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UPDATED: You, too, can go to a Rick Snyder town hall meeting to ask questions. If you are a supporter, that is.

After facing withering criticism for failing to agree to debate Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, Republican Governor Rick Snyder announced with great fanfare that he was going to do ten town hall meetings where voters could ask him questions. They said Schauer was welcome to tag along if he wanted, and then slammed him with a truly unprofessional insult, calling him “lacking the intelligence” to keep up with Gov. Snyder:

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to hold a series of town hall meetings across the state this fall, answering question from voters — and his Democratic opponent Mark Schauer is invited to join him.
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Rick Snyder finally finds a teacher who supports him: his neighbor at his vacation home

After claiming he was going to run a strictly positive campaign, Gov. Rick Snyder has a new negative attack ad out that features a retired teacher named Linda Thaler.

Turns out that she lives literally right next door to Snyder’s vacation home on Gun Lake in Middleville, Michigan.

The reality is that, despite Ms. Thayer’s contention otherwise, her neighbor and friend Rick Snyder HAS cut funding going to classrooms. Here’s the lowdown on the ad:

The Snyder ad references Public Act 236 of 2003. That particular bill passed 38-0 in the Michigan Senate and every Democrat in the House at the time voted against it.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: You can have access to the Governor’s office (but it’ll cost ya), MEDC official: Loss of Cadillac “not a big deal”

An exposé by the New York Times shows that access to officials in the administrations of a number of Republican governors can be had by corporate America as long as they were willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars:

[A]n error by the Republican Governors Association recently resulted in the disclosure of exactly the kind of information that political committees given tax-exempt status usually keep secret, namely their corporate donors and the size of their checks. [...]

With Congress producing so little legislation, governors’ offices have become attractive targets, Mr.

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Aramark prison employee investigated for arranging murder-for-hire at Michigan prison, school pays price for hiring them

This isn’t GETTING ridiculous, this IS ridiculous

Seems not a week goes by that an employee for the for-profit prison food vendor Aramark isn’t busted for some illicit activity or another. In all, nearly 100 Aramark employees are now banned from Michigan prisons for having sex with inmates, delivering cigarettes and drugs like cocaine and heroin to inmates, and for egregious violations related to food services like maggots in food preparation areas and running out of food.

This time, an Aramark employee is being investigated for approaching an inmate about killing another inmate:

First it was drug smuggling and sex acts with inmates.…
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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Eric Schertzing making it competitive in MI-08, DGA releases new ad going after Rick Snyder

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing released an internal poll today showing him within striking distance of Republican Mike Bishop. Schertzing is down just 5 points, 42-37, in a poll with a 4.9 point margin of error. In the same poll, when respondents were read “a balanced series of positive messages about both candidates”, the two are tied at 43-43.

This is a race that deserves more attention than it’s getting (which is why I’ll be posting an interview with Schertzing next week.)

In other MI-08 news, Schertzing and Bishop were supposed to debate at a Livingston County forum tonight but Bishop pulled out at the last minute today so no debate.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Pam Byrnes endorsed by U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Schauer tied with Snyder in yet another poll

Pam Byrnes, the Democratic candidate in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District received a key endorsement of her race to unseat Tea Party Caucus member Republican Tim Walberg. This morning was endorsed by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce who call her “a champion of women’s economic priorities”.

Here’s the endorsement statement from Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

Pam Byrnes understands Michigan needs a robust platform for the creation of quality jobs to support and rebuild our middle class. She is also a champion of women’s economic priorities, receiving a one-hundred percent rating from the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.…
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Michigan led the country in job losses in August, tied for 5th highest unemployment rate

When Rick Snyder came into office, Michigan had the nation’s 5th highest unemployment rate. After nearly four years of his relentless positive Republican action, guess where we’re ranked now?

Yup: 5th.

That number doesn’t tell the full story either. The only reason we’re ranked 5th instead of 4th or less is because so many Michiganders have left the job market. Our unemployment rate is still 1.3 percentage points above the national average of 6.1%. The worst news, however, is that our state lost 9,500 jobs between July and August, the highest job loss in the country. By contrast, 35 states saw job growth improve in the same month.…

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AFSCME releases new “American Horror Show” trailers featuring “Corporate Governors” like Rick Snyder

On October 8th, the fourth season of the FX hit TV show, American Horror Story will begin. However, you don’t have to wait until October to experience the real American horror show of corporatist governors that put corporate interests ahead of working families. People in states like Michigan get to “enjoy” that every day.

Today, AFSCME is releasing a series of trailers based on American Horror Story on their new site Their trailers target the right wing extremist governors that have created a horror show in their states by putting working families last.

You can watch the first trailer now which features our very own Michigan Governor Rick Snyder:

AFSCME will roll out new trailers leading up to the season premiere of American Horror Story on October 8th.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Snyder has lost the media, Land’s family are Islamophobes

NOTE: With the impending election, trying to keep up with all of the news is like drinking from a firehose and, with a day job and other activities I’m involved in, I simply don’t have time to do an individual blog post for everything that is going on. I’m considering doing a “grab bag” like this one every day or two, sort of a “news round-up” to at least point out some of the stuff I don’t have the time to do a full-blown post about. Some of the news may be a day or two old by the time I write about it but maybe it’s something you missed.

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Snyder administration official who resigned over extravagant spending now found to have had a conflict of interest, as well

The scandals just keep piling up

More evidence has emerged that being a business mogul associated with, a relative of, or even hired into the Snyder administration gives you some perks not enjoyed by others. You might, for example, have contracts with the state tossed your way like Snyder’s cousin, George Snyder. You can impact legislation that benefits you and/or your business partners. You can live extremely high on the hog on the public’s dime right up until you get busted for it. That last one accurately describes Scott Woosley, the former head of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority who resigned in disgrace last month after the Michigan Democratic Party uncovered wildly extravagant expenditures by Woosley and his staff that were then signed off on by other Snyder administration officials and reimbursed using taxpayer dollars.…

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