Politics & Government

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.  

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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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Politics & Government
9:38 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Detroiters rush to pay up, before water shut-offs resume

Luna Simpson and her two grandsons smile. They can afford to make a down payment, so their water will stay on for now.
Credit Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The kids on the right are really adorable. They're worth hearing in the full story, here.

Starting Tuesday, Detroit will resume shutting off people's water if they’re behind on their bills.

For the last month, the city put a moratorium on those shutoffs, which have been internationally criticized as inhumane.

That pause gave people a chance to get on payment plans with the water department.

So on Saturday, nearly a thousand Detroiters lugged their kids and strollers and grandparents out to a sign-up fair at the Cobo Center downtown.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:42 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

State House votes on hunting bill this week; another wolf hunt could take place this year

On Wednesday, state lawmakers take up the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The act would give the Natural Resources Commission the authority to set hunting seasons.
Credit USFWS

Michigan hunters could find wolves in their crosshairs again later this year, if the state House approves legislation on Wednesday.

Last year, hunters killed 22 wolves in a state-sanctioned hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

Plans for another wolf hunt this fall were shelved after opponents collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. They did so again when state lawmakers passed another law to authorize a wolf hunt.

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It's Just Politics
12:46 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Debates represent opportunity for candidates (and media)… to fail

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It seems it’s not possible for an election campaign season to glide by without a debate over debates -- the one-upsmanship between various campaigns about who’s more willing to throw themselves open for an adversarial Q and A rife with drama and wonkiness.

Historically, the most memorable moments of debates are the human ones -- Governor Sarah Palin in the 2008 Vice Presidential debate asking then- Senator Joe Biden, “Can I call you Joe?” or Governor Rick Perry’s famous, fatal stumble in the Republican presidential debate in 2012 at Oakland University, forcing an embarrassing “oops” after he forgot the three federal departments he’d eliminate.

The public says it wants debates. Candidates say they’re anxious to debate. But in Michigan, so far, in 2014, we haven’t seen any debates scheduled in either the race for U.S. Senate or governor.

Democratic Senate nominee Gary Peters is certainly trying to make hay over the absence of debates. It plays into the Democrats’ narrative that Republican Terri Lynn Land is unprepared for the job. Mark Schauer, Democratic nominee for governor, is also pushing to share a stage with Gov. Rick Snyder.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:28 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

MI GOP convention renominates Calley over tea party challenger

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

Delegates to the Michigan Republican Party convention this weekend renominated Lieutenant Gov.Brian Calley to be Gov.Rick Snyder’s running mate. But he had to fight for the job.

Tea party convention delegates meeting in Novi tried to deny Gov. Snyder his choice as a running mate. They voiced frustration with the administration’s support for the Medicaid expansion and the Common Core curriculum standards.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

GOP, Dems to hold state party conventions this weekend

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Credit Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

Republicans and Democrats in Michigan will gather this weekend at party conventions to nominate candidates for statewide offices.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette are expected to be nominated for second terms at the state Republican convention in Novi.      

But it looks like there will be a fight over lieutenant governor. Gov. Rick Snyder wants the convention to renominate Brian Calley. But Tea Party activist Wes Nakagiri wants to deny Snyder his choice.

State GOP chairman Bobby Schostak says Calley appears to have the edge going into Saturday’s convention.

“I think that overall Brian Calley has been working very hard across the state to get the message across that he deserves to continue to be the lieutenant governor, and it’s going to be very hard to beat him,” says Schostak.

Democrats are meeting in Lansing this weekend. Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown is Mark Schauer’s choice for a running mate. Democrats are also expected to nominate Mark Totten for attorney general, and Godfrey Dillard for secretary of state.

The parties will also nominate candidates for the state Supreme Court and education boards. 

Politics & Government
5:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Gov. Snyder defends key aide amid calls for his firing

Rick Snyder and Rich Baird’s relationship goes back a long way. Baird hired Snyder after the future governor graduated from college.
Credit State of Michigan

Gov. Rick Snyder is standing by his longtime friend and key adviser, Rich Baird, amid calls for his firing by state Democratic Party officials.

Rich Baird has played an important behind-the-scenes role for the governor since Snyder took office.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:28 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Peters asks Obama for answers on Iraq, defends health care law on "Michigan Calling"

Rick Pluta sat down with U.S. Senate Candidates Gary Peters

In a wide-ranging interview on Friday, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Gary Peters said he does not support sending ground troops to Iraq.

The militant group calling itself the Islamic State has taken control of large sections of Iraq. But the Michigan congressman says he’s not interested in sending troops back into the country to fight the group.

“At this point, I see no reason to be back in Iraq with boots on the ground,” Peters told host Rick Pluta on the Michigan Public Radio statewide call-in program Michigan Calling.

“And even with airstrikes, you need to have a longer-term plan to go forward, and I’d like to get a better sense of what that is.”

Peters then urged the Obama administration to brief Congress on the situation in Iraq. He says members have not been kept up to speed with what’s happening on the ground.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:19 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Lincoln Park's emergency manager says common-sense changes will help the city

Along the streets in Lincoln Park.
David Lewinski Photography

Q: What do Detroit, Allen Park, Flint, and Hamtramck all have in common?

A: The cities are all under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager. 

Last month, the city of Lincoln Park joined that list. But we didn't see the protests and outcry that we saw over the appointment of an emergency manager in Detroit. 

When the city of Lincoln Park was turned over to Brad Coulter, a consultant to corporate turnaround specialists O'Keefe & Associates, the mayor of Lincoln Park, Thomas Karnes, was positive.

Read more
Weekly Political Roundup
12:12 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

How the Republican Party is struggling with the LGBT issue

Credit user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

Thursday is the day we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.

Today we talk about the challenges facing Republicans in the Legislature as they figure out how to address lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in the state.

Here’s our conversation:

My conversation with Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas.

Politics & Government
11:04 am
Fri August 22, 2014

ICYMI - Listen to our "Michigan Calling" program with Gary Peters

8/22/14 Rick Pluta’s sat down with U.S. Senate Candidates Gary Peters

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta sat down with the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Gary Peters this morning, to take questions from our statewide audience.

Peters is currently the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 14th congressional district. He's served in Congress since 2009. The district includes the eastern half of Detroit, as well as the Grosse Pointes, Hamtramck, Southfield and Pontiac. As senator, Peters would represent the entire state.

Peter's Republican opponent in the race for U.S. Senator is Terri Lynn Land. She served as Michigan’s 41st secretary of state. Rick Pluta will interview Land on Friday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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