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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

U.S. Department of Justice

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says it’s time for Congress to step up to protect the Mueller investigation.

The White House says President Donald Trump and his embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke on Monday and will meet Thursday at the White House amid uncertainty about Rosenstein's fate.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state Legislature returns this week. But lawmakers will likely save big issues for after the election. 

“I wish I could tell ya that we were gonna solve road funding, tackle other big issues over the next few weeks,” said Senator Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing. “I’ve seen no indication of that whatsoever, and I think a lot of stuff is going to hold off until lame duck.”

House and Senate spokespeople have confirmed that there won’t be much going on in their chambers this week. But there are some committees scheduled to tackle major issues.

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Department of Treasury says almost 250 communities in Michigan had underfunded pension or healthcare systems last year.

That’s about 28% of all communities in Michigan. Combined, their total liabilities tally up to almost 19 billion dollars.

Rod Taylor is with the Treasury Department. He says it’s a problem for those local governments and Michigan as a whole, as it could affect credit ratings and the state’s overall economic vitality.

Michigan Truth Squad: Republicans attack Dana Nessel for firm’s defense on sex crimes

Sep 21, 2018
“Dangerous Dana Nessel” shares a 30-second ad with Larry Nassar, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. No, there’s no connection between Nessel and the three infamous sex abusers.
Bridge Magazine

Michigan Democratic attorney general candidate Dana Nessel is blasted for having worked at a law firm that defended accused sex offenders in a television ad paid for by the Michigan Republican Party.

Misleading images and a blatant disregard for the role of defense attorneys earn the ad a rating of foul. The ad is on stronger ground attacking the crass-marketing tactics used by Nessel’s former firm to win the business of accused child rapists.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As Michigan voters consider whether to legalize recreational marijuana, law enforcement agencies are assessing how to respond if the measure passes in November.

fracking well
Tim Evanson / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee discusses what he is doing to prevent the deportation of a 48-year-old man from Nigeria who is deaf and has cognitive disabilities. Plus, University of Michigan Professor Daniel Raimi breaks down the risks, myths, and benefits of fracking.

Former Congressman Joe Schwarz.
U.S. House of Representatives / Wikipedia

Former top-level state officials with the Snyder, Engler, and Milliken administrations are among a group of Republicans and independents publicly endorsing Democrat Gretchen Whitmer for governor.

The group is co-chaired by former Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz, who now identifies as an independent.

“The party itself has maybe gone a bit too far to the right,” says Schwarz. “And we really need someone in the center, someone who’s a moderate, someone who has the ability to work with both sides, but someone who can make tough decisions.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court this week will likely have little effect on campaign spending in this fall’s election in Michigan.

The high court denied a request on Tuesday by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which sought to stay a lower court ruling forcing it to reveal its secret donors.   

Vote here sign
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The speaker of the state House won’t support a proposal aimed at electing presidents based on the national popular vote.

There’s bipartisan support in the Legislature for Michigan to join a compact that 12 states have already joined called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Once enough states have entered into the compact to decide a presidential election, those states would cast their Electoral College votes for the candidate who won the national popular vote.

Ballots
Flicker / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state's voting system needs to be improved to ensure that overseas military ballots are received on time and counted, according to Jocelyn Benson, Democratic candidate for Michigan Secretary of State.

Benson unveiled her military voting plan Tuesday, as part of her pledge "to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In November, Michigan voters will decide if they want to legalize recreational marijuana.

Supporters say the industry that develops should be an economic boost for rural Michigan.

Jacob Enos / Creative Commons

The city of Kalamazoo says it will disperse a group of homeless protesters who've been occupying a downtown park, starting Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

One Detroit city council member is putting forth a slew of proposals she says will help correct some major inequities in the city.

Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield’s bills aim to address a widely-held perception: that while pockets of Detroit boom with new development, most of the city’s longtime residents aren’t seeing any benefits. These bills deal with some of the city's most pressing "socioeconomic and human rights issues," Sheffield said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Absentee ballots will start arriving in Michigan mailboxes in the next few weeks. One county clerk is predicting confusion.

Genesee County Clerk John Gleason says about half his county’s voters routinely use the straight party ticket option, but starting this fall that won’t be an option.

U.S. Supreme Court

A handful of Michigan groups are renewing their fight against President Trump’s travel ban.  It restricts people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

In June, the United States Supreme Court said the travel ban that limits people from seven countries can continue while its constitutionality is decided in court.

The ACLU of Michigan had already filed a lawsuit with organizations including the Arab American Civil Rights League and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Marijuana
USFWS

Three-quarters of Michigan cities, townships, and villages have passed ordinances to prohibit medical marijuana facilities in their areas, according to a survey by the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy.

Haleem "Stringz" Rasul dances with Zimbabwe dancer Francis "Franco Slomo" Dhaka during a trip to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit

On today’s Stateside, we answer your questions about what happens if Michigan voters legalize recreational marijuana. And, the story of broadcast executive and former Detroit Tigers owner John Fetzer’s exploration of new-age spiritual movements.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s entrepreneurs are seeing dollar signs with the state’s vote in November to legalize recreational marijuana.

But many out-of-state interests are already moving in.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a plan that will allow the city of Flint to spend millions of dollars to replace thousands of water meters. 

The money is coming from $120 million set aside by the federal and state governments to help Flint recover from its water crisis.

Flint Chief Financial Officer Hughey Newsome says the new meters should help the city improve its water bill collections and reduce water theft. Newsome admits right now they’re not sure where all the city water is going.

Diane Newman

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will allow a deaf, cognitively-disabled Detroit man to “make arrangements to depart the U.S. voluntarily,” the agency said Wednesday.

Francis Anwana faced an initial deportation deadline Tuesday. But ICE backed off that deadline after pushback from Anwana’s advocates and at least one member of Congress.

Truth Squad | Bill Schuette goes low, accusing Whitmer of terror sympathy

Sep 12, 2018
YOUTUBE Video Still / Bill Schutte for Governer

The Michigan Republican Party and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette have attacked the Democratic team of governor candidate Gretchen Whitmer and lieutenant governor candidate Garlin Gilchrist II, saying the Democratic team wants to abolish ICE and “sympathizes with terrorists.”

Truth Squad rates the claims misleading.

child in doorway
Caro / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder has put together a team he says will help fix the state Child Protective Services program. This comes after a state audit revealed CPS failed to follow a plethora of state requirements.

CPS is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect. But an audit found it has not consistently conducted criminal background checks, put child abusers on a statewide registry, or responded to victims and complaints in a timely manner.

The team Snyder has put together will conduct an operational review of CPS and find ways to improve. 

Candius Stearns / https://www.candiusforcongress.com/bio

For 35 years, Congressman Sander Levin has represented people from parts of Oakland and Macomb counties. 

Marijuana leaves
Unsplash

A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the ballot this November, ten years after the state voted to legalize medical marijuana.

The proposal recieved an estimated 277,370 signatures, and was certified by the Board of State Canvassers in April. Now, it's one of three proposals that Michigan voters will decide on in November. 

Andy Levin
Andy Levin campaign

For 35 years, Congressman Sander Levin has represented people from parts of Oakland and Macomb counties. 

The Democratic congressman from Michigan's 9th District is retiring at the end of the year, and his son, Andy, is running for that seatAndy Levin joined Stateside to tell us about why he joined the race. 

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, the Michigan legislature adopted the minimum wage increase initiative, officially taking it off the November ballot. The legislature had previously adopted two other initiatives, paid sick leave and repealing the prevailing wage.

Now, only three proposals will appear on the November ballot, and the state elections board has finalized the language for all three. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two new studies suggest Medicaid work requirement proposals will end up kicking off qualified people from the health care program.

Christopher Graveline
cg4ag.com

Michigan voters just got another choice for attorney general candidates in the November election.

The Board of State Canvassers certified former Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline as a non-party candidate Friday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan voters will not be able to fill in just one bubble for an entire party in the November election.

A group has been fighting to put straight-ticket voting on this year’s general election ballot. That’s after the Legislature banned the practice several years ago.

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