Mike Shirkey: Heed Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s COVID orders now. We’ll sue later.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader MIke Shirkey wants to start a petition drive to repeal a 1945 law and limit Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency authority, calling it “the number one priority right now.” (Bridge file photo)

May 7 update: Michigan stay-at-home order extended to May 28
May 6 update: GOP-led Legislature sues Michigan Gov. Whitmer over emergency powers

LANSING — Michigan Republicans say they’re still planning to sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her emergency powers, contemplating a voter petition drive to limit her authority and preparing oversight hearings on her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But not this week. 

In the meantime, Michigan residents should not defy the governor’s stay-at-home order and business closure mandates, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said Monday.

“Though frustrations are high, and they’re growing, let me be clear: I am not recommending that people ignore the governor’s executive orders,” Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said in a radio interview on WCHY in Cheboygan. “I am not. I think that would put them in a tenuous situation.”

Shirkey is the first GOP leader to publicly recommend continued compliance with Whitmer’s order despite a brewing legal challenge and GOP frustrations with economic fallout from the public health crisis. 

In a Friday statement, House Speaker Lee Chatield of Levering told Bridge Magazine he thinks Whitmer’s executive orders are “legally questionable at best” after the Legislature on Thursday rejected Whitmer’s request to extend an emergency declaration required under 1976 law.

Whitmer responded by signing a series of emergency and disaster declarations that last through May 28, citing a 1945 law she says gives her similar powers without the need for legislative approval. 

Emergency status allows Whitmer to continue issuing executive orders, including the stay-at-home mandate she revised last week to allow construction and real-estate firms to resume operations this Thursday. 

“We all wish it was more cut and dry, but that’s not the case,” Shirkey said, “and this is now going to the courts.”

Republican lawmakers argue Whitmer has refused their input on plans to begin restarting the economy as the state grapples with COVID-19, which as of Sunday had killed 4,049 in Michigan. The state has confirmed 43,754 cases since March 10.

The governor has said her administration will use science and data to determine what industries can reopen safely, where and when. She is developing a plan to reopen the economy with input from business, health and labor leaders, and accused GOP lawmakers of playing politics during a public health crisis.

“No one should be rushing the gun and playing fast and loose when starting to restart sectors of the economy that haven’t been deemed low-enough risk yet,” Whitmer said Friday. “We’ll get there, and I just ask that people be patient.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel has told local law enforcement agencies, who are tasked with enforcing Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, to use “use their best judgment until a court resolves these issues” but said she expects people to “fully comply.” 

The Legislature last week authorized Shirkey and Chatfield to take legal action against Whitmer. But leadership did not immediately file a lawsuit, and that may not happen until next week, Shirkey said. 

The Senate GOP leader said he wants to take legal action “in parallel” with the launch of a petition drive seeking to repeal the 1945 law. Under the Michigan Constitution, the Legislature could enact citizen-initiated legislation without the governor’s signature, going around Whitmer’s veto pledge to create a new law. 

The effort would not be easy, requiring at least 340,047 valid voter signatures, a collection process that would typically take months to complete and could be even more challenging given the ongoing global pandemic and social distancing guidelines. 

“I think it’s probably the No. 1 priority right now, is to do that, based on a citizen petition initiative drive that allows true representative government and self-government to take over,” Shirkey said on the radio.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, shot back on Twitter: “Can’t speak for my colleague but I can speak for the @MISenDems and our number 1 priority is keeping people safe and getting people back to work in a smart and safe way,” he wrote.

Michigan Republicans say they are still planning to sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her emergency power, contemplating a large-scale petition drive to limit her authority and preparing to begin oversight hearings on her handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Just not this week.

It’s not immediately clear what outside groups Shirkey plans to work with on the petition drive, which would require formation of a ballot committee and campaign finance disclosures. 

It’s also unclear if he has time to pull off the strategy this year.

The deadline for November ballot measures is May 27. But Shirkey’s plan would take advantage of a constitutional provision that allows the Legislature to approve the measure rather than sending it to the ballot. 

In late 2018, Michigan Republicans enacted a law to make petition drives more difficult. But many of those new rules, including a cap on the number of signatures that can be collected in each congressional district, have been suspended as the Michigan Supreme Court considers whether they violate the state constitution.

Sen. Tom Barrett, a Charlotte Republican who sponsored legislation to repeal the 1945 law Whitmer has cited for continuing authority, supports Shirkey’s call for a petition drive but said he would oppose any effort to collect signatures electronically, an approach a gay rights group is taking on a separate petition. 

Barrett noted the potential to mail petitions to voters and suggested circulators could utilize other protective measures to collect signatures without jeopardizing public safety. 

“The mechanics of it are more challenging, but perhaps that’s also a more pressing reason why we should pursue it,” Barrett said. “Even with a pandemic, it does not neuter the rights of the people to petition their government.”

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business group that holds sway with GOP lawmakers, has criticized Whitmer’s order and economic approach to the public health crisis but was not aware of Shirkey’s petition drive plan until contacted by Bridge Magazine on Monday morning, according to President and CEO Rich Studley. 

“It’s certainly understandable that a growing number of Michiganders would be concerned about one person unilaterally making decisions for all of state government and the 10 million people who live and work and do business in our state,” Studley said. “But we would want to review the content and the form of any proposal like that very carefully first, just from a legal perspective.”

Shirkey spokesperson Amber McCann said a “citizens initiative to ensure the people's representatives are heard during crises would be a very important effort” but acknowledged it is “not an immediate solution, which is why the Legislature is being forced to ask the courts to decide.”

Shirkey and Chatfield two weeks ago created a joint oversight committee tasked with reviewing the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. That panel, which has subpoena power, met to adopt rules last week but has not yet taken action. 

Rep. Matt Hall, a Marshall Republican who chairs the committee, said it will probably be a “couple weeks” before the oversight hearings start in earnest. 

He expects the panel will eventually review state contracting practices, including a controversial contact tracing award given to a political consultant’s firm but rescinded by Whitmer. The committee will also scrutinize the state’s handling of the crush of 1 million residents left unemployed by the crisis and data the administration is using to make its decisions. 

“We’re just doing a lot of work right now to prepare for that first meeting,” Hall said. “The idea is to work with departments, and so we'll be going to the departments when we decide which issues we're going to take up first and asking them for the information we need.”

While recent public opinion polling for Fox News suggests most Michigan residents support Whitmer’s response to the pandemic, hundreds of protesters rallied against her stay-at-home order last week at the Michigan Capitol, including some demonstrators who openly carried long guns into the historic building.

Shirkey had encouraged peaceful protests but on Friday called some of the demonstrators “jackasses,” a description he elaborated on Monday on the radio.

“There was a fine protest, but there was a handful of people — most guys — that I think were over the edge in terms of how they were attired, how they were carrying their weapons, their facial expressions, their body language,” he said, suggesting they sought to intimidate lawmakers at work in the Capitol. “I don’t think that’s appropriate."


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Mon, 05/04/2020 - 1:58pm

Shirkey is using some good common sense and staying focused on the real problem - a virus that kills and which we know so little about.
But Chatfield just needs to go; squandering precious time and resources we need to save lives and restart our economy and pouring it into committees, lawsuits, and petitions that will never get enough signatures is unforgivable.
We shall never forget the "antics" of the GOP during this life or death battle that we are in.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:40pm

Shirkey just go scared about the guns of the protesters and wanted them to think he's doing something. He's just a poser.

Enough already
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:07pm

Shirkey is the Moscow Mitch of Michigan, self-serving and useless. It's time for Michigan to set aside vestiges of our Kentucky-lite past, along with the confederate wannabes, and vote them out.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:45pm

Shirkey had encouraged peaceful protests but on Friday called some of the demonstrators “jackasses,” a description he elaborated on Monday on the radio.

“There was a fine protest, but there was a handful of people — most guys — that I think were over the edge in terms of how they were attired, how they were carrying their weapons, their facial expressions, their body language,” he said, suggesting they sought to intimidate lawmakers at work in the Capitol. “I don’t think that’s appropriate."

Mish Smith
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:06am

I agree and as a result I will no longer support the Republican Party..they have been a disgrace to the people of this country, this state and of those who have given support over the years.

Shirkey Nose Grows
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 3:24pm

All hat and no horse. That dog don't hunt.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 3:34pm

Long and short of it, the guns scared Shirkey and Chatfield to blow smoke about fake petitions and lawsuits. Meanwhile Whitmer stuck to her guns and excellent legal prowess, completely unintimidated by the little men-boys with their big guns, their loser confederate flags, and their panties in a bunch.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 8:32pm

“Excellent legal prowess” and all the references to “guns”. Seems like you’re a bit delusional with the former and have some fixation with the latter. Perhaps a chat with a psycho-babbler may be of benefit. Let me clue you in, if you think there’s just a couple over-weight rednecks in the opposition, it will be entertaining when you discovery the reality. Since you enjoy denigrating men, do you have any opinion why so called progressive women are almost universally unattractive? Do you think having sub-par looks and an unshapely physique results in vitriolic and hateful thinking? I am not referring to you of course, but liberal women generically. Please enlighten us with your vast repertoire of knowledge in this realm, as your knowledge of non-Beta men seems somewhat lacking.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:34pm

Big Gretch not attractive to you, Red?

Big guns for li...
Thu, 05/07/2020 - 2:27pm

I didn't see any pretty women protesting in Lansing. The only pretty "conservative" women I see are the ones wearing tons of make up on FUX News and they are PAID to be pretty and say what you want. It's the world's oldest profession. Look at the latest one working for Trump, no scruples. Look at Kellyanne Conway, lipstick on a pig with absolutely no morals.

Asian wasp
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:53pm

Oooh that veto must sting!

Almighty Dollar
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:55am

Ugly women? Give regards to Mom, Grandma and Sis this weekend, it being Mother’s Day and all.

Matt G
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:30am

Why does Bridge approve comments like these that are either trolling or completely delusional?

Red necks are r...
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:01am

Because the “alternate” facts folks are entitled to their “opinions” too. And we are entitled to know how close to violence the militias and their supporters are as well. Red neck ain’t trolling, he’s paranoid and delusional maybe but not trolling. The swaggering bullies with their guns are more of a threat than any Islamic extremists. Before 9/11 there was Oklahoma City and Timmy McVeigh, the militias are the nurturers of neo-nazis, white supremest’s and assorted malcontents with delusions of grandeur. They may seem comic but the threat is real.

Red necks are r...
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:50am

Wow feeling a little defensive are we? Beta-men? That’s funny. Put your big boy pants on and your phallic replacement away and maybe we can talk. One thing for sure is the less than subtle threat in your comment. Must go with all that posturing and aggression you all showed in Lansing. How exactly will we be discovering your “reality”? When you do more than having a hissy fit and wave your guns around. You know that the republicans tolerate you and your “alpha” buddies because they don’t see you as a threat, right. They see you all as a useful distraction and street theatre. The day that your fantasy becomes “reality” the republican politicians will be the first to call out the swat teams. You see the point of terrorism is not the violence, it’s the threat. The republicans are ok with the “alphas” with guns as long as its just the threat. When you all go Timmy McVeigh on the rest of your fellow citizens and become real terrorists instead of pretend then its your “reality” that’s not gonna be “entertaining”. The rest of the nonsense about attractiveness and politics is just silly and juvenile, hardly worthy of an “alpha” anything.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:49am

The rampant sexism in your comments aside -- dude, have you LOOKED at Kellyanne Conway??

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:09pm

Deeper than looks, her own husband can't stand her.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:25pm

No. We know it isn't overweight rednecks. It's small business tyrants, busy body soccer moms, and fascist militiamen all being rallied by billionaires to send the working poor to their deaths in order to prop up this collapsing monstrosity

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 5:55pm

The protesters don't even realize that the billionaires are the ones who are devaluing the dollars we may have saved and make us, the 99.9% of the world, worthless slaves. With inflation, any money we may have saved less than maybe ten billion dollars will be worthless, like you see in Argentina and other countries. Big deal you are poor and have guns. The rich will live in impenetrable compounds. The rest will be killed by pollution, viruses, and wars. You numbskull protesters are enabling the Trump overlords and oligarchs fighting the people working on your behalf.

Mish Smith
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:10am

Giddy absolutely correct. I live in that area and what I witnessed first hand was the ugliness of racism that has been supported by the Republican party since 2016(and by the way up until the last couple years I considered myself a Republican). Swastikas, children wearing black face, confederate flags and the best part were most of those doing this were too chicken to show their faces. This is what America has come too...makes me sick.

Hank Quayle
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:54am

For this logic to work, you have to assume that Shirkey and Chatfield called the House into session and had nothing at all planned, and then after seeing the guns they and all of the other members of the House and Senate suddenly within a couple hours came up with this idea of petitions and lawsuits and wrote the resolution on the spot. In other words, for your logic to work, you'd have to assume a lot of stupid things.

It is much more plausible that they were already going to propose a petition and lawsuit, based on the fact that in the days prior they were telling people these facts, they already had the proposals written, and had already talked to members of both chambers about these. Fear played no role whatsoever in their decision making process.

The protesters are the tip of an iceberg- a large number of Michigan residents want to return to work and make money so that they can eat and put a roof over their house and they are upset that the Governor is causing them to lose their entire life's effort. The protesters represent a small number who showed up, but there is a much larger group out there that believes that the Governor's rules banning cancer screenings, preventive medicine, and vaccinations is going to lead to tens of thousands of people dying in the coming years. And the protesters were just a visible part of the community that knows that the research is rock-solid on the fact that the unemployment caused by the Governor will lead to a massive increase in suicides, drug and alcohol abuses, and domestic abuse.

You know, your analysis frequently is totally without merit and your logic is often shoddy and filled with more personal insults than reasonable and logical positions- that probably explains why you arrive at the bad conclusions you do. Anyone on here can see this. Our country is diverging into people like you who have poor logic, wrong assumptions, and personal attacks to support their views, and those who have science, logic, reasoning, and care in their hearts. I hope others see this and go the correct direction.

Nice try
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:12pm

Says you, Shirkey. LOL

Elsie Briggs
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:20pm


"Our country is diverging into people like you who have poor logic, wrong assumptions, and personal attacks to support their views, and those who have science, logic, reasoning, and care in their hearts. I hope others see this and go the correct direction." So which is which, the governor or the people parading during a pandemic dressed like a ragtag militia, storming the capitol without masks, carrying AK47 assault weapons? Your post is a bit confusing and the "logic" flawed. It seems you think the latter are the reasonable ones.

Big Gretch Love
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 3:39pm

Just proves Whitmer has more hutzpah than the combined little cojones of Shirkey and Chatfield. How humiliating! She one ups them EVERY TIME.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:39pm

Move to china, you communist!

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:34am

I hear people in China can buy Ivanka brand clothing where she has countrywide exclusive trademark rights, something to do with nepotism and working in the WH with orange diaper man dad. Didn't big tRump's buddy Xi give us coronavirus? Did Trump demand closure of wet markets in China as part of any trade deals? How many jobs shipped overseas to China have returned to the US since Trump became president?

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 6:23pm

Trump loves Xi. Pretends he doesn't.

A Yooper
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:02am

Spot on Big Gretch Love.
Red neck boys flash those AR guns as penile prostheses eh?

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:55am

So you're saying that all of the young men who died for your freedom were carrying rifles as "prostheses"?
You dolt. You communist. Move to china.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:22pm

You mean the brave men that enlisted to serve our country or the clowns who play dress-up for the cameras? Revere, are you a Russianbot?

Straw Man Cometh
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:16pm

Nah man, they were soldiers filling a duty and call to arms. The jackasses at the protest were just trying to impress the small minded with their big "guns". Nice try with the straw man argument though.

WW West of Oz
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 6:22pm

There was no call to arms and nothing admirable about that fiasco. You are all laughingstocks. "Wanna play ball scarecrow?"

Bobby Joe
Wed, 05/06/2020 - 10:11pm

I think they really were real guns. You used the " " incorrectly. It's okay though- English is tough and I understand it's not your first language.

Although it is possible that you're fixed on male genitalia, and that's what you meant by 'guns'? Freud would suggest that you personally are still stuck in the Phallic Stage of development and should really try to move past 6 year old thinking.

Patriot's wife
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:36am

A Yooper, YES they are. LOL

New Legislature Now!
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 3:44pm

Most parent know you don't make idle threats. The legislature is both reckless and inept.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:39pm

You forgot feckless.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:54am

You forgot 'and elected by gerrymander' - they can't win unless they cheat. And can't cheat if they can't take away our voters.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 3:47pm

I feel sorry for Shirkey and Chatfield because now they will be blamed to the covid deaths going forward because they're trying to rush reopening the economy and they provided cover for the governor who can say, "I told you so!" They're term limited and they still haven't learned how to govern effectively. Guess the they're lame ducks and their lobbyist benefactors have given up on them.

No pity
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 11:40am

That's their problem. Amash showed a model for exercising principles.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:35pm

Too late Shirkey. Mitchel beat you! Gnaa gnaa

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:35pm

Even with Grand Rapids judges appointed by the GOP, it's a losing argument.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 6:08pm

Whitmer needs to stop playing politics, she is killing more people than saving- very sad

Kim Harris
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:36pm

She didn't kill anyone, but the protesters were gleefully spreading coronavirus.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:43am

Yeah tell my neighbor that. Her husband committed suicide because his job was eliminated due to companies not being able to open. I totally blame Whitless for that. There are ways to stay safe and work.

I call BS
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:26pm

Another fake poster. What's his name? Shirkey said the same thing on Off the Record, then added that he couldn't say who it was for privacy reasons. Please provide statistics for these mass suicides. During the Great Depression, only the fatcat stock traders committed suicide over money. Working people are used to struggling to make ends meet, unlike the fatcats.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:28pm

Why not blame the federal government that has been wholly co-opted by corporate interests that refuse to support meaningful relief to the working class?

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 11:31am

Are you referring to the tens of thousands that will now be dying due to delayed cancer treatments, fewer vaccinations, or the ban on preventive medicine that resulted from her orders? Or are you referring to the thousands that will die from suicide increases, drug and alcohol abuse increases, and domestic abuse increases that resulted from her stay-home order destroying the economy?

Tired of GOP ta...
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:28pm

You tell us, Tina, it was your own post. LOL

Brian DuBridge
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 7:03pm

No more status quo! These people aren't getting it, are they?! All of their jobs are on the line. Our disgust doesn't end with the Governor! The movement is building! Soon, no order or decision of the Governor will be relevant, because The People are taking decisions into our own hands.

Damn Right
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:42am

Brian, so true, and to prove your point we, the vast majority of Michiganders, are observing and respecting the orders of the governor during this health emergency. You're like the guy at the prom party trying to convince everyone to jump in the pool and you are the only one who actually does it, you know, the FOOL.

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 12:46pm

You write like a foreigner or a bot.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 7:19pm

Trump tryna kill us dog. Youtube. Foreshadows covid.

Grim Reaper
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:56am

He isn't trying, he's succeeding. 70,000 Americans dead and he says he's not recommending social distancing anymore.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 7:36pm

I haven't checked yet when the Republican Senate majority leader comes up for reelection, but I suggest you don't try to be reelected. You are looking for power and don't give a damn about human safety. You want to set an example? Be a man, before a politician and stand by the governor. I wouldn't vote for you as it stands now. Better talk to your constituents before going any further.

Pure Mich Model
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:40pm

Some Republicans feel the same way, like Rep. Horn. A lot of bad optics in Michigan from the protesters on the international stage. No one can figure out what they are doing with their guns and military garb during a pandemic. Americans used to have an international image of helping people during disasters, not creating bigger disasters.

Jeff Dawkins
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 8:56pm

so that IS it ... the (OUR) legislature is too WEAK to challenge a tyrannical governor - I will NOT be in favor of re-electing ANYONE currently in ANY office in Michigan . How can we the voters and residents of Michigan understand the support of the unilateral ORDERS given by a megalomaniac governor . "obey now and maybe 'we' will discuss this later ?" HEY legislators - go take MORE vacation .

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:41pm

We're past all that. Governor "orders" will never mean anything in this state ever again.
Violate at will. Try and stop us. You won't stop me!

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:44am

Until you are fined, have your business license revoked, and liens are put on your doublewide and you guns.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:30pm

I genuinely hope you wind up on a vent

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:41pm

Whitmer is just following Trump's guidelines.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:56am

You seem to misunderstand what is happening around you.
This order came from Fuehrer Whitler, not from the Orange Man.

Linda DiLorenzo
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:34pm

"Fuehrer Whitler"? You mean the governor who got dedicated Michiganders to blunt the curve in our great state? We LOVE her LEADERSHIP. What grace under pressure during a national and state emergency! Only the feckless dolts, the snowflakes, are whining. They want death and failure to maintain their fading grip on power over our beloved state.

Dave N
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 9:30pm

Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to tonight’s Freedom for Michigan boxing match. In the left corner is Comrade “Gubmint Gretchen” Whitmer weighing in at 187 pounds and wearing the anti-white trunks. Her opponent in the right corner is.... hey, what going on here? The corner’s empty. Wait, there’s a note from her GOP no show opponent that says “Conflict is scary. We concede.” Time to bring in an opposition with a spine and as always, Orange Man Bad.

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:52pm

You got that, GOP fails to show. On the right, taking the empty chair we got bad orange man in diaper who likes to grab 'em by the who ha against strong powerful veto proof woman with intelligence charm and beauty. Minus all those qualities except for beauty and you have a FUX News anchor woman.


Love Big Gretch
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:58pm

What's Trump "Jabba the Hutt" weigh 435lbs?

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:48am

Sounds overly optimistic. All that fast food, so constipating. They say he hates vegetables. Now we know why he has so much time to tweet. He's sitting on his throne trying to get something done.

Dave N
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:27pm

I’m glad the left is all aboard with “Fat Shaming” now, since one of the biggest factors in hospitalization for this virus (and many other diseases) is obesity. I would request that all Comrade Gretchen supporters do the following:
1) Female - Post BMI or weight. Rounding off to nearest metric ton is acceptable.
2) Male - Provide side profile silhouette along with proof you aren’t pregnant cross dressing female.
3) Confused gender - You have bigger issues than weight. Focus on those instead.
Those that value freedom aren’t necessarily in shape either. Except for Navy Chiefs, soldiers should be fit. Cut down on sugar and take a long walk. It’s good for you. Oh yeah, Orange Man Bad.

Phony GOP sucks
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 6:44pm

Dave N, such a hypocrite and feigned indignation! You are the one that started fat shaming with your post about the governor saying she's 187lbs. WTF?

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 5:36pm

The President now weighs around 243 pounds. So you were off by almost double. It's okay though- thinking is tough.

Kevin Grand
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:42am

Thanks, Dave.

That brought a smile to my face this morning.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:50am

I know "Jabba the Hutt", hilarious.

Kevin Grand
Wed, 05/06/2020 - 10:01am

The Bridge's approval process time lag for posting responses does make this somewhat confusing.

Actually, made me smile was this:

"Wait, there’s a note from her GOP no show opponent that says “Conflict is scary. We concede.”"

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:39pm

Mike: Not happening and you know it!
NO ONE will make me follow this "order".

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:51am


Tue, 05/05/2020 - 6:40pm

Revere, it's so funny to see how all the people who talk like you end up. Few find religion before it's too late. Many end up doing time somewhere. Think about it.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:32am

All Politicians are cowards! The GOP suing was a glimmer of hope for the helpless people of Michigan. Now, after "tough guy talk" they are running scared. Mike Shirkey has a habit of acting "tough", then literally back peddles to cower to the powers- that-be. The whole worthless lot of them need to be replaced! We need representatives who are not afraid of the backlash. Who are more concerned for the people they represent then their own jobs. Mike took the "chickens" way out and gives "us" the power MONTHS from now? Right about the time it's over. Right after the Presidential Election.

No kidding
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:53am

Weakness is all I see.

Big Gretch Rules
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:49pm

Big Gretch is not weak. She's stopping the party that gave us the Flint water crisis. Talk about tyranny, what is installing an "emergency manager" who poisons you?

Almighty Dollar
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:52am

Without gerrymandering many of these Republicans wouldn’t even have seats. If this is the best they can do, in a fair election I’m doubt Mike Shirkey will no longer have a job. This is just another example of the anti-science, pro-Trump death cult that the Republicans have become.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:59am

From your keyboard to God's ears! It's our only hope, but expect the GOP to close down the post office, increase unemployment and make it harder to vote absentee.

George Hagenauer
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:54am

It is interesting that Republican efforts to destroy the post office (and many small businesses as a result) may in the process cripple their ability to do a petition during the coronavirus outbreak,. But then we have a lot of legislative agendas at the federal and state level driven more by large amounts of cash spent by lobbyists for various business and ideological groups than by any rational discussion of what our society needs to function and survive.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:45pm

Lobbyist Grover Norquist is a well-known proponent of the strategy and has famously said, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." That was in 2001, almost there. The GOP wants the US to be a banana republic so that the lobbyists can get whatever they want. There are 10 million people in Michigan and a few hundred people protested in Lansing many with tags from other states. Trump didn't drain any swamp, he expanded the ones in place and built new ones. Meanwhile we see that a weak ineffective government is no match for a nonpartisan virus.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:01am

The governor has completely over-reached with her hard-handed antics. The original reason for quarantine and social distancing was to reduce the spread and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now the governor has extended the quarantine multiple times to what, bring COVID cases to zero? That will never work. The governor like to say uses best science in her discussions, it's painfully obvious she doesn't. Unfortunately playing politics is her first priority.

There will be a "second wave" and unfortunately it will be worse then it should be because of the governor's edicts. Why are the states with the most COVID cases also the ones with the strictest (and longest) quarantines? We do the states with no quarantine have some of the lowest number of COVID cases? Look up "herd immunology" - junior high level science. The governor dropped the ball in epic fashion and the residents of Michigan are the ones suffering.

John Chastain
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:14am

Look up the 1918 flu pandemic and see how “heard immunity” actually works and the cost in lives and economic loss . You obviously failed your “junior high level science “ classes. The rest of your comment is equally ignorant especially in the “correlation does not imply causation” department. Try looking that up too. Looking for a politician to blame, try the orange haired carnival barker in D.C. he’s biggly at fault.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:53pm

These GOP worshipers of Mammon don't care about lives, they talk about numbers lost.

Mary White
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:59pm

"The governor has completely over-reached with her hard-handed antics. The original reason for quarantine and social distancing was to reduce the spread and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now the governor has extended the quarantine multiple times to what, bring COVID cases to zero? That will never work. The governor like to say uses best science in her discussions, it's painfully obvious she doesn't. Unfortunately playing politics is her first priority."

Nothing has changed in the approach. You are correct about flatting the curve. Now we need to keep it flat. Many people will still get sick and many will die. We're still trying to limit the burden on our healthcare facilities. We can only hope for a vaccine to eradicate COVID19. Everyone is trying to be optimistic, but it took four years to develop a vaccine for the mumps.

We know that even with vaccines, there are people who will criticism their use, but that's how we stopped polio.

Mish Smith
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:05am

Thank you g
Governor for caring enough about the people of Michigan to make sound decisions based on data and not on politics. My family and myself are grateful and will continue to stay home and stay safe.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:10am

Shirkey, Chatfield, et. al. continue to amaze. The constant politicizing of a medical situation, continued support for armed "protesters," and never-ending sowing of seeds of disunity and dissension needs to stop. This rhetoric drives people to violence--look at what happened in Flint yesterday. "It is my right not to wear a mask" so a life is lost. This "leadership" needs to grow a spine and start to put water on the fire they started, not add gasoline.

The party of "life" does not seem to value life these days. How many deaths are acceptable to these men, to the president, to the speaker of the US Senate in order to open the economy and pander to their supporters? MI is at over 4,000 already. Newsflash!! Disease and death respect no political party.

Alive and Well
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:03pm

Trump said there was only one case in the US and it might even disappear. Now he's okay with 100,000 deaths if they occur because he brags that he saved millions. Meanwhile he no longer supports social distancing. That's really weird crap on his part. He must think we're all clueless.

Jim tomlinson
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:22am

The protesters are largely crisis actors hired by freedom works and devos that travel the country to be anti american thugs doing the bidding oligarchs

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:32am

Some times the comments on Bridge are so left-leaning that Comrades Stalin, Mao, Lenin, and others would be jealous. But today I have to agree. Shirkey and Chatfield are as worthless as teats on a boar hog. "Heed today and sue tomorrow?" If you're going to do something, don't just talk about it, do it. The Republicans get blamed for everything bad no matter who is in charge or what the cause de jour is, so they might as well actually do something worth getting blamed for.
For what it's worth, Michigan is an open-carry state, and as such the people with the long guns were within their Constitutional rights to bring them in. I would rather have THEM carrying long guns than Antifa or some other such group. If the snowflakes in Lansing are so scared they're wearing bulletproof vests, perhaps they should stay home and cower in the corner with a blanket over their heads. Or they could put on their big boy and girl panties and step up and do the right thing, which is to rein in an out of control governor. But life will go on, the state economy will continue to tank, more people will be stuck on unemployment, and hospitals will continue to close. Will the last one out of Michigan turn out the lights.

Bad optics
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:08pm

We really shouldn't have people carrying arms to protest the stay at home orders. It distracts from the real issues.

Kent Dorfman
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:07am

Shirkly is wrong.

There is a little-known codicil in the Michigan constitution which gives the Governor unlimited power to preserve order in time of emergency. She has the power to revoke our rights. And she can put bureaucrats to work on this- they're sneaky little spits, just like her. The time has come for someone to put their foot down on the people of Michigan- and that foot is her.

She said it herself- see this clip for proof-

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:10pm

The majority thinks for her to act differently would be irresponsible.

Joe Cochran
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:12am

I'm disappointed in the GOP. They should have had this drafted before the vote occurred Thursday. On Friday they should have refined it and ensured all i's dotted and t's crossed and ready for submission for the courts when they opened their doors Monday morning. The Republicans stating that they are delayed due to having experts in constitutional law reviewing for accuracy is confusing. What have they been doing this whole time that Whitmer has been overreaching with her executive orders??? They have had at least two months to get they poop in a group, you have to strike while the iron is hot. So disappointing.

No mystery
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:12pm

It's because they fully know that the law is on the governor's side.

Margaret Morgan
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:15am

Isn't it silly that the Republicans want to sue our governor for doing her job well ? She is using science and data to keep us healthy and alive. I can only guess the Republicans have not lost a family member to this Virus to make her orders make sense to them. I have lost three family friends to this Virus. I support Governor Whitmer.

Joni S
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:18pm

I know. My regrets to you. My granddaughter's friend lost a grandfather who used to watch them at their sporting events. They couldn't even get together to grieve. Then the girls were worried because they knew their whole family was exposed, including the grandmother with demetia who was taken care of by the grandfather who died. It's so sad for everyone.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:38am

Isn't it wonderful that Shirkey, the head of the GOP in the State Senate, as well as his colleague in the House, want to sue the Governor about the quarantine. Aren't they representatives of the same party that thought it was cheaper to use Flint River water that has since left hundreds of children with potential problems from pollutants in that water. Gee, they are so interested in saving money while lives don't matter other than when they claim to be anti abortion. I guess the GOP motto is let everyone live till the virus or other things that we cause kill them.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:26pm

The hypocrisy is not lost on me either.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:47am

"We'll sue later" = "we know a judge will laugh us out of court."

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:25pm

Some of the reps have law degrees and staff members with law degrees. It's a slam dunk case. No judge would rule against the governor under these circumstances. Even the president said the governors have broad authority. He's holding governors responsible for the deaths. Unlike Truman, the buck doesn't stop with him.

William M Damsg...
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:50am

This is a good and lawful decision. Do first, challenge later. The special oversight committees have been established. Watch like a hawk and then adjust for the future in the near future when this crisis has passed. This approach will likely gain bipartisan support when it comes time to over-rule a veto. I support removing the Emergency Manager powers and other powers of austerity from the Executive. However, this is not the particular moment to do that.

Susan Robertson
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 11:24am

Jeebus. Don't these people have roads to fix? Honestly, the entire idea of putting the 1945 repeal on the ballot is laughable. Michigan Republicans will simply jump to the "accept and amend" part, and do what they like. Michigan voters will NEVER see a ballot proposal.

Stop messing around, Shirkey and Chatfield.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:21pm

Yeah, we been around the block with these clowns and this GOP circus show.

Data Soong
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 5:33pm

It would have been better if Shirkey had done something real. The costs on unemployment caused by the Governor are real and deadly.

According to a 2014 piece in Harvard Public Health magazine, unemployment due to business closures increased by 83 percent the odds of new health conditions triggered by the job loss—stress-related conditions such as stroke, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and emotional and psychiatric problems. A 2011 meta-analysis of international research—published in Social Science & Medicine by David Roelfs, Eran Shor, Karina Davidson, and Joseph Schwartz—found that the risk of death was 63 percent higher during the study periods among those who experienced unemployment than among those who did not, after adjusting for age and other variables. A 2009 study on the impact of the 1980s oil crisis and subsequent recession in Pennsylvania, published by economists Daniel Sullivan and Till von Wachter in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, found that in the year after men lost their jobs in mass layoffs, their chances of dying doubled. In a 2003 study on unemployment in the Journal of Health Economics, the authors concluded that unemployment increases the risk of being dead from 5.36 to 7.83 (an increased risk of 46% of dying). In a 2017 study, the researchers find that a one percentage point increase in the county unemployment rate is associated with an additional 0.2 opioid-involved drug-related deaths per 100,000 residents and a 3.6 percent increase relative to the average rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000- so a 36% unemployment of a state of 10 million will result in an additional 5400 people dying.

Facts matter- resist the fear. The Governor was fooled into shutting us down by false estimates and shoddy science- but now she needs to suck up her pride and stop doubling-down on stupid. The curve has been flattened- she needs to stop killing Michiganians.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 5:53pm

The silver lining in all of this is that Queen Whitler will be a one termer and won't even be picked for VP after she collected that baggage she said she knew nothing about a few weeks ago.

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 1:38am

If, and that is not likely, Governor Whitmer did err, she did so on the side of caution and public safety. The science and data support her, as does public opinion by a large margin.

That aside, how in the world can conservatives so righteously claim, with no room for disagreement, to value life so much that, when opening the economy prematurely will predictably add to the loss of life caused by a virus without a vaccine until who knows when.

Finally, a few wingers have referred to Governor Whitmer and her supporters as Communists. Those uninformed folks might be made cognizant of a reality that occurred decades ago. There are no significant Leninist-Stalinist economic systems around anymore. They were an absolute failure, replaced by an oligarchy, an oligarchy or plutocracy that this country is rapidly evolving into at the expense of any democratic ideals previously held. One might point to China, not as a command economy, but as state capitalism.

Here's one vote for the guv.

Ann DeHoog
Wed, 05/06/2020 - 7:47am

The Governor has broken Michigan law and violated the Constitution. I will not comply to her and I will not vote for anyone who recommends I comply.

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 9:46am

What I find funny about all of this is that the governor's supporters are all elites. Yes, you are all elites. Because life is great for you and you have the luxury of just staying at home and working or whatever. Do you realize that there are thousands upon thousands of citizens that have been promised unemployment but have yet to receive a dime? I don't think Meijer is going to allow them to pay with a printed IOU. Concern over this virus really is a first world problem, because only first world elites have the extra time to worry about it.

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 11:13am

Waste more resources on a lawsuit, like approving a million dollar paddle boat in a lame duck session at we the people's expense. Bass akwards!!

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 5:00pm

The brilliance of the Republicans is that they have figured out how to take and take from the middle class and from the poor and give nothing back and make them so happy about it. Make a list. No health care. No affordable college education. No school lunch programs. No child care at all. No regulatory agencies to protect you on the job or to keep your food or water or the air you breathe safe. No aviation agency. No mass transit. No road or bridge repair. No NIH. No CDC. No FBI. And of course, no science. I quit the Republican Party and based on their disgusting actions I'll Boycott all GOP at the polls. No more vote for the person, not the party, the "party of GOP" has shown this corruption runs so deep they'll all follow Trump in the death march of it's citizens.

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 12:30pm

So at a state level Republicans want to limit the broad powers of the governor, but at the federal level we want the president to have broad powers?
So does it just depend who's in charge.
Remember laws you make now will be in effect when the "other" party is in control. They often come back to "bite" you.

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 4:00pm

She's damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. After watching Rick Schneider get eviscerated over Flint, you can't blame her for ensuring she doesn't go down in history in the same manner.

Sat, 05/09/2020 - 3:04pm

We'll probably get an answer from the court in about 8 years.

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:24am

Shirkey is a SHILL for the insurance & attorney lobbyists in Michigan. As long as he gets his scrape of the GRAFT pie, he will keep voting for the Whitmer to keep the masses down.