Feb 19, 2010

Relive the 1990 gubernatorial campaign at MPLP fundraising events

Two old political rivals will appear on stage for perhaps the first time in almost 20 years when former Michigan Governors Jim Blanchard and John Engler headline the 15th Annual Fundraising Dinner for the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) Thursday, Feb. 25 and the 8th Annual West Michigan Breakfast on Friday, Feb. 26.

Since 1992, the nonpartisan MPLP recruits, trains, and inspires 24 unique leaders from across the state every year to prepare them for effective governance. The unique 10-month weekend program incorporates practical politics, public policy analysis and process, personal leadership development and effective governance. More than 400 MPLP graduates have put the skills and relationships acquired through the program to work in their communities as candidates for office, as government officials or as citizen activists.

Each year the dinner and breakfast features two of the biggest names in politics, one from each side of the political spectrum. Past featured speakers have included former Vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro and conservative publisher Bill Kristol and Republican political media consultant Mike Murphy and former Tennessee Democratic U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

Then Republican state Sen. John Engler wiped out a big lead in 1990 to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Jim Blanchard - who was running for his third term - in 1990 to win the first of three terms. Engler is the president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and rumor has it he plans to move back to Michigan for a possible U.S. Senate run.

After losing his re-election bid, Blanchard served as Ambassador to Canada during the Clinton Administration and is a partner in a Washington D.C. law firm.

“Our keynote speakers are two governors with 20 years of state leadership experience,” said Douglas Roberts, former Michigan Treasurer under Engler, who directs MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research which administers MPLP. “They are also two Michigan State University graduates who now serve on a national stage. It will be a pleasure to welcome them to the MPLP stage.”

The 2009 MPLP Fellows represent a broad range of professions and occupations. They include:

• Laurie Arora, of Grosse Pointe Park, owner of Politically Smart, L.L.C., consulting.
• Eric Bacyinski, of Plymouth, who serves as Deputy Clerk for Plymouth Township.
•Jill Brandana, of Taylor, City Council Chairperson Pro-Tem.
• Michael Callton, a Nashville chiropractor and state House candidate.
•Deborah Davis, of Detroit, a researcher and grants writer.
•Michael Delaney, of Ann Arbor, a venture capital professional at DTE Energy.
•Jane Drake, of Fremont, coordinator for the Community Coordinating Council of Muskegon County.
•Gregory Egnatowski, of Riverview, a legislative aide.
•Brian Elder, a Bay City attorney.
•Roger Elkins, Evart City Manager.
•Kimberly Emmons, Republican Executive Committee member, 4th District, and candidate for state House.
•Terry Hood-Campion, of Macomb Township, U.S. Census Bureau partnership specialist.
•William Ivan, of Lansing, a communications specialist, originally from Midland.
•Robert Macomber, of Grand Ledge, a communications, fundraising and campaign management consultant with Sterling Corporation.
•Frederick Maher, a Livonia health care analyst.
•Mia McNeil, a Lansing attorney and a lobbyist with Kelley Cawthorne.
•Kathleen Moore, of Battle Creek, human resource assistant at Community Action.
•Andrew Mutavdzija, of Lansing, a state House legislative director.
•Amanda Roggenbuck, of Unionville, an attorney and owner of Amanda L. Roggenbuck and Associates, PLLC.
•Ericka Savage, of Southfield, a legislative chief of staff.
•Heather Spielmaker, of Charlotte, director of the Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
•Demetria Taylor, of Southfield, executive controller of the Westin Southfield Hotel.
•Capt. Casey Viegelahn, of the U.S. Marine Corps.
•Mark Vroman, of Ionia, a firefighter/paramedic.

For more information and to purchase tickets online, go to the web site or call 517-353-0891.

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