WUOMFM

Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the Genesee County Election Board  will decide whether to approve language for a recall petition against Flint mayor Karen Weaver.

Organizer Alex Harris has run recall efforts against two previous Flint mayors, Woodrow Stanley and Don Williamson. Stanley was recalled.  Williamson stepped down before a recall vote.

Harris himself has run unsuccessfully for seats on the Flint city council and school board.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan regulators have directed their staff to develop rules designed to toughen utilities' defenses against cyberattacks.

  Michigan Public Service Commission Chairwoman Sally Talberg says natural gas and electric providers face attempted intrusions into their computer system on an almost daily basis. She says federal and state governments need to work with utilities to create programs to deal with security issues.

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President-elect Donald Trump is condemning the push to force recounts in three states pivotal to his Nov. 8 victory.

In a statement released by his transition team, Trump called the developing recount effort "a scam."

He says, "The people have spoken and the election is over."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Money talks - and in 2016, it also wins elections. In 91% of state house races this year, the candidate with more money won. 

That's according to analysis by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Executive Director Craig Mauger compared the election results with financial reports.  

“In the other 8 races where the candidate...who had less money won, it was often very close.  Both candidates raised a lot of money,” says Mauger.

“As far as we're concerned here in Michigan, there's no suggestion or allegation that there were any hacks or any attempts to that," Woodhams said.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Yesterday, New York Magazine published an article that quickly went viral. It's entitled "Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States."

One of those swing states mentioned in the piece is Michigan, and one of the experts cited is J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society.

Fred Woodhams from the Secretary of State's office joined Stateside to discuss the likelihood of election hacking in Michigan. 

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

The Detroit Pistons are coming back to ... well, Detroit.

This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about who stands to win and who stands to lose after the Pistons leave the Palace of Auburn Hills for the new Little Caesar's Arena in downtown Detroit.

They also discuss the State's argument that literacy is not a constitutional right when it comes to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Detroit school children, and the future of Detroit's two major newspapers.


Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

One of the most divisive elections in our country’s history is now in the rear-view mirror.

At Monday night’s Issues & Ale Pundit Summit, we debriefed and began to look forward into the new political climate established on Nov. 8.

According to Halderman, pink counties have a paper trail. Blue counties do not.
Image courtesy of J. Alex Halderman

A blog post in New York Magazine has been sweeping around the internet because it calls into question the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Ingham Co. Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As the Prosecuting Attorney for Ingham County, Stuart Dunnings III was the guy who sent people to prison. Today, the disgraced former prosecutor stood before a judge in Genesee County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a felony charge of misconduct in office, and a misdemeanor charge of engaging the services of a prostitute.

Dunnings had been facing 15 prostitution-related charges that were spread over three counties. He was sentenced to three years probation, with the first year to be served in county jail.

Gov. Rick Snyder.
Courtesy Detroit Regional Chamber / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declined to endorse Donald Trump during the election. (He didn't endorse any candidate for president, according to our It's Just Politics ​team.)

And the Associated Press reported that Gov. Snyder referred to Trump's comments about women as "revolting and disgusting."

Senator Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC in 2011.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some Detroit leaders, clergy, and activists spoke out against Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General on Monday, denouncing him as someone who would “take us back to the Jim Crow era.”

They said Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, has a particularly bad history when it comes to African-American voting rights, and other civil rights issues.

But Rev. Paul Perez, with the Detroit conference of the United Methodist Church, says that’s not the only area of concern.

On this episode of Stateside, we dig into the question of whether Michigan students have a right to literacy, and what a re-write of the North American Free Trade Agreement could mean for Michigan and our biggest trading partner, Canada.  Also, a mold-breaking Michigander shares her story of making it as an advertising executive... there's a new Yelp-like app for migrant workers... an indigenous game developer talks about healing water through songs... and Michigan Radio's John U. Bacon breaks down the sporting news from this past weekend.

Water faucent in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

This week, delinquent residential water customers in Flint are facing a choice: pay up or their service may be cutoff.

The city of Flint has had some success getting commercial water customers to pay up past due accounts using a carrot and stick approach. Pay up and continue to get a state credit on their bills or risk losing water and sewer service. More than ¾ Flint commercial water customers are now up to date on their water and sewer bills. There are a few, including two apartment complexes, that are facing shutoffs.

Michigan flag.
wikimedia commons

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about a loss to Trump’s transition team, newspaper cutbacks, a possible state flag makeover.

President-elect Trump claims that he is going to bring back coal production, but is there a market demand for it?
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Energy policy will change under the new administration and state policies in places such as Michigan are more likely to look like Trump policies than Obama polices. That's the opinion of Mark A. Barteau, the director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute.

Trump has made clear statements that he believes climate change is a hoax and he plans to dismantle the Obama administration’s energy policies. This will affect gas and oil production. Trump has also said he’ll bring “clean coal” production back, but it's not certain there is market demand.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0, cropped

The mayor of Warren is defending a social media post that caused some panic and confusion among residents this week.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday, Jim Fouts referenced a “major environmental scandal brewing in Macomb County” that “could be a mini version of what happened in Flint.”

Following the post, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel says his office was flooded with calls about the safety of the area's drinking water.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Hackel scolded Fouts for stirring up panic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency is giving the city of Flint and the state of Michigan until early next year to get its plans in place for switching to the KWA water pipeline.

Eventually, the city of Flint’s tap water will come from the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline. But the EPA says there are a few things that have to happen first.   

Mistakes made the last time Flint tried treating its own drinking damaged pipes with leached lead into the tap water. 

A demolition in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

A federal investigation into Detroit’s demolition program under Mayor Mike Duggan seems to be picking up speed, and possibly widening in scope.

Federal agents visited the Detroit land bank Wednesday.

The land bank has used almost $130 million in federal money, originally allocated for foreclosure prevention, on demolitions as part of Duggan’s aggressive blight elimination campaign.

“The biggest fear is that we would go backwards into fear rather than forward into hope. That we’d go backwards into polarization, not forward into unity. We’ve made an awful lot of progress in the last 50 years, and that progress is now threatened.”
Laura Weber / MPRN

 

A week ago, we woke up to the news that Donald Trump is our president-elect.

Since that day, we’ve seen a flood of reported hate incidents across the country.

Antonin / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Like their national counterparts, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Planned Parenthood of Michigan  have seen dramatic increases in contributions  in the week since Election Day to help them fight any efforts by the Trump administration to undermine their causes.  

"Given the very overt threats to our work and the women we serve throughout the campaign, people turned to Planned Parenthood and felt like what they could do is offer their time and their resources," said Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Election 2016 triggered anti-Trump protests and vigils across the country, including some on college campuses in Michigan.

For This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss how schools should handle that conversation and the responsibilities of community leaders in places where post-election threats and bullying have occurred.

They also discuss Gov. Rick Snyder's trip to China and his priorities as he heads into the final two years of his term.


The RTA identified the Michigan Avenue Corridor as one of the areas that would have benefited from a regional transit system, had the millage passed.
Regional Transit Authority

It's back to the drawing board for those who've been working towards a true regional transportation system for Southeast Michigan.

A slim majority of voters across Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties last week rejected the regional transit millage. And it will be two years before the RTA can try again.

Stateside was joined by the President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Baruah, who had been hoping the RTA millage would pass. 

Flint city leaders say water crisis is far from over

Nov 15, 2016
Flint River and water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's water crisis became national news last year, but city officials want you to know it's still not fixed yet.

This week, Congressman Dan Kildee introduced new legislation to improve lead standards in drinking water, and the Flint city council approved Mayor Karen Weaver's renewal of emergency status for Flint.

Weaver says city residents still don't have safe tap water.

“In case somebody doesn't know, unfortunately the fact of the matter is that we still cannot drink our water without a filter,” Weaver says. "And that’s a huge issue.”

Portland General Electric / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Last week, amid the frenzy that followed the presidential election, the Michigan Senate passed a pair of bills that would mean a dramatic overhaul of Michigan’s energy policy. The bills, which still have to make it through the Michigan House of Representatives, would be the first new energy policy in Michigan since 2008.

We spoke with Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s Lansing Bureau Chief, about the new legislation. He told us that, although the two bills both had bipartisan support and passed by wide margins, they also have detractors.

Courtesy Photo

For the first time in 28 years a majority of Michigan voters chose a Republican president.

Although low voter turnout in big, democratic strongholds like Flint and Detroit played a role, exit polling shows rural voters turned out in record numbers to flip Michigan for Trump.

With the first female presidential candidate on the ballot this election, it was widely expected women would turnout in large numbers for Hillary Clinton. Most did. But exit polls still show 42% of women backed Trump. White, non-college educated women voted for Trump 2 to 1.

 

Today, we discuss the reports of harassment and intimidation in the days after the presidential election. We also learn what history may tell us about that election and the turmoil left in the aftermath of such a long, tough campaign.

raquel4citycouncil.org / Facebook

There’s no sign that Detroit will change any of its immigrant-friendly policies as a result of Donald Trump’s election, according to one City Council member who has helped spearhead some of them.

Detroit is a self-designated “sanctuary city.” Those cities offer limited protections to undocumented immigrants.

Trump has pledged to cancel federal funding to all sanctuary cities during his first 100 days in office.

But Detroit City Council member Raquel Castañeda Lopez said there are no plans to change anything—yet.

screen grab from 60 Minutes / CBS News

Over the last week since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election, there have been an increase in the number of reports of harassment and bullying directed at students of color and religious minorities.

Speaking to Lesley Stahl last night on CBS' 60 Minutes, President-elect Donald Trump addressed the recent incidents.

Trump said he was "saddened" by the news and implored people to "stop it".

Donald Trump
user Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

There’s no better way to understand what lies ahead than to take a look at our history.

Gleaves Whitney sat down with us today to talk about what history might tell us about Donald Trump’s Election Day victory and the turmoil and division that’s been left in the wake of this long, tough campaign.

Courtesy of Dawud Walid

In the past week, middle school students in Royal Oak chanted “Build the Wall,” a Canton police officer was suspended over a racist Facebook post, and a University of Michigan student reported she was confronted by a man who threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.

These are just some of the incidents reported since last week’s election of Donald Trump, which came after a long campaign that often focused on Muslims.

Pages