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Michigan GOP Mackinac Island wrap up

September 26, 2017

(MACKINAC ISLAND) — Over the course of the weekend, just shy of 700 Michigan Republicans cast their ballots in the MIRS-Crain’s Detroit Business 2017 Michigan Republican Party Mackinac Leadership Conference Straw Poll.

As expected, Attorney General Bill Schuette took the top spot for most votes among four possible gubernatorial candidates, earning 56.09 percent of the vote. Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Young earned the most votes for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination with 35.83 percent. 

Below are the results in their entirety: 

Gubernatorial Primary
Bill Schuette – 56.09 percent 
Brian Calley – 23.35 percent 
Patrick Colbeck – 18.36 percent 
Dr. Jim Hines – 2.2 percent 

U.S. Senate
Robert Young – 35.83 percent 
John James – 26.99 percent 
Sandy Pensler – 1.2 percent 
Bob Carr – 0.15 percent 

Attorney General 
Tom Leonard – 63.5 percent 

Tonya Schuitmaker – 36.5 percent 

Secretary of State
Stan Grot – 48.08 percent 

Mary Treder-Lang – 21.31 percent 

Judy Emmons – 14.10 percent 

Joseph Guzman – 10.74 percent 
Mike Senyko – 5.77 percent 

Lt. Governor
Tonya Schuitmaker – 22.73 percent
Laura Cox – 20.43 percent
Margaret O’Brien – 12.19 percent 
Ronna Romney McDaniel – 10.38 percent
Lena Epstein – 9.56 percent
Dave Hildenbrand – 9.39 percent
Jase Bolger – 8.9 percent
John James 6.43 percent

Clean Michigan Government Part-Time Legislature

Yes – 40.99 percent 
No – 59.01 percent 

Legalizing marijuana for recreational use
Yes – 31.7 percent 
No – 68.3 percent 

Repealing prevailing wage
Yes – 72.45 percent 
No – 27.55 percent 

Voters Not Politicians redistricting reform
Yes – 24.68 percent 
No – 75.32 percent 

Paid sick leave requirement
Yes – 23.55 percent 
No – 76.45 percent 

Shutting down Enbridge Line 5 under the Straits
Yes – 22.24 percent 
No – 77.76 percent 

$12 minimum wage by 2022
Yes – 14.46 percent 
No – 85.54 percent

(MACKINAC ISLAND) — It’s been 17 months since the first three government employees were criminally charged in connection to the Flint water crisis and most of the 15 charged are still awaiting completion of their preliminary exam.

Asked about the investigation at the Michigan Republican Party leadership conference, Gov. Rick Snyder said, “I think all of us have an expectation that our justice system works faster than that. 

“They were charged how many months ago and what has happened? It’s been well over a year . . . Your average citizen would say, ‘That’s just a long time to be out there without having your day in court,'” he said. 

The Governor was asked if there could be a Sixth Amendment “right to a speedy trial” argument made in these cases.

“I’m not going to opine on it as a legal question, but as a normal citizen, you would hope to get your day in court,” Snyder said. “What’s it done to your life in the meantime. It’s a terrible disruptor on your life.” 

The Governor went on to say state government has lost people and potential applicants because they don’t want the specter of criminal charges “hanging over their heads,” even if their names have never been brought up. 

The comments came shortly after Snyder was asked why he didn’t suspend Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter in June.

“I watched how hard he’s been working to address the issues in Flint and the other health issues in our state and I’ve only seen him go flat out trying to do good things for our state,” Snyder said. 

Snyder didn’t get into the charges outside of that other than to say, “He needs his day in court.” 

(MACKINAC ISLAND) — An enigmatic group is paying for mailers that extoll the virtues of Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof’s (R-West Olive) plan to cut costs out of the auto insurance market while saying House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) “is getting it wrong” with his approach.

“We deserve strong auto insurance protection. But we deserve real rate reform,” the mailer reads. “One Michigan leader is getting it right. One is getting it very, very wrong.” 

The one getting it “wrong” is Leonard because he allegedly “would impose fee schedules on medical providers that look a lot like Obamacare. The plan he supports might even open the door to more lawsuits from ambulance-chasing attorneys — which would actually drive up costs for everyone. 

“No wonder liberal Democrat Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is cheering for the Leonard Plan: More big government schemes and more business for trial lawyers.” 

The “Michigan Jobs Council,” an entity created by political operative Steve Linder, is listed as having sent out by the flier. Linder said he’s no longer the head of the group.

MIRS was steered to spokesperson Chris DeWitt, who offered the following statement on behalf of the Michigan Jobs Council, “The Michigan Jobs Council is a coalition of employers and health care providers who are concerned that this opportunity to pass meaningful auto insurance reform will pass, like it has for so many years, if we don’t start with tackling the rampant fraud in medical claims, and the staggering number of auto thefts that are like a tax on every driver. 

“There are other reforms that the legislature can move quickly on, where there is broad, bipartisan reform. And that’s the direction Senate Majority Leader Arlen Meekhof intends to lead. 

 “The wrong way to approach this is the divisive plan coming from the House Speaker and Detroit Mayor which rips away the outstanding care provided to our most serious accident victims, imposes an Obamacare-like fee schedule on medical providers and government price fixing of insurance rates-at least temporarily.” 

Meekhof said he knew nothing about the flier when it was presented to him by MIRS this evening. Meekhof is promoting a plan that caps attendant care reimbursement, creates a fraud authority and reforms the assigned claims system. 

Leonard said he was aware of its circulation and offered the following response, “Sometimes desperation is a beautiful thing. This is another great sign that the people who want to continue this long-term scam on Michigan families know we are getting close to achieving real reform. 

(MACKINAC ISLAND) — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley told attendees to the Michigan Republican Party leadership conference Saturday that he supports repealing the state’s prevailing wage law, marking the first public disclosure of a position that puts him at odds with Gov. Rick Snyder.

“We don’t need the government telling business what wages ought to be. There is supply and demand,” Calley said. “It works. The best way to increase wages is to have a strong economy and a high demand for people. It’s the most sustainable and better long term. So, I’m with the Speaker, repeal it.” 

The response is significant because a group headed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is leading a legislative initiative drive with pro-private sector-minded interest groups like the Freedom Fund because Snyder wouldn’t sign a legislatively passed bill.

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