Election 2018 | Michigan Radio
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Election 2018

Marijuana plant
USFWS

Backers of a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan are approaching a milestone.

Organizers say hundreds of petition circulators have been busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend collecting signatures.

Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. He expects their petition drive will collect its quarter-millionth signature this week.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan this week ordered Enbridge Energy to restore a protective coating on parts of its Line 5 pipes that run beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge reported to the state that small portions of enamel coating were accidentally removed in two places.

A state commission is facing pressure to shut down Line 5 completely. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether Enbridge's disclosure will turn up the heat.

Anita Belle, left, and Jennifer Kurland are seeking the Michigan Green Party's nomination for Governor and U.S. Senator.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Two members of the Michigan Green Party have announced they’re running for statewide office in 2018.

Anita Belle is seeking the Green Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. She would challenge incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

Belle is an elections-integrity and reparations activist from Detroit. She says the government needs to make majority-black cities like Detroit and Flint “whole” for their water crises.

Imagine a blind date without someone in the other chair. This week, we are on the political dating circuit, meeting some of Michigan’s statewide hopefuls who will not appear on next year’s August primary ballot.

We’re talking about ticket-building and why some candidates for statewide office aren’t waiting until after next year’s primaries to go public with their aspirations.

Michigan State University sign
MSU

This week, Michigan State University denied a request from a white supremacist group to rent space on campus. The university said it denied the request due to safety concerns following the violence that broke out last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Michigan Supreme Court this week said “not yet” to a group trying to stop fracking in Michigan.

The group, The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, is now on its third attempt to get a question on the ballot to ban the controversial process used to drill hard-to-reach pockets of natural gas.

After this week, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what the 2018 governor’s race will look like in Michigan.

In just a little more than a year, Republicans and Democrats in Michigan will choose their candidates for governor in the August primary. Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited so, it’s a wide open field.

Republican incumbent Tim Walberg beat Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell in 2016. Now, Driskell is announcing she'll run again in 2018.
Tim Walberg for Congress; Gretchen Driskell for Congress

Despite losing by 15 points in one of the most expensive congressional battles in the state last year, former Saline mayor and state representative Gretchen Driskell believes 2018 could be different.

Knowing when to fold 'em

Jul 19, 2017
michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When I heard that Mark Bernstein wasn’t running for governor, what instantly popped into my head was a line from Macbeth: "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it."

In other words, the best part of his campaign was his decision not to wage one. The immediate beneficiary is Gretchen Whitmer, whom Bernstein then endorsed.

Credit: Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Democratic Party's stinging loss in the 2016 presidential election has led to much hand-wringing and talk about coming up with a better message that resonates with voters.

Jen Eyer, senior vice president at Vanguard Public Affairs, thinks the latest Democratic messaging attempts prove the party still doesn't "get it."

For example, take the new sticker campaign recently unveiled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for House Democrats. One of the slogans reads: “Democrats 2018: I Mean, Have You Seen The Other Guys?”

A "vote here" sign
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

"Power to the people."

That slogan so widely used in the 1960s is the driving force behind a push to change the way Michigan draws its legislative and Congressional districts.

The group Voters Not Politicians has firmed up language for a voter petition to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 2018.

The amendment would overhaul Michigan's redistricting process.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sued the City of Flint this week. The state says the city council's refusal to approve a long term deal to buy water from a Detroit-area system endangers a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the lawsuit filed by the state agency that's been blamed for much of Flint's water crisis.

Michigan Supreme Court

Robert Young, the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, has announced that he plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2018. He confirmed his future bid at the annual Fourth Congressional Republican District Breakfast on Monday.

Although the announcement was technically unofficial, the 65-year-old conservative says he will run against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who has held the position since 2001.

The fiercest rivalry in Michigan politics right now is between two candidates for governor who still have not actually announced they’re running.

We are seeing this rivalry play out between Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley in the nascent petition drive to make the state legislature part-time.

mike duggan shaking a woman's hand
dugganfordetroit.com

At the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference this week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan flatly explained to a mostly white audience the systematic racism that shaped the city of Detroit and the surrounding region. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessnberry talk about the impact of Duggan's speech and his vision for Detroit's future.

Could Gretchen Whitmer govern?

Jun 1, 2017
State Senator Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer, currently the leading Democratic candidate for governor, told me something yesterday at the Mackinac Policy Conference that caught me by surprise: “You know, when you look at all of the candidates in the race, I’m the one that looks most like John Engler.”

State Senator Patrick Colbeck
www.senatorpatrickcolbeck.com/photowire

There are 17 months before Michigan's gubernatorial race, and an already crowded field of candidates has grown by one.

Patrick Colbeck, a conservative state senator who has opposed Gov. Rick Snyder on Medicaid expansion and higher fuel taxes to better fund roads, announced Thursday that he has filed paperwork to seek the governorship.

Snyder, a Republican, cannot run again for the state Senate due to term limits.

Colbeck was first elected to the Senate in the 2010 tea party wave.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The increasingly crowded field of candidates running for Michigan governor in 2018 may grow by one more later today.

Then again, it may not.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has long been seen as a potential candidate to succeed his boss, Gov. Rick Snyder, who’s time in the governor’s office is winding down because of term limits.

A ballot campaign to make Michigan a part-time Legislature state could be on the horizon - an effort, perhaps, to make state government more efficient, but the effort carries at least a whiff of gubernatorial politics.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to stay out of the Democratic race for Michigan's governor makes the field a little less crowded, but there's still competition for a spot on next year's ballot. 

Last week, Stateside spoke with Democratic candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of the Detroit Health Department.

Today, Gretchen Whitmer joined the show. Whitmer served for 14 years in the Michigan House and Senate, including four years as Senate Minority Leader. She was the interim prosecutor for Ingham County during the last half of 2016. She kicked off this year by announcing her run for governor in 2018.

A petition campaign that collapsed in scandal last year is re-launching and some GOP leaders are concerned the issue could threaten Republican control over Lansing.

Michigan still has one of the highest rates of juvenile lifers in the country.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Senate subcommittee has passed a budget cutting the Department of Corrections' budget by $40 million. The department says that would mean cutting jobs and programs to fight recidivism. Both Republicans and Democrats want to see lower prison populations.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss whether this plan could get bi-partisan support.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to not seek the Democratic nomination for governor has changed the playing field for existing and potential candidates.

And that includes Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

Michiganders could decide next year whether to legalize marijuana in the state and many politicos are wondering how that ballot question could affect the 2018 election.

A third Snyder term?

Apr 17, 2017

Rick Snyder cannot run for governor again because he’s term-limited.

But that doesn’t mean Michigan’s CEO Governor isn’t working on a succession plan. Snyder’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley seems to be making moves toward a run for the top job.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds roughly $40 million was spent on Michigan’s 14 Congressional races in 2016.  $9.4 million was spent in just one Michigan Congressional race, the battle for the formally vacant seat representing the U.P. and northern Michigan.

“That’s a large sum of money considering the fact that really none of these 14 Congressional races were that close in Michigan in 2016,” says Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.  

Will President Trump’s Twitter rage be turned against Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator if Debbie Stabenow votes against his nominee for the Supreme Court? And would it make a difference?

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In elections, it’s all about who shows up.

And last year, Democrats didn’t.

The Democrats’ historic loss in Michigan is due pretty much to the fact that too many voters who would typically vote Democratic simply sat out Election 2016. While Republicans, true to form, showed up at the polls.

Michigan Trump supporters
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Organizers expect thousands of Michiganders will take part in rallies across the state tomorrow in support of President Trump.

Anti-Trump protests have dominated the news for months.

Michigan rally organizer Meshawn Maddock says this weekend’s events are intended to show the president is “loved."

“If you watch nothing but mainstream media, it does feel like overwhelmingly people are dissatisfied,” says Maddock, “and those of us who support the president, and walk every day among each other, know that that’s not true.”

State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) is figuring out his next move after his income tax rollback tanked in the House last week. It was an embarrassing defeat largely the result of putting the bill up before the Speaker knew the votes were there. And he ran into a hard-dozen fellow Republicans who, along with all but one of the Democrats, torpedoed what was supposed to be a marquee moment in the early days of this session.

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