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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

This week, Stateside is interviewing the Democratic candidates for governor ahead of their party’s 2018 State Endorsement Convention. The gubernatorial candidates will face off in the August primaries.

Abdul El-Sayed is the former director of the Detroit Health Department. His campaign has been a little bumpy - late last month, he asked a court to rule if he's eligible to run after some elections law experts claimed he might not be.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is running for governor. But first, he has to get the Republican nomination. His campaign is running a video ad that Bridge Magazine’s Truth Squad finds stretches the truth a bit. 

Let’s go straight to the video. Here’s the main point Brian Calley wants to make to voters.

“I was the driving force behind historic tax cuts and cast the deciding vote to balance Michigan’s budget. What happened? Half a million jobs have been created. We hit the lowest unemployment rate in seventeen years.”

The Truth Squad’s Ted Roelofs says Calley is taking a lot of credit in this ad.

Stateside 4.11.2018

Apr 11, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn that in the face of scandal, Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone has a history protecting "the institution of the church." Also today, we continue checking in with the state's 2018 gubernatorial candidates. Today we hear from Abdul El-Sayed.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan schools scored poorly in the latest National Assessment of Educational progress, which tracks math and reading skills in 4th and 8th graders. Detroit schools ranked the worst for student performance.

Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry shares the results that stand out to him with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After several hectic days, the state has permanently closed four water distribution centers in Flint.

Demand for bottled water soared after Gov. Snyder announced last Friday that the state program was ending. The last of case of bottled water was handed out late today.

Democratic candidate for governor Bill Cobbs, in turquoise polo and glasses.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

2018 is an election year in Michigan, and the primaries are already four months away.

Before the campaigns get too chaotic, Stateside decided to check in with the candidates. This week, we’ll talk to the Democratic candidates ahead of the party's 2018 State Endorsement Convention. Party leaders will endorse a candidate for attorney general, secretary of state and the State Supreme Court.

The Republican candidates will stop by later this month.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Bills that would require Michigan driver's licenses and state ID cards to show certain immigration statuses are under consideration in a state House committee.

The legislation would prohibit the secretary of state from issuing license or ID cards that expire after the duration of an immigrant's legal status.

It also would codify existing procedure for noncitizens with temporary lawful status in the U.S., such as DACA recipients or foreign college students, to require their licenses or cards display that they are a "limited-term" resident.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council fell short tonight in an effort to keep the city’s water distribution centers open for another month.

The centers are expected to run out of bottled water by the end of the week, now that the state is pulling the plug. Gov. Rick Snyder says tests of the city’s drinking water show significant improvement since elevated lead levels were discovered in 2015. Snyder says because of that the pods are no longer needed.

George Thomas / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Governor Snyder’s administration has announced that it will stop providing free water bottles to Flint residents. The state says lead levels in Flint drinking water have not exceeded government action levels for more than two years. So, it's ending the bottled water distribution program, though it says Flint residents can still receive free water filters.

Representative Dan Kildee, D-Flint, joined Stateside today to discuss how ending the water bottle program will affect the city’s residents, how Flint residents feel about the water crisis, and how trust in government can be restored in Flint.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s been another day of long lines at water distribution centers in Flint. 

Cars and trucks started lining up after Governor Snyder announced last week that the state will stop providing city residents with free bottled water.

The state started handing out cases of water to city residents two years ago after tests showed elevated levels of lead in Flint’s tap water. The governor insists tests show Flint’s drinking water is now well within state and federal standards.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This weekend Democrats will endorse a candidate for Attorney General, a candidate for Secretary of State, and candidates for State Supreme Court. Jocelyn Benson is running unopposed for Secretary of State. Three Democrats want the job of Attorney General. Below are responses (in alphabetical order of the candidates’ last name) to issues such as consumer protection, the environment, Enbridge’s Line 5 which runs under the Straits of Mackinac, and LGBTQ civil rights. 

The fight for the Democratic nod for state attorney general has gotten nasty with less than a week to go before Michigan Democrats decide on a candidate.

A box of Ice Mountain brand water bottles
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved a permit for Nestle to increase the volume of water it pumps from its well in Osceola County from 250 gallons per minute to up to 400 gallons per minute.

More than 80,000 people spoke out against Nestle's permit request, but the MDEQ said it cannot base its decision on public opinion.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss potential political blow-back that could stem from the state's approval of Nestle's permit.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for Nestlé to increase pumping out water from 250 gallons a minute to 400 gallons at a facility in Osceola County. That approval came after overwhelming disapproval from citizens. The DEQ says it must follow the law when making permit decisions, which would seem to get rid of necessity of taking public comment.

Vicki Barnett, former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, and Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and the former Republican majority leader in state senate, joined Stateside to discuss how effective and desirable the DEQ and public comments are, how the legislature should treat water resources, and how the decision will affect the state’s farmers.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This week, a Michigan House inquiry about the handling of complaints over convicted sex offender and former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar completed its work. The information was turned over to the Attorney General’s office. Some of that information was released in a letter to House speaker Tom Leonard.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Snyder administration is ending state supported bottled water distribution in Flint.

The government started distributing bottled water to Flint residents after tests revealed extremely high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water.  

In the years since Flint’s water crisis began, thousands of city residents have made a trip to one of the government sponsored water distribution centers to pick up a free case or two of bottled water a regular chore.

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

The Wayne County Commission sealed a deal to swap some land with the city of Detroit Thursday.

It’s part of a larger deal that has the county partnering with billionaire Dan Gilbert to build a new $533 million criminal justice center.

The land swap deal with Detroit gives Wayne County a spot to build a new jail and courthouse.

Stateside 4.5.2018

Apr 5, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn why soybean farmers are on the front line of the brewing trade war. And, Macomb County's Candice Miller says the DEQ's Nestle decision "cannot be allowed to stand."

rows of soybean crops
Courtesy of the Michigan Soybean Association

China is America's biggest soybean customer, to the tune of $14 billion last year. 

Michigan is a major soybean producer, which means farmers in the state are on the front line of this brewing trade war.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After more than six years of state oversight, the city of Flint is finally emerging from receivership.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver could hardly contain her feelings about the end of state oversight of her city.

“I’m excited. I’m glad they’re gone,” Weaver told reporters after the news broke this afternoon.

The city of Flint is the last Michigan municipality to be under state financial oversight through a Receivership Transition Advisory Board.

exterior of elementary school
Stockbridge Community Schools

Threats against schools have spiked in Michigan since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. At a press conference in Detroit yesterday, U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider vowed to track down and prosecute the people making threats.

Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss the impact of the threat of prosecution.

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Macomb Daily

The twists keep coming in the case of ousted Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger, as the county’s elected leaders gathered Tuesday to call for “stability” and urge that Spranger’s current temporary replacement remain in office until the November election.

This came as Spranger appeared to attempt to regain her office by filing court documents addressing Gov. Snyder, President Trump, and others “to report a crime of Constitutional violation of the overthrow of my Constitutional offices.”

Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Appearing today in an automotive repair shop in Southfield on the first stop of her "Fix the Damn Roads Tour," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her strategic plan for rebuilding the state's infrastructure.

Whitmer called for a bold investment in a state infrastucture bank to fix Michigan's crumbling roads, bridges and water systems.

Her plan also would build a new Soo Lock and connect more Michiganders to high-speed broadband internet.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A state attorney general candidate has filed a complaint against his opponent. Democrat Pat Miles says fellow Democrat Dana Nessel violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

“Michigan has some of the weakest campaign finance laws in the first place. And if you can’t even follow that law, then what kind of attorney general would you be?” Miles said.

Flitn River
Courtesy of the Flint River Watershed Coalition

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments general assembly has adopted a plan aimed at protecting the region's water resources.

The plan emphasizes the importance of integrated management of water resources to advance tourism, recreation, economic development, protection of natural resources and water infrastructure.

Natural resources priorities include preventing and controlling invasive species and preserving and restoring more than 340,000 acres (137,600 hectares) of wetlands.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This year, TV ad spending is spiking early among candidates running for Michigan governor.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports $1.7 million has been spent on TV ads to promote candidates in Michigan’s governor’s race. 

The network’s Craig Mauger says most of that spending was by Democrat Shri Thanedar, who’s poured $1.2 million into TV campaign ads since the January 1.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Michiganders hard hit by heavy flooding in February are getting some help.

Gov. Snyder declared a state of disaster for 17 counties and two cities after heavy rainfall and snowmelt resulted in widespread flooding damage.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for a physical and economic disaster declaration for four Michigan counties.

Stateside 3.30.2018

Mar 30, 2018

Today on Stateside, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell says we need to get out of the way and let young people be our voice on gun safety. And, a study predicts climate change will bring more deadly heat waves to the Great Lakes by the mid-2030s. 

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Atlantic Council / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two members of Congress, Republican Fred Upton and Democrat Debbie Dingell, are co-chairing a working group that’s tackling the issues related to school shootings and guns.

Dingell joined Stateside today to discuss that working group, and what she’s doing to avoid the “same old discussion” on guns.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As it stands now, the likely nominee for United States Senate is three-time Senator Debbie Stabenow. Gretchen Whitmer is getting endorsements from leading Democrats in her pursuit of the nomination for governor. Jocelyn Benson is running unopposed for her party’s nomination for secretary of state. There’s also a woman running for attorney general, as well as two African-American men.

Dana Nessel is a former prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. She’s probably most famous for her efforts to get gay marriage legalized in the U.S.

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