WHAT’S NEXT? With visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, perhaps, and a lengthy break on the way, members of the lakes area’s delegation to the state House of Representatives are likely eager for a respite from the rigors of Lansing. We know we would be, too, after a year of doing political battle for, you know, the GOP’s wish list for Santa Claus — business tax cuts, labor reforms, tackling teacher tenure, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, that being said, what’s next? State Rep. Eileen Kowall’s (R-White Lake, Highland) crystal ball is showing that additional reforms to the state’s education system are likely coming down the pike in 2012. “I think you’re going to see more on education, and not just K-12, but community colleges and colleges, too.” And state Rep. Hugh Crawford, a Republican representing Walled Lake and Wixom, says the state House is waiting for some recommendations from a slew of committees Gov. Rick Snyder has put together, particularly regarding liquor control. Although it’s unclear what exactly those reforms are going to be, we’ll drink to that.
NO SURPRISES: Not that this is a political bombshell by any stretch of the imagination, but Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, heretofore referred to as “Coop,” will be seeking re-election as the county’s top bad-guy-or-gal-getter (at least in court). She said she’s already held some fund-raisers for her campaign. And who, you may be asking, might she face in a 2012 general election campaign? Well, some names have been floated around the water cooler as possible Republican challengers, but the little birdies who told us them told Oakland Confidential in confidence — which is all to say, we can’t tell you … yet. Stay tuned, folks.
PEOPLE’S COURT: Now that former Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness has been sentenced to a year’s worth of probation for his apparent role in the so-called “Tea Party” fiasco — and we don’t use the word “fiasco” every day — that roiled Republicans and, yes, even some Democrats in 2010 (Coop is one of them), what does the current party chief have to say about the whole debacle? “The bottom line is, I think it’s good for everybody that we can move past this issue,” said county Democratic Party Chairman Frank Houston. “The reality is, the legal system worked the way it’s supposed to.” And how. And little ol’ Oakland County got the attention of Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Shostack, who issued the following response to the sentencing last week: “It is reprehensible for anyone to try to manipulate the electoral process by submitting the names of people as candidates who are not even aware their names are being submitted, as apparently occurred in this case. To do so under the guise of forming a new political party adds shame to this incredibly devious — and not too bright — politically motivated maneuver.” McGuinness and former county party political operative Jason Bauer apparently were the ringleaders (although we’ve certainly heard otherwise) in the Tea Party charade in which a spate of “candidates” were put forward for the 2010 Michigan ballot, including right here in the lakes area. In some cases, those candidates weren’t constitutionally eligible to run for the office for which their name was submitted due to their age. Oops. Both McGuinness and Bauer pleaded no contest in their separate trials. Bauer’s day of reckoning comes on Jan. 12, 2012.
KOWALL WATCH: 2012: State Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Every Lakes Area Community But Waterford) told Oakland Confidential that he plans on submitted the appropriate paperwork for his planned campaign for the Republican nomination for the newly-drawn 11th U.S. House District by the end of the calendar year. In that race, Kowall will square off with Coulda-Been-President, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled Lake, Wixom). Kerry Bentivolio, a Republican, is also seeking the GOP’s nomination. This’ll be a doozie, y’all.