Weekly Roundup: Courts Don’t Help Fraudulent Candidates Save Face, Mackinac Debate Highlights, and The Multiple Zombies in this Race

Yesterday marked two months to the day from the August gubernatorial primary. As folks ferry back from Mackinac Island, some light ferry reading on the most chaotic field in Michigan history.

For Craig, Johnson, Markey, and Brandenburg, The Party Is Over

The Republican primary may be on August 2nd, but this cycle has proven this week is far more critical for our crowded pack of candidates. Craig, Johnson, and Markey all lost court battles to get certified to appear on the ballot despite refusing to follow election law. 

Both the Court of Claims and Court of Appeals – like many Republicans – struggled to see how submitting fraudulent nominating petitions is anyone’s else’s fault but the candidate, you know, submitting them.

Mackinac Island Gave Michiganders the Best Look Yet at the New Field…And it Wasn’t Pretty

Not that it was any more rosy before when MIGOP darlings Craig and Johnson were still in the picture, but fewer candidates on the debate stage meant more time to hear each speak. In just one hour, we got the following from Kevin Rinke, Garrett Soldano, Tudor Dixon, and Ralph Rebandt on the island:

  • The third sober look in a row at just how anti-abortion this field really is. Despite ongoing legal proceedings that may deem the disastrous but still dormant 1931 abortion ban unconstitutional, all four candidates reaffirmed their commitment to signing new restrictive legislation on Michigan women and families.
  • Rinke floated a range of facially insane conspiracy theories ripped straight from Facebook, claiming without even an attempt of evidence that there are states in which terminating a pregnancy after it has come to term is legal. He also threw out that “there has been fraud in every election.”
  • Rinke – again – refusing to identify which parts of Michigan’s budget he wants to cut, complaining that “in 30 seconds you can’t answer that” (Per debate moderators, he had 60 seconds). For what it’s worth, it took us roughly six seconds to say “He looks forward to cutting billions from law enforcement, public schools, and our roads and bridges.” 
  • As we saw in Traverse City just days after the latest school shootings, all Republicans candidates demonstrated neither the willingness nor the capacity to address gun violence with a shred of seriousness or urgency. This was evidenced by their renewed calls for single entry and arming teachers.
  • Not to be outdone, Soldano cited “making [the roads] thicker” as one of the long-term solutions he’d pursue as governor. Outstanding.

The entire affair took place after Governor Whitmer shared her forward-thinking vision for Michigan, and extremely well-received steadfastness to protect reproductive freedom. The Republican clown show demonstrated that getting upstaged by your opener isn’t a lost art after all.

Anti-Abortion Extremists Line Up Behind Dixon

This week, despite the little daylight between gubernatorial Republicans on most issues but especially abortion, Tudor Dixon was the one to land the endorsement of Right to Life Michigan, “the state’s most prominent anti-abortion group.” Naturally, they are also the premier cheerleaders for the return of the state’s draconian 1931 near-total abortion ban, which they’ve touted as the most restrictive in the country should it go back into effect if Roe v. Wade gets overturned nationally.

Rinke Can’t Stop Lying

If it feels like almost everything the out-of-touch millionaire said this week was a lie, that’s because it’s true. Ahead of this week’s debate, and in willful refusal to acknowledge the real and proven fraud that rocked several of his former opponents, Rinke threw seven of his own figures behind an ad claiming (do we even need to mention without evidence at this point?) that every dead voter has been exploited on the behalf of Democrats.

Not so fast, said Detroit Free Press:

“Ballots are sometimes cast on behalf of dead people, though it’s a tiny fraction of all votes. However, a Google search like the one the Rinke campaign requested actually shows that its assertion that dead people “always” vote Democratic is itself a zombie claim — and no less mythical than an actual zombie. […] 

Six cases that have surfaced during the past five years produced either a plea of guilty or no contest, and in each case the defendant was either a registered Republican or acknowledged voting for Trump. 

Even this small number of cases is enough to invalidate Rinke’s sweeping statement that only Democrats do this. We rate the statement False.”

In Rinke’s defense, there has been at least one zombie sighting so far, and we’re not talking about the extra in his ad.

Ahhhhhh!

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