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Election 2018

Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette / Facebook.com

 

It's just starting to feel like summer, but Michigan's candidates for governor are focused on November.

We've sat down with the Democrats running for their party's nomination. And now, we turn to those vying for a spot as the GOP's contendor.

This year, Libertarians will join Republicans and Democrats with candidates on the August primary ballot in Michigan. This is something that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, the last time a third party qualified to hold a primary in Michigan was 1998.

The cost of running for Congress

May 15, 2018

Anyone who thinks they know how Michigan’s fall elections will turn out is a fool, but this much seems fairly certain: The race for the 11th Congressional District will likely be the most expensive and the most hotly contested.

There’s no incumbent, since mortgage banker Dave Trott decided two terms were enough. The district, which consists of a collection of Wayne and Oakland County suburbs, leans Republican. But it is close enough that the right Democrat could win it in the right year.

Schuette’s land deals

May 14, 2018
Michigan Attorney General's official website

Back in the old days, when a politician got caught doing something questionable, we said “this doesn’t look good.” 

Today, they say “the optics are terrible.”

Well, whatever your terms, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette didn’t do his image any favors during a candidates’ forum four days ago. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, his main rival for the Republican nomination for governor, accused him of personally controlling the sale of millions in property he had inherited in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Calley also circulated documents showing that Schuette, who has said that he had placed all his assets in a blind trust, used members of his official staff to witness and notarize the documents transferring the property, apparently on state time.

You might think that’d be enough to raise the eyebrows of your average citizen, for whom how to sell spare resort property is never an issue. What’s worse is that the attorney general seemed to lie about it. When asked about Calley’s charges by reporters after the candidates’ forum, Schuette said, “I don’t even know what he’s talking about.”

According to the Gongwer News Service, Schuette was then asked if he had assets in the Virgin Islands, and said, “I’ll have to see what he is talking about, but it’s nonsense, it’s false.”

Democrats like their chances in Election 2018 as they hope President Trump’s unfavorables will help them win the House in November.

But Republicans have their own emblematic figure they are using to paint a dark picture of the ramifications of a “blue wave.”

As much as Democrats expect and hope people are ready to get out and vote against Donald Trump, Republicans think and hope the same may be true for the House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The four Republicans and three Democrats running for governor appeared on a stage together for the first time today.

The biggest flashpoint came when Republican state Senator Patrick Colbeck said one of the Democrats has connections to Muslim terrorist groups. Abdul El-Sayed fired back that other Republicans should join him in condemning the allegation.

Bridge Magazine

State officials say a top Democratic candidate for governor is eligible to run.

Abdul El-Sayed was registered to vote in New York state from 2012 until 2015. Michigan’s Constitution requires candidates for governor to be a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years prior to taking office.

But despite that, the state Bureau of Elections says El-Sayed, the former Detroit health department director, is still eligible to run for governor.

Michigan Truth Squad: Bill Schuette’s stand on transparent government

May 9, 2018
Bill Schuette
Bridge Magazine

Republican gubernatorial candidates Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have traded barbs in previous weeks over accusations of political showmanship and lack of conservative bonafides.

Now the question of whether both candidates have a plan to increase government accountability has taken to Twitter, where Schuette threw down the gauntlet over their transparency track records.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters went to the polls yesterday in several cities across the state, including Jackson, Kalamazoo and Kalkaska.

Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Doug Tribou discuss the results.

Michigan Truth Squad: Democrat candidates blast Nestlé’s ‘free’ water

May 8, 2018
Bridge photo by Jim Malewitz

The Democratic race for Michigan governor is getting spirited, but all three candidates still find plenty to agree on ‒ including criticism of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for granting Nestlé Waters North America permission to tap up to 400 gallons of water per minute (up from 250 gallons) from one Osceola County well.

Do you have a right to have your name counted when you sign a petition? Or, can it be thrown out on a technicality that has nothing to do with you?

There are two recent instances in Michigan where, although signatures on a petition were collected, it’s unclear whether those signatures will actually be counted.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters will go to the polls across Michigan on Tuesday.

School millages and bond issues dominate the May ballot.

A few examples of what’s on the ballot:

At more than $96 million, the largest bond Kalamazoo Public Schools officials have ever put before voters is on the ballot.  If approved, the bulk of the money will be used to replace or repair roofs, boilers, parking lots, lighting, windows, and buses.

Republican gubernatorial candidates wanted to get next to President Donald Trump this weekend but only one got the presidential shout-out in Washington Township, MI.

“A really great friend of mine, a great attorney general, the next governor of Michigan, Bill Schuette. Where’s Bill? Bill? Where? Alright, wherever the hell he is…”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Trump’s Saturday night speech in northern Macomb County became the latest skirmish in Michigan’s Republican race for governor.

During his speech, President Trump made it clear who he supports in Michigan’s governor’s race.

“We’re honored to be joined by a great friend of mine and a great Attorney general, the next governor of Michigan, Bill Schuette,” Trump told the cheering crowd packed into the Total Sports Park indoor soccer field.

President Trump
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Trump spent Saturday night rallying his supporters in Michigan.

The president told his Macomb County audience he had another invitation for Saturday night.

“You may have heard I was invited to another event tonight. The White House Correspondents Dinner,” Trump told the crowd, which began booing. “But I’d much rather be in Washington, Michigan than Washington, D.C. right now.”

The president talked about a wide range of topics, from de-nuclearization on the Korean Peninsula to Michigan’s auto industry.

DAVID CASSLEMAN / Interlochen Public Radio

 


Democrats have struggled to find candidates to run for office in Grand Traverse County. 

In recent elections, Democrats let most seats on the county Board of Commissioners go unchallenged. 

And only one Democrat has won a county commission race in the last decade – former county and Traverse City Commissioner Ross Richardson. 

Michigan State University sign
MSU

There are now more than 300 women and girls who claim former sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them, according to their civil suit attorneys. This week Michigan State University and the victim’s attorneys returned to mediation to try to come up with a settlement.

headshot
Senate Dems

Democrat Steve Bieda of Warren had been running to replace U.S. representative Sandy Levin, who's retiring.

Now Bieda is running for Macomb County clerk.

In a statement yesterday, he said his decision was influenced by the "corruption and scandal" under former clerk Karen Spranger.

Spranger was removed from office by a judge last month.

Bieda has been a state senator since 2010 and also served as a state representative.

Shri Thanedar
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Millionaire businessman Shri Thanedar filed petition signatures Monday to appear as a candidate for governor on the Democratic primary ballot in August.

Thanedar is a PhD who made his fortune in the chemical testing industry after immigrating from India.

“In 1984, I got my green card, which made the way for me to become a U.S. citizen. So, I owe tremendously to Michigan," he says. "I want to give back. And this is my chance, so I am really excited today to make that happen.”

There is a legal question about whether Democrat Abdul El-Sayed is eligible to run for governor. But one thing that is not a question is the fact that the question is not settled, no matter how much the El-Sayed campaign might want to believe that’s the case.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Republican candidates for two of the state’s top offices will be battling for their party’s nomination until the Republican nominating convention in August. Democrats for those two offices have those months to campaign for general election votes. The question is whether that gives Democrats an advantage?

aerial view of bridge and icy water
PA3 George Degener / Wikimedia Commons

Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced plans to sue an Escanaba-based tugboat company for allegedly damaging underwater cables and a pipeline with an anchor in the Straits of Mackinac. The anchor also likely caused dents in Line 5 – the oil and gas pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy.

Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talks to Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the controversy over whether to shut down Line 5.

Abdul El-Sayed
Bridge Magazine

The state says now is not the time to rule on whether a candidate for governor is eligible to run.  

That could mean the question will wait until after Democratic voters make their choice in the primary.

The state constitution says a candidate for governor must have been a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years before the election.

Democratic hopeful Abdul El-Sayed voted in New York in 2012, and the question is whether that invalidated his Michigan voter registration until he re-registered here in 2016.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley filed petition signatures Tuesday to appear on the Republican primary ballot in August. He’s running to replace Governor Rick Snyder, who cannot run again due to term limits.

Calley says he wants to keep up the work started by Snyder over the past seven years. He says that’s fueled Michigan’s recovery from the Great Recession.

“I’m running to continue this comeback. I’m running to add the next half a million jobs. I’m running to hit new lows in unemployment, and new highs in income growth.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The concerns of lower-wage union workers dominated a debate between the Democrats in the governor’s race Thursday night.

The Service Employees International Union sponsored the event in Detroit. Workers questioned Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed, and Bill Cobbs about everything from privatized correctional services, to the lack of union representation for home health care workers.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There was a showdown of sorts at this week’s Democratic Endorsement Convention. Young progressive activists are demanding more say in the party that’s been controlled to a great degree by labor unions. The key race of the convention was symbolic of the divide. 

Gregory Varnum / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Thousands of Michigan Democrats packed into the Cobo Center on Sunday for their endorsement convention, a day that had some rowdy and raucous moments.

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics, joined Stateside to discuss what the convention’s attendance suggests about Democratic engagement in November, how Dana Nessel nabbed the party endorsement for attorney general, and the shape of the governor’s race.

Update, Friday, April 27 at 10:40 a.m.:

On Thursday, Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the petition to place the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

House Speaker Tom Leonard says he doesn't foresee the Legislature adopting the measure in the next 40 days. 

"There is not much support it in the caucus," he said. "I do not personally support it, so I think this something that ultimately voters are going to have to decide.”

Original story from Monday, April 23:

Shri Thanedar
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week, Stateside has been talking to the Democrats running for their party’s nomination for governor.

Shri Thanedar is an Ann Arbor businessman who is primarily self-funding his campaign, and he joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss his stance on the issues, as well as the latest political controversies.

a frame from the "shady schuette" ad with bill schuette in sunglasses
Calley Continues Comeback / YouTube

An attack ad against Bill Schuette is full of false statements according to Bridge Magazine’s Truth Squad. Schuette is a Republican candidate for governor. The ad comes from a Super PAC supporting one of his Republican opponents. We talked with the reporter behind the Truth Squad report.

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