Tea Party works to get Michigan's Lt. governor kicked off ballot

Governor's push for Medicaid expansion has conservative GOP members ready for battle

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - They're not happy, at all.

The conservative Tea Party wing of the Michigan GOP has made it clear that Medicaid expansion in Michigan is nothing but a government boondoggle to them. While Gov. Rick Snyder spent the summer stumping to get the Senate to vote on the issue and pass it Tea Party activists were hustling as well.

Now, with the vote just barely going the governor's way, conservative activists want to make their displeasure heard and felt.

Already a prominent Tea Party leader, Wes Nakagiri is on record saying he will challenge Lt. Governor Brian Calley at the GOP convention and attempt to get him kicked off the ticket.

It's not an idle threat, either.

"I think it's actually a very serious challenge based on policy disagreements," said political consultant Dennis Darnoi.

It will be an uphill challenge, but certainly one that can succeed. So much so, GOP sources tell Local 4 the rush to recruit friendly delegates for Calley is already ongoing. It's money, effort and time that could really be used elsewhere.

"Vital resources that could be used for actually winning and holding onto seats are going to be used on stickers and receptions for republican delegates," said political strategist Joe Munem.

Snyder may not be the only one to feel the wrath of conservative activists. Already there are more than mutterings of primary challenges to those GOP senators who voted in favor of Medicaid expansion.

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