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He referenced some of the partisan machinations between Mr. Bolger and the House Democrats and then said he was embarrassed that Republicans were leading the fight on auto insurance "to injure the most vulnerable in society. Then the questions veered back to no-fault for a bit. But in my mind, Mr. Patterson had lobbed a big piece of chum into the water with his dig at Mr. He was obviously fuming about more than some silliness about the committee assignment shenanigans he referenced.
You said earlier you weren't sure he was running the House very well. What would you suggest he do differently? Even by Mr. Patterson's standards, this was pretty staggering. Comparing the speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives to one of the worst people in the history of the human race, Adolf Hitler, by calling him "Adolf Bolger" and then throwing in a wry, "I think sometimes Adolf steps a little bit to the fringe" to boot. If you watch the full HD clip you can see my eyebrows shoot up.
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You can see Chris Christoff, then with Bloomberg News, buckle with laughter. Skubick, true to form, is totally unfazed and dutifully begins writing notes on his legal pad. We pressed Mr. Patterson to justify how he could make such a comparison and he went off about how his people didn't get to testify at the Insurance Committee the chair of the committee, then-Rep.
Pete Lund, would later insist he wasn't sticking it to Mr. Then Skubick tells Mr. Patterson he's likely to get a phone call from Mr.
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Bolger or Mr. Bolger's staff about the "Adolf Bolger" comment and asks him what he would say to them. That's when everything started to go into slow motion. Patterson reached into his left jacket pocket, pulled out a black comb and held it over his upper lip to impersonate a Hitler moustache and said, "Mr. This was a huge news story. Patterson, a legend in Michigan Republican politics and powerhouse in southeast Michigan, had slurred Mr.
Bolger, a rising star in Michigan Republican politics, in the worst way possible. And yet, we all had to regroup because now it was time to do the reporter panel. And Chad, Chris and I all wanted to get the heck out of there because we needed to write up stories to post for our readers now, immediately, if not sooner.
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Patterson said on the show. The show records at 8 a. Patterson said without having to wait for it to be posted to the WKAR website sometime in the afternoon. Now while the four of us had to pontificate on Mr. Patterson's explosive comments, Kathy could get her story written and posted before the rest of us.
This was not lost on Chad from the rival News, who said as we were resetting to record the reporter panel segment something to Kathy along the lines of have fun breaking this one.
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When we were done recording, I think I sprinted back to my car in the parking garage next to the Communications, Arts and Sciences building on the Michigan State University campus where the "Off the Record" studio is located. It's a pretty short drive from there to downtown Lansing, but I frantically called the Gongwer offices in hopes of dictating a story. Then I realized I was going to have to listen to my recording of exactly what Mr.
Patterson said. Then I realized I needed to call Mr. Bolger's press office for reaction. Whoever took the call was likely totally bewildered and thought I probably needed to lay off the Mountain Dew. Ari Adler was Mr. Bolger's communications director at the time. I asked him today what he remembered of that day. I ended up on the phone for a while with our team talking about the best way to handle a response or whether there should be one at all.
The thing was even though Mr. Patterson's antics seemed funny, comparisons of almost anyone to Hitler are completely out of bounds and insulting not only to the target but also to the millions Hitler had murdered. Hitler's entire agenda was geared toward the eradication of Jews, and he murdered 6 million of them along with others he deemed a threat to his master race.
Kathy and Chad were kind enough to share some recollections with me today. Kathy recalled I had forgotten this that a number of students also were in the studio watching the recording of the show. And they proved critical to her not missing a key moment. But by the time I got off the phone with him, the Free Press had blasted its story," he said. So memorable was the event that Chad said he "had the 'Adolf' front page headline pinned to a bulletin board over my desk until the day I left The News in December Transcribing the audio from my primitive digital recorder took an eternity, it felt like.
I tweeted something at a. Then I got my story posted a few minutes later for Gongwer subscribers. Then a three-hour wait ensued for WKAR to post the video, and I'm confident there has never been a more anticipated "Off the Record" episode in my time covering the Capitol. And it was quite the story for the next week until Mr. Patterson finally apologized to Mr. Bolger, saying he didn't want the controversy to distract from the merits of the auto insurance debate. Posted: August 5, AM. Gongwer News Service announced Monday the promotion of longtime staff writer Alethia Kasben to deputy editor.
Kasben's new position means taking on a leadership role at Gongwer, contributing to assigning coverage to staff, editing stories and determining story placement as well as generally planning strategy for the company. Kasben will continue to cover the Michigan House of Representatives, which has been her reporting beat since she joined Gongwer in She also will continue to cover the medical and recreational marijuana industries in the state. A native of Detroit and Hazel Park, Ms.
Kasben is a Michigan State University alumna. She interned with Gongwer in In her time at Gongwer, Ms.
Kasben has broken several major stories: investigating sexual harassment at the Capitol, revealing that relatively few eligible to regain their driver's licenses after the end of driver's responsibility fees had applied and breaking several stories out of the House on road funding, teacher pensions, leadership races and the shelving of controversial campaign finance bills in the lame-duck session last year. Kasben also has unmatched expertise in the covering of House elections and has traveled to Monroe, Portage, Mount Pleasant, Plainwell, Lapeer and too many Oakland and Macomb County suburbs to count to interview candidates and follow them as they go door to door.
Posted: July 30, PM. Welcome, political world to Michigan, hours before 20 Democratic presidential candidates debate on national television over the next two nights. By now, the overarching national narrative about Michigan's critical role in deciding the presidential election between President Donald Trump and the eventual Democratic nominee goes something like this:.
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Also, Shinola. Also, the Packard Plant. Also, the Lions. The reality is that the outcome in Michigan will be far more complex than what happens in Macomb County. Yes, the swing of 64, votes in Macomb between the victory margin in of President Barack Obama and the victory margin in of Mr. Trump was decisive in Michigan, which Mr. Trump won by 10, votes. I'm not disputing the importance of Macomb.
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It is, of course, huge. But when you have an election that close, many factors are decisive, not just the fabled Reagan Democrats in Macomb.