TIM SKUBICK: Knocking Lt. Gov Calley off the ticket

Senate GOP leader Randy Richardville, the former baseball player, is as competitive as they get. And he’s on a mission to do what others have failed to do: Make Gov. Rick Snyder swear.

“I’ve come close,” Rando advises as he relishes the thought of being the first.

Unfortunately the Tea Party may beat him to it.

If this governor swore, which he does not, he’d be tempted to cuss up a blue streak over the Tea Party. They and he disagree on everything from the bridge to Canada, senior citizen tax, new revenue for the roads, more recently the Medicaid expansion stuff and now this.

That element of the GOP is quietly discussing a DBC movement: Dump Brian Calley, the lt. governor.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

It’s far-fetched, but it’s real.

Recall in 2010 candidate Rick Snyder and his minions confidently waltzed into the GOP nominating convention with his hand-picked running mate and former lawmaker Brian Calley. The hoped for a brisk walk through the park en route to nominating him for the second spot on the ticket. It turned into a near mugging instead as the T.P. wanted somebody else and it appears not much has changed since then.

Calley dodged the bullet, but now the “establishment” in the party is thinking about re-giggering the party rules to offer some “protection” for Mr. Calley just in case they come at him again.

The party leaders met recently and the governor, speaking in Snyder-code, suggests they are talking about “continuing to improve the (nominating) process” which coincidently includes “how the lt. governor is nominated.”

Notice he didn’t confirm that they are trying to inoculate B.C. from the T.P., but you can read between the lines as well as the next guy.

A veteran party person was asked if this was going on? “Yes,” he admitted citing “more than one source” and sources this person “absolutely trusted.”

Yet another insider disagrees, “no one is gaming the system for Calley.”

Obviously they can’t both be right so the net was cast to find the truth.

“There is a movement afoot, but no solid names as yet,” came back one response.

And then somebody talked on camera.

Tea Partier Joan Fabiano, one of the signers of a letter revealing that she and other activists would remain neutral in the Snyder campaign, came forth.

Question: Do you want Mr. Calley off the ticket?

Answer: “I think there could be a better option.”

Question: Have there been discussions about removing Mr. Calley from the ticket?

Answer: “There’s been discussions about a conservative option.”

Question: Including removing him from the ticket?

Laughter and then answer: “Well, you could say that ...”


To be sure, it’s one thing to chat about bouncing the gov’s guy from the ticket, it’s quite another do actually do it, but at this read, it’s under consideration.

Mr. Governor was brought into the loop on the story and he confesses this is all news to him as he segues into a chorus of Stand By Your Man.

“Brian Calley is an outstanding lt. governor,” the song begins. “He’s done a tremendous job for the state and he’s been a great partner in reinventing Michigan.”

Translated if the Tea Party wants to rumble, the governor appears ready to battle for Mr. Calley, although, no one is predicting a floor fight just yet.

There will be plenty of time for that later on when the cussing really begins in earnest and if it gets really ugly, even the Nerd might join in. Sorry Randy.

Tim Skubick is Michigan’s Senior Capitol correspondent and has anchored the weekly public TV series Off the Record since 1972. He also covers the Capitol and politics for WLNS-TV6 in Lansing.