Zoe Clark

Reporter/Producer

Zoe Clark is a producer as well as the co-host of the Friday afternoon segment It's Just Politics on Michigan Radio. She produces Morning Edition, Jack Lessenberry’s daily essays, and Michigan Radio’s local interviews, including those by All Things Considered host Jennifer White and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley. She is also a substitute on-air host. She has been at Michigan Radio since 2006.

Zoe 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: @ZoeMelina

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Michigan Politics
9:24 am
Tue November 16, 2010

Lessenberry: what do governors DO after they leave office?

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

When Governor-elect Rick Snyder assumes the role of governor in January it will mark the end of Jennifer Granholm’s final term as Governor of Michigan.  All Things Considered Host Jenn White sat down with Michigan Radio Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry to discuss the roles of former governors in Michigan history.

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General Motors
8:39 am
Tue November 16, 2010

GM boosts stock price

General Motors says it’s raising the price range for its initial public stock offering.

The stock will sell for $32 to $33 per share.

That price range is about 14% higher than was previously expected.

GM didn’t give a reason for the increase but people who have been briefed on the sale say it’s because of high demand from investors.

The IPO is expected on Thursday.  The Detroit Free Press reports, "the U.S. Treasury is selling 365 million shares, which will reduce its stake in GM from 60.8% to about 40%."

News Roundup
7:10 am
Tue November 16, 2010

In this morning's news...

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."

Governor-elect Snyder
6:46 am
Tue November 16, 2010

Snyder announces Chief of Staff

Governor-elect Rick Snyder
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.

U.S. Congress
11:11 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Michigan's freshmen in D.C.

Captiol Building, Washington D.C.

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.

Michigan Legislature
7:40 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Debate continues over 'Pure Michigan' funding

Little Sable Point Lighthouse, MI
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.

News Roundup
7:26 am
Mon November 15, 2010

In this morning's news...

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.

Republican National Committee
8:51 am
Fri November 12, 2010

Saul Anuzis to run (again) for RNC Chairman

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:

News Roundup
7:31 am
Fri November 12, 2010

In this morning's news...

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.

Governor-elect Rick Snyder
7:29 am
Fri November 12, 2010

Snyder to announce Inaugural Planning Committee

Governor-elect Rick Snyder
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.

Environment
11:15 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Opening up the deer hunting season

Michigan conservation officials hope to expand the number of female deer killed in this year's hunt, but many hunters would much rather shoot bucks. Antlers are the big prize.
(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.

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News Roundup
7:06 am
Thu November 11, 2010

In this morning's news...

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.

State Legislature
1:18 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

Will we finally be able to have a Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch?

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.

AUTO EARNINGS
9:17 am
Wed November 10, 2010

GM posts 3rd quarter profit

General Motors Logo
(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.

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Michigan Legislature
8:35 am
Wed November 10, 2010

New leaders at the Capitol

Capitol Building in Lansing
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.

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News Roundup
8:27 am
Wed November 10, 2010

In this morning's news...

Infrogmation/Creative Commons

New Leaders in Lansing

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Election 2010
11:12 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Analysis: What went wrong for MI Democrats

Capitol Building 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
DSO Strike
7:11 am
Tue November 9, 2010

DSO cancels more concerts

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:

News Roundup
7:07 am
Tue November 9, 2010

In this morning's news...

Photo by Infrogmation/Creative Commons

Andrew Shirvell Fired

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Kalamazoo River Oil Spill
6:50 am
Tue November 9, 2010

EPA: 50 Kalamazoo River oil spill sites clean

A section of the Kalamazoo River
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. 

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