Flashpoint: Experts examine Republican presidential race

DETROIT – Four prominent local conservatives joined Flashpoint on Sunday to talk about a busy couple of weeks for the Republican Party in metro Detroit.

Devin Scillian asked syndicated political cartoonist Henry Payne about the Republican debate and whether or not it offered a clearer image of the race going forward. Payne said the Republican party dominates the country right now.

"The (Barack) Obama era has seen the greatest destruction of democratic office holders in a generation," Payne said. "So you have so many Republican governors, 35, you have the House and the Senate control, that you have a lot of guys, 16, jumping in with good resumes trying to reshape a party that's adrift."

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes agreed with Payne but said that many Republicans are "appalled" by the crude and vagueness of the Donald Trump effect.

L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, said that Republicans are in excellent position heading into the presidential race. He said that Trump is "peaking too soon" and won't be able to sustain his current pace for 15 months.

Political blogger Kathy Hoekstra said that Trump is bringing attention to the presidential race and drawing in casual viewers to the Republican race. She said the exposure is helping the public learn the names of the other Republican candidates that they might not otherwise know of.

You can hear the rest of the conversation in the video posted above.

In the second segment, the panel talked about the difference between running a business and running the country.

Hoekstra said that businesspeople can be strong candidates to run a country and that the current administration has gotten too far away from it.

The best presidents in the country have generally been governors, Payne said. He likes the idea of executives being elected for office.

"I totally reject this argument that (business and running a country) are different," Howes said. "They're very similar. You're managing revenue and expenses and complexity and all sorts of other things. That's what you do as an executive. I think that those skills are important." Howes did say he thinks there are some differences between the two.

Devin asked the panel about former representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, who were expelled from the House after their sex scandal and fake email cover up were revealed.

Patterson said their handling of the issue has left them out of the running.

"Once you've been expelled from the body, it's pretty clear that you're not welcome," Patterson said.

Click on the video below to hear the rest of the conversation with the panel about Courser and Gamrat.


After the break, Devin was joined by Eric Poe, the COO of Cure Auto Insurance, and Personal Injury Attorney Dave Christensen to talk about D-Insurance.

Poe said that Michigan is far and away more expensive in average cost per personal injury protection claim. He said Michigan is one of only 12 states that has no-fault injury protection.

"I don't think this bill is any kind of a solution," Christensen said. He said the D-Insurance bill isn't the answer to the state's high PIP claim rates.

He said the problem can be addressed by ending some of the economic discrimination in the industry.

You can watch the final segment in the video posted below.