Ari Adler, the press secretary for House Speaker Jase Bolger, has worked in public relations since at least 1997, but he concedes in a one-on-one interview with MIRS editor Kyle Melinn today his most recent post is the most difficult job he's ever had. Right to Work protests, emergency manager protests, the Roy Schmidt scandal and "Vaginagate." Adler looks back at these challenges, particularly in a quickly changing news environment, where social media and the drive to have news first adds new challenges to communications professionals.
What will the final road funding package look like? What will happen with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) during the lame duck session? How about the 4 a.m. bar closing time bill? The MIRS team gives its different predictions.
In this "Lame Duck Primer" edition, the MIRS crew breaks down Speaker Jase Bolger's road funding alternative. Is this posturing? A scare tactic? A final offer before the House, Senate and Governor hammer out a compromise involving a ballot proposal? Also, what are the best bargaining chips the House and Senate possess?
Down to 11 members, how does the Senate Democratic caucus keep their morale up and plan for the future? Is majority even a realistic possibility in 2018? Incoming Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich gives his opinion (13:30).
What is the political reality for an Elliott-Larsen expansion bill in lame duck without the active support of AT&T President Jim Murray? What other issues look to be in big trouble during the last few weeks of the 2013-14 session? And why are House Republicans bringing up an Electoral College reform bill?
Emily Dievendorf of Equality Michigan talks -- among other issues -- about the possibility of an Elliott-Larsen expansion measure and a gay marriage legalization initiative getting on the 2016 ballot together.
Much was made about the Michigan Democratic Party's voter turnout operation, but how much different was it from what the Michigan Republican Party did? MRP Chair Bobby Schostak gives his assessment of that. Also, what was the difference between running against MDP Chair Lon Johnson and former chair Mark Brewer? Will Schostak run for a third term as chair?
Also, MIRS plays a game of Monday morning quarterback with incoming House Minority Floor Leader Sam Singh on what more could have been done to improve the Democrats' numbers in the House.
MIRS warms up for Election Tuesday with Publisher John Reurink hosting a roundtable with Kelly Rossman-McKinney of Truscott Rossman, Jack Spencer with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Dan McMaster with Grassroots Midwest and Ed Saprolus of Target Insyght.
First congressional candidate Jerry Cannon questions whether U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek fought hard enough to prevent the high electric rates the Upper Peninsula is facing. He also defends his military service at Guantanamo Bay and charges of alleged abuse of detainees. The Democrat also addresses what happened with the Obamacare controversy from early in the campaign, among other issues.
Also, new campaign finance reports are out and the MIRS team breaks down the legislative races and projects how the state Senate and state House will look like after Nov. 4. And what did editor Kyle Melinn find inside his 6th grade class' 30-year time capsule he and his Byron Center classmates dug up last week?
Nobody has raised even half of what Democrat Paul Clements has managed to raise in his campaign against U.S. Rep. Fred Upton in MI-6. How has he done it? He shares his secret in today's edition. Plus, he talks about his belief that Upton purposely dodged a debate with him.
Also, MIRS Publisher John Reurink declares U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land "toast."
Who won last night's gubernatorial debate? The MIRS team gives its assessment as well as highlighting places where Mark Schauer missed opportunities. Who did better in their debate, Schauer in 2014 or Virg Bernero in 2010? Did Twitter add anything to the conversation? MIRS Monday extends an invitation to host its own debate.
Also, Board of Education candidate Pamela Pugh Smith calls for the dissolution of the Education Achievement Authority and a moratorium on new charter schools.