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This is Ben Orner, MLive’s election reporter. Hope you’re leaving for a good weekend.

We’ve known for some time that Dana Nessel’s Attorney General’s office was investigating the alleged theft of voting machines last year from the 2020 elections.

But that saga revealed a new twist this week, with Nessel AG’s opponent Matthew DePerno in November as one of its main characters.

In Nessel’s request for the appointment of a special prosecutor, she described a months-long investigation into a coordinated plan allegedly “arranged” by DePerno, R-Lake City’s Daire Rendon state representative and attorney Stefanie Lambert Juntilla to gain access to voting tabs and other equipment in the county Roscommon, Missaukee and Barry.

According to Nessel’s office, five tabs “were taken to Oakland County hotels and / or Airbnb,” where four others – some also linked to 2020 electoral fraud conspiracies such as DePerno – “broke into tabs and conducted” tests ” for inventory. “

Read more: Nessel names AG DePerno opponent in voting machine poll, wants special prosecutor

“DePerno was present in the hotel room during such a ‘test’ at the request of the special prosecutor.

DePerno, a Republican, denied on Monday that he was doing anything illegal, saying Nessel, the Democrat, was politically motivated despite having asked an independent prosecutor to prosecute.

“I have nothing to do with any hotel rooms or Airbnbs,” he told WTKG radio. “Ninety percent of the facts he presents, which he calls facts in his petition, are either false or I don’t know what he is talking about.”

DePerno was approved by the Michigan state government in April, but is not a formal candidate until delegates vote at the state party convention on Saturday, August 27.

Rendon has yet to face the political ramifications of his alleged involvement. MLive journalist Jordyn Hermani reported this week that Rendon will retain his assignments on the home committee, including the chairman of the insurance committee.

Here’s more from the week in Michigan politics:

Super PAC support by Tudor Dixon hides its origins despite revealing its donors

Republican governor candidate Tudor Dixon welcomes supporters and delivers a speech at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Neil Blake / MLive.com

Republican voters overwhelmingly chose former conservative commentator Tudor Dixon as their governor candidate last week.

How did she do it? They probably helped millions of dollars from the super PAC.

Michigan Families United spent over $ 2.5 million on Dixon ads, reports MLive governor Simon Schuster. That’s more money than Dixon’s campaign has raised.

Political campaigns have limits on who can donate to them and how much they can donate, but the super PACs don’t have any of them. Donors and supporters are often disguised as dark money.

“I wish I knew,” said Jimmy Greene, who hosted the MFU event, about the people who founded the super PAC. “I really, really don’t know who’s behind the mask.”

At least we know that the conservative West Michigan-based DeVos billionaire family donated a million-dollar super PAC.

Dixon will face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the parliamentary elections. As Simon previously reported, beating Whitmer in November will likely require a lot more money and some key news.

Conquer big, win big: Top Dem fundraisers have won major races more often in the Senate House

Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow speaking on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol Building to protesters gathered in Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday May 3, 2022 Daniel Shular | MLive.com

Speaking of campaign funding, data analysis by Jordyn and Simon found that Democratic candidates in the state legislature who raised funds for their main opponents won more often than Republicans.

They note that Republicans tend to outperform Democrats at the state level, but the rise in Democratic dollars may have been spurred by the hot spotlight this summer on liberal issues such as reproductive rights.

“I don’t think abortion is any kind of inspiration for democratic fundraising,” said political strategist Jason Roe.

– 62% of Democrats in the House and Senate were the best fundraiser in their primary elections.

– These Democrats won 88% of the time, as opposed to 18% for Democrats who were outside the funds.

Despite the Democrat wave, the Republicans maintain a cash advantage – money that can still be spent throughout the campaign season. Which party has an advantage in November’s fundraising event will be something to watch.

Half of Michigan’s residents are reluctant to vote for the candidates who downplayed the January 6 riots

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York on August 10, 2022, on his way to the New York State Attorney General’s office to testify in a civil investigation. (AP Photo / Julia Nikhinson) AP

Jordin reports that the aftermath of last year’s January 6 riots on the Capitol is still in the minds of Michigan voters.

More than half – 52% – said in a poll last week by Public Policy Polling that it would be less likely to vote for a candidate who downplayed the rise of or opposed the work of Congress to investigate it.

“All of these issues are no longer just a guerrilla issue,” said PPP survey analyst Jim Williams. “We see broad concern – and broad agreement – between Democrats and independent voters about what happened on Jan. 6 and the events that led to it, Trump’s reaction to it, the conduct of the Republican Party and the candidates in Michigan.”

Only 16% of voters polled said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the events that took place during and after the Capitol riots.

Michigan cannabis industry “shocked” by plan to transfer director of licensing

FILE: Andrew Brisbo stands inside the Capitol on Thursday 17 December 2020 in Lansing.Nicole Hester / Mlive.com

Michigan’s top cannabis official is leaving office after nearly three years leading the state’s legalized cannabis industry.

MLive cannabis reporter Gus Burns reports that Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency, is moving to a new position. The reason has not yet been disclosed.

Gus reports that members of the Michigan cannabis industry association are “shocked and disappointed” by Brisbo’s departure, noting that they believe he has done “an amazing job running the agency.”

Brisbo will move to a new management role at the Licensing and Regulatory Department next month, a spokesman for the governor’s office said, and his position will be filled by someone new.

Under Brisbo’s watch, Michigan’s cannabis industry has created more than 20,000 jobs and generated $ 500 million in tax revenue, a spokesman said.

More political headlines from MLive:

Tired of left-right traffic jams? Forward party fighting to vote in Michigan in 2024.

Michigan AG Nessel attacks Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law in court

Tax credits on scholarships for private schools? The initiative submitted 520 thousand. signatures.

Senator Dale Zorn won Michigan 34 by 7 votes. His opponent wants a recalculation.

2000 Mules fact-check: Michigan experts disprove allegations of electoral fraud

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