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Zoe Clark

Program Director; Co-host, It's Just Politics

Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio's Program Director. In that role, Clark oversees all programming on the state's largest public radio station - including the station's award-winning newsroom, commentary, and daily news-magazine Stateside

Clark also co-hosts, with Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing Bureau Chief Rick Pluta,  It's Just Politics, a weekly look at Michigan politics airing Monday mornings on Morning Edition.

Clark previously produced Michigan Radio's Morning Edition, Jack Lessenberry's interviews and essays, and is the founder and executive producer of Stateside with Cynthia Canty. Clark also produces and directs statewide Michigan Calling programs.

Clark began her collegiate studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  She holds degrees in Communication Studies and Political Science from the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, where she was born and raised.

Email: zoeclark@umich.edu

Twitter: @ZoeMelinaClark

In this morning's news...

Nov 16, 2010

Snyder Picks Chief of Staff

Governor-elect Rick Snyder announced Dennis Muchmore as his Chief of Staff in Lansing yesterday. Rick Pluta reports Muchmore, "owned a multi-client lobbying firm before retiring eight years ago. He is also an avid outdoorsman who served briefly as the interim president of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs." Snyder said he chose Muchmore because of his knowledge of how Lansing politics work.
Job Vacancies in Lansing

Because of early retirement incentive packages, some 4,800 state employees will leave their jobs by next month. That means it's likely that Governor-elect Rick Snyder will have to figure out how fill those vacancies come January when he is sworn in. Reporter Jennifer Guerra spoke with Gary Olson with the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency. Olsen, "points out that the number of state employees has declined 13% over the past decades, so if Snyder replaces only two-thirds of the job vacancies some services will suffer." Olson says the state is projected to save around $81 million because of the early retirements.
Going Hungry in Michigan

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual Food Insecurity' study finds about 13.4% of people in Michigan have trouble getting enough food and 5% go hungry. Both of those numbers have increased since the mid 1990's. Nationwide, about 14.7% of households were "food insecure."

Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

Governor-elect Rick Snyder announced Dennis Muchmore as his Chief of Staff in Lansing yesterday.  Rick Pluta reports Muchmore, “owned a multi-client lobbying firm before retiring eight years ago. He is also an avid outdoorsman who served briefly as the interim president of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.” 

Snyder said he chose Muchmore because of his knowledge of how Lansing politics work.  The Detroit News reports Muchmore:

...is the most unorthodox choice.  He hasn't worked directly for an elected official since the 1970s, when he served as an aide to Macomb County Democratic state Sen. John Bowman.
 

Muchmore is 63.

It’s Freshmen Orientation today. Congressional freshmen, that is. As Bloomberg News reports:

The 2011 U.S. House freshman class is in Washington for orientation as Congress today opens a lame-duck session to decide whether to extend billions of dollars in Bush-era income-tax cuts.

Michigan has five new U.S. Representatives: Republicans Dan Benishek (1st District), Bill Huizenga (2nd District), Justin Amash (3rd District), Tim Walberg (7th District), and Democrat Hansen Clarke (13th District). 

This will actually be Walberg’s 2nd orientation as he was first elected to represent the 7th District in 2006.  He then lost the seat in 2008 to Democrat Mark Schauer but won it back on November 2nd.

The Detroit News reports:

During the 112th Congress orientation, newly elected members learn the ropes in Washington, from legal issues and standards of conduct to understanding pay and benefits and setting up their offices. Newcomers will pose for a class photo on the Capitol lawn, attend receptions and pick their offices.

Little Sable Point Lighthouse
David Plotzki/Creative Commons

State tourism officials are hoping to get the Pure Michigan tourism campaign back on the air-waves.

The campaign was stopped earlier this year when the state ran out of money to pay for the ads.

As Rick Pluta reports, Governor Granholm has asked the legislature to tap into a projected budget windfall as a short-term solution to pay for the ads.

Governor Granholm has said the 'Pure Michigan' campaign generates $2.23 in tourism-related activity for every dollar spent on the ads.

A poll of likely Michigan voters released earlier this month showed strong support for the Pure Michigan ad campaign.

In this morning's news...

Nov 15, 2010
Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Talks Continue on 'Pure Michigan'

State tourism officials are hoping to get the Pure Michigan tourism campaign back on the air-waves. The campaign was stopped earlier this year when the state ran out of money to pay for the ads. As Rick Pluta reports, Governor Granholm has asked the legislature to tap into a projected budget windfall as a short-term solution to pay for the ads. A study commissioned by Travel Michigan found the Pure Michigan' campaign generated $2.30 in tourism-related activity for every dollar spent on the campaigns.

The Hunt is On

Firearms deer hunting season is underway in the state. It began today and runs through November 30th. As of late last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment said more than one million deer licenses had been sold in Michigan. The state sold more than 1.5 million hunting licenses for firearm and bow seasons last year.

Hyundai Reaches Milestone in U.S.

Hyundai, the Korean automaker, expects to break the 500,000 vehicle sales mark for the first time in the U.S. this week, Tracy Samilton reports. John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai's American division, says the recession helped the company because customers focused less on brand and status and more on quality and value. Hyundai has facilities in California, a manufacturing plant in Alabama, and a Technical Center in Ypsilanti.

Saul Anuzis
Photo courtesy of www.thatssaulfolks.com

Saul Anuzis says he will run to become the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Anuzis is currently a member of the committee and the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.

Anuzis was in the race to become Chairman last year but ended up loosing to current RNC Chairman and former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele.

In a letter to the RNC membership, Anuzis said:

This is an exciting time to be a Republican and, as leaders, we have an awesome task ahead of us. The American people have given us a second chance' and that opportunity brings with it huge responsibility and challenge. Now we turn our attention to 2012. America must elect a new President. It is that hope, that necessity, that challenge, that draws me to announce my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

Steele has not said yet whether he will seek another term.

Here's a roundup of what other media outlets are reporting about whether or not Steele will decide to run and, if he does, whether he'll get elected:

In this morning's news...

Nov 12, 2010
Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Nader: Postpone GM Stock Sales
Ralph Nader has sent a letter to President Obama asking him to postpone the government's sale of General Motors stock. The Detroit News reports, "the government plans next Thursday to sell about a third of the 61 percent majority stake in GM that it swapped for $40 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout." Nadar and two other consumer advocates say by postponing the initial public stock offering the government would increase the taxpayer's investment in GM. There's been no response from the Obama administration or General Motors to the letter.

Judge To Hear Arguments in Medical Marijuana Case
A federal judge in Grand Rapids will hear arguments today in a case that challenges the firing of a medical marijuana patient. The patient, Joseph Cassias, was fired from a Walmart in Battle Creek after he tested positive for marijuana. Cassias was registered in Michigan to use the drug for pain relief. Attorneys for Walmart want the case dismissed.

Snyder Inaugural Events Take Shape
The Detroit News is reporting that Governor-elect Rick Snyder's transition team will announce his inaugural planning committee today. It's expected that Michigan Grocers Association President and CEO Linda Gobler and Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, will co-chair the committee. The theme of the inauguration: The Power of Michigan.

Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

It's being reported this morning that Governor-elect Rick Snyder's transition team will announce co-chairs of Snyder's inaugural planning committee today.

The Detroit News reports:

Michigan Grocers Association President and CEO Linda Gobler and Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, will co-chair the inauguration planning committee... Snyder's inauguration will include typical features such as the swearing-in and an inaugural ball, as well as other features, spokesman Bill Nowling told The News.

 The theme of the inauguration: The Power of MI.  Snyder will be sworn in as Michigan's 48th Governor on January 1st.

Many hunters prefer to take a buck.
(Photo by Scott Bauer - USDA)

Last year in Michigan, there were more than 60,000 car accidents caused by deer. Farmers say they can lose a lot of money when deer eat their crops. And there are deer munching on backyard gardens and even running down sidewalks.

In this morning's news...

Nov 11, 2010
Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Liquor Bill Passed in Lansing
Lawmakers in the state House and Senate passed a bill yesterday that would allow for liquor sales in Michigan on Sunday mornings and on Christmas Day. A previous bill that would have allowed for the sales was vetoed by Governor Granholm last month. Now, it appears lawmakers have reworked the bill for the governor's approval.

GM Profits in 3rd Quarter
General Motors made a $2 billion profit in the 3rd quarter of this year. As Tracy Samilton reports, it's a healthy result for a company that's planning an initial public stock offering next week. In a conference call, GM CEO Dan Akerson sas the company needs to keep streamlining operations to keep costs down, fix its European division, and increase marketing efforts for GM's remaining core brands.

Army Corps to Study Asian Carp
The Army Corps of Engineers is working on a study that will try and figure out the best way to keep Asian Carp and other invasive species out of the Great Lakes. It could, however, take the Army Corps five years to make a recommendation. There's concern that the voracious Asian Carp could invade the Great Lakes and dramatically change the make-up of species currently living in the waters.

Martini
Ken 30684/Creative Commons

UPDATE 1:38 PM: The Associated Press is reporting that the state Senate passed the bill 25-13.  The bill now goes to the House.

I just got a heads-up from our Lansing-based reporter Laura Weber.  She says a deal has been reached between the state House and Senate that would allow for liquor sales in Michigan on Sunday mornings and Christmas Day. 

A previous bill that would have allowed for the sales was vetoed by Governor Granholm last month.  Now, it appears lawmakers have reworked the bill for the governor's approval.

The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this afternoon.

(c) GM Logo/Photo Courtesy of General Motors

General Motors announced this morning that it made $2 billion in the third quarter.  The Associated Press reports:

The profit was fueled by GM's international operations and strong revenue from newly introduced car and crossover models in North America.

The automaker's actual revenue rose 36% to a little more than $34 billion.  This was the third-straight quarter in which GM was profitable.

Terry Johnson/FLICKR

Lawmakers at the state Capitol continued to choose legislative leaders yesterday. In the Senate: Republican state Senator Randy Richardville of Monroe was elected as the next Senate Majority Leader.

In this morning's news...

Nov 10, 2010
Infrogmation/Creative Commons

New Leaders in Lansing

Terry Johnson/Creative Commons

Kathy Barks Hoffman, of the Associated Press, has a great piece in the South Bend Tribune that takes a look at what went wrong for Democrats in the state before Election Day.  She writes:

Michigan Democrats started 2010 with their main candidate for governor withdrawing from the race, donors feeling the pinch of the poor economy and the drag of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's unpopularity hanging around their necks.

On November 2nd, Republicans won the Governor's office and the races for Attorney General and Secretary of State.  The GOP also widened their majority in the state Senate and won control of the state House of Representatives from the Democrats.

Hoffman notes that Democratic voters did not turn out to the polls like they did in the 2006 gubernatorial election.  She sites data from political strategist Ed Sarpolus that shows 300,000 fewer Democrats voted compared to four years ago.

Hoffman cites other reasons for the Democrat's loses:

  • Independent voters swung toward the GOP
  • Democrats didn't know very much about their candidates
  • Democratic candidate for governor Virg Bernro couldn't match Republican candidate (and now governor-elect) Rick Snyder's fundraising
Photo Courtesy of ZUU Mumu Entertainment

Amind a continuing strike by its musicians, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has canceled concerts through November 28th.  The Associated Press reports:

Photo by Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Andrew Shirvell Fired

Photo courtesy of www.epa.gov

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency briefed people at a meeting last night in Battle Creek about the continuing clean-up of the Kalamazoo River oil spill.  EPA officials say they've finished cleaning up 50 sites in the river. 

Gov. Snyder's proposed budget would set aside over $100 million for the Healthy Michigan plan
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

Governor-elect Rick Snyder announced this morning in Ann Arbor that he has picked Democrat Andy Dillon to be state treasurer.  Dillon is currently the Speaker in the Michigan House of Representatives.  Interestingly enough, Dillon lost the Democratic bid to be Michigan's next governor to his primary opponent Virg Bernero.  Bernero went on to lose the general election on November 2nd to Snyder.

Closeup of Chrysler Logo
Photo by Diego HC/Creative Commons

Chrysler says it narrowed its losses in the 3rd quarter of this year. The automaker reported a net loss of $84 million from July through September. That’s less than half of its $172 million loss in the second quarter. The automaker says this was the third quarter in a row of better-than-expected financial results.

Photo by Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Snyder Filling Positions in New Administration

Governor-elect Rick Snyder
Photo Courtesy of www.rickformichigan.com

Update 8:34 AM:

The Associated Press is reporting Govenror-elect Rick Snyder has chosen House Speaker Andy Dillon to be the state's next treasurer.  Former Lt. Gov Dick Posthumus will be his legislative affairs advisor.

7:16 AM:

State Senator Randy Richardville
Photo courtesy of www.senate.michigan.gov

It appears that Republican state Senator Randy Richardville, who represents Michigan's 17th Senate District, will be the state's next Senate Majority Leader.  On it's Facebook page, the Gongwer News Service says, "Richardville is assured election... as incoming Senator John Pross will drop out of the race."  

Clock
Photo by Evil Saltine/Creative Commons

It's that time of year again... time to turn back the clocks.  We'll gain an hour this Sunday, November 7th when we change back to Standard Time at 2 a.m.  Dayight Saving Time officially returns on the second Sunday in March when we jump forward an hour. 

ZUU Mumu Entertainment/Creative Commons

Informal discussions have resumed between striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and their managment.  In seperate statements released today, both sides said the talks are aimed at getting the

Esun/Creative Commons

With 20 days to go until Thanksgiving, maybe you're looking to buy airline tickets for holiday travel? Well, if you're flying out of Detroit Metro Airport expect to pay-up. The Detroit Free Press checked round-trip routes to and from Detroit and found:

Fares have risen in the last two weeks. Nationally, holiday fares are about 4% higher than last year depending on the route and date.

Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

It's being reported that Governor-elect Rick Snyder will not be moving into the Governor's mansion in Lansing anytime soon.  Instead, Snyder will live in his Ann Arbor-area home and commute to the state Capitol.  Snyder's youngest daughter, Kelsey, is still finishing high school in the area and Snyder doesn't want to move until she graduates.

Photo courtesy of Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Allegations Against Shirvell

Photo courtesy of www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer

Democratic state Senator Gretchen Whitmer will be Michigan's next Senate Minority Leader. Whitmer's fellow Democratic Senators elected her to the position yesterday. She'll be the first woman to hold the job. She became a state Senator in 2006.  Before that, she was as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2000 to 2006.

Photo by Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Granholm Meets With Snyder

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