Political Insider: Troy Democrat pivots on 9/11 fundraising email
A Democratic House lawmaker who sent out a fundraising letter on Sept. 11 asking for $9, $11 and $19 donations apparently had second thoughts and later Wednesday vowed to donate any contributions to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Rep. Padma Kuppa, D-Troy, sent a fundraising email Wednesday expressing gratitude for people in uniform and stressing the importance of ensuring those service members “understand and reflect the communities they serve.”
The first-term lawmaker was referring to legislation she and Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, had introduced that would create grant programs to recruit women and minorities to police departments.
“I’m proud to work with colleagues across the state and across the legislature to strengthen relationships between the police and the public,” Kuppa said in the fundraising email. “Help me continue to build relationships and to create policy to protect the public welfare through a contribution of $9, $11, or $19 today. #RepresentationMatters.”
When The News inquired about the email, Kuppa issued a statement noting her goal was to bring attention to the legislation, but the timing may have “distracted” from the observance of the Sept. 11, 2011 terror attacks.
“I have nothing but gratitude for the men and women who gave their lives on 9/11, and for the first responders who serve us now in Michigan and in my community, and from that gratitude will be giving any money donated to me today to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum,” Kuppa said.
1st Amendment push on 2nd Amendment day
Gun rights activists who flooded the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday were able to bring their pistols and rifles into the building — but not their signs.
State Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, noted the First Amendment free speech restriction as he marked 2nd Amendment Day by reintroducing legislation that would lift a rule prohibiting signs in the Capitol.
The indoor sign ban is meant to deter accidental damage to the walls of the historic building, but “you could make that argument about an umbrella too,” Moss told reporters on the floor.
“I would say that a sign malfunctioning is still better than a gun malfunctioning in this building.”
Moss introduced similar legislation in the state House last year, but his proposal did not advance. His latest version was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee, where legislation often goes to die.
GOP redistricting suits combined
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the consolidation of two Republican lawsuits seeking to block implementation of a new citizen redistricting commission approved last fall by voters.
U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff, who is presiding over both cases, ordered consolidation upon the request from Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the named defendant in both cases.
“These two cases involve common questions of law and fact regarding the constitutionality” of the redistricting commission, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said in the request for Benson, a fellow Democrat.
“Consolidation of these cases will promote judicial economy and the efficient resolution of these actions, which present important questions concerning the will of the people with respect to redistricting in Michigan.”
Neff, an appointee of Republican former President George W. Bush, agreed with the arguments and combined suits filed separately by GOP activists and the Michigan Republican Party.
Republican Joel Langlois, who is running for Congress, recently challenged opponent Peter Meijer to push back on his family's request that customers not openly carry guns in its stores.
Both men are among those seeking the GOP nomination in Michigan's 3rd District, representing the Grand Rapids area, where Rep. Justin Amash left the party this summer to run as an independent.
Langlois said the Meijer company's decision was disappointing and suggested the change would make citizens "less safe."
"My Republican opponent Peter Meijer is in a position to speak out against the policies that his family business is considering," Langlois said. "I hope Peter will join me in standing up for the Second Amendment."
Meijer declined Wednesday to play "tit for tat" with Langlois, "unless he wants to meet me on a firing range and see who has a tighter shot group," Meijer said, referring to the clustering of impacts on a target.
"If Joel doesn’t own a pistol, I’ll happily loan him one of mine. I’m an Iraq veteran, I competed on the West Point Pistol Team, and I hold a concealed pistol license," Meijer said.
"I proudly exercise my Second Amendment rights and will defend all Americans’ right to do the same.
U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell says he's backing a primary challenger to fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa because King's string of divisive remarks "reflect negatively" on the GOP.
“I will be openly contributing to his primary opponent and encouraging others to do the same. Enough of his destructive commentary,” Mitchell, who is retiring, recently told The Hill newspaper.
“In my opinion, Steve King does not reflect the values or principles of our conference,”
King last month came under fire for questioning there would “be any population of the world left” if it were not for rape and incest.
The Republican conference stripped King of his committee assignments earlier this year after other comments criticized as racist.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who chairs the House GOP conference, has said King should leave Congress.