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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Michigan's state police director this week jumped into the debate over the decision of some NFL players to take a knee during the National Anthem. Col. Kriste Etue now faces an internal review by her department after she shared a Facebook post that called those players "anti-American degenerates." This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether her career can recover.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council members are accusing state officials of trying to bully them into signing a 30-year contract for the city’s tap water source.

This week, both sides were in federal court, working with a mediator to reach a deal for the city to continue getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority.  

The authority has been providing Flint’s tap water for nearly two years, in the wake of the city’s lead tainted tap water scandal.

Flickr/jnn1776 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Etue faces an internal review by the professional standards division of the department she leads over a controversial Facebook post.

The post called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem “millionaire ingrates” and “degenerates.” Col. Etue took the post down after it went public and apologized for sharing it.

Stateside 9.29.2017

Sep 29, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how design in Detroit's neighborhoods can involve the people, and why the world would keep warming even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases. And, State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, explains why he's running for governor in 2018.

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Representative Jason Sheppard, from southeast Michigan, and Senator Joe Hune, from Livingston County, both Republicans, introduced identical bills that propose barring local governments from restricting short-term rentals of private dwellings, such as Airbnb accommodations.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the state legislature and the mayor of Detroit agree on a position: the need to eliminate Michigan’s system of driver responsibility fees, and amnesty for drivers who still owe them.

WWW.SENATORPATRICKCOLBECK.COM/PHOTOWIRE

Michigan will elect a new governor next year, and many candidates are already in the race. State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, for instance, is running for the Republican nomination.

Colbeck's background is in aerospace engineering, so he said at first, getting into politics was a foreign concept for his family.

“So for me, this is about passion for public service, and for me and my wife personally, this is a call of faith,” he said.

American flag fluttering against a blue sky
Corey Seeman/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A group of state House Democrats linked arms today during the Pledge of Allegiance on lieu of putting their hands over their hearts. They said it was to show support for the right of NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem. And to protest a Facebook post by Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Etue that called the players “degenerates.”

Another Democrat entered the ring for Michigan’s Attorney General Thursday.

Pat Miles is a former U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Western District. He was appointed to the U.S. Attorney post by President Barack Obama. He voluntarily resigned when President Donald Trump took office.

Trump’s election was a driving force behind Miles’s decision to run, he said.

“We need somebody who will be an independent watchdog and who doesn’t answer to a president, a governor, or to corporate special interests, but only answers to the people,” Miles said.

VP Mike Pence stumps in Michigan for Republican tax plan

Sep 28, 2017
Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Vice President Mike Pence was in suburban Detroit today to sell the Trump administration's tax overhaul proposal.

Pence addressed an audience of about 250 people at American Axle & Manufacturing, a company in Auburn Hills.

According to Pence, the Republican tax plan seeks the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, and it will benefit working families and boost the economy. 

Jason Mrachina / Flickr

 

The Next Idea 

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I hear you’re looking for a new home to grow your business. Detroit is not my hometown, but after many years of searching for a home, I found it here. I've lived in Kentucky, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and other parts of Michigan, but I’ve never been welcomed to or impressed by a city more than Detroit. I set up shop here, and you should too. Let me tell you why.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Lawmakers in Lansing say they want a seamless transition as marijuana dispensaries start to get licensed.

Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation today. A few Republicans have voiced support of the bills. The legislation would let dispensaries keep their doors open while they wait for a license.

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

Michigan universities say they will not immediately implement new federal guidance on campus sexual assault.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently announced that her department would rescinded the Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault.

Governor Rick Snyder says there is no reason to fire State Police Colonel Kriste Etue over a controversial Facebook post.

Etue has apologized for sharing a meme on her page that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem unpatriotic and “degenerates.”

Snyder says the post was “inappropriate,” but he considers the matter settled.

“She came out and apologized, and she’s done great service for the state,” Snyder said. “The way I view it is people make mistakes, she recognizes that, and let’s keep moving forward.”

mike pence
whitehouse.gov

Vice President Mike Pence will try to rally support in Michigan tomorrow for the new Republican tax reform plan. He’ll speak Thursday afternoon at American Axle Manufacturing in Auburn Hills.

The plan unveiled this week almost doubles the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly to $24,000. Individual filers will see their standard deduction increase to $12,000.

row of young men in front of bus
Old News, Ann Arbor District Library

Over the past couple of weeks, people across the country have been looking back at a painful chapter in U.S. history: the Vietnam War. The conflict is the subject of a new 10-part PBS documentary by Lynn Novick and Ann Arbor native Ken Burns.

Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry look at the role Michganders played in Vietnam and the war's ongoing legacy in the state.

The Michigan state capitol building
Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A bipartisan group in Michigan rolled out a new auto no-fault insurance overhaul plan today.

Republican Speaker of the House, Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, and Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, have been working together for months on the plan.

Lawmakers from both parties have tried for years to pass changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws. Duggan said the legislation isn’t perfect for Democrats or Republicans. But he thinks he can get bipartisan support.  

Stateside 9.25.2017

Sep 25, 2017

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon explains how President Trump divided football fans this weekend, and how the Lions "got screwed yet again." And, back from the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team details how support for the president was widespread, yet divided in tone.

marada / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Republicans met on Mackinac Island this weekend for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team, were there and they joined Stateside today to dig into what happened on the island.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders may be at risk as a federal funding deadline looms.

More than 40 community health centers provide care for 680,000 Michiganders. But federal funding for them expires this week. 

By one estimate, 100,000 Michiganders could lose their health care access almost immediately.

Michigan Republicans have packed their bags - and their hangovers - and returned home after a weekend of politics and partying on Mackinac Island.

There was a lot of celebrating over the GOP sweep in 2016, including President Trump winning Michigan, the first Republican to do so in 28 years.

Sue Snyder
Sue Snyder

A day-long summit taking place today at Eastern Michigan University will focus on ending campus sexual assault statewide.

The third-annual "Inform, Empower, Prevent: Let's End Campus Sexual Assault" summit will be hosted by Michigan's First Lady Sue Snyder.

Attendees will take part in a series of panels and networking sessions. They'll hear from experts on topics ranging from supporting sexual assault survivors to how institutions develop investigative processes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Senate takes up a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act this week.    

Under the bill, states would assume greater control over health care, and Obamacare coverage mandates could be waived for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, still thinks there's a path forward for a last-ditch effort to end Obamacare, even after his friend, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he opposes the bill.

A "silent protest" against the Bridge Company's proposal outside St. Anne's Catholic Church.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A historic Catholic church in southwest Detroit has become the latest focal point in neighborhood battles between the company that owns the Ambassador Bridge, and the community that sits in the bridge’s shadow.

The Detroit International Bridge Company wants to take over portions of more city streets as part of its expanding footprint.

hundred dollar bills
Pictures of Money / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on legislation that expands campaign donation limits for certain types of donors. Moreover, the "Citizens United" bills let politicians solicit money on behalf of political action committees. This Week in Review, Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry try and read between the lines.

KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested ten workers at a farm labor camp near Hart, Michigan. The undocumented immigrants were harvesting crops at a farm.

“The nine men have been taken to a detention facility in Youngstown, OH, which is about 480 miles from where they were picked up,” said Susan Reed, managing attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. “The one woman we believe was taken to the Calhoun County jail.”

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week the Michigan Civil Service Commission unilaterally restricted state labor union workers' rights.

Emily Lawler for MLive reports:

“The rule changes prohibit some issues as subjects of collective bargaining and take away specific provisions unions have negotiated for around bumping, overtime scheduling, and transfers. They also restrict the paid union leave time state employees are able to use to work on union issues.”

sign that says flint vehicle city
Michigan Municipal League / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There’s long been the sense that someone should pay for the Flint water debacle — that someone should be held responsible for the decisions that lead to tap water being contaminated by lead and people dying because of a spike in Legionnaires’ disease thought to be connected to the water. 

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has responded by filing criminal charges against several members of Governor Rick Snyder’s administration.

Yesterday, the court proceedings began with an “involuntary manslaughter” charge against Nick Lyon,  Director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

gary peters
Senate Democrats / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Yesterday, a North Korean official indicated his country might soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, while the nation’s leader Kim Jong-un has called President Donald Trump “deranged.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council voted tonight to extend the city’s tap water contract for another month. 

The council continues to balk at agreeing to a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Council President Kerry Nelson says council members remain concerned about future rate hikes.

“Our one goal is to make sure we’re getting the best, affordable, drinkable water there is,” says Nelson.

In June, the state filed a complaint with a federal judge claiming the city is endangering Flint residents by not having a long-term water contract in place.

Stateside 9.20.2017

Sep 20, 2017

Governor Snyder signed legislation into law today that could greatly increase corporate and special interest spending on political campaigns. Today on Stateside, a watchdog says the new law will make it harder to trace political donations. And, now that China plans to ban cars powered by fossil fuels, where does that leave American manufacturers?

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