LEAD BY EXAMPLE
It’s not unusual for leaders from different branches of the government to disagree, especially when they’re from opposite parties. And it’s no secret that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Senate Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) have long been at odds, accentuated by Whitmer’s use of executive orders during the pandemic. Their squabbles have typically been in the open – until a recent legal filing by Democratic attorney Mark Brewer, alleging Shirkey has been quietly the central figure in Unlock Michigan’s campaign to repeal a 1945 law giving the governor executive powers. Unlock Michigan is a petition effort to repeal the law that previously allowed Whitmer to declare a state of emergency and keep the declaration in place without input from lawmakers; the Michigan Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional last October. Brewer stated in his filing that Unlock Michigan “was funded with dark money tied to Shirkey and managed by individuals connected to the Senate leader.” At the same time, Newsweek magazine reported that Shirkey was pictured with William Null, one of the armed militia members alleged to have wanted to kidnap and kill Whitmer on the social media site Parler.