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In a poll released this week, Senator Mike Bishop was the only candidate who chalked up a decisive victory in a hypothetical General Election match-up against newly announced Democratic Attorney General candidate Gretchen Whitmer.
Bishop also led opponent Bill Schuette amongst those that identified themselves as Republicans, as well as those identified as Independents.
"Republicans need to nominate the strongest possible candidate in 2010 if it wants to elect a GOP attorney general. Mike Bishop begins the race with a 10% lead over a woman Democrat, while Bill Schuette is only tied with her," Steve Mitchell said recently regarding the results. "In a close race, having the lead Bishop has right now could be the difference between winning and losing next year."
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By apackof2, Section News
Greetings Michigan Patriots,
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It literally felt like it took all week to get here but the wait is over... ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, loyal RightMichigan readers and first time visitors... it is Happy Friday!
How are each of you on this magnificent morning? I woke up with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. (It was the theme song for Perfect Strangers, if you were wondering.) Toss in the fact that the Tigers play two today against the hated Chicago White Sox complete with a chance to expand the percentage-points division lead and how could anyone complain on a day like today?
Well, I mean, I know HOW folks could complain. But if that's all you want to do then you're going to have to take that noise somewhere else. Nobody's brining the rest of us down on a Happy Friday. Now... to the news!
Let's start in the Ivory Tower, which scored an encouraging exclusive interview with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. During their private sit-down Bing announced that he'd seen the light and better, he's ready to act on the Motor City's financial troubles:
Bonus for Detroiters... not a new tax hike on the list. Remember, Bing is a Democrat in a 100% Democratic City but he's also a successful businessman who knows exactly what tax increases do to current and potential job makers. The fact that he's looking to plug a $25 million deficit by right-sizing government should be enough to get every Detroiter jumping up and down. Except, maybe, for some of the over-priced bureaucrats whose jobs are suddenly in danger. (And yes... that counts as happy news, too.)
Bing's apparent leadership on the whole deficit issue looks even sunnier when compared to his Party's leaders in Lansing.
The Granholm-Cherry administration took precisely the opposite approach yesterday during their own discussions about pools of red ink but even that provided some of the better news conservatives have had in a long, long time!
(There's a bright, shiny silver lining if you read on...)
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Its spring 2009 which means Election Day 2010 is practically right around the corner. This cycle in Michigan just about everything is up for grabs. 110 seats in the House, 38 seats in the Senate, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, two Supreme Court Justices and heaven knows what kinds of ballot initiatives will be before Michigan voters when they head to the polls next year.
Few races will be as closely watched as the contest for Attorney General and we're bringing the candidates directly to you!
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop recently announced his candidacy for Attorney General and has been traveling the state making public appearances and speaking about his vision for the office and the state of Michigan.
He is simultaneously heading Republican efforts in the legislature to deal with a rapidly growing state budget deficit with Democrats in the House, Senate and Governor's office arrayed against him.
This weekend I had a chance to catch up with Majority Leader Bishop to discuss the Attorney General's race, his candidacy and the budget crisis gripping Lansing.
What does he think about the current budget crisis? Could we see another tax increase? What will Senate Republicans propose THIS WEEK? Does he have any regrets from the 2007 tax hike debacle? What does he think about the Democrats likely AG nominee, state Senator Gretchen Whitmer?
Without further ado, here are the answers to these and many more questions...
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Twenty-four hours ago we were reading startling and scary news about Michigan's state budget deficit. $785 million, the experts told us, with a fresh $5 million added to the pool of red ink every morning and half of the fiscal year behind us.
Those were the days.
By mid-afternoon the word had leaked in Lansing that things were much (much... MUCH) worse than anticipated. $1.3 billion in red ink. That's a rough six hours.
Listen, we have a good time here on RightMichigan. Our tongue is often firmly planted in cheek, we razz, we encourage, we joke, we enjoy a good bit of sarcasm and cynicism. This is not one of those times.
$1.3 billion in red ink with a balanced budget requirement in the Constitution and only half the fiscal year remaining to make the cuts.
Dear Lansing- the fun and games are over.
We could look back over the last few years and analyze how we got here and there's a time and a place for that, too, but this is not it. It is time to look forward.
The Granholm-Cherry administration was expected early next week to make $200 million in budget cuts via an executive order while asking the legislature to plaster over the rest of the deficit with one-time cash via federal stimulus funds. Not only would that move be insufficient in light of the drastically larger deficit, it would be just plain irresponsible. Period.
The legislature should convene an emergency session TODAY to start making deep, drastic and yes, painful spending cuts. If the Governor won't call an emergency session and the House won't play along then the Senate should be the adults in the Capitol City and do it themselves.
Lieutenant Governor John Cherry and Senator Hansen Clarke should cancel their mid-day open bar lobbyist meet-and-greet fundraiser, too. We literally cannot afford one more day of inaction and status quo.
$1.3 billion in cuts from six months worth of a budget will not be easy and it is going to hurt like the dickens. $1.3 billion in cuts from five months worth of a budget will hurt that much worse. $1.3 billion from three months worth of a budget... you get the idea.
The time is now and urgency is required. The House GOP, for their part, is ready to rock and roll. Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer yesterday sent to budget negotiators a substantial list of proposed spending cuts while they continue to hunt and work for more.
Representative Chuck Moss, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee said: "At the rate we're going, we may actually beat one of the auto companies into bankruptcy. We need drastic, immediate steps to put our state back in order. We tried the game of tax increases, look where that got us. It chased away business, foreclosed more homes, unemployment hit 12.6 percent. And we still didn't get the promised reforms. The day of reckoning is now. "
"Clearly the governor and Democrat's plan from 2007 has failed," said state Representative John Proos, R-St. Joseph. "We were promised that the largest tax increase in state history would solve the problem, but now we're left with a larger deficit and a much larger unemployment rate. History is repeating itself because nothing changed -- no reforms, no change in spending habits, and no change in budget deficits. We learned in 2007 that tax increases are not the answer. With the state of the economy and the national economy, we simply must spend less money."
Unfortunately, the House Minority seem to be about the only ones in Lansing taking this seriously, and that isn't just a knock on the Democratic Majority. We could stand to see a little more leadership out of the Senate GOP, too.
Dear House Democrats- we tried your tax hike idea in 2007 and it has done nothing but made the problem (exponentially) worse. Spending cuts will hurt. Bad. A real pain in the neck. The alternative will hurt a lot more.
Dear Senate Republicans- start acting like Republicans. If the Left won't do the job (and every indication is that they won't) then it is up to you to save this state on your own even if that makes you "the bad guy." Consider it the cost of character.
$1.3 billion in red ink. And the legislature isn't in an emergency 24 hour marathon session to cut spending because...?
The sunshine and rainbows have gone away, ladies and gentlemen. Time to get to work.
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By Nick, Section News
Don't know if you've heard, but there's a party tonight. Or, well, a reception. No, scratch that... receptions, plural. Then breakfasts tomorrow. Lots of them.
Both the Michigan Republican Party and the Michigan Democrats are holding their winter conventions this weekend and on the GOP side, the campaigns for Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General unofficially begin.
Not that there isn't one major difference. Over on the RIGHT side of things, convention delegates... thousands of them... will select the Party's candidates for AG and SoS (the gubernatorial nominee s selected by both parties via primary). Over on the LEFT its up to the UAW. No. Hyperbole aside. Seriously.
It appears the Dems have already selected their AG nominee. Despite her connection to a massive Bureau of Elections investigation into serious campaign finance irregularities stemming from the 2006 election, state Senator Gretchen Whitmer all but has that spot sewed up.
John Cherry is the man with all of the Big Labor backing in the race to follow Jennifer Granholm at the state Capitol. Barring a huge electoral shocker, that just leaves holes in two places. MDP still needs a nominee for Secretary of State and he or she simply must be black. Not Hispanic. Not Asian. Not Jewish or Indian or Arab. Black. Because quotas are cool, apparently.
No matter how you cut that cake, though, there isn't much excitement left in the selection process for Democratic activists. Quite simply, they have no input.
QUITE the contrary over at the Michigan Republican Party. This weekend, aside from the technical work of officially selecting Ambassador Ron Weiser to be the next Party Chairman, picking various vice chairs and other Party positions, the activists and volunteers and normal, average working moms and dads from across the state will have a chance to get a good long look at more than a couple of handfuls worth of candidates.
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Good evening, my name is Mike Bishop and I have the honor of serving as your majority leader in the Michigan Senate.
Thank you for this opportunity to offer the Republican perspective on the state of our state.
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