Analysis: Michigan Among the Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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Trump Confidant Kerik Surrenders Memos to January 6 Panel, Vows to ‘Eviscerate’ Democrat Narrative

Then-President Donald Trump’s team assembled a 10-day pressure campaign in December 2020 hoping to shame governors and state legislators into officially investigating allegations of Election 2020 irregularities, according to memos newly turned over to Congress by former New York Police Commissioner and Trump confidant Bernard Kerik.

The strategy called for “protests” at governors’ mansions and the homes of politicians ranging from secretaries of states to “weak” congressional members in key battleground states, the memos show.

The documents, turned over Friday night under subpoena to the House’s Jan. 6 commission, are remarkable in part because they show the primary focus of the Trump team leading up to the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 vote – an event that turned violent when pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol – was to get “support for hearings” to probe allegations of voting irregularities Trump’s team had received but not vetted.

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Michigan School District’s Equity Summit Includes Privilege Checklist, Encourages Political Activism

A Michigan public school district held a “21 Day Equity Challenge” that encouraged student activism, along with a list of microaggressions and a privilege checklist, according to a report from the Young America’s Foundation (YAF).

Farmington Public Schools told students and their families to come up with a “personal action plan” on the 21st day of the challenge, according to the YAF report. Some suggestions including joining “a Black Lives Matter or an affiliated protest” and or donating to “bail efforts supporting people arrested for protesting against injustice.”

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Ohio Chamber Pressures Michigan to Keep Pipeline Open

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce recently joined the General Assembly and other groups in Ohio and Michigan in urging the Biden administration to keep open a Michigan pipeline that supplies crude oil to nearly half the region’s refineries.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week the administration is studying the impact of shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5, an oil pipeline that rests on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac and carries light crude oil, light synthetic crude and natural gas liquids. 

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Michigan OSHA Caves After Deposition Threat Over Coronavirus Lockdown Fine

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction worker

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration withdrew a fine it levied against the City of Port Huron after the municipality threatened to depose the agency director.

MIOSHA penalized the city $6,300 after the state department claimed the city violated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) executive orders imposing tight restrictions on residents.

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GOP Candidate for Governor Hopes Trump E-mail Will Spur Investigation into Zuckerberg Funding of 2020 Election in Michigan

Can President Trump move the ball in Michigan to get legislators to do a serious investigation into how outside money was spent in the 2020 election? No one else has been able to get legislators to pay attention to the $12 million that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shipped to an obscure supposedly “non-partisan” non-profit to influence voters in Michigan, but gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon hopes that a recent email by Donald Trump will spur action.

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All Sides Criticize Michigan Redistricting Group for Closed-Door Session

After a two-hour delay caused by an emailed death threat, the Michigan Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Committee (MICRC) shortened public comment to 30 seconds and entered a closed-door session for longer than an hour, which critics from both sides of the political spectrum say violated the Constitution.

MICRC spokesman Edward Woods III said in a statement released Wednesday: “At 1:06 p.m. today, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission received notification of a death threat received through email. We alerted law enforcement and they opened an investigation. As of now, the Commission meeting is suspended until further notice.”

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Agitators Tamper with High Pressure Gas Pipeline Following Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Public Calls to Shut It Down

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was silent after agitators tampered with an Enbridge pipeline following her public calls to shut it down.

Anti-energy activists appeared to trespass on Enbridge property in Tuscola County to use a pipe wrench on an emergency shutoff valve Tuesday:

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Commentary: America’s Students Deserve a History and Civics Education Free of Political Agendas

Across the political spectrum, Americans are recognizing the importance not just of school choice but of what students actually learn in schools. Elected representatives have finally taken notice as well. In Michigan, the state legislature has proposed two bills that seek to address how American history and civics are taught.

Unfortunately, some want teachers to tell students that they should understand American history primarily by looking for racism, injustice, and oppression. The phrase “critical race theory” (CRT) has been used mainly in academia to describe this filter on history and civic instruction.

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Majority of Michigan Republican Legislators Oppose National Popular Vote Proposal

Rep. Matt Hall and Senator Aric Nesbitt

A proposal to force Michigan’s presidential electors to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner — regardless of the results in the state — is meeting opposition from a majority of Republican legislators.

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) and state Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) spearheaded the effort to collect 57 signatures from legislators opposed to the idea. According to the Detroit News, 17 of the 20 Republican senators and 40 of the 57 Republican representatives signed on in opposition.

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Gretchen Whitmer May Be Forced to Return Millions in Illegal Campaign Contributions

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) may be forced to return millions in campaign contributions that exceeded individual donation limits, a court filing hinted this week.

Whitmer recently collected some donations as high as $250,000 — blowing past the $7,150 individual limit — by claiming she was under threat of recall. No real recall threat ever materialized. In fact, the chief proponent, Chad Baase, recently revealed that he moved to California.

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Gretchen Whitmer Scrambles to Contain Years-Long Benton Harbor Water Scandal

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is scrambling to contain a growing scandal after she promised to remove lead from drinking water in Benton Harbor within five years.

Benton Harbor, a depressed community of about 9,600 residents in southwest Michigan, has been struggling to deal with the poison in the water, and after negative national media attention, Whitmer this week vowed an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to dealing with the problem.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Shuffles Elderly Agencies as Auditor General Nursing Home Death Report Looms

hands of an elderly person

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is reorganizing agencies providing services to the elderly, as an auditor general report on coronavirus-related nursing home deaths looms.

The new Health and Aging Services Administration will reportedly provide better communication between agencies with the goal of increasing efficiency. 

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Michigan House Passes Voter ID Bill, Sends to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for Vowed Veto

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has vowed to veto an election integrity bill that would require a voter casting an absentee ballot to prove their identity.

Senate Bills 303 and 304, approved by the Michigan House of Representatives, would “require anyone who casts an absentee ballot or votes in person on Election Day to provide identification.” A related piece of legislation, House Bill 5007 removes the current $10 fee to obtain a state ID

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Michigan Group Pitches Plan to Spend $6 Billion of State’s Federal Aid Money

Michigan State Capitol

A statewide coalition is backing a spending schedule of $6 billion of federal government money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

The Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan represents businesses, government organizations, local elected leaders, and statewide associations. They aim to detail strategic ways to invest Michigan’s ARP funding for future growth and prosperity.

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Three Michigan Residents Charged with Absentee Ballot Voter Fraud, Following Concerning Trend

Three Michigan residents have been charged with voter fraud involving absentee ballots by state officials, which follows a concerning trend over the past decade.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) alleges Trenae Myesha Rainey submitted two dozen absentee voter applications on behalf of an unknowing Father Murray Nursing Home resident in Macomb County. According to prosecutors, the Centerline clerk “noticed the application signatures didn’t match those in the Qualified Voter File,” WWMT reported.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Continues Acting as Betsy DeVos’s Victim in Latest Campaign Email

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) kept up the victim routine in her latest campaign fundraising email, claiming Betsy DeVos has it out for her.

This summer, Whitmer made false claims in another email, asserting DeVos was planning a run against her, forcing DeVos to deny such a plan.

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Studies Detail Damaging Mental, Economic, Academic Impacts of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Coronavirus Lockdowns

Economic indicators continue to reveal the damaging impacts of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Internet gaming platform Spider-Solitaire Challenge found 54 percent of study respondents in Michigan reported suffering from “pandemic brain,” which it described as “a decline in your cognitive abilities” during the time in-person learning was banned, businesses were ordered closed, and religious services were restricted, according to the Daily Mining Gazette.

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Michigan Senate Approves More Election Bills to Increase ID Access

The Michigan Senate approved three election bills on Thursday that aim to alter election law and make it easier get a state ID.

The Senate voted 20-16 to approve Senate Bill (SB) 304 as amended. Under the bill, the election inspector must notify an elector issued a provisional ballot that it will only be tabulated if the voter verifies voter registration with the clerk within six days after the election. The inspector would also have to inform the individual that some individuals are eligible for a cost-free state ID.

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Gretchen Whitmer Hints Support for Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) hinted Tuesday she may follow President Joe Biden’s lead and support a coronavirus vaccine mandate in the state.

Whitmer was asked about the federal mandate for federal government employees and employers with 100 or more workers, and the Democrat incumbent did not indicate any concern. In fact, she said she would follow Biden’s lead.

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‘Totalitarian Tyranny’: Parents Groups Slam Attorney General Garland for Turning FBI on Their Activism

Parents who protest public school policies on race, gender and COVID-19 are crying foul after Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to “discourage” and prosecute “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators, teachers and staff.

His “mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents,” Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News.

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Gretchen Whitmer Slams Justin Trudeau, Accuses Leftist Prime Minister of ‘Doing Bidding’ of Oil Companies

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) lashed out at fellow leftist Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after his government bypassed her to ensure an energy pipeline continues operating.

Whitmer has sought to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5, which runs from Canada through Michigan to refineries in the Midwest. If Whitmer is successful, energy disruptions and price increases would be inevitable, analysts say.

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Joe Biden Visits Michigan to Rally Support for Floundering Multi-Trillion ‘Infrastructure’ Plan

President Joe Biden (D) visited a union training center in Howell, Michigan on Tuesday to rally support for his “infrastructure” plan alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

Whitmer posted on Twitter her support for Biden’s multi-trillion spending behemoth shortly before the President’s visit:

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Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Four Election Integrity Bills, Pledges Similar Fate for 35 More

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday vetoed four election integrity bills the legislature passed to improve training for election clerks and increase database security.

Pandering to a “captive audience,” Whitmer rejected the bills during a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People dinner in Detroit. Democrats argue election integrity legislation discriminates against black people, though recent polling found some provisions, such as requiring an ID to vote, are popular with that voting bloc.

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Michigan Redistricting Committee Draws Fire for Canceled Meetings, Limiting Public Comments

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (MICRC), charged with redrawing the state’s district boundaries based on 2020 U.S. Census data, has been riddled throughout its inaugural outing with blown deadlines and other missteps.

The most recent issue raising public concerns is the MICRC’s apparent lack of transparency, which was prompted by the committee eliminating four of its nine scheduled October public hearings. That means the committee will comply with the minimum number of five meetings called for in the state constitution, but canceling the four meetings will disappoint voters in Novi, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Warren. The five meetings not cancelled will be held in Detroit, Flint, Gaylord, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

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Michigan’s Second Largest City Declares Racism a ‘Public Health Crisis’

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city and the hub of the more conservative western side of the state, declared racism as a “public health crisis.”

The Grand Rapids city commission approved a resolution that read in part, “We know that racism is deep and pervasive throughout many systems and policies impacting health. Examples include health care, public education funding structures, criminal justice and sentencing, housing, and wealth-building opportunities.”

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Michigan Senate Passes Election Integrity Bills, Head to Gretchen Whitmer for Predicted Veto

The Michigan Senate passed a series of election integrity bills on Thursday, sending them to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) desk for a predicted veto.

The bills, part of a 39-bill package making its way through the legislature, “would limit who can access Qualified Voter File, prohibit poll books from being connected to the internet, require specific training for poll challengers and change how municipalities decide where to hold polling locations,” Mlive reported.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Funds ‘Encouraging Adoptions as Alternative to Abortion’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday vetoed over $16 million in funds in the new state budget allocated to programs promoting adoption over abortion.

Whitmer, a staunch abortion proponent, nixed spending “that either prohibits pregnancy service programs from providing referrals for abortions or would be allocated to programs aimed at steering pregnant people toward abortion alternatives,” according to Mlive.

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Homicides Up 31 Percent in Michigan Amid Gretchen Whitmer 2020 Lockdowns

Homicides in Michigan rose a dramatic 31 percent in 2020, above the national average, amid Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) coronavirus lockdowns that forced residents out of work and children out of schools.

The numbers posted both statewide and in Detroit are above national averages. 

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Leaves Door Open to Statewide Vaccine Mandate

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) refused to say if she would agree to President Joe Biden’s (D) demand to impose a statewide coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Whitmer, facing slumping polls showing her reelection prospects threatened by multiple Republican opponents, including James Craig and Tudor Dixon, sidestepped a question by Fox 2 about if Biden would “like that to be the case in Michigan”:

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Chief Medical Advisor Abruptly Resigns Amid Latest Coronavirus Surge

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) chief medical advisor is hitting the exit amid the latest coronavirus surge in the state.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, a deputy director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Whitmer’s point person in the virus, is leaving for a job in the private sector, the Iron Mountain Daily News reported. Khaldun will be replaced by a bureaucrat who temporarily left her state job to work for the World Health Organization.

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New Poll Shows Craig Edges Whitmer in Governors Race, but Strong Support in Detroit Keeps Whitmer Within Striking Distance

A new poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group shows Republican James Craig leading Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a potential general election contest.

The survey, released on Tuesday, demonstrated the former Detroit police chief leading Whitmer 50 percent to 44 percent, a six point advantage.

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Polls Find Support for Gretchen Whitmer Collapses in Michigan, Narrowly Ahead of Republican Challengers

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is running neck-and-neck with relatively unknown Republican opponents, according to a poll released Monday.

Strategic National — a firm working for Republican James Craig — found its client trailing the incumbent by less than one point among likely voters, 46.6 percent to 46 percent, Breitbart News reported.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Refuses to Challenge Joe Biden on Southern Border Crisis, RGA Argues

Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is refusing to challenge President Joe Biden (D) about the surge of illegal aliens at the southern border, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) claimed Monday.

The group, which views the Michigan governor’s race as one of its top priorities in 2022, noted 26 Republican governors have requested a meeting with Biden “to demand the end to the crisis at the border” and added Whitmer “refuses to acknowledge the crisis.”

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Democrat Michigan County Exec Refuses to Follow Biden Vaccine Mandate: ‘No. God, No’

Mark Hackel

A Democrat Michigan county executive is bucking his party leader’s vaccine mandate and said he will not be enforcing one.

Mark Hackel, the elected Macomb County executive, told the Detroit News he would not go along with forced vaccinations or fire an employee who defied a federal vaccination order.

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Michigan School Principal Criticizes Students Who Wore Pro-Trump MAGA Gear During ‘USA Day’

Make America Great Again hat on table

A Michigan school principal criticized students who wore Make America Great Again and other pro-Donald Trump clothing during “USA Day” this week.

WWMT reported students at Parchment High School near Kalamazoo celebrated a “USA Day” theme as a part of their homecoming week, which principal George Stamas said was intended to be “fun and unifying.” Instead, he claimed, it created “division.”

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Michigan Legislature on Verge of Investigating 2020 Election Activities of Non-Profit Affiliated with Secretary of State and Funded by Mark Zuckerberg

A top official within the Michigan Republican Party confirmed to The Michigan Star that the House Oversight Committee chaired by State Rep. Steven Johnson (R-72) is on the verge of holding a hearing on the role of a Detroit-based nonprofit in the 2020 election.

The Star broke the story on August 5 of how the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA) received a $12 million grant to support its purported purpose of “nonpartisan voter education” and then turned all but a sliver of the money over to two Democratic political consulting firms for a get-out-the-vote campaign. 

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Democrat Michigan State Rep. Jailed After Third Bond Violation, Allegedly Caught with Handcuff Key Taped to Foot

A Democrat Michigan state representative who has been in constant conflict with the law since April was arrested this week and found to have a handcuff key taped to his foot.

State Rep. Jewell Jones (D) was arrested on a slew of charges last spring stemming from an allegation of drunk driving. Dashcam video allegedly showed him resisting arrest and defying police orders while in jail.

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Michigan State Senator: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Seizing Absentee Ballot Distribution Control

Jocelyn Benson

A Republican Michigan state senator claimed Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) is seizing control of the absentee ballot distribution process and “forcing sensitive voter information to be transmitted over the internet.”

State Sen. Jon Bumstead (R) said in a press release that he has created a website for constituents to register their concerns about changes Benson wants to make to how absentee ballots are distributed and counted.

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Michigan House Republicans Consider Bills to Grant IDs to Illegal Aliens

Michigan House floor

Michigan House Republicans will be taking up two bills this week introduced by Democrats that would grant state identification cards to illegal aliens.

Republicans will be considering HBs 4835 and 4836, the first of which strikes a current provision in law that requires a resident eligible for an ID to establish “that he or she is legally present in the United States.”

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Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Seeks to Decrease Scrutiny of Absentee Ballot Signatures

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) is seeking to make permanent a unilateral rule she ordered in 2020 that effectively decreased scrutiny of absentee ballot signatures.

A court ruled Benson’s order to assume signatures matched was illegal because she did not follow the proper procedure in changing the rules shortly before the election.

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Michigan Group Calls for Resignation of ‘Independent’ Redistricting Commission Members Who Publicly Support Democratic Causes

In 2018, Michigan voters were fed up with in-power politicians drawing their own districts to protect incumbents. As a result, 61% of voters in the state approved a ballot proposal that established an independent citizen’s redistricting committee (MICRC).

But as new problems emerge, critics want answers.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Demands Repeal of Longtime Michigan Abortion Ban

A 1930s Michigan law affecting pregnancy termination is under scrutiny as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) attempts to change the subject from her scandals and President Joe Biden’s sagging poll numbers.

On Tuesday, Whitmer demanded the Republican-led legislature repeal a law that effectively bans all abortions in the state.

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Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Returns a Legally Questionable Contribution While Gretchen Whitmer Keeps Hers

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) returned a campaign contribution that violated donation limits, while Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has refused to do the same.

Benson and Whitmer collected contributions in excess of the $7,150 limit by arguing they were facing a recall election, which a previous Secretary of State arbitrarily ruled would exempt an elected official from limits if subjected to a recall. But Benson and Whitmer’s recall concerns were never serious as no organized effort to collect the sufficient amount of signatures — over 1 million — was ever launched.

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‘Dramatic Declines’ in Michigan Student Test Scores After Gretchen Whitmer-Induced ‘Disrupted Learning’

Close up of a pencil on top of a multiple choice exam paper

Test scores of Michigan students fell dramatically after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) responded to the coronavirus pandemic by banning in-person learning for much of last school year.

Whitmer sided with union bosses in keeping schools closed for much of 2020, but then recommending reopening in 2021, only to suggest they go virtual again after spring break, according to ABC 13. Test results show the reversals and upheaval affected student performance:

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Left-Wing Website Editor Bites Gretchen Whitmer, Attacks ‘Mealy Mouthed’ School Mask Position

Susan Demas

Left-wing news website editor Susan Demas harshly criticized Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), accusing her of going weak after her refusal to issue a new school mask mandate.

Whitmer has repeatedly claimed she is “following the science” during the coronavirus pandemic, but several of her advisers have recently said their recommendations were to require universal masking in schools and the governor rejected that advice.

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Michigan Governor Candidate James Craig Registered as ‘Democrat’ in 2012

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig registered as a Democrat when he moved to Ohio in 2012, after previously claiming that he converted to becoming a Republican three years earlier.

James has said he became a Republican in 2009 when he moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine. In May, the Detroit News reported:

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Health Department in Uber Conservative Michigan County Threatens Jail, Child Confiscation for Coronavirus Violations

The Allegan County Health Department is threatening jail and child confiscation over alleged coronavirus order violations.

Allegan County voted 61 percent for Donald Trump in the 2020 election and is run entirely by Republicans. Nevertheless, the agency issued a letter August 27 to an unknown parent, who posted it on social media:

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