“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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House Chaplain Patrick Conroy’s sudden resignation has sparked a furor on Capitol Hill, with sources in both parties saying he was pushed out by Speaker Paul Ryan. Conroy’s own resignation announcement stated that it was done at Ryan’s request. ... A Democratic lawmaker said that the Speaker took issue with a prayer on the House floor that could have been perceived as being critical of the GOP tax-cut bill."
President Trump acknowledged on Thursday that his longtime attorney Michael Cohen had "represented" him in what he called the "crazy" deal in which Cohen paid $130,000 to buy the silence of a pornographic actress just before the 2016 election. Trump's comments in an interview with Fox and Friends were the first time he has conceded his connection to Cohen's deal with Stormy Daniels. ... Previously, Trump has denied any relationship with Daniels and he told reporters he wasn't aware that Cohen paid Daniels."