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Highlighting this week’s discussion: Jeff Timmer and Mark Brewer take note of the Trump Education Secretary’s recent high visibility in Michigan GOP events … and ask longtime political consultant/analyst Matthew Dowd if the west Michigan billionaire may be angling to take on Gretchen Whitmer in 2022.
A native of Detroit, Dowd began his political career as a Democrat, as a member of Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s Senate and campaign staffs. In 1999, he switched parties to become a Republican.
During the 2002 midterm elections, he was a senior adviser to the Republican National Committee; in the 2004 presidential election, he was chief strategist for George W. Bush’s re-election campaign; in 2006 was the strategist for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reelection campaign.
Dowd is currently a founding partner of ViaNovo, a strategy consultancy. He has taught at the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and is also a visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community. His book, A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve, was released in 2017.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:22 — 34.1MB)
While state and national Republicans continue their assault on voting rights, a grassroots reform is taking shape in Michigan and across the nation. This week’s mayoral election in New York City is the most visible demonstration to date of Ranked Choice Voting, also known as “instant runoff elections.” Ranked choice voting is also used statewide in both Maine and Alaska. In the latter case, RCV could well protect moderates like Republican Lisa Murkowski from falling victim to extremist electoral assaults (in her case, from Donald Trump who’s seeking revenge for her vote on impeachment).
“Rank MI Vote” has been working quietly in Michigan for months to expand the voting reform in our state. One of the leaders of the RCV grassroots movement in Michigan is Hugh McNichol IV, an auto repair shop owner by day who has been helping build a statewide effort as a leader in “Rank MI Vote.”
Rank MI Vote
Hugh McNichol & The 13-Year Struggle For Instant Runoff .
Is ranked-choice voting the next election reform for Michigan
A Guide to Ranked-Choice Voting – The New York Times
Here’s How New Yorkers Feel About Ranked-Choice Voting – The New York Times
Ranked-choice voting simulation: How a new election system could change democracy – Washington Post
We’d have more voices, more choices with ranked choice voting
Ranked-choice voting in the United States – Wikipedia
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 46:05 — 19.1MB)
Joining the conversation this week: Ron Fournier, the former Washington DC bureau chief for the Associated Press and former publisher and editor of Crain’s Detroit Business. He now serves as president at Truscott Rossman, one of the state’s most respected public relations firm.
A Detroit native, Ron began his family and career in Arkansas, covering then-governor Bill Clinton before moving to Washington in 1993, where he covered the White House and national politics for The Associated Press during the administrations of Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
He’s also a former columnist for The Atlantic and editor-in-chief for the National Journal, and was as a 2005 fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he co-wrote the New York Times best-seller Applebee’s America.
For several years, he served on the Harvard IOP Board of Advisors. Before returning to Detroit in the fall of 2016, Ron published a parenting memoir Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations. It debuted No. 10 on Amazon.com and was a New York Times best seller.
Fournier holds the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 2000 presidential election, and he is a four-time winner of the prestigious White House Correspondents’ Association Merriman Smith Memorial Award.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:58 — 19.1MB)
Joining the conversation: former Republican National Committee Chair and Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele. Steele is a lifelong conservative who finds himself in pitched battle with those usurpers, thugs, kooks, and cowards who call themselves Republican today.
He served as the lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007; he was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. From 2009 until 2011 he chaired the Republican National Committee (RNC); he was the first African-American to serve in that capacity
Steele made an unsuccessful run in the 2006 U.S. Senate election in heavily Democratic Maryland, losing to Democrat Ben Cardin. Since 2011, he has contributed as a regular columnist for online magazine The Root and as a political analyst for MSNBC. In 2018, he became a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He also hosts “The Michael Steele Podcast”, available wherever you get your podcasts.Michael Steele on Twitter
In 2020, Steele formally endorsed Joe Biden for the presidency, after previously starring in an advertisement aired by The Lincoln Project.
Michael Steele on Twitter