Politics & Government

Politics & Government
6:05 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Labor Day: End of Summer, Beginning of election campaign season

Democrat Mark Schauer talks with a union member before Detroit's 2014 Labor Day parade
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer.

For politicians, Labor Day is also seen as the unofficial beginning of the final campaign stretch toward the November election.   The election is little more than two months away.     

Many Michigan politicians spent the Labor Day holiday walking in parades and shaking a lot of hands.        

For Democrats, the place to be Monday was in or around the annual Labor Day parade in Detroit.

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Politics & Government
3:21 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Flint searches for city manager

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s search for a city manager begins in earnest Sept. 1.

Emergency manager Darnell Earley wants to hire a city manager to serve as a bridge from state oversight of the city. He hopes to choose someone by December.

“I’ve already had some preliminary conversations with some executive recruitment firms,” says Earley. “Although we’re going to do this in-house, I’m going to beg and plead as much as I can for assistance to get that word out so that we can cast the widest net we possibly can.”

A Flint city manager would be joining the city at a time of major change.

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Politics & Government
1:50 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

November election on minds of Detroit Labor Day parade marchers

A heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirits of thousands of union members marching in Detroit's annual Labor Day parade
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of union workers marched down Michigan Avenue today as part of Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade.

Just as the parade was getting started, a heavy downpour drenched the marchers as they stepped off from Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street.

But the crowd’s passions remained enflamed by speeches from state union leaders, like SEIU president Marge Robinson, who attacked Governor Rick Snyder for signing Right to Work legislation.

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Politics & Government
9:52 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Airwaves heat up in race for Michigan governor

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Political TV ads are set to escalate in the final two months of the race between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer. If the ads that have already run in the contest are any indication, themes will used time and again.

Some charges are inaccurate or lack context the public might find useful. Snyder never cut education funding by $1 billion in his first year. State-based K-12 funding has gone up every year of his term. But he did slash universities' funding and deprive the K-12 school fund of revenue through a business tax cut.

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Politics & Government
5:31 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Filings in Detroit's bankruptcy are getting personal

Turns out federal judge Stephen Rhodes can write a piece of legal smack down when he wants.
Credit John Meiu / Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

A recent order from the court reads like a Facebook argument.

It started with Syncora, a major bond insurer that claims Detroit owes it more than a billion dollars.

The company filed an objection to the “grand bargain” that’s been coming together to save the Detroit Institute of Arts and protect the city’s pensioners.

Basically, Syncora says it and other Wall Street creditors are getting treated like the bad guys, while the DIA and the pensioners are clearly the hometown favorites.

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Politics & Government
11:52 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Detroit seeks proposals to re-develop iconic Brewster recreation center

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is looking for plans to re-develop the former Brewster-Wheeler recreation center.

The center is best known as the place where Detroit boxing legends Joe Louis got their start in the sport.

It also served as an important community hub for generations of Detroiters who lived in and around the recently-demolished Brewster-Douglass housing projects.

But it’s fallen into disrepair since it closed in 2006, and was recently added to the city’s demolition list.

Now Mayor Mike Duggan is making a final push to re-develop it instead.

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Politics & Government
8:56 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New alliance seeks to restore public education funding through political action

Retired English teacher Pat Kuessner at MTAC rally (CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDE SHOW)
Tracy Samilton

A new political alliance says it will try to help elect Mark Schauer as Michigan Governor in November, along with other politicians who want to restore public education funding.

Michigan Teachers and Allies for Change held its first rally in Ann Arbor Thursday evening. 

About 250 people, many of them teachers, attended. 

Most were from Ann Arbor.  But one teacher drove all the way from Marquette to support the cause.

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Politics & Government
8:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Growing opposition to proposed Lake Huron nuclear waste facility

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) announces his plans to file a resolution against the proposed nuclear waste storage facility during a news conference on the deck of the Appledore IV in the Saginaw River in Bay City
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan congressman is the latest to stand up against plans for a nuclear waste storage facility on the Ontario side of Lake Huron.

Ontario Power Generation wants to store its nuclear waste at the site which is less than a mile from the Canadian shore of Lake Huron. 

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Weekly Political Roundup
5:00 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Talking poll numbers and wolf hunting with Ken Sikkema and Zoe Clark

State Capitol
Credit user aunt owwee / Flickr

This week we're joined by Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants. Also sitting in is Michigan Radio's co-host of It's Just Politics, Zoe Clark.

We talk about the potential fallout from the Legislature's vote on wolf hunting and the latest poll numbers in Michigan's gubernatorial race. Listen to our discussion below.

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Stateside
4:48 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today on Stateside:

·         A New York lender called Art Capital Group is offering a $4 billion loan to the city of Detroit if it puts up its art collection as collateral.

·         College football season is starting Saturday and we took a look at the upcoming games for the Wolverines and Spartans.

·         A Michigan State Trooper doubles as a stand-up comic in his spare time.

·         40 years later, Gerald R. Ford is seen as just an average President. But is he more than that?

*Listen to the full show above. 

Stateside
6:08 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  Today on Stateside:

  • Schoolteachers are deciding this month whether or not to opt out of their unions.
  •  The Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex, is adding a U of M forest to its network.
  • Michigan boasts a fine array of museums, with something for everybody: The Henry Ford in Dearborn, the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, the Great Lakes Children's Museum in Traverse City, and the Pickle Barrel House Museum in Grand Marais.
  • Music lovers will be focused this weekend on downtown Detroit for the largest free jazz festival in the world. 
  • We talked with Katherine Freese about her new book,  "The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter."

*Listen to the full show above. 

Politics & Government
11:43 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Pro and anti-wolf hunting groups square off at Michigan's Capitol today

Many wolf hunt opponents complain state lawmakers are circumventing November's two referendums.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People for and against a wolf hunt in Michigan are at the state Capitol today.

Orange-wearing hunters are mixing with people waving signs calling for protecting Michigan’s wolves.

The state House is poised to vote on the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The act would open the door once again to wolf hunting. The state Senate has already voted in favor of the act.  

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This Week in Michigan Politics
10:02 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Lessenberry explains how the November election is getting in the way of issues in Michigan

Credit World Resources Institute

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss U.S. Senate Terry Lynn Land's plan to fix Michigan's roads, if residents can have an impact on oil drilling and fracking in their communities, and how Michigan won't be a a dumping ground for other states' radioactive waste.

Week in Michigan Politics interview for 8/27/14

Politics & Government
8:05 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Battle Creek military base may host U.S. missile base

People at last night’s public expressed some concern about making Battle Creek a military target. But more were interested in the potential jobs the missile complex may deliver.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A decade from now, Battle Creek could be a key component of the nation’s missile defense program. 

Fort Custer is one of several sites in the eastern U.S. being reviewed for an expansion of a missile interceptor system.

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Stateside
5:10 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Wolf hunt, LGBT rights, and IBM ruling all await Michigan lawmakers tomorrow

Does this wolf look any different to you? It's an Eastern Wolf; a separate species from the Gray Wolf. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say they're working to set the record straight on where these wolves historically ranged in the U.S.
Christian Jansky wikimedia commons

  Lawmakers in the state House are back for a special summer session day tomorrow. It’s just one day and it’s the last session day before the Legislature returns from its summer break in September.

MLive’s Lansing reporter Jonathon Oosting joined Stateside today to talk about what will be covered in the session.

First: Wolf hunting.

Oosting said the Senate initiated legislation would enact the third wolf hunting law in as many years. Two of those have already been suspended by anti-wolf-hunting groups. This third law would render those two moot. If the House approves this legislation tomorrow, wolf hunting will continue to be allowed in Michigan regardless of what voters say in November.

Second: Building protection for LGBT rights.

Oosting said legislation still needs to be introduced. Lawmakers have been debating the issue behind the scenes for months. There is a possibility legislation would appear tomorrow, but we're more likely to see it in September. Republicans seem to be willing to have the discussion, but are still sympathetic to arguments regarding religious freedom.

Third: IBM ruling

It is a Supreme Court ruling dealing with tax liability in the state. Oosting said the Supreme Court found that the state left a few loopholes in place when it eliminated the Michigan business tax. As a result, IBM is owed what could be $1 billion by next year.

*Listen to the full interview with Jonathon Oosting above. 

Stateside
5:09 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today on Stateside:

·         Lawmakers in the state House will be back for a special summer session day tomorrow.

·         Eleven counties failed to file an annual report required by law that spells out crimes committed by concealed weapon holders.

·         Michigan apple growers are having a hearty year thanks to the cold winter.

·         A recent survey found that 36% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Detroit News personal finance reporter Brian O’Connor tells us more.

·         Michigan may accept 36 tons of radioactive waste after other states have refused to take it.

·         A group of friends plan to trek across Lake Michigan on Stand-Up Paddleboards to raise money for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

·         Fur trapping in Michigan: then and now. 

*Listen to the full show above. 

Stateside
6:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Stateside for Monday, August 25, 2014

Today on Stateside:

  • It was a busy political weekend as Michigan Democrats and Republicans held their respective conventions. Two Lansing reporters gave us a roundup of these state conventions.
  • The emerald ash borer is said to be the most destructive bug to ever attack U.S. trees. Its attack on America's trees began in a corner of Wayne County.
  • A Michigan poet spent some 40 years translating the powerful words of Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo.
  • A labor shortage is slowing down new home construction. We talked to the CEO of the Homebuilders Association of Michigan about what it means for the state's economy if new houses just can't be built.

* Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
5:59 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Surprises, the predicted, and some serious jabs: a convention roundup

The statewide Republican ticket lines up following Saturday’s GOP convention in Novi.
Credit Rick Pluta / MPRN

It was a busy political weekend as Michigan Democrats and Republicans held their respective conventions. 

Two reporters joined Stateside to talk about what happened at the conventions. Chris Gautz is a Lansing reporter for Crain's Detroit Business. Chad Livengood is a Lansing reporter for The Detroit News.

Here are a few highlights of the interview:

  • Tea Party organizer Wes Nakagiri did not succeed in his bid to boot Lt. Gov. Brian Calley off the ticket.
  • Nomination of Michigan Supreme Court justice candidate William Murphy at the Democratic convention
  • Nomination of Maria Carl of Macomb County on the State Board of Education seat at the GOP convention
  • Some of the bumper stickers available at the Michigan GOP convention

*Listen to the full interview with Chris Gautz and Chad Livengood above.

Oil and gas drilling
11:45 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Michigan Township Association leery of fracking moratoriums

Activists seeking ban on fracking in Michigan
Credit Steven Depolo

The Michigan Township Association says townships that pass fracking moratoriums could be on shaky legal ground.

Scio Township passed a six-month moratorium on well drilling activity earlier this week, as part of an effort to stop an oil and gas company from looking for deposits in the township.

Catherine Mullhaupt  is the Association's Director of Member Information Services.

She says the Association's legal counsel believes the state alone can deny or issue permits for oil and gas drilling, otherwise known as "fracking."  That goes for gravel mining, too.

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Politics & Government
10:53 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Conventions court controversy, despite best efforts

The statewide Republican ticket lines up following Saturday’s GOP convention in Novi.
Credit Rick Pluta / MPRN

Republicans and Democrats held their state party conventions over the weekend.

The GOP met in the Detroit suburb of Novi. Democrats were in Lansing. Their purpose was to nominate a slate of statewide candidates, and promote party unity going into November, and they succeeded. Partially.

The conventions’ legal purpose is to select candidates for the November ballot, but they’re also a chance to fire up the party faithful. And there’s always a goal of broadcasting the impression of an excited, unified party, and, frankly, to avoid big drama that makes big news.

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