Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Jake Neher / MPRN

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer rallied retirees a day after his first, and probably only, public joint appearance with Gov. Rick Snyder. He blasted Snyder’s decision to end income tax exemptions for pension income.

Schauer spoke in front of a friendly crowd at a UAW center in Warren.

“No bloc of voters votes more reliably than seniors and retirees,” said Schauer. “And I would argue that there is no group who has been more negatively impacted by the policies here in Michigan than retirees and seniors.”

Gov. Snyder says the so-called “pension tax” was part of an effort to make the state’s tax system more fair. He says he also created a new exemption for all retirees regardless of what kind of retirement plan they have, although that exemption is less generous.

Jake Neher / MPRN

Former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush campaigned for GOP candidates across Michigan on Monday.

Bush spoke in front of hundreds of Republicans in Troy to cap off his visit to Michigan. He urged GOP faithful to show up to the polls in November for U.S. Senate nominee Terri Lynn Land and Governor Rick Snyder.

“This last three weeks, I hope you do everything you can to elect, reelect Rick Snyder as your new governor. Rick, we love you. We want you to win,” Bush said as he was Snyder, who later called Bush an “outstanding mentor” to him, specifically on education policy.

More big national political names are expected to visit Michigan in the coming weeks. Their goal will be to fire up the party base and get out the vote in November.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to campaign for Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters later this week.

Jose Juarez / AP; timesunion

Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer met yesterday evening in their only debate. The two were asked about the economy, taxes and education funding.

Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark are co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder (left), and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer (right).
Gov. Snyder's office, and Schauer campaign.

Watch the only debate in the 2014 Michigan governor's race below.

The one-hour, town-hall-style debate took place between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and his Democratic challenger Mark Schauer last night at 6 p.m.

The forum included an audience of undecided voters asking questions to both candidates and was televised from Wayne State University.

You can watch it below. (If you're having trouble seeing the video below, try this link.)

Or you can listen to the audio here:

rightwingweb

This week may feel like a 90’s political flashback as a Bush and a Clinton campaign in Michigan.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be Michigan Monday campaigning for Republican candidates.

The son and brother of former presidents plans on making stops in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Troy.

A few days later, former First Lady, former United States Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Michigan to campaign as well.

Clinton will drum up votes for Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Democrats who need a five-seat swing to upend Republican control of the Michigan House face a number obstacles in the November 4th election.

  They include gerrymandered districts, a financial disadvantage and historical trends favoring the GOP in a non-presidential election year.

  But Representative Brandon Dillon, who's leading House Democrats' campaign to retake power for the first time since 2010, says there are enough chances to pick up seats.

  Republicans, however, like their chances to fatten a current 59-50 edge in the House.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Democratic challenger Godfrey Dillard seem to agree that Michigan motorists dread dealing with the state's motor vehicle registration and driver's license system.

In her campaign for another four years, Johnson talks about how hard she worked to improve service at Department of State branch offices even as her budget shrank. And she talks about expanding her pilot programs to cut the wait time.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A watchdog group says $1.2 million has been spent on TV ads in Michigan’s Supreme Court judge races this year and more money is flowing in.

Michigan has three seats on the court on next month’s ballot.

Candidates have spent just under a million dollars themselves.   The Michigan Republican Party recently spent $200,000 to boost three GOP candidates.

Laurie Kinney is with Justice at Stake.    She says spending is rising as Election Day draws closer.

 We’ve been talking for months now on It’s Just Politics about the fact that Election 2014 is really going to be about which party does a better job of getting out its core voters, especially whether Democrats can get their voters to the polls on November 4th.

Though there are more Democrats in Michigan, Republicans do a better job of turning out in mid-term elections, when a President is not at the top of the ballot.

That’s why, although Michigan is a blue-state, we have a Republican Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General (all positions that are elected in non-presidential years, when Democrats tend to stay home).

That explains why we’re seeing a competitive race for governor, although some recent polls show Republican Governor Rick Snyder opening a wider lead (some polls, not all).

Meantime, almost every poll shows Democrat Gary Peters opening a wider lead over Republican nominee Terri Lynn Land for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

First Lady Michelle Obama headlined a campaign event for Michigan Democrats in Detroit Friday.

The First Lady got a warm, energetic reception from the crowd at the Detroit Music Hall.

She encouraged them to sustain that energy right through election day.

Mrs. Obama praised the Democrats running at the top of the ticket: Mark Schauer for Governor, and Gary Peters for US Senate.  

She told the crowd that Democrats fare better when voter turnout is high—and it’s especially important in Detroit.

The Detroit City Council is considering an ordinance to ensure “community benefits” come with future large development projects—but it’s drawing some fierce pushback.

The so-called “urban development agreement” has been in the works for more than a year.

It would make sure large-scale developments offer some guaranteed benefits (like jobs for local residents and city-based contractors) and protections (like safeguards for displaced residents and the environment) to host communities.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Sunday evening, Republican Governor Rick Snyder and his Democratic challenger Mark Schauer will square off in their only scheduled debate before November’s election.

The town hall-style debate will be televised from Wayne State University, and you can hear it live on Michigan Radio at 6:00 pm.

Today on Stateside:

  • Daniel Howes from The Detroit News tells us how 70 years of history crashes up against the realities of building Jeep Wranglers in 2014.
  • We get the answer to an MI Curious question posed by a listener: "What is the status of the Enbridge pipelines at the bottom of Lake Michigan running through the Straits of Mackinac?"
  • What about MSU's Head Coach and AD calling out Spartan fans for leaving early during last Saturday's late-night game against Nebraska? Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon shares his views.
  • It's been two years since indie-folk artist Chris Bathgate has taken to a stage. Michigan Radio's Emily Fox discovers why he's back and what's new with his music.
  • With so many in Michigan with business and personal ties to China, we look at what the Hong Kong student protests might mean for mainland China.
  • Continuing our series this week, we explore another story from the Upper Peninsula: a kayak adventure.

* Listen to the full show above.

Podiums
Angus Mcdlarmld / Flickr

For a moment it seemed like the public would get a chance to see a debate between Republican Terri Lynn Land and Democrat Gary Peters. They're the candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Carl Levin who is retiring.

Last night, however, negotiations fell apart.

I spoke with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, about the politics behind these debates. Here's our conversation:

Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is joining an ever-growing list of national leaders visiting Michigan to bring out the vote for their parties' candidates.

Clinton will campaign at a public event next Thursday for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters and gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The Michigan Democratic Party said details will be announced soon.

Clinton's visit will follow First Lady  Michelle Obama's Detroit appearance tomorrow to campaign for Peters and Schauer.

Wayne County

Wayne County commissioners voted Thursday to reject one option for the next jail:  moving the courts and the jail to the former Mound Correctional Facility.

Commissioner Richard LeBlanc says the $750 million price tag was far too high.

But LeBlanc doesn't like any of the remaining options either.

That includes the one favored by many of his fellow commissioners:  restarting the halted jail construction project at Gratiot in downtown.

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer (D) and Secretary of State candidate Godfrey Dillard (D) will answer questions from the MLive editorial board during tonight's live Ballot Bash event in Lansing.

Godfrey Dillard is scheduled to appear from 6:45 - 7:15 pm. Mark Schauer is scheduled from 7:30 - 8:00 pm.

You can watch the event below:

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer (D) and Secretary of State candidate Godfrey Dillard (D) will answer questions from the MLive editorial board during tonight's live Ballot Bash event in Lansing. Godfrey Dillard is scheduled to appear from 6:45 - 7:15 pm. Mark Schauer is scheduled from 7:30 - 8:00 pm. You can watch the event below:

Live streaming video by Ustream The final Ballot Bash event will be Tuesday, Oct. 14 in Royal Oak featuring U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters (D) and Attorney General candidate Mark Totten (D).

The final Ballot Bash event will be Tuesday, Oct. 14 in Royal Oak featuring U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters (D) and Attorney General candidate Mark Totten (D). 

Ben+Sam / Flickr

How would things change if, instead of the political system we have now, we moved to a "top-two" primary? In other words, one primary in which the top two candidates, regardless of party, move on to the general election.

Paul deLespinasse is a professor emeritus of political science at Adrian College, and believes a big reason for gridlock in Congress and state legislatures in this country is our primary system. 

Christian Jansky / wikimedia commons

Groups trying to end wolf hunting in Michigan are criticizing an upcoming pro-hunting and fishing campaign by the state. They worry it could be used to oppose two anti-wolf hunting referenda on the November ballot.

The Michigan Wildlife Council, which will oversee the media campaign, met for the first time on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids area team wins top prize in Code Michigan competition

Oct 8, 2014
Morgue File

A Grand Rapids area team has won $15,000 in the second annual statewide competition for civic-minded software developers.

The team's winning app is called "SnowFi."  It shows where snow plows are, and which roads have been cleared for safer travel.

All teams are given access to public data to create software to benefit Michigan residents and tourists, according to Lauren Leeds,  spokesperson for the recent three day event - called Code Michigan. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Rep. Justin Amash and Democratic challenger Bob Goodrich clashed on several issues during a debate today in Grand Rapids.   

Amash and Goodrich face off in next month’s Third Congressional District election. 

The wide ranging hour long debate touched on a variety of issues, from Obamacare to terrorism.

Asian Carp
Kate.Gardner / Flickr

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss GOP groups pulling their ads supporting Terri Lynn Land, Asian carp DNA found in the Kalamazoo River, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear cases from lower courts banning gay marriage.


rightwingweb

Another big name Republican is coming to Michigan to get out the vote. 

Former Florida governor and potential future presidential candidate Jeb Bush is scheduled to make a whirlwind swing through Michigan on Monday.

Bush is scheduled to appear at events in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Troy.

Michigan is becoming a popular stop for big name politicos.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigned for GOP candidates last week in Livonia.

antiochla.edu / Antioch University

 

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday it will not review lower court rulings on same-sex marriage cases from several states.

Kathy Gray, Detroit Free Press reporter, says that means the U.S. Supreme Court let those lower court rulings stand, which lift the ban on same-sex marriage in the five states – Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. 

Michigan's case is still up in the air, because it's being heard – along with cases in Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky – in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a decision could come at any time.

 

Today on Stateside:

  • We explore why the Supreme Court's latest action on same-sex marriage could soon put the legal spotlight on Michigan.
  • Detroit and Flint share many of the same challenges and fiscal problems. We find out why financial experts believe bankruptcy is not in the cards for Flint.
  • A Michigan professor is developing tiny computers that don't need batteries: They just harvest energy from what's all around them.
  • We get a peek at the pumpkin of the future.
  • A meteorologist says some Michiganders will get to see the second total lunar eclipse of the year early tomorrow morning. 
  • We discover a new local history magazine – a digital magazine called The Grand Traverse Journal.
  • Write Beverly McBride of Sault St. Marie tells an Upper Peninsula story about modern Native American life.
  • Many local governments reported better fiscal health in 2014, according to the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Public Policy.

* Listen to the full show above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out before Election Day, and some groups think their money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Associated Press reports Republican groups are pulling ad buys supporting U.S. Senate Candidate Terri Lynn Land.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled nearly $1 million in ads for the weeks of Oct. 21 and Oct. 28, according to a political operative who tracks ad spending. Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land in Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recent analysis by Moody's Investor's Service offers the prediction that Flint will not follow along the bankruptcy path set by Detroit.

Even though the two cities share many of the same problems and challenges, Moody's believes bankruptcy is not in the cards for Flint.

John Pottow is a University of Michigan law professor and a bankruptcy expert. Pottow also says bankruptcy is unlikely for the city right now, because he believes Flint actually has a long term term plan of meeting a balanced budget since a state-appointed emergency manager was appointed several years ago.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council may soon try to push out the city’s emergency manager.

Flint has been under the control of an emergency manager appointed by the governor since 2011. Three men have served as Flint’s emergency manager.  Darnell Earley was appointed to the job a year ago. His 18-month appointment ends next Spring. 

But that’s not soon enough for City Councilman Sheldon Neeley.

“Democracy needs to be restored, today, right now,” says Neeley.

Neeley says the current emergency manager law gives the city council the power it needs to remove Earley.

Today on Stateside:

  • How communities are bracing for the effects of climate change without using the actual phrase.
  • Michigan counties prepare for the upcoming winter, even as they struggle with the huge hole last winter put in their budgets.
  • We explore the core issues in the race for governor.
  • Upper Peninsula writer John Smolens tells his story.
  • A grape expert talks about the effect of last year's brutal winter on the wine grape harvest.
  • We hear from a Michigan crossword puzzle-maker whose puzzle was selected to be in the New York Times this past Friday. 

* Listen to the full show above.

How accurate are current polls that show Snyder and Schauer neck and neck?
Facebook

 

How do we fix Michigan's financially ailing cities and school districts?

The answer to that question is one of the core issues in the race for governor.

Detroit News Lansing Bureau reporter Chad Livengood wrote this piece in today's News that sorts out the different "prescriptions" that Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer offer to cities and school districts.

Livengood says Rick Snyder sees himself as the "fix it" guy, and Snyder thinks emergency managers have played an effective role in helping ailing cities and schools.

Livengood says Mark Schauer wants to abolish the current emergency manager law and send in "financial transition teams" to help communities and school districts instead.

* Listen to the interview with Chad Livengood above.

 

Pages