Hello once again from MDP after being off last weekend to engage in the — according to Republican gubernatorial candidate Austin Chenge — “divisive” and “wrong” act of observing Juneteenth.
Here’s what happened this week with Michigan Republicans as the primary remains largely stuck in second gear:
Add businessman Kevin Rinke to the list of prospects, who told Detroit News earlier this week that he was “seriously considering” a run for governor. He’s been on the RGA’s radar since at least March, when it was first reported that he met with the national group. Seems Rinke is betting that James Craig’s reticence to answer anything at all — especially where he stands on the Big Lie — will turn the base off before the retired chief officially launches his campaign. This coronation is going to be harder than the MIGOP thought.
As far as declared candidates go, is that– can’t be– shame (?!) we’re starting to see from insurrectionist Ryan Kelley over his participation in the violent display on January 6th that killed five and injured 140 officers? During a CNN hit last weekend, the Allendale Republican was uncharacteristically coy about the extent of his involvement in the storming, “ducking questions about his whereabouts” even as a reporter physically pointed out “images showing him deep in the fray of rioters.” At this rate he’ll be pushing back against the Big Lie himself by year’s end.
Speaking of, it was a week full of ups and downs for the baseless crusade that Trump didn’t legitimately lose the election.
On Tuesday, Republican state Rep. Steve Carra introduced a bill to conduct a partisan and unnecessary review of Michigan’s 2020 general election ballots and Cheboygan County requested a recount of its results (despite Trump winning the county 2-1). Twenty-four hours later, the Senate Oversight Committee released an extensive report concluding after an eight-month long investigation that there was “no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud” that took place during the 2020 general election.
Predictably, the reaction from Trump was swift and furious as the former President issued a statement Thursday that was squarely aimed at Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Oversight Committee Chair Sen. Ed McBroom who were both called out by name complete with their office numbers. Highlights: McBroom’s investigation was a “cover up” meant to dodge “a forensic audit for the examination of the presidential contest,” and Michigan Republicans need to either “get them to do the right thing or vote them the hell out of office.”
MIGOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock signaled that she received Trump’s directive loud and clear, taking to Facebook to disclose she’s “been in communication with Trump advisors and they wanted a different approach from our legislature.” Maddock also lamented that McBroom released the findings before Arizona’s sham audit had concluded. As if that would’ve magically made a difference.
Once again the only adult in the room, Governor Whitmer called balls and strikes from above MIGOP’s internal fray while appearing on national television: “This GOP in Michigan right now has really bought into, kind of, the fringe. It’s harder and harder for moderate Republicans to call the GOP home.”
We can think of at least one place these future former Republicans might find solace.