Trump Touts Economic Recovery After Vaccine and Law and Order at Lansing Rally

Seven days before the 2020 election, President Donald Trump visited Lansing — the capital of a major battleground state and the home turf of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Hundreds of Michiganders lined up at the Capital Region International Airport starting about 8 a.m. Tuesday waiting in 32-degree weather and rain for seven hours until Trump started talking about 3 p.m.

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Gov. Whitmer Near Bottom of Economic Freedom Report

According to a report from a center-right organization The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earned a fifth-to-last ranking among all 50 governors in the United States.

The 2020 Laffer-ALEC report on Economic Freedom ranks all 50 governors by results and policy.

Whitmer ranked 43rd for results, 41st for policy and 46th overall.

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Whitmer Signs Bills Protecting Workers, Giving Businesses COVID-19 Liability Protection, Changing Nursing Home Policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a packages of bipartisan bills into law Thursday. In part, the bills aim to protect Michigan workers from COVID-19 and surprise medical billing for any treatment, as well as protect businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

“No Michigander should have to worry about going into work when they’re sick, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement.

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Trump Campaign Accuses Michigan Governor of ‘Encouraging Assassination’ Attempts

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign accused Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of “encouraging assassination attempts” against the president.

Whitmer appeared on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning and viewers quickly noticed an “86 45” sign displayed on the table behind her. Forty-five is a reference to Trump, who is the 45th president of the United States.

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FBI: Groups Also Discussed Kidnapping Virginia Governor

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing for a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor.

Special Agent Richard Trask also revealed new details about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to arrest and charge six men last week in the plot aimed at Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Delaware’s Democrat Governor in 2019 Pardoned Defendant in Michigan Kidnap Plot

Delaware Gov. John Carney, an ally of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, confirmed Friday that last year he pardoned one of the men charged this week by federal prosecutors in a violent plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Barry Gordon Croft Jr., one of several men charged Thursday in federal court in Michigan, was pardoned in April 2019 for a two-decade old conviction for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, assault and burglary, according to court records first reported by the Delaware News Journal.

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REJECTED: SCOMI Denies Gov Whitmer’s Request for Shutdown Extension

The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday rejected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s statement asserting her unconstitutional orders still hold power over Michiganders through Oct. 30.

Whitmer previously claimed her executive orders retained the force of law for 21 days after the court’s Oct. 2 ruling.

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Criminal Charges and Fines Numbering into the Thousands Over Now-Unconstitutional COVID Orders Under Question

Thousands of Michiganders are wondering if criminal charges and fines levied against them are still valid after the Michigan Supreme Court last Friday ruled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders issued after April 30 are illegal. 

Some don’t have answers – yet.

Owosso barber Karl Manke’s attorney David Kallman told The Center Square he’s expecting Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to drop criminal charges against Manke, who operated his barbershop in violation of Whitmer’s orders.

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Whitmer Administration Issues Statewide Facemask Order After Past Orders Tossed

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon on Monday issued an Emergency Order under a 1978 law restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and enacting limitations on bars.

The order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Oct. 30.

The order doesn’t lean on the rule Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used to issue emergency orders that the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated on Friday.

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State Supreme Court Ruling Likely Strikes Down Gov. Whitmer’s Carbon-Neutral Initiative

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of emergency powers past their initial April 30 expiration.

The governor first implemented emergency authority on March 10 in an attempt to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. All told, she has issued more than 190 executive orders, more than issued by the governors of all Michigan’s neighboring states combined.

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Former Democratic Lawmaker Pushes Back on Civil Rights Commission Recommendation to Cut Charter School Funding

A former Democratic lawmaker disagrees with recommendations from the “Education Equity in Michigan,” report the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) adopted Wednesday.

The report was issued after the MCRC held statewide public hearings in 2018 and 2019.

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Enbridge Given Court Approval to Open Both Legs of Line 5 as Early as Thursday

Both legs of Enbridge’s Line 5 have been given the legal go-ahead to resume operations across the Straits of Mackinac.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo approved the resumption of Line 5 activity after receiving authorization from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

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Three Major Unions Sue Michigan Over New Labor Laws

Three of the country’s largest unions sued the State of Michigan on Thursday over new union regulations, which they called “anti-worker.”

The United Auto Workers (UAW), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sued the state over new laws, according to a joint statement. In July, the four-person Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) approved the law changes in a 3-1 vote mandating that union workers manually reauthorize their union membership every year.

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Coalition Files Lawsuits to Stop Gov. Whitmer From Silencing Free Speech in Elections, Secretary of State Benson From Undermining Absentee Ballot Integrity

A coalition filed two lawsuits in Michigan on Monday, a federal case against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for allegedly silencing political speech, and a state suit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for reportedly circumventing state law protecting the right of Michiganders to have their vote properly counted.

The lawsuits were announced on a new website launched by the coalition: Got Freedom? The website is available here.

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Commentary: Michigan Schools Must Reopen

The coronavirus pandemic has affected every community, every household, and every American. Some of the most indirectly affected by the spread of coronavirus are the youngest among us: our children. Our children in the last four months have been suddenly ripped from their classrooms, teachers, and friends in the wake of the pandemic; forced to undertake isolated online instruction, while parents across the nation are bravely filling the void and fulfilled their new roles as “teachers.”

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Person ‘In Charge’ of Contract Tracing Won’t Cooperate with Probe, Auditor Says

An Auditor General’s recently released report answered questions about a canceled no-bid contact-tracing contract tied to a Democratic political consultant, but the person “primarily in charge of contact tracing” refused to cooperate.

Contact tracing is a method of gathering information to discover who might have been infected with COVID-19 by following an infected person’s interactions.

For example, one event at an Ingham County bar resulted in 187 COVID-19 infections across the state.

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Hillsdale College Defies Governor’s Shutdown, Holds Outdoor Commencement Ceremony

Hillsdale College hosted a three-day commencement event despite coronavirus restrictions. The private Michigan college hosted a dinner for graduates Thursday night, a party for seniors Friday night, and an outdoor graduation ceremony on Saturday.

In a statement released in April, Hillsdale College Provost Christopher VanOrman said, “We could not say goodbye to our graduating seniors without celebrating their accomplishments. We look forward to having them return to us for a three-day-long celebration.”

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Gov. Whitmer Rebuffs Trump: ‘There Is No Reason for the President to Send Federal Troops’ to Detroit

President Trump on Monday threatened to send federal law enforcement into several cities, including Detroit, in order to quell continuing unrest there.

Trump recently sent federal law enforcement to Portland to break up protesters, who had approached a federal courthouse and set a fire outside of it, according to The Detroit News. He said that the federal officers had done “a fantastic job in a very short time.”

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Michigan Investigates Alleged Shakedown By Unemployment Agency Workers Accused of Stealing Benefits

The State of Michigan is investigating whether new employees of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) are stealing funds from jobless residents, multiple media outlets report.

The workers are accused of stealing and charging clients to receive their benefits more quickly, WDIV reported. This is happening even as Michigan is among several states experiencing fraudulent claims being submitted, and they temporarily stopped payments.

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Michigan Diverts a Third of All Gas Tax Revenues Away from Road Repairs

Every U.S. state taxes fuel sales to fund road repairs.  

Fully half of them, however, divert a portion of those taxes for other purposes. And Michigan, with a gas-tax diversion rate (GTDR) of 33.9 percent, is ranked with New Jersey as the third highest GTDR in the nation. Only New York (37.5 percent) and Rhode Island (37.1 percent) have higher GTDRs.

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Scrutiny Intensifies as Congressional Republicans Probe Michigan’s COVID-19 Reponse

senior citizen

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

They also sought investigations into four other state governors who set similar policies.

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Federal Judge asks Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Emergency Power Questions

A federal judge asked the Michigan Supreme Court to settle questions regarding whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to issue executive orders under two state laws.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney certified two questions to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Civil Service Commission Proposes Rule Changes for Union Dues Authorization and Service Fee Collection

The Michigan Civil Service Commission last Friday issued a notice of proposed changes in the how unions collect money from state employees.

The two proposed changes pertain to payroll deduction of union dues, discontinuing of union service fees, and authorization to collect union dues from employees.

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Michigan Supreme Court Tosses Owosso Barber’s Order to Close

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday ruled overturned a lower court’s order that directed 77-year-old Owosso barber Karl Manke to close his shop.

The top court said the Court of Appeals erred in its 2-1 decision.

Justice David Viviano said a split decision couldn’t grant peremptory relief. He said the court should have held a full briefing and oral arguments.

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Whitmer Lifts Michigan Stay-at-Home Order

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan’s stay-at-home order on Wednesday, moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan.

Under the new phase, retail will be allowed to open on June 4 and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on June 8, both with capacity limits. Day camps, office work, outdoor pools and in-home services such as housecleaning will also reopen.

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Whitmer Says She Censors Herself So Trump Won’t Cancel Aid to Michigan

by Mary Margaret Olohan   Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she censors her criticisms of President Donald Trump to ensure that Michigan continues to receive aid from the federal government. Asked in an Axios interview if she censors her comments about POTUS “for the sake of continuing to receive federal assistance,”…

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Refuses to Apologize for Coronavirus Restrictions, Says ‘I’m Not Changing the Way I Run This State’

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that she will not change the way she runs Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michigan governor discussed her coronavirus restrictions and the protests that have erupted against her executive orders during an interview with Fox News.

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Michigan Facing Estimated $3 Billion in Revenue Losses this Fiscal Year

Michigan is facing a grim outlook for the state’s economic future.

Legislators are divided over whether the crisis requires severe budget cuts or a federal bailout to fix.

Lawmakers are facing a projected $6.2 billion drop in revenue over the next two fiscal years.

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Industry Leaders Warn Hundreds of Businesses Won’t Survive Reopening Plan, Extended Stay-Home Order

Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.

Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.

Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses.

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Hundreds of Protestors Gather Inside Michigan Capitol Building Thursday Against Continued Government Overreach

Hundreds gathered outside and inside Michigan’s Capitol building Thursday to protest government overreach in the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown.

There were no reports of arrests, though some media outlets styled the event with armed protestors as “storming” the Capitol

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Gov. Whitmer on Bankruptcy Comments: ‘It’s Outrageous for Senator McConnell to Even Suggest That’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that bankruptcy is not an option for Michigan in response to comments last week from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Whitmer appeared on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. Stephanopoulos asked her if default was on the table for Michigan.

“No, and it’s outrageous for Senator McConnell to even suggest that,” Whitmer said. “But that’s what the matter is. Our general fund budget when adjusted for the inflation is the same size it was during – when Richard Nixon was our president. We have been incredibly smart stewards and we have not made some of the investments I think we should have as a state because of this artificially low number that we’ve been working with.”

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Whitmer Creates Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities on Monday in an effort to study how the coronavirus pandemic has “disproportionately impacted communities of color” throughout Michigan.

Although African Americans represent just 13.6 percent of Michigan’s population, they make up 40 percent of deaths from the coronavirus. Nearly 80 percent of residents of the City of Detroit, the area most impacted by the coronavirus, are African American, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Amash to Whitmer: ‘Immediately Reassess’ Restrictive Order; Other Resistance Grows

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order “goes too far and will erode confidence in her leadership.”

The libertarian is referencing Whitmer’s extended and expanded executive order that banned Michiganders from traveling to a second residence inside the state through April 30, operating a motorized boat and buying furniture, paint and plants from stores larger than 50,000 square feet.

That includes the “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” pillows in one Lansing Walmart.

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Michiganders Growing Weary of Gov. Whitmer’s Mounting COVID-19 Restrictions

As Michigan adopts a new phase of government-imposed restrictions on businesses and personal behavior to stem the spread of COVID-19, residents and politicians are registering increased opposition.

Negative reactions stem from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders, which declared many businesses “nonessential” and threatened $1,000 fines for people violating the six-foot social distancing rules.

Those edicts took effect on March 24, and were set to expire on April 13. On Thursday, however, the governor extended her executive orders to April 30 – and added tighter restrictions on personal travel and businesses previously declared essential.

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Michigan Lawmaker Asks Governor to Allow Some Businesses to Reopen If They Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines

State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen if they follow social distancing guidelines.

Cole sent a letter to Whitmer on Monday, claiming her stay-at-home order hurt small businesses, including those in the construction and landscaping industry. Both of those industries, said Cole, allowed workers to work safely while staying apart from each other.

“I certainly understand where our governor is coming from. Public safety must always be the main priority,” Cole said in a statement. “However, keeping people employed and businesses operating must also be a priority.”

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CARES Act Extends Michigan’s Unemployment Benefits to Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and More

The state and the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to expand unemployment benefits to Michigan workers who previously didn’t qualify.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the agreement Monday. The benefits extension will be funded by the $2 trillion federal CARES Act President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday.

The extension includes self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of temporary business closures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Gov. Whitmer Suspends Michigan Water Shut-Offs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to reconnect residents’ water services that had been shut off.

The governor signed the $2 million Water Restart Grant Program on Saturday. The suspension of the public utility shut-offs were mandated effective immediately.

“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”

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Whitmer Suspends Parts of Open Meeting Act, Faces Pushback

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order temporarily suspending parts of the Open Meetings Act (OMA), so public groups can meet electronically through April 15.

“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families, but recognize that public bodies still have an obligation to conduct business as usual,” Whitmer said in a news release.

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House Bill Package Looks to Find $800 Million Annually to Fix Local Roads Without Tax Hike

road construction

A House bill package seeks to put about $800 million annually into local roads without a 45-cent gas tax hike or increasing future debt.

The six-bill package, if enacted, would eliminate the six percent sales tax on fuel over three years and replace it with another excise tax that would fund the 92 percent of local roads that aren’t touched by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $3.5 billion bonding plan.

Much of that bonding money would go to repair roads in Metro Detroit.

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Michigan’s Gas Tax Hike of 45 Cents Likely Dead, Democrat Says, While Critics Point Out 24 Percent of New Revenue Would Not Support Roads

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 45-cent fuel tax is likely out of gas, House Democratic Leader Christine Greig said, even as some attack Democrats’ statements that all of the $2.5 billion generated would be spent on roads.

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