Iron Workers Local 25, which has 5,000 members, endorsed former state Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D).
Michael Randick, Business Manager for the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 25: “Without doubt, Whitmer is our strongest candidate for governor because she isn’t afraid to take on the tough fights for our workers, but she’ll work with anyone who wants to solve problems so that as we grow our economy, our families’ incomes grow with it.” (release)
LAWMAKER OR LAW BREAKER? “A buyer filed a federal lawsuit against” entrepreneur Shri Thanedar (D), “alleging the Ann Arbor businessman fraudulently inflated the value of a company before its 2016 sale. … Thanedar received about $20 million from the $33.6-million sale price when he sold his majority interest in Avomeen Holdings, a chemical testing company, according to the lawsuit. At the same time, Thanedar kept a minority interest in Avomeen through his company Chemreal, the suit alleges.
“‘However, purchaser has discovered … that in the critical months leading up to close, Thanedar made fraudulent and misleading representations to purchaser regarding Avomeen’s financial practices and the nature and amount of Avomeen’s monthly revenues and earnings,’ the lawsuit alleges.” (Detroit Free Press)
LEGALIZE IT. “Four leading Democrats and one little-known Republican running for Michigan governor are throwing their support behind marijuana legalization ahead of a potential statewide proposal they could share the ballot with in 2018,” including Whitmer, Thanedar, former Detroit Health Director Abdul El-Sayed (D), former Xerox executive Bill Cobbs (D), and Lansing businessman Evan Space (R). (Detroit News)
MORE ENDORSEMENTS. Grassroots Republican Activist Mark Gurley endorsed state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R). (release)
POLL. State Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) came out ahead in a new Target Insyght poll with 38 percent support, followed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) at 14 percent, and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck at 5 percent. “Calley has not announced he is running as yet” and 36 “percent say they’re still undecided.” Polling details were not available. (Q106)
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"President Trump issued a series of executive orders Friday that could gut federal employee unions’ ability to negotiate with agency leaders and represent workers, as well as reduce the time it takes for an agency to fire people for poor performance or misconduct. Billed as the first step toward broad civil service reform, senior administration officials announced in a call with reporters on Friday afternoon three executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire poor performers and ordering harsher treatment of union representatives."
Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"In the months after Donald Trump rode to victory while calling for mass deportations, Russian operatives bought dozens of Facebook ads targeted at the Hispanic community seeking to further inflame tensions already roiled by the campaign's racially charged rhetoric, according to USA TODAY analysis. Thousands of ads released by House Democrats this month showed Russian operatives focused on race during the presidential election in what experts say was a clear effort to amplify existing divisions."