redistricting http://michiganradio.org en Michigan Republicans: 'All or nothing' is wrong for electoral system http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-republicans-all-or-nothing-wrong-electoral-system <p>Michigan Republicans said this weekend they want to change the course of future presidential races by changing how the state allocates its electoral votes.</p><p>Delegates to the state Republican convention voted overwhelmingly to support the proposal.</p><p>Michigan Republicans want to join Nebraska and Maine to become the third state to portion out electoral votes by congressional district. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:35:35 +0000 Jake Neher 11400 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Republicans: 'All or nothing' is wrong for electoral system States could make sweeping changes to Electoral College http://michiganradio.org/post/states-could-make-sweeping-changes-electoral-college <p>In his <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-rigging-presidential-elections#comment-774908454">commentary </a>this morning, Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry pointed to what he is calling a Republican plan to rig presidential election results.</p><p>Currently, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, all of a state’s Electoral College votes go to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in that state.</p> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:27:15 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10890 at http://michiganradio.org States could make sweeping changes to Electoral College Candidates battling for Michigan's 1st congressional district debate Great Lakes issues http://michiganradio.org/post/candidates-battling-michigans-1st-congressional-district-debate-great-lakes-issues <p><em>The candidates looking to represent Michigan’s northernmost congressional seat call the Great Lakes the “jewel of the Midwest” and a “treasure of immeasurable value.” Both say they’re committed to keeping the lakes healthy. But they vehemently disagree about the best ways to do that. </em></p><p>Climb the lighthouse tower at the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula&nbsp; -- where the two Grand Traverse bays meet … and look out over rocks and exposed bottomlands.</p><p>The shallow surf dried up years ago and levels on Lake Michigan are now at near-record lows.</p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:00:00 +0000 Linda Stephan 9566 at http://michiganradio.org Candidates battling for Michigan's 1st congressional district debate Great Lakes issues Commentary: How Democrats can fight back after new congressional boundaries http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-how-democrats-can-fight-back-after-new-congressional-boundaries <p>Michigan’s congressional districts have all new boundaries this year, drawn by the Republican majority which controls the legislature. They wanted to maximize their party’s chances, and did so brilliantly.</p><p>They drew the new districts in a way designed to produce nine Republican and only five Democratic congressmen. But this year, Democrats have a fighting chance at an upset in two districts.</p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 12:47:08 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 9424 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: How Democrats can fight back after new congressional boundaries An interesting primary shapes up in Michigan's weirdest (-looking) Congressional district http://michiganradio.org/post/interesting-primary-shapes-michigans-weirdest-looking-congressional-district <p>One of the more interesting primary races coming up this week is in Metro Detroit&rsquo;s 14<sup>th</sup> Congressional district.</p><p>The race in that newly-redrawn district pits two incumbent Congressmen, Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke, against each other.</p><p><a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/MI/14">The 14th district</a> used to cover most of Detroit&rsquo;s west side and a few surrounding suburbs.</p><p>Now, it zig-zags across a big chunk of southeast Michigan&mdash;75 miles long, but only a half-mile wide in some parts.</p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 03:08:26 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 8551 at http://michiganradio.org An interesting primary shapes up in Michigan's weirdest (-looking) Congressional district Federal court dismisses Michigan redistricting case http://michiganradio.org/post/federal-court-dismisses-michigan-redistricting-case <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A federal court has tossed out a challenge to Michigan&#39;s redistricting plans for the state Legislature.</p><p>An order last week from a three-judge panel says the legal opposition to the new districts was &quot;too factually<br /> underdeveloped&quot; to proceed.</p><p>The new boundaries are based on Census counts and begin with this year&#39;s elections.</p><p>Civil rights groups and Democrats sued late last year to challenge new boundaries for Detroit seats in the state House. Opponents said the map forces black incumbents to run against each other and dilutes the political representation of Hispanics.</p><p>Melvin Hollowell, an attorney for the NAACP and others who sued in the case, said Monday possible next steps are under review.</p><p>Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger said the ruling affirms that the Legislature drew fair and legal maps. Mon, 09 Apr 2012 16:56:26 +0000 The Associated Press 6963 at http://michiganradio.org Shenanigans in Oakland County: One of the best political shows in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-oakland-county-one-best-political-shows-michigan <p><strong>Update 3/27/2012:</strong></p><p>&quot;The Michigan Supreme Court - in a decision that breaks along party-lines - &nbsp;has <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-oakland-county-one-best-political-shows-michigan">upheld a state law</a> that will let Republicans on the Oakland County Commission redraw their district lines. The Supreme Court says the law complies with the state constitution, regardless of whether it was designed to give one party a political advantage. The Supreme Court&#39;s three Democrats dissented from the decision,&quot; Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Original Post 3/23/2012:</strong></p><p>This week, <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/people/rick-pluta">Rick Pluta</a>, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, and I decided to take a look at the political shenanigans playing out in <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/oakland-county">Oakland County</a>.</p><p><strong>The Back-story</strong></p><p>&ldquo;There is a fight between Oakland County politicians &ndash; Democrats versus Republicans. It&rsquo;s about the murky, dirty, filthy process of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/redistricting">drawing new district lines</a> for politicians to run in. In Oakland County, [the redrawing] is done by a bi-partisan panel. In this case, it&rsquo;s a panel that has more Democrats than Republicans and the Democrats drew a map that the Republicans didn&rsquo;t like,&rdquo; Pluta explains.</p><p>So, some Republican lawmakers from Oakland County decided to have the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-republicans-ignore-apportionment-commission-draw-your-own-boundaries">state legislature change the redrawing rules</a>. They devised a measure to allow the County Commission, which is controlled by Republicans, to redraw the lines. The measure was then passed by the state&rsquo;s Republican-controlled House and Senate and signed into law by Governor <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/rick-snyder-1">Rick Snyder</a>.</p><p>Democrats cried foul. They <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/oakland-county-democrats-sue-governor-over-re-districting-rules">challenged the new law</a> and, last month, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/oakland-county-redistricting-loses-court">overturned it</a>. Collette ruled the law violated the Michigan Constitution and that the governor and the Legislature illegally interfered in a local political question.</p><p>The question over the legality of the law made its way to the state&rsquo;s highest court this week. On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides.</p><p><strong>Politically-motivated maps</strong></p><p>Republicans all along contended that the reason for the new law was to save taxpayers money. Democrats, and many pundits, said it was pure politics: that the GOP changed the rules so that Republican dominance on the County Board wouldn&rsquo;t be challenged. But, this kind of claim is always hard to prove. Hard to prove&hellip; unless you have emails.</p><p><strong>Busted: GOP emails released</strong></p><p>This week, emails between Republican Oakland County officials and GOP lawmakers<a href="http://howleyforexecutive.com/?p=247"> were released</a> after the Oakland County Democratic Party filed a Freedom of Information Act. The emails appear to show, &ldquo;officials in the offices of Oakland County Executive <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/l-brooks-patterson">L. Brooks Patterson&rsquo;s office</a> and state Representatives &ndash; primarily Rep. <a href="http://www.gophouse.com/welcome.asp?District=044">Eileen Kowall </a>&ndash; basically plotting and trying to find a rationale to kick this redistricting process back over to the County Commission where Republicans would control it,&rdquo; Pluta explains.</p><p><strong>&lsquo;It&rsquo;s gonna be ugly&rsquo;</strong></p><p>In one email, Rep. Kowall wrote, &ldquo;I guess it would also help to have (a) legitimate explanation as to why we waited until now, after redistricting plans have been submitted, to take these bills up.&rdquo; She also wrote, &ldquo;The quicker things move the better, &rsquo;cause it&rsquo;s gonna be ugly.&rdquo; Tue, 27 Mar 2012 11:03:00 +0000 Zoe Clark 6766 at http://michiganradio.org Shenanigans in Oakland County: One of the best political shows in Michigan Michigan Supreme Court upholds Oakland Co. redistricting http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-upholds-oakland-co-redistricting <p>The Michigan Supreme Court - in a decision that breaks along party-lines - &nbsp;has <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-oakland-county-one-best-political-shows-michigan">upheld a state law</a> that will let Republicans on the Oakland County Commission redraw their district lines. The Supreme Court says the law complies with the state constitution, regardless of whether it was designed to give one party a political advantage. The Supreme Court&#39;s three Democrats dissented from the decision.</p><p>Last week, Zoe Clark and I took a look at the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-oakland-county-one-best-political-shows-michigan">political shenanigans</a> behind the Oakland County controversy. You can find that story <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-oakland-county-one-best-political-shows-michigan">here</a>. Tue, 27 Mar 2012 00:41:45 +0000 Rick Pluta 6795 at http://michiganradio.org Judges dismiss challenge to Michigan House redistricting http://michiganradio.org/post/judges-dismiss-challenge-michigan-house-redistricting <p>DETROIT (AP) - A coalition of labor and civil rights groups appears to have lost a lawsuit challenging new boundaries for Detroit seats in the Michigan House.</p><p>A three-judge panel said a majority was in favor of ending the case, and a written opinion will follow. The judges heard arguments Friday on the state of Michigan&#39;s request to dismiss the lawsuit.</p><p>The lawsuit claims the new map is illegal because it dilutes the political representation of minorities and forces some black incumbents to run against each other in Detroit this year. The boundaries were approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican.</p><p>John Bursch of the attorney general&#39;s office defended the map, noting the 10 House seats in Detroit have a majority black population. Fri, 23 Mar 2012 20:42:17 +0000 The Associated Press 6765 at http://michiganradio.org Judges dismiss challenge to Michigan House redistricting Michigan Supreme Court to weigh in on Oakland County redistricting controversy http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-weigh-oakland-county-redistricting-controversy <p>The Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments tomorrow&nbsp;over a state law allowing Republicans to draw county commission boundaries in Oakland County.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Just released emails seem to show Oakland County Republicans tried to&nbsp;circumvent the rules to maintain control of the county commission.</p><p>&ldquo;Clearly there has been a collusionary attempt&nbsp;on the part of the Republican legislators in this body from Oakland County,&quot; says&nbsp;Vicki Barnett,&nbsp;a Democratic state lawmaker from Farmington Hills.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 19:51:50 +0000 Steve Carmody 6712 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court to weigh in on Oakland County redistricting controversy Oakland County redistricting loses in court http://michiganradio.org/post/oakland-county-redistricting-loses-court <p>A judge has overturned a state law that scrapped Oakland County&rsquo;s new commission map and gave Republican elected officials the power to draw a new one.</p><p>The challenge was filed by Democrats who say the law was simply a GOP power grab.</p><p>The ruling is the latest chapter in a struggle for political power in the former Republican bastion that&rsquo;s now a battleground county.</p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:28:48 +0000 Rick Pluta 6241 at http://michiganradio.org Oakland County redistricting loses in court In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-211 <p><strong>Legislators to challenge Michigan redistricting in court</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.michiganlbc.org/">Michigan Legislative Black Caucus</a> is expected to announce a lawsuit today challenging some of the new political boundaries drawn up and approved by the state Legislature and Governor.</p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>A press conference has been scheduled for Thursday at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People office in Detroit.</p><p>The lawsuit&#39;s primary emphasis will be state House districts, according to Democratic Rep. Thomas Stallworth III of Detroit.</p><p>Democrats are upset that maps approved by the Republican-led Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder would force incumbent state lawmakers from Detroit to run against each other in 2012.</p><p>It was not clear late Wednesday how or if the suit might address districts representing Michigan in the U.S. House.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Proposal to limit abortion coverage moving forward</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/proposal-limit-abortion-coverage-heads-full-senate">Laura Weber reports</a> a Senate panel cleared a proposal to restrict access to health care coverage for abortion procedures.</p><p>It would require individuals or employers to pay higher premiums to include abortion coverage in their health care plans.</p><p>Critics say women do not plan an abortion, so the proposal effectively strips their coverage.</p><p>Weber reports &quot;there is no plan in the Senate to approve the abortion insurance proposal before lawmakers begin a winter break next week.&quot;</p><p><strong>Detroit Police union leaders step down as negotiations heat up</strong></p><p>Just as leaders from the city of Detroit are demanding more concessions from city union workers, two leaders from the Detroit Police Officers Association have announced they&#39;re retiring.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20111208/NEWS01/112080626/1001/news">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The Detroit Police Officers Association is planning to replace its leadership after the top two officials stepped down abruptly Tuesday, shocking colleagues as Mayor Dave Bing steps up his demand that police accept 10% wage cuts.</p><p>Union President Marty Bandemer and Vice President Cheryl Smith plan to retire officially at the end of the year after ending discussions with the Bing administration over concessions that police officers strongly oppose. Thu, 08 Dec 2011 14:14:41 +0000 Mark Brush 5297 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... Gary Peters, Gearing Up http://michiganradio.org/post/gary-peters-gearing <p>When Gary Peters runs for Congress next year, there&rsquo;s one vote he has no chance of getting.</p><p>His own. Thanks to redistricting, he lives just barely outside the district he plans to run in. Over coffee yesterday, he told me that his daughter will be a high school senior, and out of consideration for her, the family plans not to move until after she graduates.</p><p>There&rsquo;s nothing illegal about that. Congressmen don&rsquo;t have to live in their districts. But it highlights the general insanity of the redistricting process. Peters, who has served two terms in the House of Representatives,&nbsp;will be one of two candidates for Michigan&rsquo;s biggest, toughest and most exciting race for Congress next year.</p><p>But that race won&rsquo;t happen next November. Nor will Peters be facing a Republican. This battle will be fought out next summer, and settled by the August primary. There, the two youngest and most vibrant members of the Democratic delegation will be forced to try to end each other&rsquo;s career. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:01:55 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 4509 at http://michiganradio.org Gary Peters, Gearing Up Black lawmakers in Michigan to ask federal court to throw out new district maps http://michiganradio.org/post/black-lawmakers-michigan-ask-federal-court-throw-out-new-district-maps <p>A coalition of African-American and civil rights groups is expected to challenge Michigan&rsquo;s <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/redistricting-michigan-new-political-maps-michigan-legislature">new congressional and legislative district maps</a> approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The leader of a group of African-American lawmakers say he expects the lawsuit to be filed in federal court by the end of the month.</p><p>State Representative <a href="http://006.housedems.com/">Fred Durhal</a> chairs the <a href="http://www.michiganlbc.org/">Michigan Legislative Black Caucus</a>. He says the new maps violate voting rights laws. He says that&rsquo;s because they diminish the voting power of urban minority voters &ndash; and the evidence of that is how many Democratic incumbents from minority districts will be forced next year to run against each other.</p><p><em>&ldquo;We want to see new lines drawn that are more fair than the lines that we have and that recognize and allow&nbsp; all African-American and minority citizens in this state to be able to participate in the franchise.&rdquo;</em></p><p>Republican leaders say a court challenge to any <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/redistricting">redistricting </a>plan is normal, and was entirely expected. GOP leaders say the maps reflect population shifts, and that they were very careful to comply with the law.</p><p>A lawsuit is the only way to challenge the new political map. A technicality in the law makes it immune to a voter referendum. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 10:28:43 +0000 Rick Pluta 4505 at http://michiganradio.org Conyers not saying if he's swapping seats with Clarke http://michiganradio.org/post/conyers-not-saying-if-hes-swapping-seats-clarke <p>U.S. Rep. <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/list/term/1484">John Conyers</a> is remaining mum on whether he&#39;ll run for re-election in the redrawn 13th District now that fellow Democratic incumbent Hansen Clarke<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/odd-man-out"> says he&#39;ll run in Conyers&#39; new district</a>.</p><p>The two congressmen currently represent districts made up mostly of Detroit. Both were drastically redrawn by Republicans to add minority voters outside Detroit to make up for the city&#39;s shrinking population.</p><p>Democrats have said the new districts are examples of gerrymandering and are threatening to sue in federal court.</p><p>But Clarke spokeswoman Kim Bowman said Monday that Clarke had decided to switch districts rather than waiting. She says the 14th District includes more of the voters Clarke now represents.</p><p>Conyers&#39; office is declining comment on whether the 82-year-old will swap districts with the 54-year-old Clarke. Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:04:39 +0000 The Associated Press 3871 at http://michiganradio.org Conyers not saying if he's swapping seats with Clarke Odd Man Out http://michiganradio.org/post/odd-man-out <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-982924.mp3</p><p>There&rsquo;s a game of musical chairs going on right now to determine which congressman will end up without a job a year from January. Yesterday, the likely outcome became a little more clear.</p><p>First of all, a little background: Michigan is losing a seat in congress because of national population shifts. The legislature redrew the boundary lines, and since Republicans control everything in Lansing, they made sure it would be a Democrat who lost out.</p><p>The only question was, which one? When the proposed new districts were revealed, it seemed at first that Oakland County&rsquo;s Gary Peters would be the certain loser. The area in which he lives and fellow Democrat Sander Levin lives wound up in the same district.</p><p>The two men could run against each other in next August&rsquo;s primary, of course, but on paper, Peters wouldn&rsquo;t stand a chance.</p><p>Most of the new district is territory Levin has been representing, so he has home field advantage. Sandy Levin is also a sort of an icon. He was first elected to the state senate before Peters was six years old. He&rsquo;s completing thirty years in Congress.</p><p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 15:44:33 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3855 at http://michiganradio.org Odd Man Out The politics of Michigan's redistricting plan http://michiganradio.org/post/politics-michigans-redistricting-plan <p>Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that sets new congressional district boundaries. The maps were designed and passed by the Republican legislature earlier this year.</p><p>Today we take a closer look at the implications of the new district boundaries with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow for Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-981512.mp3</p><p>Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White talks with Demas and Sikkema about who wins and who loses with these changes, as well as what voters should know before they head to the polls in November.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 21:38:00 +0000 Mercedes Mejia & Jennifer White 3705 at http://michiganradio.org The politics of Michigan's redistricting plan Governor Snyder approves redrawing Michigan's political map http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-approves-redrawing-michigans-political-map <p>Governor Rick Snyder has approved measures that redraw Michigan&rsquo;s legislative and congressional districts. The new maps were approved by the Legislature&rsquo;s Republican majorities in an intensely partisan battle. But this may not be the final word on the state&rsquo;s new district maps.&nbsp;</p><p>Michigan loses a congressional seat in the new maps to reflect the loss of population in the most recent census. The new lines throw at least two incumbent Democrats into the same district.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 09 Aug 2011 21:25:05 +0000 Rick Pluta 3672 at http://michiganradio.org Governor Snyder approves redrawing Michigan's political map Congressmen in Crisis http://michiganradio.org/post/congressmen-crisis <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-980943.mp3</p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Governor Rick Snyder is expected to soon sign the redistricting plan passed by his fellow Republicans in the legislature. Assuming&nbsp; he does so, and there are no last-minute changes, the future careers of four Democratic congressmen will suddenly be thrown into doubt.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Since last December, everyone has known that at least one Michigan Democrat would lose his job. The state is losing a seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts. Since Republicans control the process, everybody knew the odd man out was bound to be a Democrat. And as expected, they threw suburban Detroit Congressmen Sander Levin and Gary Peters into the same district.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">If the two men do, in fact run against each other in a primary. Levin is almost certain to win. He has one of the most famous names in politics, and has been in Congress far longer.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Additionally, eighty percent of the new ninth district is territory that Levin has been representing up to now. But strange boundaries in two other districts have added other complications.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">There have long been two seats represented by African-Americans and based in Detroit. But redistricting radically changed those districts. Freshman Congressman Hansen Clarke was given new boundaries that include slightly more than half of Detroit, and a collection of mostly blue-collar down river suburbs.</font></font></font></font></p><p> Mon, 08 Aug 2011 14:45:16 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3647 at http://michiganradio.org Congressmen in Crisis Shenanigans in Michigan's 7th District http://michiganradio.org/post/shenanigans-michigans-7th-district <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-976541.mp3</p><p>Most congressmen face a big struggle to first get elected, and then stay in their jobs for a considerable period of time. John Dingell, for example, holds the all-time record. He&rsquo;ll have served fifty-six years before this year is over.</p><p>John Conyers has been there forty-six years.</p><p>Dale Kildee and Carl Levin have been in Washington more than thirty years. But on the other hand, the seventh district, which spans southeast Michigan&rsquo;s border with Ohio, has been about the most volatile congressional district in the nation over the last decade.</p><p>Starting in two thousand and two, the seventh district has elected a different congressman in every election. Tim Walberg, who holds the job now, won in two thousand six; lost in two thousand eight, and won his old seat back in two thousand and ten.</p><p>Odds were that he would have faced another stiff challenge next year, possibly from one, or both, his two main rivals in the recent past. Fellow Republican Joe Schwarz beat Walberg in a primary in two thousand four, and then lost to him two years later.</p><p>Democrat Mark Schauer ousted Walberg from Congress in two thousand eight, and was ousted by him last year.</p><p>But this year is a redistricting year. Republicans control every branch of government, and one of their top priorities was to draw the lines so as to make re-election safer for their side&rsquo;s incumbents.</p><p>In the case of the Seventh, they replaced Calhoun County, at the west end of the district, with Monroe County, at the eastern end. The counties are almost the same size, and both usually, but not always, vote slightly more Democratic than Republican. Thu, 07 Jul 2011 15:34:32 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3189 at http://michiganradio.org Shenanigans in Michigan's 7th District