“Lansing hates us,…the People love us!!!”

1 day ago

Your Defending Fathers

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Trump Praises: "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Your Defending Fathers

Question? What if Joe Biden doesn't turn out to be the nominee for the Democrats in 2020,...then President Trump didn't ask that his political opponent be investigated,....but simply the former Vice President of the United States of America and his son, be investigated for corruption!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Your Defending Fathers

TONIGHT,...Tuesday Dec. 3rd at 7:00 PM!!!

Join us on a conference call by calling; 712.770.8002
Then enter the PIN/Code #; 605097 #

Leadership of the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition will be giving us an update on the petition drive and answer your questions!!!Please share with all your friends in Emmet County!
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Looking forward to interviewing the candidates running to replace U.S. Congressman - Justin Amash to represent the 3rd Congressional District of Michigan, on tomorrow's Monday, December 2, 2019 show starting at 10:15 am. Then driving down to Grand Rapids to assist the moderator of their debate starting at 7 pm,...going to be a fun filled day!!! Listen on 97.7 FM - WCHY in Cheboygan or online at; www.yourdefendingfathers.com ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Your Defending Fathers

Northern Michigan,...ENJOY the Super Hits of the 60's, 70's. MoTown and the Roots of Rock & Roll,...with a few Christmas Songs,...ALL WEEKEND LONG!!! 97.7 FM - WCHY, Cheboygan,...and online at; www.wchy.us ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Your Defending Fathers

Please Share!!!Please share with all your friends in Emmet County! ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

Gaylord, Onaway, Rogers City, Charlevoix County, Petoskey,
Charlevoix County, Petoskey, Cheboygan, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Kinross almost to SSM can enjoy the "Super Hits" this weekend on
97.7 FM!!!

Everbody else can listen online at; www.wchy.us
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2 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

Our morning show host - Steve Gruber Show conducted an interview with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, and it will air on our station, Thursday, Nov. 21st, 2019 at 7:30 am. Be sure to tune in and hear this great interview!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

Get your 97.7 FM - WCHY, Cheboygan T-Shirt today!!!

Go to my show's website;

Click on the Donate button, and donate $20 for the Pre-Shrunk T-Shirt plus $5 for shipping ($25 total) and we will ship it directly to your home or business address. Please put your size (S, M, L, XL, 2XL) in the Note box on PayPal.

Thanks for spreading the word and supporting our station!!!
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4 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

We had a power and internet outage this morning. Working to get the music back on 97.7 FM, but NO show for "Your Defending Fathers" this morning. We are working on the problem and hopefully will be back on tomorrow. Thanks for understanding and listening!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

The BEST College Football game today,...coming up at 3:30 pm on CBS!!!

FREE Your Defending Father's Coffee Cup to anyone who can chat message me the times our TWO (2) TV Commercials air during the game, here in Northern Michigan!!!
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4 weeks ago

Your Defending Fathers

Michigan State Senators go home til next week,...State Reps. gone til December 3rd, 2019!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 11-5-19; MIRS News Service

Gilchrist Letter Signals Potential Breakthrough In Negotiations

Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and legislative leaders may, at long last, have found their common ground in regards to the elongated back-and-forth over the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget.

Lt. Gov. Garlin GILCHRIST penned a letter today that reads Whitmer is open to allowing the Legislature to insert boilerplate provisions into budgets that would block the Governor from using her administrative board powers to move around money within departments.

This proposal appears to match legislation introduced last week by Rep. Shane HERNANDEZ (R-Port Huron) that would give the Legislature the power to block the Administrative Board transfers (See "Whitmer Offers To Undo 'Certain' Ad Board Transfers; Lawmakers Suggest 'All,'" 10/29/19).

The Gilchrist letter reads, that the Governor would support "Boilerplate language that would reflect the agreement not to use the state administrative board transfer powers, which the governor would agree to follow and not challenge."'

Whitmer would sign a message that would affirm this agreement. She'd also make it part of a negotiated target agreement that would be discussed at a joint press conference. She said she would rescind one or more of the state administrative board transfers.

"We were all sent here by our constituents to work together on their behalf and find pathways through any impasse," Gilchrist wrote. "I know this is possible."

Would Whitmer sign legislation making this agreement permanent, however?

Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5176 simply reads that the state Administrative Board has the authority to transfer money around within departments "unless otherwise provided by law," meaning a budget bill would block a transfer.

If Hernandez's Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 5176 is what Whitmer has in mind or can be amended to reflect what she has in mind (a possible sunset?), it could signal a significant breakthrough in the standoff between the two. Whitmer meets with House Speaker Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-ClarkLake) Tuesday.
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1 month ago

Your Defending Fathers

I've been saying the exact same things on my radio show,...just never sat down and put them in writing,...thank you Jason!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Your Defending Fathers

Today's (Wednesday) noon press conference will be streamed live on the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition's Facebook page:


Be sure to tune in!
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1 month ago

Your Defending Fathers

AMEN Bob Cushman,...great sign!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Your Defending Fathers

Live: President Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ... See MoreSee Less

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3rd hour discussion today Wednesday, 10-23-19;
MIRS News Service

Shirkey, Chatfield Working With VNP On Term-Limit Expansion

Michigan's legislative leaders are working on a legislative term-limit expansion deal with Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots organization that brought the state the new redistricting commission, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The conceptual plan, which won't be finalized until December, would be that lawmakers could serve a combined 20 years in both the House and Senate before they would be broomed from office.

The length of the combined years is still flexible and would be based on what future polling looks like. As part of the arrangement, House Speaker Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake) would add other ethics reform measure into the mix that VNP members are passionate about.

Other questions on whether the expansion would include currently serving or past members also needs to be fleshed out. Legislative leaders are conscious about not wanting the proposal to appear to be self-serving, but they also don't to run into any legal problems of excluding a certain group of people from the expanded restriction.

Reforms VNP have been interested in pursuing include lame-duck reform, ending the "revolving door" of legislators becoming lobbyists and expanding the Freedom of Information Act to legislators and the executive branch.

"The Senate Majority Leader has a known interest in addressing the issue of term limits and the fact that they have been a failed experiment," said Shirkey spokesperson Amber McCANN. "He and the Speaker have found a willing partner in VNP. They have some reforms that they would like to pursue in conjunction with the issue of term limits changes. We have found some common ground and are moving forward with that consensus."

Shirkey and Chatfield briefed their respective legislative chambers on the development today.

"I have always prioritized greater government transparency, accountability and efficiency," Chatfield said. "I'm glad to be partnering with anyone who is willing to come to the table and work together on a real, responsible plan to make state government better for the people of Michigan."

Reached for comment, Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Rich STUDLEY told MIRS that, yes, there have been recent discussions with "traditional and non-traditional partners" as well as legislators about seeing what proposals the Legislature could enact to strengthen state government and transparency.

While there is no "agreement or proposal," just yet, Studley said the Chamber is open to discussions. The thinking is if those proposals are enacted, it might give the public more confidence and allow the door to be cracked on reforming term limits -- something Studley noted the Chamber has been discussing on and off for years.

In 1992, Michigan voters passed a constitutional amendment that limits Michigan residents to being elected to three two-year terms in the state House and two four-year terms in the state Senate.

A change to the Constitution would require a vote of the people. To put a term-limits amendment on the ballot, the Legislature could either pass a joint concurrent resolution with a two-thirds vote majority or VNP would need to collect 425,059 valid Michigan voter signatures within a six-month window.

To get the amendment on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot, the signatures would need to be turned in by July 6, 2020.

Today's breakthrough is substantial. Former House Speaker Rick JOHNSON and former Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE are among the many state leaders who have talked about expanding the six-year limitation in the House and eight-year limitation in the Senate.

Each time, however, the proposal collapsed on its weight as internal polls showed any term-limits expansion effort would fail. According to Patrick ANDERSON, CEO of the Anderson Economic Group, who worked for the original term-limits proposal in 1992, the same would happen with this proposal if it ever got off the ground.

All the focus groups and polls in the world won't produce a "faux-populist," "pushmi-pullyu" proposal that would fool the voters, he said.

"The legislature, VNP and the Michigan Chamber all coming together. What could go wrong?" Anderson chuckled. "This is more like a concept for a game show than a plan for government. How are we going to explain this to our kids? And exactly who thought that keeping legislators in office for two decades was a plan for ‘transparency?’"

The efforts have continuously fallen apart amid poor polling data. Working with Voters Not Politicians, who successfully pushed through a petition drive in 2018 to create a new citizen redistricting commission, gives legislative leaders a popular ally to help make reforms.

VNP Executive Director Nancy WANG said earlier this summer that her members were putting together "good government, pro-democracy reforms" for a potential petition drive in 2020 or 2022. Reforming term limits -- either extending or eliminating them -- was among the ideas on the table (See "VNP 'Actively Looking' At Term Limits For Possible Ballot Drive," 7/12/19).

"Today, she said, Voters Not Politicians is committed to advancing reforms that will make our government more transparent and accountable to the people, including ending the revolving door, term limits, opening the Legislature and governor to FOIA, and ethics reforms all aimed at restoring Michigan voters’ faith in our state and democracy.

"We have spoken with many groups, including some lawmakers, who could move these reforms forward, and we will consider taking them to the ballot should that be necessary."

Fifteen states have legislative term limits and only Arkansas has terms as restrictive as Michigan's. California's term limits were modified in 2012 to a 12-year cumulative total, in either or both chambers.
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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 10-23-19;
MIRS News Service

60% Tell State 'We Have Enough To Fix Roads'

Sixty percent of likely Michigan voters say the state has enough in its coffers to fix the roads while 30% agree with Gov. Gretchen WHITMER that a revenue increase is needed, according to a Denno Research poll released today.

The Governor has argued that $2.5 billion in additional annual revenue is needed to move the state's roads into good condition over a period of time.

The voters also were asked what one piece of advice they would give a graduating high school senior. The plurality picked the option that the young person should earn a certificate for a skilled trade. Another 28% said the teenager should go to a community college. Only 23% would urge the graduate to go to a four-year university.

A final 5% said the youngster should immediately enter the workforce with the possibility of going to school later.

On another question, 87% said they would encourage blue-collar jobs while 8% would discourage them.

This same poll, conducted in conjunction with Vanguard Public Affairs and Public Sector Consulting, showed U.S. Sen. Gary PETERS (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Republican candidate John JAMES at 39.5% to 39.3% in a head-to-head matchup. In their last survey in May, Peters was up by 5 percentage points, 42% to 37%.

The Michigan voters also were asked to gauge how Gov. Gretchen WHITMER is doing on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best. A total of 26% gave her a 4 or 5. Another 33% gave her a 1 or 2.

President Donald TRUMP was given a 4 or 5 by 39% and a 1 or 2 by 45%.

In the Democratic presidential primary, former Vice President Joe BIDEN continued to lead among likely Democratic voters by 4 points over U.S. Sen. Elizabeth WARREN 27%-23%. U.S. Sen. Bernie SANDERS, who won the Democratic primary in 2016, comes in third at 12%. Tied at 4% are U.S. Sen. Kamala HARRIS and South Bend Mayor Pete BUTTIGIEG.
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

3rd hour discussion today, Tuesday 10-22-19;

Rick Warzywak with the Michigan Heartbeat Bill Coalition joined the show to update us on their efforts and to invite folks to join in on a phone conference call tomorrow morning at 8:30 am with State Senator - Ed McBroom;

The call in phone number; 712.770.8002 PIN#; 605097
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

2nd hour discussion today, Tuesday 10-22-19;

Ken Borton joined us to talk about the impact Gov. Whitmer's veto of the state budget (as sent to her by the Republicans in the House and Senate), on our local counties.

Also, Ken mentioned his fundraiser event for his election campaign to be elected the next State Representative for the 105th House District (Triston Cole is term limited out next year, 2020) which covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.

His event is this Thursday, 10-24-19 at 5:30 pm at BJ's in Gaylord on Old 27. You can register/RSVP at his campaign website at; kenborton.com
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

PUBLIC WELCOME - Antrim County Conservative Union - Come Join Us!!!
October's Monthly Meeting - TOMORROW NIGHT, (3rd Monday)
October 21st, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm in Bellaire, at the Forest Home Township Hall - 321 N. Bridge Street, Bellaire;

Click on the link below for the agenda, driving directions;

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3rd hour discussion today, Friday, 10-18-19; MIRS News

State To Take Public Assistance Clients At Their Word On Assets

Starting next month, people can have more in the bank account and still be eligible for food and other public assistance, Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today.

Whitmer, together with DHHS Director Robert GORDON at a press conference at the Greater Lansing Food Bank, announced $15,000 would be the asset limit for three assistance programs: food assistance, the family independence program and the state emergency relief program. The changes take effect Nov. 1.

DHHS also plans to switch from requiring applicants to document their assets to having them file a statement of their assets, essentially taking people at their word unless there's a reason to question them, Gordon said. That would bring Michigan in line with other states allowing people to self-report their assets, he said.

Currently, the asset limit on food assistance is $5,000. For the family independence program, it's $3,000. And for state emergency relief, it's $500, although DHHS noted it was $50 when Whitmer took office before bumping it up.

Both Whitmer and Gordon said Michigan's asset tests are among the strictest in the nation. According to the Governor's office, 34 states have no asset test for food assistance. Michigan is required by state law to have an asset test, but is allowed to dictate what that is.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan said the state will no longer be punishing the poor, "but now will help our working families and seniors, along with their children and grandchildren, build wealth rather than force them to spend their savings down to abject poverty levels before we would offer assistance."

The family independence program provides cash assistance to families with children, and the state emergency relief program provides immediate help to people facing conditions of extreme hardship or for emergencies threatening health and safety, according to the DHHS.

The requirements for lower income won't change for these programs -- food assistance and state emergency relief call for people to be making a certain amount below the federal poverty level -- but the policy change announced today allows people to have bigger bank accounts to qualify for assistance.

Gordon gave a few examples where the state would force a cash-strapped family to drain a savings account before receiving assistance under the current requirements. For instance, if a family were facing a $100 heating bill and had $150 in the bank, the state would've required the $150 be used first toward the bill.

"There's a long history of making it as hard as possible to get help from our agency," he said.

Also as part of the changes today, the state will not count vehicles toward the asset limit for the food assistance program. Gordon said it takes a lot of work to figure out the value of vehicles and that it slows down the process.

Gordon said he didn't fear an increase in fraud as a result of allowing people to self-report their assets, as there would still be some "back-end" investigation. He also said the DHHS can still request documents when they feel it's needed.

"Right now, if somebody wants to lie, they can lie . . . if you've got a million dollar account, we don't go looking," he said, adding later that many honest people will run around to verify what they have in their bank accounts.

"I think a better system is to say, that in general, for most people who are trying to do the right thing, we will take their word," Gordon said.

He said documentation would be required if people are reporting assets over $10,000, as well as in cases where people previously applied and were over the limit, and then came back and reapplied, "so then we think maybe they're not being honest," he said.

Gordon also said if President Donald TRUMP's administration gets its way on proposed changes to food assistance, what Michigan did to asset limits would snap back, as the federal proposal would take away states' abilities to adopt less restrictive asset limits. But Gordon is expecting those rule changes to take a while to process and could get mired in litigation, as well.

Gordon didn't have projections on how many more people would be eligible based on the new asset limits. He said the DHHS expected the biggest bump to come in the food assistance program, and that's entirely funded by the feds. In the other programs that do require some state funding, he's expecting only "meaningful but modest" increases in caseloads.

The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) called the state's move "significant" in counteracting Michigan policymakers "perpetuating stereotypes and creating unnecessary barriers to services and basic needs for struggling residents," as the state's asset tests have made "it harder for residents and families to utilize benefits and outright punishing families for sound financial management and savings-building."

The Center for Civil Justice predicted the changes would result in less food insecure adults and children, as the state ranks as the 14th highest food insecure state and has more than 338,000 food-insecure children, according to a press release today.

And Progress Michigan said the asset limit change "will have a direct, positive impact in the lives of working people across Michigan."
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2 months ago

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Murphy's Law,...wouldn't you know it!!!??? 1st vacation in 7 years and our studio back in Michigan lost power and needs me there to reset our computers, firewall and routers which I can't do until this weekend.

We are in Kentucky and my Engineers can't reset anything until I get back to manually turn off our security system and manually reset everything.

No Show today or tomorrow,...thanks for your understanding everyone!!! Please share and let everyone know. Thanks!!!
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A tribute to our truly Conservative Patriot Brother,...Norm Hughes.

"I guess it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you,...it's what you leave behind you when you go"!!!

May your family Norm, and We the People of the great State of Michigan take the time to listen to this song and know all the sacrifices you made for us to enrich our lives and our State.

Thank you, Brother, Rest in Peace with our Father in Heaven!!!

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3rd hour discussion today, Wednesday, 10-2-19; Per Shane Trejo - Liberty Conservatives of Michigan;

Patriots,...CALL TO ACTION,...TODAY!!!

The Republicans in Lansing are screwing us again! They are getting ready to push through a re-packaged gas tax.

Just like they passed the last one in 2015, under Governor Rick Snyder.

Freshman State Rep. Jack O’Malley (the next Arlan Meekhof in training) is leading this new round of armed robbery against the unsuspecting taxpayer. O’Malley’s bills would be a nightmare that would create little swamps in every county around the state devising ways to defraud you out of your hard-earned cash!

We need to ring the phones of the transportation committee off the hook to defeat the following three bills that will ultimately lead to higher fuel taxes.

The three rotten bills are:

House Bill 4963 (HB4963), which would empower counties to make ballot initiatives to increase gas taxes.

House Bill 4964 (HB4964), which would empower counties to create ballot initiatives to hike vehicle registration fees.

House Bill 4972 (HB4972), which would allow state bureaucrats to increase license plate taxes for vehicles that get a lower miles-per-gallon rating. It would also permit Regional Transit Authorities to hike registration fees.

Call every member of the House Transportation Committee and demand that they reject HB4963, HB4964, and HB4972. If they are your state rep, tell them they will lose your vote if they approve these abominable bills.

Jack O’Malley (R) Committee Chair, 101st District –
(517) 373-0825
Gary Eisen (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 81st District –
(517) 373-1790
Triston Cole (R), 105th District – 517-373-0829
Jason Sheppard (R), 56th District – 517-373-2617
Julie Alexander (R), 64th District – (517) 373-1795
Joseph Bellino (R), 17th District – (517) 373-1530
Gary Howell (R), 82nd District – 517-373-1800
Lynn Afendoulis (R), 73rd District – (517) 373-0218
Tim Sneller (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 50 District – 517-373-3906
Cara Clemente (D), 14th District – 517-373-0140
Tenisha Yancey (D), 1st District – 517-373-0154
Jim Haadsma (D), 62nd District – 517-373-0555
Nate Shannon (D), 25th District – 517-373-2275

Call House Speaker Lee Chatfield at 517-373-2629 and tell him he must not move these bills forward to a House vote under any circumstances.

Also, give Reps. O’Malley, Howell and Afendoulis a brutal tongue-lashing for sponsoring some of these awful bills. Let them know we are taxed enough already, and this backdoor gas tax hike must not stand!

While you’re at it, call your state house rep and state senator and urge them to vote against HB4963, HB4964, and HB4972 as well. Tell them your vote for their re-election depends upon them opposing all gas tax hikes, whether they are these three bills or any other ones!

Please share my blog on RightMi.com via email, social media, and wherever else to get the word out about how to defeat this abomination.

Shane Trejo
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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

James Robison: God Is Using Trump to Usher in 'The Greatest Spiritual Awakening in History' ... See MoreSee Less

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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 9-25-19; MIRS News Service

Shirkey Warns Of 'Fractured' Relationship If Whitmer Rewrites Budgets

The state Supreme Court case was titled Dodak vs. Engler.

When the dust settled, then-Republican Gov. John ENGLER emerged with the power to use the state administrative board to move around money within the department budgets that legislative Democrats gave him and there was nothing they could do about it.

Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake) said he is fully aware that the current Governor can do the same thing. In fact, Shirkey confirmed he talked to Engler about this.

"She could rewrite those budgets using that power," he said. "She has the latitude to do that."

Don't just take his word for it. Attorney Steve LIEDEL took to Twitter on Tuesday to educate his followers on a 2009 Senate Fiscal Agency paper written by late Director Gary OLSON on this subject.

Gov. Gretchen WHITMER has not tipped her hand on whether she will go there, but Sen. Curtis HERTEL, Jr. (D-East Lansing) also confirmed this option, telling MIRS, "That's exactly what the constitution gives her the power to do."

In an interview inside his office today, the Senate leader reflected on the consequences of using that obscure power or as he put it, "pulling the string of the administrative board."

"I don't know if that would be the most prudent thing to do," he began.

"What would be imprudent about that?" he was asked.

"Because I think that would create other concerns within our negotiations going forward."

"Meaning what?"

"I'm going to leave that unaddressed in this interview," he deflected the inquiry.

But when pressed, he finished with this analysis, "The Legislature, at the end of the day, decides how to spend money so you can take that anywhere you want to (while adding) there is no interest in fragmenting or fracturing our relationship going forward. We have a lot of work to do for the next three years."

On the Governor's other budget options, he does not foresee a wholesale veto of entire budgets that could produce some departmental shutdowns.

"There is no reason for a government shutdown," he said and he's not anticipating that action from her. However on line item vetoes, "I would not be surprised," and if there are some, he said he promises to work with her to resolve their differences.

"If she vetoes a few items, we put them into a bucket that I call a future supplemental and we're back at the table negotiating again."

He promised that she would have all the budgets within the next 24 to 36 hours, which fails to meet her original request to have them two weeks before the Oct. 1 deadline.
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3rd hour discussion today, Wednesday 9-25-19;

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2 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

It's TOTALLY OK for "President" Hillary Clinton to fund a TOTALLY FAKE BS dossier against Donald Trump, which led to a TWO (2) year, over $30 Million Taxpayer dollars to fund an investigation into a FAKE Trump-Russia coordinated effort to help him win in 2016, which found NO WRONGDOING BY candidate or President Donald Trump!!!

But it is TOTALLY WRONG for Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son, over something HE ACTUALLY DID!!!???

NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd needs to put a disclaimer at the beginning of their show;

"This is NOT a truthful reporting News show, but a TOTALLY biased opinionated show to fully support the Communist Party's endorsed candidates, including those in the Democratic Party here in the United States of America".
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3 months ago

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As of tomorrow, Friday, September 20, 2019 at 9:00 am - Noon "Your Defending Fathers" with "Trucker Randy" will be airing on WCHY - 97.7 FM from Cheboygan!!! A new music format will also being airing after the show; "The Super Hits of the 60's, 70's, MoTown and the Roots of Rock and Roll"!!!
Sing along and Share with everyone in Northern Michigan!!!
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

3rd hour yesterday and the 1st hour today, Thursday 9-19-19;

RIP, GARY! We finally have a face for Gary J Willis after multiple failed attempts to get it from the police and coroner. Thanks to his family for posting his image online so we can finally properly honor his life. Gary is the first victim of the Democrat’s anti-constitutional “red flag” gun grab law.

On the morning of Nov 5, 2018, armed police showed up at Gary’s house at 5:30 in the morning, banging on his door, demanding he hand over his guns because someone called and told them he was unstable. Gary refused to comply and was shot in the chest and killed in his doorway.

Police said Gary was shot because he “became irate and resisted,” (saying he grabbed his gun), but I wonder what kind of man WOULDN’T become irate and resist government tyranny like this?!

Gary was not even accused of a crime. He was shot and killed like an animal in his own living room because he resisted government tyranny and would not surrender his gun. IMO his civil rights were violated.

This case should’ve never been swept under the rug. Sadly the NRA has not promoted it because (presumably) they don’t want to piss off the police unions. But we can. Let this man’s death not be in vain. Spread this far and wide. Red flag gun grabs must be repealed.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry


PS: This is not an anti-cop post, this is an anti-government tyranny post.

Gary’s obit: www.finkfh.com/notices/Gary-Willis

Original story: www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-aa-shooting-20181105-story.htmlRIP, GARY! We finally have a face for Gary J Willis after multiple failed attempts to get it from the police and coroner. Thanks to his family for posting his image online so we can finally properly honor his life. Gary is the first victim of the Democrat’s anti constitutional “red flag” gun grab law. On the morning of Nov 5, 2018, armed police showed up at Gary’s house at 5:30 in the morning, banging on his door, demanding he hand over his guns because someone called and told them he was unstable. Gary refused to comply and was shot in the chest and killed in his doorway. Police said Gary was shot because he “became irate and resisted,” (saying he grabbed his gun), but I wonder what kind of man WOULDN’T become irate and resist government tyranny like this?! Gary was not even accused of a crime. He was shot and killed like an animal in his own living room because he resisted government tyranny and would not surrender his gun. IMO his civil rights were violated. This case should’ve never been swept under the rug. Sadly the NRA has not promoted it because (presumably) they don’t want to piss off the police unions. But we can. Let this man’s death not be in vain. Spread this far and wide. Red flag gun grabs must be repealed.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry


PS: This is not an anti cop post, this is an anti government tyranny post.

Gary’s obit: www.finkfh.com/notices/Gary-Willis

Orig story: www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-aa-shooting-20181105-story.html
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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas ~ Heat Wave (1963) ... See MoreSee Less

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3 months ago

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Runaround Sue ... See MoreSee Less

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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

Rescue Me - Fontella Bass (1965) (HD Quality) ... See MoreSee Less

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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

What The World Needs Now Is Love Jackie DeShannon STEREO ReMix HiQ Hybrid JARichardsFilm 720p ... See MoreSee Less

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3 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 9-12-19;
MIRS News Service

Budget Negotiations Break Down Over Road Funding

They're not even supposed to be talking about road funding. Yet, budget negotiations between legislative leaders and Gov. Gretchen WHITMER smacked into a pothole after the two sides couldn't agree how much to put in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget for roads.

Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake) wants to throw another $500 million into road improvements, but Whitmer doesn't want to go over what is statutorily required -- another $130 million as required under the 2015 road package.

She wants to pass next year's budget today and address long-term road funding dollars tomorrow.

The two sides tried to narrow the gap today during negotiations, but after getting to a difference of about $150 million, things fell apart, a source told MIRS

The House and Senate are scheduled to hold joint House-Senate conference committees on six budgets -- Higher Education, Community Colleges, School Aid, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality and State Police -- Thursday afternoon. Another slate of conference committees is slated for next Thursday.

FY 2020 starts in 20 days, Oct. 1.

Shirkey was the first to issue a statement on the development.

"Our sincere efforts to reach consensus on budget targets came to an abrupt end when my governor ended negotiations this afternoon," Shirkey said in the news release. "A negotiation must include parties that put forth genuine effort to compromise and reach consensus. We could not have predicted that our talks would break down over my governor wanting less money to fix the roads, but in the end, we could not accommodate her position.

"As a result, the Senate will proceed with conference committees as scheduled. Our budget will include $500 million more for roads, without raising taxes," Shirkey continued. "We are building upon the promise we made to taxpayers to find money within our existing budget to fund one of our major priorities: roads."

Later, Whitmer issued a statement of her own:

"Let's be very clear. Republicans wasted two months by going on vacation this summer instead of staying in Lansing to negotiate," the Governor said. "That's the only reason we don't have a budget right now. After months of inaction, the best plan they could come up with would steal money from other priorities and doesn't fix the roads.

"This status quo budgeting will only keep our roads the worst in the nation and our schools at the back of the pack. It's not a real solution, and it won't solve the crises our state is facing in education and infrastructure. Our citizens expect government to function, and I remain committed to doing that despite continued Republican actions to the contrary."

The breakdown came just two days after Whitmer made a major concession to Republicans by agreeing to tackle the budget and long-term road funding separately (See "Governor Puts Road Funding Talks On Blocks," 9/9/19).

But on Tuesday and today, the Republicans continued to move forward with work on their own budget and kept saying that: "if negotiations were unsuccessful, they'd send their version to Whitmer in order to meet the constitutional deadline" (See "Stamas Suggests GOP Budget Could Be Used In A Pinch," 9/10/19).

Meanwhile, Whitmer and legislative Democrats were urging the Republicans to hold-off working on their own budget and concentrate on negotiating with the administration.

This morning reporters asked Shirkey about Whitmer wanting Thursday's conference committees, on the points of difference between the House and Senate cancelled.

"You know as well as anybody does that this is a very fluid process," Shirkey said. "We're leaving the conference committees scheduled for tomorrow, but -- who knows -- it could change. It's just a very fluid process. We are talking. That's a very good thing; we are talking."

Perhaps ironically, one of the questions reporters asked Shirkey was if he thought accelerating the road dollars from the 2015 plan should still be part of the budget.

"We should always put as much money as we can in something that's the highest priority for Michigan," Shirkey said. "I think right now we've got a pretty good, broad agreement that 'roads' is such. We've been doing it for a long time, and I think we should continue to do it when we have the ability to do so."

Shirkey's statement on the negotiations breaking down, also included the following about the GOP budget:

"We will increase funding for schools nearly $400 million over current year spending; increasing per pupil funding between $120-$240," he said. "Our budget will include $120 million in drinking water protections and increased funds for public safety to support 85 new state troopers in Michigan.

"The Senate, with our partners in the House, will deliver a budget on time. It is unfortunate that the administration is no longer willing to be part of the budget process, but it will not deter us from funding taxpayer priorities and delivering a sound fiscal plan for Michigan."

Earlier in the day, Whitmer told reporters that until her Budget Office has agreed with target agreements with her administration, the conference committees slated for Thursday should be put on hold.

"Everybody is asking me what about those conference committees. We're in on-going conversations and we are willing to pull them back if progress is being made so the meetings continue," he said.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Shane HERNANDEZ (R-Port Huron) issued a statement this evening that the Legislature is moving ahead with conference committees after Whitmer "spent all summer demanding a $2.5 billion tax increase on Michigan drivers, but now she insists our new budget plan invest no additional money toward roads at all.

"Her position doesn't make any sense."

Hernandez said in order to make sure state government stays open and remains efficient, they are moving forward with a budget plan now.

"The time for humoring nursery room political games is over," said House Majority Floor Leader Triston COLE (R-Mancelona).

The Governor tells reporters she never wanted to shut the government down as some Republican have alleged, but she said, "There was a contractual and ethical" reason for setting the shutdown wheels in motion. "Trust me. I never wanted to shut government down" but, just in case, she reported she had to take these steps.

"We're going to be prepared," she said.
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3 months ago

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3rd hour discussion today, Tuesday 9-3-19; ... See MoreSee Less

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1st hour discussion today, Thursday 8-29-19;
MIRS News Service

Leaders Agree To Meet Soon After More Barbs Fly

After checking out from a full day of heated rhetoric over putting more road funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget, Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake) agreed they would restart negotiations as soon as Thursday.

Much like the old Sam the Sheepdog/Ralph Wolf cartoon, Whitmer and Shirkey clocked out this evening from a full day of base-appealing political posturing and agreed to meet to resolve the current impasse as soon as schedules allowed.

The development comes amid rumors that Senate Republicans may introduce Whitmer's 45-cent-a-gallon gas tax, hold it up for a vote and shoot it down. Shirkey said late tonight no such bill would be introduced Thursday.

Of course, any new bill needs to wait five days before it could be acted on. But the mere existence of such legislation creates the temptation for annoyed Republicans to throw it up on the board to watch it fail.

Despite some banter to that effect earlier today, that isn't happening, a key source told MIRS tonight.

So, while Whitmer, Shirkey and House Speaker Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering) were strong in re-staking out their respective positions today, none of the three broke the glass and violated the confidentiality of their closed-door meetings. Their comments didn't get personal or crossed any line that would seem to have set back negotiations.

In fact, in the midst of today's competing comments, Senate Minority Leader Jim ANANICH (D-Flint) told reporters he wasn't particularly worried about a government shutdown, even though the next fiscal year doesn't start for another 34 days.

"I'm an eternal optimist - until I need not to be," Ananich said. "I think we are a ways off on concepts, but I think we can be the adults in the room and sit down and figure out a way to get an equitable deal that solves it long-term and also makes sure we can have a budget we can agree on and get it done. So, I'm not in a place where I'm that worried."

To the folks at home, though, the words coming from the Governor's 10 a.m. press conference and the responding statements from Shirkey and Chatfield might make you wonder.

What Whitmer Said

Whitmer chastised Republican leaders at the well-attended press conference for not bringing new revenue to the table when discussing how to fix the "damn roads."

She took off the table a proposal to extend teacher retirement payments into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System, or MPSERS, but didn't close the door on extending the sales taxes to services.

"I'm not going to sign a budget that does not include a real fix," Whitmer said. "My hope is that the Republican Legislature, who has had this budget for six months, is going to get serious about putting a viable alternative on the table."

Whitmer did not say the Republicans were not negotiating in good faith. She also was careful not to single out specific ideas that weren't "legitimate." Instead, she challenged reporters to ask Republican leaders to show the public their plan as opposed to relying on "rumors" of "snippets" on what they are offering.

Other than answering a direct question on bonding against the teacher retirement system or extending the teacher retirement payments, Whitmer declined multiple attempts by reporters to find out what the Republicans' menu of ideas were that were presented on Thursday.

"It's the same reason Rick SNYDER rejected those ideas. They're fiscally bad ideas. It's taking money out of education to fill potholes. It's not a real solution," she said.

"A legitimate alternative is bringing new revenue to the conversation about how we meet our infrastructure needs," she said. "It can't be at the expense of our education system and our kids or our pensioners, who have worked so hard on the front line."

Whitmer went through four specific examples of bridges that are on the verge of being shutdown or are in such bad repair that they are creating significant and costly detours -- including examples from Dearborn, Ferrysberg and Charlevoix.

"I did not create this problem, it's decades in the making, but I'm dedicated to fixing it," she told reporters.

When asked if residents are excited about paying 45 cents more a gallon in gasoline, Whitmer said, "I don't want to pay a higher gas tax either. I don't want a chunk of concrete flying though my windshield either."

On a report that she was willing to scale back her request for $2.5 billion in new revenue to $1.8 billion, Whitmer said the reporter misunderstood a statement she made and that her desire for $2.5 billion in new revenue stands.

What Shirkey Said

About an hour later, Shirkey accused Whitmer of having "fabricated a crisis" today regarding the state budget and the road funding issue. His assertions were made in a statement to reporters prior to this morning's post-Senate session Q&A scrum with the news media.

"There is no budget crisis," Shirkey insisted. "This is a fabricated crisis by my Governor to try to tie in roads to the budget, which I agreed to try to do at the beginning of the year; and, as we progressed, I said 'I think we should separate the two. But, in the spirit of cooperation we tried all through the summer. We provided multiple options for my Governor to entertain on road funding. All of which included material new revenue. After the revenue, they also included reprioritization of our current spending and a refinancing of certain state debt obligations."

Shirkey said it was "unacceptable" for Whitmer to take the idea of refinancing MPSERS out of the budget-road funding discussion.

"We cannot take MPSERS off the table in this negotiation," Shirkey stressed. "It will be only a matter of a couple of years before all School Aid growth will be absorbed by increases in the obligation of our current stream. So, there is no reason why we shouldn't try to solve two problems at once. Solve the problems with pension-funding and make sure it's secure and can be maintained for the duration -- and free up cash flow for what I believe is my colleagues' and my Governor's highest priority.

"We will supply a budget to the Governor," Shirkey continued. "It will have record spending both for education and additional funding for roads, some of which will be ongoing. But there will be no reason for a continuation budget conversation. She'll have the budget in plenty of time. It will include those elements plus others. It will be a very responsible budget that will have lots of elements that she will like. Then we'll see what happens after that."

"You're saying you'll be sending the Governor a budget without a deal?" a reporter asked.

"We're going to pivot now to work on both budget and roads," Shirkey responded. "I've committed to my Governor that we'll continue to talk. But so far, after four different proposals provided by the legislature all we've gotten from her is: 'unacceptable.' No negotiation – no retort – no offer for changes. So, all I can do now is say: 'I'm willing to continue to talk; but we have to pivot and also progress on a budget because the citizens of Michigan deserve the certainty of the budget being done.'"

"I can assure you there is no reason, other than the desire to create a crisis, for even contemplation of a government shutdown," Shirkey added. "This is going to be a very simple process of providing a budget. Our Approps chairs, in both the Senate and House, have worked out 97 to 98 percent of the differences between those chambers' budgets. Now, we're engaged with the Governor on providing a final budget."

A reporter asked Shirkey if he had placed a gas tax increase in front of the Governor.

"Every proposal that we have offered to the Governor has included new revenue," the Clarklake Republican replied. "Now, I have stopped short of providing how the new revenue was created because I want all the smartest people in the world to give us input on that, but yes the gas tax was part of that contemplation."

MIRS asked if the GOP-controlled Legislature's plan now is basically to send the Governor a budget and dare her to veto it?

"No, absolutely not," Shirkey said. "We're going to do both things. We're pivoting to focus on the budget, because again. . . there's no reason for the State of Michigan to entertain any kind of shutdown. In parallel to that we'll continue to work with my Governor and talk about – I guess - further ideas on roads but it'll have to go both ways. We'll have to get some response to the proposals we put out there."

What Chatfield Said

Then, shortly after noon, Chatfield said the state needs to continue negotiations on the budget, keeping all options on table but at the same time, "we need to keep peoples' household budgets on our priority list.

"We proved months ago that we can deliver a real roads solution that does not raise taxes on every driver in the state. We are calling on the Governor to continue budget negotiations and drop her insistence on a 45-cent gas tax. We cannot hold the budget hostage because of her desire to tax every driver in the state," Chatfield said.

Republicans have presented the Governor with an entire list of options that they believe "meets her in the middle," Chatfield said. But he also explained that he's agreed in those conversations to keep what all is on that list of options confidential.

Asked why by reporters in a scrum on the floor of the House just before session began today, Chatfield said, "You saw with auto no-fault and reducing car insurance rates, it worked because we were all at the table in confidence having good faith negotiations. We can do the exact same thing when it comes to roads, and I'm going to keep my word."

Chatfield said a government shutdown is not an option at this point.

"The Governor seems to be the only person eager to talk about a government shut down. We need to do all we can to continue working with her. That's why I am asking her to continue the budget process and not hold it hostage simply for her 45-cent gas tax," Chatfield said. ". . . The fact is, schools in our state need a budget. Local units of government in our state need a budget. The people of our state deserve a budget. And we need to continue working on that and to talk about roads. She is holding the budget process hostage because of our unwillingness to tax every driver in the state."

Chatfield reiterated his call to make sure every penny paid in taxes at the pump is going to roads.

"The fact is House Republicans showed several months ago that we can dedicate nearly $900 million more annually to our roads without raising taxes. In addition to that, we presented her with a menu of options that we feel can meet in the middle."
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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 8-27-19;

Recap of Ken Borton's campaign kick off event last night for the 105th House District seat in Gaylord, MI.

Please donate at his campaign's website; www.kenborton.com
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1st hour discussion today, Monday 8-26-19; You are invited, TONIGHT, Monday at 6 pm, at the Otsego Grand Event Center, 610 S. Wisconsin Ave., Gaylord, MI, for the rollout of the Ken Borton for State Representative campaign; ... See MoreSee Less

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3rd/Final Hour of “Your Defending Fathers “ with “Trucker Randy”,
Thursday 8-22-19;

Pray for MIchigan's Speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield,...TODAY!!!


The show can be heard LIVE 9 am - Noon, M-F (EST) AND 24/7 online at; www.yourdefendingfathers.com and on your cell phone/tablet via the TuneIn app (download the app and search for WYPV - "We're Your Patriot Voice")!!!
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1st hour discussion today, Wednesday 8-21-19;
MIRS News Service

Biz Community Keeping Tabs On Who Votes For More Road Money

Most of the state Senate returned to Lansing today for an update on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering on the state budget and additional road funding. The business community took the opportunity to turn up the heat.

With 40 days left until the next fiscal year, Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Rich STUDLEY told lawmakers during a morning press conference that it will be supporting those "who do the right thing" by voting in support of additional road dollars.

"Lawmakers who choose to support the status quo, lawmakers who say there is not a problem, lawmakers who are in favor of bad roads will have a lot of explaining to do back home in the district," Studley said.

Many other groups were at today's Lansing news conference to express "optimism and urgency" that legislators get the "job done sooner than later."

Studley was pressed whether a legislator's "no" vote on new road revenue will come back to haunt them come the next election. He declined to go there.

"No. We're not a one-trick pony. We always look at the entire voting record," the chamber head reported.

The head of Business Leaders for Michigan, Doug ROTHWELL, took a similar approach when asked the same question about punishing no votes.

"Probably not for that one issue," he answered when pressed. "We look at the whole record, but those who support roads also go along with the other things we support."

The leaders argue that good roads are good for their members, reflecting that time is money and time wasted out on bad roads is not good for business. Also participating in the news conference were Brad WILLIAMS from the Detroit Chamber, Andrew JOHNSON from the Grand Rapids Chamber and Monica ACKERSON from the Michigan Road Preservation Association. Standing with the business leaders was Lance BINONIEMI of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

On the reported 20-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike being floated out of the Senate Majority Leader's office (See "House GOP Kicks Around Shirkey Gas Tax Idea," 8/19/19), Rothwell told MIRS, "Anything that gets substantial new revenue is good. It moves us in a positive direction, but it's still not enough. We'll need more than that, but let's get started."

Senate Minority Leader Jim ANANICH (D-Flint) appeared less than joyful over the possibility of a 20-cent increase, saying, "There's no point in raising taxes just enough not to fix the problem . . . It's a starting point but the ending point may come quickly."

Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-ClarkLake) declined to talk about the 20-cent-a-gallon tax hike suggested to House Speaker Lee CHATFIELD (R-Levering).

Shirkey didn't talk to the media, in general, today. Rather, it was Sen. Wayne SCHMIDT (R-Traverse City), chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, who held court with reporters on the Senate floor after today's 34-minute session.

On the 20-cent-a-gallon gas tax idea, Schmidt said, "There are all sorts of things out there being discussed. We've got to make sure that, whatever we decide as a caucus working with the House and Governor, is going to have enough votes to pass -- and that's what we're working on. So, is it going to be a tax increase? Is it not going to be a tax increase? These are things that are all being discussed, but there's no specific plan out there."

Schmidt said his role in the process has been to give Shirkey information and to present the Leader with "good ideas – something that will have enough votes and that (Gov. Gretchen WHITMER) can sign."

While Senate Republicans did not offer a road funding plan that raised $2.5 billion in additional revenue like Whitmer's 45-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase, the Senate's FY 2020 budget shifted $132 million more for roads through the 2015 plan, Schmidt said.

"That's a really good start right there," Schmidt continued. "So, it just takes some time. We continue to negotiate. We're working. We're here."

The Senate is scheduled to be back in town next Wednesday and Thursday and could take some votes. But acting Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan LAUWERS (R-Brockway) today read in motions in such a way that gavel-in-gavel-out sessions next week is a possibility.
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1st hour discussion today Tuesday, 8-13-19;
MIRS News Service, Lansing, MI

James Advisor Says Poll Shows He Is In Dead Heat With Peters

Randy RICHARDVILLE is a close advisor to repeat GOP U.S. Senate candidate John JAMES and said this week he has "heard" of a poll declaring the race with the incumbent Democrat a dead heat.

"I think Washington is excited he is running again," the former state senate GOP leader told the Off the Record panel this week. James has been dubbed a rising star by some in the state Republican Party based in part on his coming closer than expected to unseating U.S. Sen. Debbie STABENOW (D-Delta Twp.) last year.

Richardville reports the poohbahs in the national GOP are looking at that as James reboots to take on Michigan’s junior Senator, U.S. Sen. Gary PETERS (D-Bloomfield Twp.).

D.C. is interested, "even though John lost a campaign. He lost to a 43-year government elected official, 24 years in the U.S. Senate. He got a lot of people's attention; he got crossover votes and independents."

One voting bloc he hoped to corral, he failed to get. James got only 9% of the African American vote in Detroit from whence he and his well-known businessman father reside.-Richardville figures a lot of that has to do with party loyalty to the Democrats.

Some also suggest James' full-throated embrace of President Donald TRUMP didn't help much either with the black community.

The president warmly endorsed the James candidacy and the candidate returned the favor, saying he was “2,000% and then 1,000%” behind the president. Interestingly, this time he has reduced the figure to 100%.

Advisor Richardville refused to bite when asked if his candidate should "ignore" the president.

"You are not going to put words in my mouth," he shot back with a chuckle, but he is suggesting some distance is needed between Trump and James.

"You need to establish yourself as John James, period, not as John James, Trump follower . . . (and) you are also going to have to stand up to him and say no."

Richardville concedes it is known that the president likes James and that the two agree with a lot of his policies, but he quickly adds, you "need to prove to us who John James is, not your relationship to Trump."

As for his rival, ”I like him and he is hard-working, but I don't think he has established himself with the statewide electorate."

Peters is traveling the state meeting the statewide electorate on his motorcycle and was in Grand Ledge Friday.
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4 months ago

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Get your tickets,...TODAY!!! Go to www.eventbrite.com and search for FUN in Central Lake, MI - Saturday, August 24th, 2019. We are going to have a BLAST,...COME JOIN US!!! ... See MoreSee Less

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2nd hour discussion today, Tuesday 8-6-19;
MIRS News Service

Schools & Roads Make Up 82% Of Money On Local Ballots Tuesday (today 8-6-19)

Of the 115 local tax proposals on the ballot across Michigan in Tuesday's election, there's one place where people can vote to approve a decreased tax.

In West Bloomfield Township, voters will be asked to approve a new, combined version of two previous public safety millages that will result in a 5.7306-mill tax, instead of the previously-combined 5.9878 mills spread across two levies.

Other than that, MIRS identified 74 renewal proposals and 40 asks for new money on ballots across the state. See the full spreadsheet here, and look for an updated version Tuesday after the election results.

Public safety measures led the way as far as the number of proposals, with 35 questions dealing with police, fire, EMS or ambulance services, or a combination of those.

After that, 24 school-related questions are up for a vote, as well as 19 roads-related proposals. Other services include ten general operations-related measures, and eight library questions.

The school proposals constitute $170 million in tax dollars at stake among the $330 million total being asked for across local governments, with some of the biggest individual asks coming from districts.

The Washtenaw ISD is requesting a $53.2 million bond from voters in Washtenaw, Jackson, Livingston, Monroe and Wayne counties – that's the biggest proposal in the state aside from Birmingham's $57.4 million bonding request for roads.

Other big-money requests include the Tri County Area Schools asking for a $37 million bond from voters in Kent, Montcalm and Newaygo counties, as well as the $35.2 million road bonding question in Meridian Township (See "We'll Fix The Roads Ourselves," 7/8/19).

There's $101.1 million in total funding at stake in the roads-related proposals, as well as $42.5 million in play related to public safety proposals.
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4 months ago

Your Defending Fathers

Democrats in U.S. Congress,... PLEASE Impeach President Trump!!!The Sixth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution regulates impeachment. If they impeach a sitting President in the House of Representatives, the Senate becomes the trial court and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court becomes the trial judge.
A President has the same rights as any other American citizen regarding the confrontation clause. Anyone who thinks the current President will just sit with his hands in his pockets and allow the Senate to try him without waging a legal war is in for a rude awakening.

Donald Trump, like him or loathe him, has no quit button. Impeachment is a criminal trial. In a criminal trial, the accused has the following rights: The right to a speedy and public trial, an impartial jury, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process power of obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel in his defense.
In the impeachment case of a President, a committee representing the entire Senate will hear the testimony and then refer the case to the full body, or drop the charges.

I suspect that President Trump would be delighted to have: James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Donna Brazille, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, and a gaggle of other witnesses appear under oath, under penalty of perjury in a public setting, and subject to questioning by his defense counsel. In any criminal proceeding, the accused has the absolute right to call any witness he chooses that may help his defense.
Can you imagine these folks sitting in a witness chair with no word engineered prepared statement to dazzle the uninformed? A Jay Sekulow or Trey Gowdy would grill them, with no five-minute time restriction. That would be worth the price of admission!

If the Senate tries President Trump, two things are certain. The accused will be one of the few Presidents in history who loves a good fight. And it will be the biggest spectacle ever seen in Washington, District of Corruption. As a sidebar, the Republicans control the Senate and they will determine the proceedings. I suspect they would be more than willing to allow most anything that will illuminate the underhanded dealings in the collusion mess. The sweet thing about all this is that the socialists couldn’t do anything but grind their teeth and squirm in their seats while they receive a merciless pounding.

All the aforementioned illuminates why the more intelligent Democrats don’t want to go down the impeachment avenue. It will become a can of worms that the socialists will wish they had never opened.

The most vocal people demanding the Trump impeachment are not the brightest bulbs on the political tree. Cortez, Waters, Jackson-Lee, and others who are demanding impeachment have room temperature intelligence quotients. The other thing they have in common is that they are in districts where a Democrat house cat could run and win. They can afford to reveal their stupidity without fear of reprisal.

Trump’s presidency, besides accomplishing many things, provides an entertainment factor. One thing is certain, this administration is never dull. Here, he would have a group of certifiable idiots to act as straight men and women for our entertainment. Presuming the impeachment fiasco is allowed to run its course, every person in America who has any level of interest will realize just how dirty and underhanded the Washington environment really is. And as a bonus, how the absence of truth was the hallmark of many accusations against Trump. The problem may be that the Republicans in the Senate don’t want the entire truth exposed any more than the socialists.

Grab some popcorn and an adult beverage,...the show may be about to begin.

Bill Shuey is a freelance writer in Buffalo, Wyoming.
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UPDATED STORY; MIRS News Service, Lansing, MI

Chatfield-Shirkey 'Close On Roads;' Legislature Not Coming Back Until Aug. 26

If you miss the House and Senate being in session, you'll be waiting about a few weeks longer.

Amber McCANN, press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-ClarkLake) announced today the Senate does not plan to resume session with attendance and voting until the week of Aug. 26.

Likewise, Senate Majority Floor Leader Triston COLE (R-Mancelona) said, "There really isn't a reason to come back without our partners across the rotunda."

By that point, the hope is that the system renovations in the Senate chambers will be complete and the upper body can meet in its regular room without having to hold session in the House chambers, which it has received permission to do.

Secretary of the Senate Margaret O'BRIEN said crews should be mostly completed by Sept. 3, but there will be some painting that still needs to be done in some construction zones.

"We are on track for construction," O'Brien said. "It's highly likely we will return to chamber in August although it will still be a construction zone. We will have an update on that later this week."

At that point, the Senate Republicans caucus' priorities will be finishing the budget and passing a long-term road funding plan, McCann said. All the details of what the Republicans plan want haven't been rolled out, but is expected to include eliminating the sales tax on gasoline and replacing that tax, penny-for-penny with a roughly 15-cent-a-gallon gas tax so all of the state taxes collected at the pump goes to roads.

To replace the $800 million lost to the School Aid Fund and General Fund from the elimination of the sales tax on gasoline, Republicans would like to bond against the teachers retirement system and stretch out pension payments additional years (See "Bonding Out School Pension Payback Suggested To Free Up $$$," 6/26/19).

Neither chamber may be in session, but a source with close inside ties to the House Republican caucus is indicating that the two GOP legislative leaders are "close" to a final agreement on how to fix the roads. The two are hoping to meet with Whitmer in August to see if they can get agreement on whatever they come up with.

In the meantime, Speaker Lee CHATFIELD's (R-Levering) 10-person working committee, run by House Transportation Committee Chair Jack O'MALLEY (R-Lake Ann), has been charged with finalizing a proposal to take to the caucus next month.

The strategy here is to give the Speaker some support in the decidedly conservative caucus from the gang of 10. They supposedly will have buy-in on the plan they draft. That means the Speaker would not be the only one promoting a solution. He'd get verbal back-up from the committee.

Also included in the talks between the two leaders is the 20% vehicle registration fee hike from 2015. The two leaders may buy into the Governor's willingness to discuss extending by five to 10 years the length of the payoff of the teacher retirement debt.

(There is also some unconfirmed speculation that the Michigan Education Association has not taken off the table the possibility of bonding using the teacher retirement fund, but would be more comfortable if the Lottery and/or Michigan Economic Development Corporation's coffers were used instead.)

A MIRS source reported the GOP goal is to raise $1.2 billion and to couple that with the $1.2 billion adopted by the previous legislature, which would allow the governor to say she got a $2.5 billion package.

There is also reportedly a tacit understanding between Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and the two legislative leaders that she "needs a win" after she gave them a win on no-fault.

The tentative timetable is to perhaps have lawmakers come in for one day in August to vote on the gas tax issue, but that is not set in stone. More likely is a vote on the road package, before the budget, possibly right around Labor Day.

Clearly, the next move is up to Chatfield and Shirkey and that will take a face-to-face meeting, says this source who is also confident the Governor will eventually get new revenue for the roads from the GOP legislature . . . with Democratic support, of course.
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2nd hour discussion today, Wednesday 7-24-19;
MIRS News Service

One Fair Wage Doesn't Embrace Tlaib's Call For $20 Minimum Wage

Fresh off of a victory in the U.S. House -- which voted 231-199 last week to bump the minimum wage to $15 per hour -- U.S. Rep. Rashida TLAIB (D-Detroit) called this week for the pay rate to go even higher.

"When we started it, it should have been $15," she said at an event in support of One Fair Wage, the group that petitioned last year to push Michigan's minimum wage to $12. "Now I think it should be $20, and make sure America Rising hears that. It should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 an hour. Milk has gone up. Eggs has gone up. Everything has gone up."

America Rising, a Republican political action committee that does opposition research on Democrats, immediately obliged by posting the video on Twitter.

One Fair Wage, the ballot proposal group that successfully led the citizens initiative to create a $12 minimum wage in Michigan last year, didn't embrace the new higher numbers today.

Pete VARGAS, organizing director for Restaurant Opportunities Center Michigan and campaign manager for One Fair Wage, said, "We applaud Congresswoman Tlaib for being a champion for raising the minimum wage." But he said they haven't seen the details of her plan.

Asked by MIRS if his organization would support efforts to push the minimum wage to that level, or whether it is too far too fast, Vargas responded: "This is our response for now, thanks. We have consistently supported efforts to raise the minimum wage and help low-income workers become independent, and we will continue to do so. We commend Rep. Tlaib for her bold leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with her in the future to eliminate the sub-minimum wage and increase the minimum wage for all Michigan workers."

In speaking at a Detroit event, Tlaib criticizing the federal minimum for tipped workers, which is $2.13 per hour.

"People cannot live on those kinds of wages. And I can't allow people to be living off of tips, relying on tip wages or whatever they call it, tip income. It is just not enough to support our families," she said.

Vargas was supportive in reaction today.

"We have supported increasing the minimum wage to $12 in Michigan and the federal push to increase it to $15, and we will continue to support efforts to help low-income families exit poverty by increasing the minimum wage," he said. "However, raising the minimum wage is only one part of the equation. It's vital that whatever solution we come up with also eliminates the sub-minimum wage so we can ensure Michigan workers aren't relying on tips to make ends meet."

Former Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY, now the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), was not supportive.

"First of all, it would be better for the federal government to stay its own lane, and that includes staying out minimum wage setting," Calley said. He noted there has been a lot of debate over the minimum wage in Michigan in the last several years. (See "Gov. Signs Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage Changes," 12/14/18
"Dems Hope To 'Repeal The Steal' And Return Minimum Wage To Petition Levels," 3/7/19 and "Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Adopt-And-Amend Tactic," 7/17/19.)

Calley said such policies "hurt the very people that they are trying to help." He said a $15 minimum wage, much less $20, will put some companies out of business.

"For those who can, what happens is that the hours of people have to be cut back in order to comply. And so the people you are trying to help end up having their hours cut back, and then it can also result in other types of benefit cuts. If you have a law that says, well compensation of a certain type, the hourly wage, has to be at a certain level, then other types of benefits may end up getting eliminated or reduced in order to meet that requirement," Calley contended.

He said the correct way to set pay levels is for employer and employee to negotiate so they get what they want and need.

"The other unintended consequence of these types of policies is that it accelerates automation. We already see a lot of employment that is lost just to automating processes that used to be handled by people. Every time you do something that increases the cost of people, you also increase the value proposition of automating more jobs," Calley said.
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1st hour discussion today, Tuesday 7-23-19; MIRS News Service

From Raccoons To ROI: $87M Spent On State Gov't Advertising In '18

Besides dodging potholes and orange barrels, Michigan drivers this summer may also find themselves encountering several raccoons staring down at them from billboards beside the road.

But these raccoons aren't hawking any particular wares for purchase. They want you to recycle properly. They serve as mascots of a $2 million state ad campaign intended to bolster recycling rates (See "Bits And Tidbits, EGLE's Raccoons To Teach Michigan How To Recycle Better," 6/24/19).

Government spending on advertising isn't anything new or unusual – think the ongoing Pure Michigan tourism campaign, or the occasional health-related public service announcement.

But this year has seen the launch of some visible ad campaigns. Beyond the raccoons, there's also the $3 million state-sponsored campaign to boost skilled trades that has also appeared on billboards (See "'Ambitious' Ads Aim At 'Single Greatest Threat' To MI's Economic Recovery," 5/20/19).

There were enough billboards spotted to prompt a question: How much do the state agencies spend on advertising in a year?

After a survey of nearly every principal state department and other agencies, MIRS was able to identify $87.5 million spent toward advertising in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 after obtaining data from 24 state agencies. See agency-by-agency totals here.

Lottery and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) were the biggest spenders. Combined, they're roughly 70% of the state spend on advertising. The MEDC, sponsors of Pure Michigan, reported spending the most at $34.1 million, followed by Lottery and its $27.9 million.

Beyond those entities, the amount spent varied widely among the agencies, from the $9.5 million by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), all the way down to the $635 the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) spent to advertise a job position at the Michigan School for the Deaf.

But regardless of the amount, every state agency MIRS obtained data from reported spending some money on advertising, except for the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

The average spent among the agencies was $3.8 million, but of the 24 agencies, 14 spent something below $1 million for FY 18, not counting the MCSC and MPSC's $0 spent.

Why Does Government Run Ads?

Whether it's promoting "what we have" or informing the public, government advertising is important, said Bob KOLT, professor of practice at Michigan State University, president and CEO of Kolt Communications and a former communication official with Treasury and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Kolt said from his experience, advertising works. When it comes to spending money to promote tourism, for instance, Kolt said "it really does pay off. " And if anything, government gets criticized if it doesn't share information, he said.

When Kolt worked as a public information officer for Treasury in the '80s, he was asked to do a tax amnesty program, which would waive penalties and interest for people who owe back taxes.

"Back in the '80s, they said, 'Well, what do you need?'" Kolt said. "I said, 'I need $1 million in advertising.'"

Kolt made his pitch, arguing that if penalties and interest would be waived, "you've got to find tax cheats, wherever they are." And he said he would need to advertise on an ongoing basis, particularly all the way up to the deadline.

Kolt said he got what he wanted, and the return on the program ended up at $100 million. The estimated return was $15 to $20 million. They made so much money the Governor and Legislature at the time used the extra funds to help roll back the income tax, he said.

What's The Return On Investment?

State agencies sometimes point to return-on-investment (ROI) data to justify what they get out of ad campaigns.

Lottery spokesperson Jeff HOLYFIELD said the agency's advertising ROI ranges from "2:1 to 34:1" depending on the activity, drawing that from an independent analysis done by Foresight Research in April 2018.

The MEDC also arranges for routine ROI studies on Pure Michigan. The latest edition saw the estimated ROI go from $8.99 to $9.28 for every dollar spent.

But the Pure Michigan ROI has been a longtime point of contention of the Mackinac Center, which has argued the campaign is not worth the tax dollars spent on it (See "Mackinac Center's Bid To Debate Pure MI Merits Rejected," 12/1/16).

And the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) questioned the MEDC leaving out costs of tourism promotion from the ROI equation (See "Auditor: $16.8M In Pure MI Costs Left Out Of Return-On-Investment Study," 12/15/17).

Still, the Mackinac Center isn't outright opposed to all government spending on advertising, said Michael LaFAIVE, senior director of fiscal policy with the center. It depends on the subject and source, he said.

LaFaive said if the state is spending money from the negotiated settlement between the attorneys general and tobacco companies to convince people not to smoke, "I would consider it a much more legitimate use of state dollars" because there's "evidence" that smoking-related illnesses were costing "state treasuries."

He said it's a case-by-case basis as to whether public spending is warranted on advertising. Asked about the skilled trades campaign known as "Going Pro" launched by Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED) earlier this year, LaFaive was skeptical that was such a case.

"These types of advertisements are nice, but there's a real question as to whether or not they are necessary in and of themselves beyond having these . . . state-subsidized training programs," he said, referencing a recent Mackinac Center report questioning the state's role in funding job training.

LaFaive said the private sector has long done its own training, and people now have "their own private incentive to use Google" and don't need to go beyond their nearest search engine to find training.
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