Conservative group attacks Bishop in ads for backing trillion-dollar spending bill
In an unusual move, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity is attacking Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop for supporting the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March.
The mailers and digital ads are part of a six-figure ad campaign targeting nine other House Republicans and seven Democrats who also voted for the "out-of-control" omnibus package.
AFP is part of the billionaire Koch brothers' political network, which has spent millions of dollars bankrolling mostly GOP candidates and causes over the years.
Bishop, former state Senate majority leader from Rochester, is expected to face one of his toughest challengers this fall in Democrat Elissa Slotkin.
"That was not about politics. That was purely 100 percent about policy. Mike Bishop has done a lot of great things up here in Michigan and stood up against Gov. Jennifer Granholm so many times," said former state Rep. Pete Lund, Michigan director for AFP.
"We just want to see some of that same fight against reckless spending in D.C."
Bishop campaign consultant Stu Sandler acknowledged the process that Congress used to consider recent spending measures was "unacceptable," but noted Bishop voted last fall for the 12 appropriation bills in the House.
"Bishop was extremely disappointed the Senate failed to do their job and filibustered their consideration," Sandler said. "We must end the insanity of month-to-month spending bills and provide funding certainty for our nation."
Bishop did vote last week for a package of rescissions from the White House to cancel nearly $15 billion in unused funds from last fiscal year.
PAC canvassing 11th District
The Progressive Turnout Project says it plans to spend more than $350,000 on turnout efforts in Michigan's 11th District ahead of this fall's midterm elections.
The 11th District contest is considered a toss-up and might be Democrats' best pickup opportunity, as retiring GOP Rep. Dave Trott leaves an open seat.
The primary races on both sides are crowded with 10 total major-party candidates. U.S. House Democrats need to flip 23 Republican-held seats to win control of the chamber.
The Progressive Turnout Project is a political action committee focused on getting Democrats to the polls. It says its teams last year helped flip 10 Republican state House districts in Virginia.
The PAC has an office in Livonia and 11 staffers who will canvass Michigan's 11th during the summer and fall. They will go door to door targeting "inconsistent" Democratic voters to tell them about the importance of the election and why they should vote in November.
"When voter turnout is high, Democrats win elections," Executive Director Alex Morgan said in a statement.
Snyder goes to Latvia
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder left the country this week to attend a street naming ceremony in Latvia while legislators back home finished a $56.8 billion state budget.
It wasn’t your typical street naming event. Snyder and U.S. Ambassador Nancy Pettit were on hand as Latvian officials unveiled a new “Michigan Avenue” at Adazi Military Base, celebrating the 25th anniversary of a collaboration with the Michigan National Guard.
"Riks Snaiders," as he was identified in a Latvian video recap of the ceremony, gave his foreign friends a little bit of perspective, noting that he grew up near Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek.
“There are many Michigan Avenues in Michigan,” Snyder said. “There’s actually some Michigan Avenues in places like Chicago. But to my knowledge this is the first Michigan Avenue I know of in Europe or outside the borders of the United States, and I couldn’t think of a prouder place to have it.”
Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard, joined Latvian military officials at the event, also attended by roughly 150 service members from Latvia and Michigan, according to Snyder’s office.
Latvia, a Baltic state in northern Europe with a population of around two million people, was also celebrating 100 years since first declaring independence from Russia, a status that was challenged as recently as 1993. Soviets had occupied the state since 1940.
“In future years, soldiers and airmen walking down Michigan Avenue will be reminded of the Michigan-Latvia relationship and the steadfast U.S. commitment to a free and independent Latvia,” Pettit said.