'The Gov' gets her beer

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds up a logo for "The Gov" beer at Lansing Brewing Company on May 14, 2018.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday celebrated the pending release of “The Gov,” a new India pale lager crafted by the Lansing Brewing Company as an ode to the first-term Democrat.

Speaking with reporters after an unrelated event at the brewery, Whitmer showed off a logo for the beer that pictures her holding a tire iron and spare wheel.

“That’s pretty badass, don’t you think?” said Whitmer, who campaigned last year on a pledge to “fix the damn roads” and has proposed a 45-cent gas tax hike to do so.

Lansing Brewing Company is known for creating beers based on local and statewide officials, including a limited run Relentless Positive Action beer inspired by former Gov. Rick Snyder.

The brewery also crafts the popular Angry Mayor IPA, an homage to former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, and a Schor Style cream ale inspired by current Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.

Head brewer Sawyer Stevens was not immediately available to discuss more details about the Whitmer beer or when it will be released. The governor visited the brewery in February for a series of taste tests that were expected to inform the finished product.

Slotkin joins fundraising team

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly has formed a joint fundraising committee with four other moderate freshman Democrats, allowing them to tap one another's donors and boost other women service veterans to seeking public office. 

The five women each have service backgrounds in military or intelligence, so the group is named Service First Women's Victory Fund. 

Slotkin is a former CIA officer, and the other women are Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia; Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey.

“More than ever, we need to elect public servants to Congress who know exactly what it means to put people over partisan politics, and focus on the mission of improving the lives of those they represent.” Slotkin said in a statement.

“That’s exactly what women with military and service backgrounds know how to do, and I’m so proud to be part of an effort to support that new generation of service-centered leadership in Congress.”

A joint fundraising committee permits lawmakers to share the costs of fundraising and divide the proceeds.

The group brought in $56,000 in the first quarter of 2019 from Joshua Bekenstein, co-chairman of Bain Capitol and his wife, Anita, according to a disclosure report. The committee split it among the members' five campaign accounts ($11,200 each). 

Slotkin's pledge not to accept corporate PAC donations won't be affected by the joint fundraising committee, a spokeswoman said. 

"Three of the five members don’t take corporate PAC money so those folks will not receive it through the" joint fundraising committee," spokeswoman Hannah Lindow said. 

Trump campaign hires in Michigan 

In a recent hiring expansion, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has chosen Jon Black to be regional political director for a group of states including Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

Black served as director of turnout and targeting for the Republican National Committee in 2016 and previously worked in voter programs for the Michigan Republican Party, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

The campaign also hired Chris Velasco as state director for Michigan.