Complaint about Kilpatrick campaign cash filed with SOS

Maurice Kelman, a retired Wayne State University Law School professor, apparently taking a cue from Attorney General Mike Cox, has filed a complaint with Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, accusing Kwame Kilpatrick of misusing $976,000 in campaign funds.

Kelman’s complaint, obtained by The Detroit Free Press, alleges

Kilpatrick violated campaign-finance law by using his re-election fund to pay the criminal defense lawyers who defended him during the text message scandal.

State Attorney General Mike Cox wrote last month that elected officials could not use campaign money to combat criminal charges stemming from personal conduct. He also said Land should weigh each case on its merits. Land’s spokeswoman said her office will review the complaint.


Prosecutor waits for ruling in Meijer case

“The wait continues for an appellate court decision that could potentially reveal who orchestrated election tampering in Acme Township,” reports the Traverse City Record Eagle.

“Civil suits by Acme officials against Meijer Inc. and the Village at Grand Traverse LLC took center stage over the last three years while a possible criminal investigation loomed in the background, awaiting a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals that could come any day.

“The civil suits settled without identifying who authorized and participated in the manipulation of two Acme Township elections acknowledged by Meijer Inc. in a settlement in May of 2008 with Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.”

Wayne law prof declares for SOS

Democrat Joceyln Benson, a Wayne State University assistant law professor, is announcing her candidacy to become Michigan’s next secretary of state, reports The Associated Press.

Benson has campaign stops today in Detroit and Lansing, and Wednesday visits to Flint and Grand Rapids.

From Jocelyn’s Web site:

Benson is currently a full time Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, where she teaches Election Law. She is also an appointed member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law.

Being a member of the committee inspired her to create the Richard Austin Center on Election Law and Administration. The Austin Center, incorporated in October 2008, seeks to work with local election administrators to promote innovations and improve the election administration process in Michigan.

Prior to her appointment as a Professor, Benson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

From 2002-2004, she served as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, where she worked on the passage of the federal Help America Vote Act. In late 2009, Benson’s book, Democracy and the State Secretary of State, will be published by Ashgate.

The book highlights best practices of Secretaries from throughout the country and seeks to inform voters about how Secretaries of State from either side of the political spectrum can work to advance democracy and election reform.