By George Weeks
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is poised once again, as he likes to describe his role in a varied political life, to “be on duty” for Michigan—now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Oct 15, for the seventh time in his reign, he will present a Michigan case before the nation’s highest court. The case is Schuette v. By Any Means Necessary Coalition, which involves the defense of Michigan’s constitutional amendment to prohibit race-and gender-based discrimination or preferential treatment in public university and college admissions.
Micgugab AGs in the last half-century or so have been of particular political interest, starting with the longest-serving one, Democrat Frank Kelley (1961-98). Then came Democrat Jennifer Granholm (1999-2002), first woman to be AG and later Michigan’s first female governor.
Republican Mike Cox (2003-2010) was elected with a mere 5,200-vote edge over Oakland County state Sen. Gary Peters, now a congressman who essentially is Democratic nominee-in-waiting in 2014 for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Cox had a solid record on Great Lakes and other issues.
Now comes Schuette—an ex-state senator, congressman and state ag director—before the high court to defend against challenges supported by lower courts of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative approved by a 58 percent majority of Michigan voters in November 2006.
Seven other states have similar provisions to Michigan’s and could be impacted by the high court ruling—Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
AGs also deal with local crime, as highlighted Friday when Schuette appeared in Ludington with Mason County authorities in charging a man with killing his infant daughter “Baby Kate,” who disappeared more than two years ago. As Schuette said: “This is a tragic case—it makes you sick.”
Another Yob emerges on Mackinac (bf)
Mackinac Island has tasty fudge and zesty politics.
Every year it hosts the Detroit Regional Chamber’s gathering that lures top state politicians and every two years the Republican Leadership Conference attracts presidential hopefuls and other political headliners.
Many a notable politician has had ties to the island, including Democratic U.S. Sens. Prentiss M. Brown (1936-43) and Philip A, Hart (1959-76). Of special note is Mayor Margaret Doud who’s been in office for about 40 years.
Island resident and businessman Dennis Cawthorne, former top Republican in the Michigan House of Representatives, recently was replaced as longtime chairman of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. He is a law firm partner of former AG Kelley, who remains on the commission.
Replacing Cawthorne as chairman is Chuck Yob, longtime Michigan Republican National Committeman and power in the GOP. He was appointed to the commission by Gov. Rick Snyder (having serving an earlier term under Gov. John Engler).
Now to the island comes Yob’s son, John Patrick Yob, who, according to an announcement from Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry, “has joined the company as Senior Advisor to provide strategic direction to Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry and other assets.”
John Yob, as his father has been, is a prime player in Michigan politics. He currently is an advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder and former Secretary of State Terri Lynd Land, likely 2014 GOP U.S. Senate nominee.
George Weeks, a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, for 22 years was the political columnist of The Detroit News and previously with UPI as Lansing bureau chief and foreign editor in Washington. His weekly Michigan Politics column is syndicated by Superior Features.