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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WestSouthwest: State House Speaker Jase Bolger


State House Speaker Jase Bolger sat down just days after an Ingham County Judge found no evidence of criminal activity related to a party-switch last year. 

The investigation surrounding former State Representative Roy Schmidt's last minute party-switch and attempt to place a Democratic "straw candidate" on the ballot was one of many topics covered in the interview with WMUK's Gordon Evans, MLive Kalamazoo's Alex Mitchell and Battle Creek Enquirer Reporter Jennifer Bowman. The interview was conducted at Western Michigan University's Kendall Center in Battle Creek. 

Credit WMUK
Jennifer Bowman (left) of the Battle Creek Enquirer, Alex Mitchell of MLive Kalamazoo and WMUK's Gordon Evans question state House Speaker Jase Bolger

Bolger says the investigation by Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquiliana shows he followed the rules and didn't lie. But the Marshall Republican admits he did make mistakes in working with Schmidt on the party-switch. Bolger says he focused on winning, but he says "this isn't a game."

On other topics, Bolger says he's optimistic Medicaid expansion will pass the Senate, but he says a deadline is looming. The House Speaker says he wants the Legislature to discuss the decriminalization of marijuana and find a way to prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians without interfering with people's religious beliefs. 

Bolger who cannot run for his state House seat because of term limits says he's focused on his current job and not on his future. But Bolger did not rule out a future run for elected office. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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