Former UP State Rep Case Given to AG, General Election Races in the UP, Higher Education as a Hedge Fund, and From the World Around Us



This Week in Rural Insights

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Former UP State Rep Case Given to AG

Former State Representative and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield used to represent the eastern UP and several counties in northern Michigan. He was elected as the youngest Speaker of the House in the history of the state House of Representatives.

The State Police have been investigating allegations that Lee Chatfield sexually assaulted his sister in law while she was a student and he was athletic director at the Northern Christian Academy School owned and operated by his father. There are also unspecified financial allegations against Lee Chatfiled.

Chatfield says according to press reports he had an “affair” with his brother’s wife but it began when she was an adult and denies the rape allegation.

His brother also worked for Representative Chatfield while he was Speaker.

Chatfield was term limited from office in 2020.

The State Police have turned over the records and findings to the Michigan Attorney General for possible prosecution.

General Election Races in the UP

NOVEMBER 8TH. That is a day that is precious to American democracy. A day that all Americans get to exercise their citizenship rights and obligations. Less than a month away.

It is also the day that many of us celebrate as the last day that we get an online fundraising appeal from every candidate in America. Whew. Glad also when the crazy, wild and outlandish stuff from candidate supporters, influencers, etc., on social media will take a breather–hopefully, and let us vote. We are sure they will be back at it on November 9th with no fact-based stuff trying to get ready for the 2024 election. Somebody help us.

Don’t forget that in the Upper Peninsula we have a Congressional race, two state senate races and four state house races. Also scores of local government races, school board races etc. So far we have not heard of any of the angry, confrontational and sometimes violent campaigns we read about in lower Michigan and in other states. Heard of any in the UP, let us know. Our candidates seem to be going about their campaigns the American way–door to door campaigning, local candidate forums, social media, mailers, etc..

Don’t forget there is a race for state Supreme Court seats–four candidates and two seats available. Important to vote for these positions. You will note that there is not one of these candidates from the UP or from other rural areas. No rural voices. Also there is not a candidate from the UP or rural areas among the major candidates for the State Board of Education. Again no rural voice from the folks who set K-12 education policy for our kids.

Yes, yes we do have candidates on the ballot for Michigan Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State, as well as candidates for the governing boards of our three largest state universities. Again, no candidate from the UP or from other rural areas. No rural voices there either.

Higher Education as a Hedge Fund

This from Axios: “A handful of ultra rich universities increasingly resemble hedge funds–with nonprofit educational arms attached. The level of inequality in the world of higher education would make a robber baron blush.”

Some higher education observers are writing that at the federal and state levels the government should create a number of public service options for people who do not see themselves serving in the US Military, that would provide tuition assistance or tuition grants for them. 

This would enable these folks to not accumulate huge student loans debts and for others would provide a pathway to higher education that neither they nor their families could afford or even dream about. Some examples may be Teach America, Peace Corp, etc..

From the World Around Us

For a $2,500 a month payment and 20% down, one could afford a $476,000 home today. In early 2021 the figure was for a $759,000 house. (Bloomberg).

US single mothers have a median net worth of only $7,000. Single fathers have a net worth of $59,000. Meanwhile, the average cost of child care is $10,000.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Victor Frankl.

“Intellectuals are prone to the fatal conceit that man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.” FA Batak.

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“Adrift. America in 100 Charts.” Scott Galloway. 2022.

Talk To Us

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Jerry on October 10, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Just wondering, is the poor grammar in your posts intentional (communicating in the manner of text messages/social media) or not? If it is intentional, I can stop being so annoyed!

    • Jim Katakowski on October 13, 2022 at 7:18 pm

      Sometimes when I try to correct the system does not allow it.

  2. James S. Katakowski on October 13, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Lee Chatfield was a Republican how sad rural folks vote for the GOP which has gone South and does nothing but constantly lie. Wake up Rural folks you are good people and deserve better vote blue until you can get some honest leaders. You have a traitor is the highest ex-position. Yes our Democracy needs to doe better but the proud boys and racist are not my America. Diversity is what I believe makes America great and we the people can always do better working together. Good luck Michigan.

  3. Brad Paquette on October 21, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    I am the current MI House Chair of the K12 Appropopriations and MDE subcommittee, as well as the vice chair of the K12 policy committee Dr. Haynes. I was born and raised in the UP. You had me in class in 2007 at NMU. We ensured many positive wins for rural education in the last two education budgets that did not get much press and while also having some significant aspects vetoed. Would love to touch base on the matter for upcoming policy and budgets as my district in SW Michigan is quite rural too.

    Hope all is well,


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