Advance Notice: Briefs

Report: Whitmer calls Donahue ‘incredibly brave’ for coming forward with story on Sen. Lucido

By: - January 17, 2020 3:35 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Jan. 14, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

The Detroit Free Press reports that a Friday event in Saginaw, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue for her first-person story about sexist comments Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.) made to her at the Capitol on Tuesday while she was seeking comment for a news story.

“This reporter was able to document conduct that happens all too frequently at the Capitol,” as well as in many workplaces, Whitmer said, according to reporting from Free Press reporter Paul Egan.

“I think she [Donahue] was incredibly brave,” Whitmer added.

The governor also talked about the responsibility of treating people respectfully and “calling it out” when others don’t.

In 2013 while serving as the Senate minority leader, Whitmer discussed for the first time that she had been raped in college. She has been an outspoken advocate for sexual assault survivors and keynoted last year’s “Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” summit founded by former first lady Sue Snyder.

Lucido is the subject of a sexual harassment investigation by the state Senate Business Office. At a coffee hour Friday morning, Lucido said he’d been advised not to talk about his remarks to Donahue in light of that, although he has given varying accounts of their exchanges to several media outlets.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on 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. She previously served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. 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 90 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.