Michigan gubernatorial candidates gathered for the first time at forum in Lansing

Michigan gubernatorial candidates gathered for the first time at forum in Lansing

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Michigan gubernatorial candidates, from left to right: Patrick Colbeck (R), Jim Hines (R), Gretchen Whitmer (D), Bill Schuette (R), Shri Thanedar (D), Abdul El-Sayed (D) and Brian Calley (R). (Tatiana Diaz/The Collegiate)

Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates appeared together for the first time at the Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Thursday at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

The forum was moderated by Kyle Melinn, news editor and co-owner of MIRS (Michigan Information & Research Service, Inc.), a news organization covering Michigan’s state government based in Lansing, MI.

Among the candidates present were Dr. Jim Hines (R), Senator Patrick Colbeck (R), Gretchen Whitmer (D), Attorney General Bill Schuette (R), Shri Thanedar (D), Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley (R) and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (D). The forum began with each candidate presenting the members of the press in attendance their reasons for running for the gubernatorial position on Nov. 6. A detailed list of the candidates and their positions can be found on Michigan’s Secretary of State website.

Thursday’s forum marked the first time all candidates sat together to talk about the issues they intend to resolve if elected Governor of Michigan.

Melinn pressed the candidates on the media’s representation of President Donald Trump, transparency in tax disclosure and more.

The forum got heated after Melinn asked whether candidates at the state level should be required to file a public disclosure form to release their income tax information. Candidate Brian Calley addressed Attorney General Bill Schuette about his conflicting take on the issue when asked his views on the matter.

“I do, and not only have I released my tax return but I didn’t need a federal form,” Calley said. “I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy here. Why put out a tax return and not a federal form? Why do you have to wait for a law to pass? What is that is being hidden? What we have heard… Bill Schuette cannot put out a financial disclosure form because he’s put all his assets into a loan trust. That’s been the story, but it appears as though he has been directing the purchase and transfer of millions of dollars in offshore assets while attorney general. I don’t really care what assets show up on the form, but if you’re going to propose, if you’re going to say in your transparency form, you’re going to make this the center, a platform, of your campaign and then not comply with your own plan, we have to ask why would that be.”

Schuette used his 30 seconds to respond to Calley’s accusations.

“Brian you go around the state… making false accusations,” Schuette said. “They’re not true. All my assets are in a blind trust. I comply with that fully. I’ve released my income taxes during the last seven years, and will do so again eight years as attorney general. You’re so desperate, you’re so behind there’s nothing you won’t do to try to make false accusations in the past just because your record is erasing taxes. You stood by Jennifer Granholm in Michigan business tax… you support Obamacare as I opposed Obamacare and went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and you renounced Trump. In the moment of truth you jumped ship. And so you’re trying to change the subject to false accusations. That’s pathetic.”

To watch a recording of the entire event, click here. The Michigan gubernatorial primary vote takes place on November 6.  

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