Former Republican state chairman and national committeeman Saul Anuzis teased his blog viewers with a photo of himself above a headline, "Anuzis for U.S. Senate."
It referred to his flirt with possibly running for the Senate seat from which Democrat Carl Levin will retire in 2014. There's a sizeable field of potential contenders, so Anuzis goes on to separate himself with a list of reasons why he might be just the right guy, plus this note of modesty:
"My personal challenge may be that I'm just too average and maybe a bit too conservative (and often quoted) to be the right candidate at this unique time in Michigan's political history?"
Then there's this: "No formal announcement as of yet." Never mind.
Smoot plays Dem defense
The power-player wife of Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson is trying to keep retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin 's seat in Democratic hands in 2014.
Julianna Smoot , President Barack Obama 's deputy campaign manager last year, is joining the board of a political action committee called Senate Majority PAC that protected Democrats' control of the Senate in 2012. She will help with outreach and fundraising, according to a PAC statement released Monday.
"We have a small, effective team to which she brings critical expertise and networks as we prepare for this election cycle and make sure we have every resource needed to keep a Democratic senate majority," Susan McCue , co-chair of Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement.
The PAC may well need Smoot's help. Political analyst Larry Sabato and a co-author recently opined in the Wall Street Journal that Republicans have a better chance of gaining control of the Senate than Democrats do of capturing the GOP-led House.
A ducky fundraising plate
Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law the creation of another fund-raising license plate for a cause that state lawmakers deem ducky.
The Secretary of State Office will get to sell Ducks Unlimited plates.
Most of the revenue will be earmarked for maintaining Michigan wetlands, according to a Wednesday statement from Snyder's office.
The group Ducks Unlimited will pay $15,000 upfront to defray plate production costs.
Don't confuse it with the Wildlife Habitat license plate, whose proceeds finance the protection of threatened Michigan's non-game wildlife and habitat.
The special plates cost $35 with $25 of the cost going into the fund. It joins a long list of other causes getting state-sponsored license plate treatment, including the Boy Scouts, Olympics and the state's 15 public universities.
Lost in space
With the United States more than $16 trillion in debt, the House Ways and Means Committee headed by Michigan's Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, is targeting wasteful government spending — and has locked on to the Internal Revenue Service.
The chairman of the panel's Oversight subcommittee, Rep. Charles Boustany , R-La., wants the IRS to turn over videos of parodies of TV oldies "Star Trek" and "Gilligan's Island" made with taxpayer funds.
The IRS acknowledged the existence of the videos in a letter, but has refused to turn them over, the committee said.
Boustany is asking "the IRS release the videos so taxpayers can be assured that resources were used efficiently and in a manner keeping with the IRS's core mission.
The letter also calls on the IRS to produce a complete accounting of production expenditures at the studio."
The studio, in New Carrollton, Md., may have cost taxpayers $4 million last year, the subcommittee said. A tiny fraction of the nation's vast debt, but still worth the chase.
Contributors: Marisa Schultz, Richard Burr, Gary Heinlein and Christine Tierney.