Jun 11, 2009
Senate Republicans stage illegal political stunt in campaign for 19th District Senate seat.
Rep. Martin Griffin, D-Jackson, established his campaign web site as his run for the vacant seat in the 19th State Senate District gets underway.
The seat was vacated last November with the election of former Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, to the U.S. House. Gov. Granholm set primary election for Aug. 4, and the General Election is Nov. 3. Griffin officially kicked off the campaign on May 30 with events in the two counties in the 19th District, most of Jackson County and all of Calhoun County.
The Senate Republicans are desperate to win this seat back and maintain their slim four-seat lead. The Senate Republicans have been the biggest obstacle to getting meaningful legislation passed, and retention of this seat will be the first step in Democrats taking back the Senate in 2010 for the first time since 1983.
Republicans have become so desperate that they are pulling some questionable stunts. On Wednesday they staged a Senate Committee hearing to showcase the leading GOP candidate, former Rep. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek; just one of three GOP candidates for the seat.
According to subscription only MIRS, Nofs was featured in a Senate Majority Caucus press release, and he testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday on two bills to help Duncan Aviation retain jobs, even though Nofs had nothing to do with the bills. This is a clear case of using state resources for a political campaign.
Senate Bill 624, sponsored by Sen. Jason Allen, R- Traverse City, and House Bill 4930, sponsored by Rep. Rep. Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek, would provide tax breaks to help Duncan Aviation of Battle Creek save 100 jobs.
Nofs is no longer in the Legislature, and he did not have anything to do with the bills. It’s clear why he testified instead of the bill’s sponsor, and the reason is pure politics. Senate Republicans are politicizing jobs, and politicizing the Legislative process for campaign purposes and pure political gain.
Griffin grew up in Jackson and graduated from the University of Michigan. He has experience in both the public and private sector, working as a Realtor for many years. Griffin was elected Jackson's mayor in 1995 and for the twelve years he served the city his focus was on bringing in new investment by cleaning up and redeveloping downtown areas, streamlining the permitting process to cut red tape, and balancing the city budget without raising taxes.
He was elected in 2006 to the House from the 64th District Griffin is also very involved with a number of local organizations, including the Economic Development Corporation of Jackson, the Downtown Kiwanis Club, the Ella Sharp Park Board, Cascade Capital Humane Society, Jackson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Police and Fire Pension Boards and the National Association of Realtors.