Politics & Government

Stateside
6:13 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Flint mayor Dayne Walling talks 'state of the city'

Dayne Walling.
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Today we looked at Flint Mayor Dayne Walling’s annual state of the city speech. He gave his speech yesterday and we got him on the phone today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:59 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When you look at the gridlock in Washington D.C., the red-blue state stereotypes, and cable TV, it's easy to conclude that we are a very divided nation, but what happens when you actually use science to determine whether or not we are, indeed, divided?

We'll ask that question today, and the answer might surprise you.

Also on today's show, we'll speak with an artist who has traveled to every county in Michigan. He photographed the state's thousands of barns.

And we'll find out why ticket scalping might soon be legal in Michigan.

But first we look at Flint Mayor Dayne Walling’s annual state of the city speech. He gave his speech yesterday and we called him today.

Politics & Government
7:48 am
Tue March 4, 2014

In this morning's headlines: War on blight in Flint, Great Lakes 90% ice cover, ban term 'retarded'

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Flint mayor declares war on blight

"Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is calling for a $70 million "war on blight" to help tear down nearly 6,000 buildings in the financially troubled city. Walling made the declaration Monday in his State of the City speech," the Associated Press reports.

Great Lakes 90% covered with ice

All of the Great Lakes combined have 90% ice cover. According to the Detroit Free Press, "that's the most ice cover in 34 years."

Lawmakers want to ban term "retard" from state law

"Michigan lawmakers are looking to remove the terms 'mental retardation' and 'mentally retarded' from state law. Bipartisan bills would strike references to outdated language such as 'retarded' from various statutes and instead use terms such as 'developmentally disabled' or 'intellectually disabled'," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
5:58 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Flint mayor says state lawmakers should boost revenue sharing

Mayor Dayne Walling delivered Flint’s “State of the City” speech yesterday.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says his and other Michigan cities need more revenue sharing dollars from the state.

Mayor Dayne Walling delivered Flint’s “State of the City” speech yesterday. Walling outlined a lot of plans for Flint's future. But he says, without more money from the state, delivering basic services will continue to be a struggle.

“Our local communities were the ones that took the longest, most permanent cuts. And we need to be first in line,” says Walling.

But revenue sharing does not appear to be high on the legislative agenda in Lansing.

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Politics & Government
9:32 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Detroit's "plan of adjustment" on fast track as creditors line up to object

People who oppose Detroit’s plan to reorganize in bankruptcy have until the start of next month to file objections.

One group of about 20 residents, retirees and activists picked up the paperwork to do just that at federal offices in downtown Detroit Monday.

Reverend Charles Williams II and representatives from the National Action Network led the group of people looking to file individual objections to the city’s plan of adjustment.

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Politics & Culture
5:12 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Stateside for Monday, March 3, 2014

Military veterans don't have it easy. We often say we want to help, but Michigan ranks last in the nation when it comes to per-capita spending on our veterans. On today's show: Why the disconnect between what we say about veterans and what we actually do?

And, then, it's not only us – you know, humans – are dealing with this crazy winter weather. This season has been especially bad for an already fragile population in our state. We'll check in on our honey bees and what their livelihood means for Michigan crops this spring and summer.

There are fewer Michigan school districts running into the red this year, and even more are projected to work their way out of budget deficits by the end of the school year.

But peel away the top layer and it's not all good news. MLive Capitol reporter Jonathon Oosting joined us to explain why.

Stateside
4:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Survey finds a majority in Michigan support gay marriage

user ep_jhu Flickr

We are now into week two of the trial in federal court in Detroit centering on the challenge to Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Two Hazel Park nurses are challenging that ban, which was passed by Michigan voters in 2004. The women want to get married so they can adopt each other's children.

As picketers on both sides of the issue march outside the federal court building in downtown Detroit comes word of a new State of the State survey conducted by Michigan State University.

It finds a majority of Michigan residents support gay marriage.

MSU Economics Professor Charles Ballard joined us to talk about this survey. He directs the survey.

*Listen to the interview above.

Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Number of Kalamazoo traffic stops cut by half after racial profiling study released

Inventorchris Creative Commons

Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are making dramatically fewer traffic stops. Chief Jeff Hadley says the data reflect a change in the department’s strategies.

Back in September, the Kalamazoo police department released a study that showed, among other things, that African-American drivers were almost twice as likely as Caucasian drivers to get pulled over in the city.

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Politics & Government
4:24 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Detroit police chief plans 'boot camp' for troubled kids

Detroit Police Chief James Craig
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s new police chief wants to launch a boot camp-style program for middle-school kids in troubled neighborhoods.

Police Chief James Craig says he’s run a program like this in other cities with success. The idea is to get to kids early enough before they get pulled into gangs or crime.

“Typical military style boot camp, but while we’re boot-camping the kids we had social service workers in dealing with the parents,” Craig said.

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Politics & Government
3:48 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Detroit computer security breach affects 1,700 employees

Credit Morguefile

Detroit officials revealed today a computer security breach of files containing personal information of 1,700 past and current firefighters and EMS workers.

Beth Niblock is Detroit's Chief Information Officer. She said the breach was caused by malware that froze access to the files.

Niblock said it does not appear that the employees' personal information is at risk. 

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Politics & Government
2:07 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Bill to legalize scalping splits Michigan venues, brokers

Supporters say letting people buy and resell tickets freely would help consumers. Opponents say the legislation would lead to higher prices in the resale market.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Repealing Michigan's rarely enforced ban against scalping tickets is, on its face, an effort to help out the average customer looking to sell a few unused tickets to a game or concert.

But it's also a high-stakes financial tussle - one between venue owners like pro sports teams and brokers who resell their tickets on the Internet. So far, the brokers are winning in Lansing.

The Republican-led House voted this week to legalize ticket scalping. Entertainment venues are hoping to block the bill in the GOP-controlled Senate.

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Politics & Government
10:36 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Wolf hunt opponents making a final push to collect petition signatures

USFWS Midwest

Wolf hunt opponents plan to be out in force this weekend making a final push to collect signatures for a petition to put the wolf hunt question on the November ballot.

Jill Fritz is the director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign. She admits they don’t know yet how many signatures they’ve collected so far.

“We won’t really know until we start to count them on March 5,” says Fritz. “But we do anticipate turning in enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.”

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Politics & Government
9:13 am
Sat March 1, 2014

The week in review

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This Week in Review Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss John Dingell leaving congress and his wife being a front runner for the seat, the debate over same-sex marriage in Michigan, and a proposal to make sure Michiganders are taxes for internet sales.

Week in Review interview for 3/1/14

It's Just Politics
5:43 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

We are one week, halfway through, the trial in federal court in Detroit centering on the challenge to Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The arguments are supposed to go on for another week, and then we’ll wait for the judge’s decision. But the case’s mere existence, the fact that it’s occurring, is having an effect on the political landscape in Michigan.

And, it should be noted that these hearings are not taking place within a vacuum. Just this week we saw two more gay marriage rulings. Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was struck down and Kentucky was ordered to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

There is also another federal case underway here in Michigan that is challenging the state’s refusal to allow live-in partner benefits for public employees. It’s the mechanism that was created to allow same-sex couples to use their benefits to cover partners and children who would otherwise be denied coverage under Michigan’s marriage amendment, approved by voters in a statewide election 10 years ago.

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Politics & Government
4:10 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Debbie Dingell going after her husband's job

Debbie Dingell announced her run for Congress today.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Debbie Dingell, wife of U.S. Congressman John Dingell, has made it official: She will run for her husband's 12th District seat. 

John Dingell is retiring after 58 years in Congress.

Debbie Dingell, 59, is a member of the Democratic National Committee, and is chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

She also worked for General Motors for 30 years.

Dingell made three appearances Friday, including one at Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor.

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Politics & Government
2:41 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Broke Detroit is on a hiring blitz

The city of Detroit is looking to hire more than 350 people.
davelawrence8 Flickr

The most notoriously broke city in America is on a hiring spree.

The city of Detroit hosts a job fair today and tomorrow.

"There are more than 350 positions that are open at the city right now,” said Lisa Howze, chief of staff to Mayor Mike Duggan. “A great number of them are for police officers, bus drivers, mechanics, and various other departments have put out postings as well."

The city is looking to cut overtime costs and improve services as it works its way through bankruptcy.

More than 1,500 applicants pre-registered for the job fair.

Politics & Government
1:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Canada waiting for U.S. to support bridge

The proposed New International Trade Crossing bridge.
http://buildthedricnow.com/

Canadian officials are saying the proposed U.S.-Canadian bridge is not getting the U.S. funding it needs.

That could mean the New International Trade Crossing – the second bridge between Detroit and Windsor – could be postponed beyond the project’s 2020 completion date.

As Jim Lynch of the Detroit News reports, Canadian officials are offering up $630 million to build the new bridge.

The only thing the Canadians aren’t paying for is the customs office that would need to go on the U.S. side of the bridge.

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Politics & Government
11:37 am
Fri February 28, 2014

A message from the Detroit Policy Conference: Entire state has a stake in Detroit's future

Detroit Free Press reporter John Gallagher was one of the speakers at the Detroit Regional Chamber's policy conference.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

On Thursday, the Detroit Regional Chamber held a one-day policy conference focused on Detroit after bankruptcy. The theme seemed to be optimism tempered by realism.

With Detroit’s bankruptcy on an apparent fast-track, a new mayor and city council, and progress in several key areas, there was an air of optimism.

But the Detroit Chamber’s policy conference looked also looked at obstacles.

Thomas Sugrue is a Detroit native and professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a keynote speaker.

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Politics & Government
7:31 am
Fri February 28, 2014

In this morning's headlines: Foster care, schools, Debbie Dingell

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Governor announces plan to help foster care system

"Gov. Rick Snyder says the state could do a better job protecting foster children if it changed the way it paid for the service. The governor unveiled a report yesterday that says the state should pay foster care agencies based on their performance," Jake Neher reports.

Schools in better financial shape

"There are fewer school districts in Michigan that have budget deficits than there were at the end of 2013, and more districts are pulling themselves out of debt. That’s according to the state Department of Education," Rick Pluta reports.

Debbie Dingell to officially run for U.S. House

"Debbie Dingell is officially launching her campaign today for the U.S. House seat held by her husband," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
5:45 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

If this guy doesn't win in Georgia, he'll try his luck in Michigan

Allan Levene figures he has 10 years left to live, and he really wants to serve in Congress.

... and in Hawaii, and in Minnesota.

Allan Levene, a naturalized U.S. citizen from London, England, is running for Congress in four different states.

He can do that.

The U.S. Constitution states that to be a representative in Congress, you only have to live in the state when you are elected.

Levene says if he doesn't win the primary this May in Georgia, where he lives now, he's going to try his luck in Michigan, Hawaii, and Minnesota.

Why? 

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