Adrian Hemond of Grassroots Midwest and Kyle Melinn, editor of MIRS, talk with Publisher John Reurink during a June 18 video conference call on the state various state House and congressional races, among other election-related topics.
Michigan officials are not seeing evidence that the numerous civil rights/police brutality protests are linked to the recent COVID-19 bump in cases, according to Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. The state's second-in-charge also addresses police reform, police unions and facial recognition technology among other subjects.
Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) calls the concept of defunding the police "insane." She says she's not concerned about her primary challenge and addresses the question of whether she would support Republican Jason Wentworth for speaker in the 2021-22 term in case of a 55-55 House split after the 2020 election (49:08).
Ari Adler, the only person to serve as spokesperson for a Governor, Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker in at least the last 20 years, answers the question of whether the Legislature has been irrelevant since COVID-19 appeared in Michigan.
Why is the Department of Civil Rights' staff accusing its "untruthful, vengeful and cruel" management of creating a "toxic" work environment that has created "morbidly low" employee morale? Former Civil Rights Commission Chair Alma Wheeler Smith shares her opinion on a critical employee survey that revealed these accusations.
Senate Elections Committee Chair Ruth Johnson wants Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to put aside three hours to answer her committee's questions on elections-related issues. Johnson opines on no-reason absentee voting, allowing mailed ballots to be counted after Election Day if they are postmarked on Election Day or earlier and other issues.
Also, political consultant Mario Morrow of Mario Morrow & Associates joins the MIRS team to talk about what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would do if President Donald Trump tried to bring a political rally to a Michigan arena, how Republicans win when the conversation is on race relations and if Republicans can win with a citizens initiative to scale back the Governor's emergency powers during COVID-19.
Why is there tension between the Black community and police officers? Why do police departments struggle to recruit Black officers? What does a 10% cut in police departments look like? Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Police Chiefs answers these and many other questions.
Brian Began from Grassroots Midwest goes over some of the trends he's seeing from state House candidates with Editor Kyle Melinn. The lower COVID-19 numbers in Michigan are vindicating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a time when other states' numbers are spiking and MIRS intern Samantha Shriber shares her observations from the Donald Trump boat parade in Macomb County. Melinn shares thoughts on the Michigan Republican Party virtual convention and more.
Detroit political consultant Steve Hood says the Black Lives Matter movement made a mistake talking about defunding police departments. U.S. Senate candidate John James "blew it" when he didn't march early in the George Floyd reaction protests and "now it's too late." Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's task force on health care and COVID-19 disparities among African Americans "is more relevant than ever." This and Hood's prediction in the U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib-Brenda Jones primary in MI-13.
Also, what would conservative Patrick Colbeck have done to combat COVID-19 if he had been governor? There would have been no lockdown. No stores would have shutdown. But would it have created more deaths? Colbeck, the former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, answers that and if he plans to run for governor in 2022.
Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) is ready to put on her bulletproof vest if armed protestors return into the Capitol, regardless the cause. The first-term Senator talks about George Floyd's death, the resulting anger and hurt, the protests and the shaky relationships between political parties in the state Senate and much more.
Also, pollsters Bernie Porn from EPIC-MRA and Steve Mitchell from Mitchell Research & Communications answer the question of whether President Donald Trump will win Michigan shortly and succinctly, "No." Find out why and what they're seeing in the newest polling data.
And Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson shows leadership in his county by dropping his gear and walking with protestors. Who else will use this opportunity to show leadership to prevent future property destruction and possible violence?
Former Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema opines on Republican legislative leaders suing the Governor over her rolling executive orders. He and former Budget Director Bob Emerson advocated for a gradual gas tax increase 18 months ago. Do they support putting that in place now with gas prices still under $2 a gallon in many places? They discuss this and other budget opinions.
Doug Rothwell, the outgoing president of Business Leaders for Michigan, shares some memories as he and his wife leave for North Carolina to their retirement condo.
New data from Unacast shows Michiganders moved around Friday about as much as they did March 9, the day before the state reported its first COVID-19 case. What's going on with Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) and could Rep. Justin Amash seek re-election as a Libertarian.
How do you fill a $2.2 billion state budget hole with less than five months to go in the fiscal year? Mitch Bean, the former House Fiscal Agency Director, says it's "ridiculous" to think it can be done with cuts alone. He lays out some options in this week's edition as someone who has lived through his share of budget crunches.
Also, Adam de Angeli, a board member of Michigan United For Liberty, says this new organization has gotten a bad rap due to the media's focus on the antics of a couple unaffiliated people. Would he have issued a "stay-at-home" order during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic? He answers these and other questions.
The MIRS team questions if U.S. Rep. Justin Amash missed an opportunity to connect with this pro-liberty crowd during his presidential exploratory committee. Why did Amash pull the plug on his bid for the Libertarian nomination? And now that the Governor is re-opening parts of the state, can she declare victory on the sinking number of COVID-19 deaths and hospital stays?
Is the state opening itself up to liability by not banning guns from the Capitol? Steve Liedel, managing member for Dykema's Lansing office makes that case. He also explains why the Legislature's argument that a future Governor could issue rolling emergency orders through the length of his/her tenure is a "disingenuous argument."
Adrian Hemond, CEO of Grassroots Midwest, goes through the state House seats most likely to flip with MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn. Also, the MIRS team explores why the Governor's stay-at-home orders can't last much longer and why Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James wants to distance himself from President Trump.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield says any executive order Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues since May 1 is "legally questionable at best" since the Legislature did not extend her emergency authority April 30. So is he advising his residents to follow the Governor's executive orders? Chatfield is also asked about last week's protestors and what House session is going to look like going forward.
Also, Kathy Barks Hoffman of Martin Waymire and Josh Pugh of the AFL-CIO share their perspective on the "patriot" protests, how the Governor did with her response on the Joe Biden sexual harassment claim and Publisher John Reurink's idea of floating general obligation bonds to help the state stay afloat financially in the short term.