Hopes of Bipartisanship Slipping Away After GOP Leader Calls Whitmer ‘Bat S–t Crazy’

“We are in divided government,” says Senator Malloy McMorrow of the tense political climate in Lansing.

Animosity in Lansing has reached a fever pitch. Senator Mike Shirkey’s recent disparaging comments calling Governor Whitmer “bat s–t crazy” has sparked outrage in the state capital. His recent remarks come during a time of deep-rooted partisan gridlock.

State Senator Mallory McMorrow joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss the current climate in Lansing and a recent op-ed she penned in Crain’s Detroit Business about state tax incentives. 

Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Regarding Senator Shirkey’s offensive comments, Senator McMorrow says, “it was so disrespectful, it was so inappropriate.”

She believes that this line of criticism leveled at the Governor is consistent with previous comments made by Senator Shirkey, all of which contain threads of sexism. Senator McMorrow says that these statements are indicative of the current fractured climate in Lansing. She says both her and Governor Whitmer went into their respective jobs with an openness and willingness to compromise and that accessibility was abused. 

Hope of bipartisan cooperation is not completely lost though. The issue of state tax incentives is a place where Senator McMarrow hopes there can be some collaboration. She believes lawmakers should rethink the effectiveness of tax incentives, stating that perhaps investment in education would do more to bolster job attraction in the state. The state senator isn’t shy about the political unpopularity of this stance and the outsized role corporations play in lawmaking. 

“I’ve had companies come into my office and threaten to leave the state unless they get a tax incentive. That’s how it works,” says McMorrow. She hopes that her fellow colleagues newer to elected office won’t succumb to this pressure and can work together toward a smarter plan regarding incentives in the state. 

Click on the player above to hear the full conversation with Senator Mallory McMorrow. 


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