Jennifer Granholm: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jennifer M. Granholm

Assumed office 
January 1, 2003
Lieutenant John D. Cherry
Preceded by John Engler

In office
January 1, 1999 – January 1, 2003
Preceded by Frank J. Kelley
Succeeded by Mike Cox

Born February 5, 1959 (1959-02-05) (age 50)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Daniel Mulhern
Children Kathryn
Residence Northville, Michigan
Alma mater Harvard Law School (J.D.)
University of California, Berkeley (B.A.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Jennifer Mulhern Granholm (born February 5, 1959) is a Canadian-born American politician, former Attorney General of Michigan, and the 47th and 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.[1] She was a member of the transition team for the presidency of President Obama before he assumed office on January 20, 2009.[2]



Granholm was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Shirley Alfreda Dowden and Victor Ivar Granholm.[3] Granholm's paternal grandfather, who emigrated to Canada in the 1930s, came from Robertsfors, Sweden, where his father was mayor.[4] The Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Energy, Maud Olofsson, lives in Robertsfors and when the two met in Sweden it was revealed that Olofsson's husband is Granholm's relative.[5]

Granholm's grandmother was an immigrant from Norway. Granholm's family immigrated to California when she was four.[6] She grew up in Anaheim, San Jose and San Carlos.[7] Granholm graduated from San Carlos High School, located in San Carlos, California, in 1977.[6] She won the Miss San Carlos beauty pageant.[7] 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.[6] 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.[7] In 1980, she became a United States citizen and worked for John Anderson's independent run for President of the United States, 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.[8]

Michigan Attorney General

Granholm was elected Michigan Attorney General in 1998, defeating the Republican nominee, John Smietanka, 52 percent to 48 percent. The first woman to hold that position, she served for four years (1999–2003), focusing on protecting citizens and consumers and establishing Michigan's first High Tech 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.

Campaign for Governor

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.

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. Mulhern did no work for the county while Granholm was employed there. [9]

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.[10][11][12]

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.[13]


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, successfully resolving over $6 billion in budget deficits. She has emphasized the need for the state to attract young people and businesses to Michigan via the Cool Cities Initiative.[14][15] As Governor, she is a member of the National Governors Association. She is chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and is co-chair of the Health Care Task Force of the National Governors Association. She is also chair of the Midwestern Governors Association. She lives in the official Michigan Governor's Residence located near the Capitol Building.

In 2003, Granholm ran five miles across the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the state's two peninsulas, in 47 minutes during the Mackinac Bridge Walk. Her run began a new tradition, and 2004 saw the first annual Governor’s Labor Day Bridge Run[16] 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."

During Granholm’s first year in office, she made a significant number of budget cuts to deal with a $1.7 billion deficit (about 2% of the annual state budget). She was upset by proposals to cut state funding to social welfare programs, such as homeless shelters and mental health agencies. During an interview, she reflected on the proper perspective of budget cuts:

"Often those who cloak themselves in a cape of religiosity happen to be some who are the biggest cutters. Now, some of that can balance out. But when you get to cutting the services for the least of these – in the 25th chapter of Matthew in the 37th verse the Lord says, 'Whatsoever you do to the least of these, so also you do unto me' – that's when I question whether somebody is really living out the faith that they profess." The interviewer noted that Granholm would be criticized, but she hoped that everyone would “keep those values in mind . . .through the budget process.” Betsy DeVos, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party (1996–2000, 2003–05), was upset that Granhom had decided “to cloak her views on balancing the budget in religious terms in order to demonize her political opponents.” Granholm responded that she did not think her response was controversial, and she said that many people of faith are serving in state government.[17]

Granholm has been a proponent of education reform since the first year of her term. In her first State of the State Address in 2003, Granholm announced Project Great Start to focus on reforming education for children from birth to age 5. Project Great Start has coordinated public and private efforts to encourage educating new parents and encouraging parents to read to their children. [18].

Granholm has also emphasized post-secondary education for Michiganders following the decline in Michigan manufacturing jobs, many of which did not require a college degree. In 2004, she asked Lt. Governor John D. Cherry to lead a Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth to double the number of college graduates in Michigan. Many of the Commission's recommendations have been enacted into law during Granholm's tenure as governor, like increasing high school graduation standards (the Michigan Merit Curriculum) so every Michigan high school student takes four years of math and English, and two years of foreign language study. [19][20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

Gov. Granholm with Condoleezza Rice and other Governors.

Michigan's economy has been losing jobs since 2000, largely based on the decline in the American manufacturing sector. Granholm supported diversification Michigan's economy away from its historical reliance on automotive manufacturing. She advocated a $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund to attract jobs to Michigan in the life sciences, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, and homeland security sectors. [23] Granholm also supported alternative energy jobs to Michigan to replace lost auto manufacturing jobs.

2006 campaign

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.[24]

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.[25][26]

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).[24] Granholm polled 4.9 percent higher than she did in her first gubernatorial election in 2002.

Second term

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.[27] 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.[28]

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[29], to a low of 32 percent in December 2007. She has one of the lowest approval ratings for any Governor in the United States.[30] The divided Michigan legislature received an even lower approval rating of 18 percent in the same poll.[31].

In 2006 Granholm promoting her administration and the Legislature's tax breaks and subsidies for corporations said in her address to state legislature "In five years, you're going to be blown away by the strength and diversity of Michigan's transformed economy". At that time Michigan's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, in November 2009 it was 15.3 percent. [32]

In 2007, Granholm proposed and signed into law the No Worker Left Behind program to provide two years of free training or community college for unemployed and displaced workers. [33] Since its launch in August 2007, over 61,434 people have received training through No Worker Left Behind. The program caps tuition assistance at $5000 per year for two years, or $10,000 per person, and covers retraining in high-demand occupations and emerging industries. [34]

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.[35] 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.[36] Since the passage of the standard, Mariah Power, Global Wind Systems, Cascade Swift Turbine, and Great Lakes Turbine have all announced new projects in Michigan. [37]

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. [38]

Granholm hosts a panel of advisers to Barack Obama's presidential campaign during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

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 by some as a possible candidate for United States Attorney General. She is currently the Policy Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

An August 2008 poll marked Granholm's approval rating at 37 percent.[39]

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,[40] Granholm began an inquiry,[41] which culminated in a removal hearing on September 3, 2008.[42] On September 3, Granholm outlined the legal basis for the hearings, arguments were made and three witnesses were called.[43] 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.[44]

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.[45]

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.[46]

On May 13, 2009, the Associated Press reported that President Obama was considering Granholm, among others, for possible appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Eventually Granholm was passed over in favor of Sonia Sotomayor. [47]

Electoral history

Michigan Gubernatorial Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm (Incumbent) 2,142,513 56.3 +4.9
Republican Dick DeVos 1,608,086 42.3 -5.1
Libertarian Greg Creswell 23,524 0.6 n/a
Green Douglas Campbell 20,009 0.5 -0.3
Constitution Bhagwan Dashairya 7,087 0.2 -0.3
none Write-in candidates 37 0.0 n/a
Majority 534,427 14.0 +10
Turnout 3,801,256 100 +19.6
Democratic hold Swing
Michigan Gubernatorial Election 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm 1,633,796 51.4 n/a
Republican Dick Posthumus 1,506,104 47.4 n/a
Green Douglas Campbell 25,236 0.8 n/a
Constitution Joseph Pilchak 12,411 0.4 n/a
none Write-in candidates 18 0.0 n/a
Majority 127,692 4.0
Turnout 3,177,565 100
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
Michigan Gubernatorial Election 2002 - Democratic Primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm 499,129 47.69
Democratic David Bonior 292,958 27.99
Democratic Jim Blanchard 254,586 24.32
Michigan Attorney General Election 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm 1,557,310 52.09
Republican John Smietanka 1,432,604 47.92


  1. ^ "Souter Reportedly Planning to Retire From High Court". Washington Post. 2009-05-01.  
  2. ^ Despite presidential losses, women in politics score gains
  3. ^ Reitwiesner, William Addams. "The Ancestors of Jennifer Granholm". WARGS (Personal website of William Addams Reitwiesner).
  4. ^ Sandberg, Hans "Michigan to Sweden Let’s Work Together". Currents, Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce, Fall 2007.
  5. ^ Karlsson, Pär (November 10, 2008). "Svenskättling kan bli Obamas minister" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved May 7, 2009.  
  6. ^ a b c Detroit Free Press, 11/6/02, "Shes' the Boss - Granholm wins a place in history as Michigan Elects the state's first female governor".
  7. ^ a b c "Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D)". National Journal Group Inc.. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  8. ^ Clift, Eleano. "Jennifer Granholm: Brainy, Blond and Ready to Rumble". Newsweek (January 6, 2007). MSNBC website. (Accessed June 29, 2007)
  9. ^ Selweski, Chad (January 13, 2002). "Granholm supporters helped her husband secure Wayne County contracts". Macomb Daily. Retrieved 2006-11-13.  
  10. ^ "Hopefuls civil at last debate". Detroit Free Press. July 23, 2002.  
  11. ^ Christoff, Chris (March 2, 2002). "Granholm zooms up in poll for governor". Detroit Free Press.  
  12. ^ "Bonior asks for probe of Metro deals". Detroit Free Press. January 29, 2002.  
  13. ^ Bell, Dawson (October 1, 2002). "Granholm denies a deal with Kilpatrick". Detroit Free Press.  
  14. ^ Granholm, Jennifer. "Governor's Letter". Retrieved 2009-05-08.  
  15. ^ "Michigan's Cool Cities Initiative: A Reinvestment Strategy". Retrieved 17 July 2009.  
  16. ^ Governor’s Labor Day Bridge Run
  17. ^ "On cut, Granholm cites Bible, draws wrath". Detroit Free Press. January 3, 2004.  
  18. ^ "Great Start: State project will change youngest lives for better". Detroit Free Press. October 13, 2003.  
  19. ^ Hawke, Patricia (July 13, 2006). "Michigan Schools Improve High School Graduation Requirements". Buzzle.  
  20. ^ Jacobson, Linda (April 11, 2006). "Michigan Poised to Implement Tough New Graduation Rules". Education Week.  
  21. ^ Panels pass over Granholm plan to cut budget By Tim Martin (Source: Lansing State Journal, Feb. 16, 2005)
  22. ^ Granholm-GOP impasse stalls her agenda By Chris Andrews Source: Lansing State Journal, Apr. 17, 2005.
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b 2006 Official Michigan General Election Results - Governor 4 Year Term (1) Position
  25. ^ Aguilar, Louis (December 4, 2005). "Economic funk won't end in 2006". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2006-10-18.  
  26. ^ "Brain Drain". The Detroit News. August 4, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-18.  
  27. ^ SOM - Governor Granholm Says Comprehensive Budget Solution Resolves State's Fiscal Crisis
  28. ^ Bell, Dawson (October 4, 2007). "Recall voices unite against Granholm". Detroit Free Press.  
  29. ^ | Grand Rapids, MI | Survey USA shows slide in Gov. Granholm's approval rating
  30. ^
  31. ^ Granholm, Legislature too divided, voters say
  32. ^ [Storup, November 2009, Granholm: 'You'll be blown away"
  33. ^ "Granholm proposes 'No Worker Left Behind'". Detroit News. February 6, 2007.  
  34. ^ No Worker Left Behind fact sheet
  35. ^ Press, Associated (January 30, 2008). "Alternative energy key in Granholm's State of the State address". M-Live.  
  36. ^ Andrews coauthors=, Chris (February 5, 2008). "Powering up: Granholm out to generate support for alternative-energy industry". Lansing State Journal.  
  37. ^ 2009 State of the State Address
  38. ^ Verrier, Richard (April 7, 2008). "Michigan to court Hollywood with hefty incentives". Los Angeles Times.,1,2795103.story.  
  39. ^ Experts: Granholm's legacy lies in hearing
  40. ^ Nick Bunkley. Detroit Council Seeks Mayor’s Ouster. Accessed May 14, 2008.
  41. ^ Gorchow, Zachary; Ben Schmitt (2008-05-22). "Granholm starts Kilpatrick ouster inquiry". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  
  42. ^ "Attorneys Hash Out Detroit Mayor Removal Hearing Rules". WDIV. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  43. ^ "Gov.'s Hearings To Remove Mayor Resume Thursday". WDIV. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  44. ^ "Granholm: If Mayor Resigns Hearings To Be Cancelled". WDIV. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  45. ^ "Granholm: Pact on Debates Will Let McCain and Obama Spar". WDIV. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  46. ^ Is Obama Cabinet in Granholm's Future?
  47. ^ "AP source: Obama has more than 6 people for court". Retrieved 2009-05-13.  

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank J. Kelley
Michigan Attorney General
Succeeded by
Mike Cox
Political offices
Preceded by
John Engler
Governor of Michigan

Simple English

Jennifer M. Granholm
File:Jennifer Granholm

47th Governor of Michigan
Assumed office 
January 1, 2003
Lieutenant John D. Cherry
Preceded by John Engler

51st Michigan Attorney General
In office
January 1, 1999 – January 1, 2003
Preceded by Frank J. Kelley
Succeeded by Mike Cox

Born February 5, 1959 (1959-02-05) (age 52)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Political party Democratic
Spouse Daniel Mulhern
Children Kathryn
Residence Northville, Michigan
Alma mater Harvard Law School (J.D.)
University of California, Berkeley (B.A.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Jennifer Granholm (b. February 5, 1959) is a Canadian born American politician. She is the governor of the state of Michigan. Granholm was born in Canada and raised in California. She ran for governor of Michigan in 2002, even though she had lived in the state for less than 15 years.

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