"A candidate not paying their water bill wouldn't be the deciding issue in a race but certainly "doesn't look good," said John Sellek.
Since being appointed to the executive post in August, Coulter has played his cards pretty well, Sellek said, adding that his "governing honeymoon" is about over with the looming August primary election."
Oakland County executive pays outstanding water bills after one year
Michigan Chamber of Commerce's Bob Thomas discusses the key public policy battles of 2019, like Line 5 and road funding, and previews the key events of January 2020, like the 4th Annual Michigan Economic Forecast Forum.
Reviewing 2019's Policy Battles and Previewing 2020
"Once absentee data is in, candidates can pinpoint where the remaining voters might be located and invest in those areas heavily, said John Sellek, who owns the public relations firm Harbor Strategic. “It may not change the amount of activity in Michigan, but it may change who is being targeted,” Sellek said. “They’ll be using all of the massive amounts of data to make a scientific judgment of how a person voted.”
No-reason absentee voting could change 2020 Michigan campaigns
"Drivers and taxpayers are frustrated and skeptical of state leaders when it comes to the roads, increasing the need for transparency and simplicity in any new road funding deal to avoid "echoes of the failures of 2015," said John Sellek, who owns the public relations firm Harbor Strategic and worked as a campaign strategist for former Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette.
GOP leader Chatfield: Road plan should cut vehicle registration fee
"John Sellek, CEO of the Michigan based consulting business Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, said Trump is focused "like a laser on blue-collar, working-class people, including those who didn't vote in 2018 or aren't even registered."
"A visit to Toledo is another example of this, and it's a two-for-one by hitting media markets in both Michigan and Ohio," said Sellek, who's worked with Republicans. "It's a very efficient use of the candidate's time."
"John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, said, “This president has rewritten the rules on battling his opponents, so the last thing we should expect is him hiding out in the White House bowling alley during the impeachment process.”
Impeachment vote could pass while Trump campaigns in Michigan
"Gov. John ENGLER struggled through several attempts at solving his first campaign priority of cutting property taxes before ultimately doing so through a shift because the issue remained important to voters. The roads issue also remains hot so Gov. Whitmer will press forward, although I think we will see a multi-layered attempt, such as passing something through the legislature while also trying for something at the ballot. Regardless of the paths taken, they must be tested by talking to voters directly. If voters were polled on the first plan, their answers must have been completely ignored.”
"Michigan Chamber of Commerce VP Wendy Block says Congress should act soon to again suspend the Healthcare Insurance Tax so small businesses have more of an ability to provide health insurance, and more, for their employees."
"One of the most pressing healthcare issues today is known as “surprise medical billing.” This practice occurs when an insured patient sees an out-of-network provider, oftentimes without their knowledge"
Hadden: End surprise medical billing to protect our working families
"the main turning point was the 48-hour period from July 3rd to July 4th Amash quit the GOP and Peter Meijer entered the primary. At that point, support of the president was no longer an issue of dispute in the primary and the more traditional factors of geography, name ID and funding became key.”
GOP Closer To Backing 'Their Candidate' In MI-03 With Lower Exit
"In fact, it is West Michigan’s cultural conservatism that has held it closer to Republicans when similar economically successful places like Oakland and Western Wayne Counties flipped many local and state legislative seats to the Democrats,” Sellek said. “But that is changing in Kent, evidenced by both Gretchen Whitmer’s win and the president’s repeat visits there. Kent is a new battleground but one in which Republicans there still have a lot to work with going into 2020.”
NBC pegs Kent County as most important 2020 presidential battleground
"Who you supported for governor matters to Republican primary voters and that shouldn't be a surprise," Sellek said. "Because for conservatives like these, supporting the gubernatorial candidate who went on to propose a 45-cent gas tax increase while vetoing funding for road repairs, public safety, and opioid recovery raises red flags."
“55% of Michigan’s propane arrives via Line 5, which is how many families heat their homes during Michigan’s winter wonderland months. Abruptly closing Line 5 and canceling the tunnel infrastructure project, without an affordable alternative energy supply for consumers, means lower thermostats and higher heating bills. The result would be like imposing a “heating tax” on our fellow Michiganians."
”Political analysts said Coulter would be a strong candidate. "It is a near certainty that (Coulter) will run for executive after recruiting high-level staff, generating positive headlines and even conducting a county-wide listening tour over the last few months," said John Sellek, who owns the public relations firm Harbor Strategic."
Oakland Co. executive Coulter to announce 'future plans'
“While it is reasonable to carefully consider possible environmental impacts, it is not reasonable to cut off a significant part of our energy supply and stop what could be one of Michigan’s most significant infrastructure projects since the Mackinac Bridge — a project that would actually protect our environment while also protecting family budgets and our economy.
Michigan needs line 5 and the construction jobs new tunnel will bring | Guest column
“Because he has never been a huge fundraiser, it is not a surprise he hasn't drawn a lot of contributions from the district," Mr. Sellek said. "The surprise is that his out-of-state fundraising has not exploded by drawing off a national universe of either pro-Libertarian donors or the anti-Trump variety."
Amash sees smallest amount of donations. Does it matter?
”Sellek suggested Whitmer potentially has better cards than some might suppose – if she knows how to play them. “Veto and ad board, obviously,” Sellek said. “But something else that hasn’t played to the governor’s advantage yet—messaging.
“Meijer's fundraising prowess should make other candidates nervous, said John Sellek, a longtime GOP consultant and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs. While many people assumed Meijer could self-finance his campaign by tapping his wealth, he is also locking up support from community leaders, Sellek said.”
Meijer, Slotkin post large cash amounts in Michigan's U.S. House races
”the audit "vindicates the ... industry" because it shows that "MDOT sought and accepted input, that its decisions when using that information were theirs alone and that there is zero evidence for sensational claims that the independent report authors were affected in their work."
Audit: Michigan taxpayers ripped off with questionable $100K MDOT study
"But Slotkin distanced herself from fellow Michigan Democrats. Slotkin's continued moderation on those issues is a "smart strategy," Sellek said, but "once you jump on board with this issue (impeachment), I think it's nearly impossible to make a separation.”
Slotkin hears from both sides on Trump impeachment inquiry
"But Whitmer’s latest moves have failed to give her significant leverage after she backed down an earlier shutdown threat and agreed to postpone negotiations over a long-term road funding deal, said Republican strategist John Sellek of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs.
“Republican legislators who voted for the budget can stand up and say, ‘I voted yes. The governor is the one who hurt you. Here’s her phone number. Call her and tell her that,’” said Sellek."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets
"A new report points to one likely culprit in what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer calls a road funding crisis: The rising cost of road building materials, which has doubled over the past two decades, according to an analysis of national data by the non-partisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency."
More spending on Michigan roads blunted by rising costs
"While Lansing insiders might applaud a more nuanced approach, vetoing a department budget or large government program could send a strong message that Whitmer is fighting for priorities she was elected to pursue, said John Sellek, a GOP strategist and president of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs.
How Gretchen Whitmer could fight GOP budget, avoid Michigan government shutdown
"What the Democrats did do with this fudge-fueled sugar high is limit the Republicans from a clear set of messaging stories coming off the conference," Sellek continued. "But that is cold comfort when they have to return to work tomorrow and face a K-12 budget passed by their own House caucus."
Rest Assured, These Won't Be Issues for Long -- Right?
"Harbor Strategic Public Affairs CEO John Sellek was also at the conference. He joined Stateside to talk about how national shifts in the Republican Party are playing out in Michigan, and what state Republican leaders see as their major challenges and best strategy going into the 2020 presidential election."
How Michigan Republicans are feeling as the 2020 election draws closer
"U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) says "We've entered a new era" if recent accusations about President Trump and the Ukrainian president are true and that Congress should look at "all options" in regards to dealing with Trump "
"Michigan-based Republican strategist John Sellek said he believes Trump is on the side of the workers but is trying to “thread the needle” and not “blow up” GM’s offer to save a plant or two.
“That fits his electoral victory path, and it fits his policy positions on trade,” he said. “He’s walking a more careful path rhetorically for now. But if he decides on any given day that it’s time to jump in with both feet, we shouldn’t be surprised that he does.”
UAW strike puts Trump, GOP in political bind in key states
"John Sellek worked for former Attorneys General Bill Schuette and Mike Cox and is currently the president and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs. He’s seen the use of social media evolve over the years and says Nessel’s sharp sense of humor and aggressive, first-person voice bring something new to state officeholders’ use of the platform.
“This may sound twisted, but I sense they both like the fight, and that is what makes us all tune in and talk about it,” Sellek said. “It’s a policy debate served with a big side of entertainment.”
U.P. lawmaker emerges as Michigan Attorney General’s loudest critic
"To haul an equivalent amount of product from Western Canada would take approximately 30,000 new trucks added to the roads and a tremendous amount of added stress put on Michigan infrastructure that would likely come from taxpayer’s wallets."
U.P. Propane owner: Line 5 is vital to Michigan (opinion)
"Democrats in Michigan House of Representatives announced legislation this week to reimburse those wrongly accused of fraud by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. The agency used an automated system to detect fraud, which ended up wrongly accusing tens of thousands of people of unemployment fraud. We discuss with this week’s political commentator. John Sellek is CEO of Harbor Strategic."
Political roundup: As lawsuits linger, House Dems vote to compensate victims wrongly accused of unemployment fraud
"The cost of health care has become increasingly burdensome for households and businesses across Michigan and our country. And the practice of surprise medical billing makes matters worse, hitting patients with unexpected costs. Congress must take meaningful action to end this practice."
"As the prosecuting attorneys in two of Michigan’s largest counties, we see it all. And one of the more difficult problems we see affecting our communities is Michigan’s meth problem. The impact of this deadly drug is devastating."
"The press conference Monday also served to remind the public about protections already in place to halt meth production. The National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), a computer system that tracks anyone buying Pseudoephedrine, was introduced in pharmacies in 2012.
Authorities say meth use on the rise West Michigan
“The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America applauds efforts to keep pseudoephedrine available to law-abiding citizens and out of the hands of meth makers, said Kathleen Slonager, executive director of the AAFA’s Michigan chapter. “It stops the criminals from abusing these medications to make their illegal meth,’’ Slonager said. “But just as importantly, it does not stop allergy sufferers from getting their medication that they so badly need.’’
Locally-made meth gets new look as popularity of imported 'scourge' grows
"If someone comes to you and asks you to purchase some pseudoephedrine for them and they're willing to pay you money to do that, you need to think twice because chances are he or she is probably smurfing and trying to use you as one of the tools for them to cook crystal meth," said Larry Wagenknecht, the chief executive officer of the Michigan Pharmacists Association."
Prosecutor warns of meth manufacturers asking others to buy key ingredients
"The nearly three-hour debates and crowded stage Tuesday and Wednesday seemed to be an effort at transparency in a nomination process that people criticized as unfair in 2016, said GOP strategist John Sellek.
But Booker's comments showed the party still hadn't learned everything it should have from its loss to Trump in Michigan, he said. "It’s widely known that the biggest negative impact on turnout in 2016 was the unhappiness with the idea of Hillary Clinton as president, and she has to take responsibility for that," Sellek said."
Experts pan Booker's claims about Clinton's Michigan loss
“Harbor’s John Sellek told Gongwer Michigan the MI3 race will “come down to "red meat issues.” Republicans are now forced to make a name for themselves by highlighting how they would address issues and not by comparing themselves to the incumbent.”
“The million-dollar question between now and the filing deadline is, can the anti-Amash forces set their egos down and settle on one person to oppose him? That’s difficult to do when a congressional seat is at stake."
Crowded GOP primary could aid Amash's reelection prospects
“I would still call Oakland a battleground.” While Hillary Clinton won in 2016 with 51% of the vote, Mike Bouchard won reelection the same year with 60% of the vote. "Oakland County voters do tend to take each race individually," Sellek said."
Patterson exit buoys Democrats as they seek top post in Oakland County
"Our @JohnSellek was on the @MIRSnews pundit panel, talking Miss Margy, impeachment, Flint, and roads. "For all the talk of youth being served in politics (AOC, John JAMES, Pete BUTTIGIEG) we've got a group of septuagenarians playing high-level chess in Washington right now."."
"Vicki Barnett is a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic state legislator. John Sellek is the CEO of the Lansing public relations firm Harbor Strategic. They join Stateside to discuss whether this idea would be a feasible alternative to Whitmer’s plan."
"Live from the Mackinac Policy Conference featuring Michigan’s most prominent thought leaders from various backgrounds engaging in spirited banter on the state’s hot-button issues. Chad Livengood moderates with panelists John Sellek and Portia Roberson."
"Dan Gilbert and the Detroit Chamber Mackinac Conference had an effect on the no-fault deal. And while being Mr. No was seen as a breath of fresh air eight years ago, the novelty wore off as Grand Rapids surges and wants to get things done. "
Whats going on with the auto no-fault deal and Justin Amash?
"Justin has no fear,” said Sellek. “He’s been unafraid to be Mr. No on a lot of things, so generally he has been isolated and without a major accomplishment. To his credit, he’s also been unafraid to do repeated, relentless town halls — so he is both alone and out front at the same time. That puts you on an island."
Impeachment Appeal Pushes Justin Amash From G.O.P. Gadfly to Insurgent.
"Whitmer's upfront approach is “reflective both of the confrontational political environment we’re in today but also reflects her personality," Sellek said. “Whitmer wasn’t one to back down in the Legislature, and she hasn’t changed her tune now."
Whitmer breaks mold with early, often veto threats
"John Sellek said Whitmer’s talk of a hard-line veto of the GOP auto insurance bills inadvertently helped Republicans muster enough votes to pass no-fault reform by turning the issue into a power struggle when it didn’t have to be."
Five months in, the precarious state of bipartisanship in Lansing.
"Higher taxes cannot not be the first or only solution to our problem, we must first spend the funds we already have more efficiently. How can we do that? One way is to lower the cost of building roads in the first place."
"National Police Week is our chance to say thank you to the men and women working to keep Northern Michigan safe for our families, and it is a time to honor officers who have given their lives in the pursuit of safety and justice."
"National Police Week gives us all, including me, the opportunity to honor and thank the brave women and men of law enforcement. To all of you on the front lines, and to those we have lost in the line of duty, we salute you."
"National Police Week is an opportunity to honor our law enforcement men and women ”
Neither this presidential search or the next MSU president can be focused on protecting or rebuilding the MSU brand at the expense of the soul of the school, which is our students, athletes, staff and alumni.
"Wolman also was remembered by former colleagues and sources as a man of intense curiosity. He could be a tough interviewer: "I have to admit over time I went from being anxiously uncertain before ed boards about what (Nolan Finley) and (Ingrid Jacques) would ask to what Jonathan Wolman would throw at us," tweeted John Sellek"
A Wolman remembered as fair, calm journalist who championed diversity
"Whitmer’s likely to agree to a compromise, since a deal on roads would mean a victory on her signature campaign issue, regardless of whether it ultimately includes a 45 cent gas tax increase, Sellek said. 'If there’s more orange barrels along the side of the road starting next year, she wins, no matter how we get to those barrels."
A deal to fix Michigan’s roads looks to roll into summer
Is Twitter the Comic-Con of political fans? Yes, w/o costumes. @johnsellek talked with @DaveAkerlyOnAir on @1320WILS Morning Wake Up about a @nytimes study (@Nate_Cohn & @KevinQ) showing folks talking politics online are way more intense than those who don't.
John Sellek reacts to the recent New York Times article that highlights the "media disconnect" on social media.
Sister Pie bakery of Detroit's West Village is a national finalist for a James Beard Best Baker award. Lisa tells Paul W. Smith she is honored to be considered for this prestigious award and she also brings a chocolate peanut butter pie to the WJR studios.
@PaulWJR thanks Lisa Ludwinski Sister Pie Owner for stopping by with a peanut butter chocolate pie!
"If the tunnel is sunk, the pressure actually falls to the Governor and Attorney General to protect Mackinac Island from a potential oil bath," Sellek continued. “But they don’t sound too worried, which tells me they are ready for a second act-- closing the pipeline itself."
Does Nessel’s Opinion Really Force Enbridge’s Hand?
Last week, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) became the ninth Democrat to throw a hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential contest. On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson speaks with a couple of people who are following the race.
When Is the Right Time to Start Watching 2020 Presidential Race?
"Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she won't sign a budget that doesn't include a road-funding fix. Old friends Matt Resch and John Sellek recap how Michigan's national profile in the presidential race could have implications on the state policy front.'
Beto and Gillibrand in #Michigan. John James & Gary Peters tied? #Spartans 3-0 vs U-M. Mom screaming at the TV as my earliest memory of why Spartan fans and Izzo have a chip on their shoulder. Had a blast with @DaveAkerlyOnAir on @1320WILS Morning Wake Up!
John Sellek comments on how Michigan ended up on the Democratic radar and also speaks on the possibility of John James taking on Gary Peters in 2020
"Data released from a recent survey conducted by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association indicates more than half of Michigan residents are not supportive of “any state public policy” that would require a doctor’s prescription to purchase over-the-counter, or OTC, cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine"
Michigan residents don’t support prescription requirement for cold, allergy meds containing pseudoephedrine
Jimmy Johns. Pot holes. Gas taxes. We covered it all on WTCM's Ron Jolly Show. As I was taught in the House, the governor proposes and the legislature disposes. So now begins a different type of March Madness— the road funding debate. #migov #Michigan
John Sellek of Harbor Strategic PR on the Whitmer Gas Tax
Michigan Republican strategist John Sellek said he helped staff Bush in 2000 as he campaigned for his son, George W. Bush. "I just kept my head down and worked. On the second day, we opened early at a breakfast," Sellek recalled on Twitter. "He smiled and said, 'It’s you and me again today!' That was the kindness I saw from him repeatedly. Rest In Peace, Mr. President."
Bush hailed by Michiganians as ambitious statesmen, kind public servant
We talk to our Friday political commentators about the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws that go into effect at the end of March. We also get their take on Governor Whitmer’s second attempt at reorganizing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Detroit archdiocese responds to AG; legally dubious CBD; ballot initiative runarounds
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by MLive reporter Emily Lawler and WDET’s Jake Neher to talk about the many measures facing a vote of the Legislature this Lame Duck and also talks shop with John Sellek, President of Harbor Strategic.
Lame Duck Update: GOP Lawmakers Moving to Limit Incoming Dem’s Power