Detroit News. August 8, 2022.
Editorial: GOP should release compromised DePerno
Matt DePerno was never the best choice for Republicans to unseat Attorney General Dana Nessel in the November election. He won state party approval in April at a convention dominated by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Trump backed and continues to campaign for DePerno, who carried his waters in the unsubstantiated claim that vote-counting glitches in Antrim County pointed to widespread problems in Michigan’s 2020 presidential election.
But DePerno’s appeal is limited beyond the Trump loyalist camp. If he lands the ballot as the GOP banner-bearer for AG, Michigan Republicans will very likely lose their best chance of beating an incumbent Democratic officer statewide. Nessel’s approach is off-the-beaten-track and she hasn’t always performed well in office, leaving her vulnerable.
Now, along with eight others, DePerno is the target of a criminal investigation launched by Nessel’s office into unauthorized post-election acquisition and tampering with voting machines.
If DePerno is charged and convicted, who AG says was present at locations where illegally obtained voting tabs were being dismantled for testing, the GOP candidate could face five years in prison.
DePerno also announced last spring that he is the subject of an investigation by the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission into his activities in Antrim County. The Commission’s Disciplinary Division has the power to revoke his license to practice law.
DePerno called the criminal investigation “total rubbish” and accused Nessel of getting involved in politics.
But the reality is that the accusation, valid or not, casts another cloud over DePerno’s campaign. Unless the special prosecutor requests Nessel to declare whether the case against DePerno is legitimate before his name officially goes on the ballot, Republicans will be waiting for that shoe to fall throughout the campaign. The same applies to the complaint of the Attorney Grievance Commission.
This is a serious risk for Republicans, and one they can avoid.
The state GOP is holding its nominating convention in Lansing on August 27, where it is scheduled to endorse recommendations made by delegates in May.
It will take 70% of the delegates to overturn the April decisions and the approval of the top party officials.
It’s a high bar, but a Republican should try to hit it. It is foolish to present a candidate who is subject to both criminal investigation and an investigation according to professional standards.
Of course, DePerno could eliminate this problem by voluntarily withdrawing from consideration for the nomination, allowing the party to choose a candidate with a chance of winning. He should do this for the good of his party.
Traverse City record eagle. August 10, 2022.
Editorial: When normal seems remarkable
Last week’s pre-election day proceeded at a normal pace.
Day voters trickled in as they normally do, with occasional spikes before and after normal working hours.
The turnout in the midterm primaries was as usual, 30 to 40 percent.
No-reason absentee voting continued to prevail as the preferred voting method of bipartisan convenience.
Even before the election, public accuracy tests had the usual crowd – of almost empty spaces.
After all the election tension, we didn’t know what to expect, but in this case, normalcy seems remarkable.
And while it’s also normal to take our campaign workers for granted, they too are remarkable for so many reasons.
Michigan has just witnessed a safe and smooth election conducted by Michigan’s 1,600 city, county and county officials, their staffs and the cadre of poll workers who keep the Democratic engines running.
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state and chief election official, thanked this group for their “effort and integrity.”
Nationwide, that contingent has faced more than 1,000 cases of harassing and intimidating messages since the 2020 election, according to Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite, reporting at a special US Senate hearing last week. Of those cases, about 100 are being prosecuted, three people have been charged and one person has been convicted, according to PBS’s coverage of the hearing.
Benson testified to the group about her experiences with protesters gathering outside her home in December 2020 and urged leaders to increase spending on poll security.
According to PBS, a bipartisan Senate bill would double federal penalties to up to two years in prison for those who threaten poll officials, poll watchers, voters or candidates.
We both support these steps and hope they are unnecessary.
Currently, bipartisan panels of campaigners are reviewing the unofficial results of the elections, conducting recounts and confirming changed results. Then the Board of State Recruiters will review the election again and then vote to confirm its findings before the results are official.
We wish for normality to continue and thank the officials and election workers for their help.
Iron Mountain Daily News. August 11, 2022.
Editorial: The state provides advice on examining and finding student loans
As Michiganders prepare for the upcoming fall semester and begin paying their tuition, the Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid Team urges students and their families to be vigilant and informed when considering student loans.
“Michigan students and families bear a significant portion of their higher education costs,” said Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. “When student borrowers become their own financial advocates, they can better understand how to manage and use the financial assistance they receive. Please think carefully about accepting only those loans that are needed. The choices students make today will have an impact later in life.”
The MI Student Aid Team recommends seven best practices when considering student loans:
— Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Colleges use information from the FAFSA to determine their financial aid. By completing and submitting the FAFSA, students maximize all of their financial assistance opportunities.
— Understand that loans have to be repaid. Not all financial support included in a grant letter is free money. Many financial aid grants include federal student loans. Unlike grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid with interest.
— Check the level of interest offered on a loan before accepting it. Federal student loans, parental student loans (PLUS), and private loans have different interest rates and repayment terms. Before taking out a loan, students should determine the interest rate on each loan, compare them and then accept the loans with the best interest rates and repayment terms.
— Accept only the amount you need. Students can either decline a loan or apply for a smaller loan amount, and the letter of acceptance should include instructions on how to do this.
— Watch out for credit fraud. In a typical student loan scam, a scammer asks for banking information from a student who is looking for loans. The scammer usually claims they are using the information to make a direct deposit into the student’s account in exchange for upfront payments paid through gift cards. Instead, the scammer accesses the student’s bank account and withdraws funds.
— Visit the school’s scholarship office once a semester. While students may not have to start paying off their loans while they are in school, students should not wait until they understand their responsibilities. Students should know the status of their college or university’s student account and keep an eye on the type of support they are receiving. By making this a habit, students can avoid over-indebtedness and stay on budget.
— Create an account on the US Department of Education-managed website studentaid.gov. With a studentaid.gov account, students can track federal student loans, check the interest rate of each one, and the total interest accumulated to date. Students can also view different repayment options, estimate monthly payments, and know who their loan servicer is when repayment begins.
For more information, visit https://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid or contact MI Student Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-888-447-2687 or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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