State Rep. Brian Elder faces Republican Timothy Beson for 96th House seat in Bay County

BAY CITY, MI – Voters in Michigan’s 96th House District in Bay County will decide the race between incumbent state Rep. Brian Elder and Republican challenger Timothy Beson.

The 96th District covers areas in central and southern Bay County such as Bangor Township, the cities of Bay City and Essexville, Bangor, Hampton, Frankenlust, Merrit, Monitor, Portsmouth and Kawkawlin Townships.

Elder holds a law degree from the UCLA School of Law, according to Vote 411. Elder is Democratic vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee. He is chair and co-founder of the Michigan Legislative Labor Caucus.

According to Beson’s campaign website, he is a lifelong resident of Bay County and the owner of Beson’s Market. He holds a degree in business management from Saginaw Valley State University and is serving as a school board member for Bangor Township Schools.

Beson won the right to face Elder after coming out ahead of two other Republican candidates – Allen Bauer and Martin Blank – during the August primary election.

MLive Media Group has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information and other voting resources to readers ahead of 2020 elections on Vote411.

Each candidate was given a list of questions relevant to the office for which they are campaigning. The voter guide can be accessed at vote411.org.

Beson did not respond to requests for comment by MLive about his candidacy and did not answer the Vote411 questions. According to his website, Beson’s campaign focuses on standing for parents and teachers in regards to a safe return to in-person instruction, supporting law enforcement and expanding skilled trades programs.

Here are the Vote411 responses given by Elder:

What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Elder: The purpose of public education in the State of Michigan is create citizens who are knowledgeable about their form of government, understand math, science, literature and the arts, and are prepared to live as functioning adults. Preparing our students for their future careers is important, but so is making sure that we have citizens that can think critically and help our democracy thrive. We, as citizens, pay for such a system through our taxes, but we have shifted the tax burden away from the wealthiest and largest corporations onto the backs of average citizens. That is wrong.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general and given the pandemic?

Elder: As a two-term State Representative, I have consistently voted for and sponsored legislation to help businesses compete and create jobs. With appropriate benchmarks, like increasing actual payroll and requiring that local dollars be used for local companies when possible, we can and should help to grow our economy here in Michigan. In addition, I have consistently supported policies like Prevailing Wage that ensure that

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State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit to challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership post he’s held for decades

Four-term Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego said Thursday she will challenge longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership of the chamber when the new General Assembly is seated in January.

Kifowit is one of a handful of House Democrats who have called for Madigan’s resignation since federal prosecutors unveiled a deferred prosecution agreement with Commonwealth Edison in July in which the state’s largest utility admitted to a yearslong bribery scheme aimed at currying favor with the powerful speaker.

A Marine Corps veteran, Kifowit has been in the House since 2013 and is running for reelection unopposed in the November.

Kifowit said in a statement that she called for Madigan to resign “for compromising the integrity of the office and undermining public trust.”

“The response from Michael Madigan was to double down and has remained that way,” Kifowit said. “It is clear to me that he doesn’t hold the same values that I do and falls short of what the public expects from an elected official.”

Kifowit’s decision to challenge Madigan a month before the election puts vulnerable House Democrats and Democratic candidates, particularly in the suburbs, into an even more awkward position leading up to the election—whether to back Madigan or her or someone else.

It is a question many were hoping to wait out until after the election despite repeated attacks by Republicans on the issue. But her run provides new fuel to the issue.

There are also questions about the extent of support for her candidacy. Madigan still holds the power and controls the purse strings in the Democratic caucus and has made loyalty paramount during his decades long tenure as speaker.

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Madigan has not been charged in connection with the ComEd probe and has denied any wrongdoing.

At the request of House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, a special House committee is investigating whether Madigan engaged in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator.” The committee heard testimony from an executive with ComEd parent Exelon this week, but Madigan and other witnesses have declined the invitation to testify.

Madigan has been speaker since 1983, with the exception of two years in the 1990s when Republicans took control of the House. House Democrats have been nearly unanimous in voting for him to remain speaker, with only a few dissents. Most recently, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray of Naperville voted “present” in 2019, as did then-Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood in 2017.

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CCAGW PAC Endorses Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall for Senate, and Reps. Ron Estes and Steve Watkins for Re-election to the House of Representatives

Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee (CCAGW PAC) announced its endorsement of Reps. Ron Estes (R-Kans.) and Steve Watkins (R-Kans.) for re-election to the House, and Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) for election to the Senate.

CCAGW PAC based its endorsements on the candidate’s’ lifetime score in CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

Rep. Estes was named a “Taxpayer Super Hero” in 2019 with a perfect score of 100 percent and is a lifetime “Taxpayer Hero” with a rating of 94 percent. Rep. Watkins has a lifetime rating of 99 percent based on his first year in Congress and Rep. Marshall has a lifetime rating of 87 percent, both earning the title of “Taxpayer Hero.”

“During their tenures in the House, Reps. Estes, Watkins, and Marshall have been strong and reliable votes to curb government waste and reform Washington,” said CCAGW PAC Chairman Tom Schatz. “On top of their impressive voting records, they worked with their colleagues to enact and retain historic tax cuts, support deregulation, and help ignite America’s economic boom. I urge Kansans to re-elect Reps. Estes and Watkins to the House of Representatives, and elect Rep. Marshall to the Senate.”

CCAGW PAC is affiliated with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a 501(c)(4) organization. CCAGW PAC’s mission is to support political candidates who will fight to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government and represent the best interests of taxpayers.

Paid for by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200930005689/en/

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House votes to kill Rep. Gohmert resolution to ban Democratic Party

Gohmert reintroduced the privileged resolution last week, forcing a swift procedural vote in the House that mostly fell along party lines.

The resolution also would have directed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to remove “any item that names, symbolizes, or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy, from any area within the House.”

Gohmert introduced the resolution in July shortly after the House voted to remove the statues of Confederate leaders and replace a bust of Roger B. Taney, the U.S. chief justice who wrote the Supreme Court decision that said people of African descent are not U.S. citizens.

The vote was 305 to 113 for the bill to replace the bust of Taney, which sits outside the old Supreme Court chamber on the first floor of the Capitol, with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black member of the Supreme Court.

That vote came amid a broader push by Democrats to remove statues, portraits and other art in the Capitol honoring Confederate leaders and other controversial figures, at a time of national reckoning over systemic racism after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Gohmert’s resolution cited Democratic Party platforms in the 1800s and the filibuster by some in the party against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which a Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed into law.

“A great portion of the history of the Democratic Party is filled with racism and hatred,” Gohmert said in July. “Since people are demanding we rid ourselves of the entities, symbols, and reminders of the repugnant aspects of our past, then the time has come for Democrats to acknowledge their party’s loathsome and bigoted past, and consider changing their party name to something that isn’t so blatantly and offensively tied to slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination, and the Ku Klux Klan.”

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State Rep. Dave Greenspan is unnamed representative who spoke with the FBI about House Bill 6, records show

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Rep. Dave Greenspan is the unnamed Ohio lawmaker who federal charging documents dramatically depict as meeting with agents in the FBI’s public-corruption unit while he received a text from former House Speaker Larry Householder pressuring him to vote for House Bill 6, according to newly released public records.

The records show Greenspan, a Westlake Republican, received a text from Householder on May 28, 2019, matching the one depicted in the 82-page criminal complaint that was unsealed following Householder’s arrest in July. In the text, Householder tells Greenspan, “I really need you to vote yes on HB6, it means a lot to me. Can I count on you?”

At that moment, Greenspan was sitting in a meeting with FBI agents. Meanwhile, the House was debating whether to pass House Bill 6, which will send more than $1 billion to two nuclear plants formerly owned by FirstEnergy. Prosecutors allege Householder and his allies passed the bill in exchange for $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy and others, given in the form of political spending that helped elect Householder to his legislative leadership position and that helped force the bill through the legislature and defend it against a repeal effort.

After Greenspan responded no, Householder replied: “I just want you to remember – when I needed you – you weren’t there. twice.” An unnamed intermediary later approached Greenspan, identified in the complaint only as “Representative 7,” asking him to delete the texts on behalf of Jeff Longstreth, a top Householder political aide who also was arrested and charged in connection with HB6.

Greenspan showed the text message to FBI agents immediately after he received it, according to the federal charging document. He later provided screen shots to the FBI.

The House passed the bill on May 29, the day after Greenspan met with the FBI.

Greenspan Householder texts

A screenshot of the text message exchange between former House Speaker Larry Householder and state Rep. Dave Greenspan that recently appeared in a federal corruption indictment following Householder’s arrest.

The charging document also says that Neil Clark, a prominent Columbus lobbyist who was arrested the same day Householder was, told Greenspan separate legislation he was sponsoring would not advance unless he voted for House Bill 6. When Greenspan tried to explain to Clark why he couldn’t support the bill, Clark responded: “No one cares about your opinion.”

Householder has pleaded not guilty to a federal racketeering charge, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, and denied wrongdoing. He was removed as speaker following his arrest, but remains in the state legislature. Clark and Longstreth also have pleaded not guilty, as have two others arrested in connection to the probe, lobbyists Matt Borges and Juan Cespedes.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, who’s overseeing the case, said: “When confronted with wrongdoing, those who come forward and assist law enforcement demonstrate bravery and courage. We owe such individuals our deepest admiration and gratitude.”

The identity of “Representative 7” was a

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Rep. Ilhan Omar fires back after Trump’s ‘your country’ attack



Judy Chu, Ilhan Omar, Chris Coons looking at the camera: ep. Ilhan Omar speaks during a news conference outside of the U.S. Capitol on January 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images


© Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
ep. Ilhan Omar speaks during a news conference outside of the U.S. Capitol on January 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump made disparaging comments at a rally on Tuesday night about Rep. Ilhan Omar for a being a refugee who fled Somalia when she was eight.
  • “She’s telling us how to run our country. How did you do where you came from? How was your country doing?” Trump said. 
  • Omar who is the first Somali-American to serve in the House of Representatives fired back reminding the President that she fled civil war in the 1990s and that she helped impeach him last year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar during a rally on Tuesday night, attacking her for fleeing Somalia as a refugee when she was eight. 

“She’s telling us how to run our country. How did you do where you came from? How was your country doing?” Trump said. 

Omar is the first Somali-American and one of the first Muslim women to serve in the US House Representatives. She spent her early years as a refugee who fled Somalia with her family in the early 1990s.

In response to Trump’s remarks, Omar said: “Firstly, this is my country & I am a member of the House that impeached you.”

She added: “Secondly, I fled civil war when I was 8. An 8-year-old doesn’t run a country even though you run our country like one.” 

This isn’t the first Trump has directed disparaging comments at Omar. 

In 2019, Trump tweeted that “Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” to “go back” to their “corrupt” and “broken and crime infested” countries. He then also claimed that the congresswomen were “loudly […] and viciously telling the people of the United States […] how our government is to be run.”

A few days after the tweets, a crowd at a Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina, chanted “send her back!” in reference to Omar. 

 

“She looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” Trump said about Omar before the crowd broke into the chant.

Trump offered no rebuke to the chant. 

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Rep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellTrump says people ‘in the dark shadows’ are controlling Biden Democrats tear into Trump’s ‘deep state’ tweet: His ‘lies and recklessness’ have ‘killed people’ Two Democrats call for criminal inquiry of postmaster general MORE (D-N.J.) on Tuesday was selected to lead the House Ways and Means Committee’s oversight subcommittee for the remainder of this Congress, succeeding the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden goes on offense Congress must bolster voting rights and invest in the protection of our election system Ginsburg to lie in state in Capitol on Friday MORE (D-Ga.) in the position.

The Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee chose Pascrell to be chair of the subcommittee, which is tasked with conducting oversight on tax, trade and health issues.

Pascrell said in a statement that it is “an enormous honor and responsibility” to follow Lewis in the position. He also said that as subcommittee chair he plans to focus on investigating the Trump administration.

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“Exposing the public and private corruption left in the wake of the Trump government will take all the labor of cleaning up after the circus leaves town,” Pascrell said. “I’m eager to grab a shovel and get to work.”

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealRep. Cedric Richmond set to join House Ways and Means Committee Coons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief MORE (D-Mass.) said that he has “full confidence that Rep. Pascrell will work tirelessly to ensure the Trump Administration is implementing the laws under Ways and Means’ jurisdiction efficiently and according to congressional intent.” 

Pascrell was first elected to Congress in 1996 and is a longtime member of the Ways and Means Committee. He has been one of the leaders of Democrats’ efforts to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE‘s tax returns.

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondRep. Cedric Richmond set to join House Ways and Means Committee Biden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black men Buttigieg, former officials added to Biden’s transition team MORE (D-La.) will fill the opening on the full Ways and Means Committee that occurred following Lewis’s death in July. 

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Newt Gingrich: Rep. Kevin McCarthy and the House GOP’s ‘Commitment to America’

When Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and the House Republicans unveiled their Commitment to America this week, they were operating in the best tradition of the modern House GOP.

In 1994, we unveiled the Contract with America. It gave our candidates a clear outline of positive ideas they could advocate. The momentum of having a positive, problem-solving GOP carried us to the first House Republican majority in 40 years.

We promptly kept our word, and in the first 100 days voted on every item in the Contract. That clarity and proof that we could be trusted turned a 40-year period of Democratic control of the House into a 12-year Republican majority.

After four years of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her radical ideas, the House GOP came roaring back with Speaker John Boehner and his Pledge to America.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: AMERICA, IF REPUBLICANS TAKE THE HOUSE IN NOVEMBER, HERE’S THE AGENDA WE’LL COMMIT TO

Kevin McCarthy was a member of the working group that produced that second great commitment to action. With Republicans emphasizing “where are the jobs?” Boehner led them to an even greater victory than we had in 1994 (we won 54 seats; the 2010 House Republicans won 63 seats).

Now, in that tradition, Leader McCarthy has launched a Commitment to America.

This new House Republican commitment is a bold contrast with the radicalism in Speaker Pelosi’s HR 6800 (which I have outlined in a series of free podcasts) and the radicalism of the Kamala Harris-Joe Biden ticket.

FREEDOM CAUCUS PUSHING MCCARTHY TO BACK LONG-SHOT EFFORT TO REMOVE PELOSI AS HOUSE SPEAKER

As leader McCarthy recently told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, “we’re going to rebuild the biggest economy we have ever seen, add 10 million new jobs, and restore our way of life.”

On COVID-19, McCarthy told Sean Hannity: “We’re going to end COVID. We are going to defeat this virus and keep America healthy. We are going to create a safe and effective vaccine. We are going to triple our rapid COVID testing, and we will protect pre-existing conditions. We are going to modernize our stockpile because Joe Biden and Obama … left us in a tough situation.”

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At a time of rising violence, the House Republicans reject the Left’s failed policies. McCarthy pointed out: “We don’t defund the cops. We add 1.75 billion dollars for more police training, teaching them when to use their weapon and what type of weapon to use, we will expand community policing and more importantly, 500,000 body cameras.”

McCarthy recognizes that more than health and safety are at risk in this election. He pledged, “we will protect our rights under the constitution, free speech. religious freedom, the unborn.”

All of this will be paid for by repeating the economic successes – which by February of this year had given the United States the highest employment rate in its history. As McCarthy said:

“We will come and rebuild the biggest economy. We’ve done it once and

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House of Representatives condemns coronavirus-related discrimination against Asians over objections from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment related to the coronavirus over objections from Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who dismissed the measure as another effort by Democrats to attack President Donald Trump.

“Everyone knows racism is wrong, but that’s not what this legislation is about,” said Jordan, who serves as top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on the House floor.

Democrats who unanimously supported the measure argued it’s needed to fight racially motivated harassment and violence against Asians that stems from their being associated with the virus because of its origins in China. They cited prominent figures, including Trump, “resorting to anti-Asian rhetoric in speaking about the challenge of COVID-19,” as House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland described it.

In addition to condemning anti-Asian sentiment, the resolution calls on federal law enforcement to investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, to collect data on the rise of hate crimes incidents due to COVID-19, and to hold perpetrators accountable.

The measure passed the House of Representatives in a 243-164 vote. All of Ohio’s Democrats backed the measure, as did Republicans Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River and Steve Stivers of Columbus.

In a speech on the House of Representatives floor to support the resolution, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York cited a report from the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council that said there have been almost 2,600 cases of anti-Asian discrimination related to the coronavirus since March 19, including “the stabbings of an Asian-American father and his two young children, ages 2 and 6, in Texas.”

“Public health entities including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized that labeling a virus by geographic or ethnic terms unfairly stigmatizes certain communities and ultimately harms public health,” Nadler continued, noting that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar condemned the use of the phrase ‘Chinese virus’ in testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, stating that ‘ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus.’”

Jordan accused the resolution’s proponents of participating in a “cancel culture” mob, noting that media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS have referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese coronavirus,” “China’s coronavirus” and the “Wuhan virus.”

“In the new woke world, you can’t state the truth,” said Jordan, noting that the virus started in China, which lied to the world about the virus and its severity. He said those who are “politically correct” are stifling truthful statements about China’s role. He called the resolution and “where the left wants to take the country” dangerous for free speech rights.

“That’s how the mob operates today,” he said. “They’ll attack you if you don’t say it the way they want you to say it and this is dangerous. You can’t say China virus today. Tomorrow who knows what it will be?”

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Senate Committee approves three Ohio federal

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Rep. McCarthy: What has Pelosi, Democrat majority solved in the House?

The Republican Party retaking the House of Representatives is not a far-off fantasy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca., told “The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham.

Under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, not many problems have been solved, McCarthy argued, and Democratic representation is dwindling.

“Do you know that there are fewer Democrats in the House since Nancy Pelosi held the gavel?” he asked. “We won every special election we played in, and that was in Democrats’ seats that Democrats won by more than nine points. And it happened to be in California.”

MODERATE DEMOCRATS PRESSURE PELOSI, HOUSE LEADERSHIP TO MOVE NEW CORONAVIRUS BILL: ‘STOP THE STUPIDITY’

“The real question is, what are the results of the Democrats?” he continued. “They should be embarrassed of how much they have embraced the socialists. Name me one problem this Democrat majority has solved. There isn’t one.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of President Donald Trump's speech after he delivered the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of President Donald Trump’s speech after he delivered the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

McCarthy argued that Republicans have been committed to America by growing the economy and adding jobs. On the other hand, he admitted he hasn’t had a “substantive” conversation with Pelosi in “more than a year.”

“Yesterday, we watched world peace happen for the Middle East on the steps inside the White House,” he said. “You know what Nancy Pelosi did? She turned down the invitation and she held votes in the floor of the House trying to make members not go there.”

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According to a Politico report, McCarthy is being pressed to oust Pelosi from her seat, but he told Ingraham that he doesn’t think it’s the best tactic prior to the election.

“I think the best move is win 218 seats, and that defeats Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “But you know what else it defeats? [Jerry] Nadler. Maxine Waters. Adam Schiff and the others. That is our best play right now.”

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