Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Stateside 8.9.2016

Aug 9, 2016

Today, we talk about Donald Trump's speech Monday night in Detroit. And, we learn about a treatment method that could help opioid addicts overcome pain.

Rashida Tlaid says Donald Trump's rhetoric has caused damage that will take years to address.
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Donald Trump came to Detroit to give a speech. For Michiganders opposed to Trump and what he stands for, it was a chance to speak back. 

Some 300 protestors gathered to chant outside Cobo Center as Trump spoke to the Detroit Economic Club. 

And nearly 20 women took their protest inside, interrupting Trump and eventually getting escorted outside by Secret Service. 

Among those kicked out of Monday's speech was former Democratic State Representative Rashida Tlaib, who was there as a part of Moms Against Trump.

A Flint water protest
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Marc Lamont Hill says we're in the midst of a war in America -- a war being waged on the vulnerable, the destitute, the struggling. Hill is a journalist and a political contributor to CNN.

Most often, he says, those vulnerable people are black, immigrant, LGBT and poor. Easily overlooked. Nobody. 

Marc Lamont Hill explores what life is like in 21st century America if you're nobody. 

Economist Charley Ballard said Trump's economic speech failed to address a modern economy.
Flickr user Gage Skidmore / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 


Donald Trump had the opportunity to lay out his economic vision for America at the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.

 

But his speech garnered criticism, including from Michigan State University economist Charley Ballard.

People voting.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Russia has been accused of hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee. 

So, could Russia or some other country or group hack U.S. voting machines in some states in an attempt to change an election?

The answer, according to a group of determined computer scientists featured in a recent article by Ben Wofford of Politico, is yes.

Michigan’s Treasury Department deserves blame for its role in the Flint water crisis, according to a new report.
Flickr user Ian Freimuth / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

As the Flint water crisis unfolded, most of the blame was heaped upon the state departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services.

But Wayne State University law professor Peter Hammer claims there’s another government agency at fault: Michigan’s treasury department. In a new report, Hammer faults Treasury for its willingness to bend rules when it came to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) pipeline, and its indifference to whether the city could pay to upgrade treatment plants and guarantee safe drinking water.

Rashida Tlaid says Donald Trump's rhetoric has caused damage that will take years to address.
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Republican Donald Trump says that no business should pay more than 15% of income in taxes, and he's calling for a temporary moratorium on federal regulations.

In a speech at the Detroit Economic Club today, Trump also proposed allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxable income. The current Child and Dependent Care tax credit is capped at 35% of qualifying expenses or up to $3,000 for one cared-for individual or $6,000 for two or more.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both coming to Michigan this week which begs the question: is Michigan in play come November?

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Donald Trump is set to give what’s been billed as a “major economic policy speech” to the Detroit Economic Club today.

He’ll try to score points with a business-friendly audience that might be uncomfortable with some of his rhetoric, and his positions on issues like trade.

user A7nubis / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan says there’s still time to get the question on the November ballot. That was a core issue in the most recent briefs filed last week in the MI Legalize campaign’s challenge to an elections board decision that petition drive fell short in the required number of signatures.

I voted sticker
Michael Bentley / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state primary results are in, so what's to come in November? This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rebecca Kruth discuss voter turnout and races to watch on the road to Election Day. They also talk about a resurrected plan to bring regional transit funding to southeast Michigan and a dispute over the state's emergency manager law that's playing out in federal court.


stevendepolo / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some Detroit Public Schools debt has been downgraded again — this time, into junk territory.

The credit rating agency S&P Global lowered its rating on two sets of bonds, issued in 2011 and 2012. DPS still owes more than $200 million on them.

S&P says its concerns stems from district’s recent restructuring.

To avoid a potential bankruptcy, the state split DPS in two — with the “old co” existing only to re-pay historic debts with local tax revenues.

Stateside 8.5.2016

Aug 5, 2016

Today, we reflect on the life and career of Detroit musician Allan Barnes. And, we learn about the role Lake Michigan played in training WWII pilots.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas​ joined us again today to talk about this week in politics. 

Primary voter turnout

Only 19% of all voters in Michigan showed up to vote in this past Tuesday's primary election, following a 34% turnout for the presidential primary earlier this year.

Demas described the low level of voter participation as “sadly predictable.”

According to John Philo, Michigan's emergency manager law "violates people's fundamental right to vote."
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Michigan stripped the voting rights from people who live in Detroit, Flint, and other cities and school districts placed under emergency management.

That was a central argument today as opponents of the law took their legal challenge to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.  

Attorney John Philo says the law is also racist in the way it’s been applied.

According to the poll, Governor Snyder's approval rating has fallen to 39.7%.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll from The Detroit News and WDIV-TV gives us a look at how Michigan voters are feeling one week into general election campaign season. 

Chad Livengood of The Detroit News joined us today to talk about the findings. 

Here's how 600 likely general election voters said they would vote come November:

  • 41.0%   Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
  • 31.6%   Donald Trump (Republican)
  • 7.5%     Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
  • 3.4%     Jill Stein (Green)

Stateside 8.4.2016

Aug 4, 2016

Today, we hear why two pediatricians say it's time to stop letting parents opt out of vaccinations. And we learn about a prehistoric fish that could be the answer to Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

Actor Melissa Gilbert has won a prize she no longer wants. Gilbert was the only candidate in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District primary. Now she’s going work to get her name off the November ballot.

Gilbert says she’s not healthy enough to campaign and to serve, if elected. But her campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Mike Bishop has also struggled.

The child star of "Little House on the Prairie” avoided media interviews and community events, and ran into criticism over comments she made on national TV shows as well as tax troubles. 

Stateside 8.3.2016

Aug 3, 2016

Today, we look at the Coney dog's history. And, we talk to a therapist who sets children's heartbeats to music, creating a lasting gift for families.

Steven Johnson was surprised to learn he might be heading to Lansing next year to represent Michigan's 72nd District.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The primary election in West Michigan's 72nd District to replace term-limited Republican State Representative Ken Yonker was a crowded race, and perhaps most surprised by the outcome was the winner himself.

Steven Johnson of Wayland came out on top, solidly beating the four other candidates, including one backed by the powerful DeVos family. 

Jack Bergman
Screen grab of "Your Choice - Lt. General Jack Bergman (Ret.) for Congress" / Jack Bergman


One of Michigan's marquee races is the one to replace retiring Republican Rep. Dan Benishek in the 1st Congressional District.

 

The district covers the entire Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower Peninsula.

State Sen. Tom Casperson and former State Sen. Jason Allen were hoping to make the November ballot.

So was a retired three-star Marine Lieutenant General named Jack Bergman.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou look at Michigan primary results, including Congressman John Conyers' closest challenge in years, an upset in the state's 1st congressional district and what drives voters to support or reject millages. Lessenberry and Tribou also discuss yesterday's turnout and whether an August primary is the best strategy to boost voter participation in non-presidential primaries.


Stateside 8.2.2016

Aug 3, 2016

Today, we learn why health insurance companies are looking to raise their rates 17%. And, we look at how Michigan's outdoor sports scene is changing.

Detroit Congressman John Conyers.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It appears John Conyers will return to Congress for the 27th time.

The Detroit Democrat is the longest-serving member of Congress. A civil rights icon known for championing traditional progressive causes, he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964.

Despite growing calls for Conyers to step aside for a younger successor, the 87-year-old says he’s just not thinking about that.

“I go on because I still like it. I’m able to help so many people, that it keeps me going,” he said.

Ingham county prosecutor strikes plea deal

Aug 2, 2016
Ingham Co. Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings faced 15 charges related to soliticing prostitutes.
CREDIT STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

Former Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Stuart Dunnings pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor Tuesday in front of a Jackson district court judge.

Dunnings was facing 14 misdemeanors and one 15-year felony. The charges ranged from soliciting prostitutes to encouraging a woman to become a prostitute. Dunnings pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in office and one misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute. He now faces up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Tracy Samilton/Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and City Council members have called a truce in the city's trash war.

The two sides are fighting over which company gets a contract to pick up residents' trash. Weaver favors Rizzo Environmental Services; City Council favors the current contractor, Republic Services.

Weaver and the council agreed to a stipulated order allowing Republic to temporarily resume trash pickup until a court hearing on August 11.

LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Employers in Michigan would have to let workers earn paid sick days under a petition drive that got the OK to start collecting signatures. A state elections board says the petition meets all the technical requirements of Michigan campaign laws.

A similar drive to put paid sick time on the November ballot folded this past spring.

“We didn’t have enough signatures,” said Danielle Atkinson, one of the organizers with Raise Michigan. “Unfortunately, it takes a lot of money to get an issue on the ballot, and we just fell short.”

Left: SUZANNA SHKRELI FOR CONGRESS/FACEBOOK Right: mikebishop.house.gov / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democrats in Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District have no way of knowing yet who they’ll be casting a ballot for in November. The district includes northern Oakland County, Livingston County, and Ingham County.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Residents of Wayne, a small community about 25 miles west of Detroit, will see a public safety millage question on their Tuesday primary ballots.

It’s a slightly unusual one, though.

The question will ask Wayne residents whether they want to join a regional authority that funds public safety services — the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority, or SMORSA.

After tomorrow's congressional and legislative primaries, just 97 days remain until Election Day 2016. Of course, it's never too early to look ahead to the 2018 elections and, at least one petition campaign is already making plans in that direction.

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