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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Aerial shot of Detroit
flickr user Barbara Eckstein / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

One of the big decisions before Detroit voters Tuesday was choosing between a pair of competing "community benefits" proposals.

Both were aimed at making sure private developers seeking tax breaks for projects in Detroit would provide certain benefits to the community around the development: Things like jobs, affordable housing and pollution controls.

 


Donald Trump’s victory is seen as one of the watershed moments in American political history.

Michigan voters certainly played a role in this upset.

It’s Just Politics team Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta sat down with us today to dive into what happened in our state.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons


Many Americans were stunned and blindsided by Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

That’s largely because months and months of polls pointed to a defeat of our new president-elect.

Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined us today to talk about those polls.

“Polling has a lot of problems. It’s just not able to model the electorate successfully, and that seems to be especially true in Michigan,” Gorchow said. “It just flat out failed to model the African-American turnout correctly, it failed to model the rural turnout correctly."

Marijuana advocates collected more than 300,000 signatures earlier this year, only to have them rejected for failing to meet a state rule on collecting signatures.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan marijuana advocates say legalization may be an “easier sell” after ballot victories in California and other states on Tuesday.

MI-Legalize executive director Jeff Hank is feeling good these days.

“The next election’s already started for us,” Hank says with a laugh.

Voters in Midland cast ballots for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians on Tuesday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Libertarian Party didn’t win many races Tuesday, but the party received more votes than it has in the past.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson picked up nearly 170,000 votes in Michigan. Many local candidates did very well too. Some getting more than 5% of the votes cast in their races.

“These are not wins,” says Bill Gelineau, Michigan’s Libertarian Party chairman. “This doesn’t mean that we’re sitting in the Legislature. But it does mean that we’re becoming a bigger and bigger part of the conversation.”

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

America has a new president-elect this morning, but the jury is still out when it comes to which candidate will carry Michigan.

On this Week in Michigan Politics Doug Tribou and Jack Lessenberry talk about how Donald Trump could become the first Republican to carry the state since 1988. They also discuss Republican victories in the 1st and 7th Congressional Districts, and the Republican's sustained control of  the state House and Supreme Court.


A map outlining the proposed transit master plan for Metro Detroit.
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

A millage proposal to fund transit improvements has failed in Metro Detroit.

It would have allowed the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority to implement an ambitious transit master plan, upgrading the historically dismal and fragmented transit systems in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties.

The millage would have raised about $3 billion over 20 years to build bus rapid transit systems, bolster and better connect existing bus lines, provide transit connections to Detroit Metro Airport, and other services.

For the first time since 1988, Michigan appears to have helped elect a Republican president. The state’s 16 electoral votes will go to Republican nominee Donald Trump if the narrow victory holds.

Scott Hagerstrom is Trump’s Michigan campaign chairman. He says the results show Trump’s unconventional campaign strategy worked.

“He went into Detroit. He went into Flint – against what everyone said, but he did because he is, that’s what he’s going to do for our country,” he said. “He’s going to be a fighter for the American people.”

gop.gov / gop.gov

After 24 years, Macomb County has a new public works commissioner: retiring Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller.

The race for that typically low-profile, decidedly un-glamorous job got nasty--and expensive—this year.

Democrat Anthony Marrocco has been Macomb’s public works commissioner for 24 years.

The job description is all about managing sewers and storm drains. But the commissioner also controls important construction permits, and some very large county contracts.

Voting in Michigan.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Voters in Kent County approved two separate measures to support a zoo, museum and improved services for an emergency dispatch.

A millage increase will help pay to repair and improve exhibits at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. It’ll also help pay to care for animals at John Ball Zoo. Backers estimate it’ll raise a little over $9 million a year. WOOD-TV reports the additional .44 mills will cost the owner of a $170,000 home $37.40 more per year through 2025.

Michigan Republicans watch returns Tuesday night.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday night’s victories came after a contentious year for Michigan’s Republican Party.

Party leaders were sharply divided for months over Donald Trump as their presidential nominee and the direction of the party.

Now State Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel admits this has been a difficult year, her first as state party chair.

Michigan's Hall of Justice.
Eridony / flickr

The two races for Michigan Supreme Court have gone to the incumbents.

Michigan Supreme Court Justices Joan Larsen and David Viviano held onto their seats on Michigan’s highest court.

Larsen defeated Wayne County Judge Deborah Thomas and lawyer Kerry Morgan. Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Larsen to the court in 2015 to replace a justice who resigned. She's now been elected to serve the two years remaining on that term.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters in Flint and Lansing approved renewals of their public safety millages.

Flint police chief Tim Johnson says renewing the millage will help expand the number of officers on Flint’s streets.

“For the last probably four or five months, I’ve really been stretching the Flint police officers across the board and I don’t want them to hit no burnout stage,” says Johnson, “but I can see that coming if we don’t get some more officers in there.”

Muralist at work at NPR
NPR - Facebook

NPR has a muralist painting state-by-state results in the middle of its newsroom as results come in.

You can watch below.

The candidate with 270 electoral votes or more wins the presidency.

Today, as results come in across the country, NPR reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real time. The NPR Politics team, along with Member station reporters, will be providing live updates in the form of photo, video, commentary and analysis for both national and local contested races.

“As far as we're concerned here in Michigan, there's no suggestion or allegation that there were any hacks or any attempts to that," Woodhams said.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Here are election results from the major races we are following. 

Sign directing voters to polling place
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0 cropped

Long delays at some voting places in Washtenaw and Wayne counties have caused some voters to leave before casting their ballots, according to a non-partisan election protection coalition in Michigan that is working in partnership with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

"There've been issues on the campus at the University of Michigan where students are waiting for two and three hours to vote. But all of the poll booths are set up and empty," said Melanie McElroy, director of the Michigan coalition. "They're merely waiting to be checked in electronically."

 

Today, we learn why our election process is so dang long. And, in our latest edition of Songs from Studio East, we meet a band that blends ska, punk and Latin rhythms. 

It's Election Day, but that doesn't mean the fun stops here. Grossmann told us many politicians are looking four years ahead, and, "in some ways, [the 2020 presidential campaign] has already started."
Ryan Grimes / Michigan Radio

 

Election Day marks the finish line of a grueling, fractious and long campaign.

It started with Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy in March 2015.

Twenty months later, many Americans are expressing their exhaustion with the process.

Many people are looking wistfully to other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, which elect their leaders in a few weeks and then move on.

Michigan State University associate professor of political science Matt Grossmann sat down with us today to talk about how the process for electing our president became so protracted.

Who needs elections when you have this monkey?
Screen grab from Agence France-Presse / https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-monkey-king-picks-trump-next-us-president-002407936.html

We're all waiting for the election results to come in tonight, but for some the election has already been called.

We've got reports from four animals that have predicted the outcome.

First, there's a psychic, Scottish goat named Boots. He has a pretty good track record considering he correctly predicted the United Kingdom would leave the European Union, the Scottish Sun reports

Courtesy Michigan Radio

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that today is Election Day. Voters today will decide on a President, members of Congress, state legislators and various ballot proposals.

With our votes having so much weight, some Michigan residents posted about the day on social media.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The presidential candidates and their surrogates swung through Michigan on the final day before the polls opened.

President Obama was in Michigan as part of a tour of battleground states. The president tried to drum up support for Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic ticket during a rally in Ann Arbor.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about nine thousand people at the University of Michigan. He told first-time voters in the audience that this year has been a strange one in politics. The president said he’s been frustrated by a lot of the news coverage of the campaign.

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Grand Valley State University the day before Election Day.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

The election is tomorrow, but if you thought the major party candidates were going to take a break, you would be wrong. Michigan has secured its position as a battleground state.

Both major party presidential candidates are stopping in West Michigan in the hours before the polls open.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton talked jobs and the economy during a rally at Grand Valley State University. But she also focused on bringing the country together after a very divisive election.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.
Marc Nozell / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Obama was in Michigan today as part of a tour of battleground states. The president is trying to drum up support for Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic ticket on the day before Election Day.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about 9,000 people at the University of Michigan. He told first-time voters in the audience that this year has been a strange one in politics. The president said he’s been frustrated by a lot of the news coverage of the campaign.

Today, we discuss why the most important campaigners are in Michigan on the day before the presidential election. And, we hear why it's difficult for one economist to be optimistic about our economic future, no matter who wins.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

One of my favorite movies from last year was The Big Short. It brilliantly explained many of the complex factors that set in motion the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. It also captured the arrogance of the age. But the movie got one thing wrong. It suggested that only a few insiders understood what was really happening, when in fact many professionals and academics knew as early as 2003 that a crash was coming.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

For both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the long and winding campaign road ends in Michigan.

Hillary Clinton will be at Grand Valley State in West Michigan this afternoon and Donald Trump, with Governor Mike Pence, will wrap up his campaign with a rally at 11 p.m. tonight in downtown Grand Rapids.

Earlier today, President Obama held a rally for Hillary Clinton in Ann Arbor, Governor Mike Pence campaigned in Traverse City, and Ivanka and Tiffany Trump campaigned in Hudsonville.

On Sunday, former President Bill Clinton visited churches in Flint, while Donald Trump held a rally for some 8,000 people in Sterling Heights.

Chad Livengood, political reporter for The Detroit News, joined Stateside to help explain what all this attention means.

A photo of a Trump supporter's trailer-parade float called "The Unity Bridge" to showcase his support for Donald Trump, taken a few blocks from where Barack Obama was speaking.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Several protestors expressed their disapproval of Hillary Clinton while President Barack Obama did some last-minute campaigning for her in Ann Arbor today.

While thousands of people waited to see Obama speak, cars plastered with signs supporting Donald Trump and Mike Pence drove by. One such car played political ads against Clinton from large speakers.

Robert Cortis built a so-called "Unity Bridge" onto a trailer towed by his car to showcase his support for Trump.

Michigan is getting the battleground treatment in the final days of Election 2016 with visits from both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But there is more at stake than the White House.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Justice Department will monitor the polls in three Michigan cities tomorrow. 

The federal monitors will be in Detroit, Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states.

The monitors will be there to enforce federal voting rights laws.

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