Winnie Brinks http://michiganradio.org en House Democrats push for changes to ethics, election laws during 'Sunshine Week' http://michiganradio.org/post/house-democrats-push-changes-ethics-election-laws-during-sunshine-week <p>It's <a href="http://www.sunshineweek.org/">Sunshine Week</a>, an annual push for open government and the public’s right to know stuff.</p><p>Democrats in the state House tied the introduction of a package of bills to Sunshine Week. The bills include a number of changes to Michigan's laws and constitution regarding ethics, campaign finance, and elections.</p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:51:06 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11659 at http://michiganradio.org House Democrats push for changes to ethics, election laws during 'Sunshine Week' Lawmaker who switched political parties loses seat to Democratic challenger http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmaker-who-switched-political-parties-loses-seat-democratic-challenger <p>The Grand Rapids lawmaker who caused a scandal by switching political parties earlier this year will not return to Lansing. State Representative Roy Schmidt was defeated by his Democratic Party challenger, and political newcomer, Winnie Brinks.</p><p>“This wasn’t something I was planning, it was something people asked me to do (following Schmidt’s party switch).&nbsp; I’m really excited about this opportunity to serve and to apply the skills I’ve learned in the last twenty years working in schools and non-profits to helping people in a more systematic way,” Brinks said.</p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 08:52:43 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9805 at http://michiganradio.org Lawmaker who switched political parties loses seat to Democratic challenger Political party switch scandal inspires bizarre election in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/political-party-switch-scandal-inspires-bizarre-election-grand-rapids <p>One of the most unusual political races this election is playing out in Grand Rapids. It’s the story, the saga that is the race for the 76th State House seat.</p><p>Back in May, there was a Democratic lawmaker who wanted to become a Republican. Switching political parties is not unheard of in Michigan, although it hasn’t happened since the 1990s.</p> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:45:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9729 at http://michiganradio.org Political party switch scandal inspires bizarre election in Grand Rapids Schmidt’s Grand Rapids house seat now a four-way race in November http://michiganradio.org/post/schmidt-s-grand-rapids-house-seat-now-four-way-race-november <p>The race to become the next state representative for Grand Rapids’ 76th District is getting even weirder. It’s now a four-way race between Democrat-turned-Republican Roy Schmidt, political newcomer Winnie Brinks for the Democrats, independent candidate Keith Allard and now a write-in candidate Bing Goei.</p><p>Goei made the announcement today. His write-in campaign to unseat Roy Schmidt in the Republican primary did surprisingly well. But Schmidt managed to hang on to the GOP nomination by a very slim margin.</p><p>Now Goei says people are begging him to run in the November election anyway.</p><p>“When people call on me I have this crazy thing about responding to them,” Goei said.</p><p>He admits his odds are not so good.</p><p>“If I understand history correct, that <em>if</em> (insert laughs from Goei and his supporters) well, <em>when</em> I win that it will be the first write-in candidate who has won a state house of representative position,” Goei said.</p><p>But pressed on this issue by a reporter Goei insisted his data shows his is a “very winnable campaign”. Wed, 05 Sep 2012 21:12:58 +0000 Lindsey Smith 8960 at http://michiganradio.org Schmidt’s Grand Rapids house seat now a four-way race in November Democratic challenger says K-12 funding would be top priority in Lansing http://michiganradio.org/post/democratic-challenger-says-k-12-funding-would-be-top-priority-lansing <p>A political newcomer who’s challenging Democrat-turned-Republican State Representative Roy Schmidt says she’d work to get more funding for K-12 education.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-democrats-rally-around-new-face-take-party-switcher-roy-schmidt">Democrat Winnie Brinks</a> is a case worker at a non-profit organization. At a very sparsely attended press conference (I was the only reporter there) Tuesday she said she's first and foremost as a mother whose main concern is her children’s public education.</p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 18:06:55 +0000 Lindsey Smith 8931 at http://michiganradio.org Democratic challenger says K-12 funding would be top priority in Lansing Grand Rapids Democrats rally around new face to take on party-switcher Roy Schmidt http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-democrats-rally-around-new-face-take-party-switcher-roy-schmidt <p>A Michigan house representative, <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/machination-michigan-rep-roy-schmidt-and-offer-he-couldnt-refuse">who made a controversial switch </a>from the Democratic to the Republican Party last month, will face a political novice in the fall.</p><p>Winnie Brinks filed paperwork today to run as a Democrat. She&rsquo;s a case worker at a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.grsource.org/about.php">non-profit organization, </a>and she&rsquo;s never run for political office before.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s time for some new eyes. It seems that the direction we&rsquo;re heading in Lansing is not what our middle class needs; it&rsquo;s not what our schools need. And not being part of that negative history, sure, I think that&rsquo;s a good thing,&rdquo; Brinks said.</p><p>Brinks has lived in Grand Rapids for 22 years. The 44-year-old has three daughters, aged 11, 14, and 16. She&rsquo;s active in her public schools&rsquo; legislative committee and once worked for Godfrey Lee Public Schools. She says restoring education funding would be one of her top priorities.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got a lot of work to do in a short period of time, but I am confident we can do it. We&rsquo;ve got a lot of good energy. We&rsquo;ve got a lot of support behind me,&rdquo; Brinks said.</p><p>Several hundred people will need to write in Brinks name on the August primary ballot in order for her name to appear&nbsp;on the ballot&nbsp;in the general election in November.</p><p> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:38:39 +0000 Lindsey Smith 7985 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids Democrats rally around new face to take on party-switcher Roy Schmidt