Schuette’s creepy video, McPhail sued, Detroit to hire muralists: Your Friday morning briefing

Bill Schuette in a 1989 video.

“Morning Briefing” is a new feature in Motor City Muckraker to keep you informed as we add award-winning reporters to our independent newsroom that soon will be a nonprofit watchdog. Your donations are key to our ability to produce more vigorous, meaningful, nonpartisan journalism at a time when news rooms are cutting back on impactful, investigative stories.

These are the top stories you’re waking up to:

Gubernatorial candidate Schuette responds to bizarre video

Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette said he regrets his “poor attempt to be humorous” during a creepy exchange with a woman behind a camera in a 1989 video.

“I will be happy to move closer to the lamp,” the Republican tells the woman. “I will do anything you want. Some things I may not let you run the camera on.” 

Schuette claims the exchange was supposed to be a joke.

“That apparently was my poor attempt to be humorous 30 years ago,” Schuette said in a statement. “The video, which appears to be edited with only one short portion shown, has been in the public domain for some time.” 

Gretchen Whitmer

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer seized on the opportunity to criticize the attorney general’s history with women’s rights.

“I imagine everyone who’s watched it had the same uncomfortable look on our faces,” Whitmore said. “But even more troubling is the fact that Schuette has spent the past 33 years in office attacking the rights of women and working to take away our access to contraception and health care.” 

The Metro Times reported, “Whatever Bill Schuette’s frat-boy-lookin’ ass was up to in this newly surfaced clip from 1989, it sure was creepy as hell.” 

Charter school takes fight to fire McPhail to court

A charter school is urging a judge to issue an emergency restraining order against former Detroit Councilwoman Sharon McPhail after she refused to leave her administrative job after she was fired.

The lawsuit and request for an injunction also demand McPhail return property from Bay Mills Community College, where she serves as a chief administrative officer, the Detroit News reports

The school was fined after McPhail, for a second year, failed to get the proper school administrative certification to work there.

When the beleaguered charter school fired her, she reused to leave, claiming the termination was illegal.

Detroit takes on graffiti by hiring muralists

The city of Detroit’s new approach to fighting graffiti is to commission murals.

The program, “City Walls,” launched last year, so far has paid artists to paint 19 murals, predominately in public and private spaces already tagged with graffiti in southwest Detroit, the North End and West Village.

The city now wants to increase the number of murals to 60 by adding $200,000 to the program’s original $50,000 budget.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.