“Lansing hates us,…the People love us!!!”

1st half hour of today's show, Monday 6-25-18; MIRS News Service

MI GOP: Gretchen Whitmer Ads Break Campaign Finance Law

The Michigan Republican Party (MRP) went after the 527 entity airing ads featuring Gretchen WHITMER, arguing the ads are illegally expressing advocacy for her gubernatorial candidacy.

Build a Better Michigan, headed by Whitmer's former chief of staff Mark BURTON, put up $1.8 million in ads featuring Whitmer, which identify her as a candidate for governor (See “Whitmer-Friendly Fund Puts Up $1.8M Ad Buy,” 6/12/18).

That's where the MRP said the 527 goes wrong, arguing campaign finance law prohibits corporations from engaging in express advocacy of a candidate. The MRP argues the Build a Better Michigan ad features Whitmer, identifies her as a candidate for governor and outlines "her major campaign themes."

"With 48 days left until the Democrat primary and trailing badly, Gretchen Whitmer and her Washington friends are trying to dump $1.8 million in illegal ads on Michigan's airwaves," said Colleen PERO, MRP chief of staff, in a statement, adding later, "This was bad judgment on her behalf, and possibly a criminal act by her special interest friends at 'Build a Better Michigan.' They must be held accountable."

But Burton said the attack "is just politics" and that "issue ads have been a part of Michigan elections on both sides of the aisle for decades."

“Build a Better Michigan is on solid legal ground to air issue ads featuring Gretchen Whitmer as a spokesperson, because she is uniquely qualified as the former Senate Democratic Leader to talk about what it takes to get things done, like raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid," Burton said in a statement. "We have been and will continue to comply with all IRS and Michigan campaign finance laws, and I expect this frivolous complaint will be promptly dismissed."
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1 day ago

Your Defending Fathers

WOW,...big award and endorsement Tonya Schuitmaker to be our next Attorney General for Michigan!!!Today, I was genuinely honored to be endorsed by the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police in my campaign for Attorney General, along with being awarded the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police ‘Legislator of the Year’.

I look forward to serving as Michigan’s next Attorney General, to work closely with law enforcement, defend our values, combat the drug addiction epidemic, and crack down on auto insurance fraud.
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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 6-20-18;
MIRS News Service

Former Gov. John Engler Not Going Anywhere

More than 120 Larry NASSAR survivors are urging the Michigan State University (MSU) Board to can interim President John ENGLER for suggesting in a private email during the height of settlement negotiations that survivor Rachael DENHOLLANDER was getting kickbacks from her attorney.

However, numerous sources tell City Pulse and MIRS that Engler isn't going anywhere when the board meets Friday to address an enormous agenda that addresses various other personnel matters, a tuition increase, a tenure issue and the ultimate source of the $500 million Nassar settlement money, among other things.

The agenda is so large the meeting is starting an hour earlier to make sure everything gets fit in, according to MSU spokesperson Emily GUERRANT. Public comments were moved to the top of the agenda so people wishing to address the board don't have to sit through a brutally long meeting to share their thoughts.

The meeting room is still that cramped board room on the 4th floor of the Hannah Administration Building, which wasn't that cozy until the Nassar scandal drove up public interest. Recently, the school reconfigured the room to fit in more people, but the crowd still spills out into the hallway and there's been no serious discussion about moving the meeting elsewhere, like maybe the Erickson Kiva.

Regardless of how many people show up, however, Engler's future with the school isn't changing unless this week's MSU trustee retreat spurs a change of heart.

MSU Board members Dianne BYRUM and Brian MOSALLAM have publicly called for Engler's resignation, but they stand apart on an eight-member board. The majority is more interested in getting moving on the search for a permanent replacement, as opposed to finding another interim, according to sources.

Board members would prefer Engler make an apology to defuse the situation, but there's no guarantee, at this read, that that's going to happen.

While Engler's assessment was insensitive, most likely inaccurate and sloppy - in the sense he did them on his MSU email account, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - Engler is making headway in getting Sparty out of the Nassar morass.

He's stepped on a couple of landmines, including putting himself in a position to be accused of trying to pay off a Nassar survivor in private. But he also got rid of sexual deviant William STRAMPEL, former Dean of Osteopathic Medicine, before Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE pinned criminal charges on him.

He nailed down the $500 million settlement, creating certainty in the financial commitment MSU will make to the survivors. The school isn't taking state funding cuts from a state legislature that seemed out for blood in early February.

Engler wrote his ill-fated email to Carol VIVENTI, the school's vice president and special counsel in the heat of negotiations with national plaintiffs' attorneys, who Engler has never had much fondness for.

The long-term reputation of the school needs a lot of work, but Engler wasn't brought in to address that issue. That's the job of the next president, who likely will be hired by a board made up of two new trustees that are elected by voters in November.

The number of Republicans who have called for Engler to resign likely has plateaued.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive), Sen. Rick JONES (R-Grand Ledge) and Sen. Margaret O'BRIEN (R-Portage) want Engler gone, as do various other Democratic officials and interest groups who cringed when the former Michigan governor got the job in the first place.

Meekhof and Engler clashed during their closed-door meeting earlier this year. Engler, a former Senate Majority Leader, took the wrong approach with the current officeholder, who apparently felt as if Engler was telling him how to run his chamber.

In short, there's no love loss here. Relentless Positive Action Gov. Rick SNYDER isn't going to call for Engler's dismissal. Schuette, who got a job from Engler as Agriculture Director after he lost his U.S. Senate race in 1990, isn't going to call for Engler's dismissal. House Speaker Tom LEONARD, his chief of staff being former Engler aide Dan PERO, won't call for Engler's resignation.

Democratic MSU Board of Trustee candidates have started to call on Engler to step down, which may end up being a campaign issue.

Up to now, as many as 15 Democrats are jockeying for two slots on the General Election ballot. Ed DUGGAN, son of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; Teri Lynn BERNERO, wife of the former Lansing mayor; 2010 nominee Dennis DENNO; former Democratic Party Finance Director Kelly TEBAY; and Muskegon attorney Brianna SCOTT are the most mentioned candidates at this point.

Who ultimately gets the nominations won't be decided until the Aug. 25 Michigan Democratic Party convention, during which the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) make their critical endorsements.

It's much too early to handicap the favorites, but it's not a reach to presume the nominees will campaign on the desire to see Engler gone ASAP.
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6 days ago

Your Defending Fathers


(PLEASE SHARE THIS POST ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND ON REPUBLICAN PAGES/GROUPS IN MICHIGAN)Click on the below link to purchase your ticket to the Antrim County Republican Party's - 2018 Republican Governor "Dinner/Debate" with a "Straw Poll" on Thursday, July 12th, 2018 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan; (PLEASE SHARE THIS POST ON YOUR PAGE)

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1st hour discussion today, Monday 6-18-18;
MIRS News Service (Friday, 6-15-18)

Farnum Building Sold To Boji for $4.5M

The former home of the Michigan Senate, the Farnum Building, has been sold to the Boji Group for $4.5 million, according to company spokesperson John TRUSCOTT.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) received two bids for the 11-story structure, which the state put up for sale as opposed to using it for additional office space.

The only other bidder was Paul GENTILOZZI, whose top price was $2.5 million. The Boji Group is the owner of Capitol View, the building that the Senate ended up moving into in early 2017 (See "New Senate Building Named After Former Lt. Gov. Binsfeld," 1/9/17).

The tentative plan is to keep the existing structure, but to gut the interior and provide a new façade to erase the dated 1960s look of the building at the corner of Capitol and Allegan in downtown Lansing, across the street from Boji's prominent property, the Boji Tower.

"He saw it as a great opportunity," Truscott said. "With what's going on in Lansing and downtowns across the country, with people moving back downtown, Ron felt the square footage area increase would be a good addition to his portfolio."

Boji also owns the recently revamped Hollister Building and the former 5/3 building that turned into Davenport University's Lansing campus.

"He's very, very pleased," Truscott said. "He's a bid booster and he believes this will continue the growth that brings more people downtown."

The building was completed in 1959, and the state bought it in 1978 for $3 million. In 2014, the building was appraised at $5.4 million, with the associated parking lot appraised at $225,000. The first $7 million gained from the sale would need to reimburse DTMB for moving and administrative expenses. Anything above that would go to the state's General Fund (See "Farnum Building Being Put Up For Sale," 6/21/17).
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3rd hour discussion today, Friday 6-8-18;

THREE (3) State Representatives sent certified mail letters to our Attorney General - Bill Schuette requesting that he investigate the real estate transaction involving the "Capitol View Building" previously owned by Ron Boji (a huge Republican donor), which he refused to do!!!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXpkG6KKFQThe Michigan Senate drastically overpaid for new office space purchased from a politically-connected developer, according to Lansing's assessor of record. ◂ ...
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2 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

Click on the below link to purchase your ticket to the Antrim County Republican Party's - 2018 Republican Governor "Dinner/Debate" with a "Straw Poll" on Thursday, July 12th, 2018 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan; (PLEASE SHARE THIS POST ON YOUR PAGE)

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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 6-6-18;

74 Years ago TODAY,...the largest military "Operation Neptune" took place on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Never forget, how America helped save western Europe from Hitler!!!
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1st hour discussion today, Monday 6-4-18;
Will Republicans vote to legalize marijuana to keep it off the ballot in November???

Meekhof: Senate Has Pot Votes Now

For the first time, Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) revealed today that he has the required votes to legalize recreational marijuana by approving the citizens initiative, but the future of the proposal in the House will determine whether that critical vote is taken Tuesday.

At the Mackinac Policy Conference, Meekhof told MIRS, "We have the ability in the Senate to pass it and then amend it."

Another source confided that the effort to round up House votes is "very close." However, House Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt) said on Michigan's Big Show today that he remains personally opposed to recreational marijuana and disputes the assertion that it's passage is inevitable.

That said, "We are well short" of the required votes, said Leonard, adding that there are more votes than there were several weeks ago.

It is known that Republican overtures in the House have been made to Democrats, but House Minority Leader Sam SINGH (D-East Lansing) said he does not see his side putting up any votes.

"Democrats won't vote for it," he said.

There was speculation that Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer was asking House Democrats to vote no because of the impact that could have on voter turnout if they voted yes. She denies any such contact along those lines but does concede, "if that's on the ballot" it would impact voter turnout but she stands fast that the voters and not this Legislature should decide the issue.

Singh has no hard evidence, but he reported over the last two weeks a host of lobbyists have been pushing for an affirmative "yes" vote on pot. He said he wonders if GOP donors are behind the effort so that they could get language from the Republican majority that makes it easier for them to have a monopoly-like hold on the pot supply chain instead of the free-market mom and pop store strategy as outlined in the petition drive language.

On the allegation that some GOP business types "have the ear" of Senate Republicans, Meekhof said, "That is not true."

All of this comes to a head Tuesday, the deadline by which the Legislature must act on the marijuana legalization proposal or else it goes to the voters in November.

Senate Will Not Meet Monday

The Senate session called for Monday, June 4, has been cancelled, Senate Majority Leader Mike KOWALL's office announced today. The date was being held open in case the votes came together to pass the recreational marijuana citizens initiative (See "Senate Reserving Monday For Possible Pot Vote," 5/29/18).
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3 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers


Michigan is in the middle of its primary season in which the nation’s first Muslim candidate for Governor, Dr. Abdul al-Sayed, is on the Democrat ballot & financed with large amounts of outside money and hates President Trump;

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1st hour discussion today, Friday 6-1-18; YouTube video of the Governor Candidates Debate on Mackinaw Island at the Grand Hotel's Auditorium as hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce;

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT6OLDBJC8k&feature=youtu.beDemocratic Candidates: Abdul El-Sayed, Former Executive Director, Health Department, City of Detroit Shri Thanedar, Author and Entrepreneur Gretchen Whitmer,...
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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 5-30-18;
MIRS News Service - Lansing, MI

Small Cell Technology Gets First Hearing In House Committee

Wireless providers made their case today to a House committee as to why the state needs uniformed regulations on cell phone signal re-transmitters called "small cells," but this long-awaited legislation designed to replace a patchwork of local regulations remains on the slow track.

The House Energy Policy Committee took more than two hours of morning testimony and additional comments after House session to hear how the world is counting on their cell phone signals to communicate.

The current regulatory framework is too time and cost prohibitive for cell phone companies to respond quickly to the expanding public desire for 5G data service on their iPhones or smart phones, according to AT&T legal counsel Andy EMERSON, who said he's negotiated numerous small cell agreements across the country.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0637 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0894 sailed out of the Senate earlier this year (See "Small Cell Bills Sent To House, But No Quite Unanimously," 3/15/18), but was sent to the committee of Rep. Gary GLENN (R-Williams Twp.), who has, in the past, given voice to those who claim wireless signals have caused them significant health issues.

Today was no exception. "We Are the Evidence" founder Dafna TACHOVER was given 45 minutes to compare the telecommunications industry's blind eye to the damage of wireless radiation to the tobacco industry's historic denial that smoking caused lung cancer.

She cited a study that showed men who kept cell phones in their pockets had a higher percentage of "bad sperm" than those who did not. She linked cell phone use to autism and cancer and other health issues.

Tachover, herself, said she's fallen victim to a micro-sickness and "We've been looking the other way."

Tachnover is a national speaker on these issues, travelling from state to state on the backs of donations to share with local leaders her research on the impact of 5G transmitters to the health of some individuals.

Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton), one of three Senate no votes on the small cell technology, shared his "serious concerns" about these signals being placed between two and 10 homes apart.

"This is an issue where I love the convenience of a cell phone, but I know our primary duty per the constitution is the health of our citizens," he said.

During today's testimony, Emerson noted that the legislation does allow local governments the power to move a small cell away from the house of someone who has sensitivities to the microwave frequencies.

He said the preferred deployment is to hang these small cells, which are no bigger than a briefcase, onto utility poles, light poles or the side of buildings as opposed to building new poles.

Glenn said after the morning session that he'd like to take the summer recess for members to think about the issue before revisiting it in September. He didn't commit on a vote one way or the other, but said he would leave it open as an option.
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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 5-24-18;

WHERE'S BILL SCHUETTE? (Please Share this post)
And he's NOT coming to Republican hosted debates either!!!
(Macomb County event on June 7th and Antrim County event on July 12th)

youtu.be/Hj0Q7CnKAx8Learn more at BrianCalley.com -- Follow Brian on Social -- FB - facebook.com/briancalley TW - twitter.com/briancalley
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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 5-22-18;

Dr. Kyle Denholm of Breath of Life Wellness Center in Petoskey talked about his "Lunch and Learn" program where he will bring Lunch to your business, place of work and educate your co-workers about "Wellness 101",...for FREE!!!

Call his office TODAY,..... to schedule him to come to your work or business; (This fulfills HR requirements for larger businesses)
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1st half hour discussion today, Wednesday 5-16-18;

Brian Calley for Governor campaign produced this attack ad against AG - Bill Schuette using our President Donald Trump.

Please watch it and let us know if this ad changes your support and/or vote for the two candidates? Make your comments with your answer; (PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!!!)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj0Q7CnKAx8&feature=youtu.beLearn more at BrianCalley.com -- Follow Brian on Social -- FB - facebook.com/briancalley TW - twitter.com/briancalley
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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 5-10-18;
MIRS News Service

Calley Goes On The Attack In First Full GOP Gubernatorial Debate

(GRAND RAPIDS) -- The fireworks began early in the first Republican gubernatorial debate tonight when Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY accused Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE of politicizing the Flint water crisis and using the trials of state administrators to launch his campaign for governor.

Schuette fired right back calling Calley's comments the "height of arrogance" and accused him of sweeping the issue under the rug.

Twelve people died in the Flint water crisis, Schuette said, and kids were poisoned. "If I didn't have an investigation, I wouldn't have been doing my job," he said.

Calley used a rebuttal that "Bill Schuette will literally say or do anything to get elected." He contended $23 million has been spent on the cases and the preliminary exams, which have gone on over years. Calley said others have called Schuette out for conducting the case, saying they have been called "show trials."

The debate, at WOOD TV studios in Grand Rapids, was the first debate in which all four Republican candidates participated. Earlier forums included Saginaw physician Dr. Jim HINES, Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton) and Calley, but not Schuette. He announced in April he would participate in events organized by the GOP itself and at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce conference on Mackinac Island (See "MRP Announces Two GOP gubernatorial Debates," 4/13-15/18).

It was WOOD TV political reporter Rick ALBIN's second question about what the state had done right and what it had done wrong in the water crisis that began the back-and-forth.

Colbeck said the state had fixed the problem and responded to the emergency, but also learned there are 72 communities in Michigan with a worse lead problem than Flint.

Hines said it was "tragic" to take bottled water away from the residents of Flint.

But Calley actually took his first shot at Schuette in the very first question. Asked if the candidates would support the legalization of recreational marijuana, all the candidates said they were opposed but would respect the decision if voters adopt the ballot proposal in November.

Calley used the opportunity to criticize Schuette for his handling of medical marijuana, saying Schuette not only had campaigned against medical marijuana but used his position to continue "fighting against the will of the voters, keeping patients from the medicine they need."

Schuette responded "democracy will prevail" in the November ballot, but said he was concerned about putting more drugs in the hands of kids. He noted that the opioid epidemic raging across the nation is real and the state needs to crack down on pill mills, which he said he has done as Attorney General.

Schuette mentioned repeatedly throughout the debate that President Donald TRUMP has endorsed him. (See "Trump Tells Schuette 'Good Luck With Your Race' During Bill Signing," 4/11/18). One question was on that very point. Albin explained a viewer had submitted a question about whether the candidates supported the president, saying she would not support any candidate who did not.

Schuette used the opportunity to note that he had recently visited with the President at the White House.

"Brian, the fact is in October 2016 you renounced your support of President Trump," he said.

Calley responded that he voted for Trump.

"Now in 2016 there was a lot of division within the family, in the Republican Party," Calley came back. "But we all got there when it counted on Election Day and he was elected President. And even Bill Schuette served as the campaign chair for Jeb BUSH and he used the word deplorable on Donald Trump before Hillary (CLINTON) even did."

Hines said he "loves the guy and likes what he is doing."

"First of all," Colbeck said on the question, "I think President Trump got some really bad information in regards to his endorsement."

Colbeck said he fully supports the President: "I would ask him to reconsider his endorsement, obviously."

The only mentions of the opposing party came in closings. Schuette said the state needs to go forward and move "from good to great."

"We can't go backwards. We can't afford (Gretchen) WHITMER and the Democrats, which would be a sequel to the failed governorship of Jennifer GRANHOLM."

Calley used his closing to point out the economy has added 540,000 jobs during the administration of Gov. Rick SNYDER and that unemployment is at a 17 year low.

Colbeck contended the state has to break out of the cycle of having a Democratic governor for eight years, then a Republican candidate for the next eight.

Hines closed by contending that the other candidates are all term-limited politicians looking for their next job, saying he is the only outsider with fresh ideas on the ticket.

In the spin room afterward, Schuette said he was not surprised by the tone of the debate, saying the other candidates were behind and so are going on the attack.

"I understand desperation politics," he said. (See "Schuette: Calley Steering A Sinking Ship," 4/27/18).

Calley said voters deserve to know what Schuette's record is (See "Does Calley Think Bill Schuette Is Shady," 4/17/18).

"He over-politicizes everything. He politicizes tragedies. He has essentially run investigations as part of his campaign for governor," Calley said.

Calley called it an "absolute travesty" that there will be only two debates.

Colbeck agreed on the need for more debates with all the candidates, saying the agreement initially was for four.

"He needs to put his courage-pants on," he said of Schuette.

Hines said Schuette could be afraid to debate.

"He could be afraid to listen to the citizens, because he's had a long career," Hines said, saying a lot of people are angry with him because of past decisions.

A second GOP debate is scheduled for June 28 at WDIV TV studios in Detroit.
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1st half hour discussion today, Monday 5-7-18; MIRS News Service

Senate Sends Its $56.6B Budget To House

With a four-and-a-half-hour session today, the Senate passed its $56.6 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget. The General Fund portion of the budget is $41.9 billion; the School Aid Fund portion is $14.7 billion.

Unlike the House budget that left $164 million on the balance sheet, the Senate budget doesn't have any extra money hanging around (See "House Budget Moves With $164M On Balance Sheet," 4/18/18).

The budget represented a 3 percent drop in GF spending from current year spending and an 8 percent decrease in GF spending from Gov. Rick SNYDER's recommendation. The 3 percent drop on the GF side was from smaller caseloads at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Among the top features of the budget was a $115 to $230 hike in Michigan's per pupil foundation allowance, which would be the largest per pupil increase in more than 10 years. In addition, the budget increases operational funding for universities by $42.9 million and boosts constitutional revenue sharing by 3 percent ($24.7 million.)

MIRS asked Senate Appropriations Chair David HILDENBRAND (R-Lowell) what he considered to be the highlights of the budget.

"First, I think it's a conservative budget. It's reducing spending from current year and I think the major reason for that is that -- as the economy gets better -- we see less demands on state government services, for instance. That gives us the ability to reduce spending and still invest in key priorities of the state."

"That's number one," Hildenbrand continued. "Number two is record spending in roads and bridges. We still have a lot of challenges in our infrastructure and we're continuing to invest more and it's going to take some time to get us back up to par, but I think the investments we're making are going to go a long way."

Hildenbrand said he was including the $175 million in supplemental road funding from the current budget year to reach the "record spending" level (See "Extra $175M For Roads Signed Into Law," 3/20/18).

Ironically, the first alleged deficiency of the budget that Senate Minority Leader Jim ANANICH (D-Flint) talked with reporters about following session was road funding.

"This budget actually appropriates less money for roads than the current budget we're in," Ananich said. "I think you can't deny the fact that roads are crumbling and we have to do more."

MIRS asked Ananich why his assessment of road funding in the budget was the opposite of what Hildenbrand had claimed. He said it was because Hildenbrand was counting the $175 million supplemental.

"That's this year's budget," Ananich said.
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Friday's interview with Kerry Bentivolio - Former U.S. Congressman and Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District,...we talked about a fellow Veteran candidate attacking Kerry's military record for political gains;

youtu.be/chw87M1JrasFormer U.S. Congressman and current Republican Candidate for the 11th District - Kerry Bentivolio joins "Trucker Randy" on "Your Defending Fathers" to talk a...
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

Wayne Schmidt (R) - State Senator today (37th District) has been promoting higher taxes and license plate fees for YEARS!!!

This year,...vote FOR lower taxes, vote for JIM GURR on August 7th!!!

PLEASE SHARE, SHARE, SHAREThe face of the increased "Sales Tax Ballot Proposal"!!! (April 2013 & 2014)

That could mean changing how roads are funded in the next few months, and then raising the fuel tax after this November’s election.

Before last week’s announcement, Wayne Schmidt, chair of the House Transportation Committee, said he favors replacing the current gasoline and diesel tax with a wholesale tax on fuel, but leaving it “revenue neutral” for now.

"Lawmakers later could increase the fuel tax in a lame-duck session", Schmidt said.

“The old adage is you eat an elephant one bite at a time,” the Traverse City Republican said then. “This is the first bite.”

Whether that plan stands a chance of passing the House and Senate remains uncertain, since many Republicans oppose any tax increase, and Democrats aren’t in a hurry to help Snyder....

Bridge Magazine article - April 10, 2014 titled;
Rough Road Ahead: Road funding stalls as state elections near

Photo: MIRS News article - April 16, 2013
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

3rd hour discussion today, Friday 5-4-18;ICYMI: My speech on the Muslim Brotherhood and their goals as espoused in a document called the Explanatory Memorandum can be viewed at the following link. ... See MoreSee Less

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1st half hour of Friday's show, 5-4-18;
MIRS News Service

Thanedar Implies El-Sayed Leaked 'Incorrect' Beagles, Monkeys Story

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri THANEDAR today implied during a radio interview that rival Abdul EL-SAYED fed "incorrect information to the media" about the testing animals left at a former lab after it went bankrupt.

Thanedar, fighting off criticism that he didn't work closely with the bank to find shelters for the 170 beagles and monkeys left when New Jersey-based AniClin Preclinical Services shut down (See "Thanedar Explains Case Of Abandoned Beagles After HuffPost Story," 4/26/18), pointed the finger at El-Sayed in the first public criticisms lodged among the Democratic gubernatorial field.

"You know what happens is that opposition candidates do their research and feed incorrect information to the media, and things get reported that aren't true . . ." Thanedar said on Michigan's Big Show with Michael Patrick Shiels. "The El-Sayed campaign doesn't want to look at the facts. They just want to look at distorting and doing the smear, but you know that's not going to get them from the 6 percent that they are in to be competitive."

Thanedar criticized El-Sayed for fundraising off the original Huffington Post story and "people can see right through that."

"(The) Huffington Post wrote an article that was incorrect and based on incorrect information to them by opposing campaigns," he said.

The main piece of alleged misinformation Thanedar wanted to debunk was that the animals were abandoned. There were animal caretakers throughout the time the bank took over his assets.

"So no animal was ever hurt. These animals were not abandoned . . . the animals were given away to shelters and good homes. Not a single animal was hurt in any way," he said.

When Shiels nibbled around the point that animals are inevitably hurt or die through the testing process -- which is whole point of having them -- Thandear noted that, "Modern medicine cannot be tested without some form of animal testing and human testing. Now, so that's science. Science requires that. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration requires that medicine be developed and new modern medicine saves millions of lives."

The point that animals ultimately die through medical testing is driven home by the grim details of in the federal court filing, which lists the equipment being liquated though the bankruptcy. It includes a six-foot "carcass disposal freezer."

Abdul Calls First Ad 'The People's Summer'

As reported Monday, gubernatorial candidate Abdul EL-SAYED released his first television ad this week. The campaign released a copy of "The People's Summer" on Tuesday.

The 30-second spot features El-Sayed speaking at a Detroit rally alongside social justice activists Shaun KING and Mari COPENY, known as "Little Miss Flint." The end of the advertisement invited viewers to visit ThePeoplesSummer.com.

“Abdul has already proved he is for the kids and this is why I choose to support him, he cares about the kids like me," Copeny said.
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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 5-3-18;
MIRS News Service

Bills Would Override PSC While New Package Would Give 'Energy Freedom'

How many people eventually put solar panels on their homes is not only a function of how much money they can save on their electricity bills, but how reliably they can "pencil out" their return on that investment, Liesl CLARK, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council told the House Energy Committee today.

The committee was considering a pair of bills, Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5692 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5693, sponsored by Rep. Yousef RABHI (D-Ann Arbor), which would essentially override the Michigan Public Services Commission's (PSC) recent announcement it will move utilities from a net metering program for solar panel owners to an inflow/outflow system with a "distributed generation (DG) tariff."

"Solar doesn't work in the U.P. Oh wait, yeah, it does, because it's all about economics. At the end of the day, all of this is about the economics," Clark said. "All of this is about energy costs and how they compare to that technology that folks want to deploy."

Net metering itself is a confusing subject, she said. "At least we are going back to a program that we understand as opposed to trying to implement the DG tariff language that is just kind of twisting us all in circles."

Under net metering programs, those who have solar panels -- or other power generating systems like wind turbines -- draw from the utilities at retail rates when they need power. But when they generate excess power, they can supply it to the utilities for credit at those same retail rates. With an inflow/outflow system, two meters would be used and the power homeowners send to the utilities would get a credit at a different rate.

The PSC announced in April it would move to a distributed generation tariff system and the rates would be determined in rate cases filed by the power companies after June 1 (See "Critics: Rooftop Solar Loses In MPSC's New Net Metering Plan," 4/18/18).

PSC Chair Sally TALBERG explained to the committee how the system will work and contended the move is in compliance with the state's new energy laws passed back in 2016.

Ed RIVET, who is soon to take the executive director position at the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, disagrees.

"You didn't get a cost of service study from this commission order. You did not. You got a half of one," he said. The other half will be put into contested rate cases. "That is not what the statute requires. They are out of compliance with the statute. I would urge you to assert your authority and require the commission to go back and do the job you instructed them to do by statute."

The Energy Committee members began the day with hearings about the distributed generation tariff, but they did not vote. Chair Gary GLENN (R-Williams Twp.) said he would wait to call a vote until other energy-related bills are before the committee, likely in the next two weeks.

At the end of the day, Glenn, Rahbi and several other members of the committee were unveiling a package of bills they call "Energy Freedom" legislation.

Glenn's Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5861 is a centerpiece of the package, allowing for the creation of "community renewable energy gardens." While individuals can't always have solar systems or wind turbines, the bill would allow them to join renewable energy gardens to which they would subscribe and would receive a monthly credit on their bill for the energy produced by the garden.

"The diversity of spreading out the ability to own the energy-producing assets and to benefit from it and in turn benefit the grid to encourage and incentivize as many different people doing that as possible is the specific objective of this bill," Glenn said, explaining he anticipates utility opposition. "Obviously, it is understandable why they will oppose it. They are a monopoly. They want to remain a monopoly. Why anyone else would oppose the diversification and liberating of the electricity generating assets in our state I cannot imagine, because the end result will be greater self-sufficiency, diversity so people are not dependent on the grid, and lower priced electricity.

Rabhi's Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5863 would ensure that homeowners, farmers and businesses who generate power receive a fair price for their energy. This bill would cover small systems, those generating under 500 kilowatts.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5862, by Rep. Scott DIANDA (D-Calumet), would require the PSC to come up with a similar fair pricing system for larger systems, those producing more than 500 kilowatts.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5864, Rep. Steven JOHNSON (R-Wayland), would allow for the creation of "microgrids," which allow generators to share electricity with their neighbors. The bill would allow those members to operate in "island mode" when there is a power outage.

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5865, by Rep. Tom BARRETT (R-Potterville), would remove the current 1 percent cap on solar generation and allow more people to become energy independent.

"I would hope that the utilities would see this as an overall benefit," Barrett said. "Right now, for example, people who invest in their own generation are making the investment for that capacity that off-loads that need by the utilities."

Utilities now have to invest large amounts in peaker plants to handle peak loads, but which are rarely used.

"If we can increase the amount of people generating on site and to reduce that need for us to invest in a new peaker plant, for example, then that is a cost the utilities will not bear. The utilities benefit from those that net metering because they get to count that generation capacity toward their capacity requirements that they have to have and yet those don't have to pay for that actual generation. So it is an overall benefit to utilities," he said.
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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 5-2-18;

Rich Foley of Well Connect in Alpena joined us to talk about the "One Day" of Air Conditioning Trucker Randy used in his house yesterday (got up to 81 outside), 68 degrees was too cold and the house was "dry as a bone"!!!

Call Rich to get all the details at; 989-356-2113
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2nd hour discussion today, Tuesday 5-1-18; MIRS News Service

Governor, Shippers React Positively To Trump Comment About Fixing Soo Locks

President Donald TRUMP's commitment to fix the Soo Locks, made Saturday during a rally in Macomb County, would revive a project at that navigational choke point that has been stalled for 10 years and is getting positive reviews from people here in Michigan, especially shipping interests.

“If that lock goes down, Michigan's unemployment rockets to 22 percent and that's based on a Department of Homeland Security study. If you recall, in 2008-2009, the Great Recession, Michigan's unemployment topped out at 15 percent,” said James WEAKLEY, president of the Lake Carriers Association (LCA). “Three states will lose over 800,000 jobs -- Michigan, Ohio and Texas. And that is because of the value chain that is created by the steel that feeds the automobile (industry) and appliance and heavy manufacturing.”

Trump didn't get into specifics when he made the comment at the rally in Washington Township.

“The Soo Locks are going to hell . . . and we're going to get them fixed up . . . Your lock isn't working too well, it's not working too well,” he said. “It hasn't been fixed in 50 years, in all fairness . . . I told your congressmen, `Write that name down for me.' It's the Army Corps of Engineers. We're gonna be calling them. It could be tonight, depending on the time we get back.”

Nonetheless, Weakley said he's comfortable Trump understands what needs to happen there because he had been briefed by U.S. Rep. Jack BERGMAN (R-Acme), U.S. Rep. John MOOLENAAR (R-Midland) and U.S. Rep. Paul MITCHELL (R-Dryden Twp.)

“I think when he was talking fixing the lock, there are actually four locks there, so he's talking about fixing the lock in the broader sense of fixing the problem at the locks,” Weakley said. “So the fix of fixing the problem there is to build a second lock so that you have redundancy and resiliency.”

While there are four locks at the Soo, only one -- the Poe Lock -- is large enough to handle the largest ships, 1,000-foot long ore carriers. LCA estimates 88 percent of the cargo that passes through the Soo Locks must use the Poe.

Gov. Rick SNYDER reacted positively is a statement issued today.

“Some of the biggest industries in the world rely on this vital shipping corridor, which means the entire United States relies on it,” Snyder said. “It was great to hear the President commit to having the federal government take action and get this long-standing project underway.”

He asked Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY to lead the state's efforts on the project.

“It was awesome to hear President Trump commit to investing in the Soo Locks and I'm excited to work with him and his administration to finally get this done,” Calley said in the statement. “This is critical not just to Michigan's economy but the entire U.S. economy.”

Congress already authorized the construction of a second large lock at the Soo back in 1968, Weakley explained. At the time, the estimated cost was around $300 million. Some work, including some dredging, has been done there.

But work came to a halt in 2005 when the Army Corp of Engineers completed a cost-benefit analysis that Weakley says was flawed.

“The core assumption they got wrong is that they believed that if the lock went down, it was no big deal,” he explained. “All you would have to do is move the cargo by rail. They ignored the fact the rail connections don't exist between the mines and the mills and they ignored the fact that the steel mills are not capable of taking delivery, with a couple minor exceptions, by rail. The Great Lakes region has been set up to take raw materials by vessel to the steel mills.”

Congress intervened and the Army Corp of Engineers has been redoing its analysis over the past two years, but Weakley said they are still using some bad assumptions.

“That's why I'm most excited about the president's comments. Regardless of who the president of the United States is, when they speak, it means something. So, at the highest level of the U.S. government, we have focus on a project of national importance.”

The President is in a position to simply override the Army Corps analysis.

There is money available in the budget, Weakley said. Congress added $337 million to the Army Corps' budget, some of which it could use to finish the designs for the new lock and get the project restarted.

The Poe was re-built in 1968, and now is beginning to show some wear.

Weakley said in the past five years, there has been an increasing frequency of unscheduled outages at both the Poe and MacArthur locks. The Poe lock has had leakages, leaks in its hydraulic equipment and other mechanical problems due to age and lack of maintenance.

The estimated cost for building the second lock there now comes to between $500 and $600 million. It would take 10 years to complete the work once the program is revived.
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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 5-1-18;

Monika Fiebing - Chairwoman of the Benzie County Republican Party called in to talk about their upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 at Crystal Mountain Resort.

Get your tickets at this website;
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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 4-25-18; MIRS News Service;
(I don't agree with this list)

Top 15 House Seats Most Likely To Flip

The "Blue Wave" is coming, Democrats promised over and over again in Detroit two weekends ago. There's certainly reason to believe it considering their numerous victories and strong performances in special elections across the country.

The good news for Republicans is they are protected with solid incumbents in areas like northern Michigan and Macomb County where Democrats have typically done well, chasing the Ds to suburban areas for the nine pick-ups they need to gain majority.

It's hard to see Rep. Sue ALLOR (R-Wolverine) or Rep. Daire RENDON (R-Lake City) losing under any scenario. If Democrats couldn't beat Rep. Steve MARINO (R-Mt. Clemens) with what they had on him in 2016, it's hard to see how they do it in 2018. Likewise, I think it's fair to come to terms with the fact that the Farringtons known how to win elections in the 30th, numbers be damned. We're going to leave them alone for a while.

On the other hand, Republicans are going to struggle to pick up more than one seat this go around considering the national moment. Outside of the western Upper Peninsula, where do the Republicans steal a win?

Rep. Darrin CAMILLERI (D-Brownstown Twp.) has done so well Republican candidates don't want to run against him and Rep. Winnie BRINKS' (D-Grand Rapids) 76th House District is sliding away from the GOP. The 25th and 67th House Districts haven't happened for Republicans in good GOP years and certainly aren't going to happen this year.

Democrats have gotten into trouble in recent cycles with their wide eyes, playing in too may seats and walking away with nothing. This year may not be one of those years. Their universe of pickups aren't, really, that wide and if a Blue Wave proves something different, there's not much either side can do about it anyway.

With that, here is MIRS' first "Most Likely To Flip" list for 2018.

1. 62nd House District (R to D) -- Rep. John BIZON (R-Battle Creek) did well keeping this seat in Republican hands despite base numbers that would lean toward Democrats. This year will be much harder with Bizon running for Senate and Democrat Jim HAADSMAN coming back, after his 209-vote loss in '16. Pennsville Township Supervisor Dave MORGAN will have his hands full.

2. 40th House District (R to D) -- This affluent, well-educated Oakland County district always goes Republican, but Donald TRUMP did so poorly here, there's a question how much spillover this means with an open seat and an overlapping competitive congressional district. Both sides have competitive primaries, so the position of this district may be subject to some wild movements.

3. 39th House District (R To D) -- The good news for Republicans in this West Bloomfield Hills/Commerce district is that Trump does marginally better here. The bad news is that Democrats like Lisa BROWN won in the right environment here and 2018 may be one of those years.

4. 110th House District (D To R) -- Rep. Scott DIANDA (R-Calumet) did well in this district, but even he lost this district once. Ken SUMMERS will need the now-Senate candidate to help him connect with voters or this district will go Republican, whoever the nominee ends up being.

5. 71st House District (R To D) -- The trend lines on this Eaton County district aren't all that good for Republicans, but Christine BARNES and Chuck CASCARILLA are giving them hope. The Democrats like Beth BOWEN and Angela WITWER from Delta Township where much of the population growth is taking place.

6. 17th House District (R To D) -- Rep. Joe BELLINO (R-Monroe) is doing everything right in his first term, but sometimes that isn't enough to fend off unfavorable district numbers in a wave election year. The Democrats scored Monroe City Clerk Michelle LaVOY in this one while husband, former Rep. Bill LaVOY, goes after the neighboring Senate seat.

7. 91st House District (R To D) -- Possibly the most historically competitive House seat, this Muskegon County-based district seems to go back and forth depending on how the top of the ticket is doing. Republicans have Greg VanWOERKOM, son of the former legislator, goes against either Andy O'RILEY, a local media guy, or environmentalist Tanya CABALA.

8. 41st House District (R To D) -- This is the last of three Oakland County seats in the sights of Democrats due to Trump's sagging numbers in the white-collar suburbs. Republicans have either Oakland County Commissioner Doug TIETZ or Ethan BAKER going against a passionate candidate in Padma KUPPA in what may turn out to be a very competitive race.

9. 99th House District (R To D) -- The white whale for Democrats emerges again . . . the Mt. Pleasant-based 99th District. Will Central Michigan University students turn out like they did for Bernie SANDERS in November? Will Mt. Pleasant Mayor Allison QUAST-LENTS survive her Democratic primary? How do voters feel Rep. Roger HAUCK (R-Mt. Pleasant) is doing? Will Capt. Ahab finally spear that stinking Moby Dick?!?

10. 101st House District (R To D) -- The Lake Michigan coastline district would be further up the rankings if the Republicans hadn't scored probably one of their best recruits in Jack O'MALLEY, a longtime radio personality. The Democrats' first candidate, Kathy WIEJACZKA, has a primary to contend with and an uphill climb after that.

11. 20th House District (R To D) -- Rep. Jeff NOBLE (R-Plymouth) charged through a political headwind to win by 3,672 votes in 2016. The wind in 2018 could end up being a bit stiffer and Matt KOLESZAR may end up being a stronger opponent.

12. 19th House District (R To D) -- Livonia City Council member Brian MEAKIN would seem to be a slam dunk, but Mark ABBO seemed like a slam dunk in 2006, too. Yeah, it's not the same district, but it's the same concept. National turnout trends combined with a young, female candidate could spell trouble for Republicans. We're keeping an eye on how Democrats Dan CENTERS and Laurie POHUTSKY does.

13. 108th House District (R To D) -- Democrats let this Upper Peninsula district get away from them in 2016 and since then, Rep. Beau LAFAVE (R-Iron Mountain) seems to be getting more popular. His views seem in line with those of the district. He keeps them engaged on social media. The number would indicate that Bob ROMPS should do well, but LaFave is going to be hard to beat.

14. 61st House District (R To D) -- One of these days we'll keep Rep. Brandt IDEN (R-Oshtemo Twp.) off these lists . . . but these based numbers from Kalamazoo County look so dubious.

15. 79th House District (R To D) -- Take a look at the number of Democrats who filed to run in the 6th Congressional District. The progressive movement in southwest Michigan is passionate. We're not saying that's going to equate into a win in 2018, but this is an open seat and we're not ready to take it off the board, yet.
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1st hour discussion today, Monday 4-23-18; MIRS News Service

The Guy Who Sells Chatfield's Family Pizzas Running Against Him

Rep. Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering) may be the odds-on favorite to be House Speaker next year if Republicans retain majority, but first he has to get through a primary against a military veteran who works at the General Store about a mile from his house.

Pellston resident Bruce NEWVILLE Jr., who filed paperwork to run as a Republican for the 107th District, is very familiar with Chatfield, having sold his family pizzas for the last several years.

"I'm unhappy with what's going on in Lansing. Lee Chatfield is just another person who is doing it. He's just a guy who's in my district. He's just a stepping stone or whatever you want to call it, something that has to move off so that something can get done," Newville told MIRS today.

Retired from the Navy after 20 years of service, the 56-year-old Newville now works part-time at the Pellston General Store. He's never run for office before, but he doesn't think Chatfield is representing the district.

"He is just trying to put his name on the chart board and move up the chain. I just want to make a change," Newville said.

Because taxes are too high, he said he might not be able to retire until he is 80.

"I like primaries," Chatfield responded today when asked about Newville filing. He's gone 2-for-2 in primary contests in that northern Michigan district. He initially won the seat by beating incumbent Frank FOSTER in the primary in 2014. He beat his last primary opponent 73 to 27 percent.

He also appears to have already solidified support for next year's leadership race in the House (See "Chatfield Wrapping Up House Leadership Race," 11/27/17).

And he's sitting on a sizable war chest. Chatfield was the top fundraiser in the House last year, pulling in $361,175 from his two PACs with $121,522 in cash on hand. (See "Shirkey PAC Sitting On Half Million; Meekhof PACs $432K," 2/22/18).
Newville said he doesn't know how much he'll need to spend to beat Chatfield.

"I have no idea. I'm hoping it is not very much. I'm not a very rich man. I know I could hope on some contributions, but I have to knock on some doors first," he said.

He plans to campaign mainly by going to fairs, schools and community centers, as well as walking door to door.

Newville complained Chatfield "says everything is a good deal and then he doesn't do anything about it."

He talked about a Cheboygan woman whose electricity was turned off in 2015 in a dispute with the utility over the meter.

"I think that is something that needs to be changed," he said. "We need to make the power companies work for us instead of we working for them. I think the utilities should fight for our business not us fighting them for their business."

He said he would like to see veterans "get a break" on hunting and fishing licenses.

And taxes are too high, he said.

"Come on now, we don't need to put all these prices and taxes on everything. Let's lower what we are doing in Lansing. Let's cut back. You know I think we should even go to a part-time legislature myself. Get the lobbyists out of Lansing. If you go to a part-time legislature, the lobbyists will leave you alone," he said.

And the state should cut spending.

"Let's cut the stuff in Lansing that doesn't really need to be there. I don't know, I've never been there, but if you've got 10 people working in your office, let's cut back. Let's cut it down to five. You don't need 10 people. Let's cut back. Let's save money somewhere."
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2nd hour discussion today, Tuesday (Tax Day) 4-17-18; BREAKING NEWS

Long time Republican - Jim Gurr (Antrim County) filed his papers in Lansing to primary challenge State Senator - Wayne Schmidt (37th District) in the upcoming August 7th Republican primary;

Jim called into the show and received the personal endorsement of "Trucker Randy" Bishop who ran for the office back in 2010 against Howard Walker;
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3rd hour discussion today, Tuesday 4-10-18; MIRS News Service

Brian Calley Focuses On Early Childhood, Special Ed, Career Readiness, School Safety

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian CALLEY released an education plan today that tackles the need to get more kids reading -- the cornerstone of opponent Bill SCHUETTE's education plan -- and hits on four other aspects.

The state's lieutenant governor issued a white paper that reads that kids "are not commodities, so we must stop educating them as though they are."

This means bringing together the "fragmented and confusing" pre-K services programs under a single umbrella that isn't "disjointed, uncoordinated or outdated."

He wants to state-supported healthcare, nutrition, screening, daycare and early childhood education services brought under a coordinated system so more kids are entering kindergarten "healthy and ready to learn."

On the special education font, Calley said is promoting his leadership on the Special Education Reform Task Force and the need to continue implementing its conclusions of inclusion and reform.

Calley wants to free up teachers to create individualized reading lessons on material that interests the child. He called reading "the foundation."

"To teach our children to be great readers is the single most important thing we can do to improve their futures," he said.

The Republican also wants to "reject the false choice between academics and trades by using skilled and professional trades courses to teach academic theory in "real-world ways." Using algebra or geometry in the building trades, for instance. Biology or chemistry in a Future Farmers of America course.

In talking about school safety, Calley mentioned OK2Say, a student-safety-reporting-tip line that Schuette likes to tout -- as the creation of the Michigan State Police, not the Attorney General's office. He used that program to highlight a school safety agenda that centers around best practices, school security upgrades and updated drills.

Schuette released his school safety plan in Livonia about a month ago (See "Schuette: 'When I'm Governor, Michigan's Children Will Read. Period,'" 3/15/18).
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2nd hour discussion today, Monday 4-9-18; MIRS News Service

Attorney Says Michigan No-Fault 'Uniquely Positioned' To Handle Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous vehicles won't have drivers, so Michigan's system of no-fault car insurance is "uniquely positioned to handle injury claims," according to Southfield personal injury attorney Vince COLELLA.

Rather than reform no-fault in Michigan, Colella argues other states should be looking at adopting Michigan-style no-fault insurance.

"With the advent of autonomous vehicles, where there will be no drivers to hold liable for an accident, it makes sense for states to consider no-fault systems to keep pace with technology, reduce litigation, and avoid shifting the costs of accidents to product manufacturers, states or our federal government," he said.

House Insurance Committee Chair Lana THEIS (R-Brighton) is not convinced.

"With a huge percentage of our courts already being tied up with no-fault related claims, there is no truth to the statement that this reduces litigation," Theis responded. ". . . Mr. Colella may not be aware that the trend is the other direction - away from no-fault due to the unmanageable cost. No state has even considered adopting the Michigan model and many no-fault states are reducing their personal injury protection (PIP) limits or moving to tort systems."

The issue was raised when a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian who was walking her bicycle across the street in Tempe, Arizona, on the evening of March 18. She is believed to be the first pedestrian fatality associated with self-driving technology. A safety driver was in the vehicle, but dash-cam video shows he was looking down at the time of the accident and did not have his hands hovering above the steering wheel, as is recommended.

“I doubt if Michigan legislators had autonomous vehicles in mind when they wrote Michigan's No-Fault Act in 1973, but it turns out they may have been ahead of their time,” Colella said.

No-fault allows those injured, either in vehicle-to-vehicle crashes or vehicle-pedestrian accidents, to claim benefits without establishing blame. Under Michigan law, the victim would first seek benefits from his or her own insurance, the insurer of a household relative, the insurer of the owner of the vehicle, the operator of the vehicle and then make a random claim to a Michigan auto insurance company, in that order.

“In a total autonomous situation, presuming there is no driver in control or partial control of the vehicle, I would presume that an accident would be the result of vehicle failure, which would leave only a claim for product liability,” Colella said. “The victim would then be forced to file claims under Michigan's product liability laws against the vehicle manufacturer or seller."

As a result, Colella is not a fan of the proposals to reform no-fault now pending in the state Legislature. (See "Macomb, U.P. Lawmakers Unveil Another Idea For No-Fault Reform," 2/22/18, and "Duggan Coming Back With Different Auto Insurance Coalition," 2/28/18).

" I am opposed to an overhaul of the no-fault system or placement of arbitrary and capricious caps on medical expenses. However, I am in favor of a modifying the current system," he said.

Colella said high premiums are a problem in some cities, like Detroit, but doesn't think they are "as rampant and wide scale" as some would lead us to believe. He said it is "excessive medical billing practices" that is the primary factor driving up claims and insurance premiums.

"One proposal recommends that we adopt 'fee schedules' to uniformly address medical charges and expenses," Colella stated in an email response to MIRS. "In theory, mandating uniform medical charges would eliminate excessive billing practices, thereby reducing costs and providing relief to the carriers. Of course, in consideration for an adoption of fee schedules, auto insurance companies would have to give some assurances of premium reductions."

Ultimately, it comes down to Michigan's current requirement for mandatory unlimited lifetime coverage for PIP, according to Theis.

"Medical billing practices, absence of limits and cost controls all contribute to loss costs, and therefore increased premiums," she said. "A fee schedule - like the workers' compensation fee schedule we already have in Michigan - would be a great start, but of course requiring unlimited lifetime medical benefits to be provided costs more. It would be absurd to think that 'unlimited' is the cheaper approach."

Theis said lawmakers have considered the likelihood of autonomous vehicles as they have been considering no-fault reform. That doesn't change the need for reform, she contends.

"The absence of cost controls and the rife overbilling practices exist today and should be addressed now. The advent of autonomous vehicles alone will not address the shortcomings of the current automobile insurance system in Michigan, but the changes to the no-fault statute necessary to determine who is `operating' an autonomous vehicle and therefore who might be responsible to carry insurance and/or provide financial responsibility for non-economic damages will require additional study."

Reform of no-fault has been a hot topic over the past year, but efforts to reform the system failed to pass the House in November. (See "Speaker's Auto Insurance Reform Falls By 10 Votes," 11/2/17).

A number of bills have been introduced offering various approaches to reform. (See "No-Fault Repeal Introduced, Would Return MI To 'Tort System'," 2/2/18, and "Coalition Introduces Alternative Reform On No-Fault Auto Insurance," 10/13/17).

Theis said she has not scheduled any further hearings before the Insurance Committee to discuss auto no-fault.
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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 4-5-18; MIRS News Service
Whitmer Unveils Plan To "Fix The Damn Roads"

(SOUTHFIELD) -- Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen WHITMER (D) proposed creation of a $3 billion Infrastructure Bank to fix the state's roads, bridges, water systems and to lay broadband cable on the first stop of a "Fix the Damn Roads Tour" today.

Speaking at Harthun Automotive, an auto repair and parts shop on Evergreen Road, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said the bank would be used to upgrade the electrical grid and build a new Soo Lock.

"We create an infrastructure bank and we fund it through user fees is how I would propose doing it through the Legislature," Whitmer said. "I would build that into my budget. If I couldn't get the Legislature to get it passed, I would go straight to the people and pass a bond for that amount and put it into the infrastructure bank. We would make secure, low interest loans available and that would help communities leverage federal dollars. This is the smartest way to get the most money into our infrastructure and empower communities to start rebuilding."

As she travels the state on the campaign trail, Whitmer said roads and water and broadband come up everywhere.

"People tell me all the time, if I know it's going to the roads, I'm willing to pay a little bit more, but I have to be guaranteed it's going there. They don't trust the Legislature. They don't trust state government. And that is why I say every dime we raise for the roads will go for the roads, guaranteed. People are demanding real fixes. You can't lie and tell people that everything can be done without investing in it," Whitmer told reporters at the press conference unveiling her plan.

She was asked to further explain the user fees.

"When I was the Legislature, we voted on everything from a gas tax to registration, those are not things I'm throwing on the table at this moment, but those are examples of things that I think would be helpful to fill in the $3 billion that we need in the infrastructure bank to do it right," she said.

Whitmer contended that the roads in Michigan are so bad they cost the average driver more than $540 a year in repairs. In metro Detroit, the estimated cost of repairs is $865.

A key element in her plan is that when repairs are made, that the repair be done right so those roads have to be fixed less often. When roads are dug up to be replaced, water and sewer repairs should be done and broadband cable should be laid at the same time. She called that "digging less and building smarter."

Whitmer also called for the creation of a State Infrastructure Council to oversee that work, including industry experts who could coordinate agencies to get those all those jobs accomplished and to assure that the repairs are conducted in a lasting fashion.

Rep. Jeremy MOSS (D-Southfield) introduced Whitmer at the event.

"In 2015, the Republican majority pushed forward their roads plan, which was an incredibly lazy approach to governance," Moss said. "It was a cuts-only plan and it was no more comprehensive than that. We have a leader here in the state of Michigan who is ready to fix the damn roads. We are going to hear from her about a comprehensive plan at long last to make sure there is a dedicated revenue stream to fixing our roads to make sure we have safe travel options."

Southfield Mayor Kenson SIVER said his city has spent $97 million in the last three years on its 246 miles of roads and will spend another $30 million this year.

"It is not enough. We will still have potholes because road funding is inadequate in this state," Siver said.

He said the Governor had "crowed" about additional funding for roads this year.

"About this $175 million that the Governor has announced, Southfield will get $500,000," Siver said. "I don't want to be ungrateful. We will take it. But you know what $500,000 will get me? It will get me one lane, not a whole road but one lane, for half a mile of concrete. That's it, and again, we have 246 miles of local roads. It's not enough."
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

1st hour discussion today, Monday 4-2-18;

State Rep. - Peter Lucido is mad,...and is heading to Lansing to do something about this latest ripoff of the People of Michigan by the insurance companies!!!

Peter J. Lucido YOUR State Legislator
This a farce! This is un-American and uncivilized in today's society. We shouldn't be paying for this. We need to have those books open and we have to know how much people are making in this fund and where that money is. This ought to be open to the public and not declared "private" and "proprietary."

Please watch this 3 minute video and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE with others who think that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association should open their books!
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Easter Sunday message from our President Donald J. Trump!!!

"God's Love Redeems The World." - President Trump delivers Easter message.
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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 3-29-18; MIRS News Service

Colbeck Questions Chamber's Endorsement Process

Republican gubernatorial candidate Patrick COLBECK criticized the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's endorsement process today, less than a week after the Chamber announced its support of Republican frontrunner Bill SCHUETTE (See "Chamber Backs Schuette As He, SuperPAC, Gov's PAC Hits Airwaves," 3/22/18).

Colbeck said he never received an invitation for an interview, but if he had, "I would have discussed the number of ways, I, as a state senator and candidate for governor, have supported what I thought is the Chamber's priority, which is to advance the interests of the many small businesses that drive our state's economy."

If the Chamber supported Schuette because he was "strongly positioned to win," Colbeck quipped, "That is hardly a ringing endorsement. Small businesses don't (see) the election as a horse race, in other words, placing a bet on who they think will win. Rather, they want a candidate who will advance their interests, which is creating a business climate in which to succeed."

In response, Chamber CEO and President Rich STUDLEY said the Chamber's political action committee (PAC) board reviewed and discussed information regarding all 19 candidate who have filed paperwork to collect signatures to run for governor, including Colbeck.

"After careful consideration, the PAC Board voted unanimously to endorse Attorney General Bill Schuette for Governor in recognition of his background & experience at the state level in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of state government; positions on key economic issues, bold vision for our state's future and strong leadership skills that will allow him to hit the ground running on day one in the Governor's office," Studley said.

"We understand Senator Colbeck is disappointed he didn't receive the Michigan Chamber's endorsement," he added. "However, we commend all of the candidates running for Governor for throwing their hat in the ring, including Senator Colbeck. We have nothing negative to say about any candidates for Governor.”

Pro-Schuette PAC Going On The Air

The pro-Bill SCHUETTE political action committee, Better Jobs, Stronger Families, is scheduled to start running campaign ads in at least Grand Rapids for two weeks between Wednesday and April 10, according to information obtained by MIRS today.

The ad buy would be the third different entity supporting Schuette that's taken the airs in less than a week. Schuette's campaign has two ads running in circulation and another fund called Fund for Michigan's Tomorrows is airing ads in Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing until Easter. The ad buy in Grand Rapids, at least is $39,807.

Calley SuperPAC Created

A SuperPAC created to support Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY's gubernatorial bid was created last week. The Calley Continues Comeback Inc. political action committee lists addresses in Grand Rapids and Washington, D.C.

The treasurer is Paul KILGORE, who works for Professional Data Services, a Republican political consultant, who cut his teeth preparing matching funds reports for seven of Republican gubernatorial candidates for the 1996 campaign cycle.
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1st hour discussion today, Monday 3-26-18;

Did President Trump outsmart Congress,...is he going to build "The Wall" starting TODAY,...with part of the increase in the Military's budget???
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

Kids are being used today by an “Old Agenda”,...learn from our history!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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1st hour discussion, Friday 3-23-18;

John called in to talk about Cheboygan resident Jamie Chimner not having electricity in her home for over 2.5 years, due to Consumer Power turning her service off because she can NOT have a Smart/Digital meter because of health reasons.

Please email Jamie or call her, if you can send her a donation to cover their expenses (ice, batteries, etc...)

Phone; 231.627.6374
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2nd hour discussion today, Thursday 3-22-18;

Snyder Endorses Calley To Succeed Him As Governor

(SOUTHFIELD) -- Brian CALLEY got the official thumbs up from his boss, Gov. Rick SNYDER, in the Lieutenant Governor's bid to replace the term-limited governor.

The blessing from Snyder -- a rare personal and public endorsement of a candidate for the state's top office -- came today at the headquarters of construction company Barton Malow. It was dubbed as the "Continue the Comeback" event, which follows on the heels of the theme of Calley's first television ad (See "Calley Off And Running With First TV Ad," 3/16/18).

Snyder has typically been known to stay far away from directly endorsing anyone, whether it's presidential candidates or anything else down ballot. His political action committee, the Relentless Positive Action (RPA) PAC has played in House races on numerous occasions. He's also has popped into fundraisers, but he hasn't been one to publicly throw his political support so directly behind a person (See "Snyder Running TV Ads In 6 House Races," 9/19/16).

MIRS searched the term "Snyder endorses" on its website archive and could only turn up one result: When the Governor endorsed GOP-nominated James Robert REDFORD in his bid for the Supreme Court in 2014 (See "Snyder Endorses Redford," 8/15/14).

Redford wasn't successful in that race, but later joined Snyder's office as his chief legal counsel and is now director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

Asked the question about his endorsement history today, Snyder said, "I think I probably have in the past, but nothing as important as this in terms of my successor."

The Governor said today this was something he's been looking forward to for eight years, dating back to when Snyder picked Calley to be his running mate.

"That's an important aspect I looked at when I had the opportunity to ask Brian," Snyder said, adding later, "Let's figure out to have good succession of letting the next generation come in and run our state."

The Governor said Calley is the "best leader possible" to take Michigan to "an even higher level." Snyder again stressed civility and said "fighting doesn't belong in our state."

Calley said it's been an honor to serve alongside Snyder and called Michigan the "American comeback state."

In a press release following the announcement, Calley said, "I'm honored to have partnered with Governor Snyder since 2010 to create the Michigan comeback and I'm honored to have his endorsement today. Together, Michigan's made tremendous progress since 2010, and I'll take Michigan to the next level as governor."

Snyder appeared alongside Calley the day before Calley made his gubernatorial run official, where he had again referred to Calley as the best lieutenant governor in the country (See "Calley Gearing Up With Snyder For 'Big News,'" 11/27/17).

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill SCHUETTE, the Republican gubernatorial frontrunner, made sure no one forgot about his campaign today.

Schuette issued a press release recapping the first quarter of 2018 by reminding everyone that he "earned the support of more than 300 conservative Republican leaders, including the President and Vice President of the United States, submitted the most petition signatures of any campaign to date, and began laying out his Paycheck Agenda of conservative policy."

The Governor was asked today how he distinguishes Calley from another statewide candidate running for Governor, a subtle reference to Schuette without naming names.

In response, Snyder said he'd rather focus on Calley's positive attributes and said that relentless positive action is not about "finding an issue or problem with something," but about finding solutions and working together.

The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) chimed in today prior to the announcement, as MDP spokesperson Sam NEWTON said, "The only thing Rick Snyder's endorsement does today is ramp up the already growing GOP civil war with Donald TRUMP's wing of the Michigan Republican Party."

Also seen at the event today in Southfield was former Secretary of State Terri Lynn LAND, a former GOP U.S. Senate candidate.
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

1st hour of “Your Defending Fathers”, Thursday 3-22-18; ... See MoreSee Less

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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 3-21-18; MIRS News Service

Hildenbrand To Push National Popular Vote

Senate Appropriations Chair David HILDENBRAND (R-Lowell) has more on his mind than just the budget in his final year in the Legislature. He's hoping to get Michigan to join the National Popular Vote interstate compact, potentially changing how the state allocates its 16 electoral college votes during presidential elections.

"It's more of a summer -- fall project," Hildenbrand told MIRS today. "I've talked to a lot of people about it and I've grown to feel more strongly about it."

The National Popular Vote effort has already succeeded in having 11 states with 165 electoral college votes pass enacting legislation. Those states and districts are California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

When states representing 105 more electoral college votes join the agree, all of the compact states will award their electoral college votes to the candidate that won the national popular vote -- essentially guaranteeing the popular vote winner the 270 needed electoral college votes to win.

Once that happens, presidential candidates will have to run nationwide campaigns aimed at securing the most votes, regardless of where those votes reside.

Hildenbrand told MIRS he became intrigued with the concept when National Popular Vote legislation was sprung on him in 2008 while he served in the House. That year, the Michigan House voted 65-36 to join the compact by passing HB 6610, a bill that later died in the Senate (See "Electoral College 'Fix' Heads To Floor," 12/10/08).

"I voted no at that time, but I was intrigued by it as kind of a different way to think about how we elect the president of our country," Hildenbrand said. That 2008 legislation was sponsored by then-Rep. Steve TOBOCMAN of Detroit.

The Lowell Republican is drawn to the idea of the compact because he feels presidential elections have become distorted through the "battleground state" system where only a handful of states decide the outcome and national candidates focus on only those states.

"We all know that in every presidential election it boils down to three to five states that really make the difference," he said. "The two biggest contenders are Florida and Ohio."

The National Popular Vote effort backs up that conclusion by noting that during the 2012 presidential election there were 253 campaign related events across the country. Ohio and Florida were host to 113 of those. The 12 states within three percentage points of the national outcome (therefore battle ground states) hosted all 253 events.

That left 38 states and the District of Columbia essentially ignored by then President Barack OBAMA and GOP nominee Mitt ROMNEY. Hildenbrand noted that while Michigan was a "battleground state" in 2016 and received attention (22 campaign events), for the prior 24 years the state was ignored.

So how does the Lowell Republican react when rank-and-file Republicans raise the point that the last two GOP presidents won the electoral college, but not the national popular vote and the compact therefore, would hurt Republicans.

"I disagree. I think it's a game. The presidential election is a game," Hildenbrand said. "Right now, you focus on how do you get to that magic number of 270 electoral college votes. And so, if you go to a different system, campaigns would act differently. They would campaign differently."

He contends that if the elections were decided by popular vote when Donald TRUMP won in 2016 and George W. BUSH won in 2000, those campaigns would have crafted a strategy to reach out to all voters, not just focus on a handful of states.

Hildenbrand also hopes the National Popular vote will restore regional equality to the presidential map. He noted that the bulk of swing states are in the Eastern half of the United States. That, he says, changes voting patterns and encourages voter drop off on the West Coast.

He notes if you're a Republican voter in California and at four or five in the afternoon you're told the GOP candidate won Florida or Ohio, there's no reason for you to cast your ballot.

"If you do have the national vote it doesn't matter when the polls close and when states are called, you won't be able to call the election until the West Coast states are in," he added.

How Would The Compact Work?

If Hildenbrand does succeed in convincing his colleagues to pass legislation to have Michigan join the other 11 states in the compact, the state's "winner take all" statute would remain in effect until states representing 270 electoral college votes join the compact.

Once that threshold is met, the state would be bound by the compact to cast its 16 electoral college votes in favor of whichever candidate won the national popular vote. In the future, once the compact took effect, state legislatures could "opt out of the compact" but could not do so close to the presidential election.

Hildenbrand said he believes the fact that the change is accomplished through an interstate compact makes it an easier sell to his colleagues.

"Really nothing changes," he said. "If we adopt the compact, nothing changes in Michigan we would still have our Michigan winner take all statute on the books. Nothing would change until there are enough states that sign up and we get to that 270 electoral college votes."
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

1st and 3rd hour discussion today, Monday 3-19-18;

We NEED to train and arm folks in our schools, put up signs to that affect and PROTECT our kids!!!Contributed by William Christopher.
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Today's show was dedicated to Linda Hughes (Thayrone Xington's wife) who passed away, yesterday at 11:30 am.

"Miss Linda was the heart and soul of WAAM Radio" (1600 AM in Ann Arbor) and was a loving God fearing, Christian woman. She will be surely missed as she made our world (and Thayrone's life) a better place!!!

Friends are invited to celebrate Linda's life from 3 - 8 pm on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 at; Robinson-Bahnmiller Funeral Home on Michigan Avenue in Saline, MI.

Thank you God for bringing Linda Hughes home, to you Father in Heaven!!!
Father, please put your hand on our Brother Thayrone and keep him strong, just like Linda always was, here on Earth!!! ~ Amen
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