Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Photo by MBisanz/Creative Commons

With four days to go before Election Day, a new EPIC-MRA poll shows continued support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder over his opponent Democrat Virg Bernero.  The poll shows 55% of those surveyed support Snyder to Bernero's 37%.  4% were undecided. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero is making a push to energize his political base as the general election nears. Polls show republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder around 20 points ahead of his competitor with less than a week before the election. That hasn't stopped Democrat Virg Bernero's enthusiasm. The Lansing Mayor peppered West Michigan with 7 campaign stops Wednesday - including Battle Creek, Muskegon and Grand Rapids.

(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Voters in the 7th congressional district will have two familiar choices on the ballot in November.  They faced each other before.  This time the result may be different.

 When you are congressman running for re-election you walk in a lot of parades.  Democrat Mark Schauer spent a recent September day walking in Charlotte’s Frontier Days parade.   The crowd lining the parade route was polite,  but several people like Liz Goble were not happy to see Mark Schauer. 

"I definitely wasn’t happy when he was voted in.  I will be happy to see him go," says Goble. 

(photo is a screen capture of a CNN broadcast posted on a Facebook page)

A University of Michigan student leader has dropped his request for a personal protection order against an assistant state attorney general.

Andrew Shirvell used his blog to attack Chris Armstrong for promoting what Shirvell called a radical homosexual agenda on campus.

Shirvell also protested at events where Armstrong was present.

Philip Thomas is Andrew Shirvell's lawyer.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 

The Tea Party Express is scheduled to roll into Michigan this week, just days before next month’s pivotal mid-term election.

The conservative voters group has been holding rallies across the United States for the past week. 

The Tea Party Express has two stops planned in Michigan this Friday, one for a rally in Jackson and the second in Troy.   Those rallies will both take place in the hearts of two heavily contested congressional races.

Tea Party organizers in west Michigan are preparing to engage voters less than two weeks before the general election.

Residents packed Holland City Hall for the Human Relation Commission meeting Thu
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

An advisory board voted unanimously to recommend city council pass the measure Thursday night.

The board has been studying the issue for months. They took it up at the request of Reverend Bill Freeman. The Holland pastor says those who spoke against expanding protections to those groups embody why it's needed. "I mean to be homosexual, or to be a lesbian or gay person in Holland - it would seem to be problematic. Because there are so many people who oppose them - oppose their existence," Freeman said.

3rd congressional candidates Pat Miles Justin Amash
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congressional candidates in Michigan's third district debated health care, education, and government spending in West Michigan Wednesday night.

Democrat Pat Miles is a Grand Rapids attorney who touts his moderate views in the generally conservative district. He's endorsed by a number of local republicans who claim their party's candidate, Justin Amash, is too extreme.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Social Security sparked a spirited debate between the two major party candidates running for Michigan's 7th Congressional seat.

Incumbent Democrat Mark Schauer and Republican former congressman Tim Walberg are in a close race and social security is seen as a key issue.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell at a podium
Kalamazoo Public Library

Democratic Party leaders in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties have chosen their candidate to replace Robert Jones - Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell.

Robert Jones was running for the Michigan Senate in the 20th district when he died over the weekend. He was battling esophageal cancer.

In Michigan, votes for a deceased candidate do not count, so party leaders had to put forward a new candidate.

Terry Johnson / Flickr

Last night I presided over a fascinating meeting in Grand Rapids, the second in Michigan Radio’s “Issues and Ale” series designed to stimulate public discussion.

The main event was a look at this year’s campaign advertising by two members of the “Michigan Truth Squad,” John Bebow, director of the non-partisan Center for Michigan, and Susan Demas, perhaps the best columnist in Lansing.

Rick Snyder at Wealthy Theater
Lindsey Smith

Candidates for Michigan governor have been making stops throughout the state in the final two weeks before the election. Republican Rick Snyder was in Grand Rapids Tuesday night.

Rally for film incentives in Grand Rapids
Lindsey Smith

About 80 people shared success stories they said are a result of the tax breaks passed two years ago.

Producers, actors, caterers, assistants, hotel owners, even personal trainers from all over west Michigan gathered to trumpet their success since the film incentives passed 2 and a half years ago.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Since Robert Jones  passed away this past weekend, election officials have been working to come up with a plan of action. Jones was a candidate for the Michigan Senate and the election is just fourteen days away.

Photograph courtesy of www.060.housedems.com

State Representative Robert Jones was an enormously popular former mayor of Kalamazoo who was in an intense battle to win a seat in the state senate. Intense, but not nasty.

But two days ago, Robert Jones suddenly died in his home, throwing the race into chaos and elections officials into a tizzy.

Lars Plougmann / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Here are some numbers for you from the Michigan Secretary of State's office.

  • 95.5% - percent of the voting age population in Michigan registered to vote
  • 7.28 million people registered - a record for a Michigan gubernatorial election
  • 7.40 million people - the highest number of registered voters Michigan has ever seen (2008 presidential election)

But just because people are registered to vote doesn't mean they will.

Issues & Ale: Campaign ads and the upcoming election Tuesday,
Oct. 19, 2010 Dr. Grins Comedy Club, Grand Rapids, Host
Jack Lessenberry and the Center for Michigan's Truth Squad looked
at the fact and fiction behind campaign ads. 

View Photos | View Videos

Newspapers aren’t doing well these days, though the companies that own them are still making money. Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry says the result is being played out in Detroit.

_______

Thirty years ago, I worked for the publisher and owner of a family-owned newspaper in Ohio, a somewhat crotchety gentleman  in his early seventies who I came to know pretty well.

Photo from Jones campaign website

Michigan House Representative and current Democratic candidate for State Senate Robert Jones died this past weekend. He was 66 and being treated for esophogeal cancer, but officials at Kalamzoo's Democratic Party Headquarters say his death still came as a surprise.

Jones' death has raised several questions about the race for the State Senate seat in Michigan's 20th district (representing parts of Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties).

In this morning's news...

Oct 18, 2010
Coffee, bagel, and computers
Photo by user Infrogmation / Creative Commons

Kalamazoo State Representative Robert Jones Dies

(photos by Steve Carmody) / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General is welcoming a federal judge’s decision to allow a lawsuit challenging the new health care reform law to move forward.

20 states, including Michigan, filed suit against the law, in particular one key provision that requires everyone to purchase health insurance.

Bentley Historical Library

Its critics called it "naive idealism."

In the 1950s, the United States' answer to the global spread of Communism had been military strength and monetary aid to prop up nations friendly to the U.S., including dictators and other authoritarian governments.

That changed late one chilly night on the campus of the University of Michigan when Democratic candidate for president, John F. Kennedy, challenged students to help the world.

They took it seriously. They organized. They made a proposal, and Kennedy embraced it.

He called it the Peace Corps.

In "Kennedy and the Peace Corps: Idealism on the Ground" you'll hear from some of the students who took on Kennedy's challenge and the White House staff who helped make it reality.

Listen to the documentary here:

Sarah Palin
Therealbs2002 / Wikimedia Commons

The Associated Press reports that:

Sarah Palin is backing Tea Party favorite Dan Benishek to represent northern Michigan in Congress.

Benishek was among nine candidates Palin endorsed Monday on her Facebook page.

The former Alaska governor describes Republican political newcomer Benishek as a "commonsense voice" who supports repealing President Barack Obama's health care plan.

3 Things: Ruth Johnson

Oct 12, 2010
Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson
Photo Courtesy of www.rj4mi.com

All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for their ideas on how to improve things in Michigan. The series is called 3 Things and, this week and next, we're mixing it up a bit. We're talking to the major candidates running in statewide elections. Today, we hear from Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson. She's the Republican candidate for Secretary of State.  You can hear her interview here.

3 Things: Jocelyn Benson

Oct 11, 2010
Photograph courtesy of the votebenson.com website

All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for three ideas of what we can all do to improve things. Now, we're mixing it up a bit. We're asking the candidates for statewide office to make three promises to the people of Michigan. It's 3 Things: Election Edition. This morning, we heard from the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson.  You can hear the interview here.

John Dingell and Rahm Emanuel holding a paczki
Official photo from the United States Congress

This November Michigan voters will cast ballots in 15 races for the U.S. House of Representatives. Right now, two of those races are considered "toss-ups", according to NPR  - the race between Mark Schauer (D) and Tim Walberg (R)  in the 7th District, and the race between Dan Benishek (R) and Gary McDowell (D) in the 1st District.

Oak Reed sitting on fence
Photo courtesy of Oak Reed

Oak Reed ran for Homecoming King at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, but school officials tossed out Reed's ballots because, anatomically, Reed is not a male. That set off a national debate over transgender rights:

Next week we'll be airing special, live call-in shows with the candidates running for governor.  On Monday, from 9-10AM we'll hear from Democratic candidate Virg Bernero.  On Friday, also from 9-10AM, we'll hear from Republican nominee Rick Snyder.  Rick Pluta, the Michigan Public Radio Newtork's Lansing Bureau Chief, will host.  You can call-in and ask your questions at (877) 952-7870.

Center for Michigan

Here's an interesting post from FactCheck.org, "candidates have a legal right to lie to voters." It's protected speech. In fact, TV or radio stations running political ads they know to be false, can't refuse to run the ad.

That's why we need people like John Bebow from the Truth Squad and Lester Graham from Michigan Radio's Michigan Watch.

With two weeks to go before the October 1st budget deadline, lawmakers are fighting over controversial science funding.  As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the budget remains in limbo over a deal on stem cell research funding for the state's 15 public universities.

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