Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Philadelphia, the hometown of Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody and the site of next week's Democratic National Convention.
Peter Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last week, Michigan Radio's news director Vincent Duffy previewed the sights and sounds of Cleveland, his hometown, in advance of this week's Republican National Convention. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican leaders are moving on from this week’s national convention with issues to address.

State Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney-McDaniel says support is coalescing around Republican nominee Donald Trump. But she says the refusal of some of Trump’s former rivals to endorse him is a problem. 

“Bush, Kasich and Cruz, those are the ones that are not coming around. I understand it was a tough primary.   But if they don’t lead, it hurts our party,” says Romney-McDaniel. “Hopefully they’ll grow up soon.”

General Motors headquarters
FLICKER USER THOMAS HAWK https://flic.kr/p/nUAw76

General Motors earnings are up by 157%. They made $2.87 billion in the second quarter of this year.

This is up from $1.1 billion last year.

“General Motors continues to be on a roll,” said Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

Howes said CEO Mary Barra is now trying to convince the investment community General Motors is an “earning machine.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder finally made it to Cleveland, in the final hours of the Republican National Convention.

As a band played “Takin’ Care of Business," Snyder walked around a second floor room in the Cleveland main library, talking to Michigan delegates to the RNC.

Until this event, the Republican governor had not attended any part of his party’s biggest event. Snyder insists he has other priorities in Michigan.

According to Chris Thomas, the "clunky" nature of the American election process actually lends to its security.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities.

Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on the rights of blacks to vote in the fall election.

Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party - votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit program focused on boosting small business in the city’s neighborhoods has a year under its belt.

The Motor City Match program has awarded $2 million in grants so far. It awarded another $500,000 to 11 new or expanding ventures on Wednesday.

They include food and restaurant businesses, two child care centers, a beauty supply store, and a music center.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Donald Trump’s strength among white, blue collar, male voters powered him to victory in the Republican primaries, including Michigan’s.

But can expand his hold on this key demographic group?

Wednesday was a sunny day in downtown Cleveland and the food trucks were doing a brisk business. Joseph Albrecht was among those waiting their turn. He works construction. He says he used to have his own business, until Obamacare came along.

Now he’s planning to vote for Donald Trump.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Ted Cruz supporters liked what their candidate had to say at last night Republican National Convention.

They didn’t like that Donald Trump supporters booed him off the stage.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck sat on the convention floor listening to Cruz as the Texas senator outlined his vision for America, but didn’t endorse Trump.

Task force looks to reduce solid waste in Michigan

Jul 20, 2016
Trash bins
dcJohn / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Members of the public told a state panel they have concerns about landfills in their backyards. The hearing on Wednesday was part of the Department of Environmental Quality’s waste management task force. The task force was created in April of 2015. Its job is to come up with ways to increase recycling and re-use trash in the state.

Steve Sliver is the acting chief of the state Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection. He says the panel is hoping to create laws to promote sustainability in Michigan.

Stateside 7.20.2016

Jul 20, 2016

Today, we reflect on the life of Michigan gay rights activist Jeff Montgomery. And, we learn that recovering addicts have options outside of AA and NA.

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It's the mid-way point for the Republican National Convention.

 

And now you can peel away that word "presumptive" when talking about Donald Trump. Because after last night, he is now officially the GOP Presidential nominee.

 

Judi Schwalbach is the former mayor of Escanaba. She's a delegate representing the 1st Congressional District at the convention.

 

Schwalbach voted for Gov. John Kasich during the primary. However, Trump won her district.

Republican National Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s House speaker says he doesn’t want the focus on Donald Trump to take away from the Republicans' need to protect their majority in the state House in November.

Republicans hold a nearly 20-seat majority in the state House: 63 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two vacant seats. Some of those seats are in safe Republican districts and others in are safe Democratic districts

But House Speaker Kevin Cotter says 15 to 20 seats may be in play in November’s general election. He says the Republican Party will need to invest its campaign money wisely to maintain its majority.

Sen. Oren Hatch, R-Utah.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A day after Republicans nominated Donald Trump for president, Michigan’s GOP leaders are being urged to rally behind their nominee.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, originally backed Jeb Bush. Then Marco Rubio. Now, he’s backing Donald Trump.

Speaking to Michigan’s delegation to the Republican National Convention this morning, Hatch told Michigan’s Republicans it's time they do the same.

“And even if you don’t like Donald Trump, you got to get behind him and do it enthusiastically,” Hatch said, “because guess what the alternative is … it couldn’t be any worse.”

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

School is out for the summer, but education in Michigan is still making headlines. This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry joins Doug Tribou to talk about opposition to the state's plan to split the Detroit Public Schools into two districts, and a legal battle between East Detroit schools and the State. Lessenberry also shares his thoughts on the first two days of the Republican National Convention.


Stateside 7.19.2016

Jul 20, 2016

Today, the creative and legal way some cash-strapped Michigan cities are raising money despite Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment. And, we go back nearly 30 years when Michigan coach Bo Schembechler asked questions that got the FBI to start investigating doping in sports.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

You’ll hear the phrase “build the wall” repeated often during this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But it’s that type of rhetoric that may cost the party some votes in Michigan.

Voting for the first time can be intimidating.

So to make it a little easier, a small group of people gathered in a community center gymnasium on Saginaw’s south side recently to vote for their favorite Coney dog.

“So there’s One, two, three hot dogs … coney dogs to choose from,” organizer Debbie Vasquez tells the crowd.

Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan played a curious role in last night’s confirmation of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

People were scratching their heads after Michigan state Republican Party chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said this when the roll call of the states reached Michigan:

“Madame Secretary, Michigan passes,”  Romney-McDaniel announced, drawing confused looks by some in the delegation. 

Romney-McDaniel says she was asked, five minutes before Michigan was scheduled to announce how the state’s 59 delegates would vote, to pass.

A demolition in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

Detroit’s sweeping campaign against blight under Mayor Mike Duggan marked a big milestone Tuesday, as the city demolished its 10,000th home in two-and-a-half years.

Duggan has dramatically sped up the pace and scale of demolitions, saying the city and its residents can’t afford to delay tackling neighborhood blight any longer.

Duggan says every time a blighted home goes down, it raises the quality of life for residents of that neighborhood.

A protester holds an anti-Donald Trump sign outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

If you count yourself as a supporter of Hillary Clinton, how many Donald Trump supporters do you know?

Or, on the flip side, if you support Trump's bid for the presidency, how many Clinton supporters do you know?

Flickr user Michigan Municipal League/Flickr

These are trying times for cities in Michigan, thanks in large part to big cuts in state revenue sharing and real estate values that cratered during the economic meltdown.

On top of all that, Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment limits local municipalities' ability to collect taxes.

As a result, many communities say they're out of options. They can't cut any deeper and they can't raise the money needed to provide operations. 

Public finance expert Michael McGee has come up with a possible solution: a legal "toolbox" that could allow cities to band together and put up a millage to pay for essential services. 

A protester holds an anti-Donald Trump sign outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

If you live in Michigan and haven't decided which presidential candidate you'll vote for this November, you're far from alone.

A recent poll conducted by the Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group shows a staggering 32% of Michigan voters have yet to settle on a candidate.

That's bigger than the share of voters supporting the current leader, Hillary Clinton. The presumptive Democratic nominee currently holds an advantage over Republican nominee Donald Trump, as she claimed support from 34% of the 800 likely voters MRG surveyed. Trump registered 29% support. 

Michigan's delegates have a good view of the Quicken Loans Arena, not quite as close a view of the main stage itself.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republicans raising money for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are hearing the word ‘no’ from some Michigan donors.

Trump’s initial intent to self-fund his campaign, along with his rejection of the party’s establishment, has turned some donors off.

David Nicholson’s family have a long history of donating to Republican candidates.

The family gave thousands to the Jeb Bush and John Kasich campaigns early on.  Nicholson is attending the Republican National Convention as an alternate Kasich delegate,

Gov. John Kasich, R-OH, posed for photos with Michigan delegates after their morning meeting in Akron.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan delegates say they are disappointed Ohio Governor John Kasich did not endorse Donald Trump for president when he met with them today in Akron.

Kasich was among the 16 other Republicans who ran and lost to Trump in the Republican primaries and caucuses.

John Kasich is skipping the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.  He is attending a few satellite events like the one this morning with the Michigan delegation in Akron, Ohio. 

  Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on picking a presidential nominee.  

But some of them are also thinking about the Michigan governor’s race in 2018.

The house band at the House of Blues played oldies Sunday night while Michigan delegates mixed and mingled.  

The event was one of many during the lead-up to the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It was hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

"This country needs to learn how to pay its bills, protect its borders [and] invite in legal immigrants." Judi Schwalbach said.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican leaders insist their party is united, despite Monday’s unrest on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

Anti-Donald Trump forces had collected enough signatures to force a roll call vote on the party’s official rules. But supporters of the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, circulated a form enabling delegates to remove their names.

GOP officials say delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia pulled their names from petitions calling for a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules. That short-circuited the anti-Trump move.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water crisis took center stage at the Republican National Convention today, if only for a moment.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is the only Michigander scheduled to speak from the podium during the convention’s four-day run at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, spoke to the Michigan RNC delegation at their hotel in Cuyahoga Falls.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s delegates to the Republican National Convention cheered a former rival to Donald Trump when he called for all Republicans to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was an hour late getting to the Michigan delegation meeting at a hotel in Cuyahoga Falls, but his message to the delegates was in tune with the sentiment with most in the room.

There’s a new chief for the embattled state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) but the effort to restore confidence to the agency that was a huge part of the Flint water crisis is off to a rocky start.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  In Cleveland later this morning, a coalition of Muslim groups plan to hold a news conference to "Challenge the GOP’s  'Politics of Fear'."

Concern about growing islamophobia has led to a push to get more Muslim Michiganders to the polls in November. 

Last month, services at mosques in Michigan were crowded with people observing Ramadan.

On the final Friday of Ramadan, as worshippers gathered at a mosque in Canton, they were greeted by volunteers trying to get them registered to vote.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican delegates get down to work Monday, after spending the weekend partying in Cleveland.

Cleveland has been rocking all weekend with Republican Party parties.

Michigan delegates spent part of Sunday at the House of Blues, a party hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. But Calley says they’re ready to get started.

“We’re really excited about the energy in the room,” says Calley. “The delegation is ready for this convention to get inspired about this election season so we can win in November.”

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