The state Democratic Party called on Detroit Health Director Abdul El-Sayed (D “to clear up confusion over his eligibility to run for the state’s top job.” State party spokesman Brandon Dillon “said it’s more a concern that if it’s not cleared up and El-Sayed wins the primary election in August, Republicans could challenge his eligibility and the Democrats could end up with no one on the ballot for the November general election.”
“Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said it will not independently start an investigation of El-Sayed’s eligibility to run for office. Rather, it would wait until an official complaint is filed.”
“The issue won’t officially come to a head until El-Sayed turns in his paperwork — at least 15,000 petition signatures from registered voters and an affidavit of identity — to run for governor by the state’s April 24 deadline.”
“El-Sayed said earlier this week that his legal team feels he’s 100% eligible because he never lost his voter registration and he owned a residence in Ann Arbor while he was living in New York. The campaign has framed the issue as a racist attempt by party insiders to end his progressive candidacy.” (Detroit Free Press)
NASSAR. “Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) is expected Friday to call on the Michigan Legislature to create a new class of independent special prosecutor in state law, citing potential conflicts of interest in cases like [state] Attorney General Bill Schuette’s (R) investigation of Michigan State University. … Calley … said Thursday that special prosecutors appointed by the attorney general … are ‘not at all independent, and that is problematic.’” (Detroit News)
SPEAKING OF CALLEY. “Gov. Rick Snyder (R) won’t be on the ballot this fall, but with another election fast approaching, he’ll use his third Super Bowl commercial since 2010 to tout economic gains under his watch while pushing to ‘accelerate and protect Michigan’s comeback.’” (Detroit News)
BUDGET BUSTING. “Public records indicate that” former state House Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D), Schuette, El-Sayed, Calley and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) intend to seek public financing. “Should all five primary candidates get the maximum $990,000 payout, the addition of two nominees publicly funded to the tune of $1.1 million each would use up most of the fund’s $7.2 million.” (National Journal) A source with Whitmer’s campaign said she has qualified for “about” $750,000 in public funds “so far.” (Hotline reporting)
What We're Following See More »
"Former veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of making false statements to federal agents." Wolfe was indicted "earlier this year on three counts of making false statements to the FBI, which questioned him about his contacts with reporters ... According to the indictment, in October 2017 Wolfe gave a reporter ... information about an unidentified man who had been served with a subpoena to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The reporter published stories about the subpoena and the man's upcoming testimony in a closed committee hearing."
"The federal deficit widened last year amid higher government spending—including rising interest costs on the debt and increased funding for the military—and flat revenues following last year’s tax cut. The government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Treasury Department said Monday. That is the largest annual deficit in six years and 17% higher than the $666 billion deficit in fiscal 2017. As a share of gross domestic product, the deficit totaled 3.9%, up from 3.5% a year earlier and the third consecutive increase."
"The BBC has determined there is enough evidence to be confident that at least 106 chemical attacks have taken place in Syria since September 2013, when the president signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and agreed to destroy the country's chemical weapons stockpile."