Michigan Policast for Monday, September 28, 2020In this episode:
- Segment one: What if Trump refuses to concede?
- Segment two: Barbara McQuade interview
- Segment three: COVID-19
- Segment four: Jennifer Granholm on the Presidential debates
- Segment five: Political notes
- Segment six: Attack ad of the week
- What If Trump Refuses to Concede? – The Atlantic
- MICHIGAN COULD DECIDE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BUT NOT FOR THE REASON YOU THINK – The Ballenger Report
- GOP sues to block Michigan ruling on absentee ballots
- Republican senator proposes a bill that would make it illegal to count votes.
- At Pentagon, Fears Grow That Trump Will Pull Military Into Election Unrest – The New York Times
- Trump’s escalating attacks on election prompt fears of a constitutional crisis – The Washington Post
- Naked ballots, signature mismatch, and other pitfalls to avoid when voting by mail.
- Michigan SOS: Delayed results could stretch Nov. Election Day into ‘election week’
- Be prepared for ‘Election Week,’ not ‘Election Day,’ says Michigan Secretary of State
- Detroit, state to jointly oversee November election in city after outcry over Aug. primary
- Commentary: Priorities should be making voting easier for all
- Trump foments mistrust of election he claims won’t be honest
- Fact check: Trump Jr. touts baseless rigged-election claims to recruit ‘army' for his dad
- Trump has recruited an army of volunteer lawyers to immediately contest the election results: report
- Michigan ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 must be counted in election, judge rules
- VoteSafe Facts & Research
- I was a Republican governor of Pa. I’m voting for Joe Biden. | Opinion
- Time Crunch: Michigan's surge in absentee voting to test capacity of election workers
- Judge extends absentee ballot deadline, clerks fear late election results
- Michigan: Enthusiasm runs high as early voting begins.
- ‘I can be silent no longer': former intel official denounces Trump
“The unrefuted affidavits and documents compel the conclusion that, in light of delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail delivery has become significantly compromised, and the risk for disenfranchisement when a voter returns an absent voter ballot by mail is very real,” Stephens said in her ruling.
Her ruling allows any ballot postmarked by Nov. 2 to be valid, as long as they arrived before Michigan election results are certified. She also determined voters could choose anyone to return their ballots for them. ~Source
Seeking an “army” of “able-bodied” people for “election security,” Donald Trump Jr. makes up a left-wing plan for “millions of fraudulent ballots that can cancel your vote and overturn the election.”
Twitter and Facebook have put labels on the video. https://t.co/Tucli3rafb
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 23, 2020
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 22, 2020
- McQuade, Barbara – University of Michigan bio page
- Barbara McQuade – Wikipedia
- Trump Wants Another ‘Bush v. Gore’
- Bush v Gore – Wikipedia
- Trump and McConnell Are Undoing the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Legitimacy
- Trump and McConnell Are Building the Most Visible Symbol of a Failed State
- Battle Over RBG Seat Could Damage Supreme Court’s Reputation, Set Off Legitimacy Crisis
We need to think realistically about the worst-case scenario that so many of us have been in denial about ... the only way to prepare ourselves is for a situation where President Trump refuses to concede ~@BarbMcQuade #Election2020 @bartongellmanClick To Tweet Bush v Gore in 2000 was decided in the courts, but even more critical than the decision was @algore saying I accept this. And it doesn't sound like that's something Donald Trump would do. ~@MichCurmudgeon @BarbMcQuade #Election2020 @bartongellmanClick To Tweet
If Barrett is confirmed, 5 members of the Supreme Court – a majority – will have been appointed by presidents who did not win the popular vote (Barrett, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch by Trump, Alito and Roberts by GW Bush). https://t.co/CRF2JLFwn9
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 27, 2020
It is now likely that 5 SCOTUS Justices will have been appointed by Presidents who have won less than half the popular vote. These jurists are representative of around 27% of eligible voters. This is democratically unsustainable, and risks de-legitimization and irrelevancy.
— Edward Hughes (@pcbrookstennis) September 26, 2020
Weapons have no place at our state Capitol building. As Justice Scalia wrote in DC v. Heller, 2nd Amendment is not absolute, and permits “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places.” https://t.co/8enSM2rZvs
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 18, 2020
At this moment, I greatly appreciate having a @MichSOS who is an election law expert, and one who is using all of her insights to educate the rest of us. Competence is under-rated. Thank you, @JocelynBenson. Protect the vote. https://t.co/9hx05ALyXi
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 27, 2020
- Whitmer’s top lawyer: Executive orders are ‘the heart’ of Michigan’s coronavirus response
- Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants – Axios
- Indiana governor keeps mask order, drops other virus limits
- Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys can open Oct. 9
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Michigan movie theaters can open and K-5 students must wear masks | Bridge Michigan
- Gretchen Whitmer orders Michigan schools to tell public about COVID cases | Bridge Michigan
- MSU, U-M, Wayne State presidents: Don’t expect in-person classes until fall 2021 | Bridge Michigan
- U.S. coronavirus cases and state maps: Tracking cases, deaths – Washington Post
[THREAD] Today, I amended the MI Safe Start Order to do the following: pic.twitter.com/cnrjjHXhcw
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) September 25, 2020
We have followed a very deliberate, careful process to make sure we are proceeding in a measured manner – to make sure we’re aware of the impact our orders will have before they go into effect ~ @MarkTottenMI @GovWhitmer https://bit.ly/3397NDs @ABC12WJRTClick To Tweet
As of September 21, national forecasts predict 3,400 to 7,400 new #COVID19 deaths will be reported during the week ending October 17. These forecasts predict 214,000 to 226,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the US by October 17. More: https://t.co/Ft6cgmaMPX pic.twitter.com/ODHv6Z4h5p
— CDC (@CDCgov) September 25, 2020
- Jennifer Granholm official website
- Granholm issues controversial warning about potential Trump election interference (July Free Press article)
- Trump says Christie, Giuliani assisting debate prep
- I played Trump in Clinton’s debate prep. Here’s what Biden can expect.
- How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate
.@mickeyedwardsok is a founding trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation…and a former chairman of the American Conservative Union.@Djou4Hawaii is an Afghanistan War veteran, a devout Christian and a graduate of Trump’s alma mater.https://t.co/rCXMk9uNWT
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) September 27, 2020
Ari, Trump has refused to commit to accept the election results. He has said he wants to move the election. He is already claiming the election will be fraudulent and rigged. State officials should be preparing for a contested election, full stop.
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) July 31, 2020
- Detroit Free Press endorsement: Gary Peters for U.S. Senate
- Endorsement: Joe Biden is the anti-toxin America needs
- Where does GOP Senate hopeful John James stand on Trump's Supreme Court nominee?
- John James Runs a Cautious Race Versus Gary Peters
- Real Clear Politics Senate Polls
- John James and Gary Peters in nasty US Senate race in Michigan
- Did GOP Senate hopeful John James create 100 jobs? Here's what we found
- Voters Believe Winner of Election Should Fill Court Vacancy, Poll Shows – The New York Times
- Trump Announces Phony New Health Care ‘Plan' | HuffPost
- Trump says he’s sending seniors $200 drug coupons – POLITICO
- The problem with Trump's drug discount cards for seniors
- Federal Judge Bars Trump Administration From Ending Census Early – The New York Times
- Despite tossed signatures, Unlock Michigan says it has support to limit Whitmer's authority
- Flashpoint 9/27/20: Candidates in race for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District debate
It was the hot mic heard ’round the world: @GovWhitmer gets candid about her viral Shark Week quip during the Dem convention.
— The Recount (@therecount) September 24, 2020
.@SenGaryPeters has always been a leader in fighting to create better-paying jobs, boost manufacturing and expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout Michigan ~@RonBieberMI @AFLCIO @detroitnews https://bit.ly/3j8z3rbClick To Tweet .@SenGaryPeters has achieved more in his first term than many senators accomplish in their careers, and we enthusiastically support his re-election in November's general election. https://bit.ly/3mXO8y6 @FreepClick To Tweet .@SenGaryPeters has focused on bipartisan cost-cutting legislation like the MEGABYTE Act, which has saved over $450m since 2017. https://bit.ly/3mXO8y6 @FreepClick To Tweet
Progress takes courage, humanity, empathy, strength, KINDNESS & RESPECT.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 27, 2020
The New York Times just released new reporting on the President's troubling tax history and attempts to avoid paying his fair share.
— Ways & Means Committee (@WaysMeansCmte) September 27, 2020
In any event, Amy Coney Barrett is not “brilliant.” You can pick apart her shitty arguments quite easily if you've been trained to spot how @FedSoc makes their sausage.
Step 1: Invent an original intent of a dead white guy who cannot be asked about the intent you ascribe to him..
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) September 27, 2020
- PACRONYM on YouTube
- The Lincoln Project
- Meidas Touch
- Republican Voters Against Trump
Runner up: PACRONYM – Dear Young People
Winner: The Lincoln Project – Nobody
Walt Sorg 00:00
The presenting underwriter of the Michigan Policast is Progress Michigan providing a strong, credible voice that holds government officials accountable and assist in the promotion of progressive ideas.
Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson 00:14
I've never publicly endorsed a presidential candidate or a vice presidential candidates in my life over my career. So I figured let's kick this conversation off this way, by me officially publicly endorsing you both to become president and vice president of our great country.
Walt Sorg 00:33
Yes, folks. It is officially over the election has ended. Joe Biden has been endorsed by the rock, Dwayne Johnson. This is the Michigan Policast, where every vote gets counted. We're all about Michigan policy and politics and the national currency impacting our pleasant peninsulas. I'm Walt Sorg
Gretchen Whitmer 00:51
I am growing increasingly concerned about the rhetoric coming out of the White House. I'm growing increasingly concerned what we see in terms of activity from self anointed people that are showing up as ways to intimidate others.
Christine Barry 01:09
I'm Christine Barry voting has begun in Michigan, more than 2.3 million absentee ballots have been mailed to voters, and everyone has the option of voting in person at their local clerk's office. And the President of the United States is leading efforts to make sure that not all votes are counted. We'll talk about the President's threats with former US Attorney for Southeast Michigan and MSNBC legal analyst Barbara McQuade. Also on our agenda, the governor moves to open up the last businesses impacted by the COVID-19 emergency shutdown orders. And she adds protection for schoolchildren, and two petition drives look like they've come up with enough signatures but there's a battle royale coming up on one of them.
Walt Sorg 01:51
The first Biden Trump debate is set for Tuesday night of course, we'll preview the debate with someone who played Sarah Palin in Joe Biden's debate prep back in 2008. And then played both Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand earlier this year during primary debate prep. Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. and we'll have an update on the us senate race. As the issue free campaign of john James draws heat for his silence and questions his claims about adding jobs in the state of Michigan.
Barton Gellman 02:20
All the evidence, just literally all of it lines up behind a proposition which is that Donald Trump may win he may lose but he will not. Not now not ever concede that he was defeated in the election, everything about his history, everything about his personality, and everything that he's actually said, which include flat out statements that the only way that he can lose this election is if it's rigged against him.
Walt Sorg 02:49
That's the voice of Barton Gellman He's the author of a truly remarkable article published in The Atlantic. What if Trump refuses to concede? The article has been at the heart of the debate all week because it lays out the very real Armageddon possibility of a slightly insane Donald Trump's setting off a constitutional crisis unmatched by anything since the Civil War. Christine is this just more bullshit from Donald Trump, or is this a real threat?
Christine Barry 03:15
Well, it sounds like a real threat I in a few different ways. I gotta tell you, while I'm a real fan of horror literature, like HP Lovecraft this article is terrifying because there were so many ways that Trump can use his power and the power of the state legislatures that may be loyal to him to maintain his power. And let's just look real quickly why we're here. We've talked about voting by mail increasing for various reasons, greater access, and so on. Trump has attacked it over and over and over again as a mechanism for voter fraud. And Trump allies know that when more people vote, Democrats win. So by allowing the counting of absentee ballots, we allow more votes to be cast for a Democrat, just like we allow more votes to be cast for Republicans. But when more people vote, Democrats win. And Trump has suppressed his own base from voting by mail, which means that on election night, he'll probably be winning, or he'll be more competitive in these swing states than the results will ultimately show because of what we we've mentioned before also as the red Mirage, which is the idea that the republican will have the most votes that have been counted by the end of Election Day and vote by mail, ballots change that results over time. So he and the Senate will want to stop counting votes as soon as possible because in theory that will favor him. So there are several reasons why we're going to have trouble with this election. And they all come back to voting by mail and allegations of fraud.
Walt Sorg 04:58
It's really an extension of the Republican gameplan that's gone on for decades. And that game plan has been voter suppression, keep people from voting in areas that are likely to vote for Democrats. The next logical step would be if they do get through that maze, don't count their votes, which is exactly what Donald Trump wants. He wants. Basically, there's been a bill introduced by Senator Rick Scott in the US Senate, which basically says that they have to stop counting ballots, shortly after the close of the polls, and anything that comes in after that just doesn't count anywhere in the nation. And that obviously would disenfranchise lots of people in Michigan, it would mean literally hundreds of thousands of votes wouldn't get counted. The Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has said she doesn't think that we're gonna have a final vote count in Michigan, probably until the Friday after the election. And if you cut it off on Wednesday, that means a lot of ballots go on counter, but when you're talking, again, 3 million absentee ballots out of a total of five and a half 6 million that are being cast, it's a huge number of voters. Trump's acting like a man who knows who's gonna lose, and the only way he can win is by gumming up the works.
Christine Barry 06:07
Well, Judge Cynthia Stevens had issued that preliminary injunction that allows absentee ballots in Michigan or you know, the mail in ballots, whatever you want to call them, same thing to be counted up to 14 days after the election. So depending on the gap between the candidates, you know, if the gap between the candidates is larger than the votes that are, you know, still out there, then it's not going to matter. But if we still have a lot of votes out there, and it's a tight race, it's going to be 14 days, at least. And you know, we've talked about this before many places in Michigan do not have high speed tabulators. state election law says we have a very narrow window to count, you know, absentee ballots. And it just wasn't enough time the legislature did give them a little bit more time. But then it went to the courts, because in light of the pandemic, the Federal interference with the post office, there are certain state election laws that would effectively disenfranchise voters just because of the weird things that are going on around us right now. And while these battles are playing out at the state level, because Michigan isn't the only one in in this battle, obviously. But while these multiple battles play out at the state level, Trump has been working on state legislatures to bypass results of the vote and directly appoint electors loyal to him. So in states like Michigan, where you have the entire legislature controlled by Republicans, it doesn't matter what happens with absentee ballots, it doesn't matter with popular vote. If the state legislature wanted to appoint electors, local oil to Trump, they could do that. And I don't think that's something that would happen unless he made a convincing argument for some kind of fraud.
Walt Sorg 07:55
I did raise that issue. I had a chance to talk to Governor Whitmer about that very briefly earlier this week. And I asked her if she was absolutely convinced that Michigan's electoral votes would go to the presidential candidate that got the most votes.
Gretchen Whitmer 08:08
These are not the actions of an administration that feels as though they're going to win an election, undermining the Postal Service questioning, a process by which we've cast our votes for decades the absentee balance, rushing to put a person on the United States Supreme Court. And now this working with Republican legislators to undermine the vote of the people. Of course, I'm going to be concerned about it. And of course, we are strategizing around what was within our power, but I will be able to declare the victor and I will abide by the vote of the people of this state, as has always been done, Republican or Democrat in terms of governors prior to me, and I will work with our Attorney General and Secretary of State to fight to ensure that that happens, and we will litigate it if we have to in the Michigan courts. But I am confident that we will have a resolve where the electors on Michigan's behalf, are electors truly beholden not to the political party, but to the state.
Walt Sorg 09:14
A couple of oddities about the vote counting that I run into Christine play into this. Michigan actually would be the last state to report its vote if it went right to the deadline of November 14 is the way it works out. Based on judge Stevens ruling we would be the last state that would have to report our results. However, the whole thing could become moot if Joe Biden simply carries Florida, Florida processes their absentee ballots early in fact, they start counting them before the election, and Florida very likely will know who won in Florida by Wednesday noon at the latest and very possibly on Tuesday night. And if Joe Biden wins Florida, it's all over. Trump can win without the Florida electoral votes if Trump wins, Florida He's still probably loses. But he's got a chance then. So go Florida and with Michael Bloomberg investing 100 million dollars in Florida on behalf of the Biden campaign. That certainly helps a lot.
Christine Barry 10:13
And let's just take a moment to acknowledge that we shouldn't even have to talk about this. And I'm going to recommend that that Atlantic article again, it's very long, but it's very detailed, it's easy to understand. And it's so interesting, on all of the different ways that things are broken. In a presidential election, like everything that can go wrong, could go wrong. And we could end up with three people showing up to get sworn in at the inauguration. And that would be Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, depending on how it all plays out. Now, that's really unlikely. But you know, it's an interesting article. Now, in addition to all of these, this horribleness, a couple of things state election officials across the country are saying that lawful votes will be counted. The FBI has said that any deployment of military or law enforcement for election monitoring would be illegal. Remember, Trump said he was going to have to deploy people. military leadership has said the armed forces have no role in a dispute over, you know, the election. So some of these other things. And I'll link to all of this stuff, as usual. But some of these other things that are happening, at least there are some reasonable people in the background saying, you can be assured that the system will work the way that it's supposed to. However, there's video of Donald Trump out there saying go vote in person, and then go around and watch the other places and look for things that are unusual,
Walt Sorg 11:48
And carry your AK 47 with you,
Christine Barry 11:51
most likely, and I gotta tell you, I stood in line to vote for Hillary Clinton. And there were people behind me who were horrible. And, you know, shiawassee County was never going to deliver for Hillary Clinton. There was no question about that. But the absolute awfulness of the people who are standing behind me, talking about how she was a demon, and all of these, just nasty things, and speaking very loudly about it, and bragging about how they've harassed other people, other Democratic candidates, like the Democratic candidate for Sheriff and so on. And I wanted to turn around and tell the guy, you know, I feel like I felt like he was campaigning, you know, right outside while we were standing in line, but he was a scary guy. And so were the other two people with him. They were big guys, and they're stupid. Don't tread on me t shirts, which apparently aren't, you know, you can have those because they're not partisan, you know, they're not for a candidate or whatever. I don't want to stand in line with those people. And I don't want those people walking around and looking at other voters, or going up and talking to other voters. I don't want that to happen. But that's exactly what Trump is asking for to happen. And those are the people who are hearing that message.
Walt Sorg 13:10
Now, I've already voted. So I'm not going to worry about running into them personally. It's all part of a problem, too, that we've got with how Trump has really transformed our whole democratic system. He is totally politicize the Department of Justice with Bill Barr leading the way but also, he's done his best to politicize the FBI, to take the US Attorney's in a couple of areas and politicize that even more heavily than than before. And of course, this whole Supreme Court nomination is the move of a man who's got to get it done now, because in the back of his mind, he and Mitch McConnell don't think he's gonna be around in January to make the appointment. You know, if he really thought he was gonna win, he could wait until next year to make this appointment. And then there wouldn't be any controversy, but clearly, they believe that he's not going to be there. So to learn more about this, I called up somebody who really knows her stuff. Barbara McQuade is a professor of law at University of Michigan. She is the former US Attorney for Southeast Michigan and MSNBC legal analyst. Talk with her from her U of M office just prior to the announcement of the appointment of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court. The discussion over the last few days has been over this frightening article in The Atlantic by Barton Gellman over different ways that we could be in chaos as a result of the election. Is Barton Gellman be too much of an alarmist, should you see this as a real possibility, given the the legal structure and the powers that the President has?
Barbara McQuade 14:42
Well, I do think it is kind of a worst case scenario. But I think what he is arguing is that we need to think realistically about the worst case that so many of us have been in denial about many of the things that we have seen by President Trump that the only way Way to prepare ourselves is for a situation where President Trump refuses to concede, you know, the Constitution says that his term expires on January 20, at noon one way or the other. But the harder question is who replaces him himself if he's reelected, or Joe Biden, if he is elected, in the scenario, where we don't know is if there is just some sort of chaos, you know, and I think we need look no further than bush versus Gore, to see that there really is a possibility that an election could occur without a clear winner. And when the President controls some of the lead of levers of power, and has demonstrated at least a willingness to abuse some of those levers of power, we could have a kind of chaotic situation where we don't have a clear winner. You know, the President has made a lot of threats about not trusting the reliability of mailing ballots, he controls the postal service. And so we've seen already some changes at the post office that has resulted in delays in the mail. And so I don't know that it's terribly far fetched. Now, I imagine Joe Biden has hired lawyers or is assembling a legal team that will be thinking through all of these scenarios, and we'll work to avoid the kind of chaos that we might see. But I guess we should be prepared for these eventualities so that we can have people and systems in place to address them. Because if we don't have a leader, a president on January 21, of 2021, I think we could find ourselves into that sometimes overused phrase, but in this case, maybe apt a constitutional crisis.
Walt Sorg 16:41
You mentioned Bush v gore in 2000, which ultimately was decided that critical vote was five to four. But probably even more critical was al gore saying I accept this. And it doesn't sound like that's something Donald Trump would be prepared to do. Plus, it seems like he is really attack the credibility of his own court by basically prejudging the Supreme Court.
Barbara McQuade 17:02
Well, it's an interesting scenario, because we've got a president who will be naming a successor soon. And so we'll likely have a six three majority if that candidate is confirmed on the Supreme Court. But, you know, I'm not enough of a cynic to think that just because a president was appointed by a particular president or particular party, that justice is an automatic vote in favor of that candidate or party. I think that justices tend to reflect the worldview of the president who put them there, but that they have an obligation that I think they take seriously to decide a case based on the facts. And the law, is you said we if if President Trump is successful in getting a nominee confirmed, we will have five of our supreme court justices nominated by a president who did not have did not win the popular vote. Donald Trump with three in George W. Bush with two Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. And so what does that say about democracy and about the courts legitimacy? Maybe it has an undermining effect that when it's one justice or two justices is not a big deal, but when we get to a majority of five justices, people begin to lose confidence in the credibility of the court. I think that could happen. And I think you're also right, when you talk about one of the biggest factors in Bush v. Gore, was al gore doing a very selfless thing in saying I accept the decision of the court. And I concede the election. Once he did that. I think he signaled to his supporters that they should follow suit and agree to recognize the legitimacy of President Bush, you could imagine President Trump saying just the opposite. If a court were to get involved, or the vote count should be clear that Joe Biden is the winner of the election to say I don't recognize the legitimacy. He has made a number of statements this week. And before saying that, you know that I will, I don't know that I will recognize the winner of the election, we'll have to wait and see what happens. And I think that's been alarming for some people that you would not do what al gore did and concede the outcome. And I think that even if our institutions hold in the court determines a clear winner if President Trump fails to concede the presidency and fails to say, recognize Joe Biden as the president, what could that do to his followers, he has this very loyal base we have seen unrest in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin, where militia members have decided to take the law into their own hands, we could see an uprising, you know, maybe not an all out civil war, but we could see violent individuals, people who are predisposed to be looking for a cause to come to what they believe is the defense of President Trump and engage in violent acts. So I do think that there is reason to be concerned about the scenarios described in the Atlantic article.
Walt Sorg 19:59
It's seems to me that this is a part of a bigger story with Donald Trump of really destabilizing the entire concept of equal justice under law that is politicized the third branch of government, both through the courts, but also with an attorney general, who's probably the most political since john Michell under Richard Nixon, you as a as a US Attorney, you are a political appointee, but you were pretty independent. It seems like that independence is pretty well gone now to and that really the US Attorney's have to march to the beat of William Barr. Am I overreacting?
Barbara McQuade 20:30
I don't know that we have seen yet. evidence that us attorneys are acting as political actors. You know, it's always
Walt Sorg 20:38
But he's gone through a lot of them lately. It's Southern District of New York and in Virginia in DC, the areas of personal concern to Donald Trump in the Trump Organization.
Barbara McQuade 20:49
Yeah, so you know, they're 93 us attorneys around the country. And I think most of them are doing their jobs, as they are intended to be done independently looking at cases based on facts and law. But I do agree with you that William Barr has shown himself to be a political actor. And even if he's taking steps that he believes are in the best interest of justice, he has done a lot of things to undermine public confidence in his work. Just in the past week, he made statements disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, disparaging Joe Biden as a presidential candidate, disparaging the investigation into election interference. And I think those things make it clear that he is very much a political actor. And then you put on top of that some of the things that he has done to discharge you as attorneys, as you said, in the Southern District of New York, which has jurisdiction over investigations that might be investigating President Trump's businesses, the Trump Organization, there is something very squarely going on there. And you couple that with what we saw in the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, where the US Attorney there was nominated for a high level position at the Treasury Department. William bars close aide came in and in the month or so that he was there, dismissed charges against Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, and filed a sentencing memo in the Roger stone case seeking a reduced sentence. And then he got replaced. And then the nomination for the former US Attorney got pulled out after she resigned as US Attorney. So they're doing some funny things that are very unusual. And it appears that the goal is to put in place in those crucial districts, people who might be reliably adherent to the wishes of William bar. And I agree with you that at least in those two districts, it is concerning now, Jeffrey Berman pushed back a little bit by not succumbing to this press release that said he was stepping down. And ultimately through his efforts there. And through his exposure of William bars, at least lack of candor, was able to get his deputy a career person installed in place. And so that I think gave me at least some confidence that that office would continue to act, at least with some independence. Certainly the attorney general has veto power over charges that get brought there. But I do think that at the very least that if something untoward were to happen there, we would see a resignation by the US Attorney, the acting US Attorney in the Southern District of New York, but but no doubt William Barr has at least created the appearance that he is basing decisions on political favoritism for the President.
Walt Sorg 23:35
In the aftermath of Watergate, we had a spate of reform proposals that went through the Congress. I would guess that if democrats do in fact take control the Senate, Joe Biden's elected, we'll see that again next year. What would you like to see them go after first? If anything?
Barbara McQuade 23:51
Yes, I do think that some changes need to be made. There's some question as to whether the constitutional separation of powers would allow Congress to put checks on the President's power with regard to the Justice Department. But whether it comes in the form of legislation or self policing that a Biden administration could enact through policies and other executive orders and other things, I would like to see a check on certain things. Number one would be formal limitations on communications between the White House and the Justice Department. It seems that there may be undue influence, or communications occurring between the White House and the Department of Justice. When it comes to handling cases like that of Michael Flynn or Roger stone. You want to believe that decisions at the justice department are being made with regard to the facts and the law themselves. When I was at the Justice Department, it was clear that we were not to talk to the White House because we didn't want to create even the appearance that we might be basing decisions on the political wishes of the president or anybody affiliated with the White House. I think we need to formalize that understanding to make it Clear that one is not having an impact on the other. Another area that I would like to formalize is decisions that are made operational case decisions shortly before elections. Typically, there are memos that are sent out that say things like, prosecutors should not base charging decisions for the purpose of influencing an election. I think it would be useful to broaden that language to say that might even tend to influence an election. William Barr has expressed a very narrow view of that policy. You know, there is some concern that he has up his sleeve in October surprise, where he's going to charge people at the FBI and others for the early days of the Russia investigation into President Trump's campaign. Just such charges were announced shortly before the election, there is concerned that would have the same effect that we saw in 2016 when FBI Director Jim Comey made announcements about Hillary Clinton's email investigation shortly before an election. And ultimately they close that investigation. But we didn't know that until even close it just a few days before the election after some early voting had already started. And so I think it would be useful to make it clear that unless absolutely operationally necessary, you know, to apprehend somebody who is intent to do harm, that we should refrain from charging individuals that could have an influence on an election, maybe, you know, within the 60 or so days before an election. So those are some of the things certainly there are other things like improving the Pfizer process and other things that we need to do to make sure we can have public confidence in investigations that our government is undertaking, but those would be some to just try to remove some of the political influence, or at least the appearance of political influence in case decisions.
Walt Sorg 26:43
I could continue this for many, many hours, but we shan't so I'll hit you with an easy one to wrap up. How you feeling about the resumption of U of M football,
Barbara McQuade 26:51
mixed? I think I'm a big fan of michigan football. I enjoy watching it, but I do worry that we are risking the health of young men so that the rest of us may be entertained and that doesn't seem like a fair assignment of duties.
Walt Sorg 27:08
Tell it to Jim Harbaugh. Barbara McQuade, thank you so much for the gift to you.
Barbara McQuade 27:13
You're welcome. Walt, thanks for having me.
Christine Barry 27:19
What impact of the twin controversies over the Supreme Court nomination and Trump's on willingness to promise a peaceful transition. It moved the discussion away from the horror of covid 19 pandemic and Donald Trump's lying and incompetence in responding to the crisis. Much of the nation is experiencing a serious increase in infections as their governors loosen or eliminate safety measures. Perhaps the most frightening Florida's governor has mandated that everything is back to pre pandemic status. restaurants and bars are open at 100% of capacity. And Governor Ron DeSantis says he will not reimpose restrictions. In Indiana. The mask requirements continue but governor Eric Holcomb has lifted limitations on bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. In Wisconsin, infection rates have doubled in the last month.
Walt Sorg 28:14
Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to be the Johnny Appleseed of the Coronavirus, spreading it from state to state with a series of large mostly mask free campaign stand up comedy shows which he calls rallies. But in Michigan continued caution and low infection rates. The latest while allowing bowling alleys and entertainment venues to reopen in a week, the governor continues to require low density by reducing capacity limitations there and then other public spaces. And she's added a mask requirement for all schoolchildren beginning in kindergarten, which should be most entertaining for the teachers trying to get a six year old to keep up mascot all day should be a lot of fun. Do you think it's gonna work?
Christine Barry 28:56
Well, I mean, the whole thing is a balancing act. I personally questioned why we were opening up the last of the businesses while also being more restrictive on school children who probably wouldn't, you know, would have real difficulty following the mask restrictions. But you know, you have to try you have to make it a policy and go for it and just enforce it the best that you can. So do I think it's going to work? I think we're going to be in a better position than if we didn't have a thoughtful process, like the way that I think the governor is handling this. You know, I don't know if it's time to open those other venues up but they are opening I think with restrictions I think like some of them have to be outdoor only.
Walt Sorg 29:42
It's a pretty complicated order. People are gonna have to catch up, but I'm sure the business owners will. But compared to what's going on in other states, it's still fairly restrictive. It's intriguing to that the presidents of the big three universities in Michigan have all stated they don't Expect in person classes to resume until next fall, the fall of 2021. And what makes it more significant is the president of both Michigan State and the University of Michigan or medical doctors. In fact, the president of Michigan State University, his specialist in infectious disease, these are people who are just academics, they also know what they're talking about when it comes to medicine. And from a personal standpoint with the kids, my granddaughter started preschool last week. And it makes me nervous, not so much for her. But for me, you know, can I still come and visit her because she's going to be out in the world for the first time in her very young life. And in her case, I know her parents are very, very careful, and they've inspected the facility. But still, it does increase the risk level a little bit.
Christine Barry 30:50
Okay. And I'm going to tell you a, you know, that I'm on the school board. And this is not obviously meant to reflect on the school board or any school district. But I am going to tell you right now, you're safer with your kids at home. There's just no way around that my district in particular I know is doing everything we can and we're still seeing exposures, we still have some testing positive. And I don't think the danger is that you know, a high schooler gets exposed or maybe test positive. I think the danger is just like you said, then they go home and they see their family and, you know, they see their grandparents, you just should keep your kids home. If you can, a lot of people can't, and then the schools are doing the best they can. And I wouldn't tell you not to trust the school because it's the schools are doing what they can, you know, but if you can keep your kids home do that. I think that's the best thing you can do.
Walt Sorg 31:47
The governor keeps saying that she's making all of her decisions based on the best available science. So it's only appropriate Christian that we end this segment with the science and the doctor, that most of America trust the most Anthony Fauci.
Anthony Fauci 32:02
I've never had any political ideology that I've made public. I'm really just talking to you about public health. When I'm telling you wear a mask, keep social distancing. Avoid crowds, wash your hands, do things outdoors, more than indoors. There's nothing political about that. That's a that's a public health message that we know works. Because every time groups of people have done that, in situations where you've had a surge of infections, the surge has come around and come down. So we have within our capability, the ability to turn this around.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event. Let's get ready to rumble!
Christine Barry 33:06
The first of three presidential debates is Tuesday evening. It could be the highest rated political broadcast ever and could well be the pivotal point in the effort to read the nation of Donald Trump. While Trump apparently is using non stop viewing of fox news to prepare. Joe Biden's debate prep is a little more traditional and studied.
Walt Sorg 33:27
Nobody knows better how Biden prepares than former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. Back in 2008, Granholm played the part of Sarah Palin in Biden's preparation for the vice presidential debate. Earlier this year, she helped Biden prepare for the Democratic primaries by taking on the roles of both Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. Even at one point, playing the part of Marianne Williamson for debate. She and I talked on my old radio show back in 2008. about her experiences Biden's debate sparring partner, so why not do it again?
Walt Sorg 34:00
Governor, you have a real insight into how Joe Biden prepares for debate. You've been his debate partner a couple of times. Now, getting back I remember talking with him 12 years ago, right after he finished his debate with Sarah Palin, and you got to play that part. Even better than Tina Fey. What what's it like what's joe biden's preparation style for debate?
Jennifer Granholm 34:19
Because he knows so much. Unlike the rest of us, normal human beings when we go into debate practice where we're really freaking out. He is totally sanguine. He knows his stuff. He's not you know, most politicians and I'll speak for me, I hated debate, prep, hated it. Because they always come at you with the hardest stuff and all that, you know, they try to, you know, really, really mess you up so that you're prepared. He's so he knows so much stuff that he can just pull stuff out. And so he comes in very low temperature. He's totally the light He's constantly joking around. And he takes it seriously even though he is light hearted about it. So he, you know, they, they do a whole big book on with all the issues and stuff. And so he's he gets comfortable with where the issue is in the book and what the latest information is that he wants to impart on any given question. He's not cranky at all, and he knows his stuff.
Walt Sorg 35:25
When you were getting ready with him for the debates during this cycle during the primary cycle. All of that knowledge, what are the things that what are the criticisms was thrown at him was he has a tendency to wander? And he gets a little bit off his point? Because he knows too much? Is that something that he can bring under control?
Jennifer Granholm 35:41
Yeah, I think it is, I think it is, although, you know, when you know, a huge amount, it's hard to keep it all in meaning you have to, like, you feel compelled to be able to say, well, in such and such a year this happened, then you need to know that this is the result. But But yeah, I mean, it's the the kicker about debate and debate. Prep is really about how to train somebody to work within a timeframe. Well, as you know, these when you have to answer a debate, in a debate question, you have maybe 30 seconds, sometimes if you're the first person, you might have 60 seconds. And so in your head, you know, okay, this is the subject about, you know, the economy or the environment. And I'm going to make sure I get my three points out. But then within that 60 seconds, I've also got to pivot to an attack. So if to answer the question, get your points out, pivot to an attack, those three steps in 60 seconds for anybody is difficult to do. When you have a huge amount of knowledge and experience, it perhaps even gets a little more difficult. So that's, you know, that's the challenge is really just managing an answer within 60 seconds. And as you saw, let me just say it, as you saw during the primary, he was really anxious about going over time because we had drummed into his head, right, don't go over time. But you know, as many have pointed out, so many people went over time, he could have done that a little bit more. And maybe he learned, I think a bit from that.
Walt Sorg 37:09
I was reading a commentary earlier today from I think the Atlantic magazine, saying that Biden really was reluctant in the primary to go after other Democrats, but he won't have that problem with Trump.
Jennifer Granholm 37:21
Isn't that a beautiful thing, um, you know, in doing a democratic or any primary, it's true on the Republican side, too, it is so hard to swing against your family. These are people you love, who share your values, who you want to be working with, and you have worked with, you know, if you have one person opposite you, who doesn't share your values and who you can really punch. That's a much more enjoyable debate, I will say, and I think he will have absolutely no problem punching Donald Trump and you've seen him doing that out on the trail.
Walt Sorg 37:55
When you ran for reelection, you ran against Dick DeVos, another another multi billionaire. Other than that similarity, do you see any similarities in the challenge facing Biden? And the one you faced?
Jennifer Granholm 38:08
Yeah, I do. When I ran against stick device, of course, the issue was the economy outsourcing, etc. And, you know, there was, obviously DeVos had some examples of his history, where he had as head of Amway had sent jobs to china, or at least had opened up a business in China and had laid off workers in Grand Rapids. There certainly are analogies to Trump's past. But here's the difference is that it does not appear that anything in Trump's past regardless of the fact that he lives in a gilded penthouse in New York City with Louis the 14th chairs, in a place that looks like Versailles, which is so far from our Michigan experience. It doesn't seem to matter. He has his loyal base, and they're not going to budge and no bit of you know, it doesn't seem opposition research about his past and whether he builds his businesses in China, which of course he does, and whether his daughter has gotten 18 trademarks from China, which he has, that doesn't appear to have much impact. I work with a group called American bridge. Walt, and we're in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania focus largely in rural and ex urban areas, and what we in the very deep research and focus groups that we've been doing, it's really clear that people are focused on basically two things. One is healthcare. And by that, I mean prescription drugs. And I mean, making sure that they have coverage for pre existing conditions, because Michigan has 300,000 people now who are on the Affordable Care Act and who are who could be concerned certainly in this in this moment where we're nominating a Supreme Court justice and the Affordable Care Act is on the docket. That's one issue and the second issue is on jobs and the economy. Those two things, people are focused on less about what Trump has done in his past and more about what Trump has done in the immediate for them and whether he's lived up to their promises. And what will what's the next, you know, what's Joe Biden saying, for them? And so, you know, we in 2016, I think we held up a mirror to Trump and said, Oh, isn't he terrible in the office, etc, when really, we should have been holding up a mirror to the voters and saying what for you is important. And that, I think, is the difference because Joe Biden has been to Michigan, he understands the challenges of unfettered free trade and how we've got to have manufacturing investments in partnership with the government and making sure that those companies are successful and all of that. So I think there is a difference
Walt Sorg 40:50
in terms of debate strategy Tuesday night, if the past is any prologue, we're gonna hear a lot of lies after Donald Trump. He's just gonna make stuff up. How does Biden respond? Does he just blow past it and let the fact checkers deal with it? Or does he fact check him on the spot?
Jennifer Granholm 41:04
Yeah, I think it depends on what the lie is wild. I mean, I think if it's about a fundamental issue, then you you can fact check somebody on the spot. But remember, every time you are intervening to fact check, you're eating up your own time saying about what you will do for people, right? So you can get down into the gutter on fact checking fact checking, fact checking, because there's there will be likely a large array of things to choose from. I think that Joe Biden because of Coronavirus, and because of health care, he's going to really be focused on looking to fact check him, Trump on that. And on the economy, those two issues, I think deserves factchecking. And the rest of it, he made up to let go so that he can get his program out.
Walt Sorg 41:47
Moving forward to Election Day, you've partnered with former Republican Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania on a very important project, especially given the President's statements on the so called a rigged election.
Jennifer Granholm 41:59
Yeah, it's called Vote Smart. Yeah. And it's, it's really, it's bipartisan in the sense that, obviously, Tom Ridge and I are chairing, but also we have, as part of our allies, nonpartisan and bipartisan election officials from across the country, who you know, I mean, to be honest, with a few exceptions, most election officials want to do their job, they were elected or appointed to do their job well, and they don't want to be involved in something that looks like it is suppressing the vote, or facilitating the delay of counting votes or anything like that. So this vote safe is really a public way to let people know, first of all, because of the increase in vote by mail, that it won't things will not be decided on election night, and that's perfectly fine. It's votes, all the votes will be counted, have a little bit of patience. We're not going to see, you know, wolf blitzer or you know, john king at the magic walls, proclaiming of victory on election night. But our every vote will be counted. And we do this all the time. And we did it in World War One. We did it in World War Two. We did it during the Civil War. We can do it during a pandemic. The structures are going to be all right.
Walt Sorg 43:21
Jennifer Granholm, always a pleasure to talk with every great day.
Jennifer Granholm 43:24
Thank you all.
Christine Barry 43:29
right time for some political notes. First up campaign dynamics. Senator Gary Peters picked up the endorsement on Sunday of the Detroit Free Press which said of him. Senator Gary Peters, who succeeded Senator Levin, when he retired six years ago, has been a worthy heir to Michigan's remarkable legacy of bipartisan leadership. Peters has achieved more in his first term than many senators accomplished in their careers, and we enthusiastically support his reelection in November's general election.
Walt Sorg 44:01
It has been a really nasty campaign between the two of them. The Detroit News has done some excellent reporting, fact checking both candidates actually and we'll have links on our website to those stories, because they really lay out the case for both candidates very well. The polls consistently show Gary Peters with a small but very consistent lead in the four to six point range. The most recent poll in the senate race was for CNBC and change research that came out last Wednesday it showed Gary Peters up by six points. And there have been multiple polls in the last couple of weeks. All of them are in that range. And as we talked with Bernie porn last week, there is still a high undecided but they undecided looks like it's gonna break for Gary Peters. About two to one even marketing resource group had a poll which came out last Tuesday, which showed Peters up by two marketing resource group is a republican consulting firm and probably the most favorable to James Meanwhile, Mr. James has finally broken his silence on something sort of. He finally came out with the statement that he supported the idea of President Trump making a nomination to the United States Supreme Court and the senate acting on it. But he wouldn't say whether or not he'd vote in favor of Amy Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, which is really typical of his campaign. He is really not something specific, much of anything. Add to that, an investigation by the detroit news, again, that found that James claim of creating 100 jobs in Michigan with his company, maybe a lot of baloney, the numbers are very mixed. It's a privately held company, but it looks very much like In fact, john James, if anything, lost jobs net on a net basis in the state of Michigan, so his biggest claim to fame really may not be much of a claim at all.
Christine Barry 45:55
Yeah, what he did there was he reported Well, we hired this many people, but never bothered to include the context around it in terms of how many people he lost. So those he didn't report job creation, he reported, you know, headcounts on the payroll is what he reported. And so you can't measure job creation that way. But one thing I find interesting about the endorsements of Gary Peters and john James, is that you're really seeing Gary Peters, wrap up the Detroit area endorsements, people who know Detroit are, you know, breaking for Gary Peters in a big way. I mean, very specific things they're talking about. And john James, you know, this is his hometown. He's got the James group, their big name, he's got a ton of charities and things listed on the James group website that that company is involved in. And because of that, I would expect him to have a better relationship with Detroit. And it just doesn't seem like like in all of these endorsements, when they look at what's best for Detroit. It's, it's Gary Peters. It's not john James, even though john James says over and over again, you know, we're involved in the community care about this community, on and on and on. It's not surprising that a republican is not getting those endorsements. What's surprising is that it's john James is not getting them.
Walt Sorg 47:24
We were talking earlier about the situation with the Supreme Court and the implications politically, for that appointment. There's new polling in the New York Times, which speaks a lot to that, Christine. I really found it amazing that the President is basically looking, if he's looking at the polling, he's doing everything that people don't want him to do. When it comes to this. First of all, the top line is nationally, at this New York Times poll, which was conducted in conjunction with CNN college, showed Joe Biden with a 49-41 lead. And it's been that way for the last year. Nothing has changed. It doesn't matter what happens. It seems, this pre pandemic post pandemic scandal after scandal, it's all the same. Donald Trump's got his 40-41 42%. And it never grows. And Joe Biden, from the beginning has been in the high 40s to 50 51%. And that hasn't changed.
Christine Barry 48:19
So that New York Times poll that just came out shows that most voters prefer that the winner of the election of the next election choose the next supreme court justice. So they and they trust Joe Biden over Donald Trump to do a better job in making the pick. 56% have said that they want the next president to appoint the justice. And when it comes to health care, Walt, 57% support the Affordable Care Act. I don't know how, you know, I suspect there's a lot of overlap there and that 56 and 57%. But because the Affordable Care Act was such a, a big deal, Trump responded by trying to bribe 33 million senior citizens with $200 pharmaceutical cards
Walt Sorg 49:07
I'm waiting reminder show up in the mail.
Christine Barry 49:08
That's like at least $6.6 billion right before the election. A lot of pharmaceutical executives backed away from it because the optics were so bad. A lot of other, you know, watchdog people lobbyists have just wondered where he's going to get the money. $6.6 billion to send these cards out. I love what he said about this. Well, this is this is Donald Trump. nobody's seen this before. These cards are incredible. These cards will be mailed out in the coming weeks, I will always take care of our wonderful senior citizens. Joe Biden won't be doing this. I mean, it's pure campaign like that money should be taken out of his campaign funds.
Walt Sorg 49:53
When we get down to the political attack head of the week, we will be talking about the problems that Trump has with seniors today. It's basically his attitude that when it comes to the virus, it's only old people who die. So who gives a crap. He's got big problems with seniors, especially in Florida and Arizona, which are two critical states for him. And Joe Biden is kicking his butt when it comes to votes amongst older voters, which is very unusual for a Democrat, typically, the older voters in Florida go heavily for the Republican but not this time. And then he comes up with this, what he says is a health care plan or an executive order, which I find fascinating. He's going to replace the 960 pages of the Affordable Care Act with a three page press release. Basically, he's going to say he says it, what's amazing, he says it's the policy for the first time in the United States to protect pre existing conditions. Well, that's already the law. It's called Obamacare. After he gets done with it in the Supreme Court and a couple of weeks, it may not be the law, but right now, that is the law of the land. So he's in court trying to overturn existing conditions, pre existing conditions coverage, while at the same time saying he's protecting it. Typical doublespeak from the Cheeto Jesus,
Christine Barry 51:11
His phony care plan is all about words like lowering costs, adding value. I mean, it's just marketing buzz talk,
Walt Sorg 51:22
you know, it's a press release.
Christine Barry 51:24
Some good news, the national census will not be ended early, the Trump administration wanted to cut off the counting this week. But a federal court says not so fast, my friend. And that's good news for just about everyone who isn't a hardcore republican partisan.
Walt Sorg 51:41
The problem with a short count, which is what Trump wanted was, the people that don't get reached, and don't get counted under short count, tend to be people that vote for Democrats, pure and simple. It's going to be minorities, especially Latinx residents of the United States, and also people that are here undocumented, who are supposed to be counted as a part of the census, because the census, the Constitution, clearly states, you count everybody who's living in the United States, you don't check their ID First, if they're living here that they count, and Trump doesn't want them to count, because he it gives an advantage to the part of the country he refuses to recognize as American, which is known as the blue states.
Christine Barry 52:23
Yeah, I mean, he doesn't want those areas to have full representation, full resources, anything like that, you know, if you have an undocumented, like a large undocumented population in your area, that is extra resources taking away from your area there. Alright, extra, extra policing, extra EMT extra schooling, whatever. He wants to send these population numbers to the house for use in reapportionment before his term ends. And this time, he would be sending an estimate of unauthorized immigrants to be subtracted from the count. So some Republicans are pushing back on this because they're having slow counts in their states. You know, we've had wildfires, the pandemic, hurricanes have been kind of messing with it. Personally, the Republicans, I think the republicans always bend over for Trump. So I don't think it matters. But you know, the judge barred it, so maybe we're good anyway.
Walt Sorg 53:19
No, the judge also said that they wouldn't have to come up with the new census finalization until next April, which is what the law says it should be. And that, of course, would be a new Congress and hopefully new president as well. It appears the two citizen petition drives have succeeded in collecting their signatures, but their future paths diverged greatly. First, the one that should have no problem. I've been made aware that the fair and equal Michigan campaign, which we had given up for dead at one point will in fact have enough signatures to amend Michigan's Elliot Larson Civil Rights Act, so that it covers LGBTQ citizens in this state. Unless there's some opposition shows up all of a sudden to this, they should have no problem getting their petitions through the state elections process. It would probably end up on the ballot in 2022. However, there's a possibility depending on what it is sent to the legislature that it could be acted on by the legislature at the beginning of next year. What would happen in the state senate though, even with a democratic house with the republican state senator, I'm sure it would pass. But if it didn't pass, the legislature would go on the ballot in 2022. Meanwhile, unlock Michigan, the group that is led by the Republican Party basically and wants to take away the governor's emergency powers. They've got plenty of signatures to get on the ballot. But that huge controversy that we talked about last week about them basically, advising other paid collectors to use illegal tactics could result in a long court fight that delays that whole process. On top of that it takes a while for the Secretary of State to process all those signatures, the issue becomes will this get to the legislature while republicans still have control of the House? Or will it be delayed until next year when democrats in fact, could be in control of the State House, and then again, it would not pass and it would go on the ballot in 2022, long after hopefully this pandemic is under control?
Christine Barry 55:20
Well, Secretary Benson has said that they would treat these ballot initiatives just like they treat any others in terms of the timeframe, there will be no you know, slowing down or rushing through of anything.
Walt Sorg 55:34
They're really busy in the Secretary of State's office right now, this election coming up, which is kind of got him occupied. And on top of that, a lot of staff time is going into support the new independent citizens redistricting commission, you put the two of those together, and they haven't got a whole lot of spare, spare people sitting around doing nothing. So it's going to be, it's going to be a slow haul. And you add to it, the court fight that I guarantee is going to happen over the unlike Michigan campaign. And my guess is that they probably won't get their signatures certified this year.
Christine Barry 56:08
Well, I hope not. I mean, they deliberately hired a guy who's known to be a cheater, and then
Walt Sorg 56:15
a convicted felon.
Christine Barry 56:17
Yeah. And then his, I don't know if it was his employee, volunteer, I don't know who it was. But it's his operation, advising the signature gathers to not follow the rules to break the law. So yeah, you get a court fight. I hope it's delayed. And I hope it hurts,
Walt Sorg 56:38
just for our own safety. I hope that it's not successful in the immediate future. So the governor is doing a good job keeping us safe. In the midst of a pandemic, that is devastating an awful lot of this country.
Christine Barry 56:50
Yeah, and you know, as much as people like Rich Studley and Mike shirkey, all complain about the number of executive orders that have been going out and, and changing things. I know that it's difficult to keep up with that. But I gotta tell you Walt, the pandemic has been difficult to keep up with it. It's, it's really been a balancing act. And considering both the health of the economy, which a lot of people say she doesn't care about, obviously, she does, the health of the public, which has to be more important. Now. We've got schools opening now we've got the big 10 back. I mean, and the hotspots have moved to up north, a I mean, there's so many things going on Walt, that the number of executive orders, to me seems kind of appropriate. And we're surrounded by states who aren't taking it as seriously and the Republicans have decided to use that as a political thing against her. I really do not want the republicans in the legislature to get in there and say, Well, no, you can't make a kindergartener wear a mask? No, you can't. You can't do this. You can't do that. It would take forever to get any sort of safety measure in place. Anyway, we'll take some fun.
Christine Barry 58:06
All right, time for the attack ad of the week. As always, it is a tough competition. Runner Up goes to PACRONYM, a digital based pack that reminds young people that elections are decided by people who actually vote. It's a message to the young from the old folks.
Dear young people. So some of you actually voted in 2018. your little fuckers. Let's see how you to win a pandemic. I voted during the Spanish flu. I voted through wars. I voted when I had the clap. I'll vote early. I'll vote by mail. I'll vote even if I can't leave my house. You know one of those things you'll never own. Yep, voting might be hard this year. We're good at doing hard things like winning world wars, but you and your country asked you to skip one spring break and you couldn't fucking do it. So are you really going to vote? Nope. You'll post a righteous meme on tik tok retweet a sick burn journalism trending hashtag Well, you can have the internet will keep the country.
Walt Sorg 59:29
that may be my favorite non partisan ad of the year.
Christine Barry 59:33
That's cold. That's cold.
Walt Sorg 59:35
Yeah, our winner for this week is also age based. It goes to the republicans at the Lincoln project who have a message for old people. Donald Trump doesn't care if you die.
The Lincoln Project 59:47
Donald Trump says COVID-19 affects virtually nobody about 80% of COVID-19 deaths are over age 65. It affects virtually nobody that's over 150 60,000 dead Americans over age 65. It affects virtually nobody. If you're over age 65 Donald Trump doesn't care if you die, do you? The Lincoln project is responsible for the content of this advertising.
Christine Barry 1:00:18
And for once, we'd like to end the podcast with a smile. You may recall that Governor Whitmer made a bit of a splash during the Democratic Convention, but a hot mic oops. During an interview with The Recount's Jennifer Palmieri, she fessed up.
Jennifer Palmieri 1:00:34
I just have to thank you as a woman in America for its short break motherfuck it I can't tell you it inspires seriously, like women in America needed to hear that and it inspires me every day. It's like not a small thing like seeing the governor of Michigan, this incredibly powerful woman that the President knighted states has come barreling after with everything he has, she does not, you know, she does not back down. And then we see you at the podium and saying like, game on, it's Shark Week. And like, Did you think that like whispering it was gonna be better?
Gretchen Whitmer 1:01:10
I thought we were, you know, small room with just a handful of people because we're following my own orders. Corey did not know that. The footage would get out.
but I seriously it was it's like a little It was like a boost. Like people in America, you know, women but men too, that needed it.
Gretchen Whitmer 1:01:29
Well, I got up the next morning, son. I was just like, oh, and then after a couple hours, people were like, yes. Alright, you know, I said it. I'll own it. And you know what, I'm not gonna apologize for it.
Christine Barry 1:01:42
Well that's all for this week. Head on over to our website, MichiganPolicast.com. For more information on this week's topics. We'll have links, tweets, photos, campaign ads, you name it.
Walt Sorg 1:01:54
You can email us at email@example.com or reach out through the Michigan Policast page on Facebook or on Twitter. Make a point of cashing your vote this week. And then get your popcorn and beer ready for Tuesday night's clash in Cleveland.
Walt Sorg 1:02:11
Michigan Policast is a production of Michigan Citizens for a Better Tomorrow.