Northville, Michigan , United States
|| February 05, 1959
|Last Modifed||Progressive Scot|
Mar 11, 2013 08:27am
Caucasian - Moderate-to-Liberal - Anti Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Environment - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Labor - Catholic - Straight -
|Info||Jennifer Mulhern Granholm is the governor of the U.S. state of Michigan. A Democrat, she became Michigan's first female governor when, on January 1, 2003, she succeeded John Engler of the Republican party. |
Granholm, a Catholic, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1959, and her family moved to California when she was four. 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. That year (1980), she also became a United States citizen, worked for John Anderson's independent run for U.S. President, and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from UC-Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in political science. Granholm then earned a law degree at Harvard Law School, also with honors. She clerked for U.S. Judge Damon Keith on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She married current "first gentleman" Daniel Mulhern, a corporate lawyer from Michigan and in 1990 became a U.S. prosecutor for the Detroit area. In 1994 she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.
Granholm was elected Michigan Attorney General in 1998, serving for four years (1999-2002), 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 massively across Michigan immediately following the attacks. She defeated Republican nominee Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus in 2002 to become governor.
Granholm was sworn in as the 47th Governor of the state of Michigan on January 1, 2003. In her inaugural speech, she said: "We've all heard that song, 'I Hope You Dance'. Well, I hope you dance with your government." 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.
In 2003, Granholm ran across the 5-mile Mackinac Bridge, which connects the state's two peninsulas, in 47 minutes during the Annual Bridge Walk. Her run began a new tradition, and 2004 saw the first annual Governor’s Labor Day Bridge Run held hours before the Annual Bridge Walk. This time she finished the run in under 45 minutes. After joining her husband Daniel Mulhern for the last two miles of his October 24, 2004 Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon run, Granholm remarked "I would love to run a marathon before I'm 50."
At an awards ceremony 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 (Source: Lansing State Journal, Feb. 16, 2005). 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. 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 (preferring that any crises-solving elements of the budget would claim Republican authorship.) Source: Lansing State Journal, Apr. 17, 2005.
In March 2005, Granholm sought to withhold awarding scholarships earned through the MEAP scholarship program in order to trim an estimated $9 million off the state budget. The program awards $500 college scholarships to 8th-grade students that perform well on the MEAP standardized test. Granholm argued that the state had no internal means of determining which students had earned the scholarships. After much criticism, notably from the Detroit Free Press, local area lawyers, and parents (who claimed to have received, and did produce, official letters promising the money), she apologized and awarded the students their scholarships, though the state's budget difficulties remained unresolved. Liz Boyd, a representative for Granholm, said though "the matter of the $500 scholarships is settled, it illustrates that the state should not make financial obligations far into the future." Source: Detroit Free Press, March 12, 2005.
Granholm is often described as a centrist affiliated with the Democratic Party. Many people have suggested the possibility that she might run for U.S. president, a position which, under the U.S. Constitution, is not open to a naturalized citizen. A campaign exists to amend the constitution so that Granholm or Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of the state of California and also a foreign-born U.S. citizen, would be qualified to run. However, Granholm herself has said she would not run for president should such an amendment pass.