To get into the holiday spirit, Michigan Dems are taking a look at some of the good and the bad from this year

LANSING — As we take time to celebrate the holidays, Michigan Dems are taking time to reflect on the highs and the lows that we’ve seen over the past year – and trust us, there is a LOT to choose from. 

It has undoubtedly been an incredibly productive and historic year for Democrats, with a long list of successes spanning from delivering on reproductive rights to lowering costs for working families to making Michigan a fairer place for all.

Unfortunately, our friends across the aisle have not been so focused. This year, they have tried to take abortion care away from Michiganders, undermine our democracy, and support their friends in the 1% while abandoning their constituents. Not a good look, especially as Chair Kristina Karamo keeps making national headlines for bankrupting the party, and MAGA Matt Hall continues to drive his caucus into chaos.

Don’t just take it from us: as recently as Wednesday, CNN released a detailed report on the MIGOP’s utter failures, highlighting Karamo’s numerous detractors, failed events, closed-door meetings, and financial crises. Republicans themselves are calling the party an “incompetent dumpster fire” and “a disaster,” while spelling out the fact that the party is “on the verge of bankruptcy” and “pushed the grassroots away.” Bad look!

On the heels of those not-so-shocking revelations, we wanted to take a look at some of the best and worst from this year to help Santa figure out who in Michigan politics gets presents and who gets compost — sorry Santa, no coal this year, we’re all about green energy now!

Check out our official, but not entirely comprehensive, Michigan Dems 2023 Naughty and Nice list: 

Naughty – the MIGOP: Their growing internal chaos was highlighted in August, September, October, November, and December – just this week! While we’re pretty sure we’ve used the words “incompetent,” “dumpster,” and “fire” to describe the MIGOP, we’re glad someone from their own party strung them together in a sentence. And take it from a source close to the Trump campaign: “[they] described the current Michigan GOP as a mess and did not indicate any sort of loyalty to Karamo, noting that most of the Michigan Republicans who could replace her were also pro-Trump.” No matter who’s in charge, the MIGOP is fundamentally rotten. 

CNN: ‘Incompetent dumpster fire’: Michigan GOP rocked by financial turmoil and infighting

  • A CNN review of documents and interviews with more than 20 current and former party officials shows the Republican Party in this key battleground state has become entangled in financial turmoil, infighting and calls for new leadership less than a year before the 2024 presidential election… 
  • “If I would have known that Kristina Karamo would have turned out to be such a tyrannical incompetent dumpster fire I would never have worked so hard to get her elected. For that I apologize,” wrote Dawn Beattie, a state committee member…
  • What she’s doing, on the other hand, is rather insidious,” said Andy Sebolt, chair of the party’s second district who also chaired the state party’s policy committee until recently when Karamo had him removed after he said he pushed for more transparency.

Crain’s Business Detroit: Michigan GOP woes coming to a head amid bid to oust Karamo, debt and lawsuit over HQ 

  • The Michigan Republican Party’s troubles are coming to a head, as activists seek to oust Chairwoman Kristina Karamo over a looming default on $500,000 of debt and the party sues for control of a former headquarters building it may try to sell to erase the amount due.
  • Oakland County Republican Party Chair Vance Patrick issued a statement last week saying Karamo is not capable of building the infrastructure needed to deliver victory to the GOP’s presidential, U.S. Senate and down-ballot nominees in 2024.
  • “For the first time in modern history, the state party played no substantial role in getting out the vote for our candidates in the municipal election this past November,” Patrick said. “…Our state party has been left in shambles with regard to fundraising and effective staff work.”

Naughty – the House and Senate GOP: They spent their year ignoring their communities’ support for reproductive freedom, voting again and again to restrict abortion and maintain burdensome regulations on abortion. For many prominent Republicans, their districts overwhelmingly supported Prop 3 to expand abortion access in our state; still, they have refused to budge from their extremist agenda: 

The Gander: 12 Michigan Republicans who rejected their own districts’ views on abortion

  • But when the Reproductive Health Act came up for a vote this year, many Republican state lawmakers effectively turned their backs on their own voters by rejecting the legislation—including lawmakers who represent districts that clearly supported Proposal 3.
  • Among them: Republican House Minority Leader Matt Hall, who voted against every bill in the package despite a clear majority (55%) of voters in his district voting for Proposal 3.

Naughty – MAGA Matt Hall and Rep. Bob Bezotte: Even their individual members have shown a lack of integrity and no concern for right and wrong. MIGOP “leader” MAGA Matt Hall was exposed for his history of racist, violent threats, and Representative Bob Bezotte was accused of decades of physical and emotional abuse by his wife. This is a party that has clearly shown it cannot be trusted to lead: 

Detroit News: Michigan Republican lawmaker’s wife alleges years of abuse in divorce filing

  • A Republican state lawmaker and former county sheriff was accused by his longtime wife of physical and emotional abuse during their more than 50 years of marriage in divorce documents filed last week
  • Shelia Bezotte, wife of state Rep. Bob Bezotte of Howell, said in her divorce filing, she “has suffered mental, emotional and physical abuse throughout the years of marriage…”

AJ News: Michigan GOP state Rep. Matt Hall emailed death threats in 2001 when he was a student

  • House Minority Leader Matt Hall, a Republican who represents a southwest Michigan district around Kalamazoo, is a graduate of Western Michigan University. During his time there, according to police records obtained through a public records request, he admitted to sending death threats to a student at a college in Maryland, where his girlfriend was studying. 
  • Bills that would prevent anyone convicted of domestic abuse from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition for eight years after completing their sentences are working their way through the Legislature.
  • The Republican minority has opposed these gun safety efforts. In an Aug. 9 press release, since deleted from the Michigan House Republicans’ website, Hall framed himself as “a Leading Defender of our Second Amendment Rights” … In a post in March 2022, Hall touted legislation to lower the penalties for those carrying concealed pistols with expired licenses.

While we could go on and on about the threat that Michigan Republicans pose to our state, we are especially proud of everything Democrats have accomplished this year. Let’s take a look at just a few of those achievements. 

Nice – building a fairer economy: In our fight to grow the middle class, Michigan Democrats have quadrupled the Working Families Tax Credit, lowered utility costs, and invested in infrastructure across the state! Just this week, Governor Whitmer announced that thousands of families will receive early tax refunds, which will infuse millions into Michigan communities: 

Michigan Radio: Governor signs supplemental bills with more than $600 million in spending

  • The spending covers two fiscal years, and most of the money comes from the federal government. It also includes $114 million dollars in debt forgiveness for school districts in Ypsilanti, Inkster, Pontiac, Muskegon Heights, and Benton Harbor…
  • The supplemental spending bill also includes more than $250 million in state funding for capital improvement projects at colleges and universities throughout the state. That includes $30 million for the new Blue Dot Lab tech center at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Advance: Whitmer: 700K Michigan households will get tax refund checks starting in February

  • The Working Families Tax Credit for lower-income workers, also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), was quintupled from 6% to 30% of the federal credit beginning with the 2023 tax year…
  • “This directly benefits half the children in Michigan, and moms and dads can use this extra money at tax time to pay the bills, put food on the table, and buy school supplies,” said Whitmer…
  • House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) said lawmakers made the tax cut a priority to ensure working-class individuals and families get the money they are owed. “Whether they use it to pay off holiday bills, make a necessary purchase or take a well-deserved vacation, this is just the latest example of putting the people of Michigan first and improving their quality of life,” he said.

Nice – a pro-choice party: Michigan Democrats also expanded access to abortion and reproductive care this year by removing the antiquated trigger ban on abortion, taking away politically motivated restrictions on abortion care, and increasing the accessibility of reproductive care. Last week, Governor Whitmer signed the final piece of the Reproductive Health Act to repeal the ban on insurance coverage of abortion: 

CNN: Whitmer’s push for abortion rights continues as she repeals insurance requirement in Michigan

  • The controversial insurance rider requirement was approved in 2013 by the then-Republican-led legislature.
  • Whitmer, then the state Senate minority leader, spoke against it at the time and revealed her own personal story. “The Republican male majority continues to ignorantly and unnecessarily weigh in on important women’s health issues that they know nothing about,” she said, according to

Nice – defending democracy: In every corner of the state, Michigan Democrats have been focused on making our democracy more inclusive and bringing people in — not cutting them out. On top of improving election security, increasing access to the ballot box, and protecting election workers from harassment, Democrats in Osceola County created the first local Democratic Party in over a decade: 

Michigan News Source: Michigan Dems Gain Momentum for Party While Michigan GOP Implodes

  • On one side of the aisle, the Michigan Democrat Party is continuing to use its all-blue momentum to keep things going strong into the 2024 presidential election. For the first time in ten years, Osceola County formally established a Democrat county party organization and elected new leadership.
  • “We are incredibly excited to work with Osceola County Democrats in the coming election cycle and I am so thankful for their commitment and hard work to establish this organization. Standing together and building coalitions across the state is how we ensure Democrats can keep building on the incredible progress we have made in the last two years,” Barnes said.

TLDR: Michigan Dems are delivering on every important issue while the MIGOP is in shambles. We think the following story sums it up nicely: 

The Gander: One year later: What happens when voters put Democrats in charge of a state government?

  • Last November, Michiganders re-elected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to a second term and put Democratic majorities in charge of both the state House of Representatives and Senate—marking a historic trifecta that hasn’t been seen in Michigan since the early 80s.
  • Since January, Whitmer has signed nearly 300 bills into law, penned 10 executive orders, and ushered in what many view as a new era for Michigan’s government in which lawmakers pass legislation that answers directly to the people and addresses their most pressing needs.
  • Whitmer outlined Michigan’s new political landscape in a recent NBC News interview: “When you listen to the people, when you’re bold, when you stay in the fight, you can win,” she said.

Unfortunately for the MIGOP, it looks like they did not make the nice list, and their extremist antics and refusal to do what’s right have not earned them presents from Santa. Thankfully, Michigan Democrats delivered for Michiganders time and time again. With the new year approaching, maybe the MIGOP will put “Actually work for Michiganders” on their New Year’s Resolutions list… but seems unlikely. Til next year! 

Signing off,

Michigan Dems


The post Weekly Roundup: Michigan Dem’s Holiday Naughty and Nice List appeared first on Michigan Democratic Party.