Jennifer Granholm

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Posted by kaori 03/23/2009 @ 00:16

Tags : jennifer granholm, michigan, states, us

News headlines
EXCLUSIVE POLL: Grading Granholm - WXYZ
(WXYZ) - Two questions seem to surface these days whenever talk turns to Governor Jennifer Granholm. One has been asked almost since she became Michigan's chief executive in 2003; the other has been making the rounds and gaining in popularity over the...
More Than One Way to Diversify the Supreme Court - Washington Post
That is why many think Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) would add a different dimension to the court. Or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano of Arizona, who, like Granholm, served as attorney general and governor....
Mich. GOP weighs in on Granholm for Supreme Court - Chicago Tribune
Jennifer Granholm's name recently showed up on a short list of possible US Supreme Court nominees, the Michigan Republican Party wasted no time sending out a special fundraising alert. "Your support can help stop Jennifer Granholm and her radical...
Court Pick Might Not Come From the Bench - ABC News
Jennifer Granholm's visit has touched off a flurry of speculation that she could be meeting with the president about the possibility of filling that spot. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and several other non-judge potential candidates are not from the...
Gov. Jennifer Granholm joined president at White House - KGO-TV
Jennifer Granholm joined the president at the White House Tuesday. Her trip underscores how important these changes will be for Michigan. Politicians in Washington seem to embrace the new standards. But analysts around the country are wondering whether...
Kent County official calls Gov. Jennifer Granholm's budget cuts an ... - MLive.com
Jennifer Granholm earlier this month, cutting $300 million from the current state budget. Spectrum Health, citing a $250000 state funding cut, announced Tuesday it will close its Regional Poison Center on June 30. Spectrum Hospitals President Matt Van...
Why Obama won't tap Jennifer Granholm for the Supreme Court - MLive.com
APJennifer Granholm at a 2008 press conference in Lansing. After all, if the president appoints her, Lt. Gov. John Cherry ascends to the Michigan governor's mansion and ambles into the 2010 election as an incumbent. The Mitten State's economy is in...
Governor signs foreclosure legislation - ConnectMidMichigan.com
AP Video Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has signed legislation that helps protect homeowners from foreclosure by providing an extra 90 days for them to work with their lender on modifying their mortgage loan. “We are committed to protecting Michigan...
Michigan GOP chief Weiser has big 2010 plans - Detroit Free Press
Getting the economy back on track has been a frequent theme for GOP candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, who took a double-digit drubbing from Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm in 2006. But Weiser sees a different scenario...
Amusement Ride Safety Week - WLKM Radio
Governor Jennifer Granholm issued a proclamation declaring May 24-30, 2009, as Amusement Ride Safety Week to bring awareness to the state's amusement industry. “It's carnival and amusement park season again and we want to ensure that kids of all ages...

Jennifer Granholm

Seal of Michigan

Jennifer Mulhern Granholm (born February 5, 1959 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian-born American politician, former Attorney General of Michigan, and the current Governor of the U.S. state of Michigan. A member of the Democratic Party, Granholm became Michigan's first female governor on January 1, 2003, when she succeeded Governor John Engler. Granholm was re-elected on November 7, 2006, and was sworn in for her second and, due to term limits, final term on January 1, 2007. She has been mentioned as a potential Supreme Court justice for President Barack Obama. In the meantime however, she has been named a member of the transition team for the presidency of President Obama. She was mentioned as a possible replacement for New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as the Secretary of Commerce in President Barack Obama's cabinet.

Granholm was born to Shirley Alfreda Dowden and Victor Ivar Granholm in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Granholm's paternal grandfather, who emigrated to Canada in the 1930s, came from Robertsfors, Sweden, where his father was mayor. Her grandmother was an immigrant from Norway. Granholm's family emigrated to California when she was four. She grew up in Anaheim, San Jose and San Carlos. Granholm graduated from San Carlos High School, located in San Carlos, California, in 1977. She won the Miss San Carlos beauty pageant. As a young adult she attempted to launch a Hollywood acting career but was unsuccessful and she abandoned her efforts at the age of 21. She held jobs as a tour guide at Universal Studios, within customer service for the Los Angeles Times and was the first female tour guide at Marine World Africa USA in Redwood City, piloting boats with 25 tourists aboard. In 1980, she became a United States citizen and worked for John Anderson's independent run for US President, and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1984 Phi Beta Kappa with two BA degrees, one in political science, the other in French. Granholm then earned a Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School, also with honors. She clerked for U.S. Judge Damon Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 1986 she married Daniel Mulhern, a Michigan native, and took his surname as her middle name. They have three children: Kathryn, Cecelia, and Jack. In 1990 she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.

Granholm, like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was once a contestant on the daytime television game show The Dating Game.

Granholm was elected Michigan Attorney General in 1998, defeating the Republican nominee, John Smietanka, 52 percent – 48 percent. She was the first woman to hold that position, serving for four years (1999–2002) and focusing on protecting citizens and consumers, and establishing Michigan's first HighTech Crime Unit. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Granholm directed state agencies to work with lawmakers in keeping the fight against terrorism within the powers of the state. She also imposed a regulation on gasoline dealers to keep them from raising prices dramatically, something which occurred sporadically across Michigan immediately following the attacks.

In the 2002 election, she defeated former Governor James Blanchard and House Democratic Whip David Bonior in the Democratic primary, and then went on to win the general election against the Republican nominee, Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus, to become governor.

Granholm was accused in the 2002 Democratic primary of several allegations of cronyism while working as Wayne County Corporation Counsel.

Her husband, Daniel Mulhern, had received several contracts for his leadership training company shortly after Granholm left her position as a Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1998. He received nearly $300,000 worth of contracts, despite being the highest bidder for one of those contracts. Opponents criticized Granholm supporters for engaging in cronyism and giving contracts to her husband immediately after leaving county employment. Granholm and her supporters responded that no ethical violations occurred and that Mulhern had earned the contracts on his own merits.

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard and former Representative David Bonior faced Granholm in the Democratic primary and criticized her handling of contracting procedures at Detroit Metro Airport. Granholm was Wayne County Corporation Counsel when the questionable corporate contracts on two parking projects took place from "an apparent pattern of cronyism and no-bid contracts," which prompted investigation by the FBI and by state and local auditors. She ordered a review as State Attorney General. Blanchard and Bonior criticized her for "reviewing" the project rather than ordering a full investigation, and Bonior insisted that Granholm should remove herself from the case. Granholm defended that she had taken the appropriate action and continued to oversee the review.

Shortly before the 2002 gubernatorial election, a memo was released to reporters from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick addressed to Granholm. It asked that, in exchange for his support and Detroit votes, Granholm must provide jobs and appointments for Detroit natives. The memo proposed numerous specific ways that Granholm could help if elected, including ensuring that 20 percent of new political appointees were African-American. Granholm’s opponent, Republican Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus, publicly denounced the “corrupt pact” between Kilpatrick and Granholm. She said that she had never seen the memo, and she stated that she would never “respond to those kinds of demands.” In addition, Kilpatrick said he had not written the memo or signed off on its terms.

Granholm was sworn in as the 47th Governor of the state of Michigan on January 1, 2003. The main issue facing the governor has been the massive budget deficit. Granholm has had to eliminate upwards of $200 per person from state budget expenditures. She has emphasized the need for the state to attract young people and businesses to Michigan. As Governor, she is a member of the National Governors Association and Policy Chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association. She lives in the official Michigan Governor's Residence located near the Capitol Building.

At an awards ceremony on October 28, 2004, Granholm was inducted into the "Michigan Women's Hall of Fame". She has also been the recipient of the Michigan Jaycees 1999 "Outstanding Young Michiganders" and the YWCA "Woman of the Year" awards.

In February 2005, Michigan's Republican-dominated Legislature refused to vote on Granholm's proposed state budget, citing concerns over cuts to state funding for higher education. In the previous years of Granholm's term, many cuts to higher education had been demanded and voted in the Legislature in order to balance the state budget. The year before, Republican leaders had called Granholm a "do-nothing Governor", claiming that she failed to lead, while Democrats accused legislative Republicans of being obstructionist. In January 2005, Granholm presented an early budget proposal, demanded immediate response from the Legislature, and held a press conference outlining the highlights of the proposed budget. After refusing to consider, debate, or vote on the proposed budget, Republicans stated they would prefer that the Legislature have more involvement in the formation of the state budget.

Granholm left for Japan on July 22, 2005, along with Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon, and Department of Labor and Economic Growth Director (and former Lansing mayor) David Hollister. Their trip was planned, for the purpose of emphasizing Michigan as "the North American intersection of cutting-edge research, life sciences talent and high-tech innovation". They met with Shiga Prefecture Governor Yoshitsu Kunimatsu, Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe and the representatives of 150 Japanese automotive, biotech, and human sciences companies. On the first day of the five-day trip, July 25, Granholm led a seminar of 65 Japanese auto-related companies at the 2005 World Expo in Nagakute, Aichi. On July 26, Granholm met with DENSO Corp. (employing 4,500 workers in Michigan) President and CEO Koichi Fukaya at the company's D-Square facility in Kariya, Aichi. Granholm then met with Gov. Yoshitsu Kunimatsu aboard the Michigan paddlewheel boat on Shiga's Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake. Like the Great Lakes (which surround Michigan), Lake Biwa has a history of fighting against an influx of invasive species, the Prefecture paying bounties to fishermen and hiring 43 official catchers to curb the growth of species which threaten the natural freshwater ecosystem. Shiga Prefecture is Michigan's "sister state", selected in 1968 due to their similarity in sharing their nation's largest freshwater resource. Granholm returned to work in Michigan the next Monday. She also signed a legislation to keep steroids out of schools and requiring school boards to write their own steroid policies, though the stance did not go as far as random drug testing of athletes. She is trying to establish a $4000 scholarship for each Michigan college student.

Granholm ran for a second term in the 2006 election. Her opponents were Republican businessman and politician Dick DeVos, Libertarian Gregory Creswell, Green Douglas Campbell, and the Constitution (US Taxpayers) Party candidate Bhagwan Dashairya.

The state's unemployment rate hovered around seven percent for much of her term. Additionally, Michigan ranked #49 in retaining young adults between 2000 and 2005, again attributed to the sluggish economy.

Both the Granholm campaign and the Michigan Democratic Party put out television commercials which focused on her efforts to revive Michigan's economy and accused Dick DeVos of cutting Michigan jobs while he was head of what was then called Amway. Granholm won re-election, defeating DeVos. The margin (rounded to the nearest percent) was 56 percent (Granholm), 42 percent (DeVos), one percent (Gregory Creswell), one percent (Douglas Campbell) and <one percent (Bhagwan Dashairya). Granholm polled 4.9 percent higher than she did in her first gubernatorial election in 2002.

The 2006 elections saw a return to power by the Democrats in the Michigan State House of Representatives but the retention of Republican control over the Michigan Senate. The partisan division of power in Michigan's state government led to a showdown between Granholm and Republican lawmakers over the FY2008 state budget that resulted in a four-hour shutdown of non-essential state services in the early morning of October 1, 2007 until a budget was passed and signed. The budget cut services, increased the state income tax and created a new set of service taxes on a variety of business activities, from ski lift tickets to interior design and landscaping, to address a state budget shortfall. As a result of the controversial budget, some taxpayer and business advocates called for a recall campaign against Granholm and lawmakers who voted for the tax increases.

The budget crisis eventually led Standard & Poors to downgrade Michigan's credit rating from AA to AA-. Additionally, the crisis contributed to sinking approval ratings for Granholm, which stood at 43 percent in August 2007, to a low of 32 percent in December 2007. The divided Michigan legislature received an even lower approval rating of 18 percent in the same poll..

Granholm delivered her sixth State of the State address on January 29, 2008. The speech was focused mainly on creating jobs in Michigan's economy through bringing alternative energy companies to Michigan. Through passing a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which would require that by 2015, 10 percent of Michigan's energy would come from renewable sources and 25 percent by 2025, Granholm expects the alternative energy industry to emerge in Michigan. Granholm also called in the speech for an incentive package to offer tax breaks to filmmakers who shoot in Michigan and use local crews in production. A package of bills offering film industry incentives was approved by both houses of the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Granholm on April 7, 2008.

Partly because of pressure from Granholm, Michigan's Democratic presidential primary was moved up to January 15, leading the Democratic National Committee to strip the Michigan Democratic Party of its delegates (Michigan historically held its caucuses on February 9). Granholm has been named a likely candidate for United States Attorney General in any Democratic administration. She is currently the Policy Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

An August 2008 poll marked Granholm's approval rating at 37 percent.

In response to a May 14, 2008 resolution by the Detroit City Council to request that Granholm remove Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from office in response to eight (later ten) felony counts against him, Granholm began an inquiry, which culminated in a removal hearing on September 3, 2008. On September 3, Granholm outlined the legal basis for the hearings, arguments were made and three witnesses were called. In the morning of September 4, Kilpatrick agreed to two plea deals, pleading guilty to two counts of perjury and no contest to one count of assaulting and obstructing a police officer in two separate cases. Both of the deals required his resignation. When the hearing reconvened later that day, Granholm stated that the hearing would be adjourned until September 22 as a result of the plea deals; if Kilpatrick's resignation becomes effective before that date, the hearing would then be cancelled.

In September 2008, Gov. Granholm undertook the role of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in a series of practice debates with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden.

With the election of Barack Obama as President, Granholm joined his economic advisory team and there was speculation that she may join the Obama administration.

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Ypsilanti, Michigan

Washtenaw County Michigan Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Ypsilanti Highlighted.svg

Ypsilanti (pronounced /ˌɪpsɨˈlænti/ Ǐp'-sǐ-lǎn-tē, but often /ˌjɪpsɨˈlænti/ by outsiders) is a city in Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 22,362. The city is bounded to the north by the Charter Township of Superior and on the west, south, and east by the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.

The geographic grid center of Ypsilanti is the intersection of the Huron River and Michigan Avenue, the latter of which connects downtown Detroit, Michigan, with Chicago, Illinois, and is coextensive with U.S. Route 12.

On July 23, 2007 Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that Ypsilanti, along with the cities of Caro and Clio, was chosen by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to take part in the Blueprints for Michigan's Downtowns program. The award provides for an economic development consultant to assist Ypsilanti in developing a growth and job creation strategy for the downtown area. Scottville received a similar award to take part in the Cool Cities Michigan Main Street program.

Originally a trading post established in 1809 by Gabriel Godfroy, a French-Canadian fur trader from Montreal, a permanent settlement was established on the east side of the Huron River in 1823 by Major Thomas Woodruff. It was incorporated into the Territory of Michigan as the village Woodruff's Grove. A separate community a short distance away on the west side of the river was established in 1825 under the name "Ypsilanti", after Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek War of Independence. Woodruff's Grove changed its name to Ypsilanti in 1829, and the two communities eventually merged.

A bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti stands between a Greek and a US flag at the base of the landmark Ypsilanti Water Tower.

Ypsilanti has played an important role in the automobile industry. From 1920-1922, Apex Motors produced the "ACE" car. It was in Ypsilanti that Preston Tucker (whose family owned the Ypsilanti Machine Tool Company) designed and built the prototypes for his Tucker Torpedo car. Tucker's story was related in the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

In 1945, Henry J. Kaiser and Joseph W. Frazer bought Ypsilanti's Willow Run B-24 Liberator bomber plant and started to make Kaiser and Frazer model cars in 1947. The last Kaiser car made in Ypsilanti rolled off the assembly line in 1953, when the company merged with Willys-Overland and moved production to Toledo, Ohio. General Motors purchased the Kaiser Frazer plant, and converted it into its Hydramatic Division (now called its Powertrain division), beginning production in November 1953.

Ypsilanti is also the location of the last Hudson automobile dealership. Today, the former dealership is the site of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. The museum is the home to an original Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car, which inspired the character "Doc Hudson" in the recent animated film Cars developed by Pixar.

In the early 1970s, along with neighboring city of Ann Arbor, the citizens reduced the penalty for simple possession of marijuana to $5 with the campaign slogan "5 is fine" (the Ypsilanti Marijuana Initiative; see also the Human Rights Party). This fine was raised in the early 1980s to $25 in both Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

In 1979, Faz Husain was elected to the Ypsilanti city council, the first Muslim and the first native of India to win elected office in Michigan.

In the 1990s Ypsilanti became the first city in Michigan to pass a living wage ordinance.

In the late 1990s, the city adopted an ordinance to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, body weight (i.e., being obese or underweight). Two ballot measures to repeal the ordinance were led and bankrolled by conservatives, including Tom Monaghan. Both measures failed, the second by a larger percentage than the first.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km²). 4.4 sq mi (11.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km²) is water. The total area is 2.45% water. The Huron River flows through both the City of Ypsilanti and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.

Ypsilanti is located at 42°14′N 83°37′W / 42.24°N 83.62°W / 42.24; -83.62, in the western reaches of the Detroit/Windsor metropolitan area. Suburban development between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, via Washtenaw Avenue and Packard Road, has been unbroken since the late 1960s.

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,362 people, 8,551 households, and 3,377 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,081.5 per square mile (1,962.3/km²). There were 9,215 housing units at an average density of 2,094.0/sq mi (808.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.40% White, 30.58% African American, 0.44% Native American, 3.18% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.32% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.47% of the population. 13.6% were of German, 6.8% Irish, 6.4% English and 5.5% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 8,551 households out of which 19.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.0% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.5% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.9% under the age of 18, 38.2% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 12.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,610, and the median income for a family was $40,793. Males had a median income of $30,328 versus $26,745 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,692. About 16.9% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over.

The Ypsilanti area is served by four public school districts: Ypsilanti Public Schools, Lincoln Consolidated Schools,Van Buren Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools.

Ypsilanti Schools draws students from the city proper, western Ypsilanti Township east of Golfside Road, northern Ypsilanti Township east of Prospect, and small parts of the township south of I-94. Willow Run Schools, named after the famous Willow Run bomber plant and airport east of the city, draws students primarily from eastern Ypsilanti Township north of I-94. Lincoln Schools draws students from the township south of I-94.

A college town, Ypsilanti is home to Eastern Michigan University, founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School. Today, EMU has 22,000+ undergraduate and over 4800 graduate students. The college is vital to the commercial landscape of the city and keeps the median age in Ypsilanti relatively low.

Comparable to the gentrification causing many artists, poets, musicians, and hipsters to flee the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City to areas like Bushwick, nearby Ann Arbor has experienced massive increases in land value and taxes over the last several decades. Despite Ann Arbor's reputation in the region as a bohemian cultural center, many creative people have been driven out of the city to Ypsilanti due to these changes, and it has been said that Ypsilanti is the Brooklyn to Ann Arbor's Manhattan. A vibrant, underground arts scene has begun to emerge as a result. This community gathers bi-annually at the juried Shadow Art Fair held at The Corner Brewery.

Since 1979, the city has become known for summer festivals in the part of the city called "Depot Town," which is adjacent to Riverside Park and Frog Island Park. Festivals include the annual Heritage Festival, the Elvis Festival, the Orphan Car Festival, the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival, and a Latino festival.

Overlooking Riverside Park is the non-profit Riverside Arts Center. Established in 1994 through the efforts of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority and several public spirited citizens, the Riverside boasts a 115 seat black box theater, a sizeable art gallery and some meeting rooms and offices. In 2006 the adjacent DTE building was renovated with "Cool Cities" money and is in the process of being incorporated into the center's activities.

Fay Kleinman, the internationally recognized painter, moved to Ypsilanti in the late 1980's with her husband, the pianist Emanuel Levenson. They wanted to be near Kleinman's children in nearby Ann Arbor. Since then, Kleinman has had many exhibits in Southeast Michigan, while continuing to exhibit in larger U.S. cities and abroad. The Ypsilanti District Library purchased one of her paintings, which hangs near the entrance to the children's reading room. The East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center, which serves Ypsilanti, purchased another of her paintings for its lobby.

Domino's Pizza was founded in Ypsilanti in 1960, delivering to students at Eastern Michigan University, although the corporate offices are now located nearby in Ann Arbor Township.

Ypsilanti has the second largest contiguous historic district in the state of Michigan, behind only the much larger city of Grand Rapids. The historic district includes both downtown Ypsilanti, along Michigan Avenue, and the Depot Town area adjacent to Frog Island Park and Riverside Park, which features many specialty shops, bars and grills, and a farmers' market.

The Ypsilanti Water Tower, adjacent to the campus of Eastern Michigan University, holds the unique distinction of being the winner of the Most Phallic Building contest.

Ypsilanti is served by daily newspapers from Ann Arbor and Detroit. Ypsilanti once had its own daily newspaper, the Ypsilanti Press, but that paper closed in the early 1990s. Upon closing, the Press sold its masthead, archives and subscriber list to the Ann Arbor News, which then began publishing an Ypsilanti edition. At present, a weekly newspaper, the Ypsilanti Courier, is published every Thursday by Heritage Newspapers from their Belleville, MI offices.

Ypsilanti is also served by radio and TV stations from Ann Arbor and Detroit. Broadcasts from the Lansing, Toledo and Windsor, Ontario areas also reach parts of the area.

Ypsilanti is often shortened to "Ypsi" in spoken conversation.

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Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006

Seal of Michigan.svg

The Michigan gubernatorial election of 2006 was one of the 36 U.S. gubernatorial elections held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic Governor and Canadian immigrant Jennifer Granholm was re-elected over Republican businessman Dick DeVos, Libertarian Gregory Creswell, Green Douglas Campbell, and U.S. Taxpayer Candidate Bhagwan Dashairya. The margin (rounded to the nearest percent) was 56% (Granholm), 42% (DeVos), 1% (Creswell), 1% (Campbell) and <1% (Dashairya).

After her first election as Governor in 2002, Granholm was widely seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. However, due in large part to a weak Michigan economy and high unemployment, her popularity dropped sharply after she took office in 2003. In August 2006, her approval rating was 47 percent. Former Alticor president Dick DeVos, a son of billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, a Republican, declared his candidacy against Granholm on June 2, 2005.

DeVos brought significant assets to the race. A multimillionaire, he had developed substantial political contacts with the full participation of his wife, former Michigan Republican Party chairman Betsy DeVos, despite which, fully 85% of the DeVos campaign's contributions were from DeVos' inheritance. As the 2006 election approached, the DeVos family was listed among the biggest Republican campaign contributors in Michigan.

The DeVos and Campbell campaigns each made a major issue of the state's economy. DeVos assailed the Single Business Tax and the economic doldrums & job outsourcing which occurred during Granholm's first term; Campbell assailed the $12 billion taken from Michigan's taxpayers and appropriated to the military siege of Iraq (which he calls "Duhbbya's Folly") and advocated for a local currency, independent of the U.S. dollar which he and running mate David Skrbina say is in imminent jeopardy of collapse. Granholm responded that her policies have saved thousands of jobs. She also attacked DeVos's partisanship, wealth, and tenure at Alticor. DeVos, Campbell and Granholm all assailed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative which was exclusively supported by Creswell, and passed by a landslide.

Granholm had no opposition in the primary election, which was held August 8.

DeVos was originally facing two other Republicans; state Representative Jack Hoogendyk of Portage and state Senator Nancy Cassis of Novi, both dropped out by summer 2005. A political unknown, Louis Boven tried to challenge him in the primary, but failed to meet Michigan election requirements to get on the ballot. Boven later ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign.

Opponents of Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm pointed out that every other state gained jobs in 2005-2006 except Michigan. The plight of Michigan's automobile and other manufacturing industries was so bad during this period that candidate DeVos felt forced to criticize his fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, for the President's disiniclination to meet with top automaking executives to discuss the state of the industry (August 23, 2006). Bush did announce afterwards that he will meet with automakers after the November election.

Granholm was also attacked for allegedly supporting Michigan's single business tax (SBT), something that no other state uses. Granholm responded that she did not support the SBT, but rather opposed plans by the Republican-controlled state legislature to eliminate the tax without replacing the lost revenue.

DeVos complained, on March 9, 2006, that a public service announcement telling residents who to contact if they cannot afford to pay their heating costs during Michigan's freezing winter, produced by DTE Energy Co. and given by Granholm was in his opinion a Granholm campaign commercial in disguise.

Many of DeVos' critics asserted that his leadership of highly controversial Alticor, the parent company of Amway and Quixtar, the world's largest multi-level marketing organization, should have disqualified him from holding public office. Critics of DeVos also claimed that under his management Alticor outsourced 1,400 jobs to China. The DeVos campaign responded that more than 300 high paying jobs were created in Michigan to support the expansion of Alticor into China, and no product produced in China is even shipped to the United States. DeVos also says that no American job went to a Chinese worker. This would show that Alticor has not directly outsourced jobs, but is growing into a global company. It is unclear whether Alticor considered exporting goods from Michigan to China.

After initially opposing Governor Granholm's policy of ordering the lowering of flags at half-staff to honor Michigan soldiers who died in action in the Iraq War, DeVos reversed himself on June 7, 2006 after receiving several complaints from veterans and their families.

DeVos made economic issues a priority. Detroit News columnist Laura Berman asserted in July 2006 that the candidate was elusive and coy when asked about social issues such as reproductive rights. DeVos was also described as being silent on environmental issues.

DeVos officially supported the teaching of intelligent design in science classes.

In an interview at a Catholic radio station, DeVos said he would be thrilled if Roe vs. Wade was overturned.

DeVos' plan to eliminate a tax on business equipment which funds local governments and schools raised the ire of some local officials.

Some Michigan Republicans were described as supporting Granholm.

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry was Granholm's running mate on the Democratic side.

On the Republican side, DeVos selected former State Representative and Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson as his running mate on August 14..

Other running mates were Scotty Boman for the Libertarian Party, David Skrbina for the Green Party and Carl Oehling for the Constitution Party.

Granholm and her husband earned about $178,000 last year in gross income and paid $35,000 in state and federal taxes, according to published 2005 tax returns. DeVos has not disclosed his personal tax statements. Without releasing actual documents, it is unclear whether the information contained in the tax statements would reveal any conflicts of interest for DeVos as governor of Michigan. A conflict did emerge previously involving the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids of which DeVos is a partial owner, due to some conferences the state government has held there. Michigan Democratic Party chairman Mark Brewer and the Granholm campaign have criticized the DeVoses for not releasing his tax returns. DeVos campaign spokesman John Truscott said voters are more worried about the economy than what's being paid in taxes. Neither Creswell nor Campbell released personal tax statements to the media.

DeVos had spent at least $39 million in campaign ads while the Granholm campaign spent at least $13.8 million. The Michigan Democratic Party spent at least $10 million on Granholm's behalf. The campaign was the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in Michigan history. The DeVos ads have proven effective in giving him name recognition which showed in the polls. Because of the funds DeVos spent out of his own pockets, he was not eligible for public funds which the Granholm campaign was eligible for.

A political ad aired by the DeVos campaign in late July raised the ire of the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal newspapers alleging selective editing of their newspaper articles in a negative fashion to Granholm.

In September 2006, the DeVos campaign asked the media to stop airing anti-DeVos ads created by the Democratic party (representing Jennifer Granholm). The CBS affiliate in Cadillac, Michigan is the only known television station to stop airing the ad.

All campaigns made extensive use of the Internet to promote their candidate and criticize the opponents.

In October 2006, the Creswell campaign spent over $10,000 on radio advertising, which while small, was the most spent on a such advertising by any Michigan gubernatorial campaign outside the Democratic or Republican parties. The largest investment was made in advertisements on Detroit AM Radio stations WJR and WXYT. These commercials specifically targeted Devos and Granholm by referring to them as candidates of “The two old parties,” and berating them for supporting state-supported preferences based on race and sex: A clear reference to MCRI.

The Campbell Campaign spent less than $1,000, as was the case with the Dashairya campaign.

In a controversial move, the Michigan Republican Party issued a mailing blaming Granholm for a triple murder committed by two people one of whom was mistakenly paroled. The murders led to changes in procedures and the firing of several parole workers.

On August 25, 2006, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pledged to actively campaign for Granholm and utilize the campaign team which got him re-elected as mayor . The Michigan Democratic Party held their state convention in city of Detroit at Cobo Hall while the Michigan Republican Party held their convention in the City of Novi in Oakland County at the new Rock Financial Showplace. The Libertarian Party of Michigan held their convention at the Comfort Inn in Chelsea. The Green Party had their convention at the Wolverine Dilworth Inn in Boyne City, Michigan.

The DeVos and Granholm campaigns agreed to three televised debates. Granholm and DeVos appeared together October 12 at the Detroit Economic Club in which each candidate delivered their job plans.

The first one was October 2 at WKAR-TV in East Lansing. Minor-party candidates were excluded from the WKAR debate because none of them met WKAR's 5% threshold of support in polls, despite the fact the virtually none of the pollsters even asked voters about them. (see "Polls", below) Each of the televised debates were constrained in scope and format by a ten-page bilateral agreement between the Granholm an Devos campaigns, which Campbell, Creswell and Dashairya were not part of. Both candidates spent the hour trading charges and countercharges. Detroit News pollster Ed Sarpolus indicated that there was no clear winner in the debate, but Bill Rustem, senior vice president of the nonpartisan policy firm Public Sector Consultants in Lansing, favored Granholm. The consensus of pundits Bill Ballenger, George Bullard, Kathy Barks Hoffman and Rick Albin and capital correspondent Tim Skubick, speaking on the October 6 WKAR-television program Off the Record, was that both DeVos and Granholm emerged losers, losing 2 and 4 percentage points' support after the event. No major gaffes or zingers came out in the debate. Some of the positions were made clear on stem cell research and abortion. One minor zinger was made by Granholm about DeVos' investment in a chain of nursing homes which abused its patients.

The second was October 10 at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. This debate was more structured than the first debate, but still only included two of the five gubernatorial candidates. DeVos was more aggressive than before, declaring that Granholm had lied about him having a controlling stake in Alterra Health Care, an elder-care company that suppressed information about the abuse of residents by its employees. According to SEC filings, DeVos and his investment partners jointly owned 40% of Alterra stock totalling $173 million. The chairman of Alterra's board, while a close associate of DeVos, nevertheless maintains that DeVos had no part of running the company himself.

DeVos also asserted that he had convinced President Bush to set a date to meet with the three major Michigan auto companies. Granholm responded that she didn't believe that was true. DeVos admitted after the debate that he misspoke; the President agreed to have a meeting at some point after the election, but did not confirm a date. On October 24, two weeks after this debate was held, a mid-November date was set for the meeting.

The third televised debate was October 16 at WXYZ-TV in Southfield. Unlike the previous debates, this one had an invited studio audience of 30 undecided voters, some of whom asked questions to the participating candidates. Like the two previous debates, only two of the five candidates were admitted. Granholm and DeVos sparred on various issues including college tuition, Canadian trash, business taxes, President Bush and negative ads,while Creswell supporters picketed outside.

During the opening statements of the third debate, Gov. Granholm attacked DeVos for using pictures of dead children as a campaign tool against her. However, it has come to show that Devos was not the person using the pictures, but supporters of him, who were cheering for him outside of the debate studio.

This debate was broadcast on October 18 from CMN-TV in Troy at 5:30 PM. It was the only televised debate to which all gubernatorial candidates were invited. It also was only the only televised debate in which the majority of gubernatorial candidates participated. This debate included Libertarian Gregory Creswell, Green Douglas Campbell, and U.S. Taxpayer Candidate Bhagwan Dashairya (Dashairya identified himself as a Constitution Party (listed on ballot as U.S. Taxpayers Party) candidate).

Bhagwan Dashairya (born October 15, 1938) was the 2006 US Taxpayers' Party candidate for Governor of Michigan. The Michigan US Taxpayers' Party is affiliated with the United States Constitution Party, but Michigan election law does not provide a mechanism for changing the name of a political party.

Dashairya is the first Asian Indian to run for Michigan's highest office. He has two B.S. degrees: One in mathematics from Allahabad University, and the other in mechanical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in Banaras. He also has three graduate degrees: An MS and a Ph.D. in engineering sciences from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Business Administration from Davenport University in Dearborn, Michigan.

As of 2006 Deshairya ran a management consultant firm and serves as executive director of the Council of Organizations of Asian Indians in Michigan (COAIM).. He has a PhD in engineering science and a Masters in business. He has sat on several boards and has sought city council, county commissioner and mayoral positions in the past.

Deshirya came in fifth place in the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election with 7,087 votes statewide, ahead of Angelo Brown, Bob Jones and Timothy Wellsted.

In May 2007 Dashairya ran for the Wayne-Westland School Board.

Carl Oehling (Born August 28, 1932) was the 2006 US Taxpayer Party candidate for Lt. Governor of Michigan. The Michigan US Taxpayers party is affiliated with the United States Constitution Party, but Michigan Law does not provide a mechanism for changing the name of a political party. Oehling and his running mate Bhagwan Deshirya came in fifth place in the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election with 7,087 votes statewide.

He is an opponent of abortion, and claims to have been nearly aborted himself. He is the Berrien and Cass County contact for Michigan Citizens for Life , and has acted as a Michigan spokesperson for the anti-abortion movement in a number of newspaper interviews. He has also run for the Coloma School Board, Berrien County sheriff. In addition to being an active force in Michigan politics, he hosts the web page for the Constitution Part of Illinois.

Carl Oehling went to Lutheran Schools most of his life, graduating in 1951. He attended Lawrence Institute of Technology, Wayne State University and received a degree in Zoology at Michigan State University in 1962.

He has two children and worked in the Human Anatomy Department at MSU until 1968. Oehling worked at a number of jobs related to medicine and management at Coloma Fabricare prior to his retirement at the age of 65.

The following results are official.

DeVos, buoyed by the political ads he ran, led in the polls for most of the Summer. DeVos' lead eroded when Granholm ads started running and Granholm had built up a lead as voters found out more about the candidates culminating in the three debates, and as political fortunes soured for Republicans across the country.

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Michigan

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D).

Michigan ( /ˈmɪʃɨgən/ (help·info)) is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. It was named after Lake Michigan, whose name is a French adaptation of the Ojibwe term mishigama, meaning "large water" or "large lake".

Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world, bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third for the number of registered recreational boats, behind California and Florida. Michigan has 12,000 inland lakes. A person is never more than six miles (10 km) from a natural water source, or more than 87.2 miles (137 km) from Great Lakes coastline.

Michigan is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is sometimes dubbed "the mitten," owing to its shape. When asked where in Michigan one comes from, a resident of the Lower Peninsula may often point to the corresponding part of his or her hand. Upper Peninsula residents sometimes refer to those from the lower as "trolls" (they live below the bridge, "citiiots", and "flatlanders". The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as The U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km)-wide channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula (whose residents are often called "Yoopers") is economically important for tourism and natural resources.

The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile (8 km)-long Mackinac Bridge, which is the third longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the world. The bridge has given rise to the nickname of "trolls" for residents of the Lower Peninsula, because they live "under" (south of) the bridge.

Michigan was home to various Native Americans centuries before colonization by Europeans. When the first European explorers arrived, the most populous and influential tribes were Algonquian peoples—specifically, the Ottawa, the Anishnabe (called "Chippewa" in French, after their language, "Ojibwe"), and the Potawatomi. The Anishnabe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the most populous.

Although the Anishnabe were well-established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, they also inhabited northern Ontario, northern Wisconsin, southern Manitoba, and northern and north-central Minnesota. The Ottawa lived primarily south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern and western Michigan, while the Potawatomi were primarily in the southwest. The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires. Other First Nations people in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, and the Wyandot, who are better known by their French name, "Huron".

French voyageurs explored and settled in Michigan in the 17th century. The first Europeans to reach what later became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first European settlement was made in 1641 on the site where Father (Père, in French) Jacques Marquette established Sault Sainte-Marie.

Saint Ignace was founded in 1671 and Marquette in 1675. Together with Sault Sainte-Marie, they are the three oldest cities in Michigan. "The Soo" (Sault Ste. Marie) has the distinction of being the oldest city in both Michigan and Ontario. It was split into two cities in 1818, a year after the U.S.-Canada boundary in the Great Lakes was finally established by the U.S.-U.K. Joint Border Commission.

In 1679, Lord La Salle of France directed the construction of the Griffin, the first European sailing vessel on the upper Great Lakes. That same year, La Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph.

In 1701 French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Le Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Ponchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait between Lakes St. Clair and Erie, known as the Detroit River. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and repel British aspirations.

The hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent (about .85 acre, the equivalent of just under 200 feet (61 m) per side) and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first white women to settle in the Michigan wilderness. The town quickly became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The "Église de Saint-Anne" (Church of Saint Ann) was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation of that name continues to be active today.

At the same time, the French strengthened Fort Michilimackinac at the Straits of Mackinac to better control their lucrative fur-trading empire. By the mid-eighteenth century, the French also occupied forts at present-day Niles and Sault Ste. Marie, though most of the rest of the region remained unsettled by whites.

From 1660 to the end of French rule, Michigan was part of the Royal Province of New France. In 1759, following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in the French and Indian War (1754–1763), Québec City fell to British forces. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Michigan and the rest of New France passed to Great Britain.

During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was an important British supply center, but most of the inhabitants were either Native Americans or French-Canadians. Because of imprecise cartography and unclear language defining the boundaries in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the British retained control of Detroit and Michigan. When Quebec was split into Lower and Upper Canada in 1790, Michigan was part of Kent County, Upper Canada. It held its first democratic elections in August 1792 to send delegates to the new provincial parliament at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Under terms negotiated in the 1794 Jay Treaty, Britain withdrew from Detroit and Michilimackinac in 1796. Questions remained over the boundary for many years, and the United States did not have uncontested control of the Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island until 1818 and 1847, respectively.

During the War of 1812, Michigan Territory (effectively consisting of Detroit and the surrounding area) was captured by the British and nominally returned to Upper Canada. American forces forced the British out in 1813 and pushed into Canada.

The Treaty of Ghent implemented the policy of "Status Quo Ante Bellum" or "Just as Things Were Before the War." That meant Michigan stayed American, and the agreement to establish a joint US-UK boundary commission also remained valid. Subsequent to the findings of that commission in 1817, control of the Upper Peninsula and of islands in the St. Clair River delta was transferred from Ontario to Michigan in 1818. Mackinac Island (to which the British had moved their Michilimackinac army base) was transferred to the U.S. in 1847.

The population grew slowly until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. This brought a large influx of settlers to Michigan because it made transportation by ships through the Great Lakes possible. By the 1830s, Michigan had some 80,000 residents, which were more than enough to apply for statehood.

In 1836 a state government was formed, although Congressional recognition of the state was delayed pending resolution of a boundary dispute with Ohio. Both states claimed a 468-square-mile (1,210 km²) strip of land that included the newly incorporated city of Toledo on Lake Erie and an area to the west then known as the "Great Black Swamp." The dispute came to be called the Toledo War. Michigan and Ohio militia maneuvered in the area but never exchanged fire. Congress awarded the "Toledo Strip" to Ohio. Michigan received the western part of the Upper Peninsula as a concession and formally entered the Union on January 26, 1837.

Thought to be nearly valueless, the Upper Peninsula was discovered to be a rich and important source of lumber, iron, and copper. These became the state's most sought-after natural resources and generated early wealth. Geologist Douglass Houghton and land surveyor William Austin Burt were among the first to document many of these resources. Developers rushed to the state. Michigan led the nation in lumber production from 1850s to the 1880s. The lumber harvested in Michigan was shipped to the rapidly developing prairie states, Chicago, to the eastern states, and even all of the way to Europe.

The first official meeting of the Republican Party took place July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan, where the party adopted its platform. Michigan made a significant contribution to the Union in the American Civil War and sent more than forty regiments of volunteers to the Federal armies.

Michigan's economy underwent a massive change at the turn of the 20th century. The birth of the automotive industry, with Henry Ford's first plant in Highland Park, marked the beginning of a new era in transportation. Like the steamship and railroad, it was a far-reaching development. More than the forms of public transportation, the automobile transformed private life. It became the major industry of Detroit and Michigan, and permanently altered the socio-economic life of the United States and much of the world. Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan, is also a center of automotive manufacturing. Since 1838, the city had also been noted for its thriving furniture industry. Started because of ready sources of lumber, the furniture industry declined in the late 20th century.

Michigan held its first United States presidential primary election in 1910, and in 1920 Detroit's WWJ became the first radio station in the United States to regularly broadcast commercial programs. Throughout that decade some of the country's largest and most ornate skyscrapers were built in the city. Particularly noteworthy are the Fisher Building, Cadillac Place, and the Guardian Building which are National Historic Landmarks.

Detroit boomed through the 1950s, at one point doubling its population in a decade. After the 1950s, Detroit's population began to shift to its suburbs, accelerating after racial strife in the 1960s and high crime rates in the 1970s and 1980s.

Michigan is the leading auto producing state in the U.S even though some of the industry has shifted to less expensive labor overseas and in the Southern United States. With more than ten million residents, Michigan continues to grow and remains a large and influential state, ranking eighth in population among the fifty states.

The Metro Detroit area in the southeast corner of the state is the largest metropolitan area in Michigan (roughly 50% of the population resides there) and one of the ten largest metropolitan areas in the country. The Grand Rapids/Holland/Muskegon metropolitan area on the west side of the state is the fastest growing metro area in the state presently, with over 1.3 million residents as of 2006.

Metro Detroit's population is growing, and Detroit's population is still shrinking, though strong redevelopment in central part of the cities and a significant rise in population in the outskirts of the city are contributing to some population inflow. A period of economic transition, especially in manufacturing, has caused economic difficulties in the region since the recession of 2001.

Lansing is the state capital and is home to all three branches of state government. The Michigan State Capitol was dedicated in 1879 and has hosted the state's executive and legislative branches ever since. The chief executive is the Governor, and Jennifer Granholm currently holds the office. The legislative branch consists of the bicameral Michigan Legislature, with a House of Representatives and Senate. The Michigan legislature is a full-time legislature, though some representatives have voiced concerns about the long hours disrupting their home lives and wish to make the job part-time. The Michigan Supreme Court sits with seven justices. The Michigan Constitution provides for voter initiative and referendum (Article II, § 9, defined as "the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution"). Michigan has two official Governor's Residences; one is in Lansing, and the other is at Mackinac Island.

Michigan's state universities are immune from control by the legislature, many aspects of the executive branch, and cities in which they are located; but they are not immune from the authority of the courts. Some degree of political control is exercised as the legislature approves appropriations for the schools. Furthermore, the governor appoints the board of trustees of most state universities with the advice and consent of the state Senate. Only the trustees of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University are chosen in general elections.

Michigan was the first state in the Union, as well as the first English-speaking government in the world, to abolish the death penalty, in 1846. David Chardavoyne has suggested that the abolitionist movement in Michigan grew as a result of enmity towards the state's neighbor, Canada, which under British rule made public executions a regular practice.

The first formal meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson, Michigan on July 6, 1854 and the party thereafter dominated Michigan until the Great Depression. In the 1912 election, Michigan was one of the six states to support progressive Republican and third party candidate Theodore Roosevelt for President after he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft.

Voters in the state elect candidates from both major parties. Economic issues are important in Michigan elections. The three term Republican Governor John Engler (1991-2003) preceded the current Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. The state has re-elected its current Republican Attorney General Mike Cox since 2003. Michigan supported the election of Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. However, the state has supported Democrats in the last five presidential election cycles. In 2008, Barack Obama carried the state over John McCain, winning Michigan's seventeen electoral votes with 57% of the vote. Democrats have won each of the last three, nine of the last ten, and fifteen of the last eighteen U.S. Senate elections in Michigan with confidence on national economic issues posing a challenge. Republican strength is greatest in the western, northern, and rural parts of the state, especially in the Grand Rapids area. Republicans also do well in suburban Detroit which tends to be an important factor in deciding statewide elections. Democrats are strongest in the east, especially in the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Saginaw.

Michigan was the home of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States. He was born in Nebraska and moved as an infant to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up there. The Gerald R. Ford Museum is located in Grand Rapids.

State government is decentralized among three tiers — statewide, county and township. Counties are administrative divisions of the state, and townships are administrative divisions of a county. Both of them exercise state government authority, localized to meet the particular needs of their jurisdictions, as provided by state law. There are 83 counties in Michigan.

Cities, state universities, and villages are vested with home rule powers of varying degrees. Home rule cities can generally do anything that is not prohibited by law. The fifteen state universities have broad power and can do anything within the parameters of their status as educational institutions that is not prohibited by the state constitution. Villages, by contrast, have limited home rule and are not completely autonomous from the county and township in which they are located.

There are two types of township in Michigan: general law township and charter. Charter township status was created by the Legislature in 1947 and grants additional powers and stream-lined administration in order to provide greater protection against annexation by a city. As of April 2001, there were 127 charter townships in Michigan. In general, charter townships have many of the same powers as a city but without the same level of obligations. For example, a charter township can have its own fire department, water and sewer department, police department, and so on—just like a city—but it is not required to have those things, whereas cities must provide those services. Charter townships can opt to use county-wide services instead, such as deputies from the county sheriff's office instead of a home-based force of ordinance officers.

Michigan consists of two peninsulas that lie between 82°30' to about 90°30' west longitude, and are separated by the Straits of Mackinac. With the exception of two small areas that are drained by the Mississippi River by way of the Wisconsin River in the Upper Peninsula and by way of the Kankakee-Illinois River in the Lower Peninsula, Michigan is drained by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed and is the only state with the majority of its land such drained.

The Great Lakes that border Michigan from east to west are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It has more lighthouses than any other state. The state is bounded on the south by the states of Ohio and Indiana, sharing land and water boundaries with both. Michigan's western boundaries are almost entirely water boundaries, from south to north, with Illinois and Wisconsin in Lake Michigan; then a land boundary with Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula, that is principally demarcated by the Menominee and Montreal Rivers; then water boundaries again, in Lake Superior, with Wisconsin and Minnesota to the west, capped around by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north and east.

The northern boundary then runs completely through Lake Superior, from the western boundary with Minnesota to a point north of and around Isle Royale, thence traveling southeastward through the lake in a reasonably straight line to the Sault Ste. Marie area. Windsor, Ontario, once the south bank of Detroit, Upper Canada, has the distinction of being the only part of Canada which lies due south of a part of the lower 48 contiguous United States. In Southeastern Michigan there is a water boundary with Canada along the entire lengths of the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair (including the First Nation reserve of Walpole Island) and the Detroit River). The southeastern boundary ends in the western end of Lake Erie with a three-way convergence of Michigan, Ohio and Ontario.

Michigan encompasses 58,110 square miles (150,504 km²) of land, 38,575 square miles (99,909 km²) of Great Lakes waters and 1,305 square miles (3,380 km²) of inland waters. Only Alaska has more territorial water. At a total of 97,990 square miles (253,793 km²), Michigan is the largest state east of the Mississippi River (inclusive of its territorial waters). Michigan claims a land area of 58,110 square miles (150,500 km2) of land and 97,990 sq mi (253,790 km2) total, making it the tenth largest state, but the U.S. Census Bureau claims only 56,803.82 sq mi (147,121.22 km2) of land and 96,716.11 sq mi (250,493.57 km2) total, making it the eleventh largest. Michigan forestland covers nearly 52% of the state at 19,300,000 acres (78,000 km2).

The heavily forested Upper Peninsula is relatively mountainous in the west. The Porcupine Mountains, which are part of one of the oldest mountain chains in the world, rise to an altitude of almost 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level and form the watershed between the streams flowing into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The surface on either side of this range is rugged. The state's highest point, in the Huron Mountains northwest of Marquette, is Mount Arvon at 1,979 feet (603 m). The peninsula is as large as Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island combined but has fewer than 330,000 inhabitants. They are sometimes called "Yoopers" (from "U.P.'ers"), and their speech (the "Yooper dialect") has been heavily influenced by the numerous Scandinavian and Canadian immigrants who settled the area during the lumbering and mining boom of the late nineteenth century.

The Lower Peninsula, shaped like a mitten, is 277 miles (446 km) long from north to south and 195 miles (314 km) from east to west and occupies nearly two-thirds of the state's land area. The surface of the peninsula is generally level, broken by conical hills and glacial moraines usually not more than a few hundred feet tall. It is divided by a low water divide running north and south. The larger portion of the state is on the west of this and gradually slopes toward Lake Michigan. The highest point in the Lower Peninsula is either Briar Hill at 1,705 feet (520 m), or one of several points nearby in the vicinity of Cadillac. The lowest point is the surface of Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 m).

Numerous lakes and marshes mark both peninsulas, and the coast is much indented. Keweenaw Bay, Whitefish Bay, and the Big and Little Bays De Noc are the principal indentations on the Upper Peninsula. The Grand and Little Traverse, Thunder, and Saginaw bays indent the Lower Peninsula. After Alaska, Michigan has the longest shoreline of any state—3,288 miles (5,326 km). An additional 1,056 miles (1,699 km) can be added if islands are included. This roughly equals the length of the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida.

The state has numerous large islands, the principal ones being the Manitou, Beaver, and Fox groups in Lake Michigan; Isle Royale and Grande Isle in Lake Superior; Marquette, Bois Blanc, and Mackinac islands in Lake Huron; and Neebish, Sugar, and Drummond islands in St. Mary's River. Michigan has about 150 lighthouses, the most of any U.S. state. The first lighthouses in Michigan were built between 1818 and 1822. They were built to project light at night and to serve as a landmark during the day to safely guide the passenger ships and freighters traveling the Great Lakes. See Lighthouses in the United States.

The state's rivers are small, short and shallow, and few are navigable. The principal ones include the Au Sable, Thunder Bay, Cheboygan, and Saginaw, all of which flow into Lake Huron; the Ontonagon, and Tahquamenon, which flow into Lake Superior; and the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Manistee, and Escanaba, which flow into Lake Michigan. The state has 11,037 inland lakes and 38,575 square miles (62,067 km²) of Great Lakes waters and rivers in addition to 1,305 square miles (3,380 km2) of inland water. No point in Michigan is more than six miles (10 km) from an inland lake or more than 85 miles (137 km) from one of the Great Lakes.

The state is home to one national park: Isle Royale National Park, located in Lake Superior, about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Other national protected areas in the state include: Keweenaw National Historical Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Huron National Forest, Manistee National Forest, Hiawatha National Forest, Ottawa National Forest, Fumee Lake Natural Area and Father Marquette National Memorial. The largest section of the North Country National Scenic Trail also passes through Michigan.

With 78 state parks, 19 state recreation areas, and 6 state forests, Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system of any state. These parks and forests include Holland State Park, Mackinac Island State Park, Au Sable State Forest, and Mackinaw State Forest.

Michigan has a humid continental climate, although there are two distinct regions. The southern and central parts of the Lower Peninsula (south of Saginaw Bay and from the Grand Rapids area southward) have a warmer climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa) with hot summers and cold winters. The northern part of Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula has a more severe climate (Koppen Dfb), with warm, but shorter summers and longer, cold to very cold winters. Some parts of the state average high temperatures below freezing from December through February, and into early March in the far northern parts. During the winter through the middle of February the state is frequently subjected to heavy lake-effect snow. The state averages from 30-40 inches (75-100 cm) of precipitation annually.

The entire state averages 30 days of thunderstorm activity per year. These can be severe, especially in the southern part of the state. The state averages 17 tornadoes per year, which are more common in the extreme southern portion of the state. Portions of the southern border have been nearly as vulnerable historically as parts of Tornado Alley. Farther north, in the Upper Peninsula, tornadoes are rare.

The geological formation of the state is greatly varied. Primary boulders are found over the entire surface of the Upper Peninsula (being principally of primitive origin), while Secondary deposits cover the entire Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula exhibits Lower Silurian sandstones, limestones, copper and iron bearing rocks, corresponding to the Huronian system of Canada. The central portion of the Lower Peninsula contains coal measures and rocks of the Permo-Carboniferous period. Devonian and sub-Carboniferous deposits are scattered over the entire state.

The soil is of a varied composition and in large areas is very fertile, especially in the south. However, the Upper Peninsula for the most part is rocky and mountainous, and the soil is unsuitable for agriculture. The climate is tempered by the proximity of the lakes and is much milder than in other locales with the same latitude. The principal forest trees include basswood, maple, elm, sassafras, butternut, walnut, poplar, hickory, oak, willow, pine, birch, beech, hemlock, witchhazel, tamarack, cedar, locust, dogwood, and ash.

As of the July 1, 2008 population estimate, Michigan has an estimated population of 10,003,422, an increase of 64,930, or 0.7%, since the year 2000. As of 2000, the state had the 8th largest population in the Union.

The center of population of Michigan is located in Shiawassee County, in the southeastern corner of the civil township of Bennington, which is located directly north of the village of Morrice.

As of 2005-2007 three-year estimate, the state had a foreign-born population of 610,173, or 6% of the total population. In recent years, the foreign-born population in the state has grown. Michigan has the largest Dutch-American, Finnish-American and Macedonian-American populations in the United States.

The five largest reported ancestries in Michigan are: German (20.4%), African American (14.2%), Irish (10.8%), English (9.9%), and Polish (8.6%).

Michigan has a large white population (81.3%). Americans of European descent including German, French, and British ancestry live throughout most of Michigan and Metro Detroit. People of Nordic (especially Finnish) and Cornish ancestry have a notable presence in the Upper Peninsula. Western Michigan is known for the Dutch heritage of many residents (the highest concentration of any state), especially in metropolitan Grand Rapids. Metro Detroit also has residents of Polish and Irish descent.

Dearborn has become the center of a large Arab-American community, now mostly Lebanese, who immigrated for jobs in the auto industry in the 1920s. About 300,000 people trace their roots to the Middle East. African-Americans, who came to Detroit and other northern cities in the Great Migration of the early 20th century, form a majority of the population of the city of Detroit and of other industrial cities, including Flint and Benton Harbor.

An individual from Michigan is called a "Michigander" or "Michiganian". Also at times, but rarely, a "Michiganite".

The Roman Catholic Church was the only organized religion in Michigan until the 19th century. Detroit's St. Anne's parish, established in 1701, is the second-oldest Catholic parish in the country. The original French-Roman Catholics, reduced to a small minority by the influx of American Protestants, were soon reinforced by the arrival of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, and, later, from eastern and southern Europe. The Lutheran religion was introduced by German and Scandinavian immigrants; Lutheranism is second largest religious denomination in the state. Islam was introduced by immigrants from the Near East during the 20th century.

Today the largest denomination by number of adherents in 2000 was The Roman Catholic Church with 2,019,926 The largest Protestant denominations were the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod with 244,231 The United Methodist Church with 222,269 adherents The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 160,836 adherents.

The Michigan economy leads in information technology, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing. Michigan is commonly known for its auto industry. Michigan ranks fourth nationally in high-tech employment with 568,000 high-tech workers, including 70,000 in the automotive industry. Michigan typically ranks third or fourth in overall research and development expenditures in the United States. Its research and development, which includes automotive, comprises a higher percentage of the state's overall gross domestic product than for any other U.S. state. The state is an important source of engineering job opportunities. The domestic auto industry accounts directly and indirectly for one of every ten jobs in the U.S. Some of the major industries/products/services include automobiles, cereal products, information technology, aerospace, military equipment, copper, iron, and furniture. Michigan is the third leading grower of Christmas trees with 60,520 acres (245 km2) of land dedicated to Christmas tree farming. The beverage Vernors was invented in Michigan in 1866, sharing the title of oldest soft drink with Hires Root Beer. Faygo was founded in Detroit on November 4, 1907.

Michigan has experienced economic difficulties brought on by volatile stock market disruptions following the September 11, 2001 attacks. This caused a pension and benefit fund crisis for many American companies, including General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The American auto companies are proving to be more resilient than other affected industries as each company implements its respective turnaround plans (in 2007, General Motors reported a $9.6 billion surplus in its pension fund). Despite problems, Michigan ranked second nationally in new corporate facilities and expansions in 2004. From 1997 to 2004, Michigan was listed as the only state to top the 10,000 mark for the number of major new developments, led by Metro Detroit. Manufacturing in Michigan grew 6.6% from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler reached agreements with the United Auto Workers Union to transfer the liabilities for their respective health care and benefit funds to a 501(c)(9) Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) raising prospects for corporate turnaround plans. During the recession, President George W. Bush extended loans from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds in order to help the Big three automakers bridge the recession, after final passage of a similar proposal had been blocked by a Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

Even though Michigan is known as the birthplace of the automobile industry, its diverse economy leads in many other areas. Michigan has a booming biotechnology industry and the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor is a $1 billion biotechnology initiative in the state of Michigan.

As leading research institutions, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, and Wayne State University are important partners in the state's economy. Michigan's workforce is well-educated and highly skilled, making it attractive to companies. Michigan's infrastructure gives it a competitive edge; Michigan has 38 deep water ports. In 2007, Bank of America announced that it would commit $25 billion to community development in Michigan following its acquisition of LaSalle Bank in Troy.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport is one of the nation's most recently expanded and modernized airports with six major runways, and large aircraft maintenance facilities capable of servicing and repairing a Boeing 747. Michigan's schools and colleges rank among the nation's best. The state has maintained its early commitment to public education.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Michigan's 2004 gross state product at $372 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $31,178 and ranked twentieth in the nation. In January 2009, Michigan's unemployment rate rose to 11.6%, the highest in the nation during the recession.

Michigan's top tax bracket on personal income is 4.35%. Some cities impose additional income taxes. Michigan's state sales tax is six percent. Property taxes are assessed on the local, not state, level. In 2007, Michigan repealed its Single Business Tax (SBT) and replaced it with a Michigan Business Tax (MBT) in order to stimulate job growth by reducing taxes for seventy percent of the businesses in the state. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, recent growth in Michigan is 0.1%.

A wide variety of commodity crops, fruits, and vegetables are grown in Michigan, making it second only to California among U.S. states in the diversity of its agriculture. Michigan is a leading grower of fruit, including blueberries, cherries, apples, grapes, and peaches. These fruits are mainly grown in West Michigan. Michigan produces wines and a multitude of food products. Kellogg's cereal is based out of Battle Creek, Michigan and processes many locally grown foods. Michigan is home to very fertile land in the Flint/Tri-Cities and "Thumb" areas. Products grown there are corn, sugar beets, navy beans, and soy beans. Sugar beet harvesting usually begins the first of October. It takes the sugar factories about five months to process the 3.7 million tons of sugarbeets into 970 million pounds of pure, white sugar. Michigan's largest sugar refiner, Michigan Sugar Company is the largest east of the Mississippi River and the fourth largest in the nation. Michigan Sugar brand names are Pioneer Sugar and the newly incorporated Big Chief Sugar. Potatoes are grown in Northern Michigan, and corn is dominant in Central Michigan. Michigan State University is dedicated to the study of agriculture.

Michigan has a thriving tourist industry. Visitors spend $17.5 billion per year in the state, supporting 193,000 tourism jobs. Michigan's tourism website ranks among the busiest in the nation. Destinations draw vacationers, hunters, and nature enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada. Michigan is fifty percent forest land, much of it quite remote. Both the forests and thousands of miles of beaches are top attractions. Tourism in metropolitan Detroit draws visitors to leading attractions, particularly The Henry Ford, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Detroit Zoo, and to sports in Detroit. Other museums include the Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, museums in the Cranbrook Educational Community, and the Arab American National Museum. The metro area offers four major casinos, MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown, Motor City, and Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; moreover, Detroit is the largest American city and metropolitan region to offer casino resorts.

Hunting is a major component of Michigan's economy. Michigan ranks first in the nation in licensed hunters (over one million) who contribute $2 billion annually to its economy. Over three-quarters of a million hunters participate in white-tailed deer season alone. Many school districts in rural areas of Michigan cancel school on the opening day of rifle season, because of attendance concerns.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources manages the largest dedicated state forest system in the nation. The forest products industry and recreational users contribute $12 billion and 200,000 associated jobs annually to the state's economy. Michigan has more than 90 native species of trees, more than all of Europe combined.

The state has numerous historical markers, which can themselves become the center of a tour.

With its position in relation to the Great Lakes and the countless ships that have foundered over the many years in which they have been used as a transport route for people and bulk cargo, Michigan is a world-class SCUBA diving destination. The Michigan Underwater Preserves are 11 underwater areas where wrecks are protected for the benefit of sport divers.

Michigan is served by five Class I railroads: the Canadian National Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, the Norfolk Southern Railway, and Conrail. These are augmented by several dozen short line railroads. The vast majority of rail service in Michigan is devoted to freight, with Amtrak and various scenic railroads the exceptions.

Amtrak passenger rail services the state, connecting many southern and western Michigan cities to Chicago, Illinois. There are plans for commuter rail for Detroit and its suburbs (see SEMCOG Commuter Rail).

Interstate 75 is the main thoroughfare between Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw extending north to Sault Sainte Marie and providing access to Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario. The expressway crosses the Mackinac Bridge between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Branching highways include I-275 and I-375 in Detroit; I-475 in Flint; and I-675 in Saginaw.

Interstate 69 enters the state near the Michigan-Ohio-Indiana border, and it extends to Port Huron and provides access to the Blue Water Bridge crossing into Sarnia, Ontario.

Interstate 94 enters the western end of the state at the Indiana border, and it travels east to Detroit and then northeast to Port Huron and ties in with I-69. I-194 branches off from this freeway in Battle Creek.

Interstate 96 runs east-west between Detroit and Muskegon. I-496 loops through Lansing. I-196 branches off from this freeway at Grand Rapids and connects to I-94 near Benton Harbor. I-696 branches off from this freeway at Novi and connects to I-94 near St Clair Shores.

Major bridges include the Ambassador Bridge, Blue Water Bridge, Mackinac Bridge, and International Bridge. Michigan also has the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel crossing into Canada.

The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is by far Michigan's busiest airport, followed by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

Half of the wealthiest communities in the state are located in Oakland County, just north of Detroit. Another wealthy community is located just east of the city, in Grosse Pointe. Only three of these cities are located outside of Metro Detroit. The city of Detroit itself, with a per capita income of $14,717, ranks 517th on the list of Michigan locations by per capita income. Benton Harbor is the poorest city in Michigan, with a per capita income of $8,965, while Barton Hills is the richest with a per capita income of $110,683.

Michigan's major-league sports teams include: Detroit Tigers baseball team, Detroit Lions football team, Detroit Red Wings ice hockey team, Detroit Pistons men's basketball team, Detroit Shock women's basketball team, and Grand Rapids Rampage Arena Football League team.

The Shock currently play at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons played at Detroit's Cobo Arena until 1978 and at the Pontiac Silverdome until 1988. The Detroit Lions played at Tiger Stadium in Detroit until 1974, then moved out to the Silverdome before moving to Ford Field in 2002. The Red Wings played at Olympia Stadium before moving to Joe Louis Arena in 1979. The Rampage play at the Van Andel Arena in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids' entertainment district.

Ten-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was born in Saginaw. Professional hockey got its start in Houghton, when the Portage Lakers were formed.

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Source : Wikipedia