Poll: Majority of Michigan Voters Favor Ballot Proposal to Restrict Governor’s Emergency Powers

Gov. Whitmer

A poll released Tuesday by Michigan Rising Action (MRA), a Lansing-based organization dedicated to advancing conservative principles, asserts Michigan strongly supports a ballot proposal to limit the use of gubernatorial emergency powers.

MRA commissioned the poll from Marketing Resource Group, which conducted research between March 15-18, and skews +4 Democrat.

A majority of the 610 likely voters polled within each age group supported restricting the governor’s unilateral use of emergency powers.

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Feds Deny Michigan’s Request to Waive Statewide Student Testing

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) denied Michigan’s request to waive the federal requirement to administer state summative assessments.

In late January, the Michigan Department of Education cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason not to test Michigan’s 1.5 million students. MDE requested waivers to federal requirements for state summative tests,and waivers of associated high-stakes accountability requirements. The accountability waivers were approved on March 26.

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Great Lakes Governors Call on Biden to Support Critical Water Infrastructure

Four Great Lakes governors on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to prioritize federal investments in water infrastructure.

In a letter sent to Biden, the governors lauded the American Rescue Plan Act’s $360 billion in direct aid to state and local governments that can be spent on water and sewer infrastructure.

“As your administration continues to develop and pursue its policy agenda, we respectfully encourage you to continue your emphasis on modernizing America’s water infrastructure,” readsthe letter.

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Owosso Barber Karl Manke Fined $9,000 for Defying Whitmer’s Michigan Lockdown Orders

Owosso barber Karl Manke was handed fines amounting to $9,000 after defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders in spring 2020.

Manke garnered national headlines when he refused to close his barbershop during a barrage of executive orders issued by the governor that forced the closing of businesses Whitmer deemed nonessential throughout the state. On May 18, 2020, two days prior to the Operation Haircut protests, Manke’s barber license was suspended by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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Michigan Campus Diversity Program Accused of Having Toxic Environment

University of Michigan’s ADVANCE program has been hit with allegations of discrimination, with former employees accusing its leadership of allowing microaggressions and a toxic environment to fester, among other claims.

The program employs about a dozen people and is focused on faculty recruitment, retention, climate and leadership development as it works “to address necessary institutional changes to support the needs of a diverse faculty in all fields,” its website reads.

An investigative piece by The Michigan Daily, the school’s student-run newspaper, found 12 alleged instances of discrimination and a hostile work environment spanning eight years from 2012 to 2020.

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Caterers, Venue Owners, and Funeral Home Owners: Small Business People Struggle Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Eighty-three days into 2021, Grand Rapids-based Above and Beyond Catering owner Kim Smith said she hasn’t recorded a dollar of revenue in 2021 thanks to COVID-19 restrictions enacted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Catering isn’t alone.

Wedding and funeral owners are pushing back on COVID-19 restrictions killing their business for the last year.

Smith has been in business for 45 years, she told the House Oversight Committee Thursday. Although she’s “done everything to keep afloat” since the state forced her business closed in March of 2020, her revenue is down 93.6%.

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Whitmer’s Job Approval Rating Takes Tumble in Latest Polling of Michigan Residents

Results of a new poll indicate a majority of Michigan residents are unhappy with the direction the country is headed, and an increasing number are displeased with the job performance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Michigan Poll from Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group, released Tuesday, concludes that 52% of respondents believe the country is on the wrong track compared to 36% that said otherwise. Six months ago, the results were 66% wrong track and 25% right direction.

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Gov. Whitmer Allows Stadiums at 20 Percent Capacity; Still Mum on Former Health Director’s Resignation

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration issued a new order requiring COVID-19 testing for all 13-19-year-old athletes before each game and practice.

In her first news conference after Whitmer and former state health director Robert Gordon waived their confidentiality clause in Gordon’s $155,506 taxpayer funded separation package, Whitmer still dodged two direct questions.

Whitmer insisted she has “nothing to hide” but gave no new details about the resignation.

“I have said all I am going to say about Director Gordon’s departure,” she said.

Whitmer’s new order will allow outdoor stadiums to open at 20% capacity if the venue follows certain protocols. The order comes less than two weeks ahead of the April 1 Detroit Tigers opening day at Comerica Park.

For Comerica Park, that means it can allow roughly 8,200 fans if it:

Establishes an infection control plan that complies with the the state health department’s Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance
Posts the mitigation plan publicly
Sends infection control plans to the local health department and MDHHS at least seven days before scheduled events.
Administers a testing program following the Guidance for Athletics
“We truly appreciate the ongoing partnership with the Governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. We are thrilled to safely welcome back the best fans in baseball to Comerica Park for Opening Day and beyond,” Illitch Holdings Group President of Sports and Entertainment Chris Granger said in a statement. “As the season progresses, we look forward to continued coordination with public health and medical experts, government officials and Major League Baseball to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all Detroit Tigers fans.”

The loosened restrictions follow as more Michiganders get vaccinated. Michigan has injected over 3 million vaccines, continuing to reach for its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michigander’s ages 16 and older.

“Last week’s numbers are a reality check that COVID-19 is not yet behind us,” Whitmer said in a Friday morning news conference. “We may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re still in the tunnel.”

The push to ramp up vaccinations aims to stem the spread of multiple COVID-19 variants and depress rising COVID-19 case numbers.

About 756 cases of the U.K COVID-19 variant have been reported in Michigan, while seven of the South African variant have been reported.

“You’ll have a summer of fun ahead if we can all get vaccinated,” Whitmer said of small July 4 celebrations.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun warned Michigan is headed in the “wrong direction” in COVID-19 data after four weeks of case increases. The COVID-19 positivity rate has increased to 6.2%, an increase from mid-February but down from the December high of 19.4%.

Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 4.9%, down from a December high of  19.6%.

Under the new epidemic order, Michiganders ages 13-19 can’t practice or compete in sports unless they participate in a stringent testing program starting April 2.

The order aims to battle 315 reported outbreaks associated with high school sports, officials said.

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Seven Michigan Tech Programs Discriminate Against Males, Title IX Complaint Alleges

Michigan Technological University has seven federally funded programs and scholarships that do not enforce Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination against men, alleges a complaint filed with the Office for Civil Rights.

It was filed March 2 by University of Michigan-Flint economics Professor Mark Perry.

The complaint was influenced, Perry said, by Michigan Tech associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Jeffrey Burl’s recent letter. In it, Burl alleges he has been “systematically discriminated against” as a white male at MTU during his 28-year career there.

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Students of Color Liberation Front Sends More Than 100 Demands to the University of Michigan

Student activists from a coalition of racial identity groups sent the University of Michigan administration an 18-page list with more than 100 demands.

“We, the Students of Color Liberation Front, unwavering in our commitment to liberate all peoples on campus, call for the University of Michigan to realize our collective demands,” the letter said.

The signers behind the letter include the Black Student Union, the Arab Student Association, La Casa, the United Asian American Organizations and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality.

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Michigan Senate Authorizes Second Lawsuit Against Gov. Whitmer

The GOP-dominated Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At issue is a possible attempt by the governor to unilaterally spend nearly a million dollars attached to a bill she vetoed this week.

Senate Resolution 26 reads: “Any attempt by Governor Whitmer to expend moneys that she vetoed without further legislative approval or expend certain funds without the enactment of Senate Bill No. 1 or House Bill No. 4049 would be contrary to both law and Michigan’s constitutional system.”

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Michigan’s New Unemployment Director Faces Questions from House Oversight Committee

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Liza Estlund Olson was grilled Thursday morning by the state House Oversight Committee.

Committee members asked pointed questions about recent revelations relating to the departure of Olson’s predecessor, Steve Gray, in November. Gray received a $76,626 payout and another $9,246 in attorney fees and signed a confidentiality agreement with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

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Beyond Pension Debts, Michigan Owes $31 Billion in Public Employee Retirement Benefits

Net liabilities in Michigan for so-called other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), which consist mainly of health care obligations to retired public employees, stood at about $31 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to a new analysis from the Reason Foundation. 

With a population of 9,986,857, the state posted a per-capita OPEB liability of $3,099, which represents the 15th highest value among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Reason study found. 

In total, these liabilities amount to 6% of the U.S. gross domestic product, the researchers said. These debts are also geographically concentrated, with 15 government jurisdictions representing 50% of the total, the study found. 

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Ex-MDHHS Director Got $155,500-Taxpayer-Funded Payout to Leave Quietly

When state health director Robert Gordon abruptly resigned in January, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer didn’t mention his $155,506-taxpayer-funded payout.

That sum was equal to nine months of Gordon’s annual salary and health benefits. The monies received by Gordon release the state from any potential legal claims.

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More Michiganders Than Ever Obtained Concealed Pistol License Permits in January, Gun Group Says

Gun, ammo sales, and concealed pistol license (CPL) applicants have skyrocketed in Michigan since 2020.

In January 2021, Michigan added 13,891 net CPL holders to reach 717,281 – the most significant one-month change since 2008, when the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners started tracking monthly records.

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Michigan Internet Gaming Reaps $42.7 Million in Gross Receipts in First 10 Days

Sports Book Betting

Michigan internet gaming and sports betting operators reported $42.7 million in gross receipts for the 10 days after its initial launch.

Michigan’s online sportsbooks generated $115.2 million in wagers in the 10 days in January, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

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Bill Aims to Add Michigan to Nurse Licensure Compact

Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township, introduced a bill that aims to allow nurses who meet uniform licensing requirements to work in person or through telemedicine in more than 30 states.

“If Michigan were to become a part of the compact, only one license would be necessary for nurses to practice in Michigan or in any of the many other states in the compact,” Whiteford, a former nurse, said in a statement. “State-by-state licensure is incredibly time-consuming, especially for multiple license holders who wish to use telemedicine.”

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NLRB Grants Michigan Construction Workers’ Petition to Vote on Union Removal

The National Labor Relations Board in Washington on Friday granted the petition of Michigan construction employees to defend their right to vote union bargaining representatives from the workplace.

The NLRB decision Friday overturns a November ruling by the Detroit NLRB, which dismissed two petitions filed by Rieth-Riley Construction Company employee Rayalan Kent and coworkers in which they requested a decertification vote against the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324.

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Republicans, Higher Education Advocates Concerned About Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Proposal

On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a $67 billion state budget aiming to recover the state from the COVID-19 pandemic by boosting education, infrastructure, and public health spending.

She proposed $570 million to address learning loss added to a $162-per-student, or 2% increase in base aid for most traditional districts

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Rep. Tlaib Bashes Dems for Income Threshold on Stimulus Checks

One Michigan Democrat is leading the charge against her own party’s proposal to put income caps on the latest batch of stimulus check. 

“If they succeed (in capping stimulus checks at $50,000 in income), it would leave millions of suffering families out of this relief bill,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).

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Michigan Cities’ Police Settlements Ranged from $3,400 to Nearly $18 Million from 2018-20

Michigan cities with similar populations relied on taxpayers to foot police-settlement payouts ranging from a few thousand dollars to nearly $18 million between 2018 and 2020, according to research conducted by The Center Square.

Freedom of Information Act requests revealed Detroit payouts from police damages in those two years totaled $17.79 million.

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Michigan University Promotes Call to ‘Speak with your Legislators’ About Transgender Policies

A Michigan State University professor psychology professor urged the university community to lobby legislators for transgender policies in order to be an “ally” to the transgender community.

The university published an interview with Jae Puckett, an assistant professor in Michigan State University’s department of psychology clinical sciences program, that discussed “recognizing and respecting trans identities.” 

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Michigan House Republicans Pitch Ethics, Lame-Duck Reform to Kick off 101st Legislative Session

On Wednesday, Michigan House Republicans kicked off the 101st legislative session by introducing a bill that seeks to prohibit lawmakers from voting on bills that could benefit themselves or their family members

“To say we’re living in challenging political times is an understatement. People just don’t trust their government or their politicians,” House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, said in a Wednesday press conference.

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Michigan State Administrators Project $1.24 Billion Tax Shortfall for 2020

Michigan’s General Fund and School Aid Fund tax revenues dropped $1.24 billion since January 2020, according to figures released Friday by state administrators and fiscal analysts.

The latest state consensus revenue estimating conference also projected an $84 million shortfall for 2021.

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Former Michigan Gov. Snyder, Eight Others, Indicted in Flint Water Investigation

Nine members of the Rick Snyder administration, including the former Republican governor and a current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services manager, were indicted on 42 total counts for their respective roles in the Flint water crisis.

The indictments were announced Thursday morning by Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy, both appointed by Attorney General Dana Nessel. The charges came after a year-long investigation by lone grand juror Judge David Newblatt.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Extends Indoor Dining Ban Through January 31; Restaurant Industry ‘Absolutely Stunned’

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the statewide ban on indoor dining for the third time since last November.

She also said she “hopes” to reopen the industry on Feb. 1, with additional unspecified restrictions.

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Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to be Charged for Role in Flint Water Crisis: Report

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and several of his top aides were reportedly told that they will face charges for their role in the Flint Water Crisis, which began in 2014 and left the city of approximately 100,000 without clean water for years.

Two people aware of the charges told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the Michigan attorney general’s office has made their defense lawyers aware of the coming charges and told them to shortly expect court appearances. The nature of the charges against Snyder, a Republican, former heath department director Nick Lyon and other his aides remained unknown.

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Feds OK Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Request to Release Reserve COVID-19 Vaccines; State Ranks 38th in Dose Administration

On Tuesday, The federal government granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s and other states governors’ request to release reserve COVID-19 doses being held back to ensure second doses of the vaccine are available.

Whitmer has blamed the federal government for the state’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

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Unelected Group Bans Open Carrying of Guns from Michigan Capitol

Just days after unarmed, mostly peaceful protestors entered the U.S. Capitol in Washington, a group of unelected officials has banned open carrying of guns from Michigan’s Capitol building.

“The Michigan Capitol Commission voted unanimously Monday to ban these firearms from the Lansing building,” ABC said. “Concealed weapons with permits will be still allowed.”

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Michigan Facing Slow, but Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

After months of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine is out, but a labyrinth lies ahead to get vaccines from the federal government into the arms of Michiganders.

Many of the vaccines were created and approved in less than a year, but it’s unclear how long it will take to immunize all 10 million Michigan residents.

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Michigan Residents Pay $4,040 Per Capita in Key State Tax Levies, Study Finds

Michigan residents pay 8.47% of their income per capita toward property, income and sales taxes – or $4,040 per person – according to a new study examining tax burdens in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The share of income paid by Michigan residents for these three taxes represented the 25th highest state tax burden among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., the HireAHelper website reported. The state’s residents paid 3.07% of their income on property taxes, according to the website, which provides moving services.

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Michigan AG Nessel Finds ‘No Evidence of Criminal Conduct’ in Contact Tracing Contract Controversy

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday released a 29-page report saying her office found “no evidence of criminal conduct” after an investigation into April allegations the state health department unlawfully contracted with a COVID-19 contact-tracing vendor associated with Democrat consultant Michael Kolehouse.

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Michigan Legislature Presses Ahead with Investigation into Election Irregularities

Despite a string of legal setbacks suffered by various challengers to the 2020 election results, the Michigan legislature is pressing ahead with its investigations into allegations of voting irregularities in the battleground state.

Michigan has certified Joe Biden the winner; the state’s official results indicate the Democrat won its electoral votes by a little over 154,000 ballots.

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Michigan Charter School Reps Blast Recommendation to Slash 25 Percent of Funding

Remarks made by Michigan State Board of Education Vice President Pamela Pugh last month provoked fiery responses Tuesday from the state’s charter school community.

In her controversial comments, made Nov. 23 before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Pugh advocated cutting state funds for Michigan’s charter schools by 25%. The recommended cut also is included in the MCRC’s “Education Equity in Michigan” report issued on Sept. 30.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel: Host Leahy Outlines the Significance of Texas Lawsuit Claiming Constitutional Violations

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy explained the significance of the recent lawsuit Texas filed against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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Legislatures in States Like Georgia Could Name Electoral College Electors, Giuliani Says

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s election lawyer, on Sunday laid out a possible path to victory that includes the legislatures in states that include Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court.

The legislatures in states like Georgia could take action voter fraud by naming Electoral College electors, which would likely push the election into the Supreme Court, Rudy Giuliani told Fox News on Sunday. He appeared on Maria Baritomo’s Sunday Morning Futures.

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Michigan Restaurant That Refused to Obey Restrictions Stays Open After Getting $10,000 in Donations

A restaurant in Sandusky, Michigan, defied the governor’s orders to shutdown, and remained open for business. During that time, the diner accumulated $5,000 in state fines and in order to stay afloat raised over $10,000 through  GoFundMe, The Daily Caller reported.

Ten days ago Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced an order for restaurants to close dining rooms for three weeks as part of state restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Commentary: Legitimacy of Biden Win Buried by Objective Data

During the weeks following November 3, innumerable election experts and statistical analysts have pored over the voting data upon which former Vice President Joe Biden’s purported campaign victory ostensibly stands. A growing body of evidence ranging from straightforward ballot audits to complex quantitative analyses suggests that the tabulation of the votes was characterized by enough chicanery to alter the outcome of the election. Consequently, a consensus has gradually developed among the auditors of publicly available information released by the states, and it contradicts the narrative promulgated by the Democrats and the media. The more data experts see, the less convinced they are that Biden won.

Among the analysts who question the legitimacy of Biden’s victory is Dr. Navid Keshavarz-Nia, a cybersecurity expert whose technical expertise was touted by the New York Times last September and who has been described as a hero in the Washington Monthly. It’s unlikely that either publication will be singing his praises for his work pursuant to the recent election. His damning analysis of the electronic manipulation of votes that occurred in the early hours of November 4 appears in a sworn affidavit included with C.J. Pearson v. Kemp, a lawsuit filed by Attorney Sidney Powell in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

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Michigan New Unemployment Claims Increased More Than 64 Percent Last Week

Like much of the rest of the country, Michigan is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases and a proportional increase in unemployment as drastic shut-down measures are taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Michigan experienced a 64.46% increase in new unemployment claims last week. According to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor, there was an increase of 15,843 initial claims filed between the weeks ending Nov. 14 (16,656) and Nov. 21 (32,499).

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Amistad Project Asks Michigan Supreme Court to Preserve Evidence of Election Irregularities

The Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society said it filed a lawsuit on Thanksgiving asking the Michigan Supreme Court to physically secure all evidence of irregularities in the 2020 election and declare the results invalid on the basis of alleged unlawful conduct by state and local officials.

“In numerous instances, state and local officials brazenly violated election laws in order to advance a partisan political agenda,” said Phill Kline, Director of The Amistad Project. “The pattern of lawlessness was so pervasive and widespread that it deprived the people of Michigan of a free and fair election, throwing the integrity of the entire process into question.”

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Michigan Restaurant Owner Loses Franchise with Big Boy for Breaking Pandemic Restrictions

The owner of a restaurant in Sandusky, Michigan, says it is being “forced to terminate” its contract with the Big Boy franchise over its decision to stay open despite pandemic restrictions. 

A recent order from the state of Michigan has closed indoor restaurant dining in the state from November 18 to December 8. It also closed in-person learning for college and high schools, movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades. The order additionally cancels group fitness classes and organized sports. 

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Trump Scores Two Wins as Michigan Legislature, Federal Appeals Court Agree to Election Reviews

President Trump’s campaign said it scored two victories Monday in its effort to contest results in several key battleground states, as Michigan state legislators agreed to hold a hearing into election irregularities while a federal appeals court expedited proceedings to consider Trump’s legal challenge in Pennsylvania.

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Judge Denies Temporary Restraining Order in Michigan Restaurant’s Lawsuit Over Three-Week Dine-in Ban

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney on Friday denied a request for a temporary restraining order to block Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Robert Gordon’s orders that is shuttering indoor dining service for three weeks.

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Trump Lawyers Bombshell: We Have More Than Enough to Overturn the Election

President Trump’s lawyers hosted a press conference saying they have more than enough evidence to overturn the election. Attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis gave the joint preliminary presentation.

Giuliani offered state-by-state breakdowns outlining evidence of voter fraud; Powell delved into the fraud committed using electronic voting systems, including Dominion Voting Systems; and Ellis explained how the legal process would work to investigate the alleged multi-tiered orchestration of fraud that occurred.

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Michigan Legislators Chatfield, Shirkey Reportedly Invited to White House for Meeting with Trump

President Trump has reportedly invited Republican Michigan state legislators to visit the White House amid a campaign to overturn election results in the state.

An official familiar with the matter confirmed that the president will be meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, (R-16-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-107-Levering) on Friday, according to The Detroit News.

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Republicans Claims Canvassers Bullied, Threatened into Certifying Wayne County Results

Republicans are claiming that the Wayne County canvassers reversed course in certifying the election results on Tuesday nights as a result of attacks and violence launched at them.

The Board of Canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, had originally voted 2-2 along party lines, a tie that meant election results could not be certified. Later that same night, the Republican canvassers flipped their vote, voting instead to certify the election results unanimously.

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