|Michigan House of Representatives District 63|
|January 1, 2013|
|Years in position||6|
|Speaker, Michigan State House of Representatives|
|Per diem||$10,800 yearly expense allowance|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 6, 2012|
|Term limits||3 terms|
|Bachelor's||Western Michigan University.|
- 1 Issues
- 2 Previous offices held
- 3 Political campaign history
- 4 Voting record
- 5 Committee assignments
- 6 Issues
- 7 Elections
- 8 Campaign donors
- 9 Campaign contributions
- 10 Recent news
- 11 Scorecards
- 12 Recall efforts
- 13 Contact
- 14 External links
- 15 References
Rep. Bolger graduated from Charlotte High School and attended Western Michigan University where he earned his Bachelor's of Business Administration. He achieved dual majors in Finance and Political Science. Rep. Bolger has been married to his high school sweetheart Molly for 15 years. They have two children together, Nicholas and Megan.
Bolger's website highlights the following campaign themes:
Working for Jobs
- Excerpt:"As a local small business owner, Jase Bolger understands the solutions we need to create jobs and make Michigan competitive. Representative Bolger has made working for jobs his top priority."
Putting Us First
- Excerpt:"Jase Bolger has demonstrated he has the courage to oppose special interests and work for us. State government is struggling because our families are hurting. He stood strong to control spending and make sure state government lives within its means."
Previous offices held
Bolger was previously the Calhoun County, Michigan commissioner.
Political campaign history
Key votes of 2009-2010
- Click below to see how this representative voted.
- Super Speedway, Lawmakers voting on whether TO EXTEND A SPECIAL TAX PERK for a super speedway.
- Driver Responsibility Fees, Lawmakers voting on whether TO IMPOSE 'driver responsibility fees.'
- Crony Capitalism, Lawmakers voting on whether TO RESTRICT THE RIGHT of shareholders to sell their own stock.
- Right to Work, Lawmakers voting on an amendment SUPPORTING RIGHT-TO-WORK zones.
- Dept. of State Cost-Saving, Lawmakers voting on whether TO SLOW DOWN PROGRESS ON THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S COST-SAVING CONSOLIDATION PLAN.
- Golf Carts, Lawmakers voting on whether TO SUBSIDIZE the production of electric vehicle batteries.
- Home Court Disadvantage, Lawmakers voting on whether TO GIVE MORE TAXING POWER to local government in Kalamazoo so it can finance a taxpayer-subsidized sports arena.
- Fire Safe Cigarettes, Lawmakers voting on whether TO BAN the sale of cigarettes that are not "fire safe."
- Balancing Act, Lawmakers voting on a budget to CUT REVENUE SHARING PAYMENTS to local governments as a way to balance the state budget without raising taxes.
- Balancing Act 2, Lawmakers voting on a cut of less than 3 percent to K-12 school aid payments so as to balance the state budget without tax increases.
- A Good Tax Gone Bad?, Lawmakers voting on the Michigan Business Tax.
- It’s From the Children, Lawmakers voting on whether to RAID $90 MILLION from the Michigan Higher Education Student Loan Authority.
- Left Behind, Lawmakers voting on whether TO FINANCE "No Worker Left Behind" with a 59.9 percent increase in general fund spending in the 2009 DELEG budget.
- First Class Schools, Lawmakers voting on whether to keep Detroit Public Schools' "first class" status even though the district no longer meets the population standard.
- Politically Correct Capitalism, Lawmakers voting on whether to INCREASE SUBSIDIES for plug-in traction battery packs used in electric cars.
- Politically Correct Capitalism 2, Lawmakers voting on whether to GIVE SUBSIDIES for Michigan film production.
- Politically Correct Capitalism 3, Lawmakers voting on whether to INCREASE ELECTRIC CAR SUBSIDIES for a subsidiary of a Korean battery company.
- Secret Ballot, Lawmakers voting on whether to keep a SECRET BALLOT for union elections.
- Property Taxes Assaulted Again, Lawmakers voting on whether to allow public schools to EXPAND THE USE OF SINKING FUND property tax spending.
- Sneak Attack, Lawmakers voting on whether to allow public schools to EXPAND THE USE OF SINKING FUND property tax spending.
- Grapes of Wrath, Lawmakers voting on whether TO BAN home shipment of beer and wine to Michigan consumers.
- Subsidize Manufacture of Electric Cars, Lawmakers voting on whether to authorize a refundable Michigan Business Tax credit for makers of plug-in traction battery packs used in electric cars.
- Authorize Special Tax Breaks for Ethanol Gas Stations, Lawmakers voting on whether to authorize a non-refundable Michigan Business Tax credit equal to 30 percent of the costs incurred by a gas station to convert existing pumps and tanks, or acquire new ones that deliver E85 ethanol or biodiesel fuel.
More voting record details
- List of all of James Bolger’s roll call votes, bills introduced, and floor amendments from MichiganVotes.org (use site’s “advanced search” to narrow by date range, issue category and/or keyword).
- List of James Bolger’s 0 missed roll-call votes
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Bolger has been appointed to these committees:
- Statutory Committee on Legislative Council, Chair
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Bolger served on these committees:
- New Economy and Quality of Life
- Oversight and Investigations (Minority Vice Chair)
- Public Employee Health Care Reform
- Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources
Bolger is embroiled in controversy as a result of a press release from Kent County Prosecuting Attorney William Forsyth which revealed that Bolger and incumbent Roy Schmidt were involved in a plan to tilt the election in Schmidt's favor. Schmidt had defected to the Republican Party just before the primary, and made an arrangement with Bolger to pay 22 year-old Matt Mojzak to run as a Democrat in the election, but not actually conduct a real campaign. On this move, Forsyth claimed, "it is clear that the only logical reason for his [Mojak's] recruitment was to prevent the Democratic Party from mounting a viable write-in candidacy."
Forsyth deemed that no laws were broken, stating, "Although this scheme by Rep. Schmidt and Speaker Bolger was clearly designed to undermine the election and to perpetrate a ‘fraud’ on the electorate, it was nonetheless legal...While Mr. Mojak ill-advisedly agreed to participate in this misadventure, it is clear that he was duped into doing so and is the least culpable of anyone involved in this fiasco.”
In defense of his actions, Bolger told mlive.com "I encouraged a Democrat to be recruited, but the bottom line is that I have always encouraged the law to be followed. This is political gamesmanship and we lost sight that we ought to be focused on the people and bringing them results."
Bolger's opponent, Bill Farmer, has said of the incident, "Speaker Bolger knowingly attempted to deceive the voters by making shady deals behind the scenes with Roy Schmidt. This was a blatantly political move to benefit the Republican Party. This isn’t how our democracy was meant to work."
On July 18, Democrats in the legislature called on Bolger to step down from the position of Speaker. In calling for a resignation, Senator Gretchen Whitmer said, "Regardless of whether charges are ultimately filed, we know that one of Michigan’s highest ranking leaders engaged in unethical and fraudulent behavior, putting personal politics above the good of Michigan... [Bolger and Schmidt] knew what they were doing. They knew it was wrong... And even now that it’s become public, they still refuse to accept the consequences." 
|Michigan House of Representatives, District 63 General election (2010)|
|James Bolger (R)||20,935|
|Dave Morgan (D)||12,408|
James Bolger raised $192,377 for his campaign.
|Michigan House of Representatives, District 63|
|James Bolger (R)||27,641|
|Phyllis Smith (D)||21,188|
In 2010, Bolger received $110,134 in campaign donations. The largest contributors are listed below.
|Michigan House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Jase Bolger's campaign in 2010|
|Michigan Society Of Anesthesiologists||$2,350|
|Michigan McDonalds Operators Association||$2,150|
|Total Raised in 2010||$110,134|
In 2008 James Bolger collected $192,377 in donations. 
His five largest contributors in 2008 were:
|Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee||$11,576|
|Bishop Majority Leadership Fund||$5,000|
|Michigan Association of Realtors||$5,000|
Contributions Report from Michigan Secretary of State
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term James + Bolger + Michigan + Legislature
- All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.
Tea Party Scorecard
The Independent Tea Party Patriots, a Michigan Tea Party group, grades the votes of this and every other Michigan legislator on “core tea party issues” in a regularly-updated scorecard. 100% is considered an ideal rating.
January 2011 - March 2012
James Bolger received a 71% rating on the January 2011 - March 2012 Tea Party Scorecard.
In early May 2011, the Committee to Recall Rick Snyder took aim at Bolger in an attempt to recall him from office. It did not go to a vote.
On May 10, Autumn Smith submitted language to the Calhoun County Clerk citing Bolger's support for cutting school funding and legislation easing restrictions on voiding public employee contracts.
The Election Commission rejected the petition on May 25, saying the language was unclear and relied too much on opinion. Smith turned in six additional language submissions in June, one of which was to have been considered at a hearing on June 24. The day before it was to occur, Bolger's lawyers were granted a Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction against the election commission, effectively stopping the hearing.
On August 30, Smith announced she was frustrated by the legal process and was ending her recall efforts against Bolger. Just days later, Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt rejected Bolger's arguments, allowing the recall process to continue. Smith said she would continue to help if someone else leads the campaign, but that she no longer had the time or resources to lead it herself.
Rep. James Bolger
N-997 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48933
- James Bolger's campaign website
- Michigan Legislature - Representative James Bolger
- Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Michigan Votes - James Bolger
- Campaign Contributions: 2008
- James Bolger on Facebook
- "electbolger," Official Campaign Website
- Mitt Romney Campaign Website "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Michigan Speaker of The House Jase Bolger and Additional Members of The Michigan Legislature," September 19, 2011
- Michigan Department of State "2012 Unofficial Michigan Primary Candidate Listing," Accessed June 7, 2012
- Michigan Live "Prosecutor: Roy Schmidt tried to 'undermine' election, did not commit crime," Accessed July 20, 2012
- Daily Kos "Jaw-dropping election fraud by Michigan GOP House Speaker Jase Bolger," Accessed July 20, 2012
- Michigan Live "Democratic opponent calls on House Speaker Jase Bolger to apologize for role in election scandal," Accessed July 20, 2012
- [http://www.michiganradio.org/post/rep-roy-schmidt-gop-leader-apologize-recruiting-fake-democrat-party-switch Michiganrado.org "Rep. Roy Schmidt, GOP leader, apologize for recruiting fake Democrat in party switch," Accessed July 23, 2012
- The Morning Sun "Dems call for Bolger to step down as Michigan House speaker," Accessed July 23, 2012
- Michigan House of Representatives official election results for 2008
- Follow the Money's report on Bolger's 2008 campaign contributions
- Follow the Money - 2010 contributions
- 2008 contributors to James Bolger
- Michigan Votes, "Tea Party Scorecard Jan 2011-Mar 2012," accessed June 25, 2012
- MLive, "Recall drive for Michigan House's GOP speaker," May 10, 2011
- MLive, "Recall petition targeting House Speaker Jase Bolger rejected by Calhoun County Election Commission," May 25, 2011
- Daily Kos, "More on MI Spkr of the House Jase Bolger's cowardly attack on constituent Autumn Smith," June 25, 2011
- Battle Creek Inquirer, "Recall effort against Rep. Jase Bolger ends," August 31, 2011
- MLive, "Judge rejects Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's arguments against recall effort," September 1, 2011
|Michigan House of Representatives District 63
| Succeeded by|
State of Michigan
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