David Ano (losttoy) wrote in queer_michigan,
David Ano

Pro-Equality Voter Guide



BTL needs everyone to help right now. Our 2010 Michigan Voter Guide is now available electronically, and the 24-page printed version will be available this Friday. The printed version will be distributed with BTL newspapers during the next two weeks. Unfortunately, due to budget restraints, we are unable to mass mail the guide after having done so for the past 12 years. We need to count on everyone we can reach through the internet to help distribute this important resource link. And that includes all of you who are receiving this email. Please share the link with everyone you can. Below are a few resources we have for connecting folks.

First, please check out the electronic edition available (PrideSourceVotes.com). Just put your zip code in and your electronic voter guide will appear. Scroll the page to see the choices we have made available. Please distribute this link to as many people as you can via your Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Email and other social media. Second, please help get the word out by posting any of these button/banner ad links for the voter guide ASAP - http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=43594

During the next three weeks help us get the word out through this researched Pro-Equality Voter Guide. BTL did its own research and collaborated with Equality Michigan PAC, LAHR-PAC and Kalamazoo Alliance PAC to bring you the most current information about the candidates running in our upcoming election. Please help us make good use of this research by using the guide when you go to the polls on Nov. 2 (and making sure your family, friends and co-workers have this guide too).
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I wonder why they encourage a "No" vote on proposal 2. I think they've got this one wrong and will be voting for it. Whether it is intended by supporters to block a specific person or not isn't important to me. Someone who has been convicted of charges related to official misconduct should be blocked from running for public office again.

League of Women Voters Official Ballot Language PROPOSAL 10-2


The proposed constitutional amendment would: Make a person ineligible for election or appointment to any state or local elective office or to hold a position in public employment in this state that is policy-making or has discretionary authority over public assets, if:

* within the preceding 20 years, the person was convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust; and

* the conviction was related to the person's official capacity while holding any elective office or position of employment in local, state or federal government.

Require the State Legislature to enact laws to implement the prohibition.

emphasis added
While I do work for Between the Lines, I am not on the editorial board. They did not consult me. If I had to guess why our newspaper is not endorsing proposal 10-2 is because the guide was intended to be an equal rights guide, not just LGBT supporters. That is was we included labor and pro-choice in the guide as well as LGBT endorsements. While I do agree with you that if a person breaks the law and are convicted of a felony, those person has rights taken away from them. We live in society and that is why we have laws. However on the other hand, if one is going to support equal rights, we cannot pick and choose who gets those rights. If a person has been convicted and served their time, we should help their lawful return to society so they do not return to breaking the law again. I guess it makes sense.
Thanks for the response.

I understand that reasoning. However, the law routinely sets penalties for criminal violations from community service to prison time to restricting residency options. I think this would be reasonable part of "serving their time" for breaching the public trust while they were in a position of authority.

But the proposed law is specifically and narrowly targeted to those convicted of some breach of the public trust related to that individuals capacity in an elected office. It is not a blanket ban from any public office but targeted at those positions that make policy or manage public assets. If I were convicted of investment fraud I would not be barred from running for office (being elected is a whole different question). Or if I were convicted of embezzling from the Ferndale City Treasury I could still get a admin job in the Police department but not on the City Council.

Let me make this analogy: Saying that someone convicted of breaching the public trust should be allowed back into a position of public trust because we don't have the right to say who can run for office is similar to saying that a bus driver convicted of child abuse should be allowed to drive a school bus again because we can't pick and choose who has a right to drive the bus. Would we give a second thought to denying that bus driver his/her equal rights.
It is indeed tricky. I see both sides, but my gut feeling is to agree with you.