Politics & Government

Jack Lessenberry's Take
10:06 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Unanswered questions for Snyder and Bernero

Capitol Building in Lansing
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.

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Election 2010
12:08 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Snyder keeps positive message two weeks away from the election

Snyder spoke Tuesday at Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids
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.

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Michigan Film Incentives
11:59 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Supporters of Michigan's film incentives rally in Grand Rapids

Stasia Savage of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees local #26 speaks during the rally Tuesday.
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.

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Death of a candidate
1:20 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Voters around Kalamazoo will have a new name on their ballots

The Michigan Senate chamber. Democratic Party leaders will name a replacement tonight for their 20th district candidate.
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.

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Jack Lessenberry's Take
1:12 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Should Robert Jones have been running for the state Senate?

State Representative Robert Jones
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.

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Preparing to Vote
11:31 am
Tue October 19, 2010

High voter registration numbers in Michigan

The Secretary of State says 95.5% of eligible voters are registered
Lars Plougmann Creative Commons

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.

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Issues & Ale
11:08 am
Tue October 19, 2010

Issues & Ale: Oct. 19, 2010

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

Jack Lessenberry's Take
6:43 am
Tue October 19, 2010

Detroit newspapers to squeeze the belt tighter

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry

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.

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Death of a candidate
1:03 pm
Mon October 18, 2010

Death of Robert Jones raises questions about election

Michigan State Representative Robert Jones and friend
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).

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News Roundup
7:31 am
Mon October 18, 2010

In this morning's news...

Photo by user Infrogmation Creative Commons

Kalamazoo State Representative Robert Jones Dies

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Health Care Reform Lawsuit Moves Foward
5:26 pm
Thu October 14, 2010

Michigan's Attorney General welcomes judge's decision on federal health care reform lawsuit

(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.

Documentary
12:20 pm
Wed October 13, 2010

Kennedy and the Peace Corps: Idealism on the Ground

Then Senator John F. Kennedy on the steps of the Michigan Union. In a short speech, he challenged students to serve in other countries.
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:

Election 2010
11:04 am
Tue October 12, 2010

Sarah Palin endorses Michigan Congressional candidate

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: Election Edition
8:52 am
Tue October 12, 2010

3 Things: Ruth Johnson

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: Election Edition
9:36 am
Mon October 11, 2010

3 Things: Jocelyn Benson

Jocelyn Benson, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State
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.

Dean of the House in trouble?
11:01 am
Fri October 8, 2010

Poll says Dingell, Steele race for Congress is close

John Dingell and Rahm Emanuel. Dingell has served in Congress since 1955.
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.

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Homecoming King
3:21 pm
Thu October 7, 2010

Transgender student is king to many high school peers

Oak Reed's ballots for Homecoming King were not allowed to be counted by Mona Shores High School
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:

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ELECTION 2010
12:05 pm
Fri September 24, 2010

The candidates for governor take YOUR questions next week

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.

Election
11:47 am
Mon September 20, 2010

Breaking down the attack ads with Truth Squad

The Truth Squad from the Center for Michigan checks the facts behind the political ads we see and hear.
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.

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State Budget Negotiations
9:19 am
Fri September 17, 2010

Stem cell fight delays state budget

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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