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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    RightMichigan Exclusive: An interview with 2010 Secretary of State candidate Anne Norlander


    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 02:29:07 PM EST
    Tags: (all tags)

    Its officially 2009 which means Election Day 2010 is practically right around the corner.  This year in Michigan just about everything is up for grabs.  110 seats in the House, 38 seats in the Senate, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, two Supreme Court Justices and heaven knows what kinds of ballot initiatives will be before Michigan voters when they head to the polls this cycle.

    And with the new year, primary races begin to shape up and take form for many of those offices.  One that is shaping up faster than the others is the Republican Primary field for the Secretary of State's office.

    As we move through the year Right Michigan will be working hard to bring you profiles, updates and interviews with the men and women who will occupy all of our political discussions throughout the cycle and we're starting today.  

    Over the holiday I had a chance to speak with Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds Anne Norlander.  Anne was the first candidate in the state to officially announce her intentions to seek statewide office and she was very generous with her time in the middle of all of the holiday hustle and bustle.  Why is she running?  What has she accomplished in Calhoun County?  What are her hopes and dreams for the office?  

    You'll have to read below the fold to find out...

    Anne, thanks for taking the time!  So, just before the holiday you made a big announcement... you were the first candidate to officially toss your hat into the ring as a candidate for Secretary of State in 2010!  But before we get into the future, I want to make sure everyone at Right Michigan has a chance to get to know you the way I've gotten to know you a little bit over the last six years.

    The biography stuff is easy.  You're the Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds and you've been at that for a while now, right?

    Twenty years to be exact!  I defeated the 24 year Democrat incumbent in 1988 to become the first woman to hold the position of Clerk and Register of Deeds in the 172 year history of Calhoun County.

    Republicans didn't have many positive numbers to look at coming out of this past November's election but your vote totals always bring a smile to my face.  Barack Obama won Calhoun County but you actually out-polled the President-elect if I remember right.

    In Calhoun County I won with 55% of the vote, the highest of any Republican county-wide in a contested race.  McCain lost by 7,000 votes, I won by 8,000 votes.  Only three Republicans survived the Obama Bashing.  I was happy to be one of them.

    And I think those numbers really speak to your broader appeal.  You're a Republican but more than that, you deliver.  What inspired you to get involved with public service in the first place?

    Public Service has always been a part of my heritage.  My maternal grandfather was the Sixth District Republican Chair in Minnesota.  In 1924 he was chosen as a delegate to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and took part in the nomination of Calvin Coolidge as President of the United States.  My father was a Municipal and District Court Judge.  My husband is a former Calhoun County Prosecutor.  I have always been involved in my community.  I served as a County Commissioner from 1984-1988 and have chaired numerous Presidential and Gubernatorial campaigns.  I am the 7th District Vice-Chair, a former State Committee Member, Budget Committee Member, and introduced the Optical Scan Voting Method now used for voting at State Conventions.

    Believe it or not, I still have my original Kindergarten Report Card.  My teacher, "Miss Barbara" wrote:  Anne associates with others in a pleasant manner.  She is concerned about the welfare of others - always willing to help.  Anne is responsible, likes change and variety and is always anxious to try something new.  Anne is a leader.

    As the saying goes, "All you need to know, you learned in Kindergarten".  I would like to take the skills I learned in Kindergarten to Lansing.  It is vitally important we elect leaders who "work and play well with others"!

    I was hoping we could cover a few foundational issues here too, just to get them out in the open for the folks who are just being introduced to you for the first time.  Especially if we wind up with a Republican Party primary it'll be important for folks to know where you stand on things like second amendment rights, taxes and spending and the life issue.

    I anticipate a Republican Primary and look forward to a spirited race in the months ahead!  As you are aware, the 83 County Clerks were given the task of implementing the CCW Legislation and its many changes.  2nd Amendment: I have a concealed weapons permit and I am a member of the NRA.  Taxes and Spending:  I am a fiscal conservative. I am an advocate of less government and lower taxes.  As Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds, I manage a 3.1 million dollar "Corporation".  I also manage staff of 23 full and part time employees.  We live within our budget and find creative ways to save taxpayers money.    I am Pro-Life.  I believe life begins at conception.

    And having been re-elected a few times you've had occasion to garner a lot of endorsements over the years.  Are there any that you've been particularly pleased with?

    During the last election cycle I was endorsed by all twenty-seven Clerks in Calhoun County.  I was endorsed by our three Chambers of Commerce, the Calhoun County Board of Realtors and the Calhoun County Farm Bureau.  Thus far in the race for Secretary of State, I have endorsements of the vast majority of Michigan's 83 County Clerks and Registers of Deeds, 6 District Chairs, numerous state party officials, County Chairs and officers and precinct delegates.  Visit my web page at annenorlander.com for a list of my endorsements.

    Tell us about your time in the Calhoun County Clerk's office.  What sort of experiences have you had there that make you especially ready or suited to become our next Secretary of State?  Are there any accomplishments you're especially proud of?

    Since my election to the office of Clerk and Register of Deeds, our capable staff has implemented sweeping changes to improve productivity, introduce true customer service and utilized technology to provide additional services at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

    Our focus has been government that is responsive, accessible and accurate.  Through systems review, restructuring operations, and adoption of technology to increase speed and accuracy, we have redefined the meaning of "Government that Works".

    Four years ago, we committed ourselves to developing internet access for land records, public vital records, election results, campaign finance filings, and Circuit Court Register of Actions.  My vision was a virtual Clerk and Register of Deeds office, where the public never had to travel to the office or wait in line, but could access any document or piece of information electronically.

    Thanks to Senate Bill 63, which became effective March 31, 2003, that vision became a reality.  Over two million pages of documents are now available on the internet at www.co.calhoun.mi.us and they are:
    Land Record Index and Images - 1966 Forward
    Death Indexes - 1934 Forward
    Marriage Indexes - 1934 Forward
    Assumed Name Certificate Index - 1984 Forward
    Circuit Court Indexes (Register of Actions) - 1984 Forward (in progress)
    Campaign Finance Records
    Election Canvasses
    Forms:  Applications for Certified Copies of Births, Deaths, Marriages, Assumed Name Certificates, Amendments of Assumed Names, Dissolution of Assumed Names and Co-Partnerships.

    Other accomplishments include:
    Development of a Genealogy Directory on the State's website
    Personal Protection Order Office which serves as a valuable resource to victims of Domestic Violence
    Development of an Election Canvass which is now used Statewide.
    Envisioned and completed the Calhoun County Records Management Center located in the Toeller Building saving the taxpayers over $20,000
    Instituted and revised new CCW Legislation
    Implemented Consolidated Election Legislation

    Transitioning away from the biography stuff into the next two years, obviously it's early yet and I don't think anyone expects you to have a full platform and two-thousand-page full-color glossy "plan" in place for the Secretary of State's office but I know you wouldn't be pursuing the seat if there weren't some specific things you hoped to accomplish.  What's on your heart and your mind?

    Building on the successes of Candice Miller and Terri Lynn Land, I intend to continue to improve customer service, maintain election integrity and enforce campaign finance laws, by making wise use of technology to improve the voting process and increase efficiency in branch offices.  Government at all levels will continue to face tight budgets.  I will continue to find innovative ways to reduce expenses while maintaining a high level of customer service.  We've succeeded in Calhoun County, I can hardly wait to "Make Government Work" in Lansing.

    I know things are crazy around your office right now and I don't want to over-stay my welcome here.  Is there any sort of message you'd like to leave folks with as we start gearing up for the next 675 some odd days?

    I have the vision and the drive to change how government works.  My goal was to be Secretary of State eight years ago, however, life sometimes gets in the way of your dreams..  Sometimes candidates choose their time to run, and at other times, time chooses the candidate.  It's my time.  My administrative experience as a County Clerk and Register of Deeds and my twenty year involvement with our Republican State party are a perfect recipe for success in 2010.  The 2010 election must be about electability and experience.  The citizens of Michigan deserve no less from their executive officers.

    Anne, thanks again and best of luck!  Should be one heck of a ride.

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    My platform (none / 0) (#1)
    by Wendy Day on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:24:37 AM EST
    If I were to run for Secretary of State, my platform consists of two things:

    Unless things have changed since I was in last I would:

    Enable you to use a credit card or debit card at every branch to pay for your fees.

    Establish a system so that every Michigan soldier who was registered to vote, could, even if they are oversees, at drill or at a mob site.

    That's it.

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