The Michigan Senate was asked today to approve 13 people Governor Gretchen Whitmer wanted to be appointed to certain boards and commissions.  The Republicans who control the Senate said NO to all of them.

MLive reported that Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said:

“This is rank politics...We’re in divided government. Maybe you haven’t gotten the memo, but I’m going to let you know. It takes compromise, it takes a two-way street, not just getting up here whining”

Good to know that at least once in a blue moon the Republicans in Michigan will use their power even if it appears to be “rank politics”. Whitmer has been doing so for 10 months and her democratic colleagues in the House and Senate do so whenever possible.  What would you call switching your votes because Whitmer vetoed a bill that you helped pass and you did not want to send a veto-proof bill back to her desk?  Senator Ananich was one of those who switch his vote if Whitmer told him to.

Some of the appointees were due to complete nepotism, for instance, the Detroit News is reporting that Whitmer chose Kristin Totten, the wife of her chief legal counsel Mark Totten to serve on the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board.

Senate Advice and Consent Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, admitted that the rejections are a “tool” they are using to pressure the Governor into working with the legislature. 

He stated:

“Throughout this governor’s time in office, our governor has done everything possible to avoid working with elected members in this chamber as our founders intended...If the governor will not even listen to the courts, we must use every tool, granted to us, to the Senate, to encourage her to put the tough work necessary to compromise with the people’s representatives.”

As a point of context, the Governor of Michigan has the authority to appoint people to many state board and commission positions.  The Senate then has 60 days to reject or accept those appointments via a majority vote in their role of advice and consent.

The Whitmer appointees rejected Tuesday include:

  • Kristin Totten, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
  • Suzanna Shkreli, Children’s Ombudsman
  • Erin Kricher, Rural Development Fund Board
  • James Pearson, Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board
  • Emily McDonough, Data Collection Agency Governing Board
  • Ronald Campbell to the Barrier Free Design Board
  • Terry Gilligan, Board of Mechanical Rules
  • Dennis Mowbray, Board of Mechanical Rules
  • Richard Corriveau, Michigan Civil Rights Commission
  • Thomas Baird, Natural Resources Commission
  • David Cozad, Natural Resources Commission
  • Cheryl Kobernik, Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Amy Cox, Michigan Travel Commission

I say good for them, you must use raw power to fight their use of raw power.  Republicans too often attempt to fight fair when the Democrats too often fight unfair.