Mike Duggan

Lily Tomlin and Oliver Cromwell have nothing in common, as far as I know.  But I thought of both this morning when I was considering the news from Detroit and Lansing.

Tomlin years ago came up with a perfect line to describe the latest twist in the Detroit elections mess.  “No matter how cynical you get, you can’t keep up.”

That was exactly the case when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers met to certify the totals in the Detroit mayoral primary election two weeks ago. There should have been no mystery about the results. Mike Duggan had been ruled off the ballot on a technicality, but won in a write-in landslide.  He got nearly twice as many votes as his closest competitor, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. But Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett yesterday announced she was throwing out nearly half of Duggan’s votes, because poll workers merely recorded them, rather than make a hashtag mark next to them.

Not only did this cavalierly disenfranchise twenty thousand voters, it looks and smells highly suspect. Cathy Garrett is the sister of Al Garrett, a prominent union official who is one of Benny Napoleon’s biggest backers.

Now her decision would not have changed the lineup for the November runoff. It will still be between Duggan and Napoleon. But Garrett’s maneuver would have allowed Napoleon’s backers to claim he “won” a primary he actually lost.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Author Elmore Leonard dies

Detroit writer Elmore Leonard passed away yesterday at age 87.  Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells reports that Leonard was the author of 45 novels and was in the middle of number 46 when he suffered a stroke earlier this summer.  Leonard’s work has often been adapted to well-known films such as 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight, and the television series Justified.

Detroit mayoral race has ballot counting issues

In Detroit’s mayoral race earlier this month, Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan appeared to have a clear 16-point lead over Wayne County Sherriff Benny Napoleon.  But now the results are being questioned because of ballot counting inconsistencies.  Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reports that “votes are customarily counted with hash marks but some election workers used numbers instead.” 

Grand Rapids Public Schools show improvement

Some Grand Rapids Public Schools have had difficulty meeting Michigan state educational standards for the past few years.  Union High School previously hovered in the lowest one percent of schools in the state.  It has now pulled itself up to within the lowest ten percent.  Michigan Radio’s Lindsay Smith reports that the district’s superintendent said “it wasn’t just the district; this really has been a community effort.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 5:54 p.m.

The state will settle the issue of who really won the Detroit mayoral primary election earlier this month, after the Wayne County Board of Canvassers declined to certify the results.

At issue are about 18,000 votes, and a controversy over how they were counted.

Apparently votes are customarily counted with hash marks, but some election workers used numbers instead.  If the votes with numbers get thrown out, the two winners would switch places, with Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon coming out on top, and former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan finishing second. 

Rather than certifying the election, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers has asked the state Bureau of Elections to settle the question. A spokesman for the state says the last time a county board failed to certify an election was the 1980s.  

Whatever the outcome, Duggan and Napoleon will face off in November. 

Update 4:57 p.m.

Matt Helms and Joe Guillen of the Detroit Free Press report that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers is debating whether to toss 18,000 votes from the August 6th Detroit mayoral election.

The Freep reports that Mike Duggan's legal team says they'll fight any results where that many votes are not counted:

“It’s the most outrageous, disgraceful thing I’ve seen in 20 years of observing elections,” said Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, legal counsel for Mike Duggan. “This is worse than Bush versus Gore.”

He said Duggan’s team has appealed to the Michigan Bureau of Elections for an answer, and would challenge any certification that did not include the left-out numbers.

And from the same piece, Benny Napoleon said the controversy calls into question the whole election process in Detroit and is calling for federal oversight of the general election:

“A citizen’s vote is the cornerstone of Democracy, and people should be able to put their faith in their ballot,” Napoleon, who finished second in the mayoral primary to Duggan, said in a statement.

“This is no small margin of error. This is very troubling and I believe it is cause for Detroit’s General Election to be overseen by the highest authority — either the Federal Elections Commission or the Department of Justice, Napoleon said. 

4:09 p.m.

Area newsrooms are working to find out what happened to all the write-in votes cast for Mike Duggan. WXYZ-TV reports thousands of Duggan votes were not counted because of a difference between how the city and the county tallies votes:

A county election official told the board the remaining votes were not counted because city election workers improperly tallied them. According to a state law, the city no longer has canvass board. Instead, elections must be certified by the county.

The county uses hash-marks to tally votes. Instead, city election workers used numbers to tally some of the votes. Since numbers were used and not hash marks, they were uncounted.

WXYZ reports the county board of canvassers has yet to to certify the election results, "but it was scheduled to take a vote to do so this afternoon."


3:47 p.m.

On August 6, everyone thought that Mike Duggan won the Detroit mayoral primary. 

We interviewed him, and Duggan had already started outlining his plans as Mayor of Detroit.

But today, the Detroit News is reporting that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers said that Benny Napoleon won the mayoral primary.

Two weeks ago, we thought Napolean had come in second. 

According to the Detroit News, the Board of Canvassers announced that Napoleon won with 28,391 votes. Duggan got 23,970. 

The News said that Lisa Howze, a former State Representative and a mayoral candidate who came in 4th in the race, will endorse Duggan for mayor:

She said she is supporting Duggan because they share the same vision about the neighborhood investment and economic development, adding that Duggan has the "tenacity and know-how to make relationships in the community" to get the job done as mayor. 

The panel upheld several different versions of write-in votes cast for Duggan: Mike Duggnn, Mick E. Duggan, Milk Duggan, Mr. Duggan, and Mike Duggan "the Whiteman" were some of the variations submitted.

If these results are upheld, it won't change who will appear on the ballot this November in the Detroit mayoral election. It would only change who we understand to be the top vote-getter in the August 6th primary.

*This post is being updated

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

user aMichiganMom / Flickr

This "week in review," Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the Detroit primary results, the future of the DIA collection, and prison sentencing reform in Michigan.

Mike Duggan sweeps the primary vote

Mike Duggan's write-in campaign ended this week with surprising success. 85 percent of voters who wrote in his name spelled it correctly resulting in a huge lead for the Detroit mayoral contender.

Jack Lessenberry says, "It'll remain to be seen what happens in November.  One thing we know is that a lot more people will vote."

DIA collection appraised by Christie's Auction House

The Detroit Institute of Arts collection has been put at risk by Detroit's bankruptcy. The city invited Christie's Auction House to appraise the collection, perhaps simply to take inventory of its assets.

Lessenberry thinks that people are panicked about the possible sale of the art.  He says "the Attorney General thinks it's not constitutional, although if a federal bankruptcy judge says it is, federal law trumps state law."

Michigan considers parole and sentencing reform

Conservative lawmakers are considering overhauling prison sentences.  State Representative Joe Haveman is leading the cause, citing that harsher sentences are not keeping us any safer.

Lessenberry says, "Michigan locks up more people, locks them up for longer, and it costs us more.  It costs $34,000 per prisoner and we have 44,000 prisoners."

Patricia Drury / Flickr

The primary election of 2013 is history. Now the focus shifts to the November general election.

For the two candidates who want to become Detroit's next mayor, it's time to take stock of the harsh realities facing the city and craft a clear campaign message that addresses those stark truths.

Stephen Henderson has been issuing that challenge from the pages of the Detroit Free Press throughout the campaign, and now that the two challengers have emerged from the primary, we wanted to get his thoughts.

Stephen Henderson, the editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

There are calls in Lansing to overhaul Michigan’s parole system. Advocates say the state keeps people in prison far longer than necessary.

And, we went back in time to explore how a Michigan company fed the nation's craze for sending postcards.

Also, we spoke with meteorologist Mark Torregrossa about improvements in weather forecasting technology.

First on the show, Detroit voters have spoken. Well, at least the 15% or so who voted in Tuesday's primary.

And, it will be Mike Duggan versus Benny Napoleon in the race for Mayor. We'll talk with our political commentator Jack Lessenberry to get his take on the primary results. But first, let's talk with the candidates.

We were joined today by the top vote-getter in yesterday's mayoral primary, a candidate whose name wasn't even on the ballot, Mike Duggan.

Detroit voters have spoken.

Well, at least 15% of so of them have, the percentage who voted in yesterday's primary.

And it will be Mike Duggan versus Benny Napoleon in the race for Mayor.

Despite being booted off the ballot, and being forced to launch a write-in candidacy, Mike Duggan was by far the most popular choice, with more than 44,395 of the 50,328 write-in ballots that were cast. We should note, Tuesday's election numbers won't be official until certified by county canvassers.

Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Mike Duggan / Facebook

Mike Duggan is the winner of yesterday's mayoral primary in Detroit. He attributed his success to the 10,000 people he talked to at 'house parties' during his primary campaign.

"I was at 185 homes. I was in living rooms, and backyards, and church halls, and apartment complexes. They carried me up."

The former Detroit Medical Center CEO won the primary as a write-in candidate. 

"When everyone who votes for you has to figure out how to navigate the write-in process, it gives you an idea of the depth of commitment people have to do it."

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Duggan and Napoleon lead primary race

Unofficial results from the primary elections for Detroit mayor have been released. Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan won the race in what was largely seen as a long-shot write-in campaign. He received 46 percent of the votes. County Sheriff Benny Napoleon came in second place with 30 percent. The two candidates will now face each other in the general election this November.

Snyder says Pontiac school district is in a financial emergency

Governor Rick Snyder said yesterday he agrees with a review team’s finding that the Pontiac school district is in a state of financial emergency. The district faces an almost $38 million deficit, up almost 50 percent in the past year alone. The Pontiac school district can choose to appeal the decision. If the appeal is rejected, the district must choose whether to negotiate a deficit-elimination plan, ask the governor for permission to file for bankruptcy, or request a state-appointed emergency manager.

Field of candidates narrows in Flint’s special election

“Flint-area voters narrowed the field of candidates to two in a Michigan House of Representatives special election. Unofficial returns on Tuesday in the 49th District showed Democrat Phil Phelps and Republican Don Pfeiffer received the most votes in their respective primaries. They will face off in a special general election in November, with Phelps favored to win the heavily Democratic district. The seat was vacated when former Democratic Rep. Jim Ananich was sworn into the state Senate in May,” the Associated Press reports. 

What happened yesterday in Detroit was truly astounding on a number of levels. More than half of the voters ignored the fourteen mayoral candidates on the ballot, and wrote in a name.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss Mike Duggan's write-in campaign, the Detroit City Council, and the Pontiac school district.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

 Write-in candidates claimed over half the vote in Detroit’s mayoral primary Tuesday.

And that means Mike Duggan’s write-in campaign has made Detroit history.

The former Detroit Medical Center CEO’s campaign was well-organized and well-funded. There was just one problem: a court challenge got him kicked off the ballot.

But apparently that wasn’t a big problem.

Though official results may take some time, Duggan appears to have defeated his next-closest rival, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, by 20 points.

Mike Duggan

There are 14 names on the ballot for Detroit mayor, but one of the widely-seen front-runners doesn't even have his name on it. That would be former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan. Duggan is running a write-in campaign.

But, in the final weeks of the campaign, another man, a barber in Detroit, decided he too would run a write-in campaign for Mayor. His name is Mike Dugeon.

So, this is an election where spelling counts.

Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, joined us today to talk about these write-in candidates.

Listen to the full interview above.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Legislators working to prevent animal abuse in Michigan

A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues. Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check could be waived for shelters. Cracking down on animal abuse has broad support, though some dog breeders question doing tens of thousands of background checks to flag a small number of abusers.

Michigan left turn could enter other states

The median U-turn is common on Michigan roadways; they allow drivers to avoid accident-generating left turns at intersections. But Wayne State University engineers say they aren't common in other states yet, in part because the design isn't included in standard manuals and software used by highway designers. The university received a $78,000 grant from Scientific Applications with which they plan to develop equations, text and software to include the Michigan left turn in the Highway Capacity Manual.

Looking forward to local primaries tomorrow

Local primaries will be taking place across Michigan tomorrow. The most interesting might be the Detroit mayoral primary. There are 14 names on the ballot, but the race is widely seen as a duel between former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. But Duggan isn't even on the ballot, he's running a write-in campaign. Only the top two candidates will advance to the November general election.

Mike Dugeon's Facebook Page / Facebook

Here's a brief review of what's been happening in the news this week:

Let's talk Medicaid expansion. What happened in Lansing?

The state Senate finally got together and the  government operations committee sent the Medicaid bill and they also sent two hastily drawn up last minute substitutes that are tea party measures, that would cost the state more. 

How are UAW negotiations going?

The state passed right-to-work last December but there's the question of whether it applies to state employees, which is pending before the state Supreme Court. 

What are the developments in the 2014 U.S. Senate race?

Sort of unexpectedly, long time Republican representative Dave Camp is talking about getting into the 2014 race for the U.S. senate. This is for the seat Carl Levin is vacating after 36 years. Now, former Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land has been up until now the only Republican candidate but she's vowing that if Mr. Camp gets in she'll give him a spirited fight. 

A look at the Detroit mayoral race: Duggan v. Dugeon

If it's close at all, it could be weeks before we find out who's facing who. It could be a Florida-recount-style mess. 

To listen to the full discussion, click the link above.

This week, it’s another shenanigans edition of It’s Just Politics. Thanks to Jack Lessenberry for his explainer on the latest political mischief coming out of Detroit. It’s important to note this kind of political behavior is nothing new: Very crowded primary ballots with names that are very similar; recruited by opposing campaigns. Efforts to divide the vote can also take into account ethnicity, gender when one side recruits candidates with no hope of winning but, can maybe split the vote to sink another campaign come Election Day. No matter what you think of political games, they’re pretty normal.

Mike Duggan, former hospital CEO, prosecutor and problem-solver for the late Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara launched his Detroit mayoral write-in campaign after he was booted from the ballot after one his opponents challenged him for filing his nomination petitions before he was a city resident for a full-year. But a lot of experts were giving his write-in effort a pretty good shot at getting him into the two-person runoff this coming fall. He’s topping the polls and appeared to have a good shot at winning a spot on the November runoff.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Flint schools develop deficit plan

The Flint school district has a deficit elimination plan for the coming year.  School leaders approved the plan last night.  Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports that the plan calls for job cuts and the closure of two elementary schools.

Former U of M doctor to testify in insider trading case

A former University of Michigan neurologist could serve as a key witness in an insider trading case.  SAC Capital Advisors has been charged with wire fraud and securities fraud.  According to Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody, “one of the hedge fund portfolio managers indicted for securities fraud allegedly obtained information about a new Alzheimer’s drug from a University of Michigan neurologist in 2008.”  Dr. Sidney Gilman advised the company that the experimental drug was not going to be successful.

New candidate enters Detroit mayoral race

Mike Dugeon, a barber from Detroit, has announced his intent to run for mayor.  The hopeful write-in candidate announced his plan to run yesterday.  Alana Holland reports “Whoever is behind the campaign for the new entry Dugeon could potentially hurt Duggan's chances in the Aug. 6 primary.”

Mike Dugeon's Facebook Page / Facebook

A new candidate has announced his candidacy as a write-in for the Detroit mayoral race.

His name? Mike Dugeon.   

Yes, that's a direct aim at a certain other write-in candidate, Mike Duggan. 

Mike Duggan, former Detroit Medical Center CEO, has been gaining quite a bit of support for his write-in campaign for the office. But instead of just filling in the circle next to his name, voters will have to do a couple extra things in the ballot box:

Write in the name, fill in the circle, and make sure there are two Gs.

http://dugganfordetroit.com

DETROIT (AP) - A Wayne County judge has cleared the way for ex-health care executive Mike Duggan to be a write-in candidate for Detroit mayor.

Judge Lita Popke on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by mayoral candidate Tom Barrow and others. Popke earlier knocked Duggan off the Aug. 6 primary ballot after a challenge by Barrow because Duggan hadn't lived in Detroit long enough before filing to run.

Popke said Duggan meets all requirements to run as a write-in candidate. The state's election director last week also said Duggan met all City Charter requirements for a write-in campaign.

Duggan and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon have been seen as leading candidates for mayor. Duggan would need to finish at least second in the primary to appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Write-in candidates are usually considered long shots for winning political office.

But it’s possible this upcoming Detroit election could turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan is running a write-in campaign for Detroit mayor.

The Lansing-based newsletter Inside Michigan Politics recently commissioned a poll asking Detroit voters whether they’d write in a candidate for mayor.

For the last year, former Detroit Medical System czar and long-time Wayne County political fixer Mike Duggan has been gearing up to run for mayor of Detroit.

The 55-year-old candidate was seen by many movers and shakers, both black and white, as perhaps the one politician who could actually run the city, once it emerges from control by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

But Duggan’s candidacy was derailed when a circuit judge ruled him off the August primary ballot because of an odd technicality.

dugganfordetroit.com

He was bounced out of the race on a technicality.

At his announcement last week that he would drop out of the Detroit mayoral race, a press event that normally would be somber, Duggan drew some laughs.

"I am the first candidate I've ever heard of to be knocked off the ballot for filing petitions too early."

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

“Right-to-read” suit continues

A Wayne County judge is allowing a suit against the Highland Park school district to proceed.  “The suite says the district failed to comply with a state law that requires remedial assistance for students not reading at grade level in the fourth and seventh grades,” reports Michigan Radio’s Lindsay Hall.  The “right-to-read” suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last year.

Duggan supporters consider write-in campaign

Mike Duggan will announce his next steps today in the Detroit Mayoral race.  Michigan Radio’s Sara Cwiek reports that Duggan’s supporters are preparing a write-in campaign for him.  Duggan was ousted from the race last week when courts decided he was ineligible after filing his paperwork outside of the approved dates.    

Detroit City Council President ousted

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has been relieved of duty.  Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr stripped him of his salary and authority after he failed to turn up for a final deadline Wednesday evening.  Michigan Radio's Julia Field reports that Pugh is also under scrutiny after allegations surfaced of an inappropriate relationship with a high school student.

Will Mike Duggan launch a write-in campaign for Detroit mayor?

Some of his supporters want him to do just that.

Two courts decided that Duggan couldn’t run for mayor because of a technical residency requirement in the city charter.

Duggan decided not to appeal the issue to the Michigan Supreme Court. And when he announced that last week, Duggan said he wasn’t interested in running a write-in campaign, either.

But some of his supporters, like Peggy Noble, didn’t want to let Duggan’s mayoral campaign die.

 When this week began, it looked as if the legislature and governor had finally found a compromise formula that would allow Medicaid to be expanded to nearly half a million poor Michiganders. It also looked as if the race for the next mayor of Detroit would come down to a contest between Mike Duggan, a man of many past political jobs, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

But the week ended with the Medicaid compromise falling apart; Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr taking steps that probably moved the city closer to a bankruptcy filing, and with  Duggan tossed off the ballot and out of the mayor’s race. On the plus side for Detroit, the Ilitch family announced that a long-rumored six hundred and fifty million dollar new hockey arena would be built on the edge of downtown.

A week ago, everyone believed the Detroit mayor’s race would come down to two men: Mike Duggan, who most recently ran the Detroit Medical Center before its sale to Vanguard, and Benny Napoleon, former Detroit police chief turned Wayne County Sheriff.

Those I talked to were split over who they thought would win, but virtually everyone in a management or leadership role wanted Mike Duggan to win. Not that they loved him.

Duggan has a history of cracking heads to get things done. There are some who say he played too fast and loose back in the nineteen nineties, when he was deputy boss of Ed McNamara’s old Wayne County political machine. There’s also a feeling that Mike Duggan has always been mainly about Mike Duggan.

Mike Duggan

Mike Duggan has dropped out of the race for Detroit mayor, a day after the Michigan Court of Appeals removed him from the ballot.

A stocky white guy from Livonia, Duggan moved his family to Detroit last year so he  could run.

But now, he'll likely be remembered as the guy who couldn't wait just two weeks.

Mike Duggan

It's official: one of the front-runners in Detroit mayor's race has bowed out, undone by a basic timing error.

Mike Duggan announced that he will not appeal a court ruling that tossed him off the primary ballot because he'd turned in campaign signatures two weeks before what would have been the one year mark of his residency in Detroit. The city charter requires candidates to have lived in the city for a full year.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

The U.S. Senate has passed its 2013 Farm Bill, a huge piece of legislation - totaling almost a trillion dollars. We'll found out just what's in the bill, and why, as Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow likes to say, "Michigan is written into its every page."

And, we got an update on the Detroit mayoral race after one of the front-runners got kicked off the ballot.

First on the show, we continue our look at the Great Lakes. Yesterday, we talked about the state's "blue" economy, using our water resources to create jobs and boost industry here in Michigan.

So, today, let's turn to some encouraging news about our lakes from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. They've just released an interactive map that pinpoints success stories across the region, efforts to restore the lakes with projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

To get an idea of what these success stories are and the challenges to the lakes that still remain, we turned to Andy Buchsbaum, the director of the National Wildlife Federation's regional Great Lakes Office.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

At a press conference early this morning, Mike Duggan announced he is officially withdrawing from Detroit’s mayoral race.

Duggan, the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, was kicked off the mayoral ballot last week after the Third Circuit Court ruled that he did not meet the residency requirement in Detroit’s electoral law. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld that decision. Duggan declined to appeal that ruling.

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