It was the hometown, adoring crowd ready to ratify anything Kid Rock had to say as he opened up Little Caesars Arena with a rollicking concert Tuesday night.
But once again, a supposed “announcement” of political significance — say an official throwing of the proverbial hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat held by Debbie Stabenow — didn’t happen.
A week before Tuesday’s concert, the publicists for Kid Rock — whose real name is Robert Ritchie — sent political reporters another tease.
“On this historic opening night, Kid Rock will not only give patrons a performance to remember, but following the first song, he will be giving his fans exclusive insight on his political views and aspirations for Michigan while on stage.”
The news that several moderate Republican members of Congress will not seek re-election in 2018 – including a Detroit-area legislator – has political observers asking if U.S. Rep. Fred Upton could be the next to step down in a potential swing district.
An Upton spokesman said this week that reports of Upton’s retirement have been greatly exaggerated.
“Fred is happy with his day job and remains very focused on the bipartisan work he’s doing for Southwest Michigan and our entire state,” Tom Wilbur told The Herald-Palladium and other media outlets after articles placed his boss on the list of possible GOP retirees. “He continues to explore all of his options and is busy with a packed schedule back here and in D.C. At this point, retirement is not in the cards.”
The New York Times reported Sept. 8 that Upton “may retire or run for the Senate, according to multiple party officials.”
A U.S. House committee is expected to vote Wednesday to advance two bills that would remove the gray wolf in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the federal endangered species list.
The proposed change in designation follows a ruling last month by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholding a lower court that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had acted prematurely by removing federal protections from the wolves.
Litigation over the listing of the wolves has been in the courts for years. Environmental groups argue that the species remains vulnerable after nearly disappearing from the region in the 1970s.
State and federal regulators maintain the gray wolf has recovered with, for example, an estimated 610 wolves now in the Upper Peninsula.