Republican conventions

Opinion
11:50 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Michigan voters don't know much about the candidates for state board of education

Okay, now, here’s a test: How many members of the state board of education can you name?  Don’t feel bad.

I can’t name them all either.

What’s more, many people don’t even realize we elect these folks, and the trustees who run our three major universities. This might not be a bad idea if the campaigns involved honest debates over education policy.

But that almost never happens.

Instead, we rely on the political parties to select nominees who will devote themselves to mastering the issues and helping run our educational institutions with integrity.

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Stateside
5:59 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Surprises, the predicted, and some serious jabs: a convention roundup

The statewide Republican ticket lines up following Saturday’s GOP convention in Novi.
Credit Rick Pluta / MPRN

It was a busy political weekend as Michigan Democrats and Republicans held their respective conventions. 

Two reporters joined Stateside to talk about what happened at the conventions. Chris Gautz is a Lansing reporter for Crain's Detroit Business. Chad Livengood is a Lansing reporter for The Detroit News.

Here are a few highlights of the interview:

  • Tea Party organizer Wes Nakagiri did not succeed in his bid to boot Lt. Gov. Brian Calley off the ticket.
  • Nomination of Michigan Supreme Court justice candidate William Murphy at the Democratic convention
  • Nomination of Maria Carl of Macomb County on the State Board of Education seat at the GOP convention
  • Some of the bumper stickers available at the Michigan GOP convention

*Listen to the full interview with Chris Gautz and Chad Livengood above.

Opinion
11:03 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Experts have their picks for this election, but voters have the final say

Both political parties held their state conventions last weekend. They filled out their slates of nominees, from state Supreme Court down to school board and university trustee slots.

With that the fall campaigns can fully begin in earnest.

Years ago, in a kinder and gentler era, they used to say that the public really didn’t tune in to campaigns until after the World Series.

Well, that was when the series ended the first week in October. These days it sometimes goes into November, and in Michigan the campaign for governor has been going on for more than a year.

My guess, however, is that most normal people start tuning into campaigns about Labor Day.

Here’s a tip: The media loves conflict and drama, and we tend to play up supposed splits within political parties. Sometimes these are very real, but most of the time those involved forget about their differences before the election because they hate the other party more.

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Politics & Government
5:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

GOP, Dems to hold state party conventions this weekend

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Credit Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

Republicans and Democrats in Michigan will gather this weekend at party conventions to nominate candidates for statewide offices.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette are expected to be nominated for second terms at the state Republican convention in Novi.      

But it looks like there will be a fight over lieutenant governor. Gov. Rick Snyder wants the convention to renominate Brian Calley. But Tea Party activist Wes Nakagiri wants to deny Snyder his choice.

State GOP chairman Bobby Schostak says Calley appears to have the edge going into Saturday’s convention.

“I think that overall Brian Calley has been working very hard across the state to get the message across that he deserves to continue to be the lieutenant governor, and it’s going to be very hard to beat him,” says Schostak.

Democrats are meeting in Lansing this weekend. Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown is Mark Schauer’s choice for a running mate. Democrats are also expected to nominate Mark Totten for attorney general, and Godfrey Dillard for secretary of state.

The parties will also nominate candidates for the state Supreme Court and education boards. 

Opinion
11:37 am
Fri August 22, 2014

What you can and cannot do in selecting your representatives

We know the most important job in state government is that of governor, but the next two top jobs are far more important than we tend to realize.

Michigan’s attorney general is the top lawyer for the entire state, both for state government and the interests of all the citizens.

Meanwhile, whoever is secretary of state is responsible for pretty much everything that has to do with voting and elections – not to mention driver's licenses, automobile and other registrations, and regulating notaries in the state.

We elect these officials by a statewide vote in November. They serve four-year terms, and can be re-elected only once.

But here’s the odd thing about these jobs. We the voters have the final say in November, but have virtually no say in who the major political parties choose as their candidates.

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Stateside
5:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

What to look for at Michigan's nominating conventions this weekend

Credit User: Andrew Ferguson / Flickr

It's a big weekend for Michigan's Democrats and Republicans: Both parties hold their state conventions – the Democrats in Lansing, the Republicans in Novi.

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, the co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It's Just Politics, gave us a preview of the conventions.

For this weekend, Clark says she’ll be watching for a Tea Party effort to pry Brian Calley out as lieutenant governor.

"Tea Partiers and very conservative Republicans, looking at the Snyder Administration and saying, 'you know what? You may say you're conservative, but you are not conservative enough,'" says Clark.

As for the Democratic convention, there’s not quite as much drama expected in Lansing. However, Clark notes that it’ll be interesting to look at the Democratic nominees' races for attorney general and secretary of state.

* Listen to the interview with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta above.

* Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning at 9 when Rick Pluta will host a special call-in show with Gary Peters, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. 

 

Opinion
12:54 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Local reporters at national conventions are not a waste of money

Reporters in the press room of the DNC
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

I just spent about $5,000 at the two national political conventions.


No, I wasn’t out wining and dining with the heavy hitters, and despite how much my critics would love to finally be able to prove my biases, I wasn’t handing out political contributions to candidates either.


I spent the money to send Michigan Radio reporters to cover the Michigan delegation at each convention.

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Politics & Government
4:01 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Political conventions & Isaac

Here come the balloons
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

America’s two largest political showcase events could be hampered in their efforts to get out their messages because of Hurricane Isaac.

The Republicans have left Tampa and the Democrats are rolling into Charlotte.

This weekend should be filled with nothing but talk about what Mitt Romney said about Barack Obama and what the Democratic President plans to say about his Republican challenger.

Instead, Hurricane Isaac threatens to dilute both parties finely crafted convention messaging.

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Politics & Government
4:01 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Romney campaign commits to Michigan "until the end"

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaking at the RNC in Tampa, Florida
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Romney campaign says it plans to actively campaign In Michigan “until the end”.  But there is one major campaign component that Romney officials haven’t committed to yet.  Four years ago, the John McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan a month before the presidential election. State Republican leaders blamed that decision for hurting GOP turnout in Michigan in 2008.  Katie Gage says that won’t happen this year.  She’s a deputy director for the Romney campaign. Gage says the Romney campaign will be in Michigan “until the end”, with phone banks, local campaign offices and mailings.

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Politics & Government
3:00 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Lobbyists leave GOP National Convention. Next stop, Democratic National Convention

Lobbyists know their way around national political conventions
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Republicans have wrapped up their convention in Tampa. Now hundreds of business people and lobbyists are boarding planes to join the Democrats in Charlotte for their national convention next week.

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Politics & Government
2:45 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Michigan's native son accepts the Republican presidential nomination

Mitt Romney waves to the crowd at last night Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michiganders who watched Mitt Romney accept the Republican presidential nomination last night in Tampa say they were impressed by the way he did it.

Mitt Romney dedicated much of his acceptance speech last night to doing something he doesn’t do often: talking about his personal life.

Romney talked about his parents, his marriage, his children and his personal motivations, both in business and in faith.

Ronna Romney-McDaniel is Mitt’s niece.  She says she's glad voters are getting a chance to learn more about him as a person.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Thu August 30, 2012

On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Michigan leaders get their marching orders

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) speaking to Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan native son Mitt Romney accepts the GOP presidential nomination this evening at the Republican National Convention.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s controversial governor gave Michigan’s delegates their marching orders today for the fall presidential campaign.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker thanked Michigan Republicans for helping him defeat a recall campaign earlier this year.

Walker then urged the delegates to work just as hard to win their state for Mitt Romney in November…

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Politics & Government
11:17 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Commentary: Blocking Ron Paul out

There’s an elderly lady in Royal Oak who has sharpened and repaired my razors and table knives for years.

She has spent her life in business for herself, and does excellent work. She also isn’t shy about expressing her political opinions. She now works out of her home, and since the campaign started, her home has been decorated with Ron Paul signs.

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Politics & Government
1:37 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Ryan sets the right "tone" for Michigan Republicans at the GOP national convention

Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan addressing the Republican National Convention last night in Tampa, Florida
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s delegates say they left the Republican National Convention last night with extra enthusiasm.

They say vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan set the right ‘tone’ for the fall campaign in his acceptance speech.

Michigan’s delegates liked hearing Paul Ryan attacking the ‘Affordable Care Act’ and President Obama’s economic and spending policies.

Tom Stroup is a delegate from Northfield Township.   He says the “tone” of Paul Ryan’s speech should connect with independent voters.

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Politics & Government
11:14 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Michigan Republican leaders told not to focus solely on presidential race

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R) KY
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s U.S. Senate race is getting attention from top Congressional GOP leaders at the Republican National Convention.

“It’s not just carrying it for Mitt Romney…we need a new senator from Michigan as well,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Michigan delegates this morning, “Because I would like to be setting the agenda in the Senate instead of (Democratic Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid.”

McConnell told the delegates that Republican control of the U.S. Senate depends on Michigan.

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Politics & Government
1:03 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Republican women liked what Ann Romney had to say about her husband (but will it sway others?)

The Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan's female delegates to the Republican National Convention not surprisingly give high marks to Ann Romney for her speech last night.

Now the focus shifts to her husband Mitt, to see if he can build support among women voters.

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Politics & Government
1:01 am
Wed August 29, 2012

At the RNC, a Michigan delegate questions if the Republican Party has room for Ron Paul supporters

The view of the main podium from where the Michigan delegation is sitting at the Republican National Convention
Steve Carmody/ Michigan Radio

More than 100 thousand people voted for Ron Paul in Michigan’s Republican presidential primary in February.    But after what happened yesterday at the Republican National Convention, it appears some of them may not be voting Republican in November.

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Newsmaker Interviews
7:57 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Michigan GOP at the RNC convention

Governor Rick Snyder at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio's All Things Considered host, Jennifer White talks with reporter Steve Carmody. He's been covering the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

More than 100 Michigan delegates are at the GOP convention. Among the delegation is Governor Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette. Also in the mix are Republican Party members from around the state.

"The primary focus for a lot of the delegates is obviously, get Mitt Romney elected...but when you get away from the simple politics, the main thrust of what the delegates are most concerned about is jobs. They say, the economy and bringing more jobs to Michigan is their primary concern," Carmody said.

The big question is whether Michigan could play a bigger role in the election than previously thought. Carmody said:

"The Republicans here insist that it is a swing state, and that it will play a pivotal role. Of course, others cite different polls that show that there is a much wider gap in Michigan than there are in other swing states."

For example, "Governor Chris Christie from New Jersey was talking to the Michigan delegation, and he said that Michigan is, as he described it, 'a state of consequence,' which means it is a swing state.  That if Michigan does turn out and vote for Mitt Romney that would put Mitt Romney over the top as president. And he said it’s up to people in that room, the Michigan delegation, to make sure that they do get out the Republican vote.  He said this morning that, you don’t want to wake up the next day and find out that Mitt Romney fell one percentage point short in Michigan and that cost him the election," said Carmody.

Commentary
12:21 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Commentary: The Romneys

I don’t claim to really know Mitt Romney, who is going to be nominated for president tonight at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. I did, however, interview him at length five years ago, the first time he ran for president.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Tue August 28, 2012

New Jersey's Republican governor says Michigan is a 'State of Consequence' in November's election

Gov. Chris Christie, (R) NJ
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The man in the spotlight at the Republican National Convention tonight took his star power to the Michigan delegation this morning.

It’s a staple of every morning at national political conventions: the big name breakfast speaker.    And there are few bigger than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.   The Garden State governor has a prime time slot tonight, delivering the convention’s keynote address. 

Christie told Michigan’s delegates about a conversation he had with Mitt Romney about the Republican nominee’s chance of winning New Jersey in November.

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