The Michigan director of the Trump 2016 campaign, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District superintendent… on this weekend’s episode of the Saturday Six Pack


This is going to be a heavy weekend on the Saturday Six Pack, so I’m going to do something unprecedented. I’m going to introduce the beer of the week now, so that you can stock up in advance and drink along at home. [Given everything we’ll be talking about, from the twists and turns of the current presidential campaign, to the closing of our local schools, I think we’re all going to need it.] This Saturday’s beer will be Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. I know it’s not a terribly adventurous choice, but it’s a good, solid beer that isn’t likely to cause too many problems as we delve into some murky political waters together during this highly contentious election season.

Up first on this Saturday’s show will be Scott Hagerstrom, the Michigan director
of the Trump Pence 2016 campaign. While I image we’ll talk a great deal about Donald Trump’s positions on various subjects of interest to Michigan voters, ranging from tax policy to trade, I also suspect we’ll get into some of the bigger questions looming around the campaign, like what it means for the future of Republican party. [In related news, did you happen to see that Trump, having announced “the shackles have been taken off,” is once again going aggressively after Paul Ryan the GOP?] I don’t know Hagerstrom, and I’m not sure what to expect, as I’ve never talked with anyone from the Trump campaign, but I very much appreciate his taking the time to come on on the air with me, knowing that I’m a progressive, and I’m hopeful that we can have an open, honest discussion about Trump’s appeal to Michigan voters, the current challenges he’s facing, and his realistic chances of carrying the state. [They’ve been wrong before, but, as of right now, is saying that, based on current polling, Clinton has a 91.3% chance of winning Michgian’s 16 electoral votes.]

And, during our second segment, we’ll be talking with Brandon Dillon, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, who will be calling in from his office to discuss the work being done across the state on behalf of the Clinton Kaine 2016 campaign. And, as with our first guest, I imagine that we’ll not only be talking about Clinton’s policy positions on issues that matter to Michigan voters, but what, in his opinion, this election might mean for the future of our two party system. Also, if we have time, I’d like to discuss how things are looking in down ticket races, and whether or not there’s a possibility that the Democrats might make significant gains in the Michigan House and Senate.

My hope, when I first started pulling this show together, was to have Hagerstrom and Dillon both live in the studio, talking with me at the same time about their respective candidates. I think, however, it might actually be better this way, with one appearing after the other. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say, I’ve had enough of debates for a while. Now, with just a little over three weeks left before the election, I’m more interested in thoughtful introspection about the race, and larger trends that we’re seeing play out across the state and nation, than I am fighting over specific instances of ugliness and popular conspiracy theories. I don’t see many people are changing their minds at this point. I think we’re all far too entrenched at this point. So, as that’s the case, I’d rather just take an evening off and try to connect as human beings, like those French, German and British soldiers who laid down their weapons on Christmas day in 1914, climbed out of their trenches, and started playing football with one another. I know it may not work, but that’s my plan. And with that in mind, I want to ask Hagerstrom and Dillon, among other things, why they got involved in politics, what they’ve learned over the course of this campaign, and whether or not, come November 9, they think reconciliation is possible.

Then, during our third segment, we’ll be joined by Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) Superintendent Scott Menzel about the current state of public education on the eastern side of the county. I recently heard Menzel give a very interesting speech about the disparity in opportunities afforded K-12 students on our two sides of the county, and I’d like to delve deeper into that with him on Saturday, discussing also what we might be able to do to increase equity, and perhaps push for changes in Lansing, where the current educational funding model, thanks to Proposition A, works against communities like ours.

And, lastly, if there’s any time left, I plan to just quietly stare out the AM 1700 studio window, drinking a beer. I know it won’t make for good radio, but my sense that Im going to need it after two hours talking about Donald Trump and the war against public education.


Unless you live inside the AM 1700 studio, chances are you won’t be able to pick the show up on your radio. As that’s the case, I’d recommend streaming the show online, which you can do either on the AM1700 website or by way of

And for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the show, and need to get caught up, you can listen to the entire archive on iTunes.

Oh, and if you’d like to tell your friends and neighbors about this, our 50th anniversary broadcast, feel free to share the Facebook event listing.

And, here, thanks to AM 1700 senior graphic designer Kate de Fuccio, is this week’s poster, in case any of you want to print copies and leave them at one of the highway rest areas that you frequent.


And do call us if you have a chance. We love phone calls. So please copy down this number and slide it into your sock – 734.217.8624 – and call us between 6:00 and 8:00 this Saturday evening. The show, as you know if you listen, gets exponentially better with each phone call.

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  1. Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I will be sure to send “music.”

  2. Rob Hess
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Awesome lineup!

  3. Shane Davis
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    This sounds like a great show!

  4. Autumn Nicole
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    the two hearted was a good choice for this week

  5. Meta
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Vox has a new piece on the fracturing of the Republican Party that you may want to read.

    Is the Republican Party falling apart? Steve Schmidt — a GOP consultant who worked on George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004 and ran John McCain’s campaign in 2008 — thinks it very well might be.

    “There will be the alt-right party; then there will be a center-right conservative party,” he told me on Thursday. “I think what you’re gonna see is [Trump campaign CEO and Breitbart News chief] Steve Bannon monetizing 30 percent of the electorate into a UKIP-style movement and a billion-dollar media business.”

    Schmidt was ahead of the curve in analyzing Donald Trump’s rise, arguing to me in August 2015 that, contrary to the beliefs of many experts, the GOP establishment had “no ability to stop” Trump because actual Republican voters no longer paid any mind to what their party elites thought.

    Read more:

  6. anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Be sure ask Hagerstrom about the eyewitness the Trump campaign offered to rebut charges that he groped Jessica Leeds on a plane in the 1980s.

    From Think Progress.

    Trump and his campaign have responded by promising proof that the women are lying.
    “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time — very soon,” Trump said Thursday at a rally in Florida.

    “Stay tuned. I know there’s more information that’s going to be coming out that will back his claim that this is all categorically false,” Trump’s running mate Mike Pence said Friday morning on CBS.

    The “proof” came in the form of an article in the New York Post.

    The New York Post presents the account of a British man named Anthony Gilberthorpe. He tells the Post that he was in the first class cabin of an airplane with Trump and Jessica Leeds in 1980.

    Leeds says that Trump groped her on this flight.

    Gilberthorpe says he was “present at all times” and that Trump did not grope Leeds. He says it was Leeds who was flirting with Trump. When Trump went to the bathroom, Gilberthorpe claims, Leeds confessed to him that she wanted to marry Trump.

    There are a number of major problems with this story.

    First, Gilberthorpe is 54 years old. That means in 1980, he was approximately 18.

    Why was an 18-year-old from England on a first class domestic flight? How could he possibly observed Trump and Leeds at all times? Why would the flight have been memorable absent any incident? Why would a woman in her thirties confess to an 18-year-old boy she doesn’t know that she wants to marry a man she just sat next to on a plane? He doesn’t have any explanation.

    Nor does Gilberthorpe, who the Trump campaign referred to the Post for an interview, have anything to substantiate his story. “Gilberthorpe has no evidence to back up his claim — just his self-described excellent memory,” the Post reports.

    Even if Gilberthorpe’s tale was true, it would only counter the claims of one of the women who have stepped forward. But if you know just a little bit about Gilberthorpe, the odds of his story being true quickly go from slim to none.

    Gilberthorpe is, by all accounts, a serial fableist.

    In 1987, for example, he told newspapers in England that he was engaged to fashion designer in California named Miss Leah Bergdorf-Hunt. “Both our families are delighted,” he told The Gloucester Express. It was later revealed that he was not engaged. Also there was no Miss Bergdorf-Hunt. He invented the whole thing.

    He later won a substantial libel judgment from British newspapers that reported he had AIDS. But it eventually came out that Gilberthorpe himself was the source for the story. The newspapers appealed and Gilberthorpe ended up settling after the newspapers agreed to offset a small portion of his legal fees. The incident left him “very much out of pocket and with egg all over his face.”

    Gilberthorpe also contends that, as a young man, he was “paid to recruit underage rent boys for orgies attended by ministers from Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.” There is no evidence to support his salacious claims.

    This all raises the question: If Trump is innocent of all these allegations, why rest his claims of innocence with a man that has as little credibility as Gilberthorpe?

  7. mytatom
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    On the one hand, two hearted is a fairly strong beer. 7% abv. On the other, I heard nothing from Supt. Menzel that makes me think non-wima /non-YIES students and staff have any reason to expect any outside help beyond some tax-deductible charitable donations from Ann Arbor businesses. Sorry, YCS, you’re on your own and it’s up to you to manage spending and how teachers spend their time (teaching vs. testing, data collection, etc.) better than ever before. For example, at the school board candidate forum Thursday, a special education teacher said she didn’t have the sensory tools her students needed–despite the passage of the special education millage. How. is. that. possible?

  8. Posted October 16, 2016 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I went to bed and missed this show. I will have to listen to it at a later date.

  9. Concerned
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    While you’re talking to the superintendent of WISD, ask him what he plans to do to solve the very serious special education teacher and teacher aide shortage that is occurring in his school district.


  10. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    How did it go?
    I am not paying to hear Scott Menzel opine. It would be nice if you could blog about the 6 Pack Show, Mark Maynard.

  11. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    He is a public official talking about school policy on a blog…that probably is for the record.
    I am not sure anyone should have to pay for it. It will be FIOAble, except that good luck with that, he may use your blog as a shield not to release whatever he said Saturday night, if things don’t go well next year or the year after..etc..
    Maria Huffman

  12. Maria Huffman
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    My dispute with WISD stands…they do not believe in desensitization for sensory complaints and this is an egregious policy position. They believe, perhaps they are in a legally defensible position. I do not think they are because there is no way to maintain LRE unless they desensitize. It is very straightforward.

  13. iRobert
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Did Scott Hagerstrom grab anybody in the studio by the pussy?

  14. site admin
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    He grabbed Mark’s hand and shoot. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not that counts, Robert.

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