When Richard Austin was Michigan's secretary of state, Republicans like Candice Miller lambasted him for having his name on the outside of offices where Michigan residents went to renew their driver's licenses and conduct other business. Campaigning on the taxpayer's dime, they insisted.
The current Republican holding the office, however, has found a way to campaign on the taxpayers' dime that goes far beyond putting the name of the Secretary of State on the Secretary of State buildings.
Ruth Johnson has put herself on television, for free, inside the buildings where Michigan residents are forced to watch her over and over while they wait to renew their licenses.
Johnson cut commercials urging people to sign up to become organ donors. The commercialsl play on television monitors arranged in front of the seating areas in Secretary of State offices.
Increasing organ donor sign-ups is an admirable goal, but Johnson's commercials are not particularly effective. Johnson is in no position to appeal to a person's altruisim. A far better appeal could have been made by someone who received an organ as a result of someone signing up to be a donor, someone living a
better life than they otherwise would be without the gift of an organ.
That leads me to suspect that the goal of these commercials is not so much to increase organ donation sign-ups, as it is to put Johnson's mug in front of voters over and over so that they remember her name come election time.
Johnson should pull the plug on her taxpayer-paid commercials. Let the facts of organ donation speak for themselves without the subliminal political message.