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MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY — "There was no backup plan" for incumbent judge

November 28, 2008

“Gary Glenn, who chairs Campaign for Michigan Families…said the group was reacting to (Gov. Jennifer) Granholm’s appointment of Baillargeon, which he called ‘a contempt for the values of the citizens of Allegan County in the first place. This county had voted 68 percent in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment’ of 2004, which would limit marriage to unions of one man and one woman. To support the PAC’s claim, Glenn cited a $500 donation Baillargeon made to Coalition for a Fair Michigan, a group that opposed the amendment.”

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MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY
Farmington Hills, Michigan
November 24, 2008

“There was no backup plan” for incumbent judge
by Douglas J. Levy

(Excerpt)

With more than 43,000 votes cast in the western Michigan county’s election, (newly-elected Allegan County Circuit Court Judge Kevin) Cronin won by 255 votes, a margin of 0.6 percent.

…Although the race was technically non-partisan, Cronin had the support of the Campaign for Michigan Families, a conservative political action committee and subgroup of the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan.

The Campaign for Michigan Families spent about $2,500 on ads and robo-calls that portrayed (incumbent Judge William) Baillargeon, according to one ad, as “personally involved in promoting the homosexual agenda” because of his ties to gay-rights groups Affirmation Community Center of Ferndale, for which he served as a youth-group facilitator, and the Detroit-based Triangle Foundation, where he once served on the board of advisors.

Cronin said his campaign wasn’t affiliated with the Campaign for Michigan Families, nor is he now, and he said he neither heard nor read any of the PAC’s ads.

Gary Glenn, who chairs Campaign for Michigan Families, said the group neither contacted Cronin nor worked with him in the ad campaign.

Rather, he said, the group was reacting to (Gov. Jennifer) Granholm’s appointment of Baillargeon, which he called “a contempt for the values of the citizens of Allegan County in the first place. This county had voted 68 percent in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment” of 2004, which would limit marriage to unions of one man and one woman.

To support the PAC’s claim, Glenn cited a $500 donation Baillargeon made to Coalition for a Fair Michigan, a group that opposed the amendment.

Glenn did, however, say he was surprised that given the county’s voting history, there was such a narrow margin. But when asked whether that would have suggested the group’s ads were not as effective as anticipated, he answered, “That’s irrelevant. The results are what counts.”

…Considering the narrow vote margin, Baillargeon said he is likely to ask for a recount after the state completes its canvass of the election this week.

(Link to full story at www.MiLawyersWeekly.com available only by subscription)

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