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Jack Bergman, the Republican candidate for Congress in northern Michigan, serves on a school board in New Orleans and attended a board meeting as recently as April, according to school records.

Bergman of Watersmeet has been criticized by opponents in the primary and general election who claim he lives in Louisiana, where he owns a home outside Baton Rouge, maintains a checking account with a Louisiana address and serves on the Louisiana Military Advisory Council.

Bergman, a retired Marine lieutenant general, served in Louisiana from 2005 until his retirement from the Marines in 2009. Bergman recently updated his financial disclosure report on file with the U.S. House clerk to include his position on the board of NOMMA, which stands for New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy.

The high school, which has a Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Program, is modeled off of the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago.

“Lt. General Jack Bergman was stationed in Louisiana in the United States Marines and is proud of his service both for his country and in helping children in a JROTC school,” campaign spokesman John Yob said by email.

Leaked emails rave about Detroit eateries

Internal emails from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign released by the website WikiLeaks this week included good words for a few Detroit restaurants.

During a March visit to Michigan for campaign events primary to the primary she lost to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill mentioned Clinton’s visit to Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles. The former secretary of state’s stop at the year-old eatery on Livernois in northwest Detroit involved Mayor Mike Duggan and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield.

“Lots of enthusiasm, lots of selfies,” Merrill reported.

In another email, he talks of two “very hip” coffee shops that Clinton visited in Detroit, Astro in Corktown and Avalon International Breads in Midtown. At Avalon, Clinton spoke to a woman who has cystic fibrosis whose friend (who also has cystic fibrosis) had met and talked to Clinton in New Hampshire.

Merrill also recommended Lafayette Coney Island in downtown Detroit to colleagues.

“On a personal note, I just had two Coney Island hot dogs at the famous Lafayette Coney Island next to the hotel. I highly recommend. Bring your defibrillator, or ask to borrow one from” U.S. Secret Service, he wrote.

Senators in song

While in Michigan on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, recorded Michigan U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters singing karaoke on a Hillary Clinton campaign bus.

They altered the words to Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” to “Stand By Her” in honor of the Democratic presidential nominee.

Stabenow: “When the night has come and the land is dark, Hillary is the only light we see ...”

Peters: “No, we won’t be afraid. Oh no, we won’t be afraid. Just as long, as we stand, stand by her – come on, now, everyone!”

The whole crew on the bus joins in the chorus. Watch the video@CoryBooker on Twitter or Snapchat. Stabenow actually has a great voice.

Booker visited Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State, Wayne State and the TV Lounge in Detroit for voter-registration events. Booker’s mother, Carolyn, is a Detroit native.

No debate invite for Libertarian candidate

Diane Bostow, the Libertarian candidate for Congress in northern Michigan, says she has been shut out of televised debates in the district, which includes the Upper Peninsula and 16 counties of the lower.

“I’ve been aced out of the televised stuff entirely,” Bostow said. “If you can’t get in the debates and get that kind of viewership, you’re screwed.”

Last Friday, the local ABC and NBC affiliates, ABC 29 at 8 and 7&4 News, hosted a debate at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, but Bostow wasn’t invited, she said. Bergman and the Democratic candidate, Lon Johnson, took the stage.

Pat Livingston, news director for the ABC station, did not respond to requests for comment.

“I think when I do have a chance to speak, the juxtaposition will be clear,” Bostow said.

Her cousin, Libertarian and presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has also been excluded from the general election debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which used an average of polls to determine candidate eligibility.

Pence talk in Macomb Co. sells out

The Macomb County Republican Party has sold out of tickets for its Oct. 17 Lincoln Day dinner with GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.

Linda Torp, chair of the Macomb County GOP, said the 940 tickets for the Indiana governor’s speech at Palazzo Grande Banquet and Event Center in Shelby Township sold quickly.

Torp said it will be the largest crowd at attendance to a Lincoln Day dinner during her four years as chair of the county party. A March 2015 Lincoln Day dinner headlined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie drew just under 900 attendees, she said.

“What it says to me is that Macomb County is very excited to see Gov. Pence, and I think it speaks well of our support for ticket,” Torp said Tuesday.

Pence’s speech at next Monday’s Macomb County GOP event will come three weeks before Election Day in a county that is seen as critical for businessman Donald Trump’s chances of winning Michigan.

The Lincoln Day dinner is a fundraiser for the Macomb County Republican Party.

Tickets sold for $60 each individually or $55 each for a table of 10. Attendees who spent $175 each will get a private reception with Pence.

Pence has made two visits to Michigan since joining Trump’s ticket at the July 18-21 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

He held separate campaign rallies in Novi and suburban Grand Rapids on July 28. On Aug. 8, Pence made a surprise appearance at a Detroit Economic Club luncheon, where he introduced Trump.

Trump supporters were trying to organize a luncheon with Pence’s wife, Karen, on Oct. 17 in Oakland County. That event had to be scratched because it didn’t work for fit in Karen Pence’s schedule, said Lena Epstein, a co-chair of Trump’s Michigan campaign.

Contributors: Melissa Nann Burke and Chad Livengood

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