IT'S (NOT) MY PARTY
The president and Republican candidates aren't crying over Congressman Justin Amash's (I-Grand Rapids) dramatic exit from the Grand Old Party via an op-ed column in The Washington Post on Independence Day. Amash, the only (now former) Republican to call for impeachment proceedings against President Trump, announced his departure from the Republican Party due to his disenchantment with the current two-party system. Writing that the current mind-set of the political class is "loyalty to party is more important than serving the American people or protecting our governing institutions," Amash said "modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral" with the escape involving his leaving the party to run as an independent for the state's 3rd congressional district. The column ran the day after Peter Meijer (of the Meijer grocery family) announced he was running for Amash's seat. Meijer joins three other Republicans – state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (Grand Rapids Township), state Rep. Jim Lower (Greenville) and Tom Norton, a former Sand Lake Village trustee; and three Democrats – immigration attorney Hillary Scholten, attorney Nick Colvin and Doug Booth – who are running in the conservative district, which includes Grand Rapids, and all or part of Kent, Ionia, Barry, Calhoun and Mountcalm counties. Trump on July 4 celebrated Amash's new independence, referring to the incumbent as "one of the dumbest and most disloyal" men in Congress, and labeling Amash as "a total loser." Amash said he's not into name calling. Round one: Amash.