Talking about the shutdown and Michigan, the Detroit mayors race and Belle Isle

Oct 5, 2013

Each week, I review the news with political analyst Jack Lessenberry.

This week we discuss how the government shutdown will affect Michigan, new endorsements in the Detroit mayor's race, and the state agreement to fund Belle Isle.

The shutdown and Michigan

The biggest story, of course, was the shutdown of many federal government services this week.

Lessenberry says the people who will be most affected in Michigan are the poor. Funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Women Infants and Children will be hit first.

"As State Budget Director John Nixon said, after a couple weeks people are really going to start feeling pain, and after a month people are going to be in serious trouble," Lessenberry says.

Detroit mayor's race

There’s a split in Detroit over the mayoral election. Police are backing Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon while firefighters want former hospital CEO Mike Duggan.

Lessenberry says Benny Napolean was a police chief in Detroit and is the Sheriff of Wayne County. The firefighters have been partial to Mike Duggan because they think he is a better manager.

While polls show Mike Duggan is leading the race, Lessenberry says the real question is “Who can get their troops to the polls?” on Election Day.

State signs lease to fund Detroit's Belle Isle

We learned this week that Detroit’s beloved Belle Isle will be turned into a state park.

Lessenberry says this is a wonderful thing. He says the state will infuse about $10 million into Belle Isle to fix it up. The deal will also free up 22 Detroit police officers who were patrolling the island. They will be replaced by state police and DNR security.

The downside is people will have to pay $10 to visit the island, unless a visitor has a state park pass on their license plate.

But Lessenberry says there is still a chance this could be stopped if the Detroit City Council develops a different plan next week to save $4 million a year.