OUT —Mainstream Republicans finally decided they've had enough of Michigan's Republican National Committee member Dave Agema, a former state lawmaker under fire recently for whacky comments derogatory to gays, such as saying they're responsible for most murders in the U.S. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak issued a joint statement Friday from the RNC's annual meeting saying Agema should resign. With elections underway this year, Agema is about as welcome to mainstream Republicans as a Democrat at a Tea Party meeting.
TROUBLE IN THE GOP —Unity is something the GOP is finding difficult to achieve this year. Just consider the various Tea Party groups, often critical of more moderate Republicans whom they call RINOs — short for Republicans In Name Only. Now, some Tea Party people have adopted a new acronym, calling themselves PUMAs — short for Party Unity, My Ass!
IN —Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder participated in a panel discussion Friday afternoon in Washington about the economic case for passing immigration reform, something the governor favors in his recent State of the State address. He was scheduled to appear with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guiterrez and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson. Snyder wants to create the Michigan Office for New Americans, to attract immigrants to Michigan.
UNEMPLOYMENT DEBATE —Democrat U.S. Rep.s Sander Levin from Royal Oak and Gary Peters from Bloomfield Township held an event in the Macomb County community of Roseville Friday to push for an extension of emergency federal unemployment benefits. The two Democrats say 56,619 Michigan residents lost those benefits when they expired Dec. 28, including 4,140 in Macomb County and 4,555 in Oakland County. Legislation to extend the benefits has failed to pass the U.S. House. Peters is a candidate for U.S. Senate this year against Republican Terri Lynn Land.
PART-TIME LEGISLATURE —A new nonprofit, The Committee to Restore Michigan's Part-Time Legislature, submitted ballot language to the Michigan Bureau of Elections to push for a part-time legislature in Michigan. The committee will have to gather some 400,000 valid signatures on petitions to put the question of a part-time legislature on the Nov. 4 ballot. The committee wants salaries and benefits capped at $35,000 a year and no more than 60 regular session days per year. The group claims Michigan had a part-time legislature until the state constitution was rewritten in 1963. Information is available at http://parttimemi.com/index.html.
ANNOUNCED— Kathy Crawford, a Republican Oakland County commissioner from Novi, has filed as a candidate for the Michigan House seat held by her term-limited husband, state Rep. Hugh Crawford. Ken Darga, a Lansing Democrat and former state demographer, has announced he'll run against U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers from Howell in the 8th Congressional District representing Ingham, Livingston and north Oakland counties.