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Was veteran Mich. senator snubbed?

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, announced committee chairmanships last week and all but one member of the 27-member Republican caucus got a chairman’s gavel.

Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, is returning for a second term and has chaired the state police and military affairs department subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee for the past four years. Meekhof instead assigned second-term Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, to chair that subcommittee next year.

It’s unusual for a second-term majority party senator not to chair a committee. Six incoming freshman senators will be chairing committees next year, according to Meekhof’s assignment list, but Colbeck will not.

Meekhof spokeswoman Amber McCann said the new leader assigned chairmanships based on each individual senator’s “experience, interest and expertise.”

“Sen. Colbeck has shown a particular interest in working in his district with constituents and also participating in conferences and seminars,” McCann told Insider. “Sen. Meekhof just tried to be considerate of Colbeck’s schedule and his passion.”

Colbeck did not return a message seeking comment.

Land lands on ‘worst’ list

Republican political strategist Greg McNeilly stayed quiet for most of 2014 on what he thought of fellow Kent County resident Terri Lynn Land’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Until this week.

McNeilly published a blog post handing out his own “Best & Worst of Michigan Politics” awards for 2014.

And it wasn’t pretty for Land.

McNeilly, a close associate of the wealthy DeVos family, said Land ran the “worst campaign” of the year.

“Did the Land for Senate do anything right? Well they got on the ballot...,” McNeilly wrote. “The determined effort to campaign in GOP victory centers while simulatiounsly (sic) refusing to understand modern campaign engagements undermined the directionless message execution designed by sophomoric talent creating a national embarrassment.”

Ouch.

McNeilly also gave Land the award for “worst political event” for her unforgettable deer-in-the-headlights moment in front of reporters at the Mackinac Policy Conference in May “when Terri Lynn Land demonstrated an unbelievable failure as a candidate.”

Double ouch.

Official stops county work

After 10 years of auditing and reviewing the often rocky and deficit-riddled finances of Wayne County, Willie Mayo is calling it quits.

Mayo, 72, served the maximum term allowed by the county charter and has hung up his county calculator.

“It was the pinnacle of my career,” he said. “To cap it off with an appointment as Wayne County auditor general, it was just awesome.”

Mayo grew up on Detroit’s east side and founded an accounting firm in 1981 which he sold when he became the legislative auditor general. Mayo will focus on his new management consulting company — Lakewood Advisory Services — after his county retirement.

Kilpatrick boys succeed

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has brought a lot of negative publicity to Michigan’s largest city and his family after being imprisoned for public corruption and racketeering conspiracy.

So as a holiday gift, here’s a brighter side of the Kilpatrick tale — an update on two of his children. Jalil and JaliniKilpatrick completed their senior football seasons at Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas — following in the footsteps of their father, who played at Cass Tech High in Detroit and offensive line at Florida A&M.

Jalil Kilpatrick was a backup quarterback. He ran 11 times for 52 yards and two touchdowns, completed his only pass of the season and caught 12 passes for 196 yards, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. His twin brother, Jalani, who like his brother is 6-foot-3, had 11 receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed three times for 15 yards. The team went 7-0 in district and 10-2 overall, but did not advance far in the state playoffs.

Peters picks his staffers

Gary Peters has hired his senior staff, days before he is set to be sworn in Tuesday as Michigan’s 41st U.S. senator.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, who defeated Republican Terri Lynn Land in November to replace the retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, has named his chief of staff and deputy chief of staff along with state director and communications director.

Eric Feldman, who has been Peters’ chief of staff in the House and worked for Peters since 2009, will remain his top aide in the Senate. Caitlyn Stephenson, who was Peters’ deputy campaign manager, will be deputy chief of staff.

Another Peters aide, David Weinberg, has becomes his legislative director, while Elise Lancaster — who was chief of staff to Peters when he was a state senator — will serve as his state director. Lancaster is a onetime aide to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Sen. Donald Riegle.

Amber Moon, who was communicators director for North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, will assume the same role for Peters.

Contributors: Chad Livengood, Gary Heinlein, Steve Pardo, Richard Burr and David Shepardson

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