GOP ballot limits sponsor slams AG, SOS efforts to challenge law

BY: - January 25, 2019

The Republican who sponsored legislation making it harder to get citizen-backed questions onto the ballot is slamming efforts from Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to challenge the new law. State Rep. James Lower (R-Cedar Lake) sponsored legislation during the final weeks last year in which the GOP had control of […]

GOP senators could see terms cut in half under gerrymandering settlement

BY: - January 24, 2019

At least three Republican members of Michigan’s Senate are concerned their terms could be cut in half should a proposed settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging gerrymandering move forward. Sens. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) and Lana Theis (R-Brighton) each filed briefs on Tuesday in League of Women Voters v. Benson. The three senators […]

Michigan’s newest members of Congress baptized by fire as shutdown rages

BY: - January 24, 2019

Michigan’s four new members of Congress — all Democrats — have taken their place on Capitol Hill at a pivotal moment in its history, having immediately been tasked with addressing the longest government shutdown in history. “We just flipped the House of Representatives; we’ve ushered in a lot of new voices, and that was to […]

Report: Michigan congressional races cost $80M in 2018

BY: - January 24, 2019

National donors pouring money into campaigns for candidates vying for U.S. House seats made for the most expensive House race in state history, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The nonprofit organization — which advocates for greater transparency when it comes to money in politics — said a combined $80 million was poured into […]

Senate GOP votes to join effort to halt gerrymandering settlement

BY: - January 23, 2019

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday continued their effort to slow down Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson from settling a federal lawsuit alleging gerrymandering in several of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. The GOP-led Senate passed Senate Resolution 6, sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), allowing state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) to seek […]

AG to weigh in on another GOP Lame Duck law

BY: and - January 23, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel “welcomes” the opinion request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that challenges the legality of the newly established law limiting ballot petition drives, Public Act 608 of 2018. “Restricting the right of Michiganders to participate in the political process is a serious subject matter,” said Nessel, a Democrat. “PA 608 […]

Secretary of State Benson names leadership team

BY: - January 23, 2019

New Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson last week announced several top members of her executive staff. Benson, the state’s top elections chief and a former dean of Wayne State University’s law school, announced in a statement that those appointments include her assistant secretary of state, top legal aides and a veteran communications executive. “These […]

Michigan GOP looks to hit pause on Benson gerrymandering settlement

BY: - January 22, 2019

Attorneys representing Michigan GOP lawmakers are seeking to delay a pending settlement agreement in a lawsuit alleging Republican gerrymandering in several of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. In a role reversal from last year’s Lame Duck legislative session, now it’s Republicans accusing Democrats of a “power grab.” On Tuesday morning, lawyers for Republicans in League […]

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey

Shirkey talks divided government, touts Medicaid work rules

BY: - January 21, 2019

On Jan. 1, state Sen. Mike Shirkey became the most powerful Republican in the Michigan Legislature. As the new Senate majority leader, the Clarklake businessman will now lead the GOP, along with the new House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), through a time of divided government following Democrats’ key statewide office wins. The election of Gov. […]

Michigan Republicans adjust to life under Speaker Pelosi

BY: and - January 20, 2019

Not long ago, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton ran the powerful U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, whose sweeping jurisdiction has been famously described as “everything that moves, burns or is sold.” Things have changed dramatically since then for the St. Joseph Republican, who’s entering his 17th term on Capitol Hill in the minority. Upton, who […]

Gerrymandering suit settlement could spark political showdown for 2020

BY: - January 19, 2019

Voters may have believed they settled the issue of how to draw fairer legislative and congressional districts in Michigan when they voted for Proposal 2 on Nov. 6. But a new front in the redistricting fight could open up before the new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) is seated. And it could mean new maps […]

Chatfield makes play for Trump to move State of Union speech to Michigan

BY: - January 18, 2019

In a move that may get national attention, Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) has submitted an “official invitation” to President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address in the Michigan Legislature. Trump may not be delivering his speech in Congress, as is tradition, as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) disinvited […]