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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

jim abbott pitching
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, the director of a conservative advocacy group talks about why he opposes Proposal 2, the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative. Plus, Flint native Jim Abbott was born without a right hand, but he still made it to the major league. We talk to the director of a new documentary about the baseball legend.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The nation’s mayors want Washington to spend more to fix problems with water infrastructure in America’s cities.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors-Water Council was in Flint this week to learn more about the city’s water crisis and how it relates to a growing infrastructure problem nationwide.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Some voting rights and civic engagement groups are calling on Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to release a plan about how her office will provide more education about the recent elimination of straight party voting in the upcoming November election. 

A federal appeals court ruled last month that straight party voting will not be an option in the November 6, 2018 election.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Water activists say the candidates for governor in Michigan are not proposing bold enough plans to fix the state’s water problems.

Activists gathered in Flint to mark “Imagine a Day without Water." The city has become a poster child for Michigan’s issues with everything from tainted tap water to unaffordable bills.

Monica Lewis-Patrick is the president of “We the People of Detroit.” She lays the blame for Michigan’s water issues on outgoing Governor Rick Snyder.

State Representative Jason Wentworth (R) testifying before the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in February.
Michigan House Republicans

Republican State Representative Jason Wentworth serves Michigan's 97th district and is the chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. He served in the United States Army, and before he was elected to the state House, he was a regional coordinator for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

Earlier this year, he worked to get a bill signed into law that will — for the first time — make state funds available for county governments to help veterans apply for federal VA benefits.

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Today on Stateside, Democratic nominee Elissa Slotkin on why she's running in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, one of the most expensive races in the country. Plus, Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs director Michael Smith talks about how a shortage of qualified staff makes it harder for Michigan veterans to determine their eligibility for federal VA benefits. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Elissa Slotkin for Congress

It's a congressional race that political pundits and prognosticators are watching closely, and it just so happens to be in our backyard. 

Michigan's 8th Congressional District represents Livingston and Ingham Counties, as well as parts of Oakland County. Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin is challenging the incumbent, Representative Mike Bishop (R), who is running for his third term.

Michael Smith, director of the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs
Michigan Radio

All this week on Stateside, we're looking at why more Michigan veterans aren't getting the help they may be entitled to from the VA. The state has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal VA benefits.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s major party candidates for governor are skirmishing over who would do a better job of protecting health care coverage.

Democratic candidate Gretchen Whitmer has been running a TV ad attacking Republican candidate Bill Schuette’s record on health care. In it, she accuses Schuette of supporting letting insurance companies who want to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

train
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Today on Stateside, pollster Richard Czuba on how news consumers should be looking at media coverage of polls in 2018. Plus, Stateside kicks off a week-long series about the challenges Michigan veterans face connecting with VA benefits after returning to civilian life. Two veterans, one who served in Vietnam and one who served in Iraq, discuss their experiences navigating life after returning home from war. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Lawrence Dolph in 1969 (L) and now.
Courtesy of Lawrence Dolph

There are about six hundred thousand veterans in Michigan. That's the 11th highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Census. Yet Michigan has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal veteran benefits. These are benefits that could bring much needed assistance with finances, employment, and health care, to name a few.

Bill Schuette
Detroit Public Television

Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette says the state budget needs to be looked at from top to bottom to find more money for fixing roads and infrastructure in Michigan. But increasing taxes is out, flat out, as an option.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The November election is weeks away, and Tuesday is the last day for Michigan residents to register to vote.

The election will decide the state’s next governor, attorney general and secretary of state among many other races.

State House and Senate, U.S. Senate and ballot initiatives – oh my.

After a high turnout in the primary, Michigan’s former state Elections Director is predicting about four million voters will head to the polls on November 6th – which would be a pretty high turnout for a midterm.

JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF / HTTPS://WWW.CO.JACKSON.MI.US

A state panel rejected recall petition language to remove Jackson County’s sheriff from office Monday.

The recall language says Sheriff Steven Rand is a "multifaceted bigot," who has made numerous slurs against blacks, gays, women and others.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s hard hitting race for Attorney General is moving into its final month.

TV ads have been running for weeks taking shots at both Democrat Dana Nessel and Republican Tom Leonard.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University study confirms what most people generally assume: that today’s political divide is the worst it’s been in decades.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Green Party candidates in Michigan got a boost this week from their 2016 presidential nominee.

Former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has been attending campaign events to promote her party’s candidates running for offices ranging from county commissioner to governor.

checkbook that says tax
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Between now and November's election, we’re having conversations with statewide candidates about a variety of issues. Today, Stateside spoke with the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, about the state budget and his tax policy platform.

 

Through her campaign, Democratic candidate Gretchen Whitmer had agreed to join us to discuss her view on taxes and the budget. However, she cancelled.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan and Canadian leaders, including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were in Windsor Friday to celebrate the start of construction on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The Canadian government sees the new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario as a key national infrastructure project. Trudeau called it a “vital 2.5 km artery that will connect Windsor and Detroit and allow for an increased flow of people and goods between Canada and the United States.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the middle of a tight re-election campaign, Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop took time Thursday to escort a top Trump administration official around a Lansing development project.

A recent poll showed Republican Mike Bishop holding a slim lead over Democratic challenger Elissa Slotkin.  Slotkin has raised more money than Bishop in the traditionally Republican district.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State House Democrats have sent a letter asking the state auditor to investigate the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s handling of the state’s PFAS problem. 

PFAS is a group of man-made chemicals linked to human health problems.

State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) hopes the state auditor can find answers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Several Flint commmunity leaders said Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette has a record of ignoring the people of Flint.

They spoke at a press conference Wednesday organized by the Michigan Democratic Party.

According to Chris Martin, pastor of the Cathedral of Faith Church in Flint, Schuette ignored 15 complaints in 2015 from residents reporting bad water quality in Flint.

Martin said complaints about bad water and health problems had fallen on deaf ears in Flint. 

Ann Arbor city hall.
Heritage Media / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The Ann Arbor City Council decided Monday night between two competing ordinances that would create a  police oversight commission. 

The City Council chose a version proposed by Ann Arbor City Mayor Christopher Taylor and rejected a different version that was written by a citizen-led task force.

This left many at Monday night's City Council meeting vocally dismayed.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At least 18 people, including Democratic congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib, were taken into police custody at a pro-union rally in downtown Detroit Tuesday.

Enbridge Energy

Several environmental groups are stepping up their efforts against an expected plan to build a tunnel for an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits.

A spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder says the state is still “reviewing studies and working through all possible options” for what to do with Line 5.

But environmentalists believe the governor has already decided.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Legalizing recreational marijuana would net half a billion dollars in new state tax revenue over its first five years, that's according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by the group behind the November ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

wikimedia commons

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says its most recent legislative scorecard for the 2017 - 2018 session paints a bleak picture.

Lisa Wozniak is the bipartisan group's executive director. She says a low point was the state legislature's approval of a bill that gives polluters a say in setting cleanup standards. Governor Snyder signed the bill into law.

The latest rendering of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge will get underway as soon as next week, as Canadian officials have reached a final deal with the private contractor that will build and operate the bridge.

Orange construction barrels
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Workers will return to road construction projects that have been stalled since Labor Day due to an employee lockout, Gov. Snyder’s office announced Thursday.

The governor’s office helped broker a deal between the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, and Operating Engineers 324. MITA, a construction industry group representing road contractors, had locked out union workers over an ongoing contract dispute, bringing about 150 road construction projects around the state grinding to a halt.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is condemning a recently proposed Trump Administration regulation affecting immigrant children.

Dingell said the proposed rule would allow the federal government to hold immigrant children with their parents for prolonged periods of time in detention centers.

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