Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006
Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006
2002 ←
November 7, 2006
→ 2010

  Jennifer Granholm 5.jpg Dick-DeVos-Nov-3-2006-Cropped.jpg
Nominee Jennifer Granholm Dick DeVos
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,142,513 1,608,086
Percentage 56.3% 42.3%

Michigan Gubernatorial Election Results by county, 2006.png

County results

Seal of Michigan Governor.svg
Governor before election

Jennifer Granholm

Elected Seal of Michigan Governor.svg

Jennifer Granholm

Gregory Creswell, the Libertarian candidate for governor
Douglas Campbell, the Green Party candidate for governor
Bhagwan Dashairya, the Constitution Party candidate for governor

The Michigan gubernatorial election of 2006 was one of the 36 U.S. gubernatorial elections held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic Governor 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).[1]



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.[2] Former Alticor president Dick DeVos, a son of billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos,[3] 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.[4] As the 2006 election approached, the DeVos family was listed among the biggest Republican campaign contributors in Michigan.[5]

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,[6][7] and passed by a landslide.[8]


Defeated primary candidate

  • Republican Dr. Louis Boven, a Holland, MI chiropractor, was running a write-in campaign for the Republican primary. Boven tried to make the primary ballot but fell short of the 15,000 signatures needed to have a name placed on the ballot for governor.

Primary contests

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.

Criticisms of Governor Granholm

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).[9] Bush did announce afterwards that he will meet with automakers after the November election.[10]

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.[11]

Criticisms of the DeVos campaign

Some 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.[12]

DeVos made economic issues a priority. Detroit News columnist Laura Berman asserted in July 2006 that the candidate was coy when asked about social issues.[13] DeVos was also described as being silent on environmental issues.[14]

DeVos' plan to eliminate a tax on business equipment which funds local governments and schools raised the ire of some local officials.[15]

Some Michigan Republicans were described as supporting Granholm.[16]

Lieutenant governor candidates

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.[17]

Other running mates were Scotty Boman for the Libertarian Party,[18] David Skrbina for the Green Party[19] and Carl Oehling for the Constitution Party.[20]

Tax statements for 2006 candidates

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[21] Neither Creswell nor Campbell released personal tax statements to the media.

Campaign ads

DeVos spent at least $39 million on campaign ads, and $41 million overall, which is more money spent than any other gubernatorial candidate in Michigan History.[23] The Granholm campaign spent at least $13.8 million. The combined money spent by both campaigns made this election the most expensive gubernatorial election in Michigan history. Because of the funds DeVos spent out of his own pockets, he was not eligible for public funds like the Granholm campaign.[24]

A political ad aired by the DeVos campaign in late July raised the ire of the Detroit Free Press [25] and Lansing State Journal [26] 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.[27][28]

All campaigns made extensive use of the Internet to promote their candidate and criticize the opponents.[7][29][30][31]

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.[32][33] The largest investment was made in advertisements on Detroit AM Radio stations WJR and WXYT.[34] 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.[35]

The Campbell Campaign spent less than $1,000,[36] as was the case with the Dashairya campaign.[37]

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.[38]

The Detroit Effect

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.[39] 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.[40][41] The Green Party had their convention at the Wolverine Dilworth Inn in Boyne City, Michigan.[42]

Notable endorsements

Granholm endorsements

DeVos endorsements

No endorsements


The DeVos and Granholm campaigns agreed to three televised debates.[90] Granholm and DeVos appeared together October 12 at the Detroit Economic Club in which each candidate delivered their job plans.[91]

WKAR-TV debate

The first one was October 2 at WKAR-TV in East Lansing.[92] 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 [90] 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.[93] 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, [94] 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 [95] and abortion.[96] One minor zinger was made by Granholm about DeVos' investment in a chain of nursing homes which abused its patients.[97][98]

WOOD-TV debate

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. [99] According to SEC filings, DeVos and his investment partners jointly owned 40% of Alterra stock totalling $173 million. [100] The chairman of Alterra's board, while a close associate of DeVos, nevertheless maintains that DeVos had no part of running the company himself. [101]

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. [102] On October 24, two weeks after this debate was held, a mid-November date was set for the meeting.[103]

WXYZ-TV debate

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.[104][105] Granholm and DeVos sparred on various issues including college tuition, Canadian trash, business taxes, President Bush and negative ads,[106] while Creswell supporters picketed outside.[107][108][109][110]

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.

CMN-TV (of Troy) debate

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).[111][31][112] [6]

Bhagwan Dashairya

Bhagwan Dashairya (born October 15, 1938)[113] was the 2006 US Taxpayers' Party candidate for Governor of Michigan.[114][115] The Michigan US Taxpayers' Party is affiliated with the United States Constitution Party,[116] but Michigan election law does not provide a mechanism for changing the name of a political party.[117][118]

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).[119] 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.[120]

Deshirya came in fifth place in the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election with 7,087 votes statewide,[121] ahead of Angelo Brown, Bob Jones[disambiguation needed ] and Timothy Wellsted.

In May 2007 Dashairya ran for the Wayne-Westland School Board.[122]

Bagwan Dasairya Links

Running mate: Carl Oehling

Carl Oehling (Born August 28, 1932)[123] was the 2006 US Taxpayer Party candidate for Lt. Governor of Michigan.[123][124] 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.[117][118] Oehling and his running mate Bhagwan Deshirya came in fifth place in the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election with 7,087 votes statewide.[121]

He is an opponent of abortion, and claims to have been nearly aborted himself.[125] He is the Berrien and Cass County contact for Michigan Citizens for Life,[126][127] and has acted as a Michigan spokesperson for the anti-abortion movement in a number of newspaper interviews.[128][129][130][131] 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.[132]

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.[125]

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[133] prior to his retirement at the age of 65.[125]

Carl Oehling links

Election results

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006[134]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm 2,142,513 56.36% +4.95%
Republican Dick DeVos 1,608,086 42.30% -5.09%
Libertarian Greg Creswell 23,524 0.62%
Green Douglas Campbell 20,009 0.53% -0.27%
Constitution Bhagwan Dashairya 7,087 0.19% -0.20%
Write-ins 37 0.00%
Majority 534,427 14.06% +10.04%
Turnout 3,801,256
Democratic hold Swing


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.

Source Date Granholm (D) DeVos (R) Creswell (L) Campbell (G) Dashairya (T)
EPIC-MRA Nov 6, 2006 49% 42%
Strategic Vision Nov 6, 2006 52% 42% (no option) (no option) (no option)
Mason-Dixon Nov 5, 2006 52% 38% 0–2% 0–2% 0–2%
Survey USA Nov 5, 2006 51% 45% 2% 1% 1%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll Nov 5, 2006 54% 41%
EPIC-MRA Nov 3, 2006 49% 42%
EPIC-MRA Nov 2, 2006 52% 43%
Strategic Vision Nov 2, 2006 50% 42% (no option) (no option) (no option)
EPIC-MRA Oct 31, 2006 52% 42%


Oct 31, 2006 51.6% 42.7% 0–5.7% 0–5.7% 0–5.7%
EPIC-MRA Oct 27, 2006 48% 43% 1% 1%
Research 2000 Oct 25, 2006 50% 40%
Survey USA Oct 25, 2006 52% 45% 1% 1%
Rasmussen Oct 25, 2006 53% 42%
Strategic Vision Oct 24, 2006 47% 43%
Zogby/WSJ Oct 19, 2006 50.6% 44.1%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll Oct 15, 2006 49% 41%
EPIC-MRA(raw data) Oct 13, 2006 51% 42% 2%
Survey USA Oct 9, 2006 50% 45% 1% 1% 1%
Rasmussen Oct 8, 2006 49% 42%
EPIC-MRA Oct 5, 2006 46% 40% 1% 1%
Zogby/WSJ Sept 28, 2006 49.9% 40.8%
Strategic Vision Sept 20, 2006 47% 46%
Survey USA Sept 18, 2006 47% 47% 1% 2% 1%
EPIC-MRA Sept. 14, 2006 50% 42%
Zogby/WSJ Sept. 11, 2006 49.4% 44.0%
Rasmussen Sept. 7, 2006 46% 48%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll Sept. 3, 2006 46% 44%
Strategic Vision August 29, 2006 48% 43%
Zogby/WSJ August 28, 2006 50.8% 43.6%
EPIC-MRA August 23, 2006 49% 42% 3%
Survey USA August 22, 2006 47% 47%
Rasmussen August 16, 2006 47% 46%
EPIC-MRA August 16, 2006 50% 47%
Survey USA August 8, 2006 42% 50% 6%
Rasmussen August 1, 2006 42% 48%
Strategic Vision July 27, 2006 44% 48%
EPIC-MRA July 26, 2006 47% 44%
Zogby/WSJ July 24, 2006 50.5% 44.4%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll July 15, 2006 42% 47%
Zogby/WSJ June 21, 2006 48.1% 46.2%
EPIC-MRA June 21, 2006 44% 46%
Strategic Vision June 21, 2006 41% 48%
Rasmussen June 14, 2006 44% 42%
EPIC-MRA June 12, 2006 40% 48%
Strategic Vision May 24, 2006 42% 45%
EPIC-MRA May 11, 2006 45% 46%
MRG of Lansing May 1–9, 2006 43% 44%
Rasmussen May 5, 2006 44% 43%
Strategic Vision April 21, 2006 43% 42%
EPIC-MRA April 11, 2006 43% 43%
Rasmussen March 27, 2006 44% 44%
MRG of Lansing March 22, 2006 43% 41%
Strategic Vision March 15, 2006 50% 33%
EPIC-MRA March 9, 2006 51% 41%
Rasmussen Feb 14, 2006 44% 43%
EPIC-MRA Feb 12, 2006 53% 36%
Strategic Vision Feb 3, 2006 48% 34%
Rasmussen Jan 20, 2006 49% 38%
Strategic Vision Dec 22, 2005 46% 35%
Rasmussen Dec 2, 2005 48% 36%
EPIC-MRA Nov 29, 2005 58% 35%
Strategic Vision Nov 21, 2005 44% 33%
EPIC-MRA Oct 25, 2005 53% 30%
Strategic Vision Oct 25, 2005 46% 35%
Strategic Vision Sept 29, 2005 47% 33%

See also

  • U.S. gubernatorial elections, 2006

External links


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  3. ^ "Richard M DeVos, The 400 Richest Americans". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/54/GLPH.html. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
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  6. ^ Creswell, Gregory "Equal Means Equal". lpwm.org (website).
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  123. ^ a b Information On Lieutenant Governor Candidates. – Decision 2006 News Story – WDIV Detroit
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  126. ^ Cheboygan
  127. ^ Cheboygan
  128. ^ Michigan Personhood Amendment
  129. ^ DAILY DEMOCRAT – Opinion
  130. ^ http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Carl_Oehling_101707
  131. ^ Elect Larry Kilgore: Who is Larry Kilgore?
  132. ^ Links
  133. ^ COLOMA, MI Political Contributions by Individuals
  134. ^ http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/results/06GEN/

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