A collection of gossip, scuttlebutt, and odds and ends from our reporters’ notebooks:
GOING KOWALL: Apparently that’s the latest buzz-phrase in Lansing — at least, according to state Sen. Mike Kowall’s (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield) official Facebook page. We’ve got some ideas of our own for new-and-improved “Going Kowall” artistry — Kowall as Luke Skywalker thrusting a light saber in the air; and Kowall as Indiana Jones, complete with a whip and a spiffy brown hat (and perhaps a little facial scruff, to boot). But face it (or Facebook it) — the possibilities are endless. “Somebody sent that,” Kowall said with a laugh. “That’s just silly stuff. That’s what happens when you get overzealous supporters.” No one in his office concocted the Rambo-themed artistry, he said, and he promptly wanted it taken down from the Facebook page. And what prompted the Rambo-themed fun at the former White Lake Township supervisor’s expense? It was all over the New International Trade Crossing vote, which put the kibosh (at least for now) on Gov. Rick Snyder’s pet project that would, according to Kowall, cost between $2 billion and $4 billion. “When I adjourned the (Senate Economic Development Committee) meeting during the bridge debate, I just let everybody know how unhappy I was with the goings on, the way it was all handled. I had a couple of my colleagues teasing me a little bit.”
SPEAKING OF KOWALL: The race for the newly drawn 11th Congressional District has gotten a little more crowded on the Republican side as Kerry Bentivolio, a Vietnam and Iraq veteran and Tea Party darling, has thrown his “Don’t tread on me” bona fides into the ring against Kowall and U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled, Wixom). “I am a statesman first and never wanted to be a politician,” Bentivolio said in an announcement posted to his Constitution-draped website, bentivolioforcongress.com. “But someone needs to stand up for the average folks out there … and career politicians aren’t doing that.” When asked if Bentivolio’s candidacy — he also challenged Kowall in the 2010 Republican state Senate primary — changed the dynamic of the race, Kowall said: “America is the kind of place where anybody can grow up to do whatever they want,” also noting that oodles of fund-raising has to be done. Things are continuing to get more interesting, and Oakland Confidential is looking forward to the McCotter-Kowall-Bentivolio contest perhaps even more than we were excited about Halloween — which is saying a lot. Boo!
WATERFORD, 48328: Oakland County Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) isn’t so sure that a possible takeover of fire protection services in Pontiac by the Waterford Fire Department is going to work. Waterford officials have been approached by Lou Schimmel, Pontiac’s emergency financial manager (read: “dictator,” if you believe some on the left crying foul over the expanded EFM powers enacted earlier this year) about the possibility. While Scott gave props to Schimmel for thinking outside the box — “He’s got a good idea,” Scott said — he said he’s got a feeling that firefighter unions haven’t been contacted regarding the possible takeover. “If I was a Pontiac firefighter, I would say, ‘No way,’” Scott said, adding that unionized Waterford firefighters would likely have a beef with the proposal, as well.
TOTAL RECALL: Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone, but state Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wolverine Lake) has filed an appeal over the Oakland County Election Commission’s approval of recall petition language against her. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen A. O’Brien is expected to hear the appeal after a response is filed by the three-member commission’s legal representation. So far, that has yet to happen, although Brown’s attorney has filed a motion for summary disposition, which is legalese for “This is so obviously stupid that we think the judge should throw the case out.” We’ll keep you posted.