politics and government

Politics & Government
11:04 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Iraq war vet Tom Barrett prepares to serve in the House

Tom Barrett (R) will represent Eaton County in the state House next year.
Credit http://tomformichigan.com/

Eaton County voters have chosen a different state Representative in four straight elections. Rick Jones won his last House term in 2008; fellow Republican Deb Shaughnessy won in 2010; she lost her re-election bid in 2012 to Democrat Theresa Abed; and a few weeks ago, Abed lost her shot at another term to Republican Tom Barrett of Potterville.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Incoming MI Senate leader downplays electoral reform, religious freedom measure

Sen. Arlan Meekhof
Credit WKAR/Bill Richards

The Michigan legislative session beginning in January will include new leadership in the Senate and the House for both parties. Republican Arlan Meekhof will succeed Randy Richardville as Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Transgender community fights for Elliot-Larsen protections

Rep. Adam Zemke (left) and Amy Hunter
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Discussions continue at the State Capitol over whether to expand protections offered by Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen anti-discrimination law. That’s the landmark 1976 measure which legally bans discrimination in the state based on religion, race, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial and marital status. Several factions have emerged. Democrats and some Republicans appear to be united behind an expansion that would protect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons. Other Republicans favor a measure that would not include trans persons, but include the others.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Fri November 14, 2014

New laws will add teeth to MI human trafficking enforcement

Activists refer to human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” wherein people, often young and often female, are subjected into work, prostitution or other dehumanizing behavior. Michigan will be strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking in 2015. Twenty-one new laws are scheduled to take effect on January first.

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Politics & Government
10:55 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Ex-CIA official talks Turkey, Arab Spring at MSU

Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, a former senior political scientist at RAND, and a current adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of the new book, "Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East".

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Politics & Government
1:03 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Ingham's Curtis Hertel Jr. discusses election, new legislative role

Senator-elect Curtis Hertel Jr.
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

In about eight weeks, a crop of new Michigan legislators will be sworn in.  One of them, Democrat Curtis Hertel Jr., cruised to victory in Michigan's 23rd Senate district, which is nearly coniguous with Ingham County.  Hertel currently serves as the County Register of Deeds. He will succeed Gretchen Whitmer, who is term limited.

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Politics & Government
11:33 am
Thu November 6, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Congressman-elect Mike Bishop on 8th district victory

Congressman-elect Mike Bishop
Credit http://www.electmikebishop.com/

Tuesday evening, Lansing and East Lansing residents learned who their next U.S. Congressman would be. Former Republican State Senator Mike Bishop will become part of a GOP majority Congress in January.

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Politics & Government
11:34 am
Wed November 5, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Ballenger recaps Snyder, Peters victories

Cong. Gary Peters declares victory in Michigan's U.S. Senate race in front of hundreds of Democratic supporters in Detroit on Tuesday.
Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

With some exceptions, Michigan Republicans have reason to celebrate the 2014 mid-term election. Several major statewide offices, as polls ususally suggested, went to GOP incumbents including Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. But Democrats are celebrating the election of Congressman Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate and a victory on Michigan’s conservative leaning Supreme Court.

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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Clerks Byrum, Swope offer Election Day how-to

Months of campaign rhetoric come to a finale tomorrow, when  Michiganders will have their say at the polls. More than 4.7-million residents voted in the 2012 presidential election. This year’s contest is almost sure to draw fewer voters than two years ago.

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Politics & Government
11:27 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Month in Review: October's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

The end of the month is here. Many of us in the media put Michigan’s mid-term election front and center during October. In four days, voters will finally decide who will be Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State as well as who will succeed Michigan’s Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate and dozens of elected representatives at the state capitol.

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Politics & Government
11:14 am
Thu October 30, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Running as a third-party candidate

Terry Link is a Green Party candidate for the MSU Board of Trustees.
Credit http://gogreengolink.org/

Five days before a mid-term election, the media is full of political news involving  candidates, Democratic and Republican. In reality of course, the political landscape is more diverse. On Tuesday, Michigan voters will, for example, face at least five choices for Governor, including little known candidates from the Libertarian, Green and U.S. Taxpayers parties.

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Politics & Government
2:27 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

ELECTION 2014: 8th district Congressional candidate Republican Mike Bishop

Former state Senate majority leader Mike Bishop (R) hopes to replace Mike Rogers in Congress.
Credit www.electmikebishop.com/

Next Tuesday, Ingham county voters will help determine who will represent them in the U.S. Congress. Today and tomorrow, Current State visits with both of the major party candidates. Many observers favor Republican Mike Bishop to win in the 8th district, which comprises Ingham, Livingston and northern Oakland counties.

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Politics & Government
11:51 am
Fri October 24, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Republican AG Bill Schuette

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Credit http://www.billschuette.com/

In eleven days, Michigan voters will decide who will hold a handful of statewide offices, one of them, Attorney General. The race pits incumbent Republican Bill Schuette against Democratic challenger Mark Totten, who was a guest on Current State last week.

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Politics & Government
11:59 am
Thu October 23, 2014

ELECTION 2014: the race for two seats on the LCC board

The November election will result in adding two new members to the LCC Board of Trustees.
Credit lcc.edu

We have another look at the 2014 election today. This time, we consider the race for the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees. The board will have two newcomers next year.

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Politics & Government
12:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Election 2014: Democratic 7th district candidate Pam Byrnes

Pam Byrnes is the Democratic nominee for Michigan's 7th congressional district. She's vying to unseat incumbent Republican Tim Walberg on November 4.
Credit Courtesy Pam Byrnes for Congress

Democrat Pam Byrnes is running to unseat Republican Tim Walberg in Michigan's 7th congressional district, which includes Eaton County.

Byrnes says she's running because Washington is broken and not serving Michigan families.

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Politics & Government
12:02 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Disaffected veterans revive Whig party

The logo of the Modern Whig Party of America is an owl. The last known national meeting held by the Whigs was at the Owl Club in Brooklyn, New York in 1852.
Credit https://www.modernwhig.org

Election Day is now just two weeks off. Democrats and Republicans in Michigan and across the country are rallying their bases in a final push to get out the vote. Some voters, though, lean towards other political persuasions. There are a handful of smaller parties out there, like the Green Party and the Libertarians. One such party is blowing the dust off an old 19th century name and re-booting for a 21st century world.

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Politics & Government
9:14 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Lansing City Pulse's Mickey Hirten on local elections

Credit Flickr - Vox Efx

Election day is November 4th, and voters have lots of decisions to make. We have an important state senate race, several local state house races, and there are some important proposals to be decided.

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Politics & Government
1:25 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

ELECTION 2014: former MSU Trustees lend perspective on this year's race

The John A. Hannah Administration Building at MSU.
Credit Flickr - Alex

Voters in Michigan will elect members of the governing boards of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University on November 4th. At MSU, incumbent democrats George Perles and Faylene Owen are running to keep their seats for another eight years. Republicans have nominated Melanie Foster and Jeff Sakwa; Foster was on the board for ten years, but lost her bid for re-election two years ago, and Sakwa also ran unsuccessfully in 2012. There also are candidates from the Green, Libertarian, U.S. Taxpayers and Natural Law parties on the ballot.

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Politics & Government
12:21 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Job Discrimination, 4th Amendment highlight SCOTUS session

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.
Credit Flickr - David

The U.S. Supreme Court has begun its new session, and the cases the court has decided not to hear have been getting a lot of attention. The cases the court will hear are highlighted by issues related to unreasonable searches and seizures, and employment discrimination.

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Politics & Government
1:02 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

In only debate, Snyder, Schauer address familiar themes

"Monday Morning Quarterbacking" around the state involves more than football today. Michigan’s main Gubernatorial candidates squared off in a town hall style debate last night. Republican incumbent Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer appeared before a TV studio audience of undecided voters in Detroit. Viewers in mid-Michigan saw the town hall on WKAR-TV.

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Politics & Government
1:00 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

State to make recommendations on juvenile justice reforms

Credit Flickr - Michael Coghlan

A lot has changed when it comes to the way we approach juvenile justice in the past couple of decades. In the mid 1990s, Michigan was one of a number of states that took a “tough on youth crime” stance, enacting laws that locked up more kids, even for non-violent crimes. Activists and academics alike challenged harsh sentences in favor of community based alternatives.

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Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Local candidate forum gives voice to youth issues

Tonight, candidates for three state House and two state Senate districts will meet in Lansing for a candidates’ forum. These public events are fairly routine in the weeks leading up to a big election, but this one puts a twist on the usual format. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports that the candidates who’ll face this group of questioners will not be getting their vote on November 4. This forum will be run by middle and high school students from grades 7 through 12.

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Politics & Government
11:11 am
Fri October 10, 2014

MI Justices Young, McCormack on courts' roles

The Michigan Supreme Court chambers
Credit http://courts.mi.gov/courts/

The seven justices of the Michigan Supreme Court are hearing oral arguments this week in cases ranging from public school employee pensions to rules governing damages awarded for personal injuries. Most of the time, the justices do their work away from the media spotlight, re-surfacing to announce their  decisions. Earlier this week, Current State spoke with two members of the High Court: Chief Justice Robert Young and Justice Bridget McCormack.

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Politics & Government
12:34 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

League of Women Voters continues historic role in urging turnout

The November 4 general election is now less than 30 days away. Candidates for a variety of offices are introducing themselves to potential constituents to make their case for why they deserve their vote. Tonight in East Lansing, eight city school board candidates will discuss their views at a public forum. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Michigan. It’s an organization that takes its voter education mission very seriously.

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Politics & Government
10:38 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Ahead of new cases, MI Supreme Court justices describe their roles

The Michigan Supreme Court chambers
Credit http://courts.mi.gov/courts/

Every year, October is when the state’s highest court, the Michigan Supreme Court, begins hearing oral arguments. That process is set to start tomorrow at the State Capitol building.

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Politics & Government
11:20 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Month in Review: September's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network revisits several of September's biggest Michigan news stories with state capitol reporters Jonathan Oosting of MLive and Inside Michigan Politics publisher Susan Demas.

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Politics & Government
12:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Local chemical castration case raises ethical, medical issues

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
Credit http://cc.ingham.org/

In the last thirty years, a Lansing resident by the name of David Lee Arnold has been convicted of indecent exposure 17 times, that’s according to the Lansing State Journal. Today, Arnold will appear in Ingham County Circuit Court to receive his sentencing for exposing his genitals at three different coffee shops in East Lansing and Meridian Township since 2013. Current State has learned that it’s expected that part of his sentencing agreement with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina today will include the requirement that Arnold must be injected with a medication called Depo-Lupron. Both Arnold’s attorney and the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

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Politics & Government
12:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

More questions about Aramark contract after hearing, arrest

Aramark Logo
Credit Aramark

There’s been more controversy this week involving Aramark. That’s the beleaguered food service company contracted to serve Michigan prisons. Yesterday at a meeting of the state civil service commission, one member said he felt mislead when told of a $98,000 dollar fine against the company that had actually been dropped.

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Economy
12:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The numbers behind Michigan's incomplete comeback

Credit michigan.gov

Are we truly a Comeback State? Just how much can a governor influence the economy? The Citizens Research Council, an independent, non-partisan research organization that analyzes public policy questions, recently analyzed data to try to answer these questions.

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Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Local firefighters train for difficult rescues

Firefighters must sometimes rescue victims trapped in confined spaces, like underground equipment rooms.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

A number of firefighting crews have been camped out along a main road at Michigan State University for the last couple of days. They’ve been taking part in an annual training exercise to learn how to rescue victims trapped in confined spaces. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports that it turns out MSU has an ideal spot for this type of instruction.

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