Can the GOP Be Saved from Itself? (Guest: Joe Trippi)

The gubernatorial campaign of James Craig got off to a rocky start with a blunder-filled “official” announcement. Mark and Jeff evaluate the would-be political slayer of Gretchen Whitmer. They also have a harsh assessment of state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey’s
“suggestion” that universities rely less on vaccinations and more on natural immunity.
They are then joined by legendary political consultant Joe Trippi.

Joe Trippi is a nationally renowned political strategist who has worked on several gubernatorial, United States Senate, and Congressional campaigns, including Jerry Brown for Governor of California and Doug Jones for U.S. Senate in Alabama. He has worked for several Democratic presidential campaigns, most notably as manager of the Howard Dean 2004 presidential campaign. He currently serves as a political commentator for CNN.

Trippi first came to prominence as Deputy Campaign Manager for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s successful reelection bid in 1981 and his unsuccessful run in the 1982 California gubernatorial election. During Bradley’s gubernatorial campaign, Trippi installed one of the first in-house computers for a political campaign. Trippi used it for fundraising and targeting.

Since then, Trippi has helped lead winning campaigns for House members Tulsi Gabbard, Janice Hahn, Mark Takano, and Seth Moulton. In 2017, Trippi worked on the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions on behalf of Doug Jones. In his victory speech, Jones referred to Trippi as the “greatest political consultant in the world”.

Trippi is also the host of the “That Trippi Show” podcast.

The Politics of Abortion, Voter Suppression and School Boards

This week Mark Brewer and Jeff Timmer discuss in depth three of the issues that are driving politics:

  • The Texas ban on virtually all abortions, 49 years after Roe v Wade
  • The red-blue divide on voter suppression laws
  • The new, organized far-right effort to control school boards through intimidation and organization

Along the way, we get their analysis of why the upcoming state Republican summit on Mackinac Island is losing speakers. Mike Pence and Nikki Haley are “out” – are others also suddenly developing “scheduling conflicts”?

Voter Suppression and Redistricting (Guest: Katie Fahey)

Mark and Jeff focus on the latest Republican voter suppression petition drive and how time is running out if the GOP wants the changes in Michigan law to be in effect for the 2022 election.

Then they are joined by Katie Fahey, founder of Voters Not Politicians, in a discussion of how the new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is doing its job.

In November, 2016, Katie Fahey put a simple 2-sentence message on Facebook: “I’d like to take on gerrymandering in Michigan. If you’re interesting in doing this as well, please let me know.” followed by a smiley face emoticon, That simple post led to a statewide movement of more than 7,000 people who shocked the political world by amending Michigan’s constitution.

A graduate of Aquinas College, Katie is now a nationally recognized expert in grassroots activism. She is the first executive director of the non-profit organization The which provides support for local grassroots movements nationwide.


By the Numbers (Guest: Pollster Bernie Porn)

How does the new John Lewis Voting Rights Act – passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives – offer the potential for breaking the Senate deadlock over the filibuster? Mark Brewer explains changes in the bill and tells why it could convince Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to support bypassing the filibuster to enact the bill.

Then, Mark and Jeff Timmer are joined by the co-founder of Michigan’s top polling company, Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA. Now in its 36th year, the company is ranked as Michigan’s top polling firm by Porn has nearly a half-century in public policy research, beginning as a staffer for the Michigan House of Representatives.

EPIC·MRA is the most quoted polling firm in Michigan and regularly cited by both national and state media outlets.
Michigan media clients include Detroit Free Press, WXYZ TV7, WOOD TV8, WJRT TV12 and WLNS TV6. The company’s most recent poll, conducted for the Free Press, is at the heart of today’s discussion.

Gaslighting Trump’s America (Guest: Amanda Carpenter)

What does the census mean for upcoming Michigan elections? In the opening segment Mark Brewer and Jeff Timmer, both veterans of redistricting wars, analyze the changes in Michigan’s population. And they discuss the re-emergence of John Engler on the Michigan political stage.

In segment two, they are joined by Amanda Carpenter.

Carpenter is an American author, political advisor, and speechwriter. She is a former senior staffer to Senators Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz. She was a columnist for The Washington Times from 2009 to 2010 and regularly appears as a political contributor on CNN.

Carpenter grew up in Montrose, Michigan. She worked as a congressional correspondent for Human Events from 2005 to 2007 before going to to become its national political reporter.

In July 2015, Carpenter returned to her journalism career. She is a contributor for CNN. She is known for critiquing President Trump, in particular his treatment of women. Carpenter has said that she agrees with some of his policy decisions, but that the scandals surrounding his presidency make it “very difficult” to defend him. In her 2018 book Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us, she critiques Trump’s propensity for lying.


A Bipartisan Victory … and More (Guest: Senator Gary Peters)

President Joe Biden’s decades of experience in the Senate and his personal faith in compromise were rewarded Tuesday, when his $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed the Senate in a rare bipartisan vote of approval. Mark and Jeff discuss the landmark bill and related issues with Michigan Senator Gary Peters just hours after the historic Senate vote.

Senator Peters was first elected in 2014 when he succeeded the late Carl Levin. Prior to that his public service included serving on the Rochester City Council, in the Michigan State Legislature, in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Michigan’s lottery director. As chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee he is in the middle of some of the most vital issues facing our nation: cyber security, Postal Reform, the impact of foreign supply chains on our major industries and climate change.

In his “spare time” he chairs the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.

Stand Up for the Republic (Guest: Tara Setmayer)

In the opening segment, Mark Brewer shares his thoughts on his longtime friend and colleague, Sen. Carl Levin.

Then Mark is joined by Jeff Timmer and political commentator Tara Setmayer. A llfelong conservative, Tara is a former CNN political commentator, contributor to ABC News and a former Republican Communications Director on Capitol Hill. She has appeared on ABC’s The View. ABC’s Good Morning America, and on HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher. In  2020, she was named as a Harvard Institute of Politics Spring 2020 Resident Fellow. Also in January 2020, she joined The Lincoln Project as a senior advisor and hosts the live show “The Breakdown” along side co-founder Rick Wilson, on the organization’s streaming channel, LPTV

In 2017, Setmayer was named as a board director for Stand Up Republic, a non-profit organization formed in the wake of the 2016 election of Donald Trump to unite Americans behind the defense of democratic norms, ideals and institutions.

Setmayer focuses her “tell it like it is” commentary and analysis on political issues that impact America’s future. During the 2016 presidential election cycle, she earned the reputation of being an outspoken conservative critic of Donald Trump and challenged his surrogates on the veracity of their claims. recognized her as one of 2016’s “Top 20 Election Coverage Stars” on TV.

Michigan and January 6th (Guest: House Dem Leader Donna Lasinski)

So what’s up with James Craig’s “almost running” campaign for Governor? Mark and Jeff analyze the shaky rollout for the GOP’s chosen one, and also discuss Governor Whitmer’s massive campaign fundraising which was helped by the numerous efforts to recall her from office.

In the second segment they are joined by the Democratic Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives, Donna Lasinski.

Lasinski is serving her third term in the state House. She represents Michigan’s 52nd House District, which encompasses northern and western Washtenaw County.

Rep. Lasinski’s Education leadership includes having served as the treasurer for the Ann Arbor School Board, director of the Washtenaw County Association of School Boards, leader of the Education Millage Team, parent liaison for the Great Start Collaborative for Early childhood in Washtenaw County, and as an interim director for Success by Six in Washtenaw County.

Rep. Lasinski earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and her master of business administration degree from Northwestern University. She is the President of ThinkStretch, LLC, a successful K-12 education company she founded to emphasize summer learning and retention that currently operates in 38 states.


How Michigan Fits the Pattern (Guest: Tom Hamburger)

In the opening segment, Jeff Timmer discusses how the departure of Michigan Republican Party executive director Jason Roe hurts the party as the internal RINO cleansing continues, and details his campaign finance complaint against soon-to-be-official gubernatorial candidate James Craig.

Jeff and Mark Brewer are then joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hamburger. He is an investigative reporter on the national desk of The Washington Post who has covered the White House, Congress and regulatory agencies, with a focus on the intersection of money and politics. He joined The Post in early 2012, having worked previously for the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, McClatchy Newspapers, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Arkansas Gazette. 

His writing has received numerous national awards and citations, including the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for work with a team of Washington Post reporters for coverage of the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government (what Trump calls the “Russia hoax”).

Hamburger has contributed to several books on national politics and policy and was the author, with Peter Wallsten, of the 2006 book “One Party Country,” which described the Republican quest for political dominance on the state and national level during the presidency of George W. Bush.

It’s Trump’s Party, Not Mine (Guest: George Conway)

Jeff Timmer and Mark Brewer are joined by outspoken attorney George Conway. Conway, a lifelong conservative, was considered by President Donald Trump for the position of Solicitor General of the United States, and a post as an assistant attorney general heading the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice, but withdrew himself from consideration. 

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and was Law Journal editor at Yale. 

In 2018 Conway emerged as a vocal Trump critic. During the 2020 presidential election, Conway was notably involved with the Lincoln Project, a coalition of former Republicans dedicated to defeating Trump, which prompted the former president to call him “a stone cold LOSER”.

“America and the Republican Party need more losers just like him.” – Jeff Timmer