Michigan Policast for Monday, October 5, 2020In this episode:
- Segment one: Trump and COVID
- Segment two: Supreme Court of Michigan and 1945 Emergency Management Act
- Segment three: Trump – Biden debate
- Segment four: Biden campaign updates
- Segment five: Jocelyn Benson on the upcoming election
- Segment six: Paula Gardner on the well-being of Michigan's restaurant industry
- Segment seven: Bill Rustem on Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden
- Segment eight: Political notes
- Segment nine: Attack ad of the week
- Timeline: What We Know Of President Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis, Treatment
- 11 positive coronavirus tests traced to presidential debate, Cleveland officials say
- Critics Call Out Uneven Mask Enforcement At Cleveland Debate
- See how Trump's entourage and family handled masks at the debate
- New questions emerge about timing and severity of President Trump’s coronavirus infection
- Trump's Undoing: A Virus That Thrives Indoors
- COVID-19 at The White House – Public Reports (dashboard)
“Trump told advisers on Sunday that he was getting bored being in the hospital and was tiring of watching coverage of his hospitalization.”https://t.co/I7lJAr3pZ7
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) October 5, 2020
Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.
— Dr. James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) October 4, 2020
White House officials and President Trump’s doctors offered conflicting timelines for when Trump tested positive for COVD-19, spurring questions about whether Trump knowingly exposed others to the virus.
Here’s what we know. https://t.co/wUYAmktBWn
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 3, 2020
This looks bad. pic.twitter.com/5Ewb3oLa11
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) October 3, 2020
A public servant was made to drive Trump in a car in close quarters while he has covid? So that he could wave at people? https://t.co/nIsjj2t1Yv
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) October 4, 2020
The White House has blocked a new order from the C.D.C. to keep cruise ships docked until mid-February, a step that would have displeased the politically powerful tourism industry in the crucial swing state of Florida. https://t.co/RyujItrcwD
— NYT Health (@NYTHealth) October 4, 2020
— Bridge Michigan (@BridgeMichigan) October 2, 2020
As the virus spread among Trump's top advisers, the president tried to keep secret who was getting sick: “Don't tell anyone.”
— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) October 4, 2020
- In re CERTIFIED QUESTIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN, SOUTHERN DIVISION
(MIDWEST INSTITUTE OF HEALTH, PLLC v GOVERNOR) — Question before the court and all opinions (pdf)
- High court strikes down Whitmer's emergency powers; gov vows to use other means
- Statement from Governor Whitmer on Michigan Supreme Court Ruling on Emergency Powers
- Michigan Supreme Court strikes down governor's virus orders
- Friday, Oct. 2, coronavirus data by Michigan county: Calhoun moves up to red; 23 counties now orange
- Michigan Covid Map and Case Count
- Whitmer orders restrictions in Upper Peninsula as coronavirus cases spike
- Michigan coronavirus dashboard: cases, deaths and maps
- Coronavirus Tracker | Caseloads, hospitalizations still climbing on Saturday
- Whitmer blames GOP justices for emergency powers decision, stumps for Dem candidates
— BarbByrum (@BarbByrum) October 4, 2020
Businesses and politicians celebrating the @MISupremeCourt opinion on @GovWhitmer’s pandemic powers will soon realize that instead of uniform state rules they’ll instead face complying with a patchwork quilt of state, county and local rules https://t.co/hmy3mGOqz8
— Mark Brewer (@MarkBrewerDems) October 4, 2020
Elizabeth’s statement on today’s Michigan Supreme Court decision: pic.twitter.com/IgyPweoowT
— Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court (@WelchForJustice) October 3, 2020
— David Eggert (@DavidEggert00) October 4, 2020
- Poll Finds Voters in Two Crucial States Repelled by Trump’s Debate Behavior
- Trump’s interruptions during the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, counted.
- SABATO'S CRYSTAL BALL
- UVA Center for Politics: 1st presidential debate did not affect candidates' polling
- No, polls don't show Donald Trump won the debate ‘big'
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 4, 2020
Biden's national lead over Trump jumps to 14 points after debate https://t.co/GSeu00WJHk
— Huel Perkins on Fox2 (@Huelfox2) October 5, 2020
So NBC/WSJ poll taken right after that disgraceful “debate” demonstrated that Trump’s bad behavior pumped Biden’s lead up to 15%. New Ipsos-Reuters poll (taken Oct 2-3) has Biden at +10%, and people understand Trump’s flaunting of COVID caution invited the virus into White House.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) October 4, 2020
We've done about 70 private polls this week and a very noticeable trend we're seeing especially the last few days is that where before Biden was maybe getting 6-8% of 2016 Trump voters, that's pretty consistently starting to be more like 10-12%
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) October 4, 2020
Chris Wallace: “I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak without interruptions. I'm appealing to you sir to do that.”
President Trump: “Well and [Joe Biden] too.”
Wallace: “Well, frankly you've been doing more interrupting than he has.” pic.twitter.com/Mb8erHwHLb
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 30, 2020
So NBC/WSJ poll taken right after that disgraceful “debate” demonstrated that Trump’s bad behavior pumped Biden’s lead up to 15%. New Ipsos-Reuters poll (taken Oct 2-3) has Biden at +10%, and people understand Trump’s flaunting of COVID caution invited the virus into White House.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) October 4, 2020
- Jill Biden Pushes Early Voting During Northern Michigan Campaign Stops
- Two conservative operatives charged with trying to suppress votes in Detroit | Bridge Michigan
- Michigan AG drops the hammer on conservative activists' robocalls
- AG – AG Nessel Files Felony Charges Against Jack Burkman, Jacob Wohl in Voter-Suppression Robocalls Investigation
- Biden Lead Looks Firmer as Midwest Moves His Way
- Has Elissa Slotkin Detected Early Hints of a Biden Blowout?
- Lawsuit: Election grants created illegal public-private entanglement
- SOS Voter Information
- How to Vote in Michigan | Election 2020 | Better Know A Ballot
- Dana Nessel investigates Unlock Michigan, group trying to limit Gov. Whitmer's emergency powers | Bridge Michigan
Important piece from @grace_panetta correcting & dispelling the inaccurate statements from last night’s debate about the integrity of our elections. Grateful to all election officials working hard to ensure we are indeed #ReadyForNovember #Debates2020 https://t.co/j23lZY63WF
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) September 30, 2020
- Paula Gardner author page on Bridge Magazine
- Paula Gardner on LinkedIn
- In ‘dire need,’ 1 in 5 Michigan restaurants may not survive winter
- Whitmer – After Surge in COVID-19 Cases, Governor Whitmer Moves Upper Peninsula to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan to Protect Families, Save Lives
- Michigan unemployment benefits expanded to 59 weeks for some workers | Bridge Michigan
- Michigan businesses struggled during COVID. Customers are coming to rescue.
- Michigan restaurants can now reopen.That doesn’t mean most will.
- ‘Scary times’ for Michigan restaurants won’t end when dining rooms reopen
- Bridge expands Michigan business/economy coverage with acclaimed journalist
- Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden
- MEC’S 2020 MILLIKEN AWARD WINNER: BILL RUSTEM, CONSERVATION CHAMPION
- Group of hunters and anglers endorsing Biden includes Michigan political figures
- Biden for President announces launch of Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden
Two incredible champions for the Great Lakes State’s natural resources at @MichEnvCouncil event. Lana Pollack talks to Bill Rustem, accepting an award named after a third champion, Gov. Milliken. https://t.co/JuJvBgtzKS pic.twitter.com/TU6BfhjqIT
— Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. (@HughMcDiarmid) October 1, 2020
— Tim Purdon (@TQPurdon) September 4, 2020
It’s official: I’ll be serving on the Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden/Harris leadership committee. Looking forward to sharing my thoughts and experience on these issues, centered on race and equity. #nmpol #nmleg pic.twitter.com/mba6jqsII4
— Rad(ically) Rogue Rubio (@anrubio) September 4, 2020
- The advertising onslaught is just beginning | Bridge Michigan
- Senate Election Projected To Exceed $100 Million
- John James Revealed: Days After James Says He’d Support Rushing SCOTUS Nominee, McConnell’s Super PAC Rewards Him With $9 Million Largesse – John James Revealed
- Michigan Democratic Party Files New FEC Complaint for John James’ Illegal Formation of Dark Money Group
- Sen. Gary Peters’s 2019 Report Card
- Whitmer signs bipartisan budget, but GOP leaders still get digs in
- Governor Whitmer Announces MI Clean Water: A Historic $500 Million Investment To Rebuild Michigan's Water Infrastructure
- John James Revealed: BREAKING John James Faces New Allegations Of Campaign Finance Violations, Revealing More Shady Ties To Out-Of-State Billionaire Dick Uihlein
- ABC News presents ‘Running Mates’ with Chasten Buttigieg | YouTube
Today, Gov. Whitmer signed the state budget for FY2021 including $15M in funding for @PureMichigan. MRLA has been working since last year to regain funding. Pure Michigan to promote tourism is needed now more than ever as our industry navigates the destruction from COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/bXNFEJulSI
— MI Restaurant & Lodging Assoc. (@TheOfficialMRLA) September 30, 2020
The last 4 polls out of SC are 3 ties and one that says Lindsey Graham is only +1 against challenger Jaime Harrison. This could be winnable. pic.twitter.com/OBQj4RB2GM
— David Pakman (@dpakman) October 4, 2020
- The Lincoln Project
- Meidas Touch
- PACRONYM on YouTube
- Republican Voters Against Trump
Runner up: The Lincoln Project – Our Moment
Winner: The Meidas Touch
Note: this is an automated transcription, some errors may still be present in the text
Walt Sorg 00:00
The presenting underwriter of the Michigan Policast is progress Michigan, providing a strong, credible voice that holds public officials and government accountable and assist to the promotion of progressive ideas.
Stephen Colbert 00:16
Shut up, shut up, shut up. Shut up, Donnie. I'm Joe Biden, and I approve this message.
Walt Sorg 00:32
Well, that's the summary of the debate is imagined by Stephen Colbert and his Mad Men at CBS. It was the start of a week that when it ended, seemed like an extended version of Saturday Night Live, which thankfully returned at the end of the week with their version of the debate, which actually Christina made more sense than the real thing. But the debate seems like a distant memory as the campaign is rocked by what almost seemed inevitable. The mask-hating Donald Trump infected with a potentially fatal virus. And on the same day, the President was helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center. Michigan Supreme Court effectively took away governor Whitmer, his power to continue to protect us from the virus. This is the Michigan polycast, where we always practice social distancing and wear our masks. We're all about Michigan policy and politics and the national currents impacting our pleasant peninsulas. I’m Walt Sorg.
Christine Barry 01:24
and Christine Barry. Joe Biden's campaign moves on focusing on virtual voter contact in place of large crowds. He was in Grand Rapids at the end of the week, the second Biden campaign here in the space of four days. Also on the pod this week, we'll talk with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson about preparations for a record setting voter turnout. Bridge magazine business editor Paula Gardner joins us with a report on the plight of Michigan restaurants as the cold weather makes outdoor dining more difficult. a bipartisan group of Michigan leaders announced sportsmen and sportswomen for Biden will talk with one of the organizers and Attorney General Dana Nestle charges to right wing political hacks with voter suppression, which targeted African Americans in Detroit. Well, it feels like this just goes on and on.
Walt Sorg 02:15
I think we're gonna be here for an hour and a half, two hours, three hours, something like that. But let's begin with the twin COVID story is Trump's illness, and Whitmore's legal defeat. And they're both big, big stories. Christina Of course, we help the president First Lady and all the Trump Republicans who were infected last week recover fully. And boy, there are a bunch of them the list gets longer every day, we can leave the medical story to the national media that gets updated regularly. Let's talk politics a little bit. First of all, the impact of Donald Trump being stuck off the campaign trail, which he loves so dearly, in what is now the last 30 days to the election. Is this the end of the Trump campaign? And does that mean the end of the Trump presidency?
Christine Barry 02:58
Well, I don't think so. And I first of all, I want to just, you know, Echo your comments about we want, hoping for everyone to recover quickly. I don't think that this even keeps him off the campaign trail unless he's really much worse off than we know. I think that he'll campaign virtually if he can. I think his kids are out there. Mike Pence has already started increasing his profile, and he's out there kind of campaigning for President Trump. So I don't think it's the end of the campaign. But we have seen a little bit of a shift. This is actually was in Santos crystal ball that we saw a little bit of a shift move toward Biden after the announcement on President Trump testing positive.
Walt Sorg 03:43
I'm gonna argue with you a little bit first of all the the Trump children are in quarantine. Self quarantine right now. I saw a tweet from Don Jr. Yes, I followed Don Jr. On Twitter. You can punish me for that later. But he is back in quarantine again the second time for him because his girlfriend was already infected. So he is back there along with his his brother and the princess Ivanka. So they're, they're out of there. In terms of Mike Pence being out there. He's not gonna turn on a crowd like Donald Trump, Donald Trump. I will give him one thing. He is a great performer. The guy has a futures a stand up comic, if he wants to get out of what he's doing. Now. He's much better as a stand up comic from us as a president, and he could turn a crowd on and he can really get an audience going. Mike Pence can't do that. But the only thing is their campaign really has to switch on a dime right now. From the beginning. Joe Biden has been running a virtual campaign. He has been derived there by the republicans is campaigning out of his basement. But from a practical standpoint, it has been much more effective. It costs less money, and it's a lot safer for a 77 year old man is concerned about a virus that finally caught up with the guy who's responsible for the virus being able to catch him. I was interesting with the SNL cold open on Saturday night and if people haven't seen that they really to stream it because it's just an amazing rehash of the debate, but they ended the segment talking about karma. And that's exactly what this Trump infection as it's karma. He has been saying from the beginning, this is no big deal. It's not dangerous, it doesn't hurt anybody. And he comes back to literally bite him in the butt. So I think the Biden campaign is better position plus i got more money. That's another thing.
Christine Barry 05:22
Yeah, that Biden campaign no doubt is better position. If they had to switch to all of our tool. They could do that. Because as you said, they had been doing that. I think, though, that going back to the Trump children, they're in a good position to ramp up their virtual game as well. So they can easily still campaign for him and reach a millions of people.
Walt Sorg 05:44
Yeah, especially Don Jr. He's He's inherited his father's ability to stir up a crowd. And he's very good at that man.
Christine Barry 05:51
And he's a mess just like his dad too. He looks like he's always on Coker disheveled there's something I just that he's a mess.
Walt Sorg 05:59
Meanwhile, in Michigan, we've got a straight party line vote in the supreme court for two three, which basically takes away from Governor Whitmer, her unilateral power to continue a state of emergency and really makes her the among the weakest of governors in the nation. Now in responding to the virus, she has been effective in keeping Michigan relatively safe compared to a lot of other states. But at the same time, the numbers in Michigan are getting bad again, we are now back up to over 1000 infections a day, hospitalizations are going back up again. She had to lower the boom a little bit in the Upper Peninsula where things were getting bad again, they went from a stage five to a stage four I believe it is. And basically that imposes more restrictions on the size of crowds, and restaurants and things like that. The states now averaging nine new daily cases for every hundred thousand people a day. And that is just way too many. There's a lot of good stats available, we'll have a link to bridge, which has that but new cases since October 3 1158, on a daily basis a week ago was 901. Back in June, we were as low as a one day total of 14.
Christine Barry 07:12
And then what happened in June, everybody started. Well, you mentioned earlier start the campuses opened up and you started with wanting to go out and
Walt Sorg 07:22
get started with Memorial Day. And it takes a little while for the incubation. And then you get the Fourth of July and you get the summer season. But now you've got the kids going back to school, you've got people more and more indoors as the weather gets colder, more than anything else. I think people are just getting tired and or complacent.
Christine Barry 07:38
Yeah, I think it's just a covid fatigue. If you ever just sick of it now. I'm not. And you're not because we're taking it seriously. And it has an interrupted our lives as much as it has some others. But you know if your whole life changed, if your whole day to day life changed when this started, which was end of March is that when we were when we started quarantine mark,
Walt Sorg 08:05
I actually saved the first press release from the gas.
Christine Barry 08:10
So if you had been completely disrupted for three or four months, of course you want to get out, of course you want to go do things. So I understand that. But this is showing now all of the super spreader events. And every time you see a crowd together without masks without social distancing, you think see, they're doing it so I can do it. So it just kind of snowballed. That's that is my perception of how that happened. And now we're seeing the Upper Peninsula is a hotspot for notice no seven counties, I think, all right, like orange and red now. So it's exactly what she warned about exactly what she warned us about do not go up north do not do these things. And here we are.
Walt Sorg 08:49
Yeah. And now in iron County, in the Upper Peninsula, the case rate is jumped to 108 per day per 100,000 people. I just pulled through the press release on the very first positive case of COVID-19. In Michigan. It was March 10. It seems like 100 years ago, but in reality, it was only seven months ago.
Christine Barry 09:09
Seven months a man going through this.
Walt Sorg 09:11
Yeah. And then it going away anywhere in the near future.
Christine Barry 09:14
Well, especially not now. And that now that sure can Chatfield, they're gonna get their creepy little fingers into it.
Walt Sorg 09:20
Yeah, and they've been very clear, especially the senate majority leader, my turkey, he does not support and is totally opposed, and will fight any mandatory statewide match requirement, which means a third of the state is not going to wear masks. And that is a formula for resuming the pandemic in Michigan. Every public health expert on the face of the planet, they all say the same thing. Masks are the number one thing we can be doing. They're even more effective than a vaccine because the vaccine is only going to be 50 75% effective. If everybody matched up we'd be looking at 90 95% effectiveness.
Christine Barry 09:55
Shirky has said that he was looking forward to working with the governor and I Think That's ridiculous. I think this is going to be up to the local health departments now to really get strict. I don't know what authority that's under though. If the 1945 laws, do you know how that works with? Well, what authority is that under,
Walt Sorg 10:17
they're still working on it. But there are some public health rules that can be put into place. When it comes to public accommodations and requirements for businesses, where it becomes dicier is limiting capacities for outdoor events, and things like that. A lot of it's going to have to be voluntary. And you're going to find that it is voluntary you already have. We'll be talking a little bit later about restaurants and how people aren't going in even though they could go in because they're concerned Why won't go inside a restaurant. And it's not totally rational. I've talked with our county health director, and she says that, in fact, it is pretty safe to go to restaurants around here, as long as you stay away from us, Lansing. But still, I won't do it. It's just because of supreme caution. The other thing, too, this points out is the importance of the Supreme Court race on the ballot, which is very difficult for people because the judges officially run as non partisan, they're not identified by party, yet they do absolutely run on behalf of a political party. And it was for people who were put on the court by Republicans voted to take away the governor's emergency powers and the three people that were put on there by the democratic party that upheld her right to continue the state of emergency. And we will put a link on the website to the actual ruling by the Supreme Court. And the order by the Supreme Court. Read the dissent by Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormick. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it didn't make sense to the republicans on the court, but vote for the Supreme Court. And if you think they did wrong, Elizabeth Welch is the other candidate supported by the democratic party who was on the ballot along with Chief Justice Mary McCormack,
Christine Barry 11:55
yeah, let me just be a little bit more clear about this. You can vote right now. If you've got your ballot, go and just fill it in right now. Welch, Cormack and then either drop it in the mail or about boxes to do it and democrats up and down the ballot.
Walt Sorg 12:12
And you don't if you're voting a straight ticket, you still have to vote for the judges, because they don't count on a straight ticket. Yep.
Jake Tapper 12:23
That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn't even a debate. It was a disgrace
Walt Sorg 12:37
that cnn Jake Tapper, and his colleague, the normally very stayed at Dana bash was even more to the point.
Dana Bash 12:44
That was a shit show. And you know, we're on cable, we can say that apologies for being maybe a little bit crude, but that is really the phrase that I'm getting, you know, from people on both sides of the aisle on texts. And that's the only phrase that I can think of to really describe it.
Walt Sorg 13:02
Yeah, pretty well sums up that whole mess on Tuesday evening, and it's probably gonna be the last debate we have as a result of the President's illness. Some poor guy, it's slate, actually counted up every interruption by Donald Trump. And according to his count, he interrupted either Joe Biden or chris wallace 128 times in 85 minutes. And Joe Biden interrupted a few a few dozen times himself at various points, either trying to get a word in edgewise or correct flat out lies by the President. But as interruptions just absolutely no match for Donald Trump. Obviously, it was his tactic. I think it backfired on him. The Good News of the Biden campaign that debate probably had no impact on the presidential race, at least has the view of political analysts, Larry sabato, the University of Virginia political scientist is considered amongst the best political handicappers in the country. He was the featured speaker at a virtual fundraiser for Michigan State University's Michigan political leadership program.
Larry Sabato 14:02
I don't think that debate as such, costs either candidate many votes, it simply reinforced the leanings that people already had, which is normally what debates do. Problem is, if you're behind seven or eight points the way Trump is you want to make up ground right? You want to make up some ground he didn't make up any ground. If anything, he reinforced Biden's Lee.
Walt Sorg 14:26
Okay, crushing the debate is now officially ancient history, which is seems to be the story of 2020. The news cycle changes so fast. The story now of course, is the health of Donald Trump. Let's start, say once again, that we say without equivocation. We both wish a quick and total recovery for the president his wife, hope Hicks, Ronna romney McDaniel, the three members in county of the United States Senate and on and on and on and on. All of them have caught this horrific virus, but the fact remains the disdain Donald Trump has shown for COVID-19 preventative measures, especially mask provides a classic Apple chickens coming home to roost. What do you make of the debate is that now something that's just totally irrelevant. And for that matter is the the or the revelations from the week before you remember Donald Trump's tax story? You remember that when the little thing where it says basically, he's been cheating on his taxes for 20 years and pays no taxes. There was like even more ancient history,
Christine Barry 15:22
the tax thing should be more important than what it is. But with this president, all of us knew exactly what he was. I don't know if you ever if you thought he was paying any taxes? No, I mean, I certainly did. They said he paid 750. That's more than I thought he was paying. So that does not, it does not surprise me at all. I just really thought that he was he wasn't paying anything. And then you have a supporter saying, well, he donates his salary back or he doesn't take a salary, whatever. Yeah, pennies on the dollar for what he's earning as President.
Walt Sorg 15:58
You know, the Trump campaign has from the beginning have been trying to change the subject from COVID-19. Because they know from their own polling, they know from just reading the papers, that that is Trump's weakness, electorally, and it's killing him in the polls. So they wanted to change the subject, him getting sick. And that being in the news day after day after day after day guarantees that COVID-19 is the issue as people are voting Now, again, people start thinking, well, the election is not till November 3, we'll see what happens between now and then. But more than 3 million people have already voted. And you're voting on a daily basis, because Donald Trump scared them into voting early. He has completely screwed himself.
Christine Barry 16:37
He has. And let's go back to the debate for a minute. You know, we mentioned that sabitha said it he didn't really think that debate mattered. And I think that's probably true if it had been like a regular debate. But it was a performance that a lot of people according to a new york times in Siena College poll, I think it is 65 or 68% felt that Trump just totally reinforced. I don't know if it's reinforced a negative view, but they had a negative view of him because of it. And I think it was because he went into the bait, acting like he would act if he was talking to, quote unquote, fake news, and not respecting it for what it was, which was where people who aren't normally engaged might tune in to watch him. Now, I don't think the debate and him getting sick can be entirely separated because the venue required masks, he refused to wear it. His family refused to wear masks. He was supposed to take a test he arrived late so that he didn't take the test. He mocked Biden for wearing a mask at the debate. And we don't even know when he was when he tested positive. There's there's, you know, there's a lack of clarity about that. I don't see how you can separate how he acted in the debate, his performance in the debate from the way that he is as a person with you know, coming in late, not testing, not wearing a mask his family not wearing a mask, just not respecting the virus and then bang three or four days later. Now he's tested positive. Well, he tested positive before he announced it, but when he announced it, it was what Friday? Yeah, Thursday.
Walt Sorg 18:20
for Thursday. Okay, um, it was maybe it was two years ago. Who knows?
Christine Barry 18:23
Like, Oh, it was like, like, 1am. Friday? Yeah, yeah. So I mean, you just take that whole picture, and you've got just a really negative bad performance all at all by Donald Trump.
Walt Sorg 18:36
Yeah, the other thing I think that really helped Joe Biden and was done by the debate commission unknowingly, and that was choosing chris wallace as the moderator because it gives the debate, less of an aura of being rigged against Donald Trump by the fake media. Imagine if it was Kristen Welker is going to be a moderator. I think it was supposed to be the moderator the third debate from NBC News. Trump could scream NBC hates me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But when he screams that fox news is rigged against me, that just doesn't register with a lot of people. Now just so happens, Chris Wallace is a real journalist who happens to be working for Fox News, and is a very credible journalist. But the fact that it is Fox News takes away a lot of that argument from Trump that it was two against one as much as he likes to say he was debating chris wallace as well, although he was debating Chris wells, while this was trying to enforce the rules.
Christine Barry 19:26
A couple of other outcomes that I think are important the first hour of the debate, Biden raise 3.8 million in it, which is a fundraising record for a single hour, according to David Pakman. I'll have a link over three hours raise 10 million and 100,000 people signed up to volunteer for Biden, I don't know Trump's numbers. I think that that is
Walt Sorg 19:46
they weren't announced they weren't as good
Christine Barry 19:48
luck. Well, that was quite good. Another thing that I think came out of it is Biden shattered that whole sleepy Joe caricature that that Trump tried to create and You know, ultimately this might swing a few thousand votes here and there. I don't really know. I don't have that crystal ball, but may in some states, that's all you need is that few thousand votes.
Walt Sorg 20:11
I thought it was also interesting that the Lincoln project within an hour of the debate was marketing a sweatshirt that had aviator sunglasses on it with the caption. Will you shut up, man,
would you listen?
Christine Barry 20:24
From the beginning, the Biden campaign has taken on a totally different approach to campaigning showing full respect for COVID-19 safety precautions. It was on display in Grand Rapids on Friday when the former Vice President met with a handful of supporters at a united Food and Commercial Workers Union Hall. That's the union that represents the bulk of employees at Michigan's two major food retailers, Meijer and Kroger. While touching on campaign themes of dealing with the virus and building the economy, Biden made an unabashed pitch to working class Americans, continuing the contrast between his roots and the Park Avenue lifestyle of Donald Trump.
Joe Biden 21:02
I'm asked many times in recent years, how do we get to the place where people who stock our shelves, pack our food, teach our kids like my family, take care of my wife take care of our sick, who raced into burning buildings and pick up the garbage off our streets? Who did? How do we get to the place where y'all don't think we see you anymore? or hear them? Most importantly, respect them. That has to change. I know it can. I come from those neighborhoods.
Walt Sorg 21:34
It was the second Biden campaign event in four days in our state. Dr. Joe Biden had a couple of events in the Traverse City area. She was hosted by Pete Buddha judges husband cheston. He's a native of the Traverse City area. She talked about an issue of critical importance in northern Michigan, especially the area's cheery industry and tourism. That's climate change.
Jill Biden 21:55
Many small businesses and farms and farmers are having problems because of climate change. It's unbelievable that we have a precedent. Just climate change even exists.
Walt Sorg 22:09
You know, it fascinates me. We've gone now probably 25 minutes into the pod. And we haven't said anything about the fact that the western part of our country is burning down because of climate change.
Christine Barry 22:21
There's too much. It's it's overwhelming, you know, but as she was saying that, that, you know, President won't admit that it exists. I I had a mental image of like a big glacier just breaking off and landing on Donald Trump,
Walt Sorg 22:37
or at least at Mar a Lago. But yeah, you think about it in a normal year, and nothing I'm sure what a normal years anymore. The biggest story of the year would be the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington. But that's like, it's an afterthought, even though no, I think the death toll up there is up to 35. The losses are in the God knows how many billions of dollars and millions of acres is a frightening story. The planet is literally burning up. And here we are talking about Donald Trump being in the hospital.
Christine Barry 23:08
You know, it's because Election Day is so close. I think that there is a lot of anxiety going into this election. Anyway. And now here he is in the hospital, about to screw this up for us, because we wanted to beat him so badly. How can anybody
Walt Sorg 23:24
How can anyone be undecided or not
Christine Barry 23:26
undecided? They're not undecided. They just don't want to make a decision against someone who, you know, look, it Travis and Nick from Arizona. These guys, were you know, one of those post debate questions. They're like, you know, he said that about the proud boys, but I don't really think he's ever racist. I just can't tell and they remind me of those people who are never going to make a decision until the last minute they vote for Trump because it's a secret. They're not undecided. They just don't want to admit that they're garbage people who like the garbage candidate. Period, you just have to dismiss them. I just know. You're not undecided. You just want attention by saying I'm undecided.
Walt Sorg 24:09
Okay, let's talk about the election and where people do.
Christine Barry 24:13
Well, Election Day is now just four weeks away. Early voting has been underway in Michigan for a week with more than 2.5 million absentee ballots already issued. It will be a record vote by mail a major challenge for city and township clerk's across the state. responsibility for answering that challenge ultimately falls on Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who joins us for an update on preparations for an election unlike any other
Walt Sorg 24:41
Secretary Benson you've had a tremendous challenge and risen to that challenge with an unusual election, starting with the absentee ballots, totally unprecedented. Are you and the local clerk's ready for the volume that you're already seeing?
Jocelyn Benson 24:57
Yes, I mean, I'm really proud that so many citizens have stepped up to embrace their right to vote by mail this year. And more importantly, that so many of our clerks all across the state have risen to the challenge to meet this extraordinary demand. I was just reviewing the numbers and compared to 2016. ballot requests are of 350% statewide, and clerks have already delivered 400% more ballots than they had done in processed in in 2016. So, you know, to me, one of the really untold stories this year is how our 1520 clerks all across the state have stepped up under extraordinary circumstances met every challenge thrown their way, and our democracy is better for it.
Walt Sorg 25:40
Something that surprised me when my ballot arrived in the mail, I also got an email from my local clerk with a tracking on it for my ballots, I could see it from the time he dropped it at the post office. And I can follow it right through to the point where they get it back to counted.
Jocelyn Benson 25:54
Well, yeah, that tracking system is important. And states all across the country this year haven't implemented it. We have partnered with an organization called valid Scout, and you can go to michigan.gov slash vote, enter your information and track your ballot and see if your request to have it sent to you has been received, whether your ballot itself has been sent to you. And once you return it, it'll Mark when it's received. So that can give you the peace of mind that your valid has been received on time and will be counted.
Walt Sorg 26:20
And my envelope forward had a business reply stamp on it. So I didn't even have to pay for the postage, although I used to Dropbox myself, again, something new that you've initiated.
Jocelyn Benson 26:30
Yes, in fact, to me, the silver lining of 2020 is that citizens have options, they have options on how to register to vote, how to get their ballot, and how to return their ballot. And really, my focus has just been on making sure those options are available to citizens universally, and that citizens know as clearly as possible, what they are so that they can choose the best one for themselves.
Walt Sorg 26:50
You've made it very clear that we're not going to know the final numbers on election night. And we're not going to know on Wednesday, probably Thursday, either. You've got to have your predecessors now, along with the president basically questioning how long we should be counting votes. What Yeah, what's your response to them?
Jocelyn Benson 27:08
You know, certainly anyone who had once held us office might know that it takes a little bit more than 12 hours to count 3 million absentee ballots, which is the number that we're seeing this year. But you know, in reflection upon the remarks that that they and others have made, I realized that this truly is a new time for democracy and a new day for democracy in Michigan. As I said in my inauguration speech, it's a time where voters have more options to vote than ever before, voter options that did not exist in prior administrations. And so I understand if they're not aware of what these new challenges mean for us and our quirks at the local level. But the bottom line is where I work for the voters. And I'm working to bring the best ideas and bipartisan solutions to Michigan to ensure that citizens can get their ballots on time, have it have the clarity of how to return them. And the certainty once they're valid is counted that their vote will be counted and their voice heard.
Walt Sorg 28:00
I think the President has made it pretty clear that you're going to be in court after the election with challenges to whatever it is that you come up with. You wouldn't say it but I can say you're one of the nation's leading experts on Election Law. You've got access to Dana Nestle and the entire department of law, under the attorney general, are you confident that you can make Michigan's numbers stand up,
Jocelyn Benson 28:22
I'm confident that I can ensure every vote will count and every voice will be heard. And that's really my job. We know, this isn't a year where, particularly in states like ours, there will be extraordinary pressure to, to buy into myths of misinformation that are designed to sow seeds of doubt among our voters about the integrity of their vote. We know a lot of people will be voting by mail for the first time. And that creates a lot of changes both in how citizens vote and how results are tabulated and reported. But I've been very transparent and upfront with all of our citizens about what those changes mean. And again, we're not the only state experiencing this right now. And so citizens can see that we are in track and on track with what has happening in Iowa and Minnesota and Arizona and Pennsylvania and so many other states. And so it's really a mark of this historic moment that we're in that there is so much attention on our state. And you know, people are being very litigious and making sure that every eyes dotted and every T is crossed. But I'm confident that you know, importantly mentioned things that I'm doing I all I'm doing is just activating the will of the voters. And I'm confident that when they voted overwhelmingly to create a right to vote by mail in our state in 2018. And gave my office the responsibility to to make that right a reality that we've done everything that we can and the best practices would indicate are needed to make that right come to fruition for all of our citizens regardless of who they vote for. And now it's up to the voters to make sure they take advantage of those options and exercise them to have their voices heard and their votes counted this fall.
Walt Sorg 29:54
Even as you and your elections division are dealing with the most challenging election probably in the history. The state, you got a couple other little minor issues going on too. You've got two petition drives about to dump a total of nearly 1 million signatures on them that have to be verified. One of them will probably end up in court. The other one not very controversial in terms of opposition. What's the timeline for the signatures you've received from unluck, Michigan, as well as from fair and equal Michigan?
Jocelyn Benson 30:23
Oh, we were aford citizens to the Bureau of elections for all delivering of petitions and initiatives. And we treat everyone the same, yeah. And no matter what the subject matter of the petition, or the purpose behind it, or the number of signatures or anything like that, all of that goes through the professionals at the Bureau of elections. Now, there also is an attorney general investigation into one of those petitions which we are mindful of, and you know, there's always the possibility the Attorney General may find or instruct us to do something. But beyond that, we're treating this petition and all petitions like any other, it takes on average, just over 100 days for our bureau of elections professionals to review petition signatures, and they actually just do a sampling, they don't do the whole lot, which would take much longer. So we've been very upfront about that we realize that this is a hyper political time, and and everyone is, is very anxious about a number of things. But I think that's when we have to ensure we stay the course and do you know what we would have always done, and also recognize that these petition signatures for both petitions are coming into our a few dozen professionals that the Bureau of elections at the same time, they're managing this really momentous presidential election with more turnout than ever before in our state. So they've got their hands full, but I fully trust in them. And I expect that they will, they will work through these signatures as they do it in any other petition. And they'll you know, deliver the results to the State Board of canvassers and any recommendations from that, when they when they're most able to do it.
Walt Sorg 31:49
And just to fill up their spare time, you're basically inventing the redistricting commission that was created in broad strokes by the constitutional amendment. But it's never been done before. There's no precedent. So every day is a new day for that commission.
Jocelyn Benson 32:03
Truly, and you know, I'm so glad you brought that up, because I'm so proud of how our office has really met the the goals that citizens again gave us these are all just, you know, jobs that the citizens elected me to do, in amending our state constitution to create an independent citizens redistricting commission. And in doing so, we're you know, it's so gratifying to see close to 10,000 citizens applied from all across the state, every single county, and now the 13 commissioners that were selected, each and every one of them is truly committed to the mission and goals of those millions of voters who amended our state constitution to create this commission of making sure that the districts are drawn in a way that's independent, that is transparent, and that the entire process is citizen LED.
Walt Sorg 32:48
Yeah, as one of those who started that petition drive a long time ago, I've been talking with with some of my friends from there, people like Katie Fey, and Nancy Wang. And the thing that we appreciate is the great job your department has done in implementing the amendment.
Jocelyn Benson 33:04
Oh, it's been an honor. I mean, it's also just, you know, my my background is I'm an educator, I'm an academic, I'm a law professor. I was the Dean of a law school. Like that's where I'm coming from here. I don't know, I have not held political office before. I'm just focused on what are best practices, what are the data? And how do we make the best decisions possible for any particular thing that comes my way. And having had background in citizens redistricting work and knowing what happened in California, I knew both you know, who to talk to, and and how to operate this in a way that would mean that, at least, you know, mimic the best practices that have already been in place in other states. And I'll tell you, it's been it's been quite an interesting few years in Lansing kind of approaching my job as a policymaker. And as a, you know, administrator as opposed to a political actor. And I think that's also why you're seeing, you know, us try to do our jobs right now, in the midst of this really extraordinary political Maelstrom that we're in the middle of,
Walt Sorg 34:02
you've also made a conscious decision. You're not a part of the partisan campaigning that is going on right now. Unlike the governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, you are the elections officer in the toy, you're playing it?
Jocelyn Benson 34:15
Yes, my job. I mean, you know, I certainly ran as a Democrat, and I'm a Democrat, because we're the party of the Voting Rights Act, the party that that passed this extraordinary federal legislation that ensured one person one vote and equal protection applied to every voter. But you know, beyond that, my job is to make sure every voter can vote and every voter has faith in the process, regardless of who they vote for. And so, my goal to just play it straight down the middle is, you know, it's important to continue doing that and maintain impartiality in order for citizens to know that no matter who they are, where they live, or what, who they vote for, that they're both going to count.
Walt Sorg 34:54
One last question and that is where people have questions about voting, whether it's by mail or in person or anything. thing else where do they go
Jocelyn Benson 35:02
michigan.gov slash vote that is your lifeline, your portal to all that you need to know from your clerk's office location to your Dropbox location to your to where to register to vote to where to request your ballot be mailed to you, or any questions you have about voting. And I'll also add we set up a website michigan.gov slash election security where citizens go can go for information to confirm the security of our elections and get information on all that we're doing to secure their vote.
Walt Sorg 35:29
Jocelyn Benson was a pleasure. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Christine Barry 35:38
The rate of COVID infections is continuing to climb in Michigan. The seven day rolling average has gone from a low of 31 in mid June up to 994. Last week, the new daily reported cases Rose 12.6%. And the new daily reported deaths Rose 20% COVID related hospitalizations Rose 37.6%. And among the reported tests, the positivity rate was 3%.
Walt Sorg 36:04
And as we've already discussed, that seems like the perfect time to take away the governor's emergency powers to act to protect us from the virus even though Michigan is doing among the better states and performance. We are surrounded by states that are having real big problems right now. Wisconsin's rates have gone up drastically. Indiana is now wide open again. They've gotten rid of everything including the massive mandate in Indiana. The bars are 100% the restaurants are 100%. That really concerns me Ohio, even though the governor there Mike dewine. Is that a really good job. He's under tremendous political pressure to open that seat up prematurely. And now Michigan's gonna be under a lot of pressure because we've got Mike Shirky, especially the senate majority leader, who's just decided that a few extra deaths is worth it, if it means we can help our economy along.
Christine Barry 36:52
Well, some good news and additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits are now possible for laid off workers who qualified for benefits through our regular unemployment insurance
Walt Sorg 37:04
is going to make a difference people can collect now up to 59 weeks in many cases on unemployment. The benefits aren't massive, but it will at least help a little bit for the many people who can't find work. A lot of people the unemployment remains high. But the impact is really very uneven. The people in lower paying jobs are the ones that are really being impacted, especially in the industry that has been devastated food service, both restaurants and convention centers. Paula Gardner is the business editor of bridge magazine online, and she has taken a closer look at how the industry is responding. Paul, it seems to me that the one sentence summary of your article is dining outs never going to be the same in Michigan.
Paula Gardner 37:45
Yeah, that's very possible. A lot of changes
Walt Sorg 37:49
during the summer. Is it possible for a lot of restaurants to have patio seating, a lot of people are like me, they won't go inside. But the patio is worked out. Well. patios are no longer an option in the state of Michigan for the next few months. How are these restaurants going to be able to respond?
Paula Gardner 38:05
They're trying to figure that out right now I've seen a few communities actually extend the outdoor seating that they expanded during the summer. But that's kind of aspirational. In many in many ways. I don't think that there are many restaurants out there who can go out and before or I don't think there are many restaurants out there who can afford to just go out and buy a lot of new equipment like spacers, or set up enclosed patios, or come up with other ways of investing into doing outdoor dining during Michigan's winter, much less fall.
Walt Sorg 38:40
It seems like there's two worlds when it comes to the retail restaurant business. I began to get my email, a lot of promotions, from the big chains, offering all sorts of deals to induce me to come in. But somebody who owns the diner down the street, they simply don't have the capital to invest either in their building or to invest in marketing like that, are they going to disappear?
Paula Gardner 39:01
It's something we have to worry about. I live in Ann Arbor. And we've actually seen lots of chains close, particularly in the rim communities around the city, where they set up around the highways around the commercial corridors. And I think a lot of people, I see a lot of people supporting the local restaurants and really thinking about them in a different way. But we have to worry about them. They're facing all sorts of challenges. And it's not just things like capacity. I saw a bagel maker this morning on about increased costs for supplies. So she's raising prices and she's apologizing to her customers over it which I think is completely unnecessary given how much you know, we'd love and want them to be able to stay in business.
Walt Sorg 39:43
One of the areas that you focus on a lot in your article is when we don't think about a lot when we think of restaurants. And that's the convention business which relies heavily on large volumes and large live just isn't a possibility. What are the resorts telling you the large banquet centers,
Paula Gardner 39:59
they're struggling You know, I think they are a hidden part of the industry. But when you consider downtown Grand Rapids, which is the second largest Convention Center in Michigan, and you consider the place of restaurants there, and the vitality that they bring to the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, and the way they give that sense of sense of prosperity to a town, there's activity, and then activity begets more activity. And it's just an exciting place to be. And that's fueled in large part with the big hotels, and the convention center will bring in people to the town. So a lot of this outside money that's supporting it, too, which is also important for a community. But like, we wouldn't have what we have in downtown Detroit, or downtown Grand Rapids, or other big centers. Without the convention business.
Walt Sorg 40:50
You've talked a lot with the industry leaders, their association leaders, what are some of the things they're suggesting to at least give their members a chance of survival?
Paula Gardner 40:59
Well, everybody comes down to capacity. But they understand that that depends on a lot of consumer confidence, you know, are we ready to go back inside? Would it matter if we went to 100% capacity for a typical restaurant? Would it matter if we let a traditional bar open, if people don't actually want to be inside? So there's that tension there. And what Justin Winslow of Michigan restaurant Lodging Association suggests and other people are supporting it is expanding, the opening becomes a little more aspirational, and that the rest of us become a part of that, that there are actually more transparent regulations or more transparent goals for the state to add capacity. And, you know, he would like to see that how highly publicized he'd like the public to buy into it to kind of consider the role of, you know, we're close. If I go out without a mask that might endanger it, or, you know, we're five days away from being able to open, let's keep going, let's do a good job with this. He thinks that would make a difference.
Walt Sorg 41:57
This is part of a larger infrastructure to of course, your urinal in Ann Arbor. college football's gone, even though they're playing. It's not the college football, we're used to here in Lansing, we've got the same problem. And they were generating huge numbers of people for the restaurants for the hotels, do they think that the refunding of the Pure Michigan advertising is gonna help loose generate some traffic,
Paula Gardner 42:20
they think it's going to help generate some but they basically missed the whole summer season of trying to get more going. And summer wasn't terrible. There's a lot of activity and a lot of areas in Michigan, but it's obviously dying off right now. The college towns kept things going in the fall in a traditional sense. But that's not happening this year, either. As you know, with with football, parents weekends are being canceled. So like, every college town is going to feel it. And then the big football communities, we're talking millions and millions. So that was the bridge between a summer season and the holidays. And then things typically drop off in January after all of that this year, who knows what it's going to look like? Will there be big Christmas gatherings in restaurants? Possibly not? January, always terrible February, you know, they have to stretch it out to spring. And at that point, we're a year into this. And they've had to really compromise for a long time.
Walt Sorg 43:14
For all of the best illustration of the overall problem is represented by Disney. Just this week, they've laid off 29,000 people in their businesses in there, specifically in their theme parks.
Paula Gardner 43:27
Yeah, that's enormous. Florida gets a lot of flack for the pace of its reopening. And I think a lot of it is deserved. I think it's not presented as a thought out plan in many respects. But when you think about what's happening at a place like Disney, which is a statewide economic generator, like most of us don't even have in other states. And that's, that's a lot of people. That's a lot of people out of work. It's a lot of money that's not flowing in that state.
Walt Sorg 43:54
Did the PPP program just delay the problem? are we about now to see a huge crash in the hospitality industry because that money's run out?
Paula Gardner 44:02
I'm not sure if crash is the right word. But I am hearing that payroll is inflated. So places that are operating at lower capacity. Everything was you know, as good as it's going to get in the summer. It's not going to get any better this fall in terms of volume. So they don't need the people that they've had over the summer. And they may have been operating with a few extra people that they truly didn't need because they had the PPP access. So we could be seeing another wave of layoffs.
Walt Sorg 44:31
All the gardener from bridge magazine, the business watch editor, thank you so much for joining us.
Paula Gardner 44:35
Christine Barry 44:40
outdoor lovers for Biden. It's a thing which includes several prominent Republicans, one of them bill Rustom, who served as a senior policy adviser to both governor William Milliken and Governor Rick Snyder.
Bill Rustem 44:54
Well sportsmen and sportswomen for Biden is a national organization out to get people to Vote for Joe Biden for President. It's a it's a group of people, both Republicans and Democrats who have decided that we just can't take it anymore, that there have been enough attacks on our hunting and fishing heritage, both in terms of protection of the habitat that has got to be there if you're going to hotter fish, and in terms of public access, that we just would much rather see Joe Biden as president than the Donald Trump.
Walt Sorg 45:31
You personally, in your distinguished career, probably the highlight was still the time you spent working for Governor Bill Milliken. The thing that occurs to me is that Millican and Biden, on a personal level seem very similar.
Bill Rustem 45:46
Yeah, I think they are. They're, they're they're moderates. They're tempered. They're not they don't shout. They, they try to reach compromises with people and not not bullying people. And that's it. That's an important part and part of democracy.
Walt Sorg 46:06
Yeah, there was a there's an empathy factor there too, with both of them.
Bill Rustem 46:09
Oh, yeah, no question. No question the governor, Governor millikin could empathize with without anyone and Joe Biden has that characteristic as well.
Walt Sorg 46:19
As you look across the nation, I don't ever remember in our long lives, this number of people crossing over, you probably would have to go back to 1964 when Barry Goldwater was the Republican nominee to see a lot of Republicans to cross over to the Democrats. And even then it wasn't as big as it is now.
Bill Rustem 46:39
I think there are a lot of traditional Republicans who are not Trump plugins. And, like me, I continue to say I'm a Republican, but I can't abide by his policies. And some of the most important are those related to habitat. I mean, this is an administration that is proposing opening America's coastal waters to all American coastal except for Florida, where Mara Largo happens to sit to oil and gas drilling. They've permitted the use of seismic guns for exploration and the ocean that harms marine life, mammals and fish. they've, they've, his administration, in their in their budget has, first they zeroed out and then they took 90% away the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and each of the first three budgets had to be restored by by the by the work of Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and Fred Upton and others. He just doesn't have to seek seem to have any affinity or interest in the outdoor heritage that Teddy Roosevelt really helped create in America. And Teddy Roosevelt, of course, was a Republican. He was a Republican, and he said that the nation really behaves well if it if it treats the natural resources as something to be enhanced, and not destroyed. And that's one thing that I don't think Donald Trump understands, we are going to be handing a natural resource base globally and in America, because of his non interest in science is non belief in science, a much worse place and we grew up in Walt,
Walt Sorg 48:39
you spearheaded on behalf of Governor Milliken probably the most significant environmental initiative in the history of the state the bottle bill, which has been a huge success, but what 45 years now, since you since you pass that, and it's worked,
Bill Rustem 48:56
it's worked. Yeah. You know, you listen to science. You don't listen to science, and you do so at your own peril. And I think we're seeing that across the globe. And in America, if we don't protect these natural resources, those habitats, for fish, for wildlife songbirds, those are the things that sustain us. We have to have clean water, we have to have clean air, we have to have healthy forests that absorb the carbon dioxide without raking them with without reading, I haven't read mine in a while. I probably ought to get out do that second, I guess. But we have to do that. And we are neglecting all that. So we're gonna hand our children huge problems.
Walt Sorg 49:44
You also of course, work for Governor Snyder. Were you surprised when he came out for Joe Biden?
Bill Rustem 49:49
I was not when he because he didn't get in support Trump. When Trump ran the first time he was a supporter of john Casey and I don't think he liked Trump's demeanor. Certainly his demeanor in the presidency at to me is gotten worse. And he believes like, you know, like and again, that you bring people together to try to work through problems and not shout at people and try to bully people into positions. And as we saw in the debate, try to just shout them down without without giving people an opportunity to discuss things. Snyder didn't like doesn't like that kind of, of activity. doesn't believe it has a place in in a healthy democracy, though, Russia.
Walt Sorg 50:36
Thanks so much for joining us on the pod.
Bill Rustem 50:38
Yeah, glad to be here. Well,
Walt Sorg 50:44
Attorney General Dana Nestle has dropped the hammer and a couple of right wing political operatives are responsible for 12,000 robo calls into Detroit. They were designed to discourage African Americans from voting, the two phase multiple felony charges that could put them in prison for more than 20 years.
Dana Nessel 51:01
What I've thought about for a long time is what is the point of having all these laws on the books in regard to voter suppression, voter intimidation, threats against voters if we never actually enforce them. And what we know about 2616 is that Trump didn't win because of the people who voted for him in Michigan. He won because of the people who didn't vote at all. And that is what I think these folks are trying to accomplish trying to suppress the vote and scare people into not voting absentee during the course of a global pandemic. And we're not having it in this state.
Christine Barry 51:33
The Michigan campaign finance network is projecting a record $100 million will be spent on Michigan's US Senate race this year. The bitter battle between senator Gary Peters and challenger john James has evolved into a series of high priced attack ads. Larry saboteur touched on the senate campaign during his virtual visit to MSU and said that Gary Peters biggest problem is that he's not your typical senatorial publicity hound.
The Lincoln Project 51:59
I wouldn't want to call it a common senator and visible but he's clearly not as visible as many Senate candidates are around the country or even in the Senate. Not that there's anything wrong with being low key. When you have 100 very large egos in the Senate. It's nice to have somebody who doesn't insist on the spotlight every hour on the hour. But Gary Peters poll ratings are weaker than you might expect an incumbent Democrat to be though he's ahead. He's heading the polling averages he's ahead in the the gold plated polls that I rely on a great deal. So it's still probable that he will win, especially if Joe Biden carries Michigan as he's currently favored to do.
Walt Sorg 52:42
I thought it was interesting to savato said that with the Peters James race, one of the things that makes it so interesting for him is there so very few republican pickup opportunities that the money is flooding in to help john James just because they got nowhere else to put it. The Alabama race is pretty well a done deal for Tommy Tuberville, the former football coach who is running against senator Doug Jones, and everywhere else, they're on defense and not doing very well. Meanwhile, john James has got another campaign finance violation claim against him. But on the plus side, Mitch McConnell super PAC just sent him in 9 million bucks to help him in the campaign in the closing days of the campaign. But again, it may be too late because the the voting is already so far so deeply underway. The other thing too, is when super PACs spend money on TV, the advertising costs them more money per minute than it does for a candidate themself. Because of FCC regulations. The TV stations basically have to give candidate committees their very biggest discount for advertising. It's called lowest unit rate. Whereas the super PACs I know, I remember from my days in broadcasting, we used to take the independent committees and we would get as much money out of them as we could squeeze, because there were no limits on how much we could charge them. So they may only get one third or a quarter of the airtime for the same dollar.
Christine Barry 54:06
Yeah, I saw that the Michigan Republican Party was trying to spend all this super PAC money as you know, momentum for john James. I don't really think that's how you measure momentum. Certainly, john James is getting more out of this race than he would without that support, but I'm gonna link to some sources, and I'm gonna write up some tweets and stuff. But I just want to point out that Gary Peters is like Larry said, Gary is not a flashy guy out trying to get attention. If you look at the 2019. gov track record for Gary Peters, how many bills he sponsored, that have actually made it through committee that have had influential and bipartisan co sponsors and that have had companion bills in the house. He's missed zero on a 428 votes, zero. He's out there just doing his job. So these people will say like the republicans are Trying to paint him as being invisible. He's not invisible. He's working, that his record backs it up. And I'm going to put these sources in the show notes. But yeah, he's not out there showing off, you know, standing next to props from his gig as the tenant commander in the Navy. He's just doing the work that he was hired to do. And john James is always standing next to a helicopter or behind a missile, or in his logistics business next to a bunch of shipping crates.
Walt Sorg 55:28
Yeah, he's not seeing a whole heck of a lot. In fact, I mentioned the campaign finance violations. This has been his response so far to the latest complaint about campaign finance violations.
Walt Sorg 55:48
There is some good news though, we'll actually talk about governing for a second. somehow, some way the governor and the legislature have come together on a new budget for the fiscal year that started October 1, it was remarkably cooperative with the legislative leadership and the governor working together, especially given the fact that they didn't have a lot of money to work with. But they haven't been hurt as bad by the pandemic as they thought they might be. We could talk about what's in the budget, but quite honestly, I think we would confuse folks. It's something you've got to look at. So let's just link to that in the the notes on the the website. It does though, fund, they got some of the governor's priorities, there's more money for roads in there. There's more money in there for K 12 education. And there is money for reinvestment into the water infrastructure so that we have fewer Flint's in the future, we have fewer p FOSS incidents in the future. I give props to both sides for coming up with a budget that actually kind of makes sense.
Christine Barry 56:43
Like we it has over $40 billion in federal assistance in this in this budget, which helped us to keep k 12 and local revenue sharing intact and like you said, we got a pretty decent budget out of it. And what happened Mike Shirky was a complete douche, and went right to Twitter and said, this shows what we can get done when we work together as our founding fathers intended, you know, and he's obviously taking this shot over, you know, the governor's use of her emergency powers. And just want to point this out that unless the founding fathers intended for us to get screwed over by one major party, that is not what the founding fathers intended. The Republicans have done nothing to help with us. It was the republicans who stood up and said that Democratic governors shouldn't get federal aid, because it's a blue state bailout, because, you know, we didn't run our budgets the way they wanted us to. And it was the republicans that screwed up the pandemic response. It was the republicans it was Trump in particular who said he was who threatened our funding over absentee ballots and mail in a voting. And he didn't fund our national guard for a pandemic response. And Shirky and Leigh Chatfield are thick as thieves with these people. So bipartisanship is not a case of them being a good partner. So we've we got what was probably the best budget we could get out of this. But when we look at something like the budget, and we think, hooray, bipartisanship, and and he calls it, you know, something that the founding fathers intended. It's not, it's not we're in this mess. We only got out of this this year because of all that federal money that they opposed every step of the way.
Walt Sorg 58:29
Yeah, he's also doublespeak when it comes to cooperation between the legislative branch and the executive branch. He didn't seem to have any problem at all, when the Trump administration ignored every subpoena that came out of Congress, or the President issued Executive Orders on virtually everything. It's it's a political thing.
Christine Barry 58:49
Alright, time for the attack ad of the week. As always, we've got a tough competition. Runner Up goes to the Lincoln project for an internet ad narrated by a hero of the Hudson, Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger.
The Lincoln Project 59:04
Leadership is not just about sitting in the pilot's seat. It's about knowing what you're doing, and taking responsibility for it. Being prepared, ready, and able to handle anything that might come your way. I've been flying over this country for 53 years, 53 years of lights you'd never heard about, and one that you've heard everything about. Miracle on the Hudson, everyone onboard 155 people make it out alive.
The Lincoln Project 59:33
My whole life prepared me for that moment. From my father, a naval officer in World War Two, I learned the awesome responsibility of commands. From my service as an Air Force officer and a fighter pilot. I knew that serving a cause greater than oneself, is the highest call. And it's in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us so miserably. Now it's up to us to overcome his attacks. Hi Our very democracy, knowing nearly a quarter million Americans won't have a voice casualties of is lethal lies and incompetence. 11 years ago I was called to my moment. Now we are all called to this moment. When you look down at our beautiful boundless country, you don't see political divisions. It reminds us of who we are, and what we can be that we are in control of this nation's destiny. All we have to do is vote him out vote that's in the Lincoln project are responsible for the content of this advertising.
Walt Sorg 1:00:35
And our winner for this week, the Midas touch, which responded almost immediately to the President's infection with COVID-19. It's called Trump's lies have consequences.
The Meidas Touch PAC 1:00:46
I think wearing a facemask either. Somehow. I don't see it for myself. The second Can you take it up because I cannot hear I'll just speak louder, sir. Okay, good. You want to be politically correct. Go ahead. No, sir. I just want to wear the mask. It affects virtually nobody. It's a it's an amazing thing. I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him. He's got a mask he could be speaking 200 feet away from and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen. I mean, is the President of the United States now confirming to the world that he and the First Lady of the United States have both tested positive for the coronavirus and they will quarantine it is what it is.
Christine Barry 1:01:32
And that's a wrap for this week's pandemic pod. Head on over to our website Michigan polycast calm I'll have links and tweets and stuff that you can use to get back check us or share
Walt Sorg 1:01:46
hospital reports. Nose medical reports, vaccines, coupons, so get some hydroxychloroquine whatever you get emails at EMI firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out through the Michigan podcast page on Facebook and Twitter. Avoid crowds maintain social distancing mask up and stay safe back in Michigan policastro is a production of Michigan citizens for a better tomorrow.