government shutdown

Politics & Government
10:45 am
Tue October 8, 2013

New primary challenger to take on Rep. Justin Amash

Brian Ellis plans to challenge Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI, 3rd District) in 2014.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Updated 12p.m.

This morning,  Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis told supporters he’s challenging Congressman Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) because Amash “has failed to advance a conservative agenda.”

“This race is about a district that expects and deserves to be represented by a true social and fiscal conservative” Ellis said.

It only took thirty seconds for Ellis to mention his rival.

“I’m standing here today because I have very different views from Justin Amash,” Ellis said.

It turns out Ellis and Amash have some similar views. They both are not fans of the new health care law, both think the federal government needs to get its spending under control, and they’re both pro-life.

But Ellis says Amash doesn’t vote like the principled conservative he claims to be.

“Well anybody can say, like Justin, that he’s conservative, but he has a voting record and it doesn’t line up,” Ellis explained to reporters after his announcement.

Ellis points to a few of times Amash voted “present.” One bill would’ve defunded Planned Parenthood and another would’ve backed the Keystone Pipeline. Ellis also pointed out that Amash voted against conservative budgets for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years and against the Small Business Tax Cut Act.

Amash, as usual, defends his votes on these and other bills on his Facebook page.

Ellis says he’d act on his conservative principles and would be a better collaborator in Washington than Amash.

“I’ve had to build consensus through the years in my time on the school board. I worked very hard at that. And so we were able to move forward even when we have differences of opinion and I’m proud of that,” Ellis said.

Ellis owns an investment firm and served on the East Grand Rapids school board for fourteen years.

East Grand Rapids schools Superintendent Sara Shubel says she came out to support Ellis as a friend.

Shubel says Amash doesn’t seem to be able to get things done.

“I do not see (Amash) as a collaborator and I do see Brian and I’ve engaged with him for many years on multiple levels and he has the ability to compromise which is a very important skill that you’re going to have to have in this position,” Shubel said.

Shubel says Ellis is passionate about having quality public education for all students and understands what districts are struggling with.

Amash was not available to comment on this story.

 

Posted 10:45a.m.

An investment firm manager will challenge Congressman Justin Amash in the Republican primary next year.

Brian Ellis announced his candidacy Tuesday among supporters at a hotel in Grand Rapids.

In a written statement, Ellis said Amash has “turned back on conservative principles.”

“Congressman Justin Amash has turned his back on our conservative principles by voting against the Paul Ryan Budget that would cut spending by $5 trillion, and against a 20% tax cut for small businesses,” Brian Ellis said.

“Congressman Amash refused to vote in favor of the Keystone Pipeline and he even voted to allow our tax dollars to fund America’s largest abortion provider.”

Ellis is president and founder of the investment firm Brooktree Capital Management, and has served on the East Grand Rapids Board of Education.

In a piece Ellis wrote for MLive today, he expanded on why he supports the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Politics & Government
3:57 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Polls suggest the federal government shutdown is hurting 3 Michigan congressmen's reelection hopes

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The reelection chances of three Michigan congressmen might be hurt by the federal government shutdown.

The poll numbers show Republican Congressmen Tim Walberg, Kerry Bentivolio and Dan Benishek all trailing significantly behind a generic Democratic opponent. 

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Stateside
2:03 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Current political system penalizes those willing to cooperate, says Rep. Kildee

Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-D, 5th District).
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning that lawmakers are "playing with fire" and he’s asking Congress to pass legislation to re-open the government and to increase the nation’s debt limit.

Lew says President Obama has no intentions of linking either bill to Republican demands to change the health care law. This comes as Republican House Speaker John Boehner rules out a House vote on a temporary spending bill without concessions from the President.

That’s where things stand as the government shutdown moves into its second week.

Democratic Representative Dan Kildee joined us today from Washington D.C.

We asked him whether Democrats like it or not, don’t voters expect some type of negotiation - some type of compromise - from both sides?

You can listen to our interview with him above.

Politics & Culture
10:52 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 7th, 2013

A recent report from Moody's suggests the future is very uncertain for public universities. Today we talked about the future of public universities in Michigan.

And, poet Keith Taylor stopped by the studios to introduce us to some Michigan must-reads for the month of October.

Also, despite our troubled economy, Michigan franchises are going strong. We spoke to DBusiness editor R.J. King about the 2013 Michigan Franchise Report.

First on the show, it’s Day Seven of the partial government shutdown.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning that lawmakers are “playing with fire” and he’s asking Congress to pass legislation to re-open the government, and to increase the nation’s debt limit.

Lew says President Obama has no intentions of linking either bill to Republican demands to change the health care law.

This comes as Republican House Speaker John Boehner rules out a House vote on a temporary spending bill without concessions from the President.

So, that’s where things stand as the government shutdown moves into its second week. Michigan Democratic Representative Dan Kildee joined us from D.C. to discuss the issue. 

Politics & Government
9:04 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Michigan home buyers might be the next to feel the pinch of the federal government shutdown

Or is it?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The federal government shutdown could soon start affecting Michigan’s real estate industry.

The problem is government agencies that verify the identities and tax returns of people taking out mortgages are closed by the shutdown. That means banks and mortgage companies are unable to finish their paperwork on home loans.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:57 am
Mon October 7, 2013

In this morning's headlines: The shutdown and Michigan, Gov. Snyder in Toronto

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

The shutdown and Michigan

"If the federal government shutdown goes beyond this week, there could be serious consequences for the federal justice system. Federal courts will run out of funding to deal with anything “non-essential” on October 15th. Then some court staff will be furloughed, while others will work unpaid," Sarah Cwiek reports.

And Steve Carmody reports, the shutdown could soon affect Michigan's real estate industry.

"Government agencies that verify the identities and tax returns of people taking out mortgages are closed by the shutdown. That means multiple home sales could be held up because of the paperwork problem caused by the government shutdown."

Snyder in Toronto

"Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is visiting Toronto for a speech to the Council of the Great Lakes Region and meetings with Ontario business and government leaders," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
8:30 am
Sat October 5, 2013

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

Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Week in review interview for 10/5/13

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.

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It's Just Politics
12:47 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Politicians playing politics over a political-shutdown

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. So, in the midst of the partial government shutdown, it seems everyone has taken turns placing blame. It’s the Senator Ted Cruz shutdown, the Obama shutdown, the Tea Party shutdown.

The point here is not to own the shutdown, but to make someone else own it – to personalize it and dump it on the other side. We’re not talking about the policy side of it here, but how political operations are using the shutdown.

For example, here in Michigan, Democratic Party fundraising messages are calling it “Terry Lynn Land’s shutdown.” She has shut down the government, apparently, while still merely a candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

And, as the federal government grinds to a standstill, political fundraisers and message-makers are working overtime. This is an environment that is, as they say, target rich. There are people whose jobs are to take these moments that command people’s attention, incite passion, anger, frustration, and turn them into campaign cash and memorable political messages.

But when everyone’s talking about the same thing, it can also be difficult to break through the cacophony. And a lot of people seem to be working off the same talking points. Democrats have one set: critical services in peril; a country held hostage by the Tea Party. Republicans, another: Democrats did this. They won’t negotiate.

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Politics & Government
8:34 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Federal government shutdown threatens pollination study at Michigan State University

Rufus Isaacs in his lab on the MSU campus. He heads the Integrated Crop Pollination project.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The federal government shutdown is threatening a project at Michigan State University that could be critical to the future of agriculture in the U.S.

It’s one of many university research projects affected by the shutdown.

Read more
Stateside
6:02 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

What history can tell us about the government shutdown

The Capitol building
U.S. Congress congress.gov

An interview with historian Gleaves Whitney.

It's Day Three of the government shutdown — with no compromise in sight. 

Late Tuesday, President Barack Obama met with Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, and Sen. McConnell. That meeting yielded nothing that we know of in terms of solving the impasse.

Meantime, Americans continue to express their anger at all sides involved in this stalemate.

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Government Shutdown
3:50 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Here's how your legislator in Congress voted, and what they said, in shutdown battle

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
whitehouse.gov

Republicans in Congress hope to "defund or delay" the Affordable Care Act by attaching language to a bill that would temporarily fund the federal government. If their "continuing resolution" budget is passed, it would end the shutdown.

Democrats won't go for it.

They say debate over the Affordable Care Act is settled. It was signed into law. The Supreme Court ruled on it. And there was a Presidential election in which it was debated. It's time to move on, they say.

Move on? Fat chance. The federal government has been partially shut down over the fight. 

Read more
Politics & Government
7:16 am
Thu October 3, 2013

In this morning's headlines: Shutdown, money for college grads, Common Core funding

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Michigan and the shutdown

"As the federal government shutdown heads into day three, half a dozen national nature preserves in Michigan are now closed. Michigan is in the process of identifying thousands of state employees whose jobs are paid for with federal funds. State budget officials say they will have to be laid off if the federal shutdown lasts for more than two weeks. Food and cash assistance programs could also run out of money," Rick Pluta reports.

College grads that stay in Michigan could get a tax break

"College graduates who choose to stay in Michigan would get a tax break under a bill in the state Senate. The plan would affect students who earn a four-year degree from a Michigan college or university. They could get up to half of what they pay in student loans back when they file their yearly income taxes," Jake Neher reports.

Federal money at risk if Common Core is not funded in Michigan

"State education officials say more than a billion dollars of federal school funding is at risk as the state Senate debates a set of nationwide school standards. The state budget that took effect this week bars the Michigan Department of Education from spending any money to implement the Common Core standards," Jake Neher reports.

Stateside
5:34 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The government shutdown from the perspective of a former Congressman

Joe Schwarz
Wikipedia

It's day two of the government shutdown.

Joe Schwarz is a former Republican Congressman from southern mid-Michigan. He has been out of office now for about 7 years. He joined us today to give us his perspective on the issue from the outside.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:34 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Congressman Gary Peters on the government shutdown

Gary Peters

It’s day two of the government shutdown.

Democratic Congressman Gary Peters joined us today. He represents Michigan's 14th Congressional district. He’s here to help those of us who are not on the ground in D.C. understand where things stand right now.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:20 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Some thirty years after the County Jail Overcrowding Act was passed, Michigan is still dealing with overcrowding emergencies in jails across the state. On today's show: How do we fix the problem of jails filled to the brim? Do we reduce bonds? Increase rates of early release?

And, when it comes to scrap metal theft, anything goes, from manhole covers to copper Jesus statues. What can Michigan lawmakers do to crack down on these thefts?

Also, Michigan writer Natalie Burg joined us to talk about her new book. It's a memoir of her experience living on a Swedish farm.

First on the show, it’s day two of the government shutdown.

Democratic Congressman Gary Peters joined us today. He represents Michigan's 14th Congressional district. 

And former Congressman Joe Schwarz joined us to give us his perspective on the issue as well.

Politics & Government
2:00 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Keeping tabs on how the shutdown is affecting Michigan

The Lincoln Memorial along with all other National Parks and Monuments are closed.
Doug Mills Twitter

The shutdown of the federal government is here. Now what?

We'll keep tabs on the people, programs, and places being affected by the shutdown on this post. Drop us a note below if you're affected by the shutdown or if you know of a program that we haven't mentioned.

If you've sat this story out, and need some "Shutdown 101," the Washington Post's WonkBlog has "Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work." That should about cover it.

*We will update this post as we learn more information

The shutdown shakes things out into two silos.

  1. "Essential" services/personnel, and
  2. "Non-essential" services/personnel.
Read more
Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Michigan Rep. Amash listed as one of 20 'outflanking' House leaders

Congressman Justin Amash (right) and former Representative Hansen Clarke (left) at a town hall meeting at the Gerald R. Ford Mueseum in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The last time the government was shut down in 1995-1996, it was clear where the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives was coming from. Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the "Republican Revolution" in a showdown against former President Bill Clinton.

Today, just who the flag bearers are for the House Republicans is much less clear.

Read more
Opinion
8:51 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Belle Isle is a rare victory for common sense in government

Lessenberry commentary for 10/2/13

Something good happened yesterday, something smart and rational that will help improve people’s lives. This was not typical of the day, mind you. Actually, yesterday was a day of supreme irrationality in federal, state and local government.

Nationally, the government shutdown continued, with Republicans vowing to take the nation over a cliff unless Democrats agree to defund the Affordable Care Act. This happened on the same day that millions rushed to sign up for health insurance plans.

Read more
Week in Michigan Politics
8:40 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Jack talks about government shutdown, health care glitches, and Belle Isle

cncphotos flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 10/2/13

This week in Michigan politics, political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley discuss the government shutdown, glitches in the launch of the health insurance marketplace, and the deal for the state to take over Detroit's Belle Isle.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:38 am
Wed October 2, 2013

In this morning's headlines: Shutdown, Medicaid delays, Belle Isle deal

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Shutdown could cost Michigan $18 million a day

"Michigan’s budget chief says the federal shutdown could cost the state $18 million dollars a day in lost funding. Budget Director John Nixon says he does not expect that to happen unless the shutdown lasts more than two weeks. He says, after that, pre-funding for some big programs will run out," Rick Pluta reports.

Delays in Medicaid sign up

"The Michigan Department of Community Health is still working to start early enrollment to help people sign up for Michigan's expanded Medicaid program. Michigan's Medicaid expansion also still needs to be approved by the federal government. That means hundreds of thousands of low-wage Michiganders could have to wait weeks or months to enroll," Jake Neher reports

The state to take over Detroit's Belle Isle

"The state of Michigan has signed a deal to lease Detroit’s Belle Isle. Governor Snyder and emergency manager Kevyn Orr have both approved the 30-year plan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will run Belle Isle as a state park, saving Detroit an estimated $4 million a year in maintenance costs," Sarah Cwiek reports.

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