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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

The Many Faces Of Inauguration Day Attendees

Jan 22, 2017

People traveled to Washington, D.C., from around the country to witness the transition of power to the 45th president of the United States. Amid celebration and clashes, a few faces stood out. Watching giant screens, blocks away from the incoming president, these people braved crowds and weather to watch history being made.


Ken Crider and his wife, Penny

Age: 51

City of Residence: Detroit area

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The National Mall has flooded with pink, as demonstrators descend on the nation's capital Saturday for the Women's March on Washington. Just one day after President Trump's inauguration, marchers from across the country have gathered in the city to protest his agenda and support for women's rights.

The event opened with a rally, to be followed by the march proper — which had a path laid out from a starting position near the U.S. Capitol to its endpoint near the Washington Monument.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

From Detroit to Kalamazoo, thousands of people have turned out at rallies for women's rights, social causes and peace.   The marches were in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

An estimated 7,000 men, women, and children were at the State Capitol Saturday for the Women’s March on Lansing. It was a sister rally to the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

michigan.gov

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his seventh State of the State address on Tuesday. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why the speech isn't considered to be one of Snyder's finest.

They also discuss the governor's push to save Medicaid expansion, Attorney General's Bill Schuette's stance on a Flint water crisis lawsuit, and education secretary nominee Besty DeVos' hearing on Capitol Hill.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Several students worked diligently on signs and hats to carry and wear in Saturday's Women's March on Lansing. It's a sister march to a larger event happening in Washington, D.C.

A photo collage of Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at ways to improve their response to Flint’s water crisis, almost three years after the disastrous decision to pump water from the Flint River. 

As the city of Flint continues to rip out thousands of old lead and galvanized pipes connecting homes and businesses to city water mains, state officials expect they will see spikes in lead levels in the water.

Donald J. Trump takes the Oath of Office and becomes the nation's 45th President.
White House

Donald Trump became the nation's 45th President at noon on January 20, 2017. 

We provided live annotations and analysis of Trump's speech. NPR reporters, editors, and producers transcribed his remarks in real time and provided footnotes with analysis, context, and fact-checks.

You can watch the inauguration here, or below:

The U.S. Capitol at 6:31 a.m. ET this morning.
Steve Inskeep / NPR

The country inaugurated a new president on Friday, January 20, 2017

Donald J. Trump became the 45th U.S. President after he took the Oath of Office at noon eastern time on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

DetroitMI.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says he wants to speed up the process of acquiring blighted homes through the Detroit Land Bank Authority, an agency under federal investigation.

The current city treasurer, David Szymanski, will step down from that role and move over to the land bank to lead a “litigation team” that will focus on seizing more blighted properties under nuisance abatement laws, Duggan said Thursday.

Stateside 1.19.2017

Jan 19, 2017

Today, we hear from a first-time voter who considered Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, but ultimately chose Donald Trump. And, we learn why moving the party headquarters to Detroit could help Democrats recapture the Midwest.

Pam Weiss is armed with some good walking shoes for the Women's March on Washington.
Courtesy of Pam Weiss

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, the first full day of Donald Trump's presidency.

Pam Weiss of Ann Arbor plans to hop on a bus tomorrow to join the march in Washington.

For Weiss, it's not just about being anti-Trump.

Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

On Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our 45th president of the United States.  The election was one of the most contentious in recent memory and has exposed or inflamed serious divisions in American society. All this week on Stateside, we’ll speak with Michiganders who were drawn to the President-elect’s message about their hopes for the new administration.

Jules Pastorino is a 19-year-old woman and a University of Michigan student. If she were to sit down with President-elect Donald Trump, she would urge him to reign in the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency (NSA), tell him that climate change is “not a conspiracy” and ask him to consider the importance of abortion rights.

Those are concerns that Pastorino shares with many Hillary Clinton voters. But in 2016, her first election, Pastorino voted for Donald Trump.

Clinton Steeds / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

It’s said necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Innovation is often born out of crisis or conflict – a war, a pandemic or a financial crash.  Sometimes the conflict can be constructive, like the invention of a new miracle drug. And sometimes the conflict can be destructive, like, for instance, a contentious election.

Inside the Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say they need to know more about plans to upgrade the city’s water plant.

Mistakes made treating water drawn from the Flint River resulted in corrosive water damaging the city’s pipes. The damaged pipes leeched lead into Flint’s tap water.  

More than a year after the city’s drinking water source was switched back to treated water from Detroit, tests still show elevated levels of lead in the tap water of many Flint homes. 

Digital_Third_Eye / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Across the country, Democrats are asking how to come back from their 2016 losses. One California party leader has a proposal: move the party’s headquarters to Michigan.

Phil Angelides is a former chairman of both the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and California's Democratic Party. In an article in Politico, he urged the party to “rebuild from the ground up.” Detroit, Angelides believes, is the best place to begin that process.

In addition to providing hundreds of thousands with health insurance, Healthy Michigan has also helped Michigan hospitals save hundreds of millions of dollars because of a reduction in uncompensated care.
Chealion / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is in Washington today. He’s meeting with members of Congress to talk about Healthy Michigan, the state’s version of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

During his State of the State address this week, Snyder noted Congressional Republicans’ plan to repeal, and likely replace, the ACA with something else. However, it’s uncertain what that replacement plan might be.

Nick Lyon, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, joined Stateside to talk about the current state of Healthy Michigan and what the future might hold for the program that has provided about 640,000 people with health insurance. 

A Minute with Mike
Vic Reyes

Hello, my fellow Michiganeers, it’s your friendly neighbor-radio hood Mike Blank. Just in case you’ve been trapped in an abandoned copper mine in the Upper Peninsula since November and you haven’t heard, we’re about to get a new president.

I try not to focus on political issues during our brief time together. However, the one thing that stood out about this election to me was the staggering number of people who did not vote. Roughly 47% of registered voters stayed away from their local school gymnasium, church, or community center on Election Day. And it wasn’t because of the funky smell.

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, meets with people in Stanton, Michigan
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As Congress pushes forward with repealing the Affordable Care Act, Michiganders are giving conflicting advice to members of the state delegation.

This week, as the nation prepared to inaugurate a new president, Republican lawmakers too time to meet with people in town hall sessions. 

Republican John Moolenaar met with constituents in Stanton this week, as part of listening tour of his mid-Michigan congressional district.

Stateside 1.18.2017

Jan 18, 2017

Today, we hear lawmakers' reactions to yesterday's State of the State address. And, an expert explains an exchange from Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing which seemed to reveal her ignorance of a central debate over how to evaluate schools.

Michigan state Capitol
Mattileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his seventh State of the State address on Tuesday, outlining accomplishments since 2010 and urging investment in infrastructure.

Stateside spoke with two of the Michigan legislative leaders who attended the address at the Michigan Capitol, Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck and Democrat Sam Singh, the party leader in the state House of Representatives.

Gov. Snyder delivers his 2017 State of the State address.
House TV

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his 2017 State of the State address last night.

Snyder focused much of the annual address on his achievements as governor, while insisting there is more work to be done. See more analysis of his speech here.

You can watch the address below:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Scottpruitt.com

At his confirmation hearing today, the man chosen by president-elect Donald Trump to lead the Environmental Protection Agency says the EPA should have responded faster to the Flint water crisis.

Scott Pruitt has not been a fan of EPA action in the past.

As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has fought many EPA regulations opposed by the state’s oil industry and agricultural leaders. 

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act will mean the number of uninsured Americans would grow by 24 million by 2026.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

All this week on Stateside, we look at how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will affect Michigan residents, hospitals and governments.

There are hundreds of hospitals in Michigan, and each of them has in one way or another been affected by the Affordable Care Act. So what would a repeal of the law mean for Michigan’s hospitals?

Laura Appel is senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). She said that, while the state’s hospitals have had issues with certain aspects of the law, an outright repeal would have negative consequences. 

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his seventh State of the State address to the Legislature last night. Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry says this year's address was "curiously short on specifics and proposals" and lacked "any concrete proposal to make things better."

This Week in Michigan Politics, Lessenberry talks with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about highlights from last night, including Snyder's desire to "create more and better jobs" and his plan to crowd source ways to control invasive carp in the Great Lakes. They also talk about which topics got little or no attention from the governor, including the Flint water crisis and the scandal over the state's automated unemployment claims system. 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council remains deadlocked over who should lead them this year.

Last night, the council tried and failed again to break a four-four split on the vote for council president. It was the third straight meeting they failed to do their first job of the new year.

City Clerk Chris Swope says the council can’t just flip a coin or pick a name out of a hat.

“They do have to agree. They have to come to some consensus,” Swope said after the meeting, “and that’s what the framers of the charter had in mind.”

Rick Snyder / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder has set a goal of getting Michigan’s population above 10 million people before the next U.S. Census. It was part of the governor’s seventh State of the State address delivered at the state Capitol.      

It’s been 10 years since more than 10 million people called Michigan home. Thousands fled the state through two recessions, and the near-collapse of the auto industry.

Governor Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan / Facebook Page

Governor Snyder focused much of the annual address on his achievements as governor, while also, insisting there is more work to be done.

Unlike last year, when the Flint water crisis took center stage, this year, Snyder did not address Flint until halfway thru his speech.

During the short time he did spend on Flint, he spoke about the work that has been done.

The Big 4 on the big screen at Cobo Center. Left to right: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, and Warren Evans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” had their annual public gathering at Detroit’s auto show today.

The four leaders are the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives, and Detroit’s mayor. It’s usually a mostly feel-good conversation about regional cooperation.

And indeed, they did talk about that and a range of other issues. But the leaders also couldn’t avoid the topic of the hour: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts making incredibly degrading comments about African-Americans and disabled people, among others.

Stateside 1.17.2017

Jan 17, 2017

Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing is today. DeVos is pro-charter schools, but today we hear why one charter school teacher from Detroit is anti-DeVos. And, a mom from Manistee explains why her kids have a future now, thanks to the President-elect.

From left to right: Macomb County County Executive Mark Hackel, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, and Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller
From left to right: Macomb County government, City of Warren, GOP.gov

Metro Detroit's infamous Macomb County might be "the most politically craziest county in Michigan, if not the planet."

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