As expected, Congressman Gary Peters (D) walked over Republican challenger Terri Lynn Land to keep the open Senate seat Democratic. Land’s campaign had been failing for months, and about a month ago the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled nearly a million dollars in advertising for Land – a death knell for a national campaign.
Michigan voters also voted to send two openly gay men to the State House in January. Jon Hoadley won the 60th House District contest in Kalamazoo, capturing nearly 70 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, in Southeast Michigan, Jeremy Moss handily won election to the state house representing Southfield.
The 14th Congressional District, vacated by Peters, will now be represented by Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence.
Richard Bernstein, of the 1-800-Call-Sam clan, was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. While his election doesn’t change the ideological makeup of the court, it does place a strong progressive voice on the court to issue dissents to the Court’s conservative majority’s rightwing pontifications.
You can expect with the new Republican majority in the state house to see more political games played. A group of newly elected Republican representatives, including Gary Glenn, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, have made it clear they want a change in leadership in the House and they specifically are looking for the Republican caucus leadership to agree to only bring legislation to the floor if the votes exist in the GOP majority to pass the legislation without any Democratic support – the so-called Hastert rule, named after former Speaker of the U.S. House Dennis Hastert. With the even larger majority in the house, the GOP could isolate and sideline Democrats for the next two years.
On top of that, the GOP maintains a rock solid super majority in the state Senate.
Add to this mixture the promises by the GOP to not raise revenues, and you have a disaster in the making for road funding. If revenues aren’t raised to cover the $1 billion in necessary road repairs, that money is going to have to come out of the general fund. That will impact local revenue sharing, education funding, health funding and more.
On a federal level, the GOP captured a majority in the U.S. Senate. This means the GOP now controls both chambers of Congress, which will likely push the Obama presidency further to the right from the center. You can expect more showdowns with Congress over the next two years.
Marriage equality supporters will really face an uphill battle, even if the 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals upholds Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling overturning Michigan’s marriage ban. Bill Schuette, the right-wing Attorney General, has won a second term as Michigan’s top lawyer, besting his Democratic challenger Mark Totten. Expect to see him charging off for pet right-wing projects like fighting marriage equality, challenging the Affordable Care Act where he can and continuing to protect drug companies.
Now, however, Schuette is going to have some back up in the state legislature. Gary Glenn, the former head of the American Family Association of Michigan– an affiliate of the nationally recognized hate group American Family Association – won his election in Midland, besting Democrat Joan Brausch despite a huge push by LGBT and labor groups. Glenn is proud to have authored the marriage ban, and you can bet he will support Schuette trying to avoid recognizing same-sex marriages should the federal courts approve of them.
Joining Glenn is Lana Theis of Brighton. She thinks that legislators should be prepared to resist marriage equality under a state’s rights agenda, the Detroit Free Press’ Brian Dickerson reported.
Glenn will oppose any movement to protect the LGBT community from discrimination – he said in July 2011 that employers shouldn’t hire members of the community because of “health risks.” And just for good measure, Glenn wants to criminalize consensual, non-commercial homosexual activity.
Adding to the mess, Todd Courser won his election as did Cindy Gamrat. Both oppose equality for the LGBT community.
Courser and Glenn have even hinted at a possible run for the speaker by Glenn.