“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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"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."