Politics & Government

Politics & Government
9:30 am
Sat September 20, 2014

This week in review

Credit NOAA

This Week in Review Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss a plan to put a hold on the creation of new charter schools, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan’s idea for a new regional water authority, and Enbridge’s statement that it has fixed internal problems that lead to the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.

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Politics & Government
9:13 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Detroit City Council rejects "insulting" land transfer proposal

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council has rejected a proposal to transfer thousands of city-owned properties to the Detroit land bank.

The resolution, put forward by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, would move up to 45,000 tax-reverted properties to the Detroit land bank.

And it would have moved all such properties the city acquires in the future directly to the land bank, bypassing the Council entirely.

Council members bristled at that last portion of the deal. They rejected the measure unanimously.

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Politics & Government
9:02 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Michigan GOP eyes March 2016 presidential primary

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Republican Party is preparing to hold a March 2016 presidential primary and not jump out of order like in 2012, when the state moved earlier to be more relevant.

The GOP's state committee will meet in Lansing Saturday to approve a March 15 primary. The date could change because the Legislature has final say.

If a Republican contender secures more than half the votes, he or she would win all 58 delegates. Otherwise, delegates mostly would be awarded based on results in congressional districts.

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Politics & Government
8:57 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Detroit approves new regional water authority

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council has approved the city’s participation in the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The city of Detroit currently owns and operates most of southeast Michigan’s regional water system.

The 40-year deal lets the city retain ownership of all the water system’s assets, and Detroit keep control of day-to-day operations within city limits.

But a new Great Lakes Water Authority takes control of operations outside the city. It will lease the regional assets for $50 million a year.

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Politics & Government
6:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

The Obama administration launches a new effort to curb sexual assaults on college campuses

Valerie Jarrett
Credit Joyce N. Boghosian (White House photographer)

Colleges and universities across the country are being closely scrutinized for the way they handle sexual assaults on campus. Sixty-four schools across the country, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, are currently under investigation for their handling of sexual assaults on their campuses.

Today, the Obama administration launched a new campaign, “It’s On Us”, created to prevent sexual assaults at universities and colleges.

I spoke with senior advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, about the new effort. Here's our conversation:

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Politics & Government
2:34 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Crack down or offer amnesty? Flint goes after water theft

Flint has the highest water rates in the county, and they've got a water theft problem.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Police say they're investigating more than 50 water theft cases across the city.

They say they've already arrested 7 people, including a City Water Department employee who is accused of illegally turning on water for residents.

Flint has some of the highest water rates in the county: an MLive analysis this summer showed that an average resident pays $140 dollars a month, while people in the neighboring town of Burton pay less than $58 a month.

And the city raised its rates again in July.

Jason Lorenz is with the city of Flint.

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It's Just Politics
2:25 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Former Governor Milliken endorses two Democrats, but does it matter?

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week, former Governor Bill Milliken knocked us off the edges of our seats when he started making candidate endorsements (Ok, maybe we weren’t at the edge of our seats).

But Michigan’s political watchers are always interested in who the state’s famously iconoclastic and moderate Republican Governor will endorse.

In 2004, Milliken endorsed Democrat John Kerry for President. In 2008, it was Republican John McCain. Although he withdrew it just a few weeks before the election.

Four years ago, Rick Snyder, in an effort to burnish his centrist bona fides, sought and received the imprimatur of Milliken.

And, now, this election-cycle, Milliken has endorsed Democrat Gary Peters for U.S. Senate and Democrat Mark Totten for Attorney General.

One has to wonder how the Republican base is going to view the fact that the current governor is the only Republican (at least so far in this election cycle) to get the Milliken endorsement.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak doesn’t seem to mind. “He’s not relevant any longer,” Schostak recently told WJBK TV.

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Stateside
7:02 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Today on Stateside:

  •  We found out how one Michigan college succeeds at recruiting and graduating low-income students.
  • Why GM can't put the ignition-switch scandal in its rear-view mirror.
  • Our sports commentator digested the late-season roller-coaster ride for Tigers fans.
  • U.S. Sen. Carl Levin is retiring this year. Why does his exit make the corporate world exhale?
  • A conversation with Michigan author Julie Lawson Timmer about her debut novel: "Five Days Left."

*Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
6:46 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Carl Levin retirement a relief for some corporations

Credit Derek DeVries / Grand Rapids Community College

 

Some of America's top business leaders are breathing a big sigh of relief as Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan prepares to retire.

It turns out that Michigan's senior senator has been running a very tight ship in chairing a Senate subcommittee that's done some deep probing into the workings of some very big businesses.

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, or PSI, was created back in Harry Truman's time to investigate war profit hearings. Today, the organization looks into practices in government and business. 

Kelsey Snell wrote a piece about it for Politico. She notes that the subcommittee chaired by Levin has a big focus on going after tax evasions and unfair business practices on Wall Street.

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Weekly Politcal Roundup
5:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Are political ads working or are Michigan voters tuning out?

Television remote control
Credit user ppdigital / morguefile

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.

This week is all about the political ads inundating the state. We talked about how ads are used to make the case for a candidate, the flood of ads on television, and whether voters are paying attention or tuning out.

Here's our conversation:

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Politics & Government
6:05 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Michigan dog owners rally against breed-specific legislation

Turok was one of several four-legged lobbyists who took the grounds of the state Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of dog groups is upset the state allows local governments to ban specific breeds of dogs.    

Many communities put restrictions on pit bulls, often out of concern about dog attacks.

Courtney Protz-Sander organized a rally of like-minded dog owners at the state Capitol on Wednesday. She says it’s unfair to tell people what kinds of dogs they can own.

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Politics & Government
9:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Duggan tries to sell Detroit City Council on new regional water authority

Credit via detroitmi.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan pitched a proposal creating a new regional water authority to the Detroit City Council Wednesday.

Duggan has signed a memorandum of understanding moving day-to-day control over Detroit’s regional water system to a new Great Lakes Water Authority.

That Authority would be governed by a 6-member board, with representatives appointed by the city and Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

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Stateside
7:55 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Today on Stateside

  • Announcement of a new downtown arena for the Detroit Red Wings brought a flood of news stories, but we may not always ask the right questions. We found out why local media struggle when covering new stadium construction.
  • A debate in Michigan's Senate race is now in the planning stages.
  • We learned what's behind a growing grassroots movement to get the pope to visit Detroit in 2015.
  • We met the captain of the No.1-ranked team at the University of Michigan: Women's cross country.
  • A project team in Lapeer, Michigan, has a mission to make the downtown area more attractive, with decorated benches.
  • We learned about Louis Kamper, the gifted architect who helped Detroit earn a reputation as the "Paris of the West".

*Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
7:42 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

A debate in the U.S. Senate race more likely?

Terri Lynn Land
Credit Michigan Republican Party / Facebook

With 48 days to go until the Nov. 4 election, many people are wondering if Michigan voters would ever get a chance to hear a debate between the candidates for U.S. Senate and for governor.

Republican Terri Lynn Land took the first step today toward holding a debate with Democratic rival Gary Peters.

Land's campaign just named Lansing attorney Richard McLellan as its debate negotiator. Land says McLellan will work with Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV and Peters' campaign to possibly find a West Michigan journalist to co-moderate a debate with WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes.

Peters named former Lt. Gov. John Cherry as his debate negotiator Aug. 6. Peters has accepted three debate invitations outright and two others on the condition that Land also agrees.

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta are co-hosts of Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics. In their views, Michigan voters are clearly looking for the candidates' debates. 

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Politics & Government
5:26 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

"Heat and Eat" cuts mean less food assistance for some in Michigan

Some families in Michigan will see cuts in their monthly food assistance payments soon.
Credit Liz West / Flickr

Changes to a federal program often called "Heat and Eat" mean about 150,000 Michigan families will soon see reductions in their monthly food assistance benefits.

The cuts will average about $75 a month per family.

The Heat and Eat program offers higher food assistance benefits for families who live in northern states, where heating bills can be high.

But about 20% of the people enrolled in the program actually don't pay for heat. It's included as part of their rent.

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Politics & Government
11:57 am
Wed September 17, 2014

The week in Michigan politics

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss the possibility of new teachers losing their pensions, the latest in the Detroit bankruptcy trial, and how Aramark is under fire again.


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Politics & Government
10:36 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Michigan lawmakers making progress on human trafficking bills

Teresa Flores speaks at a human trafficking news conference at the state Capitol.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are making their way through more than a dozen bills targeting human trafficking this week.

The bills would provide a safe harbor for victims, allow victims to sue their abusers, and eliminate the statute of limitations on trafficking offenses.

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Politics & Government
9:59 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Michigan human services director leaving post

Maura Corrigan was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2011 to lead the state's welfare agency. She served on the state's high court from 1999 to 2010.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan says she'll leave her post at the end of the year.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the former Michigan Supreme Court justice says she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Corrigan was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2011 to lead the state's welfare agency. She served on the state's high court from 1999 to 2010.

Corrigan says she told Snyder she'd lead the department for four years.

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Stateside
8:16 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Today on Stateside:

  • A Congressional report blistered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over ignition defects in GM vehicles.
  • We looked at tax increment financing (TIFs): public dollars used with few questions asked.
  • We met the MSU professor leading the quest for a better potato.
  • We discovered how Detroit's techno music scene is winning fans around the world.
  • We asked the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality what Michigan is doing to protect our drinking water against cyanobacteria.
  • Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the genocide of up to a million and half Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. We asked a University of Michigan professor how the actions of 100 years ago are being felt in 2014.

* Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
7:44 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

House report says NHTSA failed to spot GM defect

Credit John F. Martin / Creative Commons

 

A blistering Congressional report came out today on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's handling of a General Motors ignition switch problem.The defect is blamed in 19 deaths. 

David Shepardson is chief of The Detroit News Washington, D.C. bureau. He says the House Energy and Commerce Committee analysis really hauls NHTSA into the "congressional woodshed."

"They had ample information to have discovered this problem in 2007 but, for a number of different failures, didn't do it," says Shepardson.

The report says the NHTSA misunderstood how vehicles worked, lacked accountability, and failed to share information.

* Listen to the interview with David Shepardson above.

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