Michigan News & Politics

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You’ve likely been seeing fireworks in the sky celebrating Fourth of July early, but because of a new law you might not see them throughout the weekend depending on where you live.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy $30 million of tart cherries from domestic farmers this year, according to Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet.)

"The tart cherry industry has gone above and beyond to fight adverse circumstances facing their market, including the unfair dumping of cheap imports from Turkey and other foreign countries," Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) said in a press release.

The tart cherries will be used in federal food assistance programs like the National School Lunch Program.

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday. 

Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive she says will help secure equal pay for equal work among state employees.

The directive prohibits state agencies and departments from asking about a potential employee's current or previous salaries until they give the applicant a conditional offer of employment that includes proposed compensation.

Judy Welch is the executive director for the West Michigan branch of Michigan Women Forward. She says this could help women who have historically been paid less.

Morgan Springer

Republican presidential hopeful and Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke to a couple hundred people at a Traverse City town hall on Saturday morning.

The Republican's main message was to pay attention to each other because "we need to be connected with one another."

Jill Coverdill of Grawn says she’ll vote Kasich in Tuesday's Michigan primary because the other Republican candidates are "frightening."

Jim Carruthers is Traverse City’s new mayor. Carruthers won the seat in yesterday’s election, defeating Ian Winklemann and city commissioner Jeanine Easterday.

Carruthers says he became involved in city issues shortly after moving to Traverse City in 1989.

“I got involved mainly because I don’t own a TV," he says. "And I went down to city commission meetings and sat in the audience and watched and listened and made public comment because I was raised to be involved and care about my community and I was.”

A youth camp proposed for a small town east of Roscommon was denied. The Ogemaw County Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 against Muslim-American Nayef Salha's proposal.

Salha’s camp was denied for zoning reasons, but the decision is contentious in part because Islamophobic comments were made at another public meeting.

DE-STA-CO manufacturing company has announced it will be closing its Charlevoix facility. DE-STA-CO makes parts for assembly lines. The company will begin laying off workers in early 2016, leaving over 100 people out of work.

Darren Greene, DE-STA-CO’s global marketing director, says the business is expanding and has decided to relocate to Tennessee.

Morgan Springer

Updated June 25, 2015.

Last night, Ogemaw County Planning Commission tabled Nayef Salha's controversial request to build a camp for kids. County officials still have questions about the plan being proposed. Some members of the community expressed open hostility toward the property owner because he’s Muslim.

 


Todd Courser, the conservative freshman Republican state Representative from Lapeer, describes his early years as a "Huckleberry Finn childhood."

Now, he describes himself as "a barbarian warlord" who is "the conscience" of his party.

Nancy Derringer wrote a profile of Courser for Bridge Magazine titled, “Todd Courser hits Lansing like a cannonball.”

It's a tight race as Democrat Gary Peters fights to succeed Carl Levin in the United States Senate. The latest Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll shows Peters with a six-point lead over Republican challenger Terri Lynn Land.

It has become clear that Congressman Peters has decided to make climate change one of the central issues of his campaign.

Andrew Restuccia reported on the Peters "Green Theme" for Politico.

Restuccia said it’s unusual for political candidates to make climate change one of their campaign focuses, especially in such a tight race, and Michigan in particular.

'Tis the season – for political campaigning and ceaseless robocalls.

Now that the August primaries are over, we're getting a breather. But it won't be long before the campaigns start cranking out those robocalls for the November general election.

Those political robocalls are exempt from the do-not-call rules, those that are supposed to protect us from marketing and sales calls.

Aaron Foss is the CEO of a company with a name that says it all: NOMOROBO. Foss is busy finding ways to fight off robocalls.

Foss says beginning this political season, NOMOROBO will try a new approach to block all political robocalls, unless consumers “opt-in” to accept these robocalls.

“We try to strike the balance between politicians being perfectly legal to make the calls, and everybody being in their perfect right to not accept the calls,” says Foss.

*Listen to the interview with Aaron Foss above.

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state’s Medicaid in-home care program. That’s according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

Should the Democratic Party in Michigan be looking for a new ally– one that is traditionally seen as having closer ties with the GOP?

MLive columnist Rick Haglund thinks the answer is yes. He thinks that Democrats in Michigan would be wise to join forces with big business. 

And, Mark Brewer, former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, agrees. 

They both joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's all sorts of political news coming out of Lansing and Detroit this week, from the political fate of a long-time Michigan congressman, to a political move by a top Republican lawmaker to derail a ballot proposal boosting Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. And of course, there is news on that perennial Michigan topic of fixing our potholed, crumbling roads. 

There's so much political news that we decided to bring in Michigan Radio's "It's Just Politics" team of Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark to sort it all out for us. 

*Listen to the full interview above.

gophouse.org

Those with political aspirations in Michigan may have to disclose felony convictions that happened within the past 10 years. State Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township) has introduced legislation that would add a checkbox to candidate forms.

The Republican lawmaker says the bill would not prevent felons from running.

No Merger For West Michigan Shoreline Towns

Nov 6, 2013

Two cities are better than one. At least, that’s what voters in both Saugatuck and Douglas decided in Tuesday’s election.

Just an hour after the polls closed, former Douglas Mayor Matt Balmer held his phone out so the crowd could hear the results. 226 yes. 385 no.  

Cheers from this group which opposed the effort, a group made up of people from both towns. They shared several bottles of champagne after the results were announced.

Saugatuck Mayor Bill Hess says the results are pretty easy to interpret.

Three Michigan Cities Lessen Marijuana Restrictions

Nov 6, 2013

Voters in three more Michigan cities approved ballot questions Tuesday decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. Ballot proposals in Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale each passed with more than 60 percent of the vote.

“This is an historic night….a landslide by all considerations,” says Jeff Hank, who headed Lansing’s pro-marijuana campaign. “It sends a message not only to our local politicians, but politicians at the state level that it’s time to do something.”

Detroit Elects New Mayor

Nov 6, 2013
Mike Duggan

Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan is the new mayor-elect of Detroit. Duggan defeated Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon with about 55 percent of the vote.

Duggan coasted to victory despite being a Detroit resident for just over a year, and getting tossed off the primary ballot. He is stepping to the forefront after decades spent behind the scenes in Detroit politics.

Duggan says he’ll spend these next transition weeks building relationships with key players: emergency manager Kevyn Orr and the Detroit City Council.