Pandemic, Michigan, elections. Bill Rustem, Jocelyn Benson, Paula Gardner are guests.
The presenting underwriter of the Michigan polycast is progress, Michigan providing a strong credible voice that holds public officials in government accountable and assists of the promotion of progressive ideas. Would you rather listen hooked up? Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up Donny. I'm Joe Biden and I approve this message. Well, that's the summary of the debate as imagined by Stephen Colbert and his Mad Men at CVS. It was the start of a week that when it ended seemed like an extended version of Saturday Night Live which thankfully returned at the end of the week with their version of the debate which a Christine made more sense than the real thing. But the debate seems like a distant memory as the campaign is rocked by what almost seemed inevitable The Mask skating Donald Trump infected with the potentially fatal virus and on the same day. The president was helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center, Michigan Supreme Court, effectively took away Governor witmer's power to continue to protect us from the virus. Those are the Michigan polycash where we always practice social just sing and wear our masks were all about Michigan policy and politics and the national occurrence impacting our Pleasant peninsulas thoughts org, Christine Barry, Joe Biden's campaign moves on focusing on Virtual voter contact in place of large crowds. He was in Grand Rapids at the end of the week the 2nd Biden wage campaign here in the space of four days. Also on the Pod this week. We'll talk with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson about preparations for a record-setting voter turnout birth magazine business, editor, Paula Gardner joins us with a report on the plight of Michigan restaurants as the cold weather makes outdoor dining more difficult a bipartisan group of Michigan announced Sportsman and sports women for Biden. We'll talk with one of the organizers and attorney-general Dana nessel charges to right-wing political hacks with voter suppression. Which targeted dog. African Americans in Detroit Walt it feels like this just goes on and on. I think we're going to be here for an hour and half two hours three hours something like that. But let's begin with the twin Cove. It stories Trump's office and witmer's legal defeat and they're both big big stories Christine. Of course. We hope the president first lady and all the Trump Republicans who are infected last week recover fully and boy, there's a bunch of those gets longer every day. We can lead the medical story to the National media that gets updated. Regularly. Let's talk politics a little bit. First of all the impact of Donald Trump being stuck off the campaign Trail which he loves so dearly and what is now the last 30 days to the election. Is this the end of the Trump campaign and does that mean the end of the Trump presidency? Well, I don't think so. And I first of all want to just you know, Echo your comments about we want hoping for everyone to recover quickly. I don't think that this even keeps him off the campaign Trail off. He's really much worse off than we know I think that he'll campaign virtually if he can I think his kids are out there. Mike Pence has already started increasing his profile page and he's out there kind of campaigning for President Trump. So I don't think it's the end of the campaign but we have seen a little bit of a shift. This is actually was in Seminole a table all that. We saw a little bit of a shift moved toward Biden after the announcement on President Trump testing positive. I'm going to argue with you a little bit. First of all, the the Trump children are a quarantine self quarantine right now. I saw a tweet from Don Jr. Yes. I followed on Junior on Twitter. You can punish me for that later, but he is back in quarantine against the second time for him cuz I bought a girlfriend was already infected. So he is back there along with his his brother and the princess of Anka so they're they're out of there in terms of Mike Pence being out. He's not going to turn on a crowd like Donald Trump Donald Trump. I will give him one thing. He is a great performer. The guy has a future as a stand-up comic if he wants to get out of what he's doing much better as a stand-up comic for me as a president and he can turn a crowd on and he can really get an audience going. Mike Pence can't do that. But the only thing is their campaign really has to switch on a dime right now from the beginning has been running a virtual campaign. He has been derided by the Republicans as campaigning out of his basement, but from a practical standpoint, it has been much more effective at cost less money and it's a lot safer than a 77 year old man is concerned about a virus that finally caught up with the guy who's responsible for the virus being able to catch him. I was interesting with the SNL cold open on Saturday night and people haven't seen that way. They really need to stream it cuz it's just an amazing rehash of the debate, but they ended the segment talking about Karma and that's exactly what the strumpet affection as it's karma. He has been saved. The beginning this is no big deal. It's not dangerous. It doesn't hurt anybody and he comes back to literally bite him in the butt. So I think that the Biden campaign is better position. Plus I got more money. That's another thing. I didn't campaign. No doubt is better position if they had to switch to all of our tool they could do that because as you said they had been doing that I think though that going back to the Trump children, they're off in a good position to ramp up their virtual game as well. So they can easily still campaign for him and reach a millions of people. Yeah, especially done Junior. He's he's not at his father's ability to stir up a crowd and he's very good that man and he's a mess just like his dad to he looks like he's always on Coker disheveled or something. I just that he's a mess off meanwhile in Michigan. We've got a straight party-line vote in the Supreme Court 4 to 3, which basically takes away from Governor Whitmer her unilateral power to continuous state of emergency and really make sure that among But weakest of Governors in the nation now at responding to the virus. She has been effective in keeping Michigan relatively safe compared to a lot of other states, but at the same time the numbers in Michigan were getting bad again. We are now back up to over a thousand infections a day hospitalizations are going back up again. She had to lower the boom a little bit in the the potential over things were getting bad. Again. They went from a stage five to a stage four. I believe it is and basically that imposes more restrictions on the size of crowds and restaurants and things like that off of the states now averaging nine New Delhi cases for every hundred thousand people a day and that is just way too many. There's a lot of good stats available will have a link to bridge which had that but new cases since October 3rd 1158 on a daily basis a week ago was 901 back in June. We were as low as a one-day total loss. Love Fourteen and then what happened in June everybody started? Well, you mentioned earlier start the campus is opened up and you wanted to go out and party with a moral day and it takes a little while for the incubation and then you get the 4th of July and you get the summer season, but now you've got the kids going back to school. You've got people more and more indoors as the weather gets colder more than anything else. I think people are just getting tired and or complacent. Yeah, I think it's just the covin fatigue, you know, people just sick of it now. I'm not and you're not because we're taking it seriously and it has an interrupted Our Lives as much as it has some others, but you know, if your whole life changed if your hold day-to-day life changed when the Box started which was end of March is that when we were when we started quarantine March 12th, I actually saved the the first press release from the so if you log, Had been completely disrupted for three or four months. Of course, you want to get out? Of course you want to go do something. So I understand that but this is it showing now all of the super spreader events. And every time you see a package together without masks without social distancing you think see they're doing it so I can do it. So it just kind of snowballed that's that is my perception of how that happened. And now we're seeing the Upper Peninsula off as a hotspot for no Seven Counties, I think are like orange and red now, so it's exactly what she warned about exactly what she wanted us about do not go up north. Do not do these things. And here we are. Yeah now and Iron County in the upper peninsula, the cash rate has jumped to 108 per day per one hundred thousand people. I just felt that the page release on the very first positive case of covid-19 in Michigan. It was March 10th. It seems like a hundred years ago. But in reality, it was only seven months ago seven months we've been going through Yeah, and and it ain't going away anywhere in the near future. Well, especially not now and now that sure can't chat feel they're going to get their creepy little fingers into it. Yeah, and they've made it very clear about especially the subcommittee litter Mike Shirkey. He does not support and is totally opposed and will fight any mandatory Statewide mask requirement which means a third of the state is not going to wear masks page is a formula for resuming the pandemic in Michigan every public health expert on the face of the planet. They all say the same thing masks are the number one thing we can be doing them more effective than a vaccine cause of action's going to be fifty 75% effective. If everybody masked up we'd be looking at ninety ninety-five percent Effectiveness turkey has said that he was looking forward to working with a governor and I just think that's ridiculous. I think this is going to be up to the local Health departments now to really get strict. I don't know what Authority that suck. Is all if the 1945 laws. Do you know how that works? Well, what Authority is that under there still working on it, but there are some Public Health rules that could be put into place when it comes to public accommodations and requirements for businesses where it becomes dicier is limiting capacities for outdoor events and things like that. A lot of it's going to have to be voluntary and you're going to find that it is voluntary. You already have will be talking a little bit later. What about restaurants and how people aren't going in even though they could go in because they're concerned Why won't go inside a restaurant and it's not totally rational. I've talked with our faith to record and she says that in fact it is pretty safe to go to restaurants around here. As long as you stay away from East Lancing, but still I will do it just because of suck caution. The other thing to this point out is the importance of the Supreme Court race on the ballot, which is very difficult for people because the judges officially run is non-partisan. They're not identified by party. Yep. They do absolutely run on behalf of a political party and it was for people who put on the court by Republicans voting to take away the governor's emergency powers. And the three people that were put on there by the Democratic party that upheld her right to continue the state of emergency. We will put a link on the website to the actual ruling by the Supreme Court and the order by the Supreme Court read the Page by Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately. It didn't make sense to the Republicans of the court but vote for the Supreme Court and if you think they did wrong Elizabeth Welch is the other candidates supported by the Democratic party who is on the ballot along with Chief Justice Mary McCormack. Yeah. Let me just be a little bit more clear about this age. You can vote right now if you've got your ballot go and just fill it in right now Welch McCormick and then either drop it in the mail or a belt box. Just do it and dog. Press up and down the ballot and you don't if you're voting a straight ticket, you still have to vote for the judges because they don't count on a straight ticket. Yep. That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate. I have ever seen. In fact. It wasn't even a debate wage. It was a disgrace that CNN's Jake Tapper and his colleague the normally very staid Dana Bash was even more to the point that was a shitshow and you know, we're on cable we can say that apologies for being maybe a little bit crude, but that is really the the phrase that I'm getting, you know from people on both sides of the aisle on text. It's the only phrase that I can think of to really describe it. Yep. That pretty well sums up that whole mess on Tuesday evening, and it's probably going to be the last day we have is a result of the president's illness some pork. I had Slade actually counted up every Interruption by Donald Trump and according to his count. He interrupted either Joe Biden or Chris Wallace 128 X Factor. D 5 minutes and Joe Biden interrupted a few a few dozen times himself at various points either trying to get a word in edgewise or correct flat-out Lies by the president but his interruptions just absolutely no match for Donald Trump obviously was this tactic. I think it backfired on him the good news of the Biden campaign. The debate probably had no impact on the presidential race track lease. That's the view of political analyst Larry Sabato. The University of Virginia political scientist is considered amongst the best political handicappers in the country use the featured speaker at a virtual fundraiser wage could sit universities Michigan political leadership program. I don't think the debate as such costs either candidate many votes. It's simply reinforced the leanings people already had which is normally what debates do problem is. If you're behind seven or eight points the way Trump is you want to make up ground right? You want to make up some ground. He didn't make up any ground dead. If anything he reinforced Biden's lead, okay, Christine the debate is now officially ancient history, which is seems to be the story of twenty-twenty the new cycle changes so fast on a story now, of course is the health of Donald Trump. Let's start say once again that we say without equivocation we both wish a quick and Total Recovery for the president his wife. Hope Hicks Ronna Romney McDaniel, the three members and County of the United States Senate and on and on and on and on all of whom have caught this horrific virus, but the fact remains the disdain Donald Trump is shown for covid-19 preventive measures, especially Mass wage provides a classic example of chickens coming home to roost. What do you make of the debate is that now something that's just totally irrelevant. And for that matters is the are the revelations from the week before you remember down Trump's tax story. You remember that one the little thing where it says basically has been cheating on his taxes for twenty years and pays no taxes seems like even more ancient history. The tax things should be more important than what it is. But with this President all of us knew exactly what he was. I don't know if you ever if you thought he was paying any taxes know. I mean, I certainly didn't they said he paid 750 that's more than I thought he was paying so that does not it does not surprise me at all. I just really thought that he was wrong wasn't paying anything and then you have a supporter saying well, he donates a salary back or he doesn't take a salary whatever. Yeah pennies-on-the-dollar for what he's learning as president, you know, the Trump campaign is from the beginning been trying to change the subject from covid-19 because they know from their own polling they know from just reading the papers that that is Trump's weakness electorally and it's killing him in the polls. So they wanted to change the subject. Him getting sick and that being in the news day after day after day after day guarantees that covid-19 is the issue as people are voting. Now again, people start thinking well the elections Thursday November 3rd, we'll see what happens between now and then but more than three million people have already voted and they're voting on a daily basis because Donald Trump's scared them into voting early. He has completely screwed himself. He has let's go back to the debate for a minute. You know, we we mentioned that sebadoh said it. He didn't really think the debate mattered and I think that's probably true if it had like a regular debate, but it was a performance that a lot of people according to a New York Times in Siena College poll. I think it is 65 or 68 percentage felt that Trump just totally really I don't know if it's reinforced and negative you but they had a negative view of him because of it and and I think it was because he went into the bait dog. Acting like he would act if he was talking to quote unquote fake news and not respecting it for what it was which was where people who aren't normally engaged might tune in to watch him. Now. I don't think the debate and him getting sick can be entirely separated because the venue required masks he refused to wear it his family refused to wear masks. Here's supposed to take a test. He arrived late so that he didn't take the test. He mocked Biden for wearing a mask at the debate and we don't even know when he was when he tested positive. There's there's some you know, there's a lack of clarity about that. I don't see how you can separate how he acted in the debate his performance in the debate from the way that he is as a person with, you know, coming in late not testing not wearing a mask his family not wearing a mask just not respecting the virus and then Bang 3 or 4 days later now. Tested positive or he tested positive before he announced it. But when he announced it, it was what Friday? Yeah, thursday-friday Thursday. Oh, I don't know. Maybe it was maybe it was two years ago, who knows how long it was like like 1 a.m. Friday? Yeah. Yeah. So I mean you just take that whole picture and you've got just a really negative bad performance all at all by Drake. Trump. Yeah. The other thing I think the really helped Joe Biden was done by the debate commission unknowingly and that was choosing Chris Wallace as the moderator because it gives the debate less of an aura of odd be rigged against Donald Trump at the fake media. Imagine if it was Kristen Welker, who's going to be a moderator? I think it was supposed to be the moderator of the third debate from NBC News Trump could scream NBC hates me blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, but when he screams that Fox News is rigged against me that just doesn't register with a lot of people now just so happens. Chris Wallace is a real journalist who happens to be working for Fox News and is dead. Credible journalists, but the fact that it is Fox News takes away a lot of that argument from Trump that it was two against one as much as he likes to say. He was debating Chris Wallace as well. Although he was debating Chris Wells. Well, I was trying to enforce the rules a couple of other outcomes that I think are important. The first hour of the debate by Dre is 3.8 million in which is a fundraising record for a single hour according David pakman. I'll have a link over 3 hours to raise ten million and a hundred thousand people signed up to volunteer for Biden. I don't know trumps numbers. I think that that is they weren't announced that they weren't as a good. Well that was quite good. Another thing that I think came out of it is Biden shattered that whole sleepy Joe caricature that that Trump tried to create a new age, you know, ultimately this might swing a few thousand votes here and there I don't really know I don't have that Crystal Ball but in some states, that's all you need. Is that few thousand volts? Yep. It was also interesting that the Lincoln project within an hour of the debate was marketing a sweatshirt that had aviator sunglasses on it with the caption. Will you shut up man? What you mentioned home from the beginning the Biden campaign has taken on a totally different approach to campaigning showing full respect for covid-19. Safety precautions. It was on display in Grand Rapids on Friday when the former vice president met with a handful of supporters at a United Food and Commercial Workers Union Hall. That's the union that represents the bulk of employees at Michigan's two major food retailers Meyer and burger while touching on campaign themes of dealing with the virus and building the economy by made an unabashed pitch to working-class Americans continuing the contrast between his roots in a Park Avenue lifestyle of Donald Trump. I'm asked many times in recent years. How do we get to the place where people who stock our shelves pack our food teach our kids like wage Our family take care of my wife take care of our sick who race into burning buildings and pick up the garbage off our streets. Who did how do we get to the place where y'all don't think we should see you anymore or hear them most importantly respect them that has to change. I know it. Can I come from those neighborhoods? It was the second biting a pain event in 4 days in our state doctor, Joe Biden had a couple of events in the Traverse City area. She was hosted by Pete buttigieg husband chest and he's a native of the Traverse City area. She talked about an issue of critical importance to Northern Michigan, especially the areas Cherry industry and tourism that's climate change many small businesses and farms and farmers are having Problems because of climate change and it's unbelievable that we have a president who just won't admit that climate change even exists, you know, the exact dates. We've gone now probably 25 minutes into the Pod and we haven't said anything about the fact that the western part of our country is burning down because of climate change. There's too much it's it's off roaming, you know, but as she was saying that that you know president won't admit that it exists. I I had a mental image of like a big Glacier just breaking off and landing on Donald Trump yard at least 20 Mara Lago. But yeah, you think about it in a normal year. Not that I'm sure would a normal years anymore. The biggest story of the year would be the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington, but that's like it's an afterthought even though now I think the death toll up there's up to 35. The losses are in the God knows how many billions of dead. Hours and millions of Acres. It's a frightening Story. The planet is literally burning up and here we are talking about Donald Trump being in the hospital, you know, it's because election day is so close. I think that there is a lot of anxiety going into this election anyway, and now here he is in the hospital about to screw this up for us because we wanted to beat him so badly, how could anyone not stranded? How can anyone be undecided right now undecided they're not undecided they just don't want to make a decision against someone who you know, look at Travis and Nicole Arizona these guys were you know, one of those post-debate questions, they're like, you know, he said that about the proud boys, but I don't really think he's a racist. I just can't tell and they remind me of those people who are never going to make a decision until the last minute they vote for Trump because it's a secret they're not undecided. They just don't want to admit that their garbage people who like pigs. garbage candidate . You just have to dismiss them. I I just know you're not undecided you just want attention by saying I'm undecided. Okay, let's talk about the election and where people do you have to make a decision that wage. Well election day is now just four weeks away early voting has been underway in Michigan for a week with more than two point five million absentee ballots already issued. It will be a record vote by email a major challenge for City and Township Clerk's across the state responsibility for answering that challenge ultimately falls on Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson who joins us for an update on a reparations for an election unlike any other secretary bentsen, you've had a tremendous challenge in the Risen to that challenge with an unusual election starting with the absentee ballots. Totally unprecedented. Are you and the local clerks ready for the volume that you already sing? Yes, I'm I'm really proud that so many citizens have stepped up to embrace their right to vote by mail this year and more importantly that so many of our clerks all across the state have risen to the challenge meet this extraordinary demand was just reviewing the numbers and compared to 2016, you know ballot requests or of 350% Statewide and clerks have already delivered a hundred percent more balanced than they had done in processed in in 2016. So, you know to me one of the the really untold stories this year is how are fifteen hundred and twenty clerks all across the state have stepped up under extraordinary circumstances met every Challenge from their way and our democracy is better for it something that surprised me when my ballot arrived in the mail. I also got an email from a local clerk with a tracking on it for my ballot. I could see it from the time. He dropped it at the post office and I can follow it right through to the point where they get it back to counted. Well, yeah that tracking system is important phone number. States all across the country this year have implemented it. We have partnered with an organization called ballot Scout and you can go to michigan.gov enter your information and track your ballot and see your request to have it sent to you has been received whether your valid itself has been sent to you. And once you return it, it'll Mark when it's received so that can give you the peace of mind that your valid has been received on time and will be counted and my own novel up Ford had a business reply stamp on it. So I didn't even have to pay for the postage. Although I used to drop box myself against something new that you have initiated. Yes. In fact to me the silver lining of 2920 is that citizens have options they have options on how to register to vote how to get their ballot and how to return their ballot and really my focus has just been on making sure those options are available to Citizens universally and non-citizens know as clearly as possible what they are so that they can choose the best one for themselves. You've made it very clear that we're not going to know the final numbers on Election night, or we're not going to know on Wednesday. Probably Thursday. Either you've got two of your predecessors now along with the president basically questioning how long we should be counting votes. What what's your response to them? Certainly anyone who had once held this office might know that it takes a little bit more than 12 hours to count three million absentee ballots, which is the number that we're seeing this year. But you know in reflection upon the birth marks that that they and others have made I've realized that this truly is a new time for democracy and a new day for democracy in Michigan is I said in my inauguration speech it's a time where voters have more options than ever before voters options that did not exist in Prior administrations. And so I understand if they're not aware of what these new challenges mean for us and the Ark works at the local level, but the bottom line is where I work for the voters and I'm working to bring the best ideas and bipartisan solutions to Michigan to ensure that citizens can get their ballots on time have they have the clarity of how to return them and the phone number? She wants their ballot is counted that their vote will be counted and their voice heard. I think the president made it pretty clear that you're going to be in court after the election with challenges to whatever it is that you come up with. You wouldn't say I can say you're one of the nation's leading experts on election-law. You've got the access to Dana nessel and the entire department of law under the Attorney General. Are you confident that you can make Michigan number stand-up? I'm confident that I can ensure every vote will count and every voice will be heard and that's really my job. We know this isn't a year. We're particularly in States like ours there will be extraordinary pressure achoo to buy into myths of misinformation that are designed to sow seeds of Doubt among our voters about the Integrity of their vote. We know a lot of people will be voting by mail for the first time and that creates a lot of changes both in how citizens vote and how results are tabulated and reported but I've been very transparent and upfront with all of our citizens about what those changes mean. And again, we're not the Omni. State experiencing this right now and so citizens can see that we are in track and on track with what has happening in Iowa and Minnesota in Arizona and Pennsylvania and so many other states and so it's it's real a mark of this historic moment that we're in that there is so much attention on our state and you know, people are being very litigious and making sure that every I is dotted and every T is crossed off but I'm confident that you know importantly you mentioned things that I'm doing. All I'm doing is just activating the will of the voters and I'm confident that when they voted overwhelmingly to create a right to vote by mail in our state in 2015 and gave my office the responsibility to to make that right or reality that we've done everything that we can and the best practices would indicate are needed to make that right come to fruition for all of our citizens regardless of who they vote for and now it's up to the voters to make sure they take advantage of those options and exercise them to have their voices heard and their votes counted this fall even if you and your elections dead. And are dealing with the most challenging election probably in the history of the state. You got a couple other little minor issues going on to you've got to petition drives about the dump a total of nearly 1 million signatures on them have to be verified. One of them will probably end up in court the other one not very controversial in terms of opposition. What's the timeline for the signatures you receive from unlocked Michigan Thursday well as from fair and equal, Michigan Oh, we were referred citizens to the Bureau of Elections for all delivering of petitions and initiatives and we treat everyone the same. Yeah, and no matter what the subject matter of the petition or the purpose behind life or the number of signatures or anything like that. All of that goes through the Professionals of the Bureau of Elections. Another also is an attorney general investigation into one of those petitions, which we are mindful of and you know, there's always the possibility the Attorney General may find or instruct us to do something but beyond that we're treating this petition and all petitions like any other it takes on average just over a hundred days for our Bureau of Elections professionals to review and signatures and they actually just do a sampling they don't do the whole lot which we take much longer. So we've been very up-front about that. We realize that this is a hyper political time and and and everyone is is very anxious thoughts about a number of things but I think that's when we have to ensure we stay the course and do you know what we would have always done and also recognize that these petition signatures for both petitions are coming into our birth. A few dozen professionals that the Bureau of Elections at the same time. They're managing this really momentous presidential election with mortar now than ever before in our state. So they've got their hands full but I fully trust in them and expect they will they will work through these signatures as they do it in any other petition and they'll you know deliver the results of the State Board of canvassers and any recommendations from that when they when they are most able to do it and just to fill up their spare time, you're basically inventing the redistricting commission that was created in Broad Strokes by the Constitutional Amendment, but it's never been done before no precedent. So every day is a new day for that commission truly and you know, I'm so glad you brought that up cuz I'm so proud of how our office has really met the the goals that citizens again gauge. These are all just you know jobs that the citizens elected me to do in amending our state constitution to create an independent citizens redistricting commission and in doing so we're you know, it's so gross. Trying to see close to 10,000 citizens applied from all across the state every single County and now the Thirteen Commissioners that were selected each and every one of them is truly committed to the mission and goals of those millions of Voters who amended their state constitution to create this Commission of making sure that the districts are drawn in a way that's independent that is transparent and that the entire process home has Inlet. Yeah, as one of those who started that petition drive a long time ago. I've been talking with with some of my friends from their people like Katie Faye and Nancy. Whang and the thing that we appreciate is the great job. Your department has done in implementing the amendment. Oh, it's been an honor. I mean and it's also just you know, my my background is I'm an educator. I'm an academic. I'm a law professor Arthur dean of Alaska like that's where I'm coming from here. I don't know. I've not held political office before I'm just focused on what are Best Practices. What are the data? And and how do we make the best decisions possible for anything? Particular thing that comes my way and having had background in citizens redistricting work and knowing what happened in California. I I knew both, you know who to talk to and and how to operate them in a way that would meet the at least, you know mimicked the best practices that have already been in place in other states and they'll tell you it's been it's been quite an interesting few years in Lansing kind of approaching my job as a policymaker and as they you know administrator as opposed to a political actor and and I think that's also why you're seeing you know us try to do our jobs right now in the midst of this extraordinary political Maelstrom that were in the middle of you've also made a conscious decision, you are not a part of the partisan campaigning that is going on right now unlike the governor lieutenant governor and attorney general you are the elections officer and that's the way you're playing it. Yeah. It's my job. I mean, you know, I I certainly ran as a Democrat and I'm a Democrat because with the party of the Voting Rights Act the party that song And the past this extraordinary Federal legislation that ensured one-person-one-vote and equal protection applied to every voter but you know beyond that my job is to make sure every voter can vote in every voter has stayed the same process regardless of who they vote for and so my goal to just play it straight down the middle is you know, it's it's important to continue doing that and and and maintained in partiality in order for assistance to know that no matter who they are or where they live or what who they vote for that. They're both get account one last question and that is for people have questions about voting whether it's by mail or it's in person or anything else. Where do they go? Michigan.gov that is your lifeline your portal to all that you need to know from your clerk's office location to your dropbox location to your to where to register to vote in a request your valid email to you or any just questions you have about voting and I'll also add we set up other website michigan.gov election security where citizens go can go for information to confirm the security of our elections and get information on all that. We're doing the secure their vote Jocelyn Benson was a pleasure. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. 3 to pull that infections is continuing to climb in Michigan. The 7-Day rolling average has gone from a low of Thirty One in mid-june up to 994 last week the new daily reported cases Rose 12.6% and the new daily reported deaths Rose 20% covid-19 and hospitalizations Rosie 37.6% and among the reported test. The positivity rate was 3% and as we've already discussed that seems like the perfect time to take away the governor's emergency powers to act wage to protect us from the virus, even though Michigan's doing among the better States and performance. We are surrounded by states that are having real big problems right now. Wisconsin's rates have gone up drastically Indiana is now wide open again. They've gotten rid of everything including the mask mandate in Indiana. The bars are a hundred percent of the restaurants are a hundred percent. That really concerns me, Ohio even though wow. The governor there Mike dewine, is that a really good job. He's under tremendous political pressure to open that stayed up prematurely and now Michigan is going to be under a lot of pressure cuz we've got Mike Shirkey especially the Senate Majority Leader who's just decided that a few extra deaths is worth it. If it means we can help our economy along. Well some good news and additional twenty weeks of unemployment benefits are now possible for laid off workers who qualified for benefits through our regular unemployment insurance is going to make a difference people can collect now up to fifty nine weeks in many cases on unemployment. The benefits are not massive will at least help a little bit for the many people who can't find work a lot of people the unemployment remains high but the impact is really very uneven people in lower-paying jobs are the ones that are really being impacted especially in the industry that has been devastated Food Service, both restaurants and Convention centers polyguard years the business editor of bridge Magazine on log. And she has taken a closer. Look at how the industry is responding Paul. It seems to me that the one set in summary of your article is dining out. It's never going to be the same in Michigan. Yeah, that's very possible a lot of changes during the summer. It's been possible for a lot of restaurants to have patio seating. A lot of people are like me they won't go inside but the patios worked out well packages are no longer an option in the state of Michigan for the next few months. How are these restaurants going to be able to respond? They're trying to figure that out right now. I've seen a few communities actually extend the month or seating that they expanded during the summer, but that's kind of aspirational in many in many ways. I don't think that there are many restaurants out there who can go out in the 4th. I don't think there are many restaurants out there who can afford to just go out and buy a lot of new equipment like Space Invaders or set up enclosed patios or come up with other ways of investing into doing outdoor dining during Michigan's winter much less fall. Yeah, it seems like there's two worlds when it comes to the retail restaurant business. I be getting at my email a lot of promotions from the big chains off offering all sorts of deals to induce me to come in but somebody who owns the diner down the street, they simply don't have the capital to invest either in their building or to invest in marketing like that. They going to disappear off it's something we have to worry about. I live in Ann Arbor and we've actually seen lots of chains close particularly in the room communities around the city where they said over on the highways around the office corridors and I think a lot of people I see a lot of people supporting the local restaurants and really thinking about them in a different way, but we have to worry about them. They're facing all sorts of challenges. And it's not just things like capacity. I saw a bagel maker this morning warned about increased costs for supplies. So she's raising prices and she's apologizing to her customers off, which I think is completely unnecessary given how much you know, we love and want them to be able to stand business one of the areas that you focus on a lot of your article is when we don't think about a lot what we think of our restaurants and that's the convention business which relies heavily on large volumes and large volume just isn't a possibility. What are the Resort's telling you the large banquet centers, they're struggling, you know, I think they are a hidden part of the industry. But when you consider a downtown Grand Rapids, which is the second largest Convention Center in Michigan and you consider the choice of restaurants there and the Vitality that they bring to the streets of downtown Grand Rapids and the way they give that sense of sense of prosperity to a town There's activity and then wage Tivity begets more activity and it's just an exciting place to be and that's fueled in large part with the big hotels and the convention center will bring in people to the town so long that's outside money that supporting it too which is also important for a community but like we wouldn't have what we have in downtown Detroit or downtown Grand Rapids or other Big Sisters without the convention business. You've talked a lot with the industry leaders their Association leaders. What are some of the things they're suggesting to at least give their members a chance of survival? Well, everybody comes to capacity but they understand that that depends on a lot of consumer confidence, you know, are we ready to go back inside would it matter if we went to a hundred percent capacity for a typical restaurant would it matter if we let a traditional bar open if people don't actually want to be inside so there's that tension there with just a Winslow of Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association suggests and other people are supporting it is worth Banding the opening becomes a little more aspirational and that the rest of us become a part of that that there are actually more transparent regulations or more transparent goals for the state to New York City and you know, he would like to see that how highly publicized he'd like the public to buy into it to kind of consider the role of you know, we're closed if I go out without a mask that might endanger it or you know, we're five days away from being able to open let's keep going. Let's do a good job with this. He thinks that would make a difference. This is part of a larger infrastructure too. Of course your your life in Ann Arbor college football's gone, even though they're playing it's not the college football we're used to here in Lansing. We've got the same problem and they were generating huge numbers of people for Thursday. It's for the hotels do they think that the refunding of the Pure Michigan advertising is going to help at least generate some traffic. They think it's going to help generate some but they basically missed the whole summer c e Of trying to get more going and summer was a terrible. There's a lot of activity in a lot of areas in Michigan, but it's obviously dying off right now the college towns kept things going in the fall in a traditional sense, but that's not happening this year either as you know, with with football parents weekends are being canceled. So like every college town is going to feel it and then the big football communities were taking millions and millions. So that was the bridge between a summer season and the holidays and then things typically drop off in January after all of that this year who knows what it's going to look like a while there be big Christmas gatherings in restaurants, possibly, not January always terrible February, you know, they have to stretch it out to Spring and at that point where a year into this and they've had to really compromise for a long time for all of the best illustration of the overall problem is represented by Disney just this week. They've laid off twenty nine thousand people in their businesses in New Jersey. Specifically in their theme parks, yeah, that's enormous Florida gets a lot of flak for the pace of its reopening and I think a lot of it is deserved. I think it's not projected as a thought-out plan in many respects. But when you think about what's happening at a place like Disney, which is a Statewide economic generator, like most of us don't even have in other states and that's that's that's a lot of people that's a lot of people out of work. It's a lot of money that's not flowing in that state did the PPP program just delay the problem or we about now to see a huge crash in the hospitality industry because that money's run out. I'm not sure if crash is the right word, but I am hearing the payroll is inflated so places that are operating at lower capacity. Everything was you know, as good as it's going to get in the summer. It's not going to get any better this fall in terms of volume. So they don't need the people that they've had over the summer and they may have been operating with a few extra people that song. Truly didn't need because they had the PPP access so we could be seeing another wave of layoffs. Only Gardner from bridge magazine the business watch editor. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you off outdoor lovers for Biden. It's a saying which includes several prominent Republicans one of them Bill rustem who served as a senior policy adviser to both Governor William Milliken and Governor Rick Snyder. Well sports event and sports women for Biden is National Organization out to get people to vote vote for Joe Biden for president. It's it's a group of people both Republicans and Democrats who have decided that we just can't take it anymore that they're been enough attacks on our hunting and fishing Heritage both in terms of protection of the habitat that has got to be there if you're going to hunt or fish and in terms of Public Access that wage We just would much rather see Joe Biden as president than the the then Donald Trump you personally in your distinguished career. Probably the Highlight was still the boss. You spent working for. Governor Bill Milliken. The thing that occurs to me is that Milliken and Biden on a personal level seem very similar. Yeah, I I think they are they're they're they're moderates there. Ugh tempered. They're not they don't shout. They they try to reach compromises with people and not not bullying people and that's that's an important important part of democracy. You know, there was there's an empathy Factor there too with both of them. No question. No question. The governor governor Milliken couldn't empathize with with about anyone and Joe Biden has that characteristic as well as you look across the nation. I know y'all ever remember in our long lives this number of people crossing over you probably would have to go back to nineteen sixty-four when Barry Goldwater was the Republican nomination see a lot of Republicans across over to the Democrats and even then it wasn't as big as it is now. I think there are a lot of traditional Republicans who are not complications. And like me I continue to say I'm a republican but I can't abide by his policies and some of the most important are those related to happen. I mean, this is an Administration that is proposed opening America's Coastal Waters to All American cultural except for Florida where marolargo happens to sit two oil and gas they've permitted the use of seismic guns for exploration and the ocean that Farms marine life and fish. They've they've his his administration in their in their budget has first they zeroed out and then they took 90% away the Great Lakes restoration and it should have in each of the first three budgets. Had to be restored by by the by the work of Debbie stabenow and Gary Peters and Fred Upton and and others he he just just have to see if they have any Affinity or interest in the outdoor Heritage that Teddy Roosevelt's really helped create in America Teddy Roosevelt, of course was a republican. He was a Republican and he said that the nation Really? Behaves well, if it if it treats its natural resources as something to be enhanced and not destroyed and that's one thing that I don't think Donald Trump understands. We are going to be handing a natural resource-based globally and in America because it is not interest in science is non-belief inside job in a much worse place than we grew up in Walt you spearheaded on behalf of Governor Milliken probably the most significant environmental initiative in the home of the state the bottle bill which has been a huge success for what forty-five years now since you since you passed that and it's worked it's worked. Yeah, you know you listen to science you don't listen to science and you do so at your own Peril and I think we're seeing that across the globe in America. If we don't protect these natural resources those birth attached for fish for wildlife for songbirds Those are the things that sustain us we have to have clean water. We have to have clean air. We have to have healthy forests that absorb the carbon dioxide without breaking them going to happen without reading a man. I haven't raped mine in a while. I don't I probably ought to get out and do that stuff and I guess but we have to do that and we are neglecting all Thursday. We're going to hand our children huge problems. You also of course worked for Governor Snyder. Were you surprised when he came out for Joe Biden? I was not yet because he didn't didn't support Trump when Trump ran the first time he was a supporter of John Kasich and I don't think he liked Trump's demeanor and certainly his demeanor in the presidency had to me has gotten worse and he he believes like Milliken did that you bring people together to try to work through problems and not shout at people and try to bully people into positions. And as we saw in a debate try to just shout them down without without giving people an opportunity to discuss things aside, her didn't like doesn't like that kind of of activity doesn't believe it has a place in in a healthy democracy still Russia. Thanks so much for joining us on the Pod. Yeah glad to be here. Well, Attorney general Dana nessel has dropped the hammer a couple of right-wing political operatives responsible for 12,000 robocalls into Detroit. They were designed to discourage African-Americans from voting the to face multiple felony charges that could put them in prison for more than 20 years. What I thought about for a long time is what is the point of having all these laws on the books in regard to voter suppression voter intimidation threats against voters if we never actually enforce them and what we know about 2016 is that Trump didn't win because of the people who voted for him in Michigan he won because of the people who didn't vote at all and that is what I think these folks are trying to accomplish trying to suppress the vote and scare people into not voting off during the course of a global pandemic and we're not having it in this state the Michigan campaign Finance network is projecting a record one hundred million dollars will be spent on Michigan's US Senate wrong. This year the bitter battle between Senator Gary Peters and Challenger. John James has evolved into a series of high-priced attack ads Larry Sabato touched on the Senate campaign during his virtual wage to MSU and said that Gary Peters biggest problem is that he's not your typical senatorial publicity Hound. I wouldn't want to call in a comment Senator invisible, but he's clearly not as visible as many Senate candidates are around the country or even in the Senate not that there's anything wrong with being low key when you have a hundred very large egos in the Senate. It's nice to have somebody who doesn't insist on the spotlight every hour on the hour. But Gary Peters poll ratings are weaker than you might expect an incumbent Democrat to be though. He's ahead ahead in the polling averages. He's a head in the the gold-plated polls that I rely on a great deal. So it's still probable that he will win. Especially if Joe Biden carries, Michigan as he shoved, Currently favored to do. I thought it was a 15 to sabotage said that with the Peters James raised one of the things that makes it so interesting for him. Is there so very few Republican pick up opportunities that the money is flooding in to help John James just because they got nowhere else to put it the Alabama race is pretty well a a done deal for Tommy tuberville. The former football coach who was running against Senator Doug Jones and everywhere else there on defense and not doing very well. Meanwhile John James just got another campaign Finance violation claim against him. But on the plus side is McConnell Super PAC just sent him in nine million bucks to help him in the campaign in the closing days of the campaign. But again, it may be too late because the the Voting is off already so far so deeply underway. The other thing too is when when super Pacs spend money on T the advertising cost them more money per minute than it does for a job. Themself because of FCC regulations the TV stations basically have to give candidate committees. They're very biggest discount for advertising. It's called lowest unit rate. Whereas the super Pacs life. I remember from my days in broadcasting. We used to take the independent committees. They we would get as much money out of them as we could squeeze because there were no limits on how much we could charge them. So they may only get one third or a quarter of the airtime for the same dollar. Yeah. I saw that the Michigan Republican party was trying to spend all this Super PAC money as you know momentum for John James. I don't really think that's wrong. You measure momentum. Certainly John James is getting more out of this race than you would without that support. But I want to link to some sources and I'm going to write up some tweets and stuff. But I just want to point out that Gary Peters is like Larry said Gary is not a flashy guy out trying to get attention. If you look at the 2019 gov track record for Gary Peters how many bills wage? Sponsored that have actually made it through committee that have had influential and bipartisan co-sponsors and that have had companion bills in the house. He's missed zero on a four hundred thousand votes zero. He's out there just doing his job. So these people will say like the Republicans are trying to paint him as being invisible. He's not invisible. He's working his record backs it up and I'm going to put these sources in the show notes. But yeah, he's not out there showing off, you know standing next to props from his gig as Lieutenant Commander In The Navy he's just doing the work that he was hired to do and John James is always standing next to a helicopter or behind a missile or in his Logistics business next to a bunch of shipping crates wage. Yeah, he's not saying a whole heck of a lot. In fact, I mentioned the campaign Finance violations. This has been his response so far to the latest complaint about campaign Finance violations, There is some good news though will actually talk about governing for a second somehow some way the governor and the legislature have come together on a new budget for the fiscal year that started October 1st. It was remarkably Cooperative with the legislative leadership and the governor working together, especially given the fact that they don't have a lot of money to work with but they haven't been hurt as bad by the pandemic as they thought they might be we could talk about in the budget but quite honestly, I think we could confuse folks or something. You've got to look at. So let's just link to that in the the notes on the the website. It does though fund the got some of the governors priority just more money for roads in there. There's more money in there for K-12 education and there is money for reinvestment into the water infrastructure. So that we we have fewer Flint's in the future. We have fewer incidents in the future. I give props to both sides for coming up with a budget that actually kind of makes sense like we it has over 40 billion dollars in federal assistance in this in this budget job. Which helped us to keep k12 and local Revenue sharing and Tech and like you said, we got a pretty decent budget out of it. And what happened Mike Shirkey was a complete douche in a right to Twitter and said this shows what we can get done when we work together as our founding fathers intended, you know, he's obviously taken this shot over, you know, the governor's use of her emergency powers and just want to point this out that unless the founding fathers intended for us to get screwed over by one major party. That is not what the founding fathers intended. The Republicans have done. Nothing to help with us. It was the Republicans who stood up and said that Democratic Governors shouldn't get federal aid because it's a blue State bailout because you know, I didn't run our budgets the way they wanted us to and it was the Republicans that screwed up the pandemic response. It was the Republicans. It was Trump in particular who said he he was home. Threatened our funding over absentee ballots and mail and a boating and he didn't fund our national guard for a pandemic response and shirking only Chatfield are thick as thieves with these people. So often a partisanship is not a case of them being a good partner. So we've we got what was probably the best budget we could get out of this but when we look at something like the budget and we think her a bipartisanship and and he calls it, you know, something that the founding fathers intended it's not it's not we're in this mess. We only got out of this this year because of all that Federal money that they opposed every step of the way. Yeah, he's also double speak when it comes to cooperation between the legislative branch and the executive branch. He didn't seem to have any problem at all. When the Trump Administration ignored every subpoena that came out of Congress or the President issued executive orders on virtually everything. It's it's a birth To go fighting. All right time for the attack ad of the week. As always. We've got a tough competition runner-up goes to the Lincoln project for an Internet Ad narrated by the hero of the Hudson Captain Chesley Sully sullenberger leadership is not just about sitting in the Pilot's seat. It's about knowing what you're doing and taking responsibility for it being prepared ready and able to handle anything that might come your way. I've been flying over this country for 53 years fifty-three years of Lights, you'd never heard of life and one that you've heard everything about the only Miracle on the Hudson everyone on board 155 people make it out alive. My whole life prepared me that moment from my father a naval officer in World War Two. I learned the awesome responsibilities of command from my services an Air Force officer in a fighter pilot. I knew that serving a cause rather than one job. Is the highest color and it's in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us. So miserably now it's up to us to overcome. His attacks are very democracy knowing nearly a quarter of a million Americans won't have a voice casualties of his lethal lies and incompetence eleven years ago. I was called To My Moment song. Now, we are all called to this moment. When you look down at our beautiful boundless country. You don't see a political divisions. It reminds us of who we are and what we can be off that we are in control of this nation's Destiny. All we have to do is vote him out votevets in the Lincoln project are responsible for the content of this advertising found our winner for this week the Midas touch which responded almost immediately to the president's infection with covid-19. It's called Trump's lies have consequences. I think wearing a phone number Basque I don't know somehow I don't see it for myself the second. Can you take it off because I cannot hear I'll just speak louder sir. This guy could you want to be politically correct? Go ahead. No, sir. I just want to wear the mask off virtually. Nobody. It's a it's an amazing thing. I don't wear masks like him every time you see him. He's got a mess. He could be speaking to hundred feet away from it. He shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen is a president of the United States now confirming to the world that he and the first lady of the United States have both tested positive for the coronavirus and they will quarantine song. It is what it is. And that's a wrap for this week's pandemic pod head on over to our website Michigan policastro, I'll have links and tweets and stuff that you can use to get a bank check us or share No hospital reports Uno Chicago medical reports vaccines coupons. They get some hydroxychloroquine, whatever you can email us at Mi polycast at gmail.com or reach out through the emission calling cache page on Facebook run Club app avoid crowds maintain social distancing mask up and stay safe back in Michigan polycast was a production of Michigan citizens for a better tomorrow.