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Monday, December 11, 2017

Pete Hoekstra Sworn In As President Trump's Ambassador To The Netherlands

Hoekstra, left, with wife Diane and Vice President Mike Pence


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra was officially sworn in to be President Trump's Ambassador to the Netherlands in a ceremony led by Vice President Pence earlier today.

Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands, proved his loyalty to Trump repeatedly during the 2016 campaign.

In addition to serving as a Trump Co-Chair in Michigan, Hoekstra was frequently a national surrogate for Trump in major media interviews. 

Hoekstra also emceed multiple Trump/Pence rallies across Michigan, and he was a regular at campaign offices throughout the Great Lakes State. Hoekstra even advised President Trump on key national security issues throughout the campaign, and spent time with Trump on his plane.

Hoekstra retired from his Congressional seat in 2010 to run for Governor, falling short to Rick Snyder in the primary. He then took on Debbie Stabenow in the 2012 Senate race.

West Michigan Politics first broke the news that Hoekstra was about to be named Ambassador to the Netherlands weeks before it was announced publicly.


Pete Hoekstra Tops Trump's Shortlist To Be Ambassador To The Netherlands


Hoekstra and Trump/Pence Michigan Deputy State Director CJ Galdes at a Mike Pence rally in Holland (DarKen Photography)



 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Breaking: Speaker Leonard Plans Vote On Barrett's Bill Making English Michigan's Official Language, Schuitmaker Opposes

State Rep. Tom Barrett, right, with his wife Ashley, center, and Speaker Leonard, left (DarKen Photography)


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Speaker of the Michigan House Tom Leonard will move a bill declaring English as the official language of the State of Michigan as early as this week, WMP has learned.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Tom Barrett, would put Michigan in line with over 30 other states who already recognize English as the official state language.

Leonard's support of the legislation puts him at odds with State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, his opponent in the Republican campaign for Attorney General.

Schuitmaker opposed the idea when she was a State Representative, voting against it while even liberal Democrats like MDP Chair Brandon Dillon supported the move.

According to Emily Lawler of MLive:


"English would be the official language for all public records in the state of Michigan under a bill from Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville.
His bill to make that happen, House bill 4053, would still allow governments to communicate in other languages but make it clear that doing so was not mandatory.  
"I think that there should be an expectation that people have if you go to a government proceeding... that it would be provided in English," Barrett said.
He said 32 other states already have English as the official language...

Barrett said there were some areas where multiple languages were already available, including the test to get a driver's' license."
>>>Watch Tom Barrett Discuss The Legislation:



 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Breaking: Major FBI Investigation Of Lansing "Pay To Play" Corruption Underway



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The FBI is actively investigating major corruption in the Michigan Legislature, West Michigan Politics can confirm.

Agents have already conducted interviews with lobbyists, employees of legislators, as well as others. They are attempting to build a criminal case that could soon implicate some of the most powerful politicians in Michigan.

The investigation appears to have originated out of the FBI's Detroit Field Office. The probe primarily involves "pay to play" schemes among some of the legislature's biggest power brokers.

It's not clear how far along the investigation is...WMP is withholding other details at this time pending further confirmation...

Stay tuned!

 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Schuette Sides With Schumer Over President Trump In Alabama Senate Race, Says Moore Should Drop Out



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling on Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to drop out of the race, a surprising move that puts Schuette side by side with the likes of Chuck Schumer in opposition to President Trump.

According to reports, "Schuette, breaking from President Trump, has called on conservative Judge Roy Moore to drop out of the Senate race in Alabama despite no admission of guilt, no criminal charges being filed, and no evidence of wrongdoing produced.
If Schuette had his way, Chuck Schumer would gain another vote in the Senate, and Republicans, who are already hard pressed to get enough support to move legislation, would have an even harder time advancing policies important to President Trump and his supporters, such as repealing Obamacare and building the wall."
According to the Detroit News:
“Schuette said he views the accusations through the lens of attorney general and as a parent, noting he has a daughter in the workplace and a son who will be as well.
“These are serious charges that have been leveled against Roy Moore,” he said in an interview on WJR AM-760 radio in Detroit. “Everybody deserves due process, but unless solid evidence is presented to refute these charges, then he should step aside.”
What a frightening scenario: prove your innocence, or get out of the race! Yikes...

Schuette has received the endorsement of President Trump and Vice President Pence in 
his campaign for Governor, a caveat that makes this all the more interesting...


 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Courser/Gamrat 20/20 Episode Receiving National Syndication


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The 20/20 episode spotlighting the Courser/Gamrat scandal is about to enter national syndication.

Starting in 2018 and running until 2021, the 20/20 episode "A Capital Offense" will air on Investigative Discovery, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and TLC.

>>>You can also check out the episode online HERE

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for the episode and had a blast with the ABC News crew at Kelly's in downtown Lansing, great group!




Lena Epstein: Secret Congressional Sexual Harassment Slush Fund Must Be Stopped

Epstein with Ted Nugent on Fox News


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Lena Epstein, a leading candidate to replace Rep. David Trott in Congress, says it's time to end the secret congressional slush fund that allows legislators to cover up sexual harassment on the taxpayer's dime.

Epstein blasted the secret slush fund in a statement.
“Over the last 20 years, $17M of taxpayer funds have been paid by the federal Office of Compliance to settle 268 sealed complaints of congressional staffers," Epstein said. "It’s time we put an end to these secret settlements. Americans have a right to know where and to whom their hard-earned tax dollars are going. It is yet another example of the swamp mentality that has plagued Washington D.C. for decades."

Epstein says this issue transcends party lines.

This is non-partisan issue. I appreciate and stand behind legislation that has been introduced in the House on this matter. If elected to Congress, I promise to fight for our taxpayers and put an end to secret settlements.”

Epstein, a business owner and former Michigan Trump campaign co-chair, faces business owner Rocky Raczkowski, former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, State Rep. Klint Kesto, and Plymouth Twp. Supervisor Kurt Heise in the 11th Congressional District GOP primary...
 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Taxation Without Representation? Meekhof+Schuitmaker Under Fire For Backing Shady Tax Hike Bill As Grassroots Urge Speaker Leonard To Oppose

Meekhof, left, with Schuitmaker, center, and AG Bill Schuette, in Holland


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Conservative activists are ramping up pressure on members of the Michigan House after a controversial bill passed by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof would allow Michiganders to face tax increases without a vote of the legislature. 

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker was a vocal proponent of the idea and voted to pass it, a vote she will have a hard time explaining to grassroots delegates in her campaign for Attorney General next summer.


The legislation in question, SB 97, would expand "public-private partnerships" where the state picks winners and losers, a decision usually influenced by whoever has lined Lansing politicians pockets with the most cash. 


The bill would also allow government created "authorities" to implement new taxes as they wish, without legislative support. The taxes are called "user fees," but it's a tax nonetheless. MDOT projects without approval? This bill has that, too!  


How in the hell did this advance out of the Senate?


The legislation has moved out of committee in the House, where Chairman Triston Cole said it "Might not be a bad thing" according to Northern Michigan GOP activist Tom Backers.


So far, Speaker Leonard has refused to hold a vote on the issue, but Governor Snyder is pushing hard for the legislation.

Joan Fabiano, founder of Grassroots in Michigan, blasted the legislation in an email to supporters.


"PPPs in public service sectors have been highly controversial: while investment has been sorely needed into new infrastructure, there’s reason to believe that the PPP price tag has simply been too high, and that the expected service levels haven’t been delivered," Fabiano said. "Huge problems with PPPs include "user fees" which is nothing more but taxation without presentation. Crony capitalism where the connected get the PPP contract. And the ability to exercise eminent domain as a mean to acquire property for projects."


So what makes SB 97 so bad? Fabiano points to a series of problems:




In case you missed it, transparency and accountability are out the window: the "authority" only has to hold a public meeting 5 YEARS after a project is finished! Wow...


Fabiano wants conservatives to contact Speaker Leonard, as well as their own State Rep.

"SB 97 and PPP are bad policy, period. There is no "fixing it" by stripping out certain items. It just needs to be killed. And that's the message we are sending to Speaker Leonard and our House Reps... Calling is best. An email with a follow up call even better! 


House Speaker Tom Leonard Phone: (517) 373-1778 Toll Free: (877) 859-8086  Email: TomLeonard@house.mi.gov 


>>>Your House Representative: Click HERE for Contact Information."


Also, check out the web ad from "Drain The Swamp Michigan" spotlighting the issue:



 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ted Nugent Backs Tom Leonard For Attorney General As Endorsements Continue To Pile Up



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The Motor City Madman is backing Tom Leonard for Attorney General. 

That's what Ted Nugent said in a statement earlier this week, praising Speaker Leonard as a fighter for liberty.

"Michigan is a state full of strong, hardworking people with even stronger values," Nugent said. "People who love liberty and freedom. People who want to make sure we protect these values and defend our God-given rights. The best way to do that is by getting behind the people who understand our constitutional rights and care about them as much as we do.

Tom Leonard is the only candidate for attorney general who will listen to us, stand up for those rights and defend our constitution. He is a good man who understands what we’re fighting for, and he is the best choice for the people of Michigan.”

Nugent has also endorsed Bill Schuette for Governor, and Bob Young for US Senate...

Leonard has received numerous endorsements for his campaign to replace the term limited Bill Schuette as Michigan's Attorney General. 

So far, his only opponent is State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker. Leonard defeated Schuitmaker at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference straw poll, receiving nearly 70% of the vote.

>>>Below is a list of Leonard's endorsements so far:

Jack Bergman – Congressman 
Paul Mitchell– Congressman 
John Moolenaar– Congressman 
Tom McMillin – State Board of Education/Former State Representative 
Kathy Berden – MIGOP National Committeewoman 
Rocky Raczkowski – Congressional Candidate/Former Majority Floor Leader 
Terry Bowman - Former Michigan Donald Trump Co-Chair
Sue Allor – State Representative 
Tom Barrett – State Representative 
Lee Chatfield – State Representative/House Speaker Pro Tempore 
Triston Cole – State Representative 
Laura Cox – State Representative/House Appropriations Chair
Gary Glenn - State Representative 
Roger Hauck – State Representative 
Shane Hernandez – State Representative 
Michele Hoitenga - State Representative 
Steven Johnson – State Representative
Beau Matthew LaFave - State Representative 
Dan Lauwers - State Representative/Majority Floor Leader
Aaron Glenn Miller - State Representative 
Jim Tedder – State Representative 
Jason Wentworth - State Representative 
Mike Hewitt - 2nd District Congressional Chair
Judy Rapanos - 4th District Congressional Chair
Carolyn Curtin – 4th District State Committee 
Koen Driesen - 5th District State Committee 
Matt Hall - 3rd District State Committee
Matthew X. Hauser – 13th District State Committee
Ronda Hawkins – 8th District State Committee 
Kim MacMaster - 1st District State Committee 
Eric St Onge – 4th District State Committee 
Jason Mueller – 12th District State Committee Robert and Mary Ann Pawlak Rankey – Tri Cities 9/12 Patriots/5th District State Committee
Mari-Ann McQuater Henry – GOGOP President and 8th District GOP Vice Chair 
Walter Bargen – Lapeer County GOP Chair 
Cameron Cavitt – Cheboygan County GOP Chair
Ormand Hook – Mecosta County GOP Chair 
Adam Kroczaleski – Arenac County GOP Chair Douglas Reimel – Wayne County 12th District GOP Chair 
Andrew Sebolt – Oceana County 
Georgia Richardson Sharp - Ionia GOP Chair
Catherine Tilot-Zemanek – Saginaw County GOP Chair 
Amy R Carl - Former Saginaw County GOP Chair 
John Inhulsen - Former Kent GOP Chair
Jim Thienel - Former Oakland GOP Chair 
Greg Moore - Monroe County Commissioner

 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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WOW: MDP Chair Brandon Dillon Says He Finally Has A "Good Wife" Because She Is Learning In The Kitchen



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Comments made by Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon are receiving renewed scrutiny in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations that continue to rock the country.

Dillon, in a Facebook post, says "she's finally becoming a good wife," alongside a picture of his wife in the kitchen, apparently in the process of cooking.

Many believe the comments are demeaning to women, and given Dillon and the MDP's outrageous rhetoric against President Trump and others, Dillon's post is pretty audacious.

Imagine the MDP reaction if Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser did this? They would go ballistic, and their friends at Progress Michigan would join the circus also. Gretchen Whitmer would have a fundraising email blast ready to go... You get the idea.

The Michigan Tea Party Alliance blasted Dillon in a statement over the photo last year.

"When Brandon Dillon (Michigan Democratic Party Chairman) says that he is standing for women, he must not mean his wife. 

Questions for Brandon:


Is she only a good wife because she prepared dinner?

Do you require her to wear an apron or is she allowed to be around the house without it?

Don't you think it is hypocritical to complain about Donald Trump when you have some#FirstWifeProblems of your own?

Does the numerous rape charges against Bill Clinton make him unfit to be President?

When Hillary Clinton attacked the women who were raped by Bill, was she standing up for women? Curious minds want to know."


Dillon has not commented on the photo...

 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Lansing On Edge As Affairs And Sexual Harassment Allegations Spark State Legislator Resignations Nationwide



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

As allegations of affairs, sexual harassment, and assault hound prominent politicians, celebrities, and journalists across the country on what seems to be a daily basis , there can be no doubt that some in Lansing are on edge. After all, there is no shortage of legislators who are one tweet or story away from resignation.

WMP has received reports of allegedly inappropriate behavior by lawmakers from both parties, and an investigation is underway. It's a sensitive issue that must be handled carefully...

One only has to look to other states to see why some may be worried.

In Florida, the state's top Senate Democrat resigned after being busted having an affair with a lobbyist. The Florida Democratic Party Chair also resigned after repeatedly making inappropriate comments, giving women creepy looks, and keeping a stress ball in the shape of a boob on his desk that he would often play with.

In California, a top Dem Assemblyman has resigned from leadership and won't run for re-election as multiple other members are trying to weather sexual harassment claims...

In Ohio, a Republican State House member is out after sending explicit, unsolicited messages to dozens of guys. He was busted in his office getting busy with one of them... He was also trying to get someone to have sex with his wife. 

In Minnesota, a prominent Democrat Senator resigned after a fellow lawmaker said he repeatedly sexually harassed her.

As the flood of allegations continues to rage, it's important to remember that accusations are not evidence. Each situation must be examined differently, there is no cookie cutter judgment process in complicated situations, which these often are. Some cases are clear cut, many are not. The only thing that is certain is that we have not seen the end of this.

Also: one is left to wonder if Speaker Cotter, in the current environment, would have been able to get away with spending nearly $100,000 to cover up for State Rep. Brian Banks after the sexual assault of a staffer a couple years ago. (The Detroit area Democrat resigned for unrelated issues, but is a leading contender for a State Senate seat in Wayne County.)

Stay tuned!

 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Establishment Hack Kurt Heise Hikes Taxes In Plymouth (While Campaigning For Congress Supporting Tax Cuts!)

Heise


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise supports tax cuts while on the trail campaigning for Rep. Dave Trott's US House seat, but back home in Plymouth, Heise is raising taxes on his constituents without even letting them vote on the issue.

Heise, a former State Rep. who won an impressive write in campaign for Plymouth Township Supervisor when he was termed out of the House last year, was one of the biggest establishment cheerleaders in Lansing and would undoubtedly fit in well with the DC swamp.

 Heise, a prolific waterboy for special interests, recently raised property taxes on residents through an "administrative fee." Normally, residents have to vote on tax hikes, but a loophole allows increases like the one pushed by Heise.

According to Hometown Life:
"Plymouth Township taxpayers will notice a new fee on their tax bills after a divided township board Tuesday approved a revenue-raising plan that is expected to generate $630,000 a year.

In a 4-3 vote, the board agreed to impose a 1-percent property tax administration fee to cover costs associated with assessing property taxes, collecting tax levies and combating property tax appeals.

It will cost an average homeowner $43 a year on a $4,300 tax bill, officials say, though most businesses would pay more...

The fee will start showing up on tax bills in December.

Clinton, Supervisor Kurt Heise, Clerk Jerry Vorva and Trustee Gary Heitman supported the tax fee, while Trustees Chuck Curmi, Bob Doroshewitz and Jack Dempsey opposed it."

What a damn joke. Just another money grab by greedy politicians trying to increase government coffers any way they can...

Heise faces business owner and former Michigan Trump Co-Chair Lena Epstein, business owner, Veteran, and former State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski, State Rep. Klint Kesto, and former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio.  

 __________________________________________________________________
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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