Advance Notice: Briefs

Conservatives tell Snyder to veto ‘power grab’ bills

By: - December 28, 2018 3:30 pm

Gov. Rick Snyder at his year-end press conference, Dec. 11, 2018 | Ken Coleman

Gov. Rick Snyder has received appeals from two prominent conservatives to veto some of the biggest Lame Duck bills on his desk.

Mike Cox, a two-term GOP former attorney general, and Nolan Finley, editor of the Detroit News editorial page, have both made their cases in recent columns.

Mike Cox

Cox wrote a Dec. 21 op-ed in the Detroit Free Press asking the governor — who defeated him in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary — to take a pass on House Bill 6553, which allows the Senate or House to intervene in court cases. He calls the bill “a naked power grab by the Legislature” against Democratic Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel:

“Michigan native Russell Kirk, the leading conservative thinker of the past century, wrote that justice and liberty are directly tied to social continuity, which is fostered by institutions like the family, churches, and certain governmental institutions.

“One such institution in Michigan is the Attorney General’s Office. So it is ironic that this week, many of my fellow conservatives in the Michigan House and Senate voted to usurp the power of the Attorney General by allowing either the House or Senate to intervene in any of the 40,000 or more cases the Attorney General currently prosecutes or defends each year.”

Cox’s stance is all the more notable as his spouse, state Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia) is running to succeed businessman and former Ambassador Ron Weiser as Michigan Republican Party chair next year.

Finley argued in a Dec. 27 column that Snyder — who he has praised repeatedly for turning Michigan around — should veto the court intervention bill, as well as House Bill 4205 that would bar the state from having tougher regulations than the federal government. Finley called it an “affront to federalism” and further wrote:

“Losing the top three statewide elected offices was a bitter pill for Republicans. But they should not get to turn their loss into a partial victory by limiting the ability of incoming Democrats to do their jobs. Changing the rules in lame duck to continue a measure of Republican control over those offices is a shady bit of business.”

During the last week of Lame Duck, Bill Rustem, a former adviser to both Snyder and GOP Gov. William Milliken, and Doug Ross, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who runs a charter school, wrote the governor a letter asking him to veto Lame Duck House Bill 6595 that would erect hurdles to Michigan’s ballot initiative process.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 23-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ people, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 100 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.