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Michigan Republican Party

GOP schism deepens after Flint water crisis

Jul 9, 2016
The Detroit News

Credit good ol’ politics for the widening split separating Michigan’s top two Republicans.

The legal jeopardy posed by the Flint water crisis—and controversial decisions affecting special interests—are exposing Attorney General Bill Schuette’s unmistakable desire to succeed Rick Snyder as governor come 2018.

Not that the AG will say so. The growing record of disagreements between Schuette and Snyder is producing a special kind of political fallout: It’s positioning the AG for the state’s top office, and sometimes doing it at the expense of the sitting governor.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Political pressure for seats in the Michigan House is revving up as the candidate filing deadline approaches on Tuesday.

While Republican strategists largely contest the opinion, some Democrats say 2016 could be the best shot they have had to seize back the House from GOP control since 2010, when Republicans scored a landslide 20-seat victory. That was the largest seat swap since 1964.

Ann Arbor Democratic Rep. Adam Zemke, a Democrat campaign leader, says, "Everything is lined up for us in 2016."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans picked their 59 delegates to the national convention over the weekend. Now, the lobbying begins for their votes.

At their state party convention in Lansing, 25 delegates were chosen to represent businessman Donald Trump.  Trump received the most votes in Michigan’s Republican primary.   Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich each received 17 delegates. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a divided year, unity was a recurring theme at this year’s Michigan Republican Party Convention.

“Are you ready to win in 2016!” shouted Michigan state GOP chair Ronna Romney-McDaniel at the convention in Lansing.

The chief duty of the state convention is to pick delegates to the national convention this summer.   The three-way race has created divisions within the party.    

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans are meeting in Lansing this weekend to select delegates to the party’s presidential-nominating convention this summer in Cleveland.

The delegates are divided between billionaire Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

There was concern about schemes to recruit shadow delegates who would not represent their declared candidates’ interests beyond voting for them on a first ballot in a deadlocked convention.

“We’re taking the Ronald Reagan strategy – trust but verify,” says Scott Hagerstrom, Trump’s Michigan director.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

With the Democratic Presidential Debate taking place Sunday in Flint, Michigan, the national spotlight is once again focusing on the city’s lead-tainted drinking water.

Some people in Flint are getting tired of being in the glare of the national spotlight.

The whirl of electric clippers mixes with ESPN’s Sports Center on the TV and music from the radio as six men wait for one of two barber chairs to open up in the Consolidated Tattoo and Barbershop in downtown Flint.

Looking ahead to tonight's GOP debate in Detroit

Mar 3, 2016
Fox Theatre
Bob Jagendorf/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It was just about a year ago when Gov. Rick Snyder was flying around the country, meeting with influential and powerful people, telling the story of Michigan's "comeback."

Those trips came at a time when Snyder was being talked about in some quarters as a possible presidential candidate.

What a difference a year and the Flint water crisis have made. In the heat of an intense electoral season, Snyder is nowhere to be found.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is hoping Michigan voters will be drawn to him, by Midwestern kinship at least.

The Ohio governor campaigned in Michigan today, a day before Thursday’s big Republican debate in Detroit.

Kasich admitted, to an overflow crowd at a town hall event in Grand Blanc, that Michigan is not usually the most fertile ground for an Ohio politician to seek support. But he urged people to vote for him in next week’s Michigan primary, rather than his Republican rivals from New York, Florida or Texas.

Courser-Gamrat websites

  LAPEER, Mich. (AP) - A former state lawmaker forced out of office in a sex scandal says criminal charges against are him are "nonsensical" and "political."

  Todd Courser responded Saturday on Facebook, a day after Attorney General Bill Schuette charged him with perjury and misconduct in office.

  Courser, a Republican from Lapeer County, resigned in September as his House colleagues were poised to kick him out. He had an affair with another lawmaker, Cindy Gamrat, but their legal troubles are tied to their attempt to cover it up.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Just a little over nine months from today, Americans will choose their next leader. This election year has already seen its fair share of presidential candidates rushing to comment on every major news story, but when does a politician cross the line from commenting on news to politicizing events such as the Flint water crisis?

Ronna Romney McDaniel is the chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Regarding the drinking water situation in Flint, McDaniel says, “It’s very clear that there were failures at the local, state and federal level.”

Rubio says he's the candidate who can unify GOP

Feb 24, 2016
Gregory Vadon / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Marco Rubio broke away from the Nevada caucuses Tuesday evening, flying to Grand Rapids to address supporters gathered at auto parts manufacturer Lacks Enterprises.

“Two weeks from tonight Michigan’s voice will be heard in this country,” Rubio said. “Two weeks from tonight we will take another step towards replacing Barack Obama as president of the United States.”

The Florida senator told the audience of more than 1,500 that as president he’d follow the Constitution, repeal all of President Barack Obama’s executive orders, and protect the 2nd Amendment.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s only three weeks until Michigan’s presidential primaries. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have spent time this month campaigning in Michigan. Republican John Kasich is campaigning in the state too. Republicans and Democratic candidates will hold debates in Michigan next month.  

But Republican and Democratic candidates, as well as third party groups like political action committees, are not rushing to buy up ad time on Michigan TV stations.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley at a news conference in Flint, Michigan.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley declined to answer questions about calls for Governor Rick Snyder to resign. 

Democrats say the Republican governor should step down because of his handling of the Flint water crisis.

If he did, Calley would become governor.

In Flint today, Calley declined to speculate on Snyder resigning.

“I know the governor is completed committed to seeing this through,” he said.

Conservative Bro, the App

The Michigan Republican Party is standing behind a party official who shared an offensive post about Muslims on several social media platforms.

Wayne Bradley, the GOP's state director of African-American Engagement, said he apologizes if he offended anybody.

"I thought it was light hearted and funny," Bradley said, "And once I realized that some people took it the wrong way, I took it down."

"It wasn't until the Michigan Democratic Party made it an issue that I was aware it had offended anyone," said Bradley.

No-reason absentee voting bill pushed in Michigan House

Dec 5, 2015
user eyspahn / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republicans' push to eliminate Michigan's straight-party voting option may improve the odds of voters being allowed to cast absentee ballots for any reason.

A lawmaker is pushing for passage of "no-reason" absentee voting legislation next week. Voters could ask for an absentee ballot application in person at their clerk's office without needing an excuse.

They currently must be 60 years or older, be out of town when polls are open or meet other criteria.

Photo courtesy of www.gophouse.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Republican Michigan lawmaker has apologized for comments he made during a hearing that were deemed racially insensitive by Democratic leaders and a teachers' union.

 

Television stations WDIV and WXYZ report Troy Sen. Marty Knollenberg apologized Friday after criticism over comments he made during an education committee hearing. In speaking about struggling school districts, Knollenberg said the "non-white population" is a contributor, "we can't fix that" and "you can't make an African-American white."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s presidential primary ballot will begin to shape up this week.

Michigan’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries are March 8. 

But who gets a spot on the ballot? Hundreds of people are running for president of the United States. Of course, you’ve heard of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But how about John Blyth or Mike Diggs?

migop.org

This week, Michigan Republicans marked the second anniversary of their outreach office in Detroit.

The concept of selling the GOP in solidly Democratic Detroit, and opening an outreach office there, came at a time when more Republicans on the national level called for the party to be more inclusive, to reach out to African-American and Hispanic voters.

Currently, there are no African-American Republicans serving in the state Legislature, in Michigan's congressional delegation, or as directors of the state departments in Michigan or in major stateside offices.

tedcruz.org

Republican candidate Ted Cruz brought his presidential campaign to Michigan and Kalamazoo today.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, was greeted enthusiastically.

             

“We need to bring the power out of Washington and back to ‘we the people!” That is what this campaign is about!” Cruz told the cheering crowd of several hundred people.

A weekend of Republican partying on Mackinac Island wrapped up yesterday after 2,200 people with the time (and money) attended the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. 

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans have wrapped up their leadership conference on Mackinac Island. Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of the 2,200 Republicans in attendance. Paul told the conference he’s the candidate who will shake things up.

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The second Republican presidential debate happens tonight at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently dropped out of the race, which still leaves 16 candidates being squeezed into a two-tier debate.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley discuss Donald Trump's latest trip to Michigan, a sex scandal, and a plan to end homelessness.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wowed his fans at an appearance in Michigan tonight.

People paid between $25 and $125 to see Trump.

They rose to their feet and cheered when the announcer declared: “The next president of the United States … Donald Trump.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A small group of protesters is greeting people outside of tonight’s Donald Trump event in Birch Run, north of Flint.  

Trump is currently leading polls among Republican presidential candidates. Tonight’s event is sold out.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Organizers expect to sell out today’s speech by Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

Trump is scheduled to speak this evening at the Birch Run Expo Center. The event is a fundraiser for the Saginaw and Genesee County Republican Parties.

Michael Moon is the chair of the Genesee County GOP. He says Trump’s controversial comments about a Fox News anchor have spurred sales during the past few days. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There will be plenty of security inside and outside of tomorrow’s Donald Trump speaking event near Flint.

Trump will be speaking in Birch Run, which is police chief Al Swearengin’s town.    

He says they’ve had bigger events, including this past weekend’s Dirt Fest music festival at the Expo Center. 

There is no stopping him.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can’t stop talking. But, is that really such a bad thing for his fellow Republicans?

DonaldJTrump.com

A Republican Party fundraiser in Michigan featuring Donald Trump is still scheduled despite his controversial remarks about a former prisoner of war.

The billionaire businessman-turned-presidential candidate angered many when he questioned whether U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is actually a war hero.

McCain was captured by the North Vietnamese and spent five years as a POW. He says Trump owes an apology to  POW's

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senator Rand Paul says Republicans need to be as passionate about the entire bill of rights as they are about people’s right to own a gun.

Sarah Perks, of Caledonia, was among a couple hundred people who stood to listen to Paul’s 20-minute speech. The Republican presidential hopeful talked about people’s right to a fair trial and privacy at an event in Grand Rapids Monday.

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