Rogers (Mandel Ngan / Getty Images)
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers won the title last year of most appearances by a current or former member of Congress on nationwide televised Sunday public affairs programs, according to a blog article by MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
In 2013, the Republican representative from Howell made 27 appearances on Sunday shows hosted by CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC and NBC — beating Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona (24 appearances). The Maddow show’s Steve Benen noted the numbers while complaining the Sunday shows “collectively favor GOP guests over Democratic guests.”
Rogers did use his time to criticize the Obama administration, mostly on foreign affairs. But what wasn’t mentioned by the blogger from the Maddow show, which mostly sides with the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, is Rogers many times spent his Sunday TV time defending the Obama administration from criticisms of the National Security Agency spying program.
New councilman has some choice words for newspaper
New Detroit City Council member George Cushingberry Jr. has more than 30 years of experience as a state lawmaker and Wayne County commissioner — usually enough time to develop a thick skin to political criticism.
But a Tuesday Detroit News editorial decrying as “a disastrous start” the election of Brenda Jones as Detroit council president and Cushingberry as president pro tem quickly disabused that notion. At 12:21 a.m. on the same day of the editorial, Cushingberry responded in The News’ comment section: “Dear Detroit News: Go to hell. Go straight to hell. Do not pass go and don’t even think about collecting $200. Jones and Cush will lead the push for an even greater Detroit. #WeLoveDetroit”
When some readers complained District 2 council member Cushingberry’s response lacked “maturity” and a more robust argument, he responded: “Thank you but Go to Hell is much shorter and gets the point across. The (N)ews has endorsed loser after loser for Detroit, and I don't have the time to write an ‘educated’ response because I have a district to represent.”
Cushingberry’s comments apparently didn’t catch the attention of the Rev. Keenan Knox of Detroit’s east-side Impact Church, who later Tuesday lauded the start of a new day of dialogue in Detroit at a public investiture ceremony for the mayor, council and elected police commissioners.
“Gone are the days of Detroit being a nationally mocked city of disagreement,” Knox said. “ ... Gone are the days of being on television and being the Kardashians of the political arena. Our vision is honorable.”
Duggan aide appointed to Belle Isle advisory panel
Gov. Rick Snyder last month gave Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan an early New Year’s gift when he appointed Duggan’s Chief Talent Officer Bryan Barnhill II to the Belle Isle Advisory Commission.
Duggan wasn’t in line to make any selections to the seven-member panel, which will advise the state in its operation of Detroit’s rundown island park.
But the Republican governor included Barnhill on the commission, reflecting his repeated pledge to collaborate with Democratic city officials to address Detroit’s financial emergency.
Accountability forces legislators to vote more
Michigan taxpayers are getting more bang for their tax dollars, even when they may disagree with some laws coming out of Lansing.
The free-market-oriented Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports state lawmakers missed 1,093 votes in 2013. It is a severe plunge from the bad old days of the 2001-02 session when representatives and senators weren’t present for 21,000 votes and when the Midland research center’s Mackinac’s MichiganVotes.org first began tracking the votes.
“The days of some legislators no longer showing up for work are long past,” said Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org and a former legislative aide for a Republican lawmaker. “Legislators’ habits changed almost immediately when MichiganVotes.org began making this information easily accessible.”
McHugh noted 71 of 110 representatives and nine of 38 senators didn’t miss a vote. And the Senate took 665 roll call votes, while the House took 591 last year — excluding procedural votes. Michiganians can thank the Mackinac Center for creating this transparency in government — before the term gained its current popularity.
From one Haveman to the next for state House
The first announced Republican contender for the state House seat to be vacated next year by state Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, is ... another Haveman.
Geoff Haveman, a lawyer and Ottawa County GOP executive, said in late December he’s running for the 90th District House seat because “we need someone that will fight against the tide of those on the left and the right that are expanding government, raising taxes and ushering in Obamacare in Michigan.”
Haveman, a distant relative of the incumbent, has a Zeeland law firm.
Contributors: Richard Burr, Gary Heinlein and Darren A. Nichols