Bill Schuette begins the issues ramp up for 2018.
A partial ‘wish’ list by Bill Schuette in a recent editorial is a decent start to his gubernatorial bid.
Schuette, in preparation to take on a half dozen or more GOP contenders is capably using his AG pulpit to advance certain ideals that will probably be embraced by conservatives and GOP activists across Michigan. Schuette, already enjoying a lead built on 30 or so years of campaigning for governor leaves little to question on 4(3?) key issues. In today’s editorial on the Detroit News page:
First: Financial disclosure
Michigan is one of only three states that does not require disclosure of personal financial information by elected state officials. This common sense reform would provide new information to help prevent conflicts of interest in government decision-making.
We already require financial transparency from federal officials, so it is not a stretch to include state elected officials, from the governor’s office to the state legislature. I have both sponsored financial disclosure bills as a state legislator and complied with federal disclosure requirements while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is not that difficult.
Personally, I don’t care how much you are worth.
But there are tells in the way your investments are made. Add to this the cronyist environment that takes taxpayer money and pipes it through political process toward certain ‘investments,’ and a sickening reality becomes clear.
Rick Snyder is a perfect example of this.
Second: Release of tax returns
Statewide elected officials and candidates for statewide office should voluntarily release their income tax records. Today, as I have done every year since being elected as Attorney General, I provided my tax returns to the public and the media.
This is pretty similar to the first.
In fact it should be added to the first. Unimportant, and in-fact decidedly less so than a broad picture of investments and financial interest reporting.
Third: Freedom of Information laws
Michigan is one of only two states in which the governor’s office and legislature are not covered by Freedom of Information laws. The good news is legislation to remedy this is in the legislature right now. With a spate of controversies dominating the news, a new level of accountability for public records would help restore confidence in the integrity of state government.
Of course, the AG has broad latitude in this area.
It would help in the case against the Michigan House, where a lawfully elected representative was ejected by a knee-jerk political process. Perhaps Mr. Schuette could impress upon folks how important it would have been to allow the membership to actually entertain the idea that claims made against the representative were baseless and unfounded.
It was his own office that got the news first. One might think transparency to the legislature at the very least was warranted. From a recent motion to deny dismissal of Gamrat v. House, speaker, et al.:
” The second issue that should be addressed is the issue of Gamrat’s alleged misconduct as described in the HBO Report. This should not have to be addressed, but House Defendants continue to highlight in their brief the fact that Gamrat was found to have misused taxpayer dollars in an attempt to cover up the affair. Although these allegations are contained in the HBO Report, it is important to remember that these allegations were shown to be baseless through the criminal proceedings that were maliciously instituted against Gamrat. Indeed, the charges brought against Gamrat related to the alleged misuse of funds were dismissed at the probable cause hearing. Any representation or inference that House Defendants were justified in taking the actions described in the amended complaint because of the alleged misconduct of Gamrat are, therefore, unfounded. ”
Which, as history will record, dissemination of the baseless ‘facts’ was substantive in the removal of Michigan State Representative Cindy Gamrat.
A damned shame to be sure. Bad information, made worse by political pressure to suppress it. Not only was the sitting representative removed without a vote of the people she represented, but the AG to this day ignores the constitutional violation the current recall provisions entail. The very same violation that prevents them from realistically enacting such removal on their own.
S.S.D.D. And I still hope she wins.
Fourth: Part-Time Legislature
Forty states have some form of a part-time legislature. Let’s make Michigan 41.
We are fortunate to have many talented and dedicated legislators, on both sides of the aisle, who work with integrity to make Michigan a better place. But in this time of declining trust in government, we cannot be afraid to hit the “refresh” button in Lansing and move Michigan to a part-time legislature with a full-time, laser-like focus on policies like public safety, job creation and education reform, all while saving taxpayers’ money.
Strange how this is the first time I have ever heard mention of this by Bill Schuette.
I suppose I could go spend an hour and Google it to make sure, but one thing is for real; Bill Schuette has not pressed this particular issue at any of the events I have seen him attend. Its a great idea however. If he could use it as a real campaign promise/pledge, he should, and would pick up some of the more weak kneed support out there.
In any event, we are sure to see more ‘red meat’ and placeholders for the conservative wing by the time the Republican Leadership at Mackinac conference happens.
The posturing for 2018 has now officially begun!
What difference at this point does it make?
Thanks CS, I was looking for that.. Too much, just too much.
Hey Jason - I remember Bill Schuette saying he was for a part-time legislature way back when he was running for AG the first time in 2010. It was memorable for me because of how he explained it - something like - 'I believe government needs to go on a big diet'! It was a great line. lol.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Nice sales pitch by AG Schuette, but how often have we've heard this spiel before?
Not that they'd ever listen anyway, but if I were one of the high and mighty Michigan republican potentates, I'd be a tad more concerned with a recent poll released by The Ballenger Report just last week.
It only corroborates the feedback that I'm getting from others across the state about there not being very much interest in the '18 election choices on the Team "r" side.
Not only are those with the "republican" label getting their backsides handed to them, but the undecideds are higher on the republican side, than on the democrats.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Not acting on what you claim to support (and providing a litany of excuses on why it cannot be done), is going to come back and haunt Team "r" in the '18 elections.
KG, just offering a friendly piece of advice ... if what you're going to do is parrot that old fool's dopey polls, all you are doing is working for moral superiority complex virtue signaling #NeverTrump loser Brian Calley, and the potential of electing the Democrat's Muslim or, Granholm v2.0 Whitmer.
No matter how big the ego, time wounds all heels:
"The previous week, a crew from the German magazine Stern followed him around. Fieger and Keenie cannot go anywhere without being recognized--which Fieger enjoys much more than the reserved Keenie. Yet he complains vaguely that he has lost his privacy: "I can't do bad things anymore." And he was not happy when newspapers reported that Keenie, his wife of 13 years, has twice filed for divorce and claimed he had assaulted her. Fieger says the abuse charge was the result of Keenie's lawyer's overactive imagination. Keenie declines to comment. Fieger says they are working things out and may try to have or adopt children (but not a white child, Fieger says, because "I don't think real bright white Americans are putting children up for adoption.")"
Fieger is a nonstarter. End of story.
Alright, let me take these in no particular order...
So Ballenger gets "fired" from Inside Michigan Politics, yet still gets check from Susan Demas on a regular basis.
Did I miss anything there?
Second, this isn't 1998.
You do not have just one candidate for people to throw their support behind on the Team "r" side (provided Lil' Guv doesn't try to get original later this week by announcing he'll run against Stabenow or having an epiphany and now is a big Part Time Legislature supporter). Inman's vocal support of the Detroit bailout alone will sink his campaign.
Ditto for Team "d".
If you don't want to go by the poll results I linked above, that's just fine by me. Just go and talk to anyone at a Town Hall Meetings (if your people in your part of the state have them), Tea Party Meeting, Trump Flash Mob or other local event and ask them point blank on who they'll be backing in '18? Good luck finding anyone who is thrilled about the choices so far. I shouldn't have to remind you that Sen. Colbeck hasn't announced, so he's not an option.
The Team "d" side is a different story. Outside of Dearborn and Western Sterling Heights/Eastern Troy, El-Sayed is a nonstarter simply by his name only. I'd much rather see his campaign get destroyed just by his ideas alone...but he won't last that long. Whitmer has been out of the game long enough that any name recognition that she did have at one time is now long gone. Debbie Dingell doesn't want to get blamed for Whitmer's defeat by having her name attached to the race in any way. Plus she has a cushy, do-nothing job job already...why work any harder than she has to? That only leaves two viable candidates left. Hackel, who the local machine would be as giddy as a kid in a candy store if he were to announce and a certain candidate who looks like he just drove his Saab down I-696 with his head out the window all the way. Turn on the TV or radio and whose image and voice do you invariably see & hear? Much like one B.J. Clinton, most people will simply ignore the personal details of the latter.
And if that same person has the coin to buy an island/hotel, paying for that much more media time here in Michigan will not be a problem whatsoever.
Guess which one people will be thinking of as they mark their ballot?
Here's a hint: It won't be the guy who sat on his backside while this was unfolding.
Oy... you're a thick one. Landscapes have changed, pal.
Just passing along what I've heard.
Besides, first rule of politics: name recognition.
Stabenow won't do it because she already ran and lost (to Wolpe of all people). Granted she can run again, but where she is at in her term, why would she want to?
That would entail actually doing something.
Not exactly something that she is known for doing.