Politics Nonprofit group bankrolled large portion of Michigan governor's use of private plane
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A nonprofit group tied toGov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration financed most of the charter flight when she visited her father in Florida at a time when the Democrat's administration was urging residents not to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
JoAnne Huls, the governor's chief of staff, made the announcement in an unaddressed email memo on Friday,report which noted that the disclosure raised questions about the financial arrangement.
"Due to ongoing security and public health concerns, we made a decision to use a chartered flight for this trip," Huls wrote in the memo. "The governor's flight was not a gift, not paid for at taxpayer expense and was done in compliance with the law."
GOP delegates in Virginia to choose nominee for governor
ANNANDALE, Va. (AP) — Tens of thousands of Virginians are casting ballots to choose nominees for governor and other statewide offices. The Republican Party is holding what it's calling an “unassembled convention” on Saturday to select its nominees in this year's race for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Republicans haven't won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. Because pandemic restrictions ban mass gatherings, delegates are casting ballots at nearly 40 polling sites across the state.More than 53,000 Virginians successfully pre-registered as delegates. GOP officials rejected applications from roughly 700 would-be delegates.
Michigan Transition 2019, a social welfare nonprofit organization that state business records show was formed in late 2018 to assist in funding Whitmer's inauguration, chartered the private plane, which brought her to Florida on March 12 and returned her to Lansing on March 15.
On April 5, Michigan's Department of Health and Human Serviceswarning residents that travel could increase the risk of spread of COVID-19.
The organization spent $27,521 on travel during the first 14 days of May, the voluntary disclosure revealed, which covered the March flights.paid the nonprofit group $855 for her seat on the flights, according to Michigan Information & Research Service News, which first reported about the arrangement.
GOP Michigan Sen. Mike Shirkey Pictured With Whitmer Kidnap Plot Suspect
William Null, 39, of Shelbyville, is one of the 14 men charged over an alleged plot to abduct the state's Democratic governor.The photo was posted on the platform, which is popular with conservatives, about one month ago. It shows Shirkey, majority leader in the Michigan Senate, smiling as he stands alongside William Null, who faces up to 22 years in prison if he is convicted of domestic terrorism.
Republicans said the disclosure was troubling and warranted more explanation.
"Tonight's revelations raise additional questions and concerns surrounding the financial arrangements of Gov. Whitmer's secret, unvaccinated trip to Florida on a private jet," said Ted Goodman, a spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party.
Whitmer has insisted the previously disclosed travel was for an "important family reason." The Democrat claimed the flight was "not a gift" and "not paid for at taxpayer expense."
Huls said in her Friday memo that the health of Whitmer's father, Richard, began to deteriorate after she returned to Michigan on March 15. The chief of staff added that on Monday the governor took her father to Ann Arbor for a medical procedure to begin intravenous antibiotics and that it was a success.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Whitmer's office but did not immediately receive a comment.
Company: Ex-Trump lawyer raiding nonprofit for personal use
Former Trump attorney and self-proclaimed “Kraken releaser” Sidney Powell has told prospective donors that her group, Defending the Republic, is a legal defense fund to protect the integrity of U.S. elections. But the company suing Powell over her baseless claims of a rigged presidential election says the true beneficiary of her social welfare organization is Powell herself. Dominion Voting Systems claims Powell has raided Defending the Republic's coffers to pay for personal legal expenses, citing her own remarks from a radio interview.
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EU mulls response to Belarus diverting plane to nab reporter .
BRUSSELS (AP) — Angry European Union leaders were set to consider a joint response Monday to Belarus' diversion of a plane traveling between EU member nations in order to arrest a prominent Belarusian opposition journalist. Raman Pratasevich, who ran a popular messaging app that played a key role in helping organize massive protests against Belarus' authoritarian president, was on board the Ryanair flight from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania — to the Minsk airport.