press release

News from Progress Michigan

January 17, 2021

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

‘Militia Mike’ Shirkey Gave Messaging Advice to Right-Wing Militias

Progress Michigan calls out Shirkey for buddying up to dangerous extremists

MICHIGAN — A month prior to a slew of arrests targeting right-wing militia members who allegedly planned to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey met in his office with unnamed militia groups to give them messaging advice, according to a report by the Michigan Advance. The information came from an interview Shirkey gave to JTV on September 10th.

During the interview, Shirkey said, “the militia groups are getting a bad rap…they have a real purpose and I think a sincere purpose.” He went on to say, “They bleed red, white and blue, but they feel like they’re not being heard.” 

Shirkey said he had a “healthy conversation” with the unnamed militia groups and encouraged them to focus on their messaging which could include, “overreach of our governor and suppressing people’s rights.”

“It’s clear based on his track record of buddying up to right-wing militants and extremists that ‘Militia Mike’ Shirkey’s leadership in the Senate is dangerous to our state. He is normalizing right-wing extremism from his position as Senate Majority Leader,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Shirkey seems to have a better working relationship with right-wing extremists than Michigan’s governor, a bad sign of his unhinged and dangerous leadership for residents of the state. We can’t help but wonder whose side ‘Militia Mike’ is on. We’re calling for an immediate investigation into this meeting and any others he has had with extremists. The people of Michigan deserve to know who he met with and if these militias had any ties to the alleged kidnapping attempt against Gov. Whitmer.”