LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Facing up to 15 months in prison, former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell on Tuesday resigned his political post as a national committee member for the Michigan Democratic Party.

Party spokesman Paul Kanan confirmed the resignation by Jewell, who last week pleaded guilty to breaking federal labor laws and admitted to receiving lucrative illegal benefits from Fiat Chrysler executives who were seeking concessions from him at the bargaining table.

The Michigan Democratic Party has notified the Democratic National Committee of the vacancy, Chairwoman Lavora Barnes said in a statement. The state party plans to fill the seat — for a term expiring December 2020 — at its next quarterly meeting in July.

Despite his plea, Jewell remained a Michigan member to the DNC for several days, a status the state Republican Party first pointed out Friday, calling it an “interesting twist” to the legal drama.

The position would have allowed Jewell to serve as a super delegate to the 2020 Democratic convention in Milwaukee, where the party’s presidential nominee will be formally decided — provided he was no longer in prison.

“The fact he was still a Democrat super delegate after his confession, and was allowed to resign rather than being fired, shows corruption is still alive within the Michigan Democrat Party,” Michigan GOP spokesman Tony Zammit said Wednesday.

But Kanan confirmed that state Democratic Party bylaws would not have allowed the party to immediately remove Jewell after last week's guilty plea.

Any meeting held for the purpose of removing a party officer requires a notice to be sent out at least 10 days in advance, according to the rules. Now, the state party must also give interested candidates 30 days to declare for the post ahead of the July vote.

Peters raises record $1.9M

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, raked in nearly $1.9 million during the first quarter of the year, with 79 percent of contributions averaging $50 or less, according to his campaign.

That figure is a record first-quarter haul for a U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan, his campaign said.

Peters, who is running for a second six-year term, finished out the quarter with over $3 million in the bank. 

“I’m grateful to have the support of so many folks from all across Michigan,” Peters said in a statement.

“This record level of support reflects the fact that Michiganders want work horses, not show horses. They want tireless, effective leaders that work every day to protect healthcare, create good-paying jobs and a secure future that doesn’t leave any Michigander behind.”

So far, no Republican has stepped forward to run against Peters, who is the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The former congressman also sits on the Senate Armed Services and the Commerce, Science & Transportation committees.

Speculation has swirled around John James, an Iraq veteran and businessman from Farmington Hills who lost to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, after raising a surprising $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2018. There's even theorizing about a candidacy by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, who lost to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year and ran unsuccessfully against then-U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, in 1990. 

A "Draft John James" super political action committee registered last week with the Federal Election Commission. It is unclear who is behind the group and what office they want James to run for. 

Malpass leads World Bank 

Michigan native David R. Malpass began a five-year term leading the World Bank this week after President Donald Trump nominated him in February.

The executive directors of the bank unanimously selected Malpass as its president last week for a term that started Tuesday. 

Malpass, 62, is a Trump loyalist who served most recently as undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he represented America at G7, G20 summits, World Bank-IMF meetings and other international settings. 

Malpass was raised in East Jordan, Michigan, where his great grandfather started an iron foundry in 1883. The fifth-generation foundry once known as East Jordan Iron Works is now called EJ Co., he told senators during his 2017 confirmation hearing. 

He graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor's degree and got his MBA from the University of Denver. 

He served in both the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush on economic and international affairs at the Treasury and State departments before moving to New York to work for Bear Stearns, later starting his own firm, Encima Global. 

At the World Bank, Malpass succeeds Jim Yong Kim, who left the post in January, three years early. 

Hall eyeing Congress run?

When first-term state Rep. Matt Hall met Trump on the tarmac of Gerald R. Ford International Airport ahead of the president’s March rally in Grand Rapids, he was the only Michigan official in the greeting party who was not a current or former congressman. 

His inclusion begged the question: Does the Emmet Township Republican want to be a congressman?

“I’m really focused on my work here in the House, but as you know I’ve been a strong supporter of President Trump,” Hall told The Detroit News after a recent legislative session. “I worked hard for him, and I was grateful they recognized me with the opportunity to see him and greet him again.”

Hall lives in Calhoun County, which straddles two congressional district seats held by Republicans who have faced criticism from Trump supporters: Reps. Justin Amash of Cascade Township and Fred Upton of St. Joseph.

“I actually live in Amash’s district,” Hall told The Detroit News. “I’m not happy about the way he’s voting on the wall, and I’m not happy about the way he’s voting on a number of President Trump’s policies, and I’ve shared that with him.”

Asked if someone should challenge Amash in the GOP primary, Hall noted speculation Amash could run for president as Libertarian rather than run for re-election to the U.S. House as a Republican.

“I think he’s got to figure that out first,” Hall said. “Once he makes that decision, I think that’ll help a lot of us in his district figure out exactly who should be a candidate for that office.”

Neither Upton nor Amash met Trump on March 28.

Upton said he had a previously scheduled event in a far corner of his district, and Amash hasn't attended any of Trump's six campaign rallies held in the Grand Rapids area since 2015. 

"I haven't been to one, and it has not been an issue. It's a campaign event," said Amash, who has not endorsed Trump. 

"If there were some formal official business, that's a very different matter."

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/11/insider-uaw-official-resigns-democratic-party-post/3427490002/