Politics & Government | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

What is Proposal N?

Proposal N (“N” stands for neighborhoods) is a measure Detroit voters have on their ballots this election year.

If voters approve Proposal N, the city will have the go-ahead to issue $250 million in bonds for blight remediation—that is, either taking down or rehabbing much of the city’s remaining stock of vacant homes. Proposal N proposes to tackle around 16,000 of those vacant properties, with around 8,000 salvageable homes targeted for rehab, and another 8,000 for demolition.

Whitmer in an office with "8645" pin in the bottom left.
Screenshot from NBC's "Meet the Press"

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve most likely heard the term “86” yelled at you from the kitchen. In the restaurant industry, the term is used to refer to dishes that are no longer available on the menu.

voter booth
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Gun rights groups are trying to reverse Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on openly carrying firearms where people will vote or where ballots are counted on Election Day. Benson’s office said she has a legal duty to protect voters and poll workers from intimidation, harassment, and coercion.

Three groups filed a lawsuit Friday in the Michigan Court of Claims. Dean Greenblatt is an attorney for the group Michigan Open Carry. He says Benson is acting outside her authority.

gretchen whitmer and joneigh khaldun at podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Thursday that show Democrats and Republicans can find room to cooperate on the state’s response to COVID-19.

The bills are the result of bipartisan deal-making. They offer employers more protection from lawsuits and employees more guarantees they can’t be forced to work in situations that could place their health in danger.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

About 800 people trudged across a muddy field to get to the airport in Waterford Township where Vice President Mike Pence was to speak. Speakers blared country music and 70s rock songs while a crowd of about 800 waited for Pence, half of them not wearing masks.

He said he and President Donald Trump created the greatest economy in the history of the world, made the military strong again, and saved lives in how they handled the coronavirus pandemic. More than 210,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Pence promised a vaccine is coming soon.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

In November of 1974, Richard Vander Veen was elected to the U.S. Congress from what was then Michigan’s fifth district.

Vander Veen was from Grand Rapids. He had won a special election earlier that year, after the previous incumbent, Gerald Ford, was named Vice President. Vander Veen was the first Democrat in 60 years to be elected to represent the area in Congress. But, two years later, he lost re-election, and no Democrat has held the seat since.

Unsplash

This Election Day is likely to be a bit different from those of years past: State election officials have been warning voters that it’s possible we won’t know the outcome of the presidential election and all the down-ballot races by election night. That’s because there’s been an increase in absentee voting, which is allowed for all Michigan voters and offers a safe alternative to voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brandon Esch
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Between now and Election Day, we’re asking how 2020 has changed voters’ lives and how they think about politics.

Brandon Esch is a farmer near Fowlerville in mid-Michigan. He says he’s too busy to pay much attention to political news, but he is exhausted by the negativity of campaign season.

Pixabay

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an order to allow more in-person visits with people in nursing homes.

The order applies to facilities in counties the state has identified as “low risk.”

Voting errors a bigger risk than voter fraud in Michigan

Oct 21, 2020
voting stickers
Unsplash

President Trump and many of his supporters have called into question the validity of voting by mail. But documented instances of voting fraud are few and far between. Rather than fraud, perhaps absentee voters should be focused on following the rules.

Here in Michigan, Macomb County GOP Chair Mark Forton says his faith that President Trump will be re-elected is limited by just one thing.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In the last presidential election more than 250,000 Michigan voters cast their ballots for third-party or write-in candidates. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes.

Shikha Dalmia is an avowed Libertarian, but sees a bigger concern than supporting her party in the 2020 presidential election.

Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum / Unsplash

Stateside for Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Today on Stateside, democrat Haley Stevens tries to hold on to a swing seat in one of the tightest congressional races in Michigan. Then, a conversation around “unschooling” as an alternative to the hectic school year. Plus, how the FBI turns insider tips into a viable case.

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann

More than half of the three million requested absentee ballots have already been cast, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said at a press conference on Tuesday. 

Benson said that voters have received nearly all of the three million absentee ballots they have requested with two weeks left to go before Election Day. 

"When you reflect on the fact that just under 4.8 million voted in the November 2016 election, the fact that two weeks out, already three million are on track to vote early in this election is just extraordinary," said Benson, predicting that the number of absentee ballot requests will continue to climb.

Michigan Capitol Building
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican state lawmakers have presented their version of a COVID-19 response plan.

The state House GOP proposal follows a court ruling that struck down many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s unilateral emergency orders.

joneigh khaldun at a press conference
michigan.gov

The state’s chief medical executive testified Monday before a joint House and Senate committee examining the state’s COVID-19 response.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s Chief Medical Executive, told the committee there will be new COVID-19 public health orders issued soon that don’t require the Legislature’s approval.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Local election officials say you likely won't see complete election results on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. They say if everything runs perfectly, you might see results on Wednesday. If things don't go quite as well, they say you should expect a delay of as much as several days.

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

The Michigan Secretary of State's office says people who want to be poll watchers or challengers have to abide by the rules. 

Spokesperson Tracy Wimmer says a poll watcher is exactly that: just someone who heads over to a polling place and observes what's going on. They're basically just a fly on the wall, and can't interfere with voting or the workers. 

There are also rules for people challenging someone's right to vote.  

WILL CALLAN / MICHIGAN RADIO

 

President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at a private airport near Muskegon Saturday night, in a county that then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won by 1.5 percentage points in 2016.

Though the subject of the event was originally billed as “Supporting Law Enforcement,” by Friday it had been changed to “Supporting the American Way of Life.”

 

Biden campaigns in Michigan, urges people to vote early

Oct 17, 2020
(Official portrait)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told a crowd at a drive-in rally in Detroit on Friday night that the time to vote is now. Biden’s remarks came as the state appeals court limited the amount of time Michigan has to count absentee ballots.

Biden says voters can save the Affordable Care Act, or combat racial injustice, if they are not discouraged from casting a ballot.  

The Michigan Court of Appeals had just ordered the state to only count absentee ballots received by Election Day, overturning a decision from a Court of Claims judge who had ordered that any ballots postmarked by November 2 could be counted if they arrived within 14 days after Election Day.

Polling place
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she’s using her authority to ensure fair and orderly elections to ban openly carrying firearms at polling places.

State capitol in Lansing Michigan
Henryk Sadura / Adobe Stock

The Capitol building in Lansing is like a second office for reporters who cover Michigan’s state government. So as details of an alleged terrorist plot that included plans to kidnap the governor and storm the Capitol came to light last week, Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service felt rattled.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Two bills introduced this week in Lansing would increase the legal penalties for large boat operators who don’t pass cautiously through the Straits of Mackinac.

House Bill 6307 is sponsored by Representative Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), and House Bill 6308 by Representative Sue Allor (R-Wolverine). 

 

Ford Truck Plant workers with PPE
Ford Motor Company

Emergency rules have been issued by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) that clarify what employers have to do to help protect workers, customers and communities from the spread of COVID-19. 

MIOSHA is a division of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan


detroit police car
Facebook / Detroit Police Most Wanted Fugitives

An ongoing corruption investigation into the Detroit Police Department's narcotic unit may take up to two years, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Wednesday.

Craig launched the investigation into what’s now called the "major violators" section after a former officer, Michael Mosley, was indicted for taking bribes from drug dealers. He subsequently pleaded guilty.

Mike Pence
www.mikepence.house.gov

Vice President Mike Pence held a rally in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.

The event was held outside Lacks Enterprises, a car-detail company on the city’s southeast side.

Pence praised President Donald Trump for leading the automotive industry’s economic comeback in Michigan.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign a series of bills adopted by the Legislature as part of a deal on the state’s response to COVID-19.

The bills are the product of bargaining between the GOP-led Legislature and the Democratic governor after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down her continued use of emergency orders.

flickr user Charlie Nguyen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign that seeks to amend Michigan's civil rights law to add anti-discrimination protection for LGBTQ people has submitted more than 483,000 petition signatures to state election officials, according to an announcement by the group on Tuesday.

A maks on top of an absentee ballot envelope
Unsplash

In the middle of a pandemic, a lot of voters are planning to cast their vote via absentee ballot. It's a fairly simple process (which you can learn more about here). You fill out your ballot, put it in the mail, track it to your local clerk’s office where it will be counted come Election Day. But between November 2018 and August 2020, the ACLU of Michigan says there were around 35,000 people who thought they had voted, but actually had their absentee ballots rejected. The organization has been sending letters out to those voters to let them know what went wrong, and how to avoid it this time around. 

When the last Chevy Cruze rolled off the line at the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant in March 2019, Bill Janik was there.

"If you saw the sign that said 'the last Cruze,' I made it and I hung it on the car," he said.

Janik worked at the plant for 17 years before it shut down. His wife had been there for 25 years.

Over the course of a few years, GM Lordstown went from employing 4,500 people to essentially none.

Pages