First, I want to thank everyone who supported me, volunteered for me, voted for me and donated to my campaign. I really appreciate all the support and I’m sorry if I let anyone down. Second, I want to congratulate Brian Breslin and Mitch Lyons. I know they deeply care for MSU and I wish them success on the Board. Finally, I want to thank Colleen McNamara for dedicating 16 years of her life on the MSU Board of Trustees. These are not paid positions and I appreciate her dedication to one of the greatest universities in the world.
Last Major Fundraiser of the Campaign!
October 19, 2010; 7:30-9:00am
The Coral Gables; 2838 East Grand River; East Lansing
Interesting article from The City Pulse about the campaign:
Proud that I am the only major party MSU Trustee candidate to get a "very positive" rating by the Lansing Association for Human Rights (LAHR) PAC.
From today's MIRS
MSU Board Candidates Debate
The four major party candidates for the Michigan State University (MSU) Board of Trustees squared off Friday on Off The Record on same-sex partner health care benefits, the no-tuition-hike pledge and the need for two university lobbyists in their first, and likely last, joint appearance.
The two Democrats, Colleen McNAMARA and Dennis DENNO, met with Republicans Mitch LYONS and Brian BRESLIN.
They divided along party lines on health care benefits for same-sex partners that are university employees.
Breslin noted, "The benefits should be for married couples and I think the definition of married couples is a man and a woman."
Lyons said he opposed the policy while McNamara voted for it and still supports it even though the courts have declared it unconstitutional. Denno said, "I have no problem with it."
The quartet was asked if they would take the no-tuition increase pledge.
"It's irresponsible to make the pledge," argued Denno, who did pledge that "it's the last thing I would do. There are cuts I want to do before I raise tuition."
McNamara said it was all about doing what was "best for the university" and thus she "can't guarantee that I would never vote beyond any number" that might be proposed.
Lyons promised, "I will like to never raise tuition rates faster than the inflation rate. It's a disservice to the people of Michigan."
Breslin noted he could not go that far because there are other factors to consider in deciding the rates.
"You can pretty much count on me to vote no . . . but you have to see what's happening with state appropriations . . . generally tuition should not go beyond the rate of inflation."
In an interesting twist, the two Democrats disagreed with each other on the need for two multi-client lobbyists and so did the two Republicans.
Denno wants to take a "serious look" at having two outside lobbyists on the MSU payroll. "I don't know why we need two lobbying firms. It's crazy."
"I disagree Dennis," McNamara told her colleague. She said the university needs a firm that works best with Republicans and Democrats and on that point Breslin agreed. She said "everyone has lobbyists. That's they way of the world if you're going to be sophisticated and play in this world."
Breslin concluded, "I would not get rid of them. I think communications with the Legislature is absolutely critical."
Lyons, on the other hand, was not so sure noting that, "I'd definitely take a look at that. It seems like a redundancy." Both revealed that they did not know two lobbyist firms were on the payroll.
The entire exchange can be seen at WKAR.ORG as a special election edition of Off the Record.
Check out the debate at http://wkar.org/offtherecord/program/4014/
Letters to the Editor
Campaign goal is to get 100 letters to the editor in papers throughout the state. We already have folks writing letters, if you would like to add your name to the list by helping please let us know by hitting the "contact" link! We would be happy to give you some talking points or even a draft letter or two.
My name is Dennis Denno and I am running for the Michigan State University (MSU) Board of Trustees as a Democrat. I am:
• a graduate of MSU;
• a lifetime member of the MSU Alumni Association;
• on the Advisory Board of the Arabic Language Instruction Flagship (ALIF)program; and
• I am also a graduate of the U of M.
For the past 11 years I have worked in the Michigan legislature, and I can use that experience to hit the ground running if I am elected to the MSU Board because the Board basically serves as the legislative branch of the University.
Here is why I am running for MSU Trustee:
• My parents are immigrants, they didn’t go to college but worked hard every day to make sure their kids had an opportunity to graduate from college. I’m concerned that it is becoming more and more difficult for middle class families to attain those same goals.
Set our priorities at MSU
With the difficult economic times we are facing, we need the right economic priorities on campus. Too much money is spent on building costs and other non-essential items.
We also need to make sure we are using our research dollars to develop jobs throughout Michigan. MSU is one of the best research universities in the nation. Many of MSU’s programs are some of the strongest in their fields. We need to make sure that MSU is using its classroom experience and research dollars to successfully spin those resources into economic investment throughout the state. I own a small business and I’ve headed up a non-profit and I would like to bring those unique experiences to maximize MSU’s job creation potential.
Thanks to eveyone who supported my nomination, I couldn't have done it without you! I’m proud of the fact that I have traveled throughout the state and been to over half the counties in Michigan talking about MSU and listening to people's concerns about tuition and the future of MSU. If elected I will use my legislative, small business and non-profit experience to be a fiscally responsible vote and progressive voice on the Board. I will fight to make tuition affordable while making sure our priorities are kept. I hope I can earn your vote!