New: Michigan Capitol bomb threat suspect got Secret Service visit over 2014 Obama threat

BY: - March 18, 2021

Newly released documents from the Michigan State Police show Michael Varrone, who was accused of making a bomb threat on Jan. 7 to the Michigan Capitol, has a lengthy history of contact with law enforcement — including a 2014 visit from the Secret Service for threatening then-President Barack Obama by email.  The heavily redacted police […]

Impeachment managers: Armed Michigan rally was a ‘state-level dress rehearsal’ for Jan. 6 insurrection

BY: - February 11, 2021

Democratic U.S. House impeachment managers said Thursday that an armed rally at the Michigan Capitol on April 30 was “a state-level dress rehearsal” for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Senate trial is being held to determine whether to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection […]

Whitmer plot suspect pleads guilty, admits to plans to storm Capitol, abduct her from N. Michigan home

BY: - January 29, 2021

A man accused of plotting with a group of anti-government radicals to abduct Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty to kidnapping conspiracy charges on Wednesday, setting the stage for him to testify against others who were allegedly involved. Hartland resident Ty Garbin, 25, admitted to conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat. Garbin on Wednesday appeared in […]

A gun show

Whitmer wants $5M in COVID relief plan for Capitol gun ban

BY: - January 21, 2021

A $5.6 billion COVID-19 recovery plan unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer carves out $5 million to be put toward upgrading security at the Michigan State Capitol. The administration indicated it would send the formal request for a budget supplemental to lawmakers on Wednesday. The $5 million would go toward enforcing a weapons ban at […]

A congressman and his aides armed themselves with scissors in the face of a mob. Now he wants Trump prosecuted.

BY: - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle slipped a pair of scissors into his pocket as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. He didn’t tell his staff members because he didn’t want to alarm them — but also didn’t realize his three staffers made the same call. They, too, had each grabbed a pair of scissors as […]


Column: Republican praise of Martin Luther King sounds even more hollow and hypocritical now

BY: - January 18, 2021

There’s a long list of Republicans who ought not part their lips this holiday to praise Martin Luther King Jr., to quote from his most famous speech or suggest in any way that they know anything about content of character.  That list includes the 138 Republicans in the U.S. House and the six Republicans in […]

Few show up for right-wing demonstration at Michigan Capitol amid strong police presence

BY: - January 17, 2021

The small group of protesters, including armed members of the far-right, anti-government “boogaloo bois,” who gathered outside the Michigan Capitol in downtown Lansing Sunday afternoon were far outnumbered by police and members of the National Guard — relieving elected officials and law enforcement who had braced for chaos and violence in the wake of the […]

‘I will be on that platform’: Michigan House Dems who survived the Capitol attack look to Inauguration Day 

BY: - January 17, 2021

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) was on the House floor Jan. 6 when insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building, armed with President Trump flags, clubs, pipes, guns, bear mace, zip ties and Confederate flags. A makeshift wooden gallows stood outside. Nonetheless, she told the Advance she will attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. “These terrorists […]


Rick Haglund: Building fairer local economies is one tool to blunt right-wing extremism

BY: - January 16, 2021

Over the past several months, I’ve read articles in which the authors asserted that economic decline in small towns and old industrial cities has fueled nativism, populism and nostalgia for the past — the hallmarks of Trumpism. This is said to be especially true in Michigan and other upper Midwest communities that have lost thousands […]

No sessions for House and Senate next week after credible threats

BY: - January 15, 2021

The second week of the 101st Legislature will not feature any House or Senate sessions. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) made a joint announcement Friday afternoon, following credible threats from law enforcement. As the Advance has reported, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned of armed violent […]

State, federal law enforcement plan increased Capitol activity through Mid-February

BY: - January 15, 2021

In light of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, local, state and federal law enforcement officials announced Friday there will be significant increases in the number of police officers around the state Capitol building for the next week.  As the Advance first reported Friday morning, Gov Gretchen Whitmer has also activated some Michigan […]

Militia group bows out, right-wing extremist groups gear up for Sunday in Lansing

BY: - January 15, 2021

With images of thousands of Americans overrunning the U.S. Capitol just over a week ago fresh in mind, Lansing is bracing for potential violent, armed protests this weekend through Wednesday, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in in Washington, D.C. Experts have warned that a coalition of militias, right-wing activist groups, white supremacists and others […]