Friday, March 6, 2015

What The Hell Happened This Week? 13 Stories To Know


By Brandon Hall         
Email him at

It's been a pretty busy week in Lansing and all across "Pure Michigan." Here are 13 stories to know about from this week-in no particular order. What would you add to the list or like to know more about?

A.G. Bill Schuette


1. Attorney General Bill Schuette came out against Proposal 1, the controversial May 5th road tax package, of which, only 60% of the $2 billion in new taxes will go to roads. 

Schuette, the frontrunner for the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nomination, said Wednesday in a statement that "Proposal 1 has a lot of potholes.This massive $1.9-billion tax increase goes beyond funding the roads. I am positive there are other solutions."

2. WMP readers knew days before that Gov. Snyder would name Ottawa Area Intermediate School District Supt. Karen McPhee as his new education adviser-he did.

Rich Studley from the Michigan Chamber

3. This week, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce came out completely against the "Hollywood film credits," and also said they would stay neutral on the May 5th road tax proposal.

4. About those film credits: the House Tax committee voted 8-3 to advance House bill 4122 that eliminates them. Subsequently, Sen. Majority Leader Meekhof's office issued a statement against the move, saying:
“The majority leader believes it’s important for us to remember that we have made a promise and entered into a contractual relationship in offering these credits.
We have to think about it beyond just whether or not we like the subsidy one way or another, but what is the impact of doing away with that subsidy? And what does it say about people who want to come do business with Michigan?”

MI House Speaker Kevin Cotter

 5. This week, anyone who cares about the horrendous abuses of Michigan's "civil asset forfeiture" laws (where one's house, car, money, and anything else-can be seized even if a crime is never charged) found a supporter in Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter. In an op/ed, Cotter wrote:

"Government exists to provide services to the people, not to profit off them. Unfortunately, some Michigan police departments are doing the latter with actions hidden from public view. Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives are going to change that.

Far too many people are falling prey to a well-intentioned but flawed policy called civil asset forfeiture. Under this law, officers are charging into people’s homes and businesses and seizing cash, cars and sometimes even the homes themselves. While this can be an effective way to hit real criminals in their pocketbooks, in many cases, criminal charges are never filed against the owner. Police nevertheless keep their possessions and, in some instances, auction them off for cash without any real records. When these private citizens ask for their possessions to be returned, they are often asked to pay a large fee and spend years in an impossible loop of red tape and bureaucracy."

Speaker Cotter's leadership on this vital issue is awesome news!

Rep. Candice Miller

6. Michigan's Congressional Delegation continues to change and 2016 will be no exception-Candice Miller announced this week she will not seek another term in Congress. This will set off a fierce primary in Macomb that should be as bloody as it is interesting. The former Secretary of State was elected to Congress and now wants to spend more time in Michigan with family and friends.

7.  Kathleen Berden and Isabelle Terry remain the only declared candidates for RNC Committeewoman, though State Rep. Cindy Gamrat is rumored to be declaring a run soon. Another State Rep. has also popped up as possibly considering a run, Lisa Posthumous-Lyons.

Gov. Rick Snyder

8. After vetoing bills in lameduck to reform Michigan's CPL process and eliminating county gun boards because of domestic violence concerns, Gov. Snyder signed amended bills this week to facilitate that process. The Bloomberg-backed Governor won strong praise from the NRA and others for signing.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

9. Remember that new Senate office building that was supposed to cost $70 million? Turns out, it will cost Michiganders $134 million over the course of 32 years. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof staunchly supports the effort, which is pretty much solely so Senators can have a better view of the Capitol.

Judge Berg

10. As he was going outside to take out the trash, Federal Judge Terry Berg was attacked in Detroit, shot in the leg after a fight with attackers. Police say they probably didn't even know he was a judge and the incident was a robbery gone bad. The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward in the case.

11. Michigan House Republicans have announced an effort to repeal old, out dated laws in our state-like the fact it's illegal to transport a Christmas tree without a bill of sale, among other things.

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12. The U.S. House passed a "clean" Dept. of Homeland Security bill that did not stop the flow of money to fund some of President Obama's controversial Executive Orders. Most of Michigan's delegation voted yes, but Representatives Amash and Huizenga voted against it.

Sen. Rand Paul

13. CPAC concluded this weekend, with Sen. Rand Paul winning the straw poll for the third time. Reagan and Romney both went on to win the nomination when they won CPAC in election years. Who knows if that will happen, but the the end of CPAC means the real start of the 2016 season-look for lots of candidates to make the trip to Michigan over the next 20 months!
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics. >>>Email him at 

Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

1 comment:

  1. If the elected GOP types do not have the "courage" (that is not the word I am thinking) to defund illegal "immigration" than why does ANYONE vote for GOP types? Toss them all out. Soon, too.