Politics & Government | Michigan Radio

Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

rollingroscoe / Morguefile

The state of Michigan has reached an $80 million dollar settlement with former juvenile inmates who say they were sexually abused in the prison system.

outside of the Detroit Institute of Art
Author Sailko / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

On today's Stateside, lawmakers in Lansing may be ready to throw clerks a lifeline as they prepare to count an onslaught of absentee ballots this primary season. Plus, we'll talk to the state’s top health official about how Michigan is preparing for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

absentee ballot in envelope
Nadya Peek / Flickr CC BY 2.0

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) has moved from his position opposing new rules on how to count absentee ballots on election night. Shirkey is now open to allowing early processing of mailed-in ballots that would speed up counting. That’s according to his Press Secretary Amber McCann.

But she says that does not mean Shirkey has made up his mind.

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

President Donald Trump is holding a news conference about coronavirus alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials and others amid criticism of the government's response to the outbreak. Watch his remarks live.

At the Schweinhaut Senior Center in suburban Maryland, about a dozen seniors gather around iPads and laptops, investigating a suspicious meme of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Plastered over her image, in big, white block letters, a caption reads:

"California will receive 13 extra seats in Congress by including 10 million illegal aliens in the 2020 U.S. Census."

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave his seventh annual State of the City address Tuesday night in signature Duggan style—a whirlwind PowerPoint presentation that hit on his major accomplishments and goals.

The event was held at Flex-N-Gate, a relatively recent addition to a developing industrial park on Detroit’s east side. Duggan touted his administration’s success in drawing some large manufacturing employers back to the city, and vowed to make sure the resulting jobs go to Detroiters as much as possible.

Courtesy of whitehouse.gov

Vice President Mike Pence visited Michigan on Tuesday to tout the accomplishments of President Donald Trump and to campaign for his re-election.

Pence outlined the President's foreign and domestic policy accomplishments to a crowd of Trump supporters at a suburban Detroit hotel at a Keep America Great rally.

collage of democratic presidential candidates as of 2/25/20
Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Democratic presidential hopefuls are on stage in South Carolina ahead of that state’s primary. The candidates’ battle follows Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses. Follow NPR’s live fact checks and analysis of their remarks.

Justin Amash and Fred Upton
U.S. House of Representatives

Today on Stateside, we look at two traditionally Republican congressional districts in West Michigan that are going through political change. Plus, we talk to poet and prose writer Saladin Ahmed, who has made a stellar transition into comic books and written for several iconic Marvel characters. 

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

On Monday, Livingston County became the 28th county in the state to pass a resolution supporting gun rights. These resolutions are not legally binding. Language varies from place to place, but the basic idea is to affirm that counties should uphold constitutional gun rights, no matter what laws state and federal governments may pass.

Linda Brundage, the executive director of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, told Stateside that she thinks much of the outrage about gun control legislation stems from a misunderstanding about what those laws would do. 

mike pence holding microphone in front of blue background
Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Vice President Mike Pence was in Lansing Tuesday to talk about farming. Pence and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue addressed members of the Michigan Farm Bureau at the agency’s annual legislative conference.

Pence said under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, American farmers will have more market access.

Traverse City Attorney Dan O’Neil announced his bid for Michigan’s 104th State House District, which represents Grand Traverse County.

windmill in field
cwwycoff1 / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Today on Stateside, we talk with Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12th) about the presidential race. It's been four years since she predicted Donald Trump's surprise win in Michigan. We'll ask what she sees ahead in 2020. Plus, Michigan’s two largest energy companies have deeply divergent plans for moving to renewables. What does that mean for our state's energy future? 

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’d sign a bill to allow faster processing of absentee ballots on primary election night.

Debbie Dingell wearing a pink blazer and standing against a brick wall
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

After a decisive victory at the Nevada caucuses over the weekend, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. That’s after tying for the most votes in the Iowa caucus and winning the New Hampshire primary.

These kinds of early wins are often key to generating the momentum a candidate needs to clinch the nomination. Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell thinks that’s a problem.

Fact Squad: Ad touts Elissa Slotkin’s work fighting PFAS chemicals

Feb 24, 2020
League of Conservation Voters and House Majority Forward

A new television commercial praises U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly for fighting Michigan PFAS contamination in Washington, D.C.

The first-term Democrat is one of eight members of Congress highlighted in a new $1-million ad campaign by the League of Conservation Voters and House Majority Forward, a nonprofit with ties to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that is not required to disclose donors.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan will very likely ban a type of abortion procedure within the next few months.

It’s called dilation and evacuation. It makes up about 7% of abortions in Michigan each year. And it’s the most common type of abortion performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. 

ann arbor city council
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Ann Arbor City Council now knows the details of why Police Chief Michael Cox was put on paid administrative leave two weeks ago, but the public still does not. The council says it can't yet disclose the reasons why Cox is on leave.

During a closed session Friday evening, the council met with an independent investigator who provided them with details.

Flickr user Auntowee

Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill last year to end a ban on allowing hunters to use bait to attract deer. Republicans who disagree with that veto just made their next move.

A new bill would allow the baiting ban to remain in place during deer hunting season. But it would reduce the penalty for violations to one dollar.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The five Republican candidates vying to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin in November had their first major audition for likely primary voters Thursday night. And they knew the packed crowd at this Livingston County Republican candidate forum was looking for two things above all: fierce support for President Trump, and an aggressive attack on Slotkin. 

Gretchen Whitmer

A state Senate committee met on Thursday to grill Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s choice to chair the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

But the Senate Advice and Consent Committee adjourned without making a recommendation to confirm or deny the appointment.

An absentee ballot in an envelope.
Nadya Peek / Flickr

Today on Stateside, a bill to give local clerks a head start on absentee ballot counting has hit a wall in the Legislature. We'll hear from one clerk who's going back to the drawing board. Plus, a conversation with the owner of an Ann Arbor record store owner about the albums he's listening to and loving right now. 

Nestle Waters won't appeal Osceola Township pumping site

Feb 20, 2020
bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

After a years-long battle, Nestlé Waters will not get the water pumping building it wants in northern Michigan.

The company did not appeal a court decision in December, effectively stopping the bottler from being able to build on land it wasn’t zoned for.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal, state and local officials are looking at ways to respond to ongoing high water levels in the Great Lakes this year.

Jeff Yoakam is with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He says the threat differs depending on where you are in Michigan.

“It’s different on each side of the state, to be honest with you,” says Yoakam. “West side of the state (Lower Peninsula); erosion is a big problem out there. East side of the state… it’s more flooding.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state board has taken a step that clears the way for a petition campaign to move ahead. 

The Board of State Canvassers approved 100 words to summarize a sweeping 8,489 word proposed amendment to the state Constitution. The amendment would outlaw lobbyist gifts to state elected officials and create a two-year waiting period before those officials can become paid lobbyists.

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, as President Trump pardons a slew of white-collar criminals, some Detroiters are asking for consideration for Kwame Kilpatrick. The former Detroit mayor is serving a lengthy sentence on corruption charges. What would a commutation do for Trump's standing in metro Detroit? Also, a new documentary tells the story of how a lakeside town in West Michigan became contaminated with PFAS.

drawing of two podiums with two faces talking into microphones
Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential candidates are debating once again, this time in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday's caucuses in Nevada. Follow NPR's live analysis. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. 

downtown rochester, mi
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Welcome to Michigan’s 8th Congressional District: a toss-up district in a toss-up state.

Ben Cooper / Spaceflight Now

Political and business officials in Michigan are trying to win permission to make a former Northeast Michigan Air Force base into a rocket launch site.

Wurtsmith Air Force Base was decommissioned in 1993 and is now a smaller regional airport. But economic developers now hope the airport can be used as what they’re calling a “space base.”