan Center for Election Law, and Common Cause Michigan are putting on a Michigan Election Reform conference in Traverse City.…

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Jocelyn Benson on MSNBC talks about Michigan, Detroit, and working together to solve problems

Michigan represent!

Michigan's next Secretary of State, Professor Jocelyn Benson was on Up with Steve Kornacki this morning, talking about what's happening in Michigan right now, how Detroit got to where it is today, and our path forward. It was a refreshingly smart and thoughtful conversation. Watch it after the jump.
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All-star Justice Caucus panel at MDP convention talks about campaign finance transparency and reform of our election laws

This should be a non-partisan issue

As I wrote about last week, the Justice Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party held a discussion panel at the statewide convention on Saturday titled "Citizens United v. FEC – The Invisible ‘Person’ in Michigan Elections". Organized by former Washtenaw County Democratic Party Chair and well-known Michigan attorney and activist Stu Dowty, the panel discussion was wide-ranging and covered everything from undisclosed donors in our judicial elections to the repeal of the odious Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. My write-up after the jump.
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Michigan Corporate Accountability Amendment effort postpones until 2014

Stay tuned…

Earlier this month, I wrote about an effort being spearheaded by Jocelyn Benson to put a constitutional amendment up for vote in November called the Corporate Accountability Amendment. The amendment would bring a level of transparency to our state’s elections that is sorely needed:

Michigan has some of the weakest lobbying and ethics laws in the country, with no disclosure requirements for the tens of millions of corporate dollars spent to influence our elections and elected officials.

The Corporate Accountability Amendment has two main goals:

  1. Disclosure: Ensuring citizens know when CEOs and lobbyist are influencing elections and public policy by requiring instant disclosure of Corporate Funded Political Communications and Lobbying in Michigan.
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