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Calley says attorney general Schuette doesn’t work much

July 24, 2018

FILE - In this May 9, 2018 file photo, Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, left, and Attorney General Bill Schuette participate in the GOP's first debate in Grand Raids, Mich. In the fall of 2016, after the release of old footage in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women, Calley renounced his support for Trump and called for the GOP nominee's withdrawal from the presidential campaign. Schuette stuck with Trump, secured the president's endorsement and has not let Republican voters forget it before the Aug. 7 primary. The Trump factor has proven tough for his rival Calley, the favorite of outgoing two-term Gov. Rick Snyder, to overcome in a bitter battle that also includes conservative state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines, a political newcomer. (Michael Buck/Wood-TV8 via AP, POOL)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Tuesday increased his criticism of rival Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, accusing him of not working much as attorney general the last 7½ years and instead focusing his time on running for governor.

Calley released a copy of Schuette’s official calendar, which he obtained through a public-records request, and launched a related TV ad two weeks before the primary. He said it shows an “off-duty” Schuette worked just 104 “full” eight-hour days out of approximately 1,950 working days since he became attorney general in 2011, or an average of one day in every 3.75-week period.

He deemed a “full day” to be whenever there were at least eight hours between Schuette’s first event of the day and the end of the last event.

Calley acknowledged that Schuette could have been working during times when he had no scheduled events, meetings, phone calls or other official business. But he said he was “very generous” in crediting even 104 full days to Schuette, adding that there were an unusually large of days in which he had no items on his public calendar or a very small number.

“There are very wide amounts of nothing on there,” Calley said during a news conference in Lansing. “It’s vast emptiness.”

He said Schuette very likely has a separate schedule for political business, “and I expect that that’s where most of his activities lie.”

While the attorney general’s office did not directly address his calendar, it defended his work ethic and denounced Calley’s move as “just another political attack.”

Schuette “runs an office that manages 40,000 cases a year and has spent days, night and weekends putting predators like Larry Nassar behind bars when no one else did, stopping scam artists from harming Michigan seniors, helping kids stand up to bullying with the OK2SAY initiative, recovering $252,567,153 in back child support payments, and so much more,” said spokeswoman Andrea Bitely.

Schuette’s campaign and allies, meanwhile, renewed their criticism of Calley for missing Senate sessions as lieutenant governor while pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard University. Senior strategist John Sellek said the “losing and desperate” Calley “abandoned the issues in this campaign and now he has abandoned the truth.”

Calley, whose office is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act unlike Schuette’s, declined to make public his own official schedule — prompting further criticism from the Schuette camp. Calley said doing so would release the schedules of others. He instead promised to later give reporters information showing how his own “blocks of time” were spent.

The rivals are vying for the GOP nomination along with state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines.

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