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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

car crash
W. Robert Howell / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan legislators are debating auto insurance this week. One proposal would let people choose different levels of coverage – dropping the mandatory open-ended catastrophic medical coverage that's in place now.  Another plan would prohibit the use of zip codes and credit histories to set rates. Everyone – with the possible exception of the insurance companies – seems to agree rates are too high.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry if he sees any path to a deal. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivered her State of the City address last night.

At times, it sounded like a campaign stump speech.

Mayor Karen Weaver focused on positive developments over the past year in a city usually associated with problems. During the mayor’s 40-plus minute speech, she talked about economic development, lower crime rates and improving city services. 

Weaver also stressed the need to continue to recover from the city’s drinking water crisis.

Supafly / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Proposed legislation in Lansing would prevent local governments from using federal, state or local funds to invest in internet infrastructure unless the municipality already has a deal with a private company to provide the internet service.

The origin of the term "gerrymandering" comes from a political cartoon from March of 1812. This was drawn in reaction to the newly-drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor
J. Albert Bowden II / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you’ve been to a fall festival or any kind of carnival in the state lately, chances are there was a booth there for Voters Not Politicians.

That group is gathering signatures to get a proposal on the ballot. It wants an independent commission to draw the congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or the other.

Today on Stateside, a new committee opposing a ballot initiative on gerrymandering may hint at a partisan fight ahead, and the former EPA administrator defends Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, saying they're good for health.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, joined local officials today in Ypsilanti to talk about President Trump's suggested cuts to Medicaid. Trump's proposed budget would eliminate nearly $700 billion from the federal program. Dingell spoke in front of community members and constituents at Community Alliance, an organization that serves developmentally disabled adults in Ypsilanti.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

Next year is a big election year for Michigan. We thought we’d check in with party leaders to see what each party’s priorities are.

Brandon Dillon, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, joined Stateside to talk about what the party is focusing on in the run up to the 2018 elections.

Currently, Dillon says, the party is assessing voters' concerns.

user H.L.I.T. / Flickr

If you watched a football game on TV this weekend, you may have seen these two commercials over and over:

Here’s a scoop: We already know who’s on the ballot next year. Even though you won’t see their names in the voting booth.

Election 2018 is a little more than a year away but we are looking forward to the past.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday marks the second anniversary of Flint’s switch back to Detroit water.

October 16th, 2015 was the end of Flint’s experiment with getting its tap water from the Flint River.   

But the ramifications of improperly treated river water continue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Self-proclaimed anti-fascist groups are expected to launch protests against President Trump on November 4th in Michigan and elsewhere.

Anti-fascist groups have risen in public awareness as far-right and white supremacist groups have become more vocal.   When the two sides meet, there has been violence.

Not surprisingly, when social media started circulating talk of antifa groups planning protests, alt-right groups and extreme right commentators started talking about the possible start of a ‘civil war’.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck sitting at a table
Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

A Republican candidate for governor was booted off his Senate committees this week. Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R- Canton) says Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-Grand Haven) ousted him because he attended an event in Meekhoff's district without telling him. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether this is a case of a rogue politician or just politics as usual.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General will not be joining some of his fellow state attorneys general in challenging President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare subsidies.

The White House plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Four weeks from today, Lansing voters will elect the capitol city’s first new mayor in a dozen years.

The next mayor will be a departure in style from the current holder of the office.

A Republican candidate for governor has been kicked off of his Senate committees.

Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) is known for being outspoken on conservative issues – even against his own party. He’s spoken out against Republican handling of the Medicaid expansion and the gas tax. Colbeck was already one of the few Republican Senators without a committee chairmanship.

Colbeck said he’ll continue to represent his district – it just might be a little harder now.

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The criminal prosecutions in the Flint Water crisis are just starting to make their way into the courts. This week, the state's medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells,  was supposed to begin a preliminary exam to determine if her case would go to trial, but prosecutors said they're adding charges including involuntary manslaughter. That pushed the exam back to next month. There are 13 defendants who have not pleaded guilty. Only one has actually begun an exam.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry whether the trial process is moving too slowly. 

Detroit NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony led the call for "insitutional" change at MSP.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit chapter of the NAACP and other civil rights advocates say the Michigan State Police has a race relations problem, and needs serious institutional change.

Some leaders, including Detroit NAACP leader Rev. Wendell Anthony, called again Tuesday for current MSP Chief Col. Kristy Etue to resign.

Lead Beyond / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Charter schools in Michigan currently don't get any money raised by regional enhancement millages. Those are property taxes up to 3 mills approved by voters in intermediate school districts. Under existing state law, the money can only go to traditional public schools.

But the Senate Education Committee today approved a bill that would let charter schools share in that money.

"We have ten percent of our students who attend charter schools in my county," said bill sponsor Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. "And I feel like it's an equity issue."

A man stands on building steps and speaks through a megaphone. Signs reading "Dignity and Rage" and "No More Stolen Lands" can be seen in the background.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Students and community members marched on the University of Michigan campus Monday to mark Indigenous Peoples' Day -- an alternative to the Federal Columbus Day Holiday, which many see as a celebration of genocide. 

A pamphlet distributed by the marchers states that Christopher Columbus is "perhaps the most violent symbol possible for Indigenous communities". 

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A Detroit City Council committee heard some passionate pleas for tighter rules on city landlords and their rental properties Monday.

Renters’ advocates and neighborhood groups said it’s past time to tighten up the city’s rental property, ordinance especially now that Detroit has moved from a majority-homeowner to a majority-renter city.

The proposed new rules would amend an existing city ordinance, which city leaders admit has not been well enforced in recent years.

Are you persuadable? A persuadable voter, that is. The research says, probably not.

There’s new research by political scientists at Berkeley and Stanford that says voters in general election campaigns are largely unpersuaded by political ads. And a lot of political pros say this matches with their experience in recent years.

After Wayne County found some 11,000 abandoned rape kits, a statewide survey found another 1800 around the state
http://www.npr.org/2015/02/10/384129985/advocates-join-fight-to-eliminate-detroit-s-rape-kit-backlog

Law enforcement officials and victims of sexual assault in Michigan could soon be able to track the rape kits used to gather evidence. A state budget amendment would set aside money for training and software that keeps track of where a kit is located at each step of an investigation. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why Michigan isn't already using tracking software.

People are dying in Macomb County's overcrowded jail. Today on Stateside, we learn what role the courts play in those deaths.

Also today, a former police chief says private police bills would bring "mercenary policing" to Michigan communities. And, climate activist Bill McKibben says we've made "nowhere near enough" progress in combating climate change. Finally, we cheers to the weekend with a fall drink of Ann Arbor-made whiskey.

Joe Ross / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Republican majority leader in the Senate, Arlan Meekhof, has introduced legislation that would allow city police departments to contract with a private firm for police officers. They'd have all the authority and the protections given to public police officers. 

factory
Thomas Hawk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Wisconsin recently offered up to $3 billion in tax incentives to FoxConn of Taiwan. In Detroit, there have been hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives for a new arena for the Red Wings and Pistons and for developments by businessman Dan Gilbert, as well as huge tax credits for auto manufacturers.

Now, states and cities are trying to put together incentives to get Amazon’s new massive Headquarters 2. But the question remains: will citizens actually benefit from their tax dollars being spent to attract or retain business?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flags across Michigan have been flying at half-staff this week in honor of the victims of Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas. Flags will be raised at sunset Friday.

It’s become an all too common ritual.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus met with the head of the Michigan State Police Thursday.

 

The meeting was to address concerns about a meme Colonel Kriste Etue posted on Facebook. It called NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem “degenerates.”

 

Members of the caucus called for Etue’s resignation or firing.

The new House Speaker, Tom Leonard from DeWitt, wants to bring civility back to the political process in Lansing.
GOPHouse.org

  Michigan’s Speaker of the House has his eye on a new government position for 2019.

 

Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, announced Thursday he is running for state Attorney General. Leonard is in his third term as a State Representative.

 

Haberman is third Democrat to run to succeed Trott

Oct 5, 2017
Haberman for Congress Campaign

Dan Haberman, a Democrat, announced his candidacy today for Republican Dave Trott's U.S. House seat in the Detroit suburbs. Trott is not seeking re-election in 2018.

Haberman is a long-time resident of Birmingham and a Southeast Michigan businessman.

He said he will bring a problem-solving approach to government.

"The push to get government back to work for us is an essential driver, to get healthcare that works for all of us, an economy that works for all of us, and government that works for all of us," said Haberman.

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