If you want to make sure Michigan’s elections are run fairly and in a nonpartisan way and that campaign finance law will be enforced fairly for all political parties, then the clear choice for Michigan Secretary of State on Tuesday in Jocelyn Benson.
She is the only candidate who has taken a pledge of non partisanship. In that pledge, Benson pledges that she will not co-chair any campaigns or endorse any candidates running in elections where she will serve as the final certifier of results. We saw the problems in Florida in 2000 that made them the laughing stock and the butt of the nation’s jokes because their SOS was the chair of George Bush’s campaign in Florida. The pledge makes sure that does not happen.
If that common sense measure does not do the trick, then you just need to look at Benson’s impressive résumé as the Wayne State Law professor makes her first run at public office.
At Wayne State University she not only teaches election law, but she has also published the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. Benson also served as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, where she worked on the passage of the Help America Vote Act, the federal law that improved election law standards in the wake of the 2000 Presidential recount. And in 2004 she helped with the Democratic Party’s national voter protection effort, recruiting, selecting and training Voter Protection coordinators in 21 states with the goal of ensuring that the 2004 election was conducted with integrity in accordance with the law.
During the 2008 election, Benson led a successful effort to ban the use of foreclosure lists to challenge voters’ eligibility on Election Day.
After earning her B.A. at Wellesley College, Benson began her career at the Southern Poverty Law Center, investigating hate groups and hate crimes throughout the country. She earned a Master of Philosophy as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and subsequently earned her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Now, I don’t really have a problem with a so-called “career politician,” but if you do, her opponent, Ruth Johnson, is the very definition of it. However, in a job that thrives on being nonpartisan, a partisan career politician is not the best choice for this job.
Because Johnson is a career politician, the false, partisan attacks on Benson have been relentless. To combat the constant lies from Johnson, the Michigan Democratic Party has launched a web site appropriately called “No Truth Ruth” to combat those lies.
“In a desperate attempt to win this office, Ruth Johnson and her cronies at the Republican Party have spread malicious lies about Jocelyn Benson,” said MDP Chair Mark Brewer. “We launched this website today to dispel those rumors, and put out the truth.”
One of the dog whistles to call and excite the GOP base is to mention humanitarian billionaire George Soros, who is hated by the right because he is one of the few billionaires who contributes to Democrats and liberal causes.
The GOP recently launched an ad that claims Benson has ties to Soros, has participated in voter fraud and is connected to the so-called “fake Tea Party scandal.”
“These allegations are completely false,” Brewer said. “Jocelyn Benson is the only candidate that has spent her career advocating for issues related to this office. It’s pretty clear that the GOP used these scare tactics to once again, deceive voters.”
The website also offers real information on Ruth Johnson, including Johnson’s false claims of non-partisanship, companies that support her campaign but violate campaign finance laws and Ruth Johnson’s erroneous claim that she will bring new solutions to Lansing.