Far-right Republican Robert Regan loses race in heavily red Michigan House district

Democrat Carol Glanville beat far-right Republican Robert Regan in a special state House election Tuesday, flipping a heavily red district in the state Legislature.

Regan lost the support of some of the Republican establishment after he said that he tells his daughters that “if rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it,” called the war in Ukraine a “fake war just like the fake pandemic,” and shared a meme saying that feminism is a “Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men.”

“My opponent’s extreme, violent, and antisemitic views have no place in state government, and tonight the people of the 74th District made clear that they won’t stand for extremism,” Glanville said.

The district includes suburbs around Grand Rapids, including Grandville, Rockford and Walker.

Republicans have held the current 74th House District since it was drawn following the 2010 census. Former President Donald Trump won the area by nearly 16 points in 2020.

Former state Rep. Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) won a special Senate election last year, leaving the House seat vacant.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee noted the race is its first state legislative seat flip of 2022 nationwide.

“This victory is the result of Carol Glanville’s hard work, an extremist Republican on the ballot, and Democratic enthusiasm in the wake of the potential fall of Roe,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “Congratulations to Representative-elect Carol Glanville on this unprecedented victory. This election was a referendum on the extremism that is now the norm in the Republican Party and is clear evidence that voters are fired up about the right-wing assault on abortion rights.”

Glanville’s term will expire Dec. 31, at which point new district maps, drawn by Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, will go into effect.

Regan and Glanville have both filed to run in the new 84th House District for a full term in November.

Tori Sachs, executive director of the DeVos-funded Michigan Freedom Fund, said that Republicans can win the seat back in November if they nominate a less controversial candidate in August.

“Candidates matter. Voters decide,” Sachs tweeted. “We couldn’t support Regan & it’s clear voters couldn’t either. The GOP can & will pick this seat back up in November if a credible candidate is nominated in August.”

Sachs was one of numerous Republicans who had condemned Regan’s comments in the run-up to the special election, calling them “despicable & disqualifying.”

“I’m the mom of four young girls. Every day I teach them to stand up for themselves, to know what they’re worth, and to fight back against creeps like Regan,” Sachs said at the time. “RJ Regan doesn’t belong anywhere near the state Capitol and that is why we endorsed and supported his opponent.”

In a news release on Tuesday, the House Republican Campaign Committee, the official GOP House campaign arm, noted that it “chose not to participate in the race.”

Other elections

Republican Mike Harris, who retired from the Waterford Township Police Department last year, won a special election in the 43rd House District against Democrat Kent Douglas.

The seat was left vacant after former state Rep. Andrew Schroeder (R-Independence Twp.) died of a rare form of stomach cancer.

The district includes Clarkston, Independence Township, Lake Angelus and part of Waterford.

In the 36th House District, Republican Terence Mekoski won a special election over Democrat James Diez.

The district includes Bruce, Shelby and Washington townships and became vacant when former state Rep. Doug Wozniak was elected to the state Senate last year.

The House Republican Campaign Committee touted the two wins, noting they decided not to participate in the 74th House District race.

“Tonight’s results show just how ready Michigan is for a wave of new Republican leaders this fall,” HRCC Co-Chair Sarah Lightner said. “If this really is a preview of November, House Republicans have all the momentum and the wind at their backs, while House Democrats are left with nothing but a long list of questions to answer.”

Democrat Jeffrey Pepper lead Republican Ginger Shearer in the 15th House District, which covers most of Dearborn, as of Tuesday night.

The winner of that race will fill the seat vacated by Democratic former state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, who was elected mayor of Dearborn.


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Neo-Nazis, swastikas and threats: Antisemitism in Michigan

Michigan had the fifth-highest number of reported antisemitic incidents in 2021, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The United States reported an all-time high of antisemitic incidents in 2021 according to the audit, with 2,717 incidents reported – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34% increase over 2020.

There were incidents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but Michigan had the fifth most with 112 reported incidents, tying with Texas. The ADL said that Michigan saw a 120% increase in incidents between 2020 and 2021.

Michigan’s incidents took place across 32 cities, including the neo-Nazi group Folksfront spread ing “extremist” propaganda all over the state, a swastika formed from wood chips in Birmingham and a Jewish restaurant owner receiving threats and anti-Israel reviews on social media after posting his support for Israel.

The four highest states were New York with 416 incidents, New Jersey with 370 incidents, California with 367 incidents, and Florida with 190 incidents.

Combined, the states account for 58% of the total incidents.

Antisemitic incidents tracked include assaults, harassment and vandalism, ranging from Jewish diners at a restaurant in Los Angeles being attacked by a group carrying Palestinian flags and yelling slurs to an individual throwing a glass bottle at a Jewish girl as she got off a school bus while yelling, “F–king Jew.”

Of the total, there were 1,776 incidents categorized as harassment, 853 incidents of vandalism, and 88 incidents of assault.

There were no deadly attacks against the Jewish community in 2021, ADL said.

Reported antisemitic incidents surged 141% in May 2021, when the conflict between Israel and Palestine grabbed the nation’s attention.

Attacks on Jewish institutions, like schools and synagogues, increased 61% since 2020.

U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), a former synagogue president and member of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, called the report “concerning.”

“The ADL’s latest report reveals what we all know to be true: the scourge of antisemitism continues to threaten Jews across the United States,” Levin said. “Whether worshiping in their synagogues, frequenting their local Jewish Community Centers, attending Jewish schools or just walking down the street, Jews face growing threats and hostility.”

The U.S. Senate confirmed last month Deborah Lipstadt to be antisemitism monitor after Republicans had previously used various procedural maneuvers to stall her nomination.

“I am grateful that the Senate finally confirmed Deborah Lipstadt as Special Envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism around the world. This report reaffirms in the strongest terms how much work we have to do at home, as well,” Levin said. “I urge my colleagues to reconcile with the findings in this report and recommit to calling out antisemitism in all its forms – loudly and consistently. We must continue building coalitions, both within Congress and beyond, to fight antisemitism and battle all forms of hate, ignorance and bigotry.”

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Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Michigan Dems denounce right-wing radio host for racist comments on families

The Michigan Democratic Party on Sunday blasted a longtime GOP activist who filed to run for state Senate as a Democrat and said that “a family should be a white mom, white dad, and white kids.”

Randy Bishop, who goes by “Trucker Randy,” made the comments on an episode of his radio show, “Your Defending Fathers,” that aired in late March, the Detroit News first reported. Several GOP politicians have been on his show, including Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), House candidate Robert Regan and GOP Attorney General nominee Matt DePerno.

What is white nationalism?

Bishop also remarked on television commercials that he says are “trying to take away the male’s masculinity.”

“Have you noticed that every single white guy in a TV commercial now is either stupid, dependent on a woman or a complete rumbling, stumbling, bumbling idiot,” Bishop said. “Just take note of it. White men, especially middle-aged white men, are complete idiots in these commercials.”

Bishop has two felony fraud convictions and is currently facing a disturbing the peace charge. In 2020, Facebook shut down some of Bishop’s far-right Facebook pages.

He previously ran for office as a Republican, is a former chair of the Antrim County Republican Party in northern Michigan and has been active in spreading conspiracy theories denying the 2020 election that former President Trump lost, attending an October 2021 rally at the Michigan Capitol calling for a so-called “forensic audit.”

However, Bishop filed to run in the 37th Senate District as a Democrat.

The move has been seen as a strategy to prevent Democratic voters from crossing over to vote in the Republican primary for more moderate candidates.

Republicans face a four-way primary in the district with state Reps. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) and John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs), as well as businessman William Hindle and Mackinaw City Village Trustee George Ranville.

The Michigan Democratic Party responded in a tweet thread Sunday, saying they will not support Bishop’s campaign and “find it deeply insulting that he would dare to put a “D” next to his name.

“Views such as the ones Trucker Randy Bishop espouses have no place in the Democratic Party. Candidates who say or believe these things are not welcome. Randy Bishop is not a Democrat,” the party wrote. “He is a dishonest minor social media personality that enjoys getting attention from making outrageous statements. He shows nothing but disrespect to our system of government by using a run for office to promote his personal agenda, entirely based on lies, hate and fear. Disgusting racist belief systems are not welcome in the Democratic Party and frankly should not be welcome in any political party or community.”

State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), who is Black and Latinx, also slammed Bishop’s remarks on Twitter and said he was “masquerading as a Dem.”

“With dangerous views such as this, this individual masquerading as a Dem has no business anywhere near any branch or level of government or in policy making,” she wrote. “Calling for the erasure of entire families/groups of people, is another example of & in line with the backwards, heinous views & actions clinging to white supremacy that we’ve been seeing in anti-history & anti-LGBTQ bills & it’ll only get worse w/someone like this in office.”


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP congressman warns death threats will make recruiting good candidates difficult

Retiring U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) said Sunday that death threats against officials like him will make it increasingly difficult to recruit quality candidates for public office.

“It’s going to be a detriment to getting good people to run. It really will be. I’ve got a school board member that lives on my street, I think he got death threats, too, just over the [COVID-19] mask mandate,” Upton said. “It puts you at risk, particularly when they threaten not only you – and I like to think I’m pretty fast – but when they threaten your spouse, or your kids, that’s what really makes it frightening.”

Upton made the comments during an appearance on NBC’sMeet The Press,” where he discussed death threats he received after voting for the bipartisan infrastructure law, citing it as one factor in why he decided to retire from Congress at the end of his current term rather than seeking reelection.

“That’s why I’m here today. Death threats – they never were like we had this past year. It was pretty crazy,” Upton said. “And remember, that was a Republican bill. I mean, literally a year ago this week, [GOP Maryland] Gov. [Larry] Hogan brought a bunch of us up to his place in Annapolis – Republicans; Democrats; senators; governors; House members. Both sides of the aisle. We defined what infrastructure ought to be, and we decided how to pay for it. It passed 69-30 in the Senate. [U.S. Sen.] Lindsey Graham, [former President] Trump’s best friend, voted for it.”

Had Upton decided to run for reelection, he would have faced a Republican primary with U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) after they were drawn into the new 4th District by Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Currently, Upton represents the 6th and Huizenga represents the 2nd.

Trump has endorsed Huizenga, targeting Upton for his vote to impeach the former president in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Upton had previously said not wanting to give Trump the appearance of a win would be a motivator to run, and began airing an ad in the new district, but ultimately decided to retire.

Still, Upton said he doesn’t think he gave Trump a win with his decision.

“No, we didn’t. I don’t think we did. It would’ve been a doozy of a campaign. I would’ve loved it, I like campaigns. I was ready to go. But the final straw was they redrew the district,” Upton said. “We were ready. We would have been welcomed in a lot of different places. But we would have had to raise, I don’t know, $5 to 6 million in a couple months. I could’ve done that. But in the end, it’s time for family.”

Upton predicted that Republicans will take back control of Congress in the midterms, but said that how effectively they will be able to govern depends on their margin, in part because the rise of Republicans like U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) spell “troubled waters” for the party.

“Are we going to be over or under 230? If it’s under 230, it will be very hard to govern for Republicans, knowing that we’ve got the MTG element that’s really not a part of a governing majority,” Upton said. “That’s why the margin is going to be so – you know, right now [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) got the votes. Particularly with the use of the proxy votes, she’s not going to lose a vote, and I don’t think she has in the last year and a half. We’re not going to have proxy votes. [House Minority Leader] Kevin [McCarthy] (R-Calif.) has made that very clear. None of us want that to happen.”

While he’s not running for reelection, Upton did offer advice for candidates who are, pushing back on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying Republicans would describe their platform after the election.

“You have to be for something,” Upton said.


Full Upton Interview: 'Troubled Waters' For The Republican Party www.youtube.com



Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP candidate floats conspiracy theory that Whitmer staged kidnapping plot to influence 2020 election

Republican gubernatorial candidate Garrett Soldano shared a conspiracy theory Thursday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plotted with the FBI to “fake her own kidnapping” in an effort to have a “direct impact on the 2020 election results” after two suspects were found not guilty last week.

“Michiganders deserve an answer. As we all saw last week, the FBI conceived a plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer and preyed on Michiganders to push it along,” Soldano said in press release, without providing evidence. “Did Gretchen Whitmer play a role in these targeted efforts to influence the 2020 election? Was Gretchen Whitmer working with the FBI to fake her own kidnapping?”

Last week, a jury acquitted Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, who were accused of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer. The jury did not reach a verdict on Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. and they can be retried. Two other defendants, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, have pleaded guilty as part of a deal.

Soldano is one of 12 Republicans hoping to challenge Whitmer in the 2022 election. The field also includes businessman Kevin Rinke, businessman Perry Johnson and right-wing commentator Tudor Dixon.

Soldano is the latest of several Republican candidates for various offices to argue that the plot was “politicized” or to share conspiracy theories about it.

GOP state House candidate Robert Regan posted on Facebook that “everyone who has followed this story from the start knew this was fabricated by the tyrant in Lansing.”

Regan will face Democrat Carol Glanville in the special general election on May 3.

Matt DePerno, a Republican candidate for attorney general, reacted to the verdict by tweeting that he predicted the “Whitmer kidnapping sham was entrapment by the FBI designed to create a false narrative before the election” and sharing a cartoon showing the FBI creating the kidnapping plot and Whitmer surrounded by a fake fire.

DePerno is facing former House Speaker Tom Leonard and state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp.) in the Republican primary for attorney general. A nominee will be selected at the statewide endorsement convention April 23 in Grand Rapids, who will then go on to face incumbent Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel in the November general election.

Whitmer’s office responded to the verdict with a warning about the precedent it sets.

“Today, Michiganders and Americans — especially our children — are living through the normalization of political violence. The plot to kidnap and kill a governor may seem like an anomaly,” said JoAnne Hulls, Whitmer’s chief-of-staff. “But we must be honest about what it really is: the result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country. There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes. Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened.”


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP county conventions across Michigan face disruptions, but party touts 'enthusiasm'

Several Republican county conventions across the state of Michigan faced disruptions and disagreements Monday night after attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, encouraged his supporters to “storm” the events.

DePerno used the language on stage at a rally with former President Donald Trump, and his campaign set up a website with the same message.

“Every one of you delegates, raise your hand right now. I need every one of you to go to county conventions on April 11. It’s time we storm the convention,” DePerno said. “And if you’re not a delegate, you still need to go to county convention. It is time to storm the convention.”

In Macomb County, the convention hall exceeded its capacity before the event began and featured hours of insults being hurled between delegates, guests and organizer, as the Advance reported.

“This party is a mess,” former state Sen. Pete Lucido said while in attendance at the Macomb County convention.

Delegates were selected at the county conventions, who will go on to select candidates for attorney general and secretary of state at the party’s statewide endorsement convention on April 23 in Grand Rapids.

Under rules set by the Michigan Republican Party, precinct delegates elected in the August 2020 primary are given preference to become delegates to the statewide convention, but up to 15% of a county’s slate of delegates can be given to people who are not precinct delegates under a “hard-working Republicans” rule.

The chair of each convention is selected by the delegates, meaning that if enough delegates favored a candidate, they could elect a chair who matches their view and select to send non-elected individuals as delegates to the state convention who may be more likely to vote for their preferred candidates.

Mark Forton, who was initially selected to chair the Macomb County convention, was later ousted from the role and replaced with Eric Castiglia. In Kent County, the Detroit News reported that there was a close race between Rob VerHeulen, the county party chairman, and Keith Hinkle, an ally of DePerno.

Attendees of the Kent County convention were also heard booing any time U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) was called on to vote, per the Detroit News.

Kent County was one of several counties that did not allow media into their convention, along with Livingston County and Clinton County, despite state party rules saying that the conventions are open meetings.

Jenell Leonard, the Clinton County party chair and the spouse of attorney general candidate Tom Leonard, reportedly asked a Detroit Free Press reporter to leave their convention hall before it began.

John Yob, a political consultant known for running convention campaigns who is working with DePerno, said in a statement that “the county conventions were a big victory for Matt DePerno with thousands of new people showing up to participate across the state.”

Tom Leonard, a former speaker of the state House, remained optimistic about his chances despite the results of DePerno’s calls.

“Matt DePerno’s misguided call to storm the convention led only to a light drizzle,” DePerno said. “Meanwhile, our team’s hard work over the past six months has earned overwhelming grassroots support in every part of the state, and last night’s results clearly displayed our success.”

Asked by Gongwer about suggestions from some Republicans that Leonard did better than expected, and that DePerno was not elected delegate in his home county, Yob reportedly responded, “You are smoking crack.”

Usually, candidates for attorney general and secretary of state would be selected at August nominating conventions, shortly after new precinct delegates were elected in the August primary.

This year, however, the Republican Party opted to hold an early endorsement convention in a bid to unify the party behind candidates earlier on, giving the candidates more time to build their general election campaigns against incumbent Democrats. Michigan Democrats used a similar strategy in 2018 when seats were open due to term limits.

While it wasn’t immediately clear what impact the disruptions at the county conventions might have on the results of the statewide convention, some speculated that the endorsement convention, meant to unify the party’s base, could instead further expose the rifts within the party.

Gustavo Portela, a spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party, downplayed the rifts in a statement and said the conventions “only speak to the enthusiasm on the Republican side and frustration with Democrats who are well on their way to being fired this November.”

“Disruptions and disagreements are normal. And have happened in various counties across the state for years. It’s nothing new,” Portela said.

Some Republicans had already questioned the fairness of the statewide endorsement convention after Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock took the unusual step of endorsing candidates in contested races.

Maddock endorsed DePerno in the race for attorney general, over Leonard and state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp.).

In the race for secretary of state, Maddock endorsed Kristina Karamo over state Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) and Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry.

“At the end of the day, frankly, I think it’s going to backfire on her,” LaFave said following Maddock’s endorsement of Karamo. “Everyone that loses at convention is going to be upset by the appearance of impropriety, even if one does not manifest itself at convention. So I’m sure that when I win at convention, everybody that doesn’t win is going to be very upset.”

Michigan Democrats held their own statewide endorsement convention over the weekend and endorsed Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for re-election.

Nessel faced a toughly contested convention in 2018, and previously said that Maddock’s endorsements were a “very shocking turn of events” that show the current Republican Party “don’t have any processes or protocols any more.”

“I was taken aback, certainly, when she openly endorsed. But then again, this Republican Party is very different from any party I’ve seen, at least since I’ve become aware of how party politics work, in either of the major parties,” Nessel said. “There’s no rules. The playbook has been thrown out. And it seems like it’s sort of devolving into chaos.”


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Pro-Trump candidate encourages supporters to ‘storm’ county GOP conventions

Republican candidate for attorney general Matt DePerno is urging his supporters to “storm” Republican county conventions across the state.

DePerno, who received the unusual endorsement of Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, despite there being two other candidates in the race, told his supporters to register for conventions in each of Michigan’s 83 counties, where delegates for the statewide endorsement convention will be selected.

During a rally last weekend with President Donald Trump, DePerno told his supporters to “storm” the conventions, and his campaign has set up a website with the same message.

“Every one of you delegates, raise your hand right now. I need every one of you to go to county conventions on April 11. It’s time we storm the convention,” DePerno said. “And if you’re not a delegate, you still need to go to county convention. It is time to storm the convention.”

The other Republicans seeking the nomination are former House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) or state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp.).

Republican precinct delegates and officeholders will meet at county conventions Monday to select who to send to the statewide endorsement convention on April 23 in Grand Rapids. The nominee will face Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel in November.

Under the rules set by the Michigan Republican Party, those precinct delegates elected in the August 2020 primary are given preference to become delegates to the statewide convention.

Under a “hard-working Republicans” rule, however, the county convention could choose to allocate up to 15% of its statewide convention seats to people who are not precinct delegates but would be treated as if they are.

If enough elected delegates at a county convention favored DePerno, they could select to send non-delegates who would also support their candidate of choice rather than other elected precinct delegates who may support Leonard or Berman instead.

Usually, candidates for attorney general and secretary of state would be selected at August nominating conventions, shortly after new precinct delegates were elected in the August primary.

This year, however, the Republican Party opted to hold an early endorsement convention in a bid to give the candidates more time to build their general election campaigns. Michigan Democrats used a similar strategy in 2018 when seats were open due to term limits.

Maddock also endorsed Kristina Karamo for secretary of state over state Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) and Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry.

Some candidates had already questioned the fairness of the convention following Maddock’s endorsements, leading some to speculate that a candidate who loses at the endorsement convention could continue their campaigns into the August nominating convention.

“At the end of the day, frankly, I think it’s going to backfire on her,” LaFave said following Maddock’s endorsement Karamo. “Everyone that loses at convention is going to be upset by the appearance of impropriety, even if one does not manifest itself at convention. So I’m sure that when I win at convention, everybody that doesn’t win is going to be very upset.”


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

NOW WATCH: Democratic senator brings receipts of Josh Hawley's record in epic floor speech

Democratic senator brings receipts of Josh Hawley's record in epic floor speech www.youtube.com

Detroit challenges census count after the Trump administration cut process short

Detroit is challenging its head count in the 2020 census after the U.S. Census Bureau acknowledged that a higher percentage of Black Americans were undercounted than in the prior census.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Detroit became the largest city in the nation to challenge the figures.

The city released a report last year suggesting that more than 8% of occupied homes in 10 neighborhoods may have been undercounted.

Duggan: U.S. Census effort in Detroit was ‘malpractice’

Additionally, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that unoccupied homes being undercounted could have resulted in tens of thousands of residents being omitted from the final tally.

Duggan previously said that the city would file a lawsuit if the results are not changed during the appeals process.

Estimates from 2019 put the city’s population at about 670,000 residents, while the 2020 census data shows the city with a population of 639,000 residents.

In the past, Detroit has had one of the lowest self-response rates of major cities.

In the 2020 census, people were strongly encouraged to fill out the census online. The former Trump administration cut the census response time short, which Duggan said led census takers to skip protocols that would have required them to knock on doors of unresponsive households six times and to interview neighbors for information if the knocking did not work.

Even if the numbers are amended, it would not affect Michigan’s loss of a congressional seat — the state went from 14 to 13 districts — or the new district lines drawn for the U.S. House and state Legislature by Michigan’s Independent Redistricting Commission.

The figures could, however, affect how Detroit fares in the allocation of federal funds to local governments.

“A roughly 8% undercount of Detroit’s population in the 2020 census creates disastrous financial consequences for the city,” Duggan said, per the AP.


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP thwarted as judge rejects Michigan lawsuit that sought to 'undermine the integrity of our elections'

A court of claims judge dismissed a GOP lawsuit challenging the use of private funds for election administration Tuesday, ruling that the plaintiffs lack standing.

The suit, originally filed in October 2020 by Republican voters in Macomb, Livingston and Oakland counties, argued that private grant money awarded to local governments by the Center for Technology and Civic Life violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Michigan Constitution, alleging that the funds were intended to favor one group of voters over another depending on which jurisdictions were awarded the funds.

Judge Thomas Cameron ruled in Ryan v. Benson that the plaintiffs lacked standing as they each lived in a jurisdiction that received grant funding and there was no evidence that the secretary of state’s office had attempted to funnel the grant money to only certain jurisdictions over others.

“To that end, plaintiffs fail to allege or establish a harm or injury that is different from the citizenry at large. Notably, it appears to be undisputed at this time that no counties or jurisdictions — in particular, the jurisdictions in which plaintiffs reside — were denied access to the funds at issue. This undermines plaintiffs’ assertion of standing with respect to the constitutional violations they have alleged,” Cameron’s opinion reads. “In other words, without the targeted access to funds that was once alleged, plaintiffs fail to state an injury that is different from that of the citizenry at large. And in all other respects, the complaint contains allegations that are not unique to plaintiffs or that are not otherwise distinguishable from any concerns that might be held by the public at large.”

The court also noted that the complained-of-conduct occurred 18 months ago, rendering it “stale conduct” that they will not weigh in on, while requests to ban the receipt of funds in the future is based on hypotheticals, which would require the court to “engage in pure speculation concerning the manner in which such funds might be offered and whether such a hypothetical offering might somehow be impermissible.”

“The court will not engage in a hypothetical discussion that sometime in the future local election officials will accept private funding in some yet-to-be-determined way,” the opinion says.

The lawsuit was one of several filed challenging the conduct and results of the 2020 presidential election as former President Donald Trump and other Republicans continue to spread baseless allegations about the legitimacy of the election.

“From the beginning, this lawsuit was filed in an attempt to undermine the integrity of our elections and results,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “We may be more than two years beyond the 2020 presidential election, but our team remains committed to defending the Secretary of State against baseless allegations stemming from it. And as we get closer to this November, let this outcome serve as a reminder of our dedication to upholding and defending democracy.”

One of the main sources for the baseless claims stemmed from clerks not being allowed to begin counting absentee ballots, which favored Democrats, until Election Day.

Benson said the case serves as a reminder that reforms by the federal government and state Legislature may be needed to allow local governments to conduct their elections more efficiently, including increased funding.

“This case was yet another example of the misuse and abuse of our legal system to wrongly sow seeds of doubt about the integrity of our elections,” Benson said. “It was meritless and misguided and the court rightly noted the ability for nonpartisan nonprofit organizations to work directly with local communities to ensure they have the support they need to protect and count every valid vote. It further underscores the need for the legislature and federal government to provide sustained funding for elections, so that clerks across the state and political spectrum have consistent and sufficient funds to run accessible and secure elections."


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Ambassador Bridge reopens after week of right-wing protests

The Ambassador Bridge reopened Sunday night after right-wing protests over vaccine mandates halted international traffic at the essential border crossing for nearly a week.

While protests continue in other parts of Canada, including the country’s capital, police cleared the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge after a court injunction went into effect Friday ordering truckers and their supporters to leave the area.

Windsor Police Sgt. Steve Betteridge said that between 25 and 30 people had been arrested before the bridge reopened Sunday. Police also towed seven vehicles Saturday and five vehicles Sunday.

“Let me be crystal clear: it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford tweeted Sunday. “Fines for noncompliance will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment.”

Demonstrations first began more than a week ago by truckers who oppose a mandate requiring drivers entering Canada to either be fully vaccinated or face a testing and quarantine requirement.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday called for Canada to “take all necessary and appropriate” steps to reopen the bridge.”

On Monday morning, Whitmer said the reopening was “a win for Michigan’s working families who are just trying to do their jobs and for businesses who can get back to shipping their products and produce. It’s time to get traffic and trade moving across North America’s busiest land border crossing again. I will always stand with every hardworking Michigander and do whatever it takes to ensure that our businesses can keep humming along.”

More than a quarter of trade between the United States and Canada relies on the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, an estimated 10,000 commercial vehicles cross the bridge with around $325 million worth of goods each day.

According to the Anderson Economic Group, the auto industry lost $51 million in wages by Thursday as some factories shut down when needed parts for new vehicles could not reach factories due to the bridge closure.

Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig, a former Detroit police chief who led the department during Black Lives Matters protests that resulted in the department firing rubber bullets and tear gas at protestors and arresting hundreds, released a statement of support for the Canadian protestors.

“I stand with the truckers. I support all working people who are standing up for personal freedom,” Craig said. “Instead of focusing on the protestors and demonizing the truckers, these career politicians should be focused on how their irresponsible pandemic response is hurting our economies.”

Other GOP hopefuls have backed the right-wing protesters, including chiropractor Garrett Soldano and businessman Kevin Rinke.

Thirty Republican members of the Michigan House of Representatives sent a letter to Whitmer last week urging her to work with the federal and Canadian governments to end the vaccine mandate.

“As you are aware, both Canada and the United States announced in 2021 that all individuals seeking to cross the border, including truckers, are required to be fully vaccinated. This controversial policy – which forces working men and women to choose between providing for their family and making a personal medical choice – is now the heart of the problem shutting down truck traffic at the Ambassador Bridge,” the legislators wrote.

“In the last 24 hours, we have watched with consternation as automotive plants began to cancel shifts and cut hours due to reduced trucking shipments arriving at their destination. We are confident that more shutdowns will take place if you do not work with your federal and Canadian partners to end vaccine mandates at the border.”

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) said in a statement that the letter is “absolutely unconscionable.”

“Every day this reckless disruption continues is a crushing blow to our industry and our workers as critical elements of our economy and infrastructure are held hostage by international agitators, who have now unbelievably found 30 new spokespeople in the ranks of the Republican majority,” Lasinski said. “It is absolutely unconscionable that the 30 Republican legislators who signed onto this letter are calling upon our Governor to deliver the bridge’s ransom to the international protesters strangling our auto industry and vital supply chains throughout Michigan. It is time to stand with Michigan industry and not the time to sell-out our values and sovereignty to those peddling anti-vaccine propaganda across the border.”

Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino previously denounced foreign officials weighing in on the protests after former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the protestors.

Mendicino responded that “it is certainly not the concern of the Texas attorney general as to how we in Canada go about our daily lives in accordance with the rule of law,” Time reported.

“We need to be vigilant about potential foreign interference,” Mendicino said. “Whatever statements may have been made by some foreign official are neither here nor there. We’re Canadian. We have our own set of laws. We will follow them.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson previously said in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that “what was initially described as a peaceful protest has now turned into a siege of our downtown area.”

Facebook groups have been promoting similar “trucker convoy” protests in the U.S. Company officials told NBC News that many are being run by fake accounts tied to content mills in countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh and Romania, similar to pro-Trump efforts during the 2016 election and previous right-wing efforts protesting COVID-19 health protocols.

There have been similar protests across the world, the Washington Post reported, including at the Champs-Élysées in Paris and an area outside New Zealand’s Parliament.

Reuters reported that police are investigating threats against public figures jointly with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and have charged four people with hate crimes.

Some Conservative lawmakers in Canada have met with and taken selfies with the protestors, and the party recently ousted Erin O’Toole as their leader, which Reuters reported was in part because he wasn’t initially supportive enough of the protesters.


Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

Trump discussed having local law enforcement seize election machines with Michigan lawmakers

Former President Donald Trump attempted to persuade Michigan legislators to have local law enforcement agencies seize voting machines in the days after the 2020 presidential election, according to a report published this week in the New York Times.

The state lawmakers declined Trump’s request. It was not immediately clear which legislators had been involved with the conversations.

“Democracy prevailed in 2020 because people with integrity on both sides of the aisle did the right thing,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said in a statement to the Michigan Advance. “It will only prevail in 2022 and beyond if we continue the work of building a nonpartisan, pro-democracy coalition committed to following the rule of law and upholding the will of the people.”

On Dec. 2, 2020, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was invited to take over the GOP-led Michigan House Oversight Committee hearing and air unfounded allegations of election fraud. Before the committee meeting, Giuliani had appeared on a Zoom call with then-Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox to urge lawmakers to appoint pro-Trump electors.

“You have state legislators who are so frightened that they have a hard time focusing on it,” Giuliani said at the time. “You have got to get them to remember that their oath to the Constitution sometimes requires being criticized. Sometimes it even requires being threatened.”

Michigan Senate Oversight Committee Chair Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) was on a call with Giuliani, Trump attorney John Eastman — author of the Eastman Memo, a blueprint for Trump seizing power — and hundreds of other Republican lawmakers days before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Advance reported last year, in which they were encouraged to decertify the election results.

McBroom said at the time that he did not hear evidence of significant voter fraud that could change the outcome of the election. Later in 2021, the Senate Oversight Committee that he chairs released a 35-page report concluding there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud and debunking several 2020 election conspiracy theories.

A majority of the Republican caucus in the Michigan Senate signed a letter asking Congress to examine unfounded allegations of voter fraud, though an earlier version of the letter asked to delay the electoral vote count beyond Jan. 6.

Eleven Republican members of the Michigan House of Representatives also signed onto a letter to former Vice President Mike Pence asking him to delay certification.

Trump reportedly also had considered the possibility of having the Department of Justice or the military seize the voting machines.

Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock said in January that the Trump campaign directed the operation to have 16 fake Electoral College delegates submit a certificate declaring Trump the winner of Michigan’s electoral votes in December 2020.

In a Dec. 9 memo obtained by the New York Times, the effort in Michigan was deemed “slightly problematic” due to a requirement in state law that electors meet in the Michigan Senate chamber, which the memo suggested “could be a bit awkward.”

As a solution, the memo recommended the false electors meet in the Senate’s public gallery, since they would not be able to get onto the floor.

However, the fake slate of electors was blocked from entering the Capitol by law enforcement, as the building was closed to the public due to security concerns.

Maddock, who is married to state Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford), was one of the 16 false GOP electors. Despite not being allowed to enter the Capitol, Maddock and 15 others still signed the documents falsely claiming that Trump won the state’s electoral votes, which was then sent to the office of Pence, Benson, the national archivist in Washington, D.C., and the chief judge of the western district of Michigan.

Other signatories were: Hank Choate, Rose Rook, Mayra Rodriguez, Clifford Frost, John Haggard, Kent Vanderwood, Timothy King, Michele Lundgren, Marian Sheridan and Mari-Ann Henry. Two of the GOP delegates didn’t show up and were replaced. James Renner replaced Gerald Wall and Ken Thompson replaced former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.