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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Leonard And Chatfield's War On The Lansing Status Quo Is Just Getting Started (And Has Consequences For 2018)

Speaker Pro Tem Lee Chatfield, left, with Speaker Tom Leonard, right


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

After years of broken promises from Republican legislators who campaigned on tax cuts and smaller government but consistently governed like Democrats once elected, raising tax after tax and inflating the annual state budget from around $44 billion in 2011 to nearly $54 billion today, Republicans may have finally found leaders in Lansing who will champion conservative causes and subsequently show some spine trying to implement them.

With Thursday's vote on the income tax cut, Speaker Tom Leonard proved he's ready to challenge the Lansing status quo on behalf of taxpayers and the Republican voters who gave the GOP its majority in the State House.

The tax cut was introduced by Leonard's 2nd in command, State Rep. Lee Chatfield.

Leonard called for a vote knowing it would fail, but he wanted members to go on the record regarding where they stand. That's an extremely rare move for a Speaker to make.

The special interests and lobbyists don't like that tax cut.

"As you might expect, (this bill isn't) popular with the establishment and Lansing lobbyists. We'll be facing tough opposition to (this bill) and what it represents, which is real change and an upset to the status quo," Leonard said about the income tax bill. "But YOUR money belongs to YOU, not the government, and this bill makes that clear! Our president showed that you can take a conservative message directly to the voters of Michigan and win, and we intend to do just that."

The corporate media doesn't like the bill, either....

Stephen Henderson from The Detroit Free Press chastised Leonard, writing:

"(I)t only failed by three votes, 55-52. And that despite this clapback from their own caucus, Leonard — with the enthusiastic assistance of state Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering — is likely to try again...

Indeed, the whole episode — a 12-hour drama of coaxing and prodding, the House floor opening and closing, then holding a vote that the Speaker did not have enough support to sway in his favor — points up Leonard's profound inexperience. That's not entirely his fault; term limits mean we will perpetually have amateurs in charge. But Leonard showed Wednesday night just how much learning he has to do."

For liberals like Henderson, tax cuts are theft from the big government nanny state they treasure.

Henderson and his far left allies never met a tax hike they didn't like, and they probably never will-unless the legislature considers a newspaper tax or a tax on abortions...

It's worth noting that under Jennifer Granholm, the hike from 3.9% to 4.35% was only supposed to be temporary, reverting back to 3.9%  a few years later. Instead, Gov. Snyder and the Republican legislature changed it to 4.25% and patted themselves on the back for a tax cut, subsequently refusing to honor that promise of reinstituting the original rate.

A few "so called" Republicans as President Trump might say-12 of them-opposed the measure. 49 stood with Leonard and Chatfield, and even a Democrat, Scott Dianda, said enough is enough.

In the aftermath of the vote, Speaker Leonard stripped State Rep. Jason Sheppard of his Committee Chairmanship for apparently lying about how he would vote, and State Rep. Dave Pagel called for an investigation into the Speaker.

Conservative activist Matt Hall, a MIGOP State Committee member and former Trump delegate on the rules committee in Cleveland, blasted the Republicans who voted against the move.

"When Republicans shun our core principles we betray our base and lose elections. I am disappointed in Reps. Chris Afendoulis, Julie Calley, Kathy Crawford, Daniela Garcia, Larry Inman, Jim Lilly, Dave Maturen, Mike McCready, Dave Pagel, Brett Roberts, Jason Sheppard, and Scott Van Singel, who voted against a modest income tax cut for hard working taxpayers. I expect these legislators (some of whom are my friends and normally very principled Republicans) to work hard moving forward to regain the trust of Republican voters by making Government more efficient and restoring liberties to Michigan citizens!"

My State Rep., Jim Lilly, voted against the tax cut, as did his pal Daniela Garcia. Garcia, who is likely to seek State Senator Arlan Meekhof's seat in 2018, is doing a great job following in Meekhof's footsteps.

In 2014, Meekhof sent out mailers saying he would fight tax increases, total lies! He then turned around and led the fight for Prop 1... It's worth noting Meekhof also opposed the House income tax cut-no surprise there!



The fight over Chatfield's income tax cut is just the beginning. The next big battle will likely be State Rep. Gary Glenn's legislation to repeal and replace Common Core.

Common Core was passed by a Republican legislature, signed by Gov. Snyder, and the corporate media is a big cheerleader for it, so don't be shocked when the same old players spout the same old BS.

Glenn's Common Core repeal won't be the last battle in this war-expect a two year brawl in Lansing over a myriad of issues as the system continues to do everything it can to fight conservative reforms from taking hold.

If Republicans don't follow Leonard and Chatfield's gameplan, showing bold leadership and delivering results for the conservative Michiganders who elected them, they will soon find themselves out of power in 2018. A government of, by, and for the special interests, lobbyists, and big donors will not survive.

Though Democrats won't change the status quo, they will campaign under that premise. Gretchen Whitmer will ride that wave all the way to the Governor's office as more than just a few conservatives stay home, fed up with years of broken promises and excuses. Even the prospect of dumping Senator Debbie Stabenow-a steep hill to climb already-won't be enough to save the GOP.



The 12 Republicans who voted against the income tax cut bill can be reached below:

Chris Afendoulis (517) 373-0218
Julie Calley (517) 373-0842
Kathy Crawford (517) 373-0827...
Larry Inman (517) 373-1766
Jim Lilly (517) 373-0838
Dave Maturen (517) 373-1787
Mike McCready (517) 373-8670
Scott VanSingel (517) 373-7317
Jason Sheppard (517) 373-2617
Brett Roberts (517) 373-1775
Daniela Garcia (517) 373-0830
Dave Pagel (517) 373-1796
 __________________________________________________________________
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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Pro Trump "Flashmobs" Will Take Place Across Michigan Next Week



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

The Michigan Conservative Coalition, in partnership with grassroots activists across the state, will host a series of "flashmobs" supporting President Trump on Saturday, March 4th.

Dubbed "March4Trump," the number of locations continues to grow.

An updated list can be found at http://www.flashmobmichigan.com/

MCC says "Join us for the latest Michigan Statewide Flashmob on March 4th! Trump can't do this alone! We got his back! We're all in this TOGETHER!"

Below is a list of current flashmobs:

Macomb County

Freedom Hill
14900 Metropolitan Parkway
Sterling Heights
Noon to 3pm

Kent County
Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids
Starts at 2pm

Ingham County
Lansing State Capitol East Lawn
Noon to 3pm

Gratiot County
M-46 and Alger Road
Park in the Motor Pool

Oakland County
Haggerty and 8 Mile
Park at Meijer
Noon to 2pm

Oakland County
Republican Party Headquarters
42611 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills
Noon to 2pm

Antrim County

North Country Cars & Credit
518 S. Williams
Mancelona
Noon to 2pm

Gratiot County

M-46 and Alger Road
Noon to 2pm

Grand Traverse County

Government Center
11am to 1pm

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Ronna Restores Michigan "To Its Rightful Place At The RNC" After YUGE Fundraising Month

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel

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

It's a friendly feud of sorts: where did the Republican Party start?

Wisconscin Republicans say the party was founded in the Badger State, while most Michigan Republicans contend it was in Jackson, Michigan, "under the Oaks."

Today, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel hung a portrait on the wall in her office, writing:

"Jackson Michigan restored to its rightful place at the RNC."

 Ronna has been doing more than hanging pics on her wall.

The RNC recently announced $20 million in fundraising for January, apparently a record for the month after a Presidential election year...

“I am encouraged by the historic support shown by Americans across this country as our Party unites under President Trump,” Ronna said in a statement.

“It is clear our message of bringing change to all people is resonating, and I am committed to harnessing this momentum as we continue to build on the successes we earned in 2016. The RNC has never been better equipped to champion the Republican agenda and use these resources to grow our majorities in 2018."
 __________________________________________________________________
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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Report: Betsy DeVos Fights Attorney General Sessions Over Trump Transgender Bathroom Order

Betsy DeVos


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

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos privately argued against President Trump's reversal of an Obama-era Executive Order mandating schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, reports say.

DeVos allegedly clashed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but backed down after talking with President Trump.

Transgender students who are truly struggling with gender identity issues must be protected, but laws are already on the books to deal with bullying and harrasment when it occurs.

The Obama order superceded the rights of local school districts, catering to a radical fringe of liberal activists. It also seemed to be more about politics than thoughtfully wondering what could be done to help transgender students have the best education possible...President Trump made the right call.

According to the New York Times:

"A fight over a draft order that would rescind protections for transgender students in public schools has erupted inside the Trump administration, pitting Attorney General Jeff Sessions against the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos.

Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was uncomfortable with it, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions. The order would reverse the directives put in place last year by the Obama administration to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

Mr. Sessions, who strongly opposes expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, fought Ms. DeVos on the issue and pressed her to relent because he could not go forward without her consent. The order must come from the Justice and Education Departments.

Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, these Republicans said. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the choice of resigning or defying the president, has agreed to go along. The Justice Department declined to comment on Wednesday.

Though an official order from the administration was expected to be released as early as Wednesday, the two secretaries were still disputing the final language.

According to a draft of the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times, the Trump administration cites ongoing litigation and confusion over the Obama directives as a reason for telling schools to no longer obey them...

The draft also contains language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked be included, one person with direct knowledge of the process said. “Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment,” the letter says. Ms. DeVos, who has been quietly supportive of gay rights for years despite coming from a prominent conservative family that has supported anti-gay causes, was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

 __________________________________________________________________
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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You're Fired: Leonard Boots Sheppard From Committee Chairmanship For Lying About Income Tax Vote

State Rep. Jason Sheppard


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

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard booted State Rep. Jason Sheppard from his role as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee after Leonard says Sheppard lied to him regarding how he would vote on the income tax cut bill that has caused significant controversy.

Sheppard was also removed from the committee altogether....

According to Gongwer:

"Mr. Sheppard (R-Temperance) was one of 12 Republicans who voted against the bill. But Mr. Leonard told reporters after session that his was the only vote to surprise him.

"The representative from Monroe County looked me in the eye and told me he was going to vote yes and voted no," Mr. Leonard said, alluding to Mr. Sheppard. Earlier in the night, Mr. Sheppard would not comment about widespread rumors that he was threatened with retaliation if he did not support the bill.

At around 3 a.m., Mr. Leonard announced Mr. Sheppard would no longer chair or serve on the House Financial Services Committee and Rep. Diana Farrington (R-Utica) would replace him as chair. Rep. Joe Graves (R-Linden) was added to the committee.

"The people of Michigan need someone they can trust working on their behalf," Mr. Leonard said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has taken two roll call votes, and one representative has already lied about his position. That is unacceptable, and it cannot be allowed to continue."

It was an absolutely extraordinary statement about a speaker regarding one of his caucus's own members."

 __________________________________________________________________
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, February 21, 2017

Nugent: Each New Law Should Result In 100 Being Repealed (And Can't Be Longer Than The Constitution)

Ted Nugent performs in Grand Rapids the morning of the election


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

As guitar legend Ted Nugent considers mounting a Senate campaign in Michigan, "Uncle Ted" is coming out with some legislative proposals.

According to a recent Facebook post, Nugent says each new law passed by Congress should result in 100 being repealed. He also says each new regulation should result in 10,000 pages of regulations being eliminated, and that all new laws shouldn't be longer than the Constitution.

Nugent writes:

"NugeLaw-New National Laws:

For every new law passed by congress and senate and sent to the president for signat...ure, the congress shall rescind 100 previous laws

NugeLaw - Regulation Control
For every 100 pages of new regulations, the congress shall eliminate 10,000 pages of existing regulations

NugeLaw - Automatic Citizenship
No person born on American soil is automatically granted American citizenship. At least one of the parents of the child must be an American citizen for citizenship to be bestowed to the child.

NugeLaw - Length of New Laws
Another common sense Nuge Law for the GOP congress to pass and send to the senate tomorrow!
No law, including its amendments, can be longer than 4,500 words which is the length of the United States Constitution.

Hey, GOP, you paying attention? Does it really take the Motorcity Madman to write common sense laws that the vast majority of Americans support?"

Whether or not Nugent embarks on a campaign is yet to be seen, but if he indeed pulls the trigger on a run, look for more proposals to be rolled out soon after...

 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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MSU Professor Dr. Joseph Guzman Was A Top Candidate For Labor Secretary

Guzman, right, meets with Trump last summer


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

MSU Professor Dr. Joseph Guzman was recently a top candidate to serve as President Trump's Secretary of Labor.

Guzman found himself on the shortlist after the original choice, Andy Puzder, dropped out due to a decades old domestic violence controversy. Even his wife said she made up the allegations during a nasty divorce, but the damage was already done.

Guzman served as a Trump State Co-Chair and also a member of Trump's National Hispanic Advisory Committee.

Trump chose Alexander Acosta, the dean of a FLorida law school and a former US Attorney...

According to Melissa Nann Burke of the Detroit News:

"Transition officials had highlighted Guzman’s time on the board of the now-defunct Armed Forces Foundation, as well his Pentagon service as first deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy in the Office of Financial Management and Comptroller, as deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force, and as deputy director of the Department of Defense's Biometric Management Office.
Guzman teaches in the human resources and labor relations department at MSU and serves on the faculty of the Chicano/Latino Studies program...

According to his Facebook biography, Guzman has a doctorate in economic analysis and policy from Stanford University. He holds degrees in economics, statistics and business research from Stanford, as well as an MBA and bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Arizona.

His areas of expertise include the economics of human resources, labor market policy analysis and entrepreneurialism, according to MSU's website.

Guzman's biography says his policy research has included serving as an economist with the Center for Naval Analyses and the RAND Corp."



Dr. Guzman subjected himself to significant bullying, harassment, and character assassination at MSU simply for being a Hispanic supporter of Donald Trump.

As a State Co-Chair, Dr. Guzman campaigned tirelessly day in and day out across the Great Lakes State for months to help #MakeMichiganRedAgain for Mr. Trump, always down to do whatever was needed with a smile on his face.

Dr. Guzman also represented Michigan well on Mr. Trump's National Hispanic Advisory Council.

He is one of the nicest, smartest, hardest working people you will ever meet. He did all this with his wife Ana Maria Guzman and their children usually by his side, who happen to be wonderful Trump supporters themselves!

He is also a great friend, and I am immensely proud he was in consideration for Labor Secretary. Though he was not chosen, I have absolutely no doubt we have not heard the last of him!

Guzman rides the famous elevator at Trump Tower for a meeting about the Labor Secretary position

 __________________________________________________________________
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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SOS Ruth Johnson Eyes 2018 State Senate Campaign

SOS Ruth Johnson


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

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is eyeing a run for State Senate in 2018.

Johnson recently opened a campaign committee as she lays the groundwork for the State Senate seat currently held by Dave Robertson in the 14th District.

The 14th includes parts of Oakland and Genessee Counties...

According to Lauren Gibbons of MLive:

"The committee "will be charged with laying the groundwork for a successful run" in the district, a statement announcing its creation read.

Prior to serving as Secretary of State, Johnson was a member of the Michigan State House from 1999 to 2004, then served as Oakland County Clerk until being elected Secretary of State in the 2010 elections. In 2006, she was chosen as then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos' running mate.

Robertson-rumored to be seeking Johnson's current position as Secretary of State in 2018- praised Johnson in the announcement, calling her a "tireless fighter for the citizens of Michigan."

"Ruth's hard work and integrity make her an ideal candidate for the state senate's 14th district," he said. "She has been a champion for government efficiency, and I am thrilled to see her taking the initial steps towards a run for the Senate in 2018."

Johnson, popular on the campaign trail, usually connects well with people at Republican events.

With her name ID, Lansing contacts, and ability to fundraise, Johnson is in a strong position to win the primary and general election in the district.

 __________________________________________________________________
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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House Republicans Amend Chatfield Income Tax Repeal As Clash With Snyder Continues

Chatfield, left, Snyder, right


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

House Republicans, led by Speaker Tom Leonard and his 2nd in command, State Rep. Lee Chatfield, have amended a proposal to repeal Michigan's income tax after strong objections from Gov. Snyder.

Previous legislation introduced by Chatfield would have reduced the income tax from 4.25% to 3.9% in 2018, with a .1% reduction every year after.

The amended legislation would bring the rate to 3.9% by 2021 and ends there, eliminating the eventual repeal.

The change still doesn't appease Gov. Snyder.

"I appreciate that House leadership took seriously my concerns about the long-term impact of the proposal, but I still have a billion dollars worth of concerns because there has been no plan presented as to how this will affect residents and their communities statewide," Snyder said in a statement.

"Half of a billion dollars will come due in 2019 and over one billion by 2022, years in which we have planned funding specifically to invest in modernizing our state's infrastructure. Improving our infrastructure shouldn't be postponed, and so I'd like to see a public plan as to how this will be paid for before I can lend my support to the new proposal," Snyder continued.

According to Jonathon Oosting of the Detroit News:

"The revised legislation would still leave more money in taxpayer pockets but reduce state revenues by $195 million in fiscal year 2018, $463 million in 2019, $780 million in 2020 and $1 billion in 2021, according to a fiscal analysis.

House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, and other supporters say the plan could stimulate the economy and fulfill a promise made in 2007 when then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm and state legislators raised the rate to 4.35 percent. The rate was frozen at 4.25 percent under Snyder.

Chatfield said he disagrees with the “pre-supposition” that tax cuts proposed by House Republicans would force significant spending cuts to higher education or other budget areas, arguing the policy would instead help create more jobs and economic activity.

“I think any day where we can provide tax relief to the people of our state is a good day, and it’s something we should celebrate,” he said."

Speaker Leonard clashed with Snyder after the original legislation prompted a rare, strongly worded statement from the Governor opposing the proposal.

Usually Snyder won't even comment on pending legislation, this time, he took to Facebook to blast it.

"In regard to Michigan House Bill 4001- which was passed out of committee today after only 90 minutes of discussion - I was disappointed to see this move so rapidly without giving longer and broader consideration to possible consequences," Snyder said. "This is an issue that requires thoughtful discussion with input from throughout the state. I hope the House will be more deliberate before taking a full vote. It's important that each representative has time to hear from their residents and allow them to weigh in before making a decision on a bill that will have statewide impacts for the next 40 years. I'd reiterate I have serious concerns about this bill. Republicans in Michigan have made tough choices over the past six years that have led to a tremendous comeback. We are on a very positive path toward our future and we can't afford to take a wrong turn now."

Leonard responded, saying, "I don't have time to worry about the Governor's Facebook posts. I'm more concerned about putting money back into the pockets of Michigan's hardworking families."

Snyder wasn't alone in his opposition to House Republicans and tax relief for Michigan families: Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof opposed the original proposal as well...

It's worth noting that the annual budget has increased by  about $1 billion annually under Republican leadership since taking over in 2010.
 __________________________________________________________________
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, February 14, 2017

Motor City Madman Mounting Michigan Senate Campaign? Ted Nugent Responds To WMP Article, Puts Establishment On Notice

Ted Nugent


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

If Miley Cyrus enters a room "like a wrecking ball," Ted Nugent bursts through unannounced and uninvited like a giant tank tricked out with bazookas, bow and arrows, flamethrowers, missile launchers, and sniper rifles-with loud guitars blaring through the speaker of course-leaving no prisoners in his wake.

And he doesn't give a damn what you or anyone else thinks about it.

Now imagine that world famous, controversial attitude sweeping onto the Senate floor? Nugent would make Elizabeth Warren Vs. Jeff Sessions look like a kid's birthday party, Rule 19 be damned.

Nugent says he may indeed run...

According to a Facebook post today (in which Nugent quotes WMP's article from yesterday about possible Republican U.S. Senate candidates where I suggested he run-how badass is that?) "Uncle Ted" issued a blistering statement putting Michigan's political elite on notice.

Ted says, "If these GOP sonsabitches dont get it right this time I will come charging in as the ultimate WE THE PISSED OFF PEOPLE Mr FixIt Consitutional firebreathing shitkicker candidate from hell!"

Strong statement, classic Ted...

Nugent could turn the race upside down. He'd have instant grassroots support, name ID, and some money to throw around as well. Nugent would dominate Debbie Stabenow in the media also... And just imagine the debates!

The Constitution sets 3 parameters for one to run: they have to be 30 years old, a citizen of the US for at least 9 years, and when they are elected, must be a resident of the state they represent.

Nugent is reportedly currently a Texas resident, but he has a home in Michigan and would become a resident in 30 days, giving him plenty of time to decide if he wants to jump in...



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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Huizenga Attends Oval Office Signing Ceremony For Trump's First Law Passed By Congress

President Trump gives Rep. Bill Huizenga the pen used today as a gift

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

Congressman Bill Huizenga was in the Oval Office today, joining President Trump as he signed the first law passed by Congress since he became President. Huizenga sponsored the bill.

Congress passed legislation allowing Secretary of Defense Mad Dog Mattis to be eligible for the post, but it's not a traditional law-just a waiver-and it did not have a signing ceremony....

According to the Detroit News:

"President Donald Trump promised to create jobs as he signed a bill sponsored by west Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga that rolls back a transparency provision of the Dodd-Frank law that overhauled financial regulation after the 2008 financial crisis.

Trump on Tuesday signed legislation eliminating a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that requires oil and gas companies to disclose in detail payments to the U.S. or foreign governments for commercial development.

The bill by Huizenga, the Zeeland Republican, and co-sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, was the first Trump has signed into law since becoming president, except for a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as defense secretary."

Before signing the bill, President Trump spoke:

"This is a big signing, a very important signing," Trump said.  "And this is H.J. Resolution 41, disapproving the Securities and Exchange Commission's rule on disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers. It's a big deal. And I want to thank Speaker Paul Ryan for being here. He's been tremendous. Jeb Hensarling very, very important and really worked hard. Representative Bill Huizenga and all of the friends -- Peter -- all of my friends are up here. And we really appreciate it.

This is one of many that we've signed, and we have many more left. And we're bringing back jobs big league, we're bringing them back at the plant level; we've bringing them back at the mine level. The energy jobs are coming back. And it's -- you see what's going on with the stock market. They know that we know what we're doing, so it's going up."

Congressman Huizenga then addressed the room:

"So this is the first CRA that has been signed by the President. I'm very pleased to be the author of House Joint Resolution 41. Over 20 years, there's been 56,000 rules that have been put in place with very little legislative input or oversight, and it's time that changed. And I'm very thankful to the President, the Speaker, our Chairman Hensarling for being able to make this happen. And we think this is a good first step. So I'm very pleased. Thank you."

Trump gave Huizenga the pen used to sign the bill as a gift.

"I'll sign it -- we may have to give him the pen. Congratulations. Great job. You've done a fantastic job," Trump said.
 __________________________________________________________________
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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Grassroots Day Of Action 2/15 For Common Core Repeal And Income Tax Elimination: Get Involved (It's Easy!)

 


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

As bills to eliminate the Michigan income tax, as well as to repeal and replace Common Core, are making their way through the legislature, grassroots activists are encouraged to contact their State Representative tomorrow to make their voices are heard in the face of lobbyists and special interests attempting to silence them.

Find your State Rep. here at http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/ by entering your zip code.

Once you enter it and hit send, your legislator will come up. Go to the side of the page for the button that says "Contact Rep. Lilly" or whoever your Rep. happens to be...

If you can't drive to Lansing as many are, call.
If you can't call, email.
If you can't email, find their Facebook page and/or Twitter!

It's time for the conservative grassroots to be heard loud+clear! Let Lansing know you want the income tax gone and Common Core tossed right along with it! Speaker Leonard has encouraged the grassroots to get involved, it's time to step up to the plate and show folks it's time for real change in Lansing.

 __________________________________________________________________
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, February 13, 2017

Drolet Vs. Doster: MIGOP Attorney Does Controversial Dem Mayor's Dirty Work

Doster, left, Drolet, right


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

Months before Democrat Mayor Jim Fouts of Warren found himself in hot water for allegedly making obscene comments that were caught on tape, Fouts made headlines for another issue: using his public "State Of The City" address to line his PAC's pockets...

And guess who his legal point-man is? None other than Michigan Republican Party attorney Eric Doster.

Doster has repeatedly involved himself in local Republican primaries despite his prominent role within the state party, also helping to write and pass horrendous legislation, among other things... (See below)

The controversy surrounds "Macomb Business United," a PAC deeply connected to Fouts, run by his Deputy Public Services Directer Gust Ghanam. Ghanam serves as the group's Treasurer.

The State recently fined Ghanam after a complaint was filed.

According to Christina Hall of the Detroit Free Press:

"In its letter to Ghanam's attorney, Eric Doster, the state indicated that based on an admission that the PAC accepted a contribution from a prohibited source — a corporation — and a state review of its April quarterly statement, there was evidence to believe a violation occurred. The contribution was from NTH Consultants LTD, which Ghanam "immediately refunded."

Doster said Wednesday "we are delighted with the outcome of the Michigan Department of State investigation and disposition of this matter." He said the complaint had "all these wild and numerous and varied politically-motivated campaign finance complaint allegations" against Ghanam that were all dismissed but one, which Doster said Ghanam "self-reported." That violation was a minor contribution from a corporation that "we frankly didn't know was a corporate contribution at the time."

Former State Rep. Leon Drolet, well known for his opposition to tax increases, filed the complaint and notes that the investigation is just getting started, despite Doster's false assertions the case has been disposed of.


Writing to Fouts, the Secretary of State said:

"Because Mayor Fouts appeared and gave his State of the City address during the fund-raiser and the fund-raiser was advertised on a water bill insert, it appears to the department that you and the city authorized the use of city resources for the fund-raiser by attending or speaking at the fund-raiser, advertising the fund-raiser and producing materials for the fund-raiser."

The Freep article continues:

"Drolet, a former Republican state representative from Macomb Township, said "the bigger outcome of this is that the Secretary of State is going beyond the relatively minor violation for Gust Ghanam and are seeking the much larger violation of using public funds to promote a political action committee."

In his complaint, Drolet alleged that Ghanam filed a quarterly campaign statement for the committee April 24 showing that $20,510 was raised in the April 7 event and that it paid $8,652 for banquet hall services to Andiamo Banquet Center on April 10, but neglected to report it as a fund-raiser. ​It stated that 472 people attended the event, paying $40 or $50 for seats closer to the podium. They paid to see Fouts give his address and eat lunch.

It stated that the event was staffed and attended by city employees, including uniformed law enforcement during normal working hours and that city workers contributed to the PAC in order to attend the event during the workday. It also stated that the city’s governmental channel, known as TV Warren, staffed the event and a PowerPoint presentation of accomplishments by Fouts and city departments and employees was shown. The speech was uploaded to the city’s website.

"I'm really pleased the Secretary of State did not tailor their response to a minor violation and (will) look at a much larger violation that, ultimately, it's something that could lead to Fouts being removed from office if pursued criminally," Drolet said. "They are operating as if a violation has occurred and are asking about the scope of it."

The State issued a February 9th deadline for Fouts to hand over numerous pieces of information related to Drolet's complaint...

For his part, Doster actually had the balls to say that they will file a complaint against DROLET for filing a false complaint under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act!

"It's hard to believe a complaint could be described as false when he was found guilty and required to pay a fine," Drolet told the Free Press.

Stay tuned!

Read more here:

The Curious Case Of SB 571: Controversial MIGOP Lawyer Eric Doster Involved In Shady Last Minute Amendment?

http://westmipolitics.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-curious-case-of-sb-571.html

 

 

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Speaker Leonard Stokes 2018 Buzz At Michigan Republican Party Convention

Tom Leonard (Photo by DarKen Photography)


By Brandon Hall
(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)
House Speaker Tom Leonard received rave reviews Friday night for his speech in the caucuses as he rallied delegates to call their legislators this week and fight back against the Lansing lobbyists of both parties who want to prevent the income tax cut and Common Core repeal from passing...

The income tax cut was introduced by State Rep. Lee Chatfield, and the Common Core repeal was introduced by State Rep. Gary Glenn.

A Speaker who talks directly to the grassroots and calls out lobbyists in both parties trying to stop conservative legislation from moving forward?! It's definitely a new era in the Michigan House!

Many delegates were excited about the prospects of his potential Attorney General run, he could definitely be a player for Governor if he wanted to.

Conventional wisdom in Lansing says Leonard, a former Assistant AG, will run for Attorney General. However, Tim Skubick recently noted on "Off The Record" that Leonard has yet to rule out a run for Governor...

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Twitter