“Michigan Republicans are gathering for a three-day summit ahead of 2018 elections in which they hope to keep control of the governor’s office. … The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference begins Friday and runs until Sunday on Mackinac Island.” (U.S. News)
The conference leads to a lot of spending: “State-registered political committees have spent more than half a million dollars on Mackinac since 2010, records show. … The top political spender on Mackinac Island? Far and away it is Gov. Rick Snyder (R), whose campaign committee has spent nearly $82,000 on Mackinac since 2010. … Attorney General Bill Schuette, now a Republican candidate for governor, was fifth on the spending list, at $16,824.” (Detroit Free Press)
TRUMP CHANGE. “President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet endorsing Bill Schuette’s run for governor provided instant fundraising fodder for the GOP attorney general – and a Democratic rival.” Both Schuette and former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) emailed out to supporters seeking donations based on President Trump’s endorsement. (The Detroit News)
SCHUETTE’S CHANCES. Despite factors that stand to boost Democrats’ chances to win the governor’s race, “Schuette may have a good shot at being the state’s next governor. … For one thing, he’s got far more name recognition than his most likely Democratic challenger,” Whitmer. He “is also a clever and consummate campaigner. … His biggest problem may be convincing voters he is not part of one establishment crowd — the Snyder administration.” (The Toledo Blade)
STAYING POSITIVE. Former Detroit Health Director Abdul El-Sayed (D) “says he’s confident that his grassroots movement challenging establishment politics is gaining traction. … El-Sayed met Thursday with The Detroit News Editorial Board and said the system of politics in Michigan might be engrained, but he believes he’s ‘definitely disrupting that in some big ways.’” (The Detroit News)
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Last Wednesday, a Federal Judge in San Francisco ruled that the Obama-era DACA program must be allowed to continue until lawsuits play out in court. The Trump administration has appealed that decision on the grounds that President Obama exceeded his authority by creating the program, and that Congress must pass legislation protecting dreamers if they are to be allowed to stay. “It defies both law and common sense," said Attorney General Sessions in a statement, that a “single district court in San Francisco” had halted the administration’s plans. The White House will also petition the Supreme Court to intervene in the case, in an unusual bid to bypass the Ninth Circuit altogether.
A number of historical and environmental groups oppose construction of President Obama's presidential center in the proposed site, Jackson Park. Charles Birnbaum, president and founder of D.C.-based nonprofit, the Cultural Landscape Foundation, said that there is "plenty of land on the South Side that they could and should use," but that the organizers "have been adamant that they must have historic public parkland for the purpose." Birnbaum is joined by Friends of the Parks, Jackson Park Watch, Openlands, National Association for Olmsted Parks, Save the Midway, Landmarks Illinois, Preservation Chicago, and 200 faculty at the University of Chicago, Obama's alma mater. President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency gets final say on approval, and may reject it if the center is found to have "adverse effects" on Jackson Park.
"The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. ...Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington."