Political Insider: Rinke considering run for governor

Metro Detroit businessman Kevin Rinke, a Republican, says he's "seriously considering" a run for governor in 2022.

Rinke of Bloomfield Township provided an update on his thinking Thursday in an email blast. He described himself as a "a lifelong Michigander whose family has lived here for over 100 years." His family has owned and operated auto dealerships in Warren and Center Line, the email said.

Kevin Rinke

"I believe Michigan deserves leaders that have real experience working in the private and public sectors," Rinke wrote, "people that have proven to be accountable to employees and customers, leaders that understand what it takes."

The businessman said he plans to travel the state and meet with people in the coming weeks. Rinke is among the potential Michigan candidates who have met with representatives of the Republican Governors Association.

A crowded primary field could be taking shape for the GOP nomination: Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is expected to announce a run, six other Republicans have already formed campaign committees, including conservative commentator Tudor Dixon and anti-lockdown activist Garrett Soldano, and former U.S. Senate candidate John James is said to be still weighing joining the race.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to run for reelection.

Granholm meets ethics terms

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says she has met the terms of her federal ethics agreement ahead of the deadline, including divesting from multiple holdings including her stake in the electric-bus manufacturer Proterra Inc. 

Granholm, a former Michigan governor who has long promoted electric vehicles, filed paperwork this month certifying that she completed all the resignations and divestitures laid out in her ethics agreement, including selling off shares in Ford Motor Co., the power generator Duke Energy, Microsoft, Pfizer and a slew of other corporate and private holdings.

That divestment included selling off her stake last month in the California-based Proterra, with a net capital gains of $1.6 million, Department of Energy spokesman Kevin Liao said.

Granholm, former Proterra board member, also reported forfeiting her unvested stock options in Proterra. She has pledged to recuse herself from matters involving the company for one year.

"Secretary Granholm has acted in full accordance with the comprehensive ethical standards set by the Biden administration and has completed her divestment well ahead of the time required by her ethics agreement," Liao said.

The Proterra sale followed criticism from a couple Republican lawmakers after President Joe Biden in April paid a "virtual" visit to a Proterra facility to draw attention to the work of American electric vehicle manufacturers.

The White House had said that Granholm wasn't involved in the planning of the Biden event, but Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy panel, this spring urged the DOE's inspector general to look into a potential conflict of interest involving Granholm’s investments in Proterra and her "promotion" of electric vehicles.

IG Teri L. Donaldson responded to Barrasso that her office was evaluating his concerns "to determine what next steps may be appropriate."

Under the terms of her ethics agreement, Granholm was also to resign her membership on the board of the Marinette Marine Corp., which builds combat ships for the U.S. Navy on the Michigan-Wisconsin border. 

She also sold off holdings in the solar panel producer First Solar Inc.; Hannon Armstrong, which provides capital to firms in the energy efficiency and renewables sector; and Ablemarle Corp., which provides lithium for electric vehicle batteries. 

New podcast for McDaniel

Michigan's Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, has launched a new podcast called "Real America," billed as telling stories of GOP figures "outside the beltway."

The RNC said the podcast will shine the light on GOP leadership and demonstrate how Republican policies are "leading America’s comeback and working for real Americans."

“America is an amazing country filled with wonderful people who do incredible things, but too often the media and liberal politicians ignore big parts of our nation and the people who make it work,” McDaniel said in a statement.

“So I'm thrilled to speak with these amazing leaders and policymakers in our party who solve real problems every day, and help spread their message far and wide.”

The first episode featured an interview with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and future guests will include Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the RNC.