Politics & Government

It's Just Politics
2:38 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

"Brutal attack ads" surface days before Election Day

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

We are now a week and a half away from Election Day and this is the breakout time in any campaign season. The closing days when candidates and campaigns make their final pitches to try and close the deal with voters.

Although a lot of voters have already voted. As many as a third of the ballots in Election 2014 will be absentee ballots filled out before November 4th actually arrives.

Closing Arguments Coming Earlier

And that means as many as a third of Michigan voters have already made up their minds and won’t wait for November and the campaigns’ closing arguments. The fact that so many voters now use absentee ballots has pushed up the late-campaign attack ads; the ones that are really jarring.

Bobby McKenzie, Democrat running in Michigan’s 11th Congressional district, recently released an ad attacking his Republican opponent David Trott. It’s an ad that The Washington Post called “one of the most brutal attack ads you’ll even see.”

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Stateside
10:25 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

Today on Stateside:

  • John U. Bacon broke down what's at stake for the Michigan-Michigan State football game this weekend.
  • The latest circulation figures indicate newspapers' decline. Industry experts Bill Thomas and Jack Lessenberry talked about why that's the case and how it can hurt democracy.
  • Facing criticisms of the recent pay raises, the DIA has to re-think its compensation strategy.
  • The founder of a Michigan-based charity uncovered the lesser-told side of the breast-cancer story: the financial hardship patients often endure as they go through treatment.

* Listen to the full show above.

Politics & Government
3:24 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

As election approaches, anti-foreclosure activists ramp up rhetoric against Trott

Trott's former law firm, Trott & Trott, is accused of using unethical and deceptive practices to foreclose on homes.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Republican candidate for Congress David Trott was the subject of some street theater this week.

Trott is running for the U.S. House seat in Metro Detroit’s 11th district.

He’s also a former co-owner of the Trott & Trott law firm, which specializes in home foreclosure work on behalf of banks. It prospered during the recent housing crisis, foreclosing on up to 80,000 homes in 2009 alone.

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Weekly Political Roundup
3:21 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Can visits from political heavyweights tip the scale in elections?

Mitt Romney
Credit (courtesy of MittRomneyCentral.com)

We’re edging ever closer to the November election and across the country big names in politics have been visiting states to drum up support for different candidates.

Here in Michigan we’ve had visits from:

  • Michelle Obama 
  • Mitt Romney
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bill Clinton
  • Chris Christie
  • Jeb Bush

Next week President Obama will visit Michigan.

Do these visits really have an impact on local elections?

Or is it more about building political capital for that political heavyweight?

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Politics & Government
11:13 am
Thu October 23, 2014

More political heavyweights in Michigan, poll updates and 11th hour campaign strategy

Former President Bill Clinton was in Flint on Wednesday, where he spoke to a crowd of hundreds of Democrats.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss what it means for Michigan when big name politicians campaign for local candidates, the outlook for the state’s major races, and what political parties are up to as Nov. 4 draws near.


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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Snyder and Schauer both wrong; potential revenue lost to schools is a billion dollars a year

In the race for governor, few things are disputed more than education funding under Gov. Rick Snyder. Challenger Mark Schauer claims Snyder cut funding by a billion dollars. Snyder has called that a lie and says he’s added a billion dollars. They’re both sort of right and they’re both wrong.

“Both sides have truth. Neither is lying, per se,” said Mitch Bean.

He is a former director of the Michigan House Fiscal Agency. That’s a nonpartisan agency within the Michigan House of Representatives. Now he’s a consultant and he’s been looking at the budgets to try to find out exactly what has happened to money for schools.

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Stateside
5:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Democrats rally to get out the mid-term vote – with a little help from their big-name friends

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)
Credit Steve Carmody

Midterm elections tend not to draw out many Democrat voters, so as Election Day draws closer, the Democratic Party is pulling out all the stops to encourage voters to turn out. 

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan’s 5th District, hosted Bill Clinton in Flint today. Kildee joined us on Stateside to talk about the importance of midterm elections.  

“Many people mistakenly believe that we choose the course the country will take once every four years when we elect a president. Here in Michigan, we make those decisions in the midterms,” Kildee says, including decisions about congressional seats and who sits in the governor’s chair.  

Top Democrats who've visited Michigan include Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton. Kildee says President Obama may visit the state within the next week.  

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Politics & Government
5:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Bill Clinton campaigns for Michigan Democrats in Flint

Former President Bill Clinton was met with loud applause from a crowd of Democrats in Flint on Wednesday. He was joined on stage by Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer (left), Congressman Dan Kildee (Center) and nominee for U.S. Senate Gary Peters (not pictured).”
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

Another Clinton was in Michigan on Wednesday urging Democrats to show up to the polls on November 4th. Last week it was former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This time it was her husband rallying Democrats to try to get out the vote.

“We don’t win these races and we get this gridlock because too many people don’t vote at midterm,” said former President Bill Clinton in front of a crowd of hundreds of Democrats.

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Stateside
4:57 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

The silent treatment: Nobody's talking about right-to-work in this election

Dec. 11th, 2012 Right to Work protest in Lansing, MI.
Credit Matt Radick / Flickr

  It’s been nearly two years since a lame-duck Legislature made Michigan the 24th right-to-work state. In response, 12,000 furious protesters flocked to the state Capitol, vowing Republicans would pay dearly at the next elections.

Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of the Detroit News, and Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry joined Stateside to talk about the impact of right-to-work on the upcoming elections.

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Stateside
6:13 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Newspapers weigh perception, effectiveness of political endorsements

Credit User: Valerie Everett / Flickr

 

Newspaper endorsements are one of America's time-honored election traditions.

But as the winds of change blow through newsrooms across the nation, that tradition is changing.  

Anna Clark wrote about this for the Columbia Journalism Review. She says some major newspapers have stopped making endorsements since the trend started around 2009.

According to Clark, some newspapers are concerned about the risk endorsements may pose to their credibility. Others cited doubts about whether endorsements actually affect election results. 

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Politics & Government
5:40 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Michigan Democrats pushing for big voter turnout on Election Day

Former President Bill Clinton is the latest big name Democrat campaigning in Michigan's 2014 election. First Lady Michelle Obama and former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton have also stumped for votes in Detroit this fall.
Credit @billclinton

Bill Clinton will be campaigning with Democrats in Flint tomorrow.

The former president is just the latest big-name Democrat to push for votes in Michigan. First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made campaign stops in Detroit to rally the Democratic Party base in recent weeks.

President Barack Obama is expected to visit Michigan before Election Day.

One analyst says Democrats are bringing in big names in an attempt to boost turnout in next month’s election.

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Politics & Government
12:42 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

What's getting in the way of no-reason absentee voting in Michigan?

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson
Credit Ruth Johnson for Michigan

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Gov. Rick Snyder both say the state should allow every voter who does not want to wait until Election Day to cast an absentee ballot. So does Johnson’s Democratic opponent in the November election.

Michigan is in the minority of states that does not currently allow no-reason absentee voting. Twenty-seven other states and Washington D.C. already allow it.

So what is getting in the way of Michigan joining that list?

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Stateside
9:52 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Michigan Senate campaigns find deep pockets for ad spending

Michigan senatorial candidate Gary Peters
Credit Detroit Regional Chamber / Flickr

Michigan has seen a torrent of political ads in the Senate race between Gary Peters and Terri Lynn Land – more than 45,000, according to Center for Public Integrity.

Michigan has the third-highest spending of any state in a Senate race. Who's paying for these ads? Todd Spangler is the Washington reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

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Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Failure to show up an issue in 11th District race

The three candidates running for Congress in the 11th District agreed on very little at a forum in Birmingham Monday - except the failure of the fourth candidate, businessman David Trott, to appear.

Bobby McKenzie, running as a Democrat, says he disagrees with many of the positions taken by  his opponents, "but showing up matters, and the three of us showed up. 

Mr. Trott was supposed to be here - didn't show up.  What kind of representative do you think he's gonna be?" he told a crowd at Seaholm High School.

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Detroit bankruptcy
12:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Judge to rule on Detroit's final bankruptcy plan in early November

Detroit bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes.
Credit John Meiu / Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

During a brief hearing this morning in U.S. bankruptcy court, Judge Steven Rhodes declared his intention to make a final ruling on Detroit's plan to get out of bankruptcy.

Rhodes said he'll make his decision during the first week of November.

His announcement comes after the city announced that it had reached a deal with one of its last remaining major creditors. The Financial Guaranty Insurance Company will no longer oppose Detroit's plan to exit bankruptcy under the terms of a deal reached at 2:30 in the morning last week.

FGIC, which stood to lose $1.1 billion, agreed to terms that gives the company the right to develop the area where the Joe Louis Arena and parking garage now stand. The deal also gave them millions of dollars in credits for future purchases and city notes.

Rod Meloni of WDIV-TV was in court this morning live-blogging. He wrote about what we can expect next for the days remaining in Detroit's bankruptcy trial:

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Politics & Government
11:28 pm
Sat October 18, 2014

Former President Clinton to stump for Schauer, Peters in Flint

Former President Bill Clinton.
Credit @billclinton

LANSING – Former President Bill Clinton is visiting Michigan next week to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters.

The state Democratic Party says Clinton will headline an event Wednesday at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint. The public can get free tickets from Democratic Party offices in the Detroit area and in East Lansing, Saginaw, Bay City and Flint.

Doors to the political event open at 10:30 a.m.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Big names campaign in Michigan, Detroit clears a bankruptcy court hurdle and GM global sales shine

The Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA's collection is safe from being sold after Detroit struck a deal with the last major holdout in its bankruptcy trial this week.
Credit Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss big name politicians stopping in Michigan to campaign for local candidates, the latest development in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial, and GM’s record global sales despite a dismal week on Wall Street.


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Politics & Government
9:37 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Detroit City Council member Saunteel Jenkins resigns

Saunteel Jenkins

Detroit City Council member Saunteel Jenkins is resigning.

Jenkins was first elected to Council in 2009. She was re-elected in 2013 as one of two at-large members on a now mostly district-based Council.

Jenkins finished her first term serving as Council President, after Charles Pugh abandoned the post. She sought the post again this term, but lost a close internal vote to current President Brenda Jones.

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It's Just Politics
4:09 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Political campaigns get personal with your email addresses

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

 Welcome to this fundraising edition of It’s Just Politics.

No, we’re not talking about Michigan Radio’s Fall Fundrive that’s underway (although the number is 888-258-98… ah, stop us!).

Instead, we are talking about Election 2014 campaign fundraising.

Endless pleas

If you’re on a campaign or party list you are well aware of the seemingly endless pleas for campaign cash.

“The entire team is still here. There is nothing we’d rather be doing than going home and taking a break. But we know how important this midnight deadline we’re facing is. If we don’t meet it, that means we could lose.”

Or this one from Senate Republicans, “Friend, I’m really disappointed and worried. I’ve been counting on your support to end Harry Reid’s disastrous control of the US Senate on November 4th….”

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Politics & Government
5:35 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

State launches effort to reduce trauma for infants in foster care

DHS Director Maura Corrigan.
Credit user Samahiaka18 / wikimedia commons

State officials say too many infants experience psychological trauma when they are removed from their homes and put into foster care. The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) hopes to change that with a new set of policies.

Child Protective Services (CPS) employees will be encouraged to work with mental health experts in some cases. DHS says it will also try to place babies in homes that are likely to adopt them, when possible. That’s when they are not likely to be reunited with their parents.

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