“We’re on a mission from GOD.”

Our 1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 7-19-17;

Another candidate may be getting into the 2018 Michigan's Republican primary election to replace U.S. Senator - Debbie Stabenow,...John E. James from Detroit;
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I am excited to announce today that I have launched an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate. As a former Army Captain, a Conservative Republican, and a Detroit businessman, I can bring unique experience and perspective on major issues like economic opportunity and national security for Michigan families. Please watch this short video to learn more about my background...

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Our 2nd & 3rd hour discussions today, Tuesday 7-18-17;

State Rep. - Peter Lucido (R-36th) joined us to talk about his 4 bills to start fixing car insurance in Michigan;
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3 'Gang Of 12' Members Getting Governor Fundraisers ...

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Our 1st hour discussion today, Thursday 7-13-17;

House, Senate Approve Controversial 'Good Jobs' Tax Incentive Package

House members gave Gov. Rick SNYDER his three-bill Good Jobs for Michigan tax incentive package today by comfortable 71-35 margins.

Senators quickly concurred with the amendments made by the House, voting 29-5 on Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0242 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0243 and 30-4 on Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0244, sending the bills to the governor.

The bills became controversial three weeks ago when the Republican caucus accused the governor of making deals with the Democrats they couldn't live with. Snyder and House Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-Dewitt) met Tuesday to resolve those differences ahead of the vote, although Leonard still counted among the no votes.

So did the rest of House leadership, including Speaker Pro-Tem Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering), Majority Floor Leader Dan LAUWERS (R-Brockway), Associate Speaker Pro-Tem Gary GLENN (R-Larkin Twp.) and Assistant Floor Leader Lana THEIS (R-Brighton). Only Associate Speaker Pro-Tem Jim TEDDER (R-Clarkston), who was responsible for shepherding the package through the House, supported the bills.

"I was happy to see such a strong bipartisan vote and that the vote was allowed to proceed even though we knew the Speaker and some others were personally no votes. The vote was allowed to proceed so that our voices could be heard," said Rep. Ben FREDERICK (R-Owosso).

The issue did split the parties — 39 Republicans in the House voted for the bills while 22 opposed; 32 Democrats supported the package and 13 voted against.

The package was less controversial in the Senate.

"Given that the other states around us have these tools, we needed to have them as well. If it were a perfect world, and the other places competing against us didn't have these things, we wouldn't need it either," said Senate Majority Leader Arlan [MEEKOF] (R-Grand Haven).

The bills would allow a company seeking to relocate to Michigan to collect 100 percent of the state income tax withholdings for new employees for 10 years if the company creates at least 3,000 jobs at the average salary level for the local prosperity region. A company could collect half the taxes if it creates 500 jobs at the average income level. And for companies that create new 250 jobs at 125 percent of the region's average salary level, the break would be 100 percent of income tax withholdings.
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NBC's "Meet the Press", opening line; "Trump-Putin and Russia's interference in our 2016 election"!!!

MORE FAKE NEWS
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Our 1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 7-5-17;

Snyder Vetoes 'Choose Life' License Plate Bill

Gov. Rick SNYDER vetoed the bill to allow for the creation of a "Choose Life" fundraising license plate available from the state.

In his veto letter, Snyder said Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0163 and the "Choose Life" license plate would allow "a political message that has the potential to bitterly divide millions of Michiganders and that, in my view, is not appropriate for a state-issued license plate."

The Governor said in his letter the legislation would steer plate funds to the Choose Life Fund, which would then depart from the state to the private Choose Michigan Life Fund, which then would distribute funds to nonprofits of its choosing.

"These are noble causes; but, having a private fund making funding decisions is a concern," the Governor wrote.

Snyder said the vetoed bill is not about a license plate, "it's about the State of Michigan making a political statement. And that statement arouses strong emotional reaction that divides the residents of this state."

Right to Life of Michigan said in a statement it was "disappointed" and hoped Snyder would "recognize this wonderful opportunity to provide care to pregnant women in need and help suicide prevention efforts."

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton), would've allowed the Choose Life plate to be available at Secretary of State offices for people to purchase for $35, which would raise money for crisis pregnancy centers and homes for pregnant women. The money was also to provide outreach to at-risk populations, promote life-affirming programs and projects, including media campaigns.

Colbeck today called the Governor's decision "utterly disgraceful." He said Michigan would've joined half the other states in the country with similar plates.

"Prenatal care, suicide prevention, adoption services; these are not divisive issues. A simple 'Choose Life' message is not divisive unless one somehow asserts that 'Choose Death' is a worthy cause," Colbeck said in a statement. "It is not . . . and certainly not for the 65 Representatives, 25 Senators, and the many people of principle who supported this simple but important piece of legislation."

While the creation of fundraising plates for various causes is nothing new, this one being associated with the politics of abortion and the pro-life side in particular rankled Democrats, who said it was nothing short of fundraising for Right to Life and for bolstering one side of the political debate (See "Republicans Approve 'Choose Life' License Plate Over Democratic Objections," 5/25/17).

mirsnews.com/capsule.php?gid=5093#50242

Rep. Kristy PAGAN (D-Canton), in commending Snyder's veto, called Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0163 "one of the most blatantly political bills the Legislature has ever considered."

Pagan said the fundraising would've supported an "expressly political and ideologically-driven organization; an organization that does not provide health care nor medically-accurate information or services, and has been proven to use deceptive tactics to lure women with false or misleading information."

Rep. Erika GEISS (D-Taylor) and Rep. Stephanie CHANG (D-Detroit) also chimed in on the Democratic side today.

Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE voiced his disappointment with Snyder's veto on Twitter.

"The voluntary contributions would have supported many Michigan families," Schuette tweeted.

As for Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY, he respects Snyder's decision but Calley "did support the legislation," he said in a statement.

Sen. Tonya SCHUITMAKER (R-Lawton) also said she was disappointed in the Snyder veto, just like "so many Michigan residents who support life."
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NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd,...Delays in Healthcare, Fake News and President's Tweets!!! ...

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ABC's "This Week" with (still crying over the election) Martha Raddatz, totally focused on President Trump's tweets attacking the "Fake News" especially CNN!!! ...

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This segment explains exactly why Justin Amash voted,....WRONG!!! ...

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Our 2nd hour discussion today, Thursday 6-29-17;

Seven Things The Senate Did Yesterday

The Senate cleaned out its cupboard today and passed seven lower-profile bills after approving the sale of its old digs at the Farnum Senate Office Building.

There were as followed:

1. Homeowners who need to buy a new residence or retrofit their current home to improve accessibility for a person with a disability can get a tax credit under legislation that passed the Senate, 33-3.

The credit can be claimed for either four percent of the total purchase price of a qualified home or up to 50 percent of the cost to retrofit an existing home up to $5,000.

Sen. Vincent GREGORY's (D-Southfield) Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0184 passed with only Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton), Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clark Lake) and Jim STAMAS (R-Midland) voting no. Gregory worked with the Multiple Sclerosis Society on the bill as away to help alleviate some of the financial burdens older adults and disabled individuals face, Gregory said. The bill now goes to the House.

2. Those little party logos, known as vignettes, that appear on ballots in an election to identify party affiliation would disappear under legislation that passed the Senate, 26-9.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4177, sponsored by Rep. Hank VAUPEL (R-Fowlerville), and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4178, sponsored by Rep. Ed CANFIELD (R-Sebewaing) passed with Sen. Tory ROCCA (R-Sterling Heights) and all present Democrats voting no. Republicans voted to end use of the vignettes on the argument that they were no longer needed.

Initially used back in 1891, the logos were intended to help illiterate voters to identify the candidates of the party they wish to vote for. Democrats argue the logos are still needed while Republicans argue they do little more than take up valuable space on what is already a crowded ballot (See "House Votes To Get Rid Of Party Logos On Election Ballot," 4/27/17).

3. Driving motorcycles get a little more expensive under Rep. Jim TEDDER's (R-Clarkston) Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4306, which is designed to generate $250,000 for the Secretary of State. Original endorsements go from $13.50 to $16. Endorsement renewals go from $5 to $7. Registration taxes go from $23 to $25.

The bill passed, 33-2, with Sen. Tonya SCHUITMAKER (R-Lawton) and Rocca voting no.

4. Gas stations could install various devices to thwart credit card skimmers under Sen. Wayne SCHMIDT's (R-Traverse City) Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0415, which passed 35-1. The bills come after the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development removed roughly 70 credit card skimmers from Michigan gas pumps since 2015. Sen. Mike GREEN (R-Mayville) was the lone no vote. The bill now goes to the House

5. Charity donation seekers would be allowed to stand off to the side of the road to collect money again under Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4160, which passed the Senate unanimously.

Lawmakers are considering the Rep. Shane HERNANDEZ (R-Port Huron) bill after Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE issued a July 2016 opinion that the traffic code doesn't allow a person to stand in the roadway asking for donations from drivers or passengers (See "Bill Would Allow 'Fill The Boot' Roadway Fundraising To Continue," 4/25/17).

6. Local governments could apply for more than $2 million from a state fund designed to help communities with large infrastructure projects, under Sen. Phil PAVLOV's (R-St. Clair) Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0402, which the Senate passed unanimously.

Opening up the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund to awards more than $2 million are designed to help communities like Worth Township in Sanilac County, where an emergency sewer system needed to be built because failing residential septic systems spilling raw sewage into Lake Huron.

7. The Branch County Community Health Center would be allowed to restructure as a nonprofit corporation so it could be purchased by ProMedica Health Systems of Toledo, under Sen. Mike SHIRKEY's (R-ClarkLake) Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0450, which passed, 34-1. Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton) was the no vote.
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Our 1st hour discussion today, Thursday 6-29-17;

Moving Out Of Farnum May Cost More Than Its Selling Price

If someone buys the Senate's former office building and its parking lot for its assessed $5.625 million value of three years ago, the state will not recoup the $7 million it cost to move senators out of the hulking 11-story block of glass in January (See "Senate Starts Moving Into Capitol View," 12/27/16).

However, state officials caution that no conclusions should be drawn from the conclusions of a 2014 assessment.

The Senate voted, 26-9, today to allow the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) to sell the former Farnum Senate Office Building at the corner of Allegan and Capitol, as well as the parking lot next to it.

The House already voted unanimously in favor of Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4759, meaning it will now go to Gov. Rick SNYDER for his expected signature.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4759, introduced by Rep. Andy SCHOR (D-Lansing), allows the building to be sold at fair market value in a public competitive bid process, which prevents the process from being greased for any one particular bidder. The Senate moved out of the building earlier this year and into what was known as Capitol View, a block down the street.

Former Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe) made the move happen on his way out of the door in 2014, saying the building's outdated security and heating and cooling systems didn't make it desirable working quarters for the Senate.

Because state buildings do not pay city property taxes, the city of Lansing has not assessed the 78,000-square foot Farnum and can only provide basic information about it.

According the Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA), it would have cost between $11.5 and $20 million to renovate the Farnum Building, more than the $5.4 million a private assessor valued it at. The parking lot was appraised at $225,000.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) expressed optimism today that the building would fetch a better price in the open market than that 2014 assessed price. Although the building has stood vacant for six months, real estate values are up.
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Our 2nd hour discussion today, Wednesday, 6-28-17;

U.S. Senator - Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks on the Senate floor about the Republican Healthcare Bill;

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN4CyqhgT-s
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“Open Carry - Celebrate Your 2nd Amendment Right" Event!!! ...

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Grassroots Victory,...Precinct Delegates will nominate our Lt. Governor in 2018 ...

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Our 2nd hour discussion today, Monday 6-26-17;

Michigan Republican Party, 13th Congressional District and State Committeeman - David Dudenhoefer joined Trucker Randy to talk about the proposed rule changes to allow the Governor nominee to hand pick his Lt. Governor, vs. the current rules that have the duly elected delegates at a State Convention to nominate and elect the Lt. Gov.;

Here is the complete list of the MRP - Policy Subcommittee members who will be voting on the proposed rule change later today,...call them and tell them how you feel about this rule change;

Policy Subcommittee

1st. Judi Schwalbach
C: (906) 280-0090
jschwalbach@chartermi.net

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2nd Jack Holmes
C:616-403-0763
F: 616-396-6227
Email:holmes@hope.edu

3rd Matt Hall
C:269-873-7557
Email:
mc1hall@gmail.com

4th Eric St. Onge
C: (989) 330-5482
ericmstonge@gmail.com

5th Scott Bennet
H: 810-603-0960
Email:scottbnow@gmail.com

6th Vic Fitz
C:269-876-1006
Email: fitz.victor@gmail.com

7th Michael Brown
C: 734-255-5842
Email: mcbrown873@hotmail.com

8th Norm Shinkle
C: 517-655-5992
Email: normshinkle@gmail.com

9th Cecil St. Peirre
C:(586) 457-1800
Email: cdspjr@yahoo.com

10th Gary Howell
H:810-688-2956
Email: ghowell@taylorbutterfield.com

11th Jeff Sakwa
C:(248) 808-3004
jsakwa@noblerealty.com

12th William Gordon
C: 734-660-7367
Email:wgordon1776@gmail.com

13th Ida Shelley
C: 734-502-3244
Email:idamshelly@aol.com

14th Tom Issacs
C:248-425-1902
Email: tomisaacs11@gmail.com
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NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd,...Bernie Sanders said; "if the Republican Healthcare bill passes,...People will die"!!! ...

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ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos", Kellyanne Conway said Debbie Stabenow and ALL of her Democrat colleagues in the U.S. Senate will NOT sit down and work with the Republicans to fix the collapsing travesty known as Obamacare; ...

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“Open Carry - Celebrate Your 2nd Amendment Right" Event!!! ...

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President Trump to AG - Jeff Sessions; “After lunch Jeff,...I need you to come to the Oval Office”. ...

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Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, claimed that the TEA Party attacked Democrats when they passed Obamacare back in 2010, comparing it to the shooting this pass Wednesday of Congressional Republicans; ...

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"This Week with George Stephanopoulos" ABC's Fake News starts with "The President's Tweet,...I'm being investigated" cut off the rest of it,...confirms "Obstruction of Justice" charges are coming",...and so it begins!!! (Happy Father's Day) ...

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Our 2nd hour discussion today, Wednesday 6-14-17;

Michigan U.S. Congressman - Mike Bishop (8th District-R) made the following quote after the shooting today in Virginia;

"The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover."
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Our 3rd hour discussion today, Tuesday 6-13-17;

Line 5 Pipeline Passes First Intense Pressure Test

Enbridge shot water through one of its two pipelines running beneath the Straits of Mackinac at pressure up to six times its daily level without incident, officials from the Canadian company reported this morning.

One of the two 20-inch Line 5 pipes withstood 1,200 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure for four hours and 700 psi of water pressure for another four hours over the weekend with no loss of pressure or leaks, said Enbridge spokesperson Ryan DUFFY.

Enbridge will begin clearing the second line of its normal product -- light crude or natural gas -- later this week so it, too, can go through the same hydrostatic test (See “Enbridge Says Line 5 Test Will Show Its Oversight 'Has Been Working,'” 6/9/17).

Enbridge's Line 5, which runs from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario, splits into two pipes before its enters the straits and rejoins back into a single one once it re-emerges on land.

The 60-plus-year-old pipelines are generally operated around 200 psi with a daily range of 0-300 psi. The west line closes if pressure levels fall below 65. The east closes if pressure drops below 45 psi. As a frame of reference, automobile tires are kept between 30 and 35 psi.

State and federal authorities oversaw this week's test, as did an independent contractor, who reported the findings to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"We feel this test confirms that our maintenance efforts and projects have been effective," Duffy said.
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2018, Repeating Michigan’s History??? ...

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Our 1st hour discussion today, Wednesday, 5-31-17;

MIRS Breaking News - House, Senate Reach Target Agreements On '18 Budget -- 1:51 p.m. (5/28/17)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

House and Senate leadership this weekend have reached "target" agreements on Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget numbers and have given their subcommittee chairs numbers to begin working on final budget bills.

The $9.89 billion General Fund number was struck without the assistance of the state Budget Office and Gov. Rick SNYDER, who is not supporting the cornerstone of the legislature's top budgetary priority -- closing the teacher pension retirement system's hybrid program to new hires, which the House and Senate have set aside $475 million to address.

The agreed-upon General Fund number is $261 million less than Snyder's FY '18 proposal, $11 million more than what the House passed and $15.7 million more than what the Senate passed. The target number does not include putting $175 million into the Rainy Day Fund, as the Governor and House had wanted to do and the Senate opted against. Here are the budget numbers as they passed each chamber. Final target numbers agreed to over the weekend were not available.

House Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt) and Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) see the $29.1 billion unfunded liability in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System or MPSERS as an issue that must be addressed as part of the budgetary process.

"The Legislature continues to move forward on the budget with MPSERS reform in mind," said Meekhof Press Secretary Amber McCANN. "The Majority Leader is pleased that Senate and House appropriations chairs were able to reach consensus on targets."

The agreement marks the first time in Snyder's tenure that the Legislature has set targets outside of the Governor. The last time this happened was in 2009, coincidently then-Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM's (See "Senate/House Leadership Agree To Target Numbers," 9/16/09) seventh budget. The 2018 budget is Snyder's seventh.

"The House and Senate have been working hard and working together to keep the budget moving forward, and this is an important step toward completing the process for the year," said Leonard Press Secretary Gideon D'ASSANDRO.

At stake is Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature's six-year streak of wrapping up the coming fiscal year's budget by the end of June. The Senate is set to adjourn for the summer June 15. The House is set to adjourn for the summer June 15 with the week of June 20 being set aside as "tentative".

Sen. Phil PAVLOV (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee, has a 1:30 p.m. Tuesday committee hearing scheduled, at which he told MIRS Monday he could hold the session's first hearing on legislation that would close MPSERS to new hires.

"If the Legislature sends us something, we will review it through the focused lens of having a responsible and balanced budget that serves Michiganders well now and into the future," said Snyder Director Communications Ari ADLER.
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Remember those who died serving in our Armed Forces,...especially today, Memorial Day!!! ...

If you don't know what an Angel Flight is, this explains it. They bring home our Fallen, this song had me in tears. To all the brothers and sisters who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to all those families left with an empty spot at the table, this is for you. To the pilots of these flights, and to the Casualty Assistance Officers we salute you and thank you for taking care of our brothers and sisters on their final flight home. Words can never express how grateful we are that men and women like this have lived. Without them, there would be no America, and there would be no Freedom. You will never be forgotten. and your sacrifice will never be in vain. ~Bulldog1

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Opening line on NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd,..."The growing Russian investigation,..." more FAKE NEWS continues!!! ...

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Our 1st hour discussion today, Wednesday, 5-24-17;

State Rep. - Scott Dianda (110th-D) called in to ask people to call their State Rep. and State Senator and tell them NOT to vote to give pay raises to the Governor, Lt. Governor, AG, SoS and the Michigan State Supreme Court Justices;

Gov Supports Raising State Officer Pay, Calley Doesn't

The State Officers Compensation Commission (SOCC) unanimously recommended restoring pay cuts applied in 2009 to the salaries of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General. It also suggested a 10 percent pay increase for Supreme Court justices.

SOCC didn't recommend hiking legislators' $71,685 salary.

The Legislature, on SOCC's recommendation, cut by 10 percent the salary of the state's top four statewide elected officials -- as well as their own -- in 2009 as a reflection of the tough budgetary times the state found itself in at the time.

The lower pay went into effect in 2011 and has stayed at the level since. Supreme Court justices were not cut at that time, but they haven't received a pay increase of any kind since 2002.

By restoring the salaries to those levels, and if the Legislature goes along with the recommendation, the Governor's pay would go from $159,300 to $177,000, the Lt. Gov. will go from $111,510 to $123,900 and the Secretary of State and Attorney General would both go from $112,410 to $124,900. By restoring that pay, those are increases of 11.1 percent.

The justices' 10 percent increase would take them from $164,610 to $181,071.

The Legislature would have to adopt a concurrent resolution by a majority in both chambers to have the increases go into effect, and if so, they would go into effect for the legislative session immediately following the next general election.

The legislative chambers take turns introducing the concurrent resolution, and for these recommendations, the Senate would need to take the lead. Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) spokesperson Amber McCANN said Meekhof would review the recommendations with his caucus in the coming weeks.

House Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt), via spokesperson Gideon D'ASSANDRO, said today Leonard would look at the SOCC recommendations and give the Legislature time to review them. D'Assandro added Leonard had previously opposed increases for the Legislature, so "he is glad to see SOCC agreed with him on that point."

Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY, via spokesperson Laura BIEHL, came out against the pay increases, saying, "Michigan hasn't had a shortage of candidates wanting to hold these statewide roles." It wasn't clear if Calley opposed the increases for all of the officials mentioned.

Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE spokesperson Andrea BITELY said Schuette would "prefer we cut taxes before we raise salaries."

Gov. Rick SNYDER, however, came out in support of adopting the SOCC recommendations, spokesperson Anna HEATON said today, adding that "knowing that it takes effect in 2019, which is 10 years without a raise for those officials."

Secretary of State Ruth JOHNSON said the proposed increase is "something for the Legislature to consider" as she would not be affected by it since she terms out before it would go into effect. Johnson spokesperson Fred WOODHAMS said she hasn't made a recommendation, however.

SOCC member James HALLAN, also president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association, said today it's difficult for lawmakers to vote on their own compensation.

Hallan said lawmaker salaries, compared to other states, are doing well, but the executive branch salaries compared to other states are falling behind (See "COA Judge Pay Creeps Up On Justices As SOCC Begins Pay Considerations," 4/13/17).

"We're trying to have a dash of reality with a dash of comparable data, trying to be fiduciaries and recognize the political reality of the situation we're in," Hallan said.

Since 2009, the Legislature has only affirmatively adopted the biennial SOCC recommendations once, and it was for the 10 percent pay cut.

On raising salaries for the executive branch positions, Hallan said the "fear" is that those positions, if not adequately compensated, are only attractive to those who are wealthy or who are young and trying to make a name for themselves.

While none of the executive branch positions recommended for an increase responded to SOCC's invitation to comment, Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) Justice Stephen MARKMAN appeared before the commission today to give a thorough argument as to why the justices' pay should be increased.

In a statement released after the SOCC determination, Markman said, "I am pleased the Commission has responded positively to our arguments for ending the ongoing 17-year pay freeze for the Justices. The Court now looks forward to the Commission's report and to the Legislature's response."

During the meeting, Markman cited the increases in the cost of living, salaries of other state Supreme Court justices, salaries of other state employees, salaries of federal judges and the salaries private attorneys make.

The chief justice also asked that SOCC assists the MSC in "communicating to the Legislature" its recommendation.

"We are very much in need of both a favorable recommendation and for your strongest expression of support for those recommendations - why such an increase is deserved and well-merited - to the final decision-makers in this process, the elected representatives of the people," Markman wrote in his prepared remarks.

Markman referenced how the previous SOCC contingent had advocated for the bill that decoupled lower court judge salaries from the justices and instead attached them to the pay increases of certain state employees.

SOCC member Mary Kay SHIELDS considered pushing for also recommending that the justices begin receiving the pay bumps scheduled for other state employees, but after some discussion that was left out of the final motion.

Hallan suggested a "blue ribbon committee" be appointed to look at how compensation is "fairly recognized." Hallan said in the case of the Supreme Court, it's a case that the system is not working and that it needs to be revisited.

The increases recommended would also restore the cuts made to the expense allowances, which were also cut in 2009. Those increases, if approved, would take the Governor's allowance from $54,000 to $60,000 and the Lt. Gov's from $18,000 to $20,000.

The Secretary of State and Attorney General do not receive expense allowances, and neither do justices, although a previous version of this story inferred the justices do receive them.
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Our 1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 5-23-17;

Bernstein Laying Foundation For Governor's Run

Attorney Mark BERNSTEIN is setting the stage for a Democratic gubernatorial run, but don't look for an announcement before or during the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Mackinac policy conference, although he's slated to be there next week.

Bernstein, the 45-year-old University of Michigan regent and head of the prominent Bernstein law firm is letting it be known among Democrats that he's putting together the machine for a 2018 run and has reached out to U.S. Rep. Dan [KILDEE] (D-Flint Twp.) about a run, numerous sources tell MIRS.

Kildee had considered his own gubernatorial run and Bernstein was going to serve as his campaign finance chair. With Kildee opting to run for re-election and continue pushing back on President Donald TRUMP (See "Kildee Not Running For Governor," 5/8/17). Bernstein is making it known that he wants a Democratic win in 2018 and he's hearing he's the person in the best position to deliver it.

A former Civil Rights Commissioner, Bernstein has heavy name ID after years of his family law firm's advertising during Detroit sporting events and network television.

In his 2012 race for the University of Michigan Board of Regents, Mark Bernstein raised $324,423 for his campaign, about $300,000 of it coming from his own pocket. He spent money on billboards and posted YouTube videos of an old school bus he outfitted for his campaign.

He won with 28 percent of the vote. His 2,259,969 votes were more than any candidate running for any education-related post. Only President Barack OBAMA and U.S. Sen. Debbie STABENOW collected more Michigan votes in 2012 than Mark Bernstein.

His brother, Richard BERNSTEIN, won a Michigan Supreme Court race in 2014 with 29 percent of the vote in an otherwise Republican year.

"Mark Bernstein would be easily the best candidate Michigan Democrats could nominate for Governor in 2018, both as a candidate and as a performer in office once elected," said Bill BALLENGER of the Ballenger Report. "If he decides to run, Democrats would have to have rocks in their heads not to pick him to lead their ticket. He's got the name ID, professional and political (U-M Regent) accomplishment, and he has a demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with all the partisan players. He's not a demagogue, he doesn't take cheap shots, and he's not a hypocrite."

Plus, the Bernsteins have won in the past, which sells with Democrats right now. For those who don't believe former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen WHITMER of Ingham County can get the job done in Southeast Michigan, Bernstein is a quality option.

Although political consultant Stephanie McLEAN said she sees a sort of "you-can't-have-it-because-I want-it" mentality with some Democrats looking to Bernstein or someone else after Kildee's exit as opposed to supporting Whitmer, who has been in the race since Jan. 3.

It's "you can't be coroneted because you're a woman." McLean said. "Of course, none of the boys would ever say this out loud. This is interesting on so many, many levels. Here's the question: Where do the Bernie-Bots go?"

Where do the supporters of Bernie SANDERS go? Bernstein? Whitmer? Former Detroit public health director Abdul EL-SAYED? Maybe Geoffrey FEIGER if he is serious about running this time.

"Politics is all about timing," said T.J. BUCHOLZ, president and CEO of Vanguard Public Affairs. "Without a win next year, the window wouldn't open again until 2026, and by that time, the Party will be run by different people.

"For Democrats, taking back the Governor's Office in 2018 has to be the highest priority no one race is more important to the Democratic Party. Senior leadership wants a win and they will support any candidate they believe will get them over the finish line. Whitmer and Bernstein are both capable of achieving that victory, the question comes down to who wants it more and who is more aligned with voter values in Michigan.”

On the negative side, Bernstein will need to defend against cases his law firm either worked on or referred to outside counsel in which the results were not favorable for the client. One Republican operative told MIRS that researchers are already digging into the Bernstein Law Firms voluminous cases to find those where clients didn't fair well.

"(Republicans) are going to turn the Bernstein Advantage to the Bernstein Disadvantage," the operative said.

The prevailing wisdom is that Bernstein and Whitmer would be the marquee matchup in August 2018. But where will the philosophical differences be?

John TRUSCOTT of Truscott Rossman said it's difficult at the moment to figure that out.

"That remains to be seen because, although we know where Gretchen Whitmer stands on issues we don't know yet where Bernstein stands," Truscott pointed out. "I do believe that if he gets into the race he'll have some of what was previously going to be Kildee support behind him but we just don't know yet where he'll stand on the issues."
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Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace's opening line; "Trump's Foreign Trip while investigation escalates about Trump Campaign and Russia here at home"; ...

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ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" opening line;
"Trump's High Stakes Foreign Trip, can he out run the chaos here at home"?
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Our 2nd hour history lesson with Pastor Rusty Chatfield today, 5-19-17;

Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union speech, start at the 16:00 minute mark;

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ2De8VcSLw
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Our 3rd hour discussion today, Thursday 5-18-17;

Female Genital Mutilation Penalty Bills Pass

Mutilating female genitalia -- for religious motives or any other reason -- would be a 15-year prison sentence under legislation that passed the Senate unanimously today. The four-bill package also creates a 15-year felony for transporting someone for the purpose of having the procedure performed on them.

"This is a very evil and demonic act," said Sen. Rick JONES (R-Grand Ledge), the sponsor of Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0338. "Dr. Lori POST of Yale University testified in committee that it is not about religion, it is about controlling young girls" (See "Female Genital Mutilation Ban Moves To Full Senate," 5/2/17).

"Currently, this is just a 5-year felony under federal law," said Sen. Margaret O'BREIN (R-Portage), the sponsor of SB 337, said. "It's to keep them (the girls) pure -- to keep them faithful."

On April 13, Dr. Jumana NAGARWALA of Northville was arrested on a federal charge of performing FGM on girls between the ages of 6 and 8, at a medical office in Livonia. According to news accounts, the victims were sent to Michigan from Minnesota specifically to have Nagarwala do the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). On April 14, a Livonia doctor, Fakhruddin ATTAR and his wife, Farida ATTAR, were arrested for allegedly helping Nagarwala perform the FGMs.

According to testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michigan is one of about 15 "hotspots" for FGMs in the United States due to its relatively large-and well-established communities of people of Middle Eastern heritage.

After the initial legislation (Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0337 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0338) created a 15-year felony for FGM, follow-up bills (Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0368 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0369) were introduced to make transporting a person for the purpose of performing a FGM a 15-year felony. Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0368 is sponsored by Sen. Tonya SCHUITMAKER (R-Lawton) and SB 369 is sponsored by Sen. Judy EMMONS (R-Sheridan).

Jones said that the "whole world" was watching Michigan today as it took a stand against FGM.

"Let's be open and honest about what sort of savagery we are fighting," Emmons said. "Female genital mutilation is medically unnecessary and is usually performed to exercise control over a female's sexuality and to ensure her virginity until marriage. Specifically, it is involves the removal of part or all of the female genitalia, ranging from cutting off the hood of the clitoris to removing the entire clitoris and inner labia and then sewing together the outer labia.

"These mutilations are usually performed without anesthetic, and victims can have ongoing psychological and physical health consequences, including infection, pain and even death."
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