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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Op/Ed-Michigan Republican Office Packing Scheme Courtesy of Mark Behnke and the Michigan GOP

ROJS News Op/Ed


I am sick of reporting on this guy-but I believe in keeping people informed.


Photo Credit: Google Images
Former Calhoun County Commissioner-turned Battle Creek City Commissioner- before completing his County term, Mark Behnke; is possibly vying for a State Representative spot in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before his term on the City Commission is complete.


As you may have remembered, ROJS News first reported the story of Mark Behnke last fall which is chronicled here, here, and here.  


The musical office chairs of Mark Behnke-(R) continues. Behnke, a current sitting city commissioner of Battle Creek, Michigan has his eyes set on another elected position, 62nd  State Representative which is currently held by Representative Kate Segal (D)-Battle Creek. Kate Segal has previously announced her candidacy to be re-elected and seek her third and final term in the Michigan House of Representatives.


Keeping true to the Romney platform of waffling-Behnke appears to once again be waffling between elected offices. If Behnke were to be elected as State Rep, his position on the Battle Creek City commission would be vacated.


Due to the Michigan Incompatible Public Offices Act Behnke would not be able to hold both offices of State Representative and City Commission. Depending on when Behnke resigned from the City Commission, would determine once again if his replacement would be appointed or elected.




I do not think this is any accident. I believe this is a carefully orchestrated plan by the GOP to retain, and maintain control on every level of government possible. It works something like this:  A GOP candidate gets elected to a position. After securing one public office, they then vie for another before the term of their first elected position is complete. 


Timing of their resignation from one office is key because it determines if the voters get to elect and fill the vacant seat or if the vacancy is filled by appointment. Since the balance of power in Battle Creek and Calhoun County, [and the whole State]  is GOP dominated, then it is obvious that any appointments made would be filled by a Republican in order to maintain control of said commission or  government body.


This tactic although may be legal, is a gross abuse of power and is a direct way to subvert the democratic and electoral process to avoid facing constituents at the ballot box. It's like a Jr. High adolescent saving a seat for his buddy at the table in the cafeteria. Or better yet its the 21st Century GOP equivalent of FDR's Court Packing Scheme . It amount to a clever way for the Republicans to fill, retain and maintain control of various positions on all levels of government.  


What Behnke appears to be doing is getting elected-holding positions while seeking another elected office then carefully timing his resignation so that his replacement can be appointed rather than being elected. Also when a person is appointed to a position it is much easier for them to be re-elected to a position for an additional term due to their incumbent status and name recognition.


One must then ask, is Behnke's focus really on his constituents and the local issues at hand? Does he really care about the individuals in his community- or is he more concerned in furthering his personal political agenda and playing in the 'political sandbox' of lower government offices to help boost him to higher political office with more power. 


Behnke who previously served two stints as mayor of Battle Creek and also city commissioner, has not previously displayed this type of behavior by jumping from one office to another. The timing of this whole 'scheme' is suspect considering the many controversial and polarizing issues being faced on all levels of government.


This would be Behnke's second resignation to his constituents in ONE year, if elected as State Representative of the 62nd District. How can someone honestly say that he is putting his constituents concerns first when he cannot even complete the terms of the positions he was originally elected to? If his intent was seeking higher office, why is he wasting his time by bouncing from office to office? Why be elected to serve then turn your back on your constituents? 


Mark Behnke the GOP book mark. He'll save you a spot.


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