A weekly podcast about Michigan politics

Our first episode for 2015!  Today we talk about the Hastert Rule, corporate welfare queens, and student athlete unions.

We kick off with Kevin Cotter, the new Michigan Speaker of the House.  He’s considering bringing the Hastert Rule to Lansing, ensuring that the minority can never get a vote on a bill unless the majority of the majority caucus agrees with it.  What does that mean by the numbers?  78 out of 110 State Reps can want to vote on something, but unless 32 of them are Republicans, Cotter won’t let it come to the floor.

This disenfranchises the majority of Michiganders, since over 50% of Michiganders voted for Democratic representation.  #gerrymandering #puremichigan #hashtagsoutsideoftwitter

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In our last podcast of 2014 we talk more about lame duck, transportation, loggers, and why we are going to miss Randy Richardville — who turned-out to be one of the few adults in the room.

lame duck game 2

What died in lame duck?

  • Medical Marijuana reform
  • Election rigging
  • Sentencing reform
  • A new and broadly supported teacher evaluation system

A huge win for commercial logging cruised through lame duck.  Amy explains what this is and why it is so potentially harmful to Michigan’s natural resources.  This is some creepy language in a sick bill from a state rep whose family money comes from logging.  Here’s a brief explanation from Amy’s post on the legislation:

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This time we’re all about Christian persecution, charter schools, and Father Knows Best. Ew.

Religion Freedom Restoration Act. Passed out of the State House faster than you can say “Daddy DeVos.”  We break down the bill as it’s written, strip away the hyperbole, and find that it’s just as scary as you’ve been told. If the government can’t prove that it has a compelling interest in preventing discrimination, then this is indeed a license to discriminate. Not sure how the Michigan government can prove that it has a compelling interest in preventing discrimination against the LGBT community, since the Michigan government has never included the LGBT community in the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act, even though they could have done so at the same time they were moving MiRFRA out the door.  We’ll be seeing a lot of this play out in courts. I suggest that this law has three purposes:

1. Paying off Daddy DeVos.
2. Elected Democrats, support our agenda or we’ll punish you with “awesome duck” crap like this.
3. Tie up liberal money in court, keep us playing defense.

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Oh my goodness, we have a lot of ranting in this one, and I even get bleeped once.  That’s good though, we’ve got a family-friendly image to protect 😉

Today I talk about a local issue … local to me, anyway.  In Shiawassee County, voters recently rejected a request for a millage to support our Sheriff Department.  As a result, our road patrol has been eliminated as of January 1.  I spend a few minutes on this issue, primarily to raise awareness.  You can get more information from this website:

Save our Police

And here is some info on Mayor Ben Fredrick’s evaluation of the county budget.

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Hey all, hope you’ve had a Happy Thanksgiving!  We’re a little late this week due to power outages and whatnot.

Check out our topics this time:

Immigration & how it’s going to affect Detroit and Michigan in general.  We have about 120k undocumented immigrants in Michigan as of 2012.  1.6% percent of labor force.  Some say the executive order giving them temporary deportation relief will help STEM grads settle down and start businesses.  Others say that the order will only help the agricultural and retail employers.  Either way, it creates a new level of spending, as these immigrants become consumers for products like homes, cars, and other things that people buy as they settle in for a long-term stay.

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Today we spend the bulk of our time on corrections, including a great conversation with Barbara Levine, Associate Director of CAPPS – the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending.  Here’s a partial bio for Barbara:

Barbara Levine was the founder and executive director of CAPPS from 2000-2013 and is the architect of its policy recommendations.  She opted to serve as associate director to focus entirely on research and policy development.

Levine received her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Michigan.  She has been a member of the Michigan Bar since 1974. She began her career as a staff attorney at the State Appellate Defender Office, representing indigent felony defendants on appeal of their convictions.  From 1979-1983, she taught law school, first at Wayne State University, then at the University of Toledo.  She served as a Commissioner for the Michigan Supreme Court until 1985, when she became the first administrator of the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS).  In that capacity, she trained lawyers appointed to represent indigent defendants on appeal, oversaw the appointment process, enforced minimum performance standards, and worked to obtain improved funding for indigent defense services. Ms. Levine left MAACS in 1999 to focus exclusively on issues affecting prisoners and the constant expansion of the prison system.

You can read the rest of her bio here.

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Today we have a sound problem.  There’s some static going on here that we didn’t hear until playback.  We cleaned it up as much as we could.

Amy couldn’t be with us today but she’ll be back next time.

First off, the gender gap.  How has it changed over the years, and what does that mean for Republicans and Democrats?  Good news is that while we’re gaining ground with women, we aren’t losing ground with men.  Looks good for the Democrats.

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Rough election, but especially rough because Democrats get more votes than Republicans, but because of the GOP gerrymandering, the Republicans are still in charge.   Stuff all the Democrats into as few districts as possible, and Republicans get more house seats.  We talk about that and all of the details that Walt covers in this post on his blog.

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What in the world is wrong with the Freep?

Last week the Detroit Free Press issued an endorsement for Rick Snyder.  The Snyder endorsement was scathing in its criticism of the Governor, as most Free Press editorials have been over the past 4 years.  As though that weren’t enough, the Snyder endorsement praised Mark Schauer and his values.  And still, it was a Snyder endorsement.  If you were wondering “WTF???” you were not alone.

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In this episode we are joined by Lynn Mason, who is campaigning to represent the 86th district in the Michigan House of Representatives.  Here’s her website.  Some of the things she talks about:

  • She’s out-raised her opponent so far.  How did she do it?
  • Why schools are so important.
  • Why Lisa Posthumus Lyons is disingenuous with her positions and votes.
  • How Lynn’s background as a farmer, small business owner, and teacher, is helping her connect with people.
  • A whole lot more.
  • How we hold Snyder and Posthumus Lyons accountable
  • Did she or didn’t she?  Lisa has 2 different positions on the Grover Norquist pledge this year.
  • Lisa Posthumus Lyons raised taxes the same year she signed the Norquist pledge so does that last point really matter anyway?

Amy has a great write-up on all of this here.

This was the first time I talked to Lynn, and I love how genuine she is.  I also appreciate the fact that she’s out there talking about what her opponent is up to.  Not only is she clear on what she stands for, she’s out there reminding people about the way that that Posthumus Lyons has represented the area.  Great job so far.

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