Inside and outside of Oakland

Democrats sniggle Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder ahead of state conventions

  Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is a target of Democrats who gather in Detroit this weekend for their state convention to elect new leaders.
  The Michigan Democratic Party has put up a billboard along I-96 facing west between the Okemos and Williamston exits that says, "Make Rick Snyder A One Term Nerd."

  The billboard is a dig at Snyder who built his campaign for governor in 2010 around the slogan "One Tough Nerd."
  Republicans say the billboard is an effort by Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer to boost his credentials going into the Democratic convention in Detroit this weekend.
  Brewer is being challenged for leadership of the Democrats by Lon Johnson, and a floor fight at the convention is expected.
  An email from Brewer said Democrats from across the state contributed money for the billboard.
  "Our grassroots supporters couldn’t wait for 2014 to send a message to Snyder that working toward his defeat is 'on their agenda,'" Brewer said.
  Democrats, angry over right-to-work legislation and changes to state taxes they say penalize the middle class, say 160,000 commuters each week will see the billboard, including the governor during his commute from Lansing to his Ann Arbor-area home.
  Michigan Republican Party spokesman Matt Frendewey said the billboard could be a "parting gift" from Brewer if he's replaced as leader of Michigan Democrats.
  "It's a clever waste of resources 22 months out from the election," Frendewey said. "In three months, no one will remember it. Brewer's just trying to use it to bolster himself."
  Kirstin Alvanitakis, spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said the billboard will remain up for four weeks.
  Republicans also hold their state convention this weekend in Lansing, but they're not expecting the fireworks that Democrats anticipate at theirs over picking their leadership.
  Like Brewer, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak is also challenged for his spot by Todd Courser.

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