A political stunner slapped all of our political cheeks awake this morning, just like that scene with Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.
The news? Seven-term Republican Congressman Mike Rogers announced he is retiring from Congress. Retiring from Congress, but not the political circus. He is going to start a national radio show devoted to foreign policy and national defense, which is his bailiwick as the Chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee.
It’s not just how fond he seemed of Congress that is what makes Rogers’, who represents Lansing, Brighton, Howell and parts of Northern Oakland County, announcement so surprising, but his fondness in particular for the House of Representatives. In fact, there was speculation last year that the reason he didn’t jump into the race for Carl Levin’s open Senate seat was because he enjoyed his job in the House so much.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A group upset over last month's silencing of a female Democratic lawmaker who said "vagina" during House debate about anti-abortion legislation and another who said "vasectomy" have delivered over 115,000 signatures asking for an apology.
Members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America brought the signatures Wednesday morning to the office of House Speaker Jase Bolger.
The signers want GOP leaders to make a public apology to state Reps. Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum after suspending their speaking privileges for one day.
Bolger spokesman Ari Adler said Tuesday that he doesn't anticipate any apology is forthcoming. He says the pair "violated the decorum of the House" and "were gaveled down for it."
Several women's groups also planned a Wednesday rally at the Capitol to promote women's issues.
Two women serving in the state House have been barred from participating in floor debates for one day. The sanction is a punishment for things they said during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
State Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum are both Democrats. Brown made a reference to her vagina in a floor statement.
“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina,” she said, “but 'no' means 'no.'”
Byrum shouted at the presiding officer after she was not recognized to speak.
Ari Adler is the spokesman for the House Republican leadership.
“It is the responsibility of every member who serves in the House of Representatives to maintain decorum on the House floor and when they do not do that, there can be actions because of that. And the action today is to not recognize either representative to speak on the House floor," he said.
Brown was speaking during a debate on anti-abortion bills, and has no apologies for what she said.
“I used an anatomically correct word. I said ‘vagina,'" she said. "Can I not say ‘elbow?' I don’t see what the difference is."
This is the first time in memory that lawmakers have been formally barred from participating in floor debates.
Two Democratic lawmakers say they have been barred from speaking during House debates.
The House Republican leadership confirms that state Representative Lisa Brown will not be recognized during debates as a sanction for mentioning her vagina during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
State Representative Barb Byrum also says she has been barred from speaking in the future because of an outburst after she was not called on during the abortion debate.
A House Republican spokesman could not confirm whether that's true.
A state prisons spokesman says a potential kidnapping or murder-for-hire threat from an inmate targeting a Michigan state lawmaker has been detected and stopped.
Authorities said Friday that the case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. They say the plot was being developed by a prisoner in a state correctional facility who has since been isolated from other prisoners. It wasn't immediately known why the prisoner was targeting the lawmaker.
Recall campaigns against the state’s elected officials have until the end of the week to hand in petition signatures to be considered for the November ballot. There have been more than two dozen recall campaigns against Republican lawmakers, and just three against Democratic lawmakers.
Two of those lawmakers – State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and state Representative Barb Byrum – are in the clear after an elections panel in Ingham County rejected petitions language against them.