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Election 2018

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,” a woman wearing a foppish hat with a large feather sang to a group of distracted toddlers and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette this morning in Livonia.

Schuette was there to be a guest reader during the library’s story time. The Republican candidate for governor also shook hands with a few parents and talked about the dismal state of Michigan’s third grade reading scores.

Brian Ellison
Ellison for Senate campaign

A Michigan man running as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate says he wants to raise money to buy 20 pump style shotguns for homeless individuals.

"Not only are the homeless constantly under threat from would-be criminals," says Brian Ellison, "but they are also under threat from governments at various levels that criminalize activities that homeless people rely on for survival."

Ellison says he has no fears that the guns would be misused, for example, to shoot police who are trying to move people off an illegal encampment.

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s national Sunshine Week – a time when officials and reporters shed light on access to public information.

The legalization of marijuana in Michigan is emerging as an issue in the race for the state's next attorney general.

Attorney General candidate Patrick Miles, an Obama-appointed official who served six and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, has taken a position on legalization of marijuana in Michigan. He said last week, upon further reflection, he’s for it.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is throwing his support behind Democrat Gretchen Whitmer for governor.

Duggan says the former Lansing-area state senator will be an important “partner” for the city in Lansing. He pledged to work every day “for the next eight months” to drum up support for Whitmer, and boost voter turnout in Detroit.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The four Democrats vying become Michigan’s next governor talked public education and public sector jobs at a union-sponsored town hall in Detroit Tuesday night.

Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, and Bill Cobbs largely agreed on the issues.

All agreed that teachers are underpaid, under-valued, and that arming them is not the answer to school shootings.

Why are Michigan roads so bad? Because we don’t put enough money into fixing them.

Why is that? Because lawmakers don’t fear underfunding the state’s roads will cost them on Election Day.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This year’s mid-term congressional elections could be the most expensive ever in Michigan.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports the 30 candidates running in Michigan’s 14 congressional districts raised $14.7 million as of the end of last year.   And the money keeps rolling in.

The network’s Craig Mauger says Democrats are benefiting from donors wanting to defeat Republicans and derail President Trump’s agenda.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Special Counsel Todd Flood, along with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and the Flint Water Investigative Team have been investigating the Flint water crisis for most of the year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Bill Schuette faced questions this week over whether the state's inquiry into Michigan State University's handling of the Larry Nassar scandal is truly independent. In a newly released letter regarding his appointment of Bill Forsyth to lead the investigation, Schuette says Forsyth will "serve under my direction and at my pleasure."

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's role in the investigation.


profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer has forced her campaign manager to resign after learning he engaged in past "inappropriate behavior" in the workplace. Keenan Pontoni joined Whitmer's campaign in August, replacing a previous campaign manager.

In a short statement yesterday, Whitmer said she received a credible report Wednesday that a number of years ago, Pontoni had "engaged in inappropriate behavior with people in the workplace." She did not elaborate.

Abdul El-Sayed’s did not have a good week. And it’s not looking like it’s going to get better any time soon.

El-Sayed has captured the imagination of progressives who think he can bring a liberal agenda to Lansing and become the nation’s first Muslim-American governor. This past weekend, at a Democratic forum for Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates in Washtenaw County, there was a throng of excited folks all waiting to talk to him.

Tamekia Ashford / Detroit Health Department

The Abdul El-Sayed campaign for governor is alleging that there are racist motivations behind questioning whether he is eligible for office because he lived outside the state and was registered to vote in another state.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Despite recent chatter concerning Democrat Abdul El-Sayed’s eligibility to run for governor of Michigan, the doctor and former Detroit health director remains confident.

“We’re 100% confident that I’m eligible to run for governor and to serve as governor of the state,” El-Sayed told host Cynthia Canty.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed wants to become Michigan's next governor. The Democrat's bid has attracted attention from around the world.

The British newspaper The Guardian has dubbed him "the next Obama."  And recent polling shows El-Sayed is the strongest competitor to Gretchen Whitmer for the slot of Democratic front-runner.

The Larry Nassar trials are over and the final round of sentencing hearings begin this week in Eaton County. More and more attention now is turning to East Lansing and how the top echelons at Michigan State University allowed an environment for this abuse to happen and continue.

And because the MSU Board of Trustees is elected statewide, the university’s handling of the situation is going to be a political issue in the 2018 elections.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As Michigan gets ready to vote for governor in November, Bridge Magazine is also preparing. They’re gearing up for the Truth Squad to keep candidates accountable.

John Bebow, president of the Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine, joined Stateside to discuss what’s ahead for the journalism outfit.

Listen above for the entire conversation.

These days, the place to go for solid in-depth print reporting on what’s happening in this state is not a newspaper, but Bridge, the online magazine.

Bridge, a publication of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Michigan, has hired many of the state’s best journalists to do deep-dive, penetrating reporting about conditions in this state.

Today, they have a blockbuster story that indicates that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a number of union leaders are trying to recruit another Democratic candidate for governor.

Helping your adversary to help yourself.

It’s a political tactic and we’re seeing it right now in Michigan’s Republican primary for governor.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is running for governor. But, it looks like he’s polling behind fellow Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Schuette has been touting his conservative credentials including an endorsement from President Donald Trump.

As voters pass judgment in the first mid-terms of the Trump era, many are wondering if Michigan will be a congressional battleground in 2018.

There’s a lot of talk about the possibility of a wave-election come November as Democrats prepare for their “wait-til-next-time” moment after the Trump upset of 2016 when Michigan played a central role.

And after last fall’s gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia and the Roy Moore drama in the Alabama Senate race, 2018 is shaping up to be a doozy of an election year.

Dollar bills and pennies
Jeffrey Smith / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


David Marvin / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

More than 40,000 Michigan residents were wrongly accused of fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits. The Legislature is considering laws to try to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again.

The Governor and the Legislature are also trying to figure out how to do something beyond just restitution. Some of the people accused of fraud went bankrupt, lost homes, and suffered other consequences. The question is how far can, or should, the state go to make those people whole?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

What will this New Year bring in Michigan politics?

To answer that question, Stateside turned to Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team, Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta.

They discussed the political stories likely to surface in 2018, including the upcoming election and how Washington might influence state politics this year.

Michigan’s minimum wage is set to rise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.90 to $9.25. The rate is slightly lower for some trainees and teen workers. Restaurant and other workers who rely on tips will also not be making the new minimum wage.

We could see the most dramatic change to Michigan politics since term limits. This afternoon, an all-volunteer group is one step closer to overhauling how redistricting is done in Michigan.

There’s a new battle in Lansing pitting business groups against unions and it could wind up playing out next November with dueling ballot proposals.

A group of trade unions will launch a petition drive tomorrow to try and preserve Michigan’s prevailing wage law. This is the law that requires contractors to pay union-scale wages on state construction projects.

https://housedems.com/chang/

One morning earlier this week, I was in a donut shop on Vernor Avenue in southwest Detroit, in a neighborhood where you hear far more Spanish than English.

In fact, everyone in the shop was speaking Spanish except me and the woman I was drinking coffee with – state Representative Stephanie Chang, who represents this area, and about 90,000 people. Chang’s territory also includes the land where the Ambassador Bridge stands as well as the place where the new Gordie Howe International Bridge is to be built.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
(photo by Laura Weber/MPRN)

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has announced that he is, indeed, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor next year, which wasn’t exactly a surprise.

In fact, he has been expected to get in for so long some were starting to think that maybe he wouldn’t run after all.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has launched his long-anticipated bid for the Republican nomination for governor.

The Republican launched his long-expected candidacy Tuesday while vowing to continue an economic rebound that has resulted in the addition of more than a half million jobs in Michigan.

Calley is a former legislator who has served as Governor Rick Snyder's Number Two since 2011.

Men in late middle age are capable of daydreaming. For most of us, these dreams are fairly pedestrian. Maybe, just maybe, we might be the first 60-something to suddenly break into the major leagues. Maybe that one lottery ticket I buy every Thanksgiving will turn out to be a big winner and I’ll be able to quit my job.

Those are fairly typical fantasies. But things change for those few of us who actually do have a whole lot of money. Some do things like acquire a 24 year old girlfriend, whether they are already married or not. Others buy large boats, or perhaps a Maserati.

Was last year’s Trump-wave a one-time deal? This past Tuesday’s election results are a hint at what might be in store for Election 2018.

Democrats pretty much ran the table last week in Virginia and New Jersey so Republicans have to face some tough political truths. That President Donald Trump has a very low approval rating. That voters upset with him were motivated to get out and vote. And, that it’s tough in mid-terms to be the party that controls the White House and Congress.

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