election reform http://michiganradio.org en Our voting system needs repair http://michiganradio.org/post/our-voting-system-needs-repair <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This is an election year, and if you haven’t noticed, you'll soon be engulfed by an inescapable tidal wave of advertising that will make that clear. Last night’s State of the Union speech was, in one sense, a campaign platform.</span></p><p>So were all of the various Republican responses. We’ve seen precious little bipartisan cooperation in Washington or in Lansing these last few years, and unless the martians invade, you can probably count on even less this year.</p><p>But regardless of your politics, there is one area in which we need to cooperate to make changes. Not in for whom we vote, but in the mechanics of how we vote. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:38:34 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16226 at http://michiganradio.org Our voting system needs repair Political Roundup: Teacher pension, health care benefits and the election reform package http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-teacher-pension-health-care-benefits-and-election-reform-package <p>It was a busy day for lawmakers at the State Capital on Wednesday. They came in from summer recess for a one day session.</p><p>Out of that meeting, Gov. Snyder is expected to sign<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-senate-approves-healthcare-changes-teachers"> legislation</a> that will require teachers and school employees to pay more for health insurance and pensions.</p> Thu, 16 Aug 2012 21:31:40 +0000 Mercedes Mejia & Jennifer White 8705 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: Teacher pension, health care benefits and the election reform package Roy Schmidt goes from political prize to the GOP’s white elephant http://michiganradio.org/post/roy-schmidt-goes-political-prize-gop-s-white-elephant <p>There was a continued drip, drip, drip of new details to emerge in the state Representative Roy Schmidt ballot scandal. The latest: a new set of text messages obtained by The Detroit Free Press and MLive.com from the Kent County prosecutor&rsquo;s office.</p><p><strong>&quot;Dirty as hell&quot;</strong></p><p>One text is from Schmidt&rsquo;s nephew to Matt Mozjak , the patsy who Schmidt recruited to appear on the ballot as a sham Democrat to ensure that he wouldn&#39;t have a real Democratic opponent once he made his jump to the Republican Party as a part of a scheme hatched with state House Speaker Jase Bolger.<br /><br /> In one of the texts, Schmidt&rsquo;s nephew writes to Mozcak, &ldquo;obviously my uncle is dirty as hell&rdquo; and, &ldquo;he&rsquo;s got a lot of powerful [people] behind him.&rdquo;</p><p>And it just keeps piling up on Schmidt. &nbsp;The first state House Republican &ndash; Representative Ken Yonker, also from the Grand Rapids area &ndash; has endorsed a write-in opponent in the Republican primary. Schmidt has gone from a trophy for the House Republicans to a white elephant.</p><p>None of which, of course, is good news for House Speaker Jase Bolger, who continues to resist calls to step down as the top dog in the House. The pressure, however, has not reached anything close to critical mass.</p><p><strong>Save me... from myself</strong></p><p>So, what does a politician do when he&#39;s been caught in a political scandal? Well, how about introducing some legislation? House Republicans have drafted new election &nbsp;reform bills. But Democrats are calling it hypocritical. &ldquo;I find it fascinating that the speaker of the House is issuing press releases about election reforms because he&rsquo;s the one who got caught,&quot; said Democratic state Representative Barb Byrum.</p><p><strong>Election reform: The issue du jour</strong></p><p>Now, Democrats have their own elections package and they say they&rsquo;re coming up with more. &nbsp;It appears the stage is set for a whole lot of election reform one-upsmanship in the state House. Bolger says only serious election reforms will be considered - he wants nothing that&rsquo;s about scoring political points. But, Democrats say Republicans don&rsquo;t have credibility on this issue. Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:57:58 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 8467 at http://michiganradio.org Roy Schmidt goes from political prize to the GOP’s white elephant Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-state-legislature <p>This session of the legislature is winding down and we want to take a look at what we can expect between now and the end of the year.</p><p>Susan Demas, political analyst at Michigan Information and Research Service, says we'll probably see changes to workers compensation, a push to do the no-fault insurance reforms, election reform and maybe we'll see the debate over a new Detroit River bridge come up once again.</p><p>Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, says Gov. Snyder has been "pretty silent" about some high profile issues, such as the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law. Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:23:30 +0000 Jennifer White 4827 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature