WestSouthwest: State House Speaker Jase Bolger

Aug 13, 2013

Jase Bolger
Credit WMUK

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. 

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

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.