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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Randy Richardville Joins Scott Greenlee's Anti Marijuana Legalization Campaign



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Former State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has joined Healthy and Productive Michigan, the anti marijuana legalization group run by Scott Greenlee.

Greenlee praised Richardville in an announcement earlier this week.

 “I am thrilled to have someone of Randy’s experience join our team,” Greenlee said. “Randy brings a tremendous amount of knowledge, successful campaign experience, and contacts to Healthy and Productive Michigan.” 

The release says Richardville "is currently the President of RJames Consulting and resides in Monroe. Randy will assist the committee with Fundraising, as a Spokesperson, and with general strategy."

Richardville claims marijuana is a "bad thing" for Michigan

 “I’m happy to join this professional team and try to help voters understand why this ballot initiative is a bad thing for Michigan; especially for our young people and their future,”​ Richardville said.

The group was bolstered by a recent poll that showed marijuana legalization losing 47-44% despite a string of surveys showing support as high as 60% in recent years.

Stay tuned!
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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New Schuitmaker Strategy In AG Race Is Smart, But Is It Too Late?



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Tonya Schuitmaker is a lot of things, but she's not stupid by any means.

That's why the only thing surprising about her new strategy is that it took her so long to start implementing it.

After months of absurd and bizarre attack mailers and digital ads against Speaker Tom Leoanrd, Schuitmaker has started to focus on a new target: radical leftist Dana Nessel, the Dem nominee for Attorney General.

It's a smart decision that allows Schuitmaker to start building herself up without tearing Leonard down. 

Many delegates were turned off by Schuitmaker's relentless and ruthless attacks, immensely puzzled as to why she never said anything positive about herself. She cost herself a lot of votes, no doubt about it.

Expect the attacks to be revived as August approaches. This race has been wild, and it will get nastier than ever near convention time, I'd surmise. In the meantime however, this is a wise pivot from Schuitmaker and her team.
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Sandy Pensler Joins Elon Musk, Commits $500k To Installing Flint Water Filters



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

US Senate candidate Sandy Pensler is joining Tesla and Space X leader Elon Musk, offering to help provide water filters for Flint residents impacted by the city's water crisis.

Pensler says he will throw down half a million dollars towards the initiative.


According to a press release:

"Elon Musk has a very interesting idea on how to ensure remaining homes get clean water—and to do it fast," Pensler said. "According to the EPA there has been tremendous progress in water quality, but by installing high end filtration systems at houses still under impact we can fix any remaining problems within a few days. To Elon, I will put $500,000 of my own funds behind this. Let’s be innovative. Everyone put politics aside and fix the remaining problems. Elon Musk has my support."

Pensler is battling Iraq War Vet John James for the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.

Pensler specializes in turning around businesses on the verge of bankruptcy, James has been involved with his family's business since returning from Iraq.

The race has been heated and nasty, with Pensler attacking James for donating to a pro sanctuary city Democrat, and James responding by calling Pensler a "pro choice liberal."
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Dog The Bounty Hunter: Send Matt Maddock To Lansing

Maddock, right, with "The Dog"


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Matt Maddock, running for State House in Oakland County for the seat currently held by Jim Runestad, is arguably the strongest proven conservative on the ballot in 2018. 

Already well positioned for a big win in August, Maddock  just received one of the coolest endorsements of the cycle.

Duane Chapman, better known as "Dog The Bounty Hunter," is backing Maddock's candidacy. He even released a video with the candidate.

According to a press release:


"Matt Maddock, candidate for Michigan State House from District 44, has received the endorsement of Duane Chapman (a/k/a Dog the Bounty Hunter).

“If you know anything about Duane Chapman he has heart for the little guy and the people that are forgotten,” Maddock said. “Like Dog I will fight for the little guy, too.”

“I’m going to Lansing to represent the people to lower auto insurance rates and lower the cost of government.  I won’t be making many friends with the lobbyists and special interest groups,” Maddock said." 

The release notes Maddock has worked with Dog and his wife Beth, for decades.

"Dog and his wife Beth have served as industry leaders for many years.  Maddock has worked with them for nearly 30 years.  Beth Chapman is President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, an industry group. For eight seasons, Dog starred in a reality television series aired on A&E that chronicled his experiences as a bounty hunter."

Maddock is described as a " Milford resident and a conservative leader and activist."   

"He and his wife Meshawn own a small business located there.  He is a pro-Trump and pro-Second Amendment advocate. Learn more here www.MattMaddock.com."   

Maddock's main opponents include NORC Chair Matt Marko, and Lynn O'Brien, a former staffer for State Sen. Mike Kowall.


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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Friday, July 6, 2018

John James Falsely Accuses Sandy Pensler Of Broadcasting His Home Address And Endangering His Family At US Senate Debate

Pensler, left, James, right


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


During this morning's US Senate debate featuring  the Republican candidates hoping to knuckle up with Debbie Stabenow this fall, John James accused Sandy Pensler of "putting his family at risk" by broadcasting his home address in a TV ad campaign spotlighting a donation James made to a liberal Democrat who supports sanctuary cities.

The problem is, the ad didn't actually show his address.

Watch the accusation HERE

Watch The The Ad In Question:

That's a pretty damn serious charge to make, and it was definitely the low point of the debate for James. 

Both candidates hail from the metro Detroit region. 

James is an Iraq War Vet who helps run his family's small business, Pensler is an economist and businessman who specializes in saving failing companies from going bankrupt.

Other issues discussed where the candidates disagreed include abortion, supporting President Trump, and the death penalty.

James believes in no exceptions for rape or incest, Pensler shares President Trump's view they should be allowed.

Pensler says he voted for Trump in the primary, James voted for Ted Cruz.

Pensler is in favor of the death penalty, James is not.

Stay tuned!

 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Breaking: Ingham County Prosecutor Asks FBI To Investigate Misconduct Allegations Against Attorney General Bill Schuette



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Allegations that Attorney General Schuette committed misconduct in office by using state employees to help with luxury real estate deals while they were on the job are now being investigated by the Federal Beareau of Investigation after Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon referred the case to the FBI on Monday.



Attorney General Schuette Accused Of Official Misconduct, Grand Jury Investigation Requested For Using State Employees In Secret Luxury Real Estate Deals


According to MIRS:

"An East Lansing attorney's request to launch a grand jury investigation into Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE has been referred to the FBI. 

Attorney Michael NICHOLS, who represented ousted House representative Cindy GAMRAT in 2016, confirmed today that Ingham County Prosecutor Carol A. SIEMON referred his request -- made in a June 28 letter to Siemon, Ingham County law enforcement agencies and Michigan State Police -- to the FBI and "that an agent would probably call me." 

Nichols wouldn't speculate on why Siemon referred the matter to the FBI, but said, "I'm obviously pleased."  Nichols first reported the update on WILS' Dave Akerly's Morning Show.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office would only confirm Nichols' correspondence was referred to the "appropriate agency." (See "Gamrat's Former Attorney Asks For Investigation Against AG," 6/28/18.) 

When reached for comment, Andrea BITELY, spokeswoman for Schuette's office, said, "If I had a dime for every defense attorney who attacked a prosecutor, I'd have a lot of dimes." 

She previously told MIRS Nichols' request was "another baseless political attack" against Schuette's "strong ethical record." Stu SANDLER, who worked for the Attorney General's office during Mike COX's tenure and now runs a pro-Schuette Super PAC, said the Prosecutor's action was a "polite way" of playing politics. He said the Prosecutor was being thorough and getting it off her plate, but "there's nothing there" as far as a case against Schuette.

Citing articles in the Detroit Free Press, Crain's and Detroit News, Nichols said Schuette used his office for personal gain, including using staffers to notarize documents for land sales on his family-owned property on the island of St. John while he publicly denied existence of the transactions. He said the attorney general, however, admitted the allegations when it became public. 

Nichols' letter also mentions a Court of Claims lawsuit that alleges Schuette used his office and its resources for "his self-serving political agenda," and that the A.G. admits "hiring political operatives despite" rules prohibiting hiring or firing employees based on partisan consideration. 

At minimum, Nichols says, Schuette's admissions call for him to face misconduct in office charges just as Gamrat did.  

Gamrat was charged with felonies at the conclusion of her expulsion hearing, and Nichols said the last thing he expected was criminal charges as a result. The charges related to her allegedly lying about whether she knew former House lawmaker Todd COURSER arranged for a "false-flag email" to be sent on May 20, 2015, falsely accusing him of drug use and sex with a male prostitute as a way to detract from news of their affair. 

It also related to her allegedly allowing staffers to sign her name to two bills. However, a District Court judge dismissed the allegations when testimony didn't support the state's case. (See "What Did Gamrat Say After The Press Conference," 8/14/15; "In Wake Of Sex Scandal, Gamrat Apologizes, Isn't Resigning For Now," 8/14/15; "Gamrat Expelled After Courser Choose Resignation," 9/10/15; and "Courser To Stand Trial On Two Counts," 6/14/16.)"


 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Monday, July 2, 2018

Developing: Private Polls Shows Victory And Genetski Leading State Senate Races

Genetski


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Private polling information obtained by West Michigan Politics shows State Rep. Roger Victory and Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski are leading two of the area's most watched State Senate races.

Victory is running for the State Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof. Hot on Victory's tail is State Rep. (D)aniela Garcia, and former State Rep. Joe Haveman. Conservative activist Rett DeBoer is also running. 

The seat includes all of Ottawa County.

In the race to replace State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski, a former State Rep., is leading fellow former lawmaker Aric Nesbitt. 

The district includes Allegan County, as well as Van Buren County, and a small part of Kent County.

The winner of the primary will win the general in these deep red districts, so August is everything... Stay tuned!
 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Three Judges With Michigan Ties Make President Trump's Supreme Court List

From left: Larsen, Kethledge, Young


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Three judges with significant Michigan ties are being considered by President Trump to be nominated to the Supreme Court after maverick Justice Anthony Kennedy's stunning retirement last week.

That means there's a 12% chance President Trump's choice has ties to "Pure Michigan," not bad!

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Young is too old by SCOTUS standards....

Raymond Kethledge would be a great pick...

Joan Larsen is definitely the most likely to be chosen out of the Michigan trio if buzz and rumors are any indication...

Here's what you need to know about the SCOTUS Sweepstakes, via Politico:

Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Larsen offers conservatives the possibility of installing a justice who could serve for three decades.
She also has the shortest judicial record of any of those considered finalists: She spent nearly all of her legal career as a law professor at the University of Michigan before being appointed to that state’s top court in September 2015, less than a year before Trump publicly named her as a potential Supreme Court pick.
A Northwestern law grad, Larsen clerked for Scalia.

Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Kethledge, who joined the 6th Circuit in 2008, has a resume with something rarely seen on Trump’s SCOTUS list: a stint on Capitol Hill. The University of Michigan law school graduate spent a couple of years as a Judiciary Committee counsel to former Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) before heading across the street to clerk for Kennedy.
In 2014, Kethledge wrote an opinion rejecting a groundbreaking Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case seeking to limit private employers’ use of credit checks for job applicants. The EEOC argued that the practice amounted to racial discrimination. Kethledge accused the agency of hypocrisy.
Last year, Kethledge issued a politically charged ruling blasting the Obama administration for “continuous resistance” to efforts to discover what actions the IRS took against conservative nonprofit groups.
Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (retired). Young was named as general counsel for Michigan State University in May 2018 after he negotiated the $500 million settlement between the university and victims of convicted sexual predator and former gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
Young served on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1999-2017. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Attorney General Schuette Accused Of Official Misconduct, Grand Jury Investigation Requested For Using State Employees In Secret Luxury Real Estate Deals

Schuette


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Attorney General Bill Schuette is guilty of misconduct in office and should be investigated by a grand jury for using state employees to help with secret luxury real estate deals, a prominent Lansing lawyer claims.

Mike Nichols represented Cindy Gamrat in court against Schuette and successfully had the AG's charges tossed. 

Now he's requesting a formal investigation into Schuette for illegally using state resources.to help with his secret luxury real estate deals. Nichols says, "Schuette's admissions call for him to face misconduct in office charges just as Gamrat did."

Schuette kept the real estate empire hidden from the public for nearly 20 years, despite claiming all of his assets were placed in a blind trust. 

When asked about the holdings by Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Detroit News reporter Jonathan Oosting earlier this year, Schuette completely denied knowing about them, but later admitted that was a lie.

Nichols has formally asked the Ingham County Prosecutor's office convene a grand jury to decide if Schuette should face charges, and he has also requested that the Ingham County Sheriff's Department, Lansing Police Department, and Michigan State Police investigate Schuette.

Nichols says he's now watching his back, scared of retaliation from Schuette and his political machine.

Nichols, right, with Gamrat
According to MIRS:

"A Lansing attorney alleges Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE "has violated many state laws" and he's sent a letter to the Ingham County prosecutor seeking an investigation or grand jury.

Scott HUGHES, a spokesman for Ingham County Prosecutor Carol A. SIEMON, confirmed receipt of attorney Michael NICHOLS' request, but he said she has not reviewed it as of today.

"This is nothing but another baseless political attack against Attorney General Schuette's strong ethical record," Schuette spokeswoman Andrea BITELY said when contacted for comment.

Nichols believes if the prosecutor's office "really takes a look" at his letter and considers the standards Schuette set when deciding to charge other public officials -- such as former House Reps. Cindy GAMRAT and Todd COURSER as well as Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Environmental Quality employees -- that "one can certainly make an argument" to pursue at least an investigation against Schuette.

"I'm tired of the hypocrisy and the pot calling the kettle black," he said.

Nichols, who represented Gamrat in 2015 when the House voted to expel her after her affair with Courser became public, said that experience showed him first-hand the "selective standard" Schuette sets for public officials. (See "Judge Originally Unconvinced On Courser, Gamrat Charges," 3/8/16; "Courser, Gamrat Hit With Felony Charges By AG," 2/26/16; and "Courser, Gamrat Bite Back On Criminal Charges," 2/29/16.)

Nichols argues "the truth" of Schuette's behavior will "never be known" without the appropriate investigation.

Citing articles in the Detroit Free Press, Crain's and Detroit News, Nichols says Schuette used his office for personal gain, including using staffers to notarize documents for land sales on his family-owned property on the island of St. John while he publicly denied existence of the transactions. He said the A.G., however, admitted the allegations when it became public.

Nichols' letter also mentions a Court of Claims lawsuit that alleges Schuette used his office and its resources for "his self-serving political agenda," and that the A.G. admits "hiring political operatives despite" rules prohibiting hiring or firing employees based on partisan consideration.

At minimum, Nichols says, Schuette's admissions call for him to face misconduct in office charges just as Gamrat did.

He sent a copy of his letter to the Michigan State Police as well as the Lansing Police and Ingham County Sheriff's departments because they have jurisdiction to investigate.

"Now that I've spoken out publicly, I'll be looking over my shoulder, but hopefully that won't be an issue," Nichols said. "I think a lot of lawyers are very, very scared and a lot of public officials are scared. Look at what he's doing in Gamrat and in Flint prosecutions."

Gamrat was charged with felonies after giving a statement in the House, and Nichols said the last thing he expected was criminal charges as a result. Those charges have been since dismissed. (See "What Did Gamrat Say After The Press Conference," 8/14/15; "In Wake Of Sex Scandal, Gamrat Apologizes, Isn't Resigning For Now," 8/14/15; "Gamrat Expelled After Courser Chooses Resignation," 9/10/15 and "Courser To Stand Trial On Two Counts," 6/14/16.)

In Flint, the Attorney General's office charged 15 state and local officials with crimes in connection with the city's water crisis.

In April 2014 a state-appointed emergency manager authorized switching the city's drinking water source to Flint River, which wasn't properly treated, allowing lead to leach and arguably contributing to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak.
 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Breaking: Controversial Runestad State Senate Opponent Michael Saari Sued For Stealing $16k

Saari

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The Biebs famously pondered, "is it too late now to say sorry?"




For controversial Oakland County State Senate candidate Michael Saari, the answer is yes.

At least as far as Title One, a business based in Livonia, is concerned.

Title One sued Saari last week after he allegedly cashed a check for nearly $16,000 that was mistakenly written to his company, Oakland Home Inspections, instead of the real destination, Oakland Homes. They say Saari refused to return the money.

Saari is running against conservative favorite State Rep. Jim Runestad in the race to replace term limited State Senator Mike Kowall.

Saari has made headlines before, notably for attacking the judge in the Larry Nassar case, as well as for Facebook comments that basically justified having sex with 12 year old girls, a statement many people thought was, to be blunt, pretty f--ked up.


According to MIRS:


"Title One sued Republican Senate candidate Mike SAARI, alleging he cashed and refused to return a $15,768 home-sale commission check that was mistakenly paid.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court, reads that Livonia-based Title One says it "unintentionally" sent a commission check for the sale of a home on Mapledale Avenue in Hazel Park on June 1 to Saari's Commerce Township-based Oakland Home Inspections.

The proper payee, the lawsuit explains, is Oakland Homes.

Title One alleges it repeatedly asked Saari to return the money but he refused, telling the company to "sue him to recover the funds," the lawsuit stated.

When reached for comment today, Saari, who is running for the 15th District Senate seat, disconnected the call when MIRS asked for comment on the lawsuit allegations. A second phone call went straight to voicemail." 
 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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