Party on the Peninsulas

The WØRD – “Supremes”

Keynote Speaker: Vice President Kamala Harris

From Chairperson Lavora Barnes

“Supremes”. No – not the legendary Motown trio. It’s the United States Supreme Court, and the importance of this year’s elections on the next 2 decades of the Court.

There likely will be two or more vacancies on the Court during the term of the next President. Right wing extremists and ethically challenged Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are 74 and 75 years old; Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor are both 69.

The election of Trump, coupled with a Republican Senate, could result in a Court that has five or more Trump-appointed Justices. It would be a MAGA-dominated court for two or more decades.

Even if we re-elect Joe Biden, a Republican Senate could well stymie restoring balance to the Court. Mitch McConnell showed what raw power and a lack of conscience can do to the Court. McConnell’s outrageous partisanship stole two seats on the Court which should have gone to appointees of Presidents Obama and Biden. Instead McConnell used his slim majority in the Senate to gift Trump with 2 appointments: 59-year-old Brett Kavanagh and 54-year-old Amy Coney Barrett. Those two appointments cemented a radical right-wing-dominated activist court that resulted in overturning Roe, strengthening gerrymandering and shredding voting rights.

The next two decades of the U.S. Supreme Court are definitely on the ballot in November. We need to remember that every day, and redouble our efforts not only to reelect Joe Biden but make sure the next United States Senator from Michigan is a Democrat.

Voting rights advocates from across the nation regularly point to Michigan as a model for the nation. Voter approval of both the anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment in 2018, and the two Voter Rights proposals in 2018 and 2022 make our state stand out. Ari Berman, national voting rights correspondent at Mother Jones, says Michigan’s reforms are – quote – “Restoring legitimacy to the democratic process.”

In 2017, 27-year-old political novice Katie Fahey assembled a nine-member team that was the core of what became Voters Not Politicians. Working with an all-volunteer volunteer army, VNP collected more than 450,000 petition signatures in just 100 days and then narrowly won a state Supreme Court challenge to put that amendment on the ballot. The proposal won 61 percent of the vote, taking the power of redistricting away from the Legislature by creating the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Our Walt Sorg, who was not affiliated with the Michigan Democratic Party back then, was one of the nine people on VNP’s original board of directors which led the entire effort. Walt recently talked with VNP’s legal counsel Jim Lancaster, the primary drafter of the words that are now a part of the Michigan Constitution, about how that grassroots campaign changed politics in Michigan. Walt recently talked with Lancaster about the proposal and how it has worked.

In the News This Week

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

State Representative Penelope Tsernoglou, an IVF Mother: Protect Michigan IVF

Trump/GOP Outrages

Mark Fiore – markfiore.com

National News



 

 

The WØRD – “Justice”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes

Our courts are under attack led, of course, by four-time indicted, twice-impeached bankruptcy king Donald Trump. He’s still furious that more than 60 different courts dismissed his claims of election fraud in 2020 and, as we record this, on the verge of a verdict in the first of his four felony trials. He’s called the well-respected New York Supreme Court judge crooked, biased, unqualified and corrupt simply because it fits into his campaign strategy of painting himself as a victim.

Adding to his attack on the system: summoning his D.C. red tie brigade to repeat the scurrilous attacks on witnesses, the jury and even the judge’s daughter: things he can’t say because of a well-deserved gag order.

On top of that Trump has made it clear that if he gets reelected, he will order the Justice Department to indict special prosecutor Jack Smith, Georgia D.A. Fanny Willis and New York district attorney Alvin Bragg for the crime of indicting Trump.

In Michigan, we have a much different story. We have an Attorney General who takes corrupt public officials from both parties without fear or favor, and works hand-in-glove with our Secretary of State to guarantee free and fair elections.

Michigan Supreme Court candidate Kimberly Thomas.

Our state’s Supreme Court is widely praised for even-handed justice. Under the leadership of a Democratic Party nominated majority the court earned a well-deserved reputation for fairness and dedication to the rule of law.

In 2024, we are working to preserve and enhance that reputation with our party’s two executive-committee endorsed candidates for the Court: Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, and University of Michigan professor Kimberly Thomas.

This week we talk with Professor Thomas on how she plans to work side-by-side with current justices Bolden, Richard Bernstein, Elizabeth Welch and Megan Cavanagh as well as the two Republican-nominated justices.

In the News This Week…

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

MAGA-Land

National

Walt Handelsman/Tribute Content Agency

The WØRD – “Humanity”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes

In political debates, the rhetoric sometimes overshadows the impact of those policy decisions on actual people: what’s the impact on individual lives. That is one of the many reasons Joe Biden is such an amazing leader: every decision he makes is influenced by a lifetime of experiences of “Scranton Joe,” the guy who grew up in a working class family that faced the same challenges that confront millions of Americans.

Sadly, a lot of the debate over reproductive rights overlooks the real world. Opponents manufacture horror stories that are mostly fantasies unattached from the real world. They talk about late term abortions right up to the moment of birth, something that simply isn’t a thing. They trivialize what, in reality, is one of the most difficult decisions a woman can make.

Kaitlyn Joshua (left) and Amanda Zurowski

In the case of exceeding rare late-term abortions, those decisions are the direct result of a major emergency that’s life-or-death, but opponents make it sound heartless. In the last week, Michiganders had the opportunity to learn more about the real-world impact of the anti-choice movement from two victims of those laws.

Texan Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlin Joshua of Louisiana both very much wanted a child, but both of them experienced the horror of a pregnancy gone bad. Thanks to the draconian laws passed by their legislatures, both of them nearly died as a result.

On this week’s podcast, we hear both of their stories: the real world impact of taking away the right of women to control their own healthcare.

In the News

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

Trump/GOP Outrages

National

The WØRD – “Contempt”

Contempt

It’s more than the fines handed out to defendant Donald Trump in his election interference criminal case. It’s the contempt of many Republican leaders who show contempt for our justice system. 

  • They scream about a two-tiered justice system when, in reality, they demand a system where their chosen leader is above the law.
  • They say they support the police, but have no problem with a leader who says he’d considering pardoning the criminals who attacked the Capitol on January 6 resulting in the deaths of five police officers and injuries to dozens more. 
  • They complain about alleged censorship of conservatives on social media, but pass laws censoring books about racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights.
  • They yell about their love of the Constitution, but demand police arrest people exercising their First Amendment rights of free speech and peaceful protest while defending the violent mob of January 6.

The GOP response to campus protests across the nation are a frightening replay of how the Nixon administration reacted to anti-war demonstrators in the late 1960’s: using military power to silence the protesters which culminated in the deaths of four unarmed students at Kent State University, shot by the Ohio National Guard.

This week’s Trump outrage: his plans to transform the presidency into a virtual dictatorship, revealed in a two-part interview in Time magazine. 

Some of the revelations:

  • He would not have a problem with states deciding to track pregnancies and even imprison women who have abortions
  • While taking no position on the abortion medication Mifepristone, Trump could make it illegal by ordering the FDA to withdraw approval of the treatment
  • He would use the military to seek out and arrest undocumented immigrants. It’s been illegal to use the Army for domestic law enforcement for more than a century.
  • He’s set up prison camps to hold millions of accused undocumented immigrants.
  • He would order the Justice Department to criminally charge his political opponents, and would fire any U.S. Attorney who defied his order. His purge would start with Joe Biden, even though a two-year House investigation into Biden has come up empty.
  • He would consider pardoning the hundreds of criminals who were convicted for their actions on January 6, even those responsible for attacking law enforcement officers.
  • He would fill his administration with people who supported his Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen
  • He says the most pressing racial issue in America is bias against white people
  • He refused to rule out violence if he loses the 2024 election and, just as in 2020, refuses to say if he’d accept the results
  • He will move to destroy any media outlets that are critical of him, especially those with government-issued broadcast licenses
  • He will gut the Civil Service system, filling tens-of-thousands federal position with Trump loyalists who will reflexively do what he orders regardless of the law

When John Kennedy was elected President, his senior advisers were branded “the best and the brightest.” Donald Trump has made it clear the only qualification for his appointees to his cabinet and White House senior staff: total loyalty to Donald Trump.

Plain and simple, Trump is a fraud. He has lied to Michiganders again and again — on jobs, on abortion, and on every other promise he’s made. These visits don’t mask the fact that he has failed Michiganders for years and doesn’t actually care about helping them in the future. 

President Biden, on the other hand, has been showing up for Michiganders since his first day in office – and hasn’t wavered. When workers went on strike for better pay and benefits, President Biden joined the picket line and fought for them and their families. When Americans needed more affordable health care, he fought for a $35 insulin cap and lower prescription drug costs. President Biden has faithfully shown up time and time again for Michiganders. 

There is nothing that Trump can say that will erase the stark contrast between these two candidates, and Michiganders know it. This is what is at stake in November. Trump has warned us. It’s up to us to make sure it doesn’t happen.

I urge our listeners to read the full Time magazine article.

This week saw two challenges to petitions filed by Democratic congressional candidates Curtis Hertel Jr. and Adam Hollier. On this week’s podcast we get an update on those challenges from one of Michigan’s top election-law attorneys, Mark Brewer.

Mark served as MDP chairperson for 18 years. Since then he’s been the go-to attorney for Democrats statewide on matters of state election law. He’s a partner with the Goodman Acker law firm. He received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College in 1977 and a J.D. from Stanford University Law School in 1981, where he notably served on the Law Review. Following his academic achievements, Brewer embarked on a remarkable legal career. He began by clerking for a judge of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and later for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Charles Levin.

He also co-hosts the popular weekly podcast “A Republic, If You Can Keep It”.

In the News

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

President Biden

Trump/GOP Outrages

National

The WØRD – “Co-conspirator!”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes – 

Arizona joined with Michigan, Georgia and Nevada this week by issuing indictments in the fake electors scheme. The defendants include several influential figures in Arizona politics, including former state GOP chair Kelli Ward and sitting state senators Anthony Kern and Jake Hoffman. Also charged was Christina Bobb, just days after she was named head of the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program. She is one of seven Trump confidantes also charged.

Trump, who isn’t charged, is repeatedly referred to as “Unindicted Coconspirator 1” in the 58-page indictment.

It turns out Trump is also an unindicted co-conspirator in Michigan’s fake elector case, and a defendant in the Georgia fake elector prosecution. Trump’s status as a co-conspirator in Michigan was revealed during a court hearing on some of the criminal charges against the faux electors.

It’s more clear than ever that Donald Trump and his MAGA allies are rotten to the core and have no place in the halls of power. We shouldn’t be surprised that an extremist MI-GOP that attempts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy time and time again is consistently in lockstep with the chaos and lawlessness of Trump. 

This Republican Party is clearly willing to do anything to attack our institutions. From the bottom to the top of the ballot, they have never been more out of step with our state’s values. Let’s be clear, Michiganders have continually rejected Donald Trump’s election denialism and they will do so again this November.

Meanwhile: the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is hinting it will create a form of immunity for Trump to protect him from criminal prosecution for some or all of his actions while President. At a minimum, court watchers say the Court will build some new delays into Trump’s federal criminal cases so that he doesn’t face trial until after the election. Of course, if Trump manages to get elected in November he will order the Justice Department to drop all charges and let him get away with it.

We need to remember that five of the nine current justices were appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote, and then confirmed by the votes of Senators representing fewer than half of the country. It’s called “minority rule.”

In news of another Supreme Court…

Our Democratic Party Executive Committee has endorsed Kyra Harris Bolden and Kimberly Ann Thomas for Michigan’s Supreme Court. These will be some of the most consequential elections this year in Michigan as our state Supreme Court is the only court in the country that the GOP could flip to their control.

The race for Supreme Court in Michigan this year will decide whether Democrats can continue to build on all of our progress, or whether MAGA Republicans can rely on their allies on the court. From reproductive freedom to the sanctity of our election process, a conservative state Supreme Court would spell disaster for all the issues that matter most to Michiganders. This cycle, we will ensure that Michiganders understand the stakes of this election so that our freedom and democracy can continue to grow and prosper.

Justice Bolden is defending her recent appointment by Gov. Whitmer to the bench this fall. As the first Black woman to serve in the Michigan Supreme Court, Bolden is a trailblazer who is committed to ensuring equal access to justice, applying the law without fear or favor, and treating all who come before our state’s highest court with dignity and respect.

Kimberly Ann Thomas is running for an open court seat on the Michigan Supreme Court and will bring her broad base of legal experience and a new voice of integrity and fairness to the court. Thomas is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, and law professor at the University of Michigan Law School where she co-founded and directs the Juvenile Justice Clinic. She also served on the bipartisan Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform and is committed to equal justice for all Michiganders.

Both Justice Bolden and Professor Thomas will be featured on future episodes of this podcast.

On Tuesday the two newly elected members of the Michigan House will be sworn into office. Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg won landslide victories in special elections to fill vacancies created when their predecessors were elected mayors of their hometowns.This week we talk with Representative-elect Xiong about her groundbreaking victory.

Mai Xiong’s path to the state capitol is truly unique. Born in a Thailand refugee camp, her family moved to the United States when she was three years old. While they hardly understood English, her parents realized the importance of obtaining an education and U.S. citizenship. In 1997, they became naturalized citizens.

In 2003, after graduating high school, she moved to Warren, to attend the College for Creative Studies. I took summer classes at Macomb Community College. By 2020, she was at a point where she could give back to the community that had given her and her family so much. When I saw that my four children didn’t have leaders in office who looked like them, I knew I had to step up. She was elected by the residents of Warren to serve as the first Asian-American and former refugee on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners where she has served three terms. Representative-elect Xiong and her husband are the proud parents of four children.

This week’s Trump outrage is the United States Supreme Court and, in particular, the ethical nightmare that is Clarence Thomas.

Ed Wexler | Copyright 2023 Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

We already know about Thomas’s receipts of literally millions-of-dollars in gifts and luxury vacations from very rich people who became his friend only after he was appointed to the Court. He is a justice who has filed incomplete financial disclosures, omitting (among other things) the money collected by his wife Ginny, a radical-right activist who uses his name as an introduction to the highest reaches of MAGA-world. She is directly involved in the details of the January 6 insurrection and could even be called as a witness in a future Trump trial.

Despite the massive and very visible conflict of interest, Thomas refuses to recuse himself from insurrection-related cases. He could well be the deciding vote in multiple Trump-related cases.

The Supreme Court has no mechanism for dealing with conflicts, even the most obvious and noxious conflicts. It is up to each justice to decide whether they should step aside. Thomas refuses to do so. It is outrageous, but with his lifetime appointment there is nothing that can be done about it unless his colleagues develop some backbone on ethics. And we know that won’t happen.

In the News

Mike Luckovich – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michigan Politics
Michigan Policy
Trump/GOP Outrages
National

The WØRD – “Trifecta!”

Congratulations to Representatives-elect Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg!

From chairperson Lavora Barnes –

It was a joy during the week for me to personally congratulate the two newest Democrats in the state House of Representatives: Mai Xiong in the Warren area’s 13th House District and Peter Herzberg in the Westland area’s 25th House District. Both were elected to fill vacancies created when their predecessors were elected mayor of their city.

Once the special elections are certified by the state Board of Canvassers, Democrats will once again have a 56-54 majority in the House to go with the 20-18 majority in the state Senate. It comes just in time for enactment of a state budget which continues investments into our state that will pay benefits for generations: support for education, infrastructure and economic development headlining the new budget.

The challenge now: maintaining that House majority in the November election. The newly adopted district maps, according to analysts, give either party a statistical chance of winning the majority. Using the current lines, 56 of the new districts were carried in 2020 by Donald Trump and 54 by President Biden. We can’t rest on our laurels. With these citizen-drawn maps, we can expand our majority or we can lose it. It is up to us.

Here are things you can do to help keep the House majority:

  • Reach out to your local candidate. You can help them with canvassing, fundraising, putting up a yard sign, hosting a home party, talking with your neighbors, writing a letter to the editor – they’ll let you know where you can help.
  • Stay active and stay positive on social media. It’s fun to get into viral arguments but usually non-productive. What can help are short, concise, fact-based comments on issues. 
  • And, if you are able, donate – to your state representative, to the House Democratic Campaign Committee, to your county Democratic Party and, of course. To the Michigan Democratic Party. As one astute consultant told me, campaigns are about two things: raising money, and everything else!

We have resources for you on all of this on our MDP website. Just click here! 

A new issue that is facing many communities: the mostly unregulated world of short-term rentals. The proliferation of companies like AirBNB and VRBO can be both a blessing and a curse. We are joined by state Representative Joey Andrews of St. Joseph who is sponsoring a package of bills to bring order to the Wild West of short-term rentals. With no regulatory framework in Michigan law, STRs have proliferated to a crisis point in many communities across the state. Representative Andrews is lead sponsor of a 10-bill package to bring order to where there is now chaos.

Representative Andrews is serving his first term representing the 38th House District, which covers parts of Allegan, Berrien and Van Buren counties. Born and raised in Southwestern Michigan, Representative Andrews knows and respects the unique issues facing lakeshore communities including the growing water issues of erosion, flooding, lead and aging infrastructure; and the short-term rental crisis gutting local communities.

Andrews was born and raised in St. Joseph. After graduating from high school he briefly left to attend college at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and music and went to law school at Wayne State University, graduating in 2013 with his law degree and passing the Michigan bar exam a year later.

This week’s Trump outrage is on full display in New York right now.

It goes hand-in-hand with his trial which, as we record the podcast, is set to begin with opening arguments on Monday. Trump is continuing his years-long efforts to destroy America’s faith in our justice system. In between courtroom naps he continues to attack every aspect of his trial and blatantly ignores court orders to stop his most outrageous attacks. With the help of his right-wing media stooges he’s even working to intimidate the jury, a tactic usually associated with mob bosses.

He’s daring the judge to do exactly what would happen to any other criminal defendant whose behavior was so outrageous: lock him up for contempt. Trump wants to be locked up because it would contribute to his victimhood whines. The one thing he says that is true: he’s being treated differently than other criminals. He’s getting far better treatment. No other criminal defendant has ever received the kid-gloves treatment that’s being given him.

But now, his fate is in the hands of 12 regular citizens who have pledged to judge him based on the facts presented in court. And that’s why Donald Trump is very, very scared.

Jack Ohman – Tribute Content Agency

In the News This Week

Kalamazoo native Jordan Klepper chats with the MAGA faithful outside the New York City courthouse – Comedy Central via YouTube
Michigan Politics
Michigan Policy
Trump/GOP Disfunction Delusion Distopia
National
Adam Zyglis – Buffalo News

The WØRD – “Whatever”

From Chairperson Lavora Barnes

“Whatever”.

That’s Donald Trump’s position on reproductive healthcare. He’s for whatever is convenient at the time he’s asked about it. In 1999, he said on Meet the Press that he was pro-choice, and opposed any federal law restricting abortion (even virtually non-existent late-term abortions).

Well, he’s changed that position almost as regularly as he’s changed wives. For decades, Donald Trump’s stance on abortion has been a moving target.

His latest position: a wishy-washy “whatever”: leave it up to the states, many of which have banned and even criminalized abortion. Of course, he can’t run away from a fact about which he brags: he killed Roe.

We all know that what Donald Trump says doesn’t necessarily line up with what he will do. You can be certain that a Trump administration, given the chance, would put in place a national law similar to the law just upheld in Arizona: criminalizing abortion and making it illegal nationwide. That would wipe out Michigan’s constitutional guarantee, approved overwhelmingly by our voters, that women make their own healthcare decisions without the government’s interference.

While Trump says he wouldn’t sign a national abortion ban, he hasn’t said how he will vote on the Florida constitutional amendment which would protect women’s reproductive freedom. Chances are he will dodge that question from now until November. And if, God forbid, he is elected and sent a nationwide ban, he will sign it.

As Rachel Maddow put it so concisely: “watch what they do, not what they say”.

Your Democratic party has made a commitment to reach out to all of Michigan. While Republicans cater to their extremist MAGA wing, Democrats are working in all 83 counties to show we’re working on behalf of everyone in this state. The facts backing that effort are undeniable. Since achieving the tri-fecta in state government, Democrats have moved the state forward on issues ranging from fixing the roads, strengthening the union rights of workers, expanding voter rights, guaranteeing the reproductive healthcare rights of women, cutting taxes for families, fighting climate change and much, much more.

But historically we’ve fallen short when it comes to elections in our smaller counties. Over the weekend our Rural Summit focused on how we can earn the support of more voters in rural Michigan.

Helping us define that strategy was one of the nation’s best pollsters, Celinda Lake. Celinda is one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists. She was one of two lead pollsters for the Biden campaign in 2020 and continues to serve as a pollster to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), other national party committees, and dozens of Democratic incumbents and challengers at all levels of the electoral process. Celinda and her firm, Lake Research Partners, are known for cutting-edge research on issues including the economy, health care, the environment, and education.

In the News

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

President Biden

Trump/GOP Outrages

The WØRD – “Demagogue”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes

That, in one sentence, defines Donald Trump and describes his grotesque speech in Grand Rapids. 

Donald Trump came here to politicize a tragic loss and lie to Michiganders’ faces about his record. When President Biden negotiated a tough, fair, and bipartisan border security deal, it was Trump who pressured his MAGA cronies to kill the bill, allowing the chaos to continue. 

No matter what he said in Grand Rapids, Donald Trump has no interest in being part of the solution because he doesn’t care about border security. He only cares about himself and whatever he thinks makes him look good, but Michiganders know the truth: Donald Trump has nothing to offer but dangerous rhetoric that promotes hate, division, and violence without making anyone safer.

Adding to that: he told the crowd he had talked with the family of murder victim Ruby Garcia. It was a lie, according to Ms. Garcia’s sister. Mavi Garcia said neither Trump nor anybody from his campaign has contacted her or anybody in her immediate family. She said her family is close and she would know if that had happened.

“It was shocking,” she told Wood TV.  “I kind of stopped watching it. I’d only seen up to that, after I heard a couple of misinformations he said, I just stopped watching it. She said she’s angry that Trump and others have turned her sister’s death into something political.

“It’s always been about illegal immigrants,” she said. “Nobody really speaks about when Americans do heinous crimes, and it’s kind of shocking why he would just bring up illegals. What about Americans who do heinous crimes like that?”

When asked about the apparent lie by The Daily Beast, the Trump campaign refused to reveal with whom the criminal defendant candidate talked. (You can watch the WOOD-TV interview by clicking here.)

The Garcia family isn’t the only voice speaking out against Trump. The Washington Post published a truly shocking list this week of former top-level Trump appointees who have not endorsed his candidacy. Among them:

  • Vice President Mike Pence
  • Attorney General William Barr
  • Chief of staff General John Kelly
  • Chief of Staff Mark Mulvaney
  • Secretary of Defense General James Mattis
  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
  • National Security Adviser John Bolton
  • National Security Chief of European Affairs Col. Alexander Vindman
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff chair General Mark Milley
  • U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
  • Press secretary Stephanie Grisham
  • Deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews
  • White House Counsel Ty Cobb
  • White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson
  • 2016 Transition Director Chris Christie

As we noted last week you can add to that list President George W. Bush, and former Republican vice presidents Dick Cheney and Dan Qualye; Republican U.S. Senators Todd Young, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney. And even family members/White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have said they won’t campaign for him.

An alternate “The Word” for this week’s podcast could have just as easily been “Hypocrite”. How else can you describe a man who very publicly attends the funeral of a slain New York police officer but has never even contacted the family of a Capitol policeman who died as a result of the January 6 insurrection, or the dozens of police officers who were attacked and injured by his mob?

Officer Brian Sicknick’s father told the New York Daily News – quote – “He makes sure he gets his face out there. The guy’s a criminal. He’s the reason my son is dead — because of the riot at the Capitol. He’s a publicity hound. Trump does whatever will get him votes and helps Donald Trump. There’s nothing good about that man.”

On this week’s podcast, we’re looking to our future, specifically the future of public transit in Michigan with the leader of a new bipartisan group working on the issue, Representative Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor). As we’ll hear from Representative Morgan that public transportation impacts all of Michigan, not just cities and suburbs.

The son of a commercial fisherman, Representative Morgan was raised in Pinconning. By working part-time and thanks to state and federal student aid, Representative Morgan worked his way through college as a first-generation college student, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Northern Michigan University. He later earned a Master of Public Administration from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Representative Morgan served for six years as a Washtenaw County commissioner and was elected as the county’s first-ever LGBTQ-identified person to serve as chair of the Board of Commissioners. He also served as a Northern Michigan University trustee and is a service member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Over the last 15 years, Representative Morgan has worked in various leadership positions in Michigan and Washington, D.C. for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and in senior staff positions to five members of Congress. Much of his career has focused on higher education, including working as a director of government and community relations and later teaching government at Washtenaw Community College.

In the News

The Biden-Harris campaign reminds us who ultimately took away the rights of women … and brags about it.

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

National Politics and Policy

Trump/GOP Outrages

Jack Ohman – Tribute Content Agency

The WØRD – “Unity”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes

On Thursday, Democrats celebrated unity heading into the November election with an historic event: a massive fundraiser which brought together three great presidents: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Together they represent 20 years of leadership that moved America forward. 

The unity of the 3 Presidents was a reminder of the lack of Republican unity. Donald Trump is running without the support of much of his party’s leadership. He does not have the endorsement of President Bush, nor does he have the support of any of the living former GOP Vice Presidents: Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney and Mike Pence. Add to that the long list of more than two-dozen Trump cabinet members and White House staff who will not endorse him. Some are actively opposing him.

One of many reasons for that contrast is the philosophy behind the campaigns. 

Donald Trump is running to benefit Donald Trump. His two goals:

  1. Stay out of prison, and
  2. Make money for Donald Trump

His fundraising is all about him, a lot of it to cover his $100-million-and-growing personal legal bills. He has side hustles to make him wealthier, constantly hawking everything from sneakers to perfume and even Bibles with the profits going into his pocket. His TruthSocial is likely his next business to go bankrupt, but his cult members are pushing the short-term stock price to ridiculous levels which brings huge profits to Trump.

Despite all that wealth, he won’t pay his own legal bills.

At the fundraising event Thursday, Presidents Biden, Obama and Clinton had a different take on the presidency and why they served: the ability to make life better for Americans.

The fundraiser was historic in that it raised more than $25-million in one night for not just the Biden campaign, but to support Democrats up and down the ticket.

Trump has a fundraiser this week where he says he’ll raise more money. Maybe he will. But we know one winner from the event will be Trump himself. He’s staging the event at his Palm Beach club, and you can be sure he’s collecting a hefty rental and catering fee for the night … more money to line his pocket.

One of the commitments I had when I first became your party chair was to work in every county to earn every vote. This month, we will move closer to that goal with our first Michigan Rural Summit. It is being organized by the MDP’s Rural Caucus. On this week’s podcast we hear from caucus chair Mark Ludwig about the Summit.

Mark was born and raised in Michigan. His youth was spent assisting his father during the early days of the environmental movement, studying Great Lakes water birds affected by industrial pollution. He settled in Allegan County, founding a small beef farm in Clyde Township in 2005 with his wife Kim. Mark served on the Fennville Public School Board, Clyde Township Planning Commission and currently serves on the Allegan Conservation District Board of Directors. Mark graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Environmental Issues and has a Short Course Degree from UW Madison in Grass Based Dairy.

In the News

Michigan Politics

Michigan Policy

Trump Outrages

National Politics

The Biden-Harris campaign is actively courting Nikki Haley supporters while Trump says he doesn’t need them

National Policy

The WØRD – “Anniversaries”

 

March 23, 2010: President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act with Michigan’s lifelong healthcare advocate Representative John Dingell seated to his left.

From chairperson Lavora Barnes –

Saturday marked the 14th anniversary of the signature achievement of the Obama administration: enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a. k. a. “Obamacare.” Republicans rampaged against the legislation, calling it the potential death knell for the U.S. healthcare system, raising the spectre of government “death panels” deciding who lives and who dies, and predicting it would mean you could no longer choose your doctors.

President Obama fought for the law knowing it could mean he’d be a one-term President. Today in America, the Affordable Care Act is more popular than ever, and coverage is more affordable than ever.

There are more than 100 million Americans — friends, family, neighbors, people you love — who can no longer be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. More than 45 million Americans have health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act and millions of seniors have lower prescription drug costs. The Biden administration is expanding the benefits of the ACA with the new ability of Medicare to negotiate prescription costs.

The law has special meaning in Michigan, and the legacy of the Dingell family. The first national healthcare bill was introduced in 1943 by Congressman John Dingell Senior. After his death, the law was reintroduced every session on his birthday by his son, John Dingell Junior. When President Obama signed the law in 2009, John Dingell was seated next to the President and presented with the first pen used to make the law official.

In a hot-mike moment, Vice President Biden famously called it, “a big blanking deal.” It still is.

But if Donald Trump and extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress get their way, they will gut the Affordable Care Act and rip away health care from millions — just like they tried to do in 2017.

As we approach the fall election, it’s important to remember that ALL of the Republican U.S. Senate candidates are enemies of the ACA. Mike Rogers, Peter Meijer, Sandy Pensler, and Justin Amash have all vowed to gut the Affordable Care Act which would result in millions of Michiganders being denied health care access and increase costs for families.

During the most recent enrollment period, more than 418,000 Michiganders signed up for affordable health care coverage. A repeal of the Affordable Care Act means “1.3 million Michiganders would lose their insurance and about 1.8 million with pre-existing health conditions could lose critical protections.”

Saturday was also a special anniversary for 323 Michigan families. It was their 10th wedding anniversary. Theirs were the first same-sex weddings in Michigan history. It’s also a part of the legacy of Attorney General Dana Nessel. In 2014, Nessel successfully argued for the plaintiffs in DeBoer v. Snyder, which challenged Michigan’s ban on the statewide legal recognition of same-sex marriage; the case was eventually combined with others and appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States as Obergefell v. Hodges, which led to the nationwide legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Another benefit of that legal effort: Nessel met her wife Alanna Maguire while they were both working on the case. She proposed to Maguire in 2015 outside of the United States Supreme Court. 

This week will be remembered for the enactment of another pro-family law: a statute protecting surrogacy births, and in vitro fertilization. We’re joined by the sponsor of the new law, Representative Samantha Steckloff. The bills are a long overdue win for reproductive rights and would-be parents who can’t conceive on their own. They not only safeguard the rights of biological parents, but also prioritize the protection and the reproductive freedom of those surrogates.

Representative Steckloff is serving her second term representing Michigan’s 19th House District. A lifelong resident of Farmington Hills, Rep. Steckloff has been a consistent and tenacious leader on the issues that impact her communities, as well as the state of Michigan as a whole. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31 which has given her a unique understanding of the need to reform health insurance so no person will go broke battling a life-threatening disease.

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