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Michigan GOP Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

What do you do when the group you’ve belonged to your entire life no longer represents your values?

This has often been a problem in the melting pot that is America. Children upset parents by rejecting traditional customs, like arranged marriage.

But it is also a problem in politics.

RNC national chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser addressed the media for opening remarks, but the roundtable discussion was not made available to reporters.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel hosted a roundtable discussion with African-American community leaders in Detroit on Monday.

McDaniel opened with a swift condemnation of white supremacy after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday.

“As chairman of the Republican party, I want to be perfectly clear,” McDaniel said. “That white supremacy, Neo-Nazi, KKK, and hate speech and bigotry is not welcome, and does not have a home in the Republican Party.”

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

You'll be able to buy the health care insurance plan you want. Premiums will be lower. Everyone will be covered. Access to quality, affordable care will improve.

Those promises from President Donald Trump and Republican leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan seem less likely after a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Michigan Republican Party

His only opposition bowed out of the race last weekend. Now, University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser is in line to succeed Ronna Romney McDaniel as chairman of Michigan's Republican Party.

McDaniel is the new head of the Republican National Committee.

Weiser was state party chair from 2009-11 and he joined Stateside to talk about the job, the state of the Republican Party and why it was "duty not desire" that drove him back to the chairman role.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

In this Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the results of Election 2016, now that the dust has had time to settle.


Democratic strategist T.J. Bucholz of Vanguard Public Affairs (left) and Republican strategist Matt Marsden with RevSix Data Systems
Photos courtesy of T.J. Bucholz and Matt Marsden

America needs some healing.

The long, hard, bitter campaign left deep divisions and many are wondering what it will take to bring us together as Americans -- to give us a sense of being on the same team.

Is that even possible in 2016?

To make sense of it all, Democratic strategist T.J. Bucholz of Vanguard Public Affairs and Republican strategist Matt Marsden with RevSix Data Systems joined Stateside to break it all down.

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flickr user DonkeyHotey / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

This election year has a lot of people scratching their heads.

Many just can’t wrap their heads around how or why two people who are not that well liked - according to the polls - are the nominees of the major parties.

And it seems that Republicans and Democrats just can’t understand why the people in the opposite party think the things they do.

There’s a new book that looks at how the parties and their supporters are different and tries to help make sense of American politics today.

The book is Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats, written by David Hopkins and Matt Grossmann.

Susan Demas says there was a stark contrast between the DNC (pictured) and the RNC.
Lorie Shaull / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The national conventions for the Republicans and Democrats are officially in the books, and the two candidates have been officially chosen. While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton start to make their final push toward November, there is also a primary election fast approaching here in Michigan.

If you were unaware of the August 2 primary, you're probably not alone as the turnouts for primary elections are usually pretty "dismal," according to Susan Demas of Inside Michigan Politics. But can the recent buzz from the DNC and the RNC boost the turnout? Ken Sikkema, a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, doesn't believe it will. In fact, if anything, he thinks with the wall-to-wall TV coverage of both conventions, the public may be a little burned out when it comes to politics.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Though he's attended in the past, former Kalamazoo County Republican chair Dave Worthams did not attend this year's Republican National Convention. 

But he did watch Donald Trump's Thursday night acceptance speech from home, and told us he didn't really like everything he saw. 

people in voting booths
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.

Downtown Cleveland will play host to the 2016 Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.
Erik Drost / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Headed to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention? We've gathered up some tips on where to go from a now proud native of the "City of Losers Winners!"

Michigan Radio's news director, Vincent Duffy, wants you to know there's a lot more to his hometown than just LeBron James and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among Duffy's go-to spots:

Michigan GOP Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans are meeting in Lansing this weekend to select delegates to the party’s presidential-nominating convention this summer in Cleveland.

The delegates are divided between billionaire Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

There was concern about schemes to recruit shadow delegates who would not represent their declared candidates’ interests beyond voting for them on a first ballot in a deadlocked convention.

“We’re taking the Ronald Reagan strategy – trust but verify,” says Scott Hagerstrom, Trump’s Michigan director.

Trunk Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Rennett Stowe / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What the heck is going on with the Virgin Islands Republican Party?

This is the question posed as the title of an article by Lauren Fox on TalkingPointsMemo.com.

The heart of the issue is who will represent the Virgin Islands at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this year?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This isn’t your grandparents’, or even your parents’ Republican Party. Some might even argue this may not be the Republican Party of four years ago.
 
You may love it, or you may hate it, but there’s few that would debate that there’s never been a Republican primary race like this. Insults and rancor have largely overpowered debates on policy and governing. The headlines, more often than not, have focused on the fighting and the verbal zingers between the candidates rather than who would make a better Commander in Chief.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Believe it or not, Michigan’s 2018 race for governor is underway.

Jim Hines has been an obstetrician-gynecologist for 30 years. Now, he’s also a Republican candidate for governor. He announced his candidacy at his Saginaw medical office today.

“In this area, where I have delivered thousands of babies, I’m very well known,” says Hines. “But I’m not very well known in the rest of the state. I have a lot of work to do.”

Baseball hats with Marco Rubio campaign logo
Rebecca Kruth

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says the US needs to do more to confront terrorist threats at home and abroad. 

The Florida Senator was in Michigan Wednesday for a campaign stop in Waterford Township. He spoke to a crowd of about 150 at a rally in an Oakland County International Airport hangar.

Rubio kicked off his speech with some jokes about Michigan sports teams before hitting on a broad range of familiar campaign points.

Gregory Vadon / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Another Republican presidential hopeful dropped in on the Detroit Economic Club Tuesday.

Florida senator Marco Rubio was the latest Republican candidate to address the Economic Club, which has already hosted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

What happens in politics when you want to get rid of someone and they just won’t quit? We are, of course, talking about Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.

Agema consistently courts controversy and has done his party no favors with social media posts that go after Muslims, gays and African-Americans.

migop.org

Some controversial Facebook posts have re-kindled the condemnation and defense of Michigan’s controversial Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.

Agema recently re-posted an article to his Facebook page ostensibly written by a defense attorney that takes aim at African Americans. The post has since been removed, but not before an MLive columnist took a screenshot and wrote a piece about it. Agema also posted about Muslims following the terrorist attack in Paris. He says U.S. and Michigan leaders refuse to recognize that Muslims are “the enemy.”

The 114th Congress gets to work tomorrow. It’s a Congress that will be led by Republicans in both the House and Senate for the first time in 8 years.

Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press breaks down what we can expect.

Listen to our conversation with Spangler below.

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.

Both major political parties have their state conventions this week. Republicans are meeting in Novi; Democrats in Lansing.

There’s always an element of the high school reunion about these conventions; people, including the press, look forward to them in part because they get to see old friends.

However, there are also squabbles.

Most of this year’s focus has been on the Republican gathering, where Tea Party insurgents are attempting to throw Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley off the ticket.

Democrats, however, have their own struggle behind the scenes.

In case you are new to this, these conventions actually nominate most of each party’s candidates for statewide office.

They used to say that the definition of a recession was when your neighbor lost his job, and a depression was when you lost yours.

Well, after this week’s monumental Detroit-area rainstorm and flood, we now have a new definition for our dictionary of popular economics. You can say that wasteful government spending is when Washington or Lansing helps someone else.

Proper allocation of scarce resources is when they help -- you.

That may sound like a joke, but all too many people subconsciously feel that way.

You need only drive through the streets of communities like blue-collar Warren and more affluent Huntington Woods to get a sense of the scope of this week’s destruction.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has called on Washington for assistance, saying “if the federal government can help flood-damaged communities in various countries, I think they can help flood damage in the city of Warren.”

Good luck with that.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Senator John Moolenaar  emerged from a sometimes brutal three way primary to win the Republican primary in Michigan’s 4th congressional district.

Moolenaar says voters responded to his efforts to reduce state spending and make Michigan more attractive to business. 

"It’s kind of a good prescription for Washington D-C.," Moolenaar said after winning the Republican nomination on Tuesday, "People really responded to that message.”

Moolenaar says he’s  looking forward to the fall campaign.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Mid-Michigan congressman Dave Camp’s decision to step down from the seat he’s held for two decades sparked a battle between different factions of the Republican Party.

Next Tuesday, voters will likely decide which one will hold the seat.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

New data show Michigan congressional candidates are digging deep into their own pockets to pay for their campaigns.

A trio of businessmen running for Republican congressional nominations have dug the deepest, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission this week.

I noticed something familiar yesterday after I talked about a new investigative series in the Detroit Free Press on charter schools. What I said drew a fair amount of comment. Virtually none of the comments had to do with anything I said.

People mainly reacted based on opinions they already had about charter schools. Some of the comments weren’t even about schools at all, at least not directly.

One writer declared that “our leaders” want to pay executives a lot, screw over the workers and “choose to not believe in science and mathematics.” I’m not clear exactly what that has to do with charter school administration.

Another said that burglar alarm companies are really an outrage since our taxes pay for the police. Okay.

Finally, somebody who plainly didn’t read the charter school series said it was all dictated by the teachers’ union, and accused me of wanting “more government insight into all phases of our lives.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow is criticizing her Republican Senate colleagues for blocking a vote on increasing the federal minimum wage.

The bill would have gradually increased the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Democrats say it would have helped millions of low-income families.

Stabenow says GOP opposition to the wage hike and to legislation to require equal pay for women is "unacceptable".

“This is really the one-two punch that hurts women in Michigan,” says Stabenow. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests unmarried women may be a critical swing vote in Michigan’s elections this fall.

The Voter Participation Center works to get more unmarried women, people of color, and young people to vote. But those groups tend to show the biggest voting dropoff in off-year elections.

Those also happen to be the voters Democrats need  to win in this fall’s gubernatorial and congressional elections.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette kicked off his reelection campaign today in his hometown of Midland.

In his speech, Schuette touted his record in office, including efforts to combat human trafficking and protect pensions.

“A record that’s strong and clear. It’s a record of being a voice for victims. A voice for the constitution and a voice for Michigan,” says Schuette. “It’s a long election and I’m going to win. I’m going to take my case to the citizens across the state of Michigan.”

Schuette didn’t directly address the controversy over same-sex marriage.

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