Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks at Hillsdale. Natalie Kral | Courtesy

The first person in Michigan history to serve in the exec­utive, leg­islative, and judicial branches spoke about two heroines at Hillsdale College on Wednesday afternoon.

Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is in the running to become the 49th gov­ernor of Michigan, told the story of two women whose courage and talent brought to justice con­victed serial child molester Larry Nassar. Schuette spoke in Phillips Audi­torium to a group com­prised mostly of donors. In his speech, he described the stories of Angela Povi­laitis, the attorney who pros­e­cuted Nassar, and Rachael Den­hol­lander, a former gymnast who first exposed Nassar’s crimes.

“Rachael’s voice stopped Larry Nassar,” Schuette said. “Her courage made it pos­sible for more than 250 women to come forward, and stand up, and use their voices, and condemn a man who abused them during the most tender of years.”

Schuette assigned Povi­laitis to pros­ecute Larry Nassar, a former osteo­pathic physician at Michigan State Uni­versity. He has promised a thorough inves­ti­gation into how Nassar com­mitted sexual assault for decades in a state uni­versity.

“When I assigned Angie Povi­laitis to be the lead pros­e­cutor in the Larry Nassar case, I knew her skills as a pros­e­cutor made her the right choice,” Schuette said.

Schuette said he told the story of Povi­laitis and Den­hol­lander because some­times bureau­cracies fail and injus­tices occur.

“When insti­tu­tions fail, the solu­tions must come from indi­viduals,” he said.

Junior Tess Skehan intro­duced the attorney general.

“The way he dis­cussed the role of women in terms of helping one another in the state was very impressive,” she said. “I’m excited to see what his cam­paign holds.”

Schuette, a Repub­lican, announced his cam­paign for gov­ernor on Sept. 12.

His bid for gov­ernor is the next step for a politician who has con­sis­tently held federal and state office for about 30 years. He served as Michigan’s 10th Dis­trict rep­re­sen­tative from 1985 to 1991, when he accepted a position as director of the Michigan Department of Agri­culture until 1995.

He then served in the Michigan Senate from 1995 until 2002. He was a judge for the Michigan 4th Dis­trict Court of Appeals from 2003 to 2009. The people of Michigan elected him as attorney general in 2010.

He’s a native of Midland, Michigan, the same town where his parents raised him and he raised his children. His life in Midland inspired his first book, “Big Lessons from a Small Town.” The book does not endorse political posi­tions. Instead, he recounts his story, starting as a waiter and rising to become the leading GOP can­didate for Michigan gov­ernor.

The most recent polls from Real­Clear­Pol­itics show Schuette leading his GOP primary oppo­nents by more than 20 points. Schuette will face leading Repub­lican oppo­nents Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck in the Aug. 7 primary. In a head-to-head matchup against Gretchen Whitmer, former senate minority leader and the leading Demo­c­ratic can­didate for gov­ernor, Schuette would lose by 7 points, according to a Detroit News poll.

After Schuette’s speech about the women who exposed and pros­e­cuted Nassar, the audience asked policy-ori­ented ques­tions about his cam­paign for gov­ernor.

Schuette touted his adherence to the rule of law in Michigan as it applied to pros­e­cuting sexual assault cases and the Flint water crisis. An audience member asked how he would apply the rule of law to immi­gration in Michigan.

“I’m a rule of law guy,” he said. “Those states that are ignoring the federal law are wrong. If you don’t like the law, then you change it, but you don’t fla­grantly violate it.”

He did not give his stance on con­tro­versial federal issues, like the border wall or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Schuette refused to answer ques­tions about the federal gov­ernment, specif­i­cally those relating to Pres­ident Donald Trump. Instead of wor­rying about drama in national pol­itics, he said he is con­cerned about “jobs and pay­checks” in Michigan.

Another audience member asked how Schuette would address opioid abuse if elected gov­ernor.

“You have to do two things. You have to have greater treatment facil­ities for people to help them get well,” Schuette said. “We need better edu­cation about the dangers of opioid abuse.”

He said “unscrupulous doctors who over­pre­scribe” have con­tributed to the problem. He also said Michigan has to solve the issue through treatment, adding that “you can’t arrest your way out of this.”

“He high­lighted how he upholds the rule of law and con­ser­v­ative policies, such as a lower tax rate and pros­e­cuting corrupt offi­cials,” said senior Jonathan Moy, who works on Schuette’s cam­paign. “He has set his goals high, and I think he’s accom­plished them.”

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Michigan does NOT need another Jen­nifer Granholm as Gov­ernor. Gretchen Whitmer advo­cates the same, old, tired Democrat non-solu­tions as Granholm did. She nearly put the state into receivership. Calley doesn’t impress me, but Schuette would make a good gov­ernor, IMO.

    • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

      Oh sir, are you a res­ident here? Bite your tongue! Schuette is hor­rible, I’d rather have Calley than this jerk! He’s been hard on Michigan. We need fresh new can­di­dates, not these thugs that think it’s “their turn” like Clinton did (ugh). I’m hoping for someone younger, mod­erate, someone who can bring us more together, not waste our state’s resources on his per­sonal battles for “God”. As if God cares if there’s gays getting married when children in the foster system are being mur­dered and poverty is at a full third of res­i­dents in this state and our youth are dying on meth and pre­scription drugs, it’s hor­rible! We need “new” ideas from “new” minds, not this kind of mental dinosaur! (Just my opinion). 🙂

    • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

      Schuette has allowed our local pros­e­cutor to run an extortion program for years after a circuit court judge and a Michigan Supreme Court admin­is­trative official brought his office’s attention to it! I don’t trust him, per­sonally I wouldn’t vote for him no matter what lie he’s selling to grab another office now that he is term limited out of being AG

  • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

    Neither Schuette nor Calley will be gov­ernor, for sure, but no matter who you vote for, get this VERY clear before you vote: Rule of Law = Defense of the Admin­is­trative State. When a politician says that, it means the judicial system CANNOT find admin­is­trative laws (codes, rules) uncon­sti­tu­tional, judges can’t even look past the black and white print, and it is which is why this nation’s admin­is­trative system has taken us over in vio­lating sep­a­ration of powers, vio­lating actual statutes, and con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions and why America is a big friggen mess of bureau­craZy. This guy ran LARA for years, did nothing for years except lose us what, 40 million when a bunch of gays kicked his legal butt in the US Supreme court? LOL! Just vote wisely, don’t let the hard liners fool you, fresh can­di­dates will take us out of the same old same old BS and Calley and Scuette aren’t the only ones running for con­ser­v­a­tives!

    • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

      Who else has a shot at the GOP Governor’s nom­i­nation? Elec­tions are choices between two flawed can­di­dates and it appears Gretchen Whitmer will get the Democrat nod. If the 8 years under Jen­nifer Granholm didnt’ con­vince you that elec­tions have real-world con­se­quences than I don’t know what will. Unfor­tu­nately, at this time Michigan doesn’t seem to have a Scott Walker on the horizon. I’d like to see better can­di­dates as well, but it is what it is. Michigan doesn’t need another 4 – 8 years under a smarmy quasi-Granholm. Jenni nearly destroyed this state, that should be all the ref­erence material you need to pull the lever for the better person in November.

      • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

        TRUE, but you do realize, Schuette is in that same pack of dogs as Granny Jen, they all came from the Detroit PA’s office, or there­about, Wayne County breeds animals! Schuette wouldn’t’ pros­ecute all the public school offi­cials who stole state edu­ca­tional funds, and a lot more, he is an idiot, trust me sir, anyone BUT him, LOL! He “runs” LARA, the reg­u­lation authority, his people are up there getting kicked around by reg­u­lated industry and that’s why things aren’t working, he’s a hor­rible human being, but worse, a hor­rible lawyer. The only good thing he did in the entire time he was in office is to pros­ecute our Health and Human Ser­vices director for murder, and all his detroit buddies JUMPED on him screeching about it, really a shame.

        • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

          Here’s a case and point: In Michigan, there’s a common law that makes public offi­cials who commit a criminal act be guilty of a felony but ONLY if Schuette picks up the charges. This pros­e­cutor PARDONED a public official who can then be of harm to the com­munity in law­suits they’ll have because they were aware the guy is a lunatic who beats on people, but the special pros­e­cutor refused to charge him, felt SORRY for the guy, and trust me, it’s not the first, nor will it be the last time he beats on his family. He’s a LAWMAKER, on 19 boards of directors for state and local funded agencies, and he lied to the press after the incident, there’s some­thing very strange how he’s using his first son’s death as an excuse to beat on people, and getting this ‘pity party’ from pros­e­cutors. Schuette was ok with it, refused to inves­tigate it, which is a felony in Michigan, (non fea­sance).

          • Living­In­Hells­dale­County


            Here’s another! There’s a con­sti­tu­tional pro­vision in Michigan for crime victims rights funding to come from a “per case” fee, under Article 1, Section 24, sub­section (3). That money goes to funding the Michigan State Police crime lab for pro­cessing crime scenes! It goes to funding a local victim’s rights advocate, victim assis­tance but here in Hillsdale County? The pros­e­cutor keeps cases out of the courts in an illegal pre-adju­di­cation par­doning program and thereby, the courts and court clerks cannot even COLLECT that statutory MCL 780.905 fee and victim’s rights suffer because of it Schuette knew this was going on for years, but he wont do a thing about it, even after a com­plaint was made by the State Court administrator’s office TELLING him there was a program here that was vio­lating sep­a­ration of powers, and a circuit court judge issued an ACTUAL ORDER demanding it be shut down.
            He knows the program steals from Michigan and knows it’s exceeding a prosecutor’s authority to “pardon” anyone before trying them in a court of law, he just doesn’t care, because it gives his office more power, and that’s all Schuette cares about. Worse, his inaction has the FEDERAL COURT CLERK doing the same thing for the US Attorney’s office program, and had people’s con­sti­tu­tional rights vio­lated for years now and the crime victims fund losing resources intended for them which instead just goes into the general fund here in Hillsdale. But the Justice for all act has a victim’s rights facet too, so the US attorney’s office are ALSO indulging in pardons ille­gally, but at least their program is honest about it, here in Hilldale, they don’t even have any public records so I can’t even get a case count to show that there’s money missing, although that’s PUBLIC RECORD, but just having local county com­mis­sioners greedly stealing state funding for their local budget after being told this in 2015 in a public meeting by three private parties who handed them a letter saying the program vio­lates the 13th amendment AND equates to the pros­e­cutor com­mitting extortion? Well, you tell me why Schuette did nothing about it for years now, and running.

          • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

            It took me a lot to get the records for the slush fund the pros­e­cutor has: Sit that’s TAX DOLLARS that they were using for office snacks and lunches for years until the local judge found out and stopped them, but then an admin­strative agency stopped him, a CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE from enforcing an order of the court against a court agent! I am just astounded that no one cares! This is ele­mentary level law, how the courts could allow this is beyond shocking to me, but when a trial court judge says out­right that the program is a duplicate of court ser­vices, and it’s allowed to persist after the AG and Michigan State Police inves­tigate it? Well, I’m trying, and have for two years, but having to fight someone as dumb as Schuette equates to having to teach HIM how to practice law and it’s really super unfair. I have my own mess of a life to deal with, once I told him all this, this stuff should have been fixed, it’s HIS JOB to keep the gov­ernment in line with the law, but again and again, I get letters from his office telling me I have to do HIS job in quo war­ranto cases, it’s totally ridiculous! So yes, I wouldn’t vote for him on a bet, not for digging ditches or cleaning out sewers, he’s ridiculous in my opinion, but again, just my opinion, I have tons more reasons behind that choice, but I’ll spare you, LOL


          • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

            Here is one of my pages of all my tra­vails in dealing with this ridiculous state. Just please don’t take offense to the title, trust me, a col­legian reporter came after me as a private citizen and lied to me about not making the story about ME, instead making it about the public official who broke the law, and it was the same old “shut up” hack job that allows it to seem like “mutual arguing” and let a city clerk who stalked and threatened me to get away with it while claiming to be my “victim” like a big whiner! I’ve become quite fond of the audience though, people are starting to see the point, and ask great ques­tions and get inter­ested in what is going on, not just around here, but how it applies to most local areas (political sub­di­vi­sions, sub­or­dinate to state and federal laws) in the US