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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

English, News, 1 season, 68 episodes, 2 days, 2 hours, 59 minutes
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Analysis and commentary on Michigan politics from former Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer and former Republican Party executive director Jeff Timmer.
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Dedicated to the late, great Hannibal Lecter (Guest: Craig Mauger)

Let's Get Ready to Rumble... The Main Event: Battle of the Presidents Maybe. Maybe not. Trump’s Peanut Gallery takes over the sliming of the criminal justice system Robert Kennedy’s running mate demonstrates her major qualification for office: donating another $8-million to prop up the campaign There’s another ethics embarrassment brewing in Lansing over lobbyist gifts of tickets to sporting events Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are the A-list of targets for the Biden campaign Lansing lawmakers file their first financial disclosures. We’ll learn more about that in a moment when we’re joined by award-winning Detroit News investigative reporter Craig Mauger Crowd shows up to back lawyer, ex-clerk facing charges over voter data breach - Detroit News Barra says GM will go 'where the talent is' to make software-driven cars - Detroit News Biden Levies Sweeping Tariffs on China, Intensifying Trade Fight With Trump - Wall Street Journal Small, well-built Chinese EV called the Seagull poses a big threat to the US auto industry - Detroit News House Democrats launch probe of Trump’s dinner with oil executives - The Washington Post Supreme Court orders Louisiana to use congressional map with additional Black district - AP News Craig Mauger Lansing has been a cornucopia of corruption, much of it first revealed through the efforts of an excellent band of investigative journalists. One of the best is Craig Mauger of the Detroit News. The Society of Professional Journalists named him Michigan Journalist of the Year in 2022 and this year honored him and Robert Snell for their reporting on a marijuana licensing corruption scandal involving former House Speaker Rick Johnson, Lansing lobbyists and secret payments that flowed to Johnson before he became the state's top cannabis regulator. Much of his reporting is built on the advice of Watergate’s famed background source for Woodward and Bernstein, known as Deep Throat, whose mantra was “follow the money”. Craig follows the money … and quite often, what he finds is pretty shocking. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
5/16/202443 minutes, 56 seconds
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Benghazi is Back! (Guest – Ari Berman)

This week's guest: Mother Jones national voting rights correspondent Ari Berman, author of the new book "Minority Rule: The Right-Wing Attack on the Will of the People—and the Fight to Resist It" Every week it seems politics gets even more bizarre. A week after Kristi Noem destroys her political career by revealing she’s a puppy killer -- Bobby Kennedy Jr. tells us a brain worm has caused permanent damage to his cognitive ability. The latest polls show momentum for President Biden as he campaigns in swing states while Donald Trump alternates between naps in a New York courtroom and fundraising at Mar-a-Lago. Kamala Harris makes a stop in Detroit to highlight the administration’s support for the auto industry electric transformation, and reemphasize the GOP’s drive to outlaw abortion nationwide. Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mike Rogers is getting blasted for what opponents call a coverup of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi. The very Republican former Lt. Governor of Georgia endorses Biden. In an op-ed in the Atlanta Constitution, Geoff Duncan writes “I am voting for a decent person I disagree with on policy over a criminal defendant without a moral compass.”  Another Georgia Republican, the operations director of the state’s Secretary of State office, is leading a nationwide Republican campaign defending the honesty of elections. Trump’s court appointees are paying him back for their jobs with Florida Judge Aileen Cannon effectively tanking the Espionage Act trial, while the U.S. Supreme Court dithers on whether the President is effectively above the law. Give me money, I'll protect your metro dollars: Trump seeks $1 billion from oil CEOs, vows to limit EVs ‘A little bold and gross’: Oil industry writes executive orders for Trump to sign How ‘History and Tradition’ Rulings Are Changing American Law Lisa Benson - Counterpoint Media =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
5/10/202446 minutes, 39 seconds
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Catch and Kill

It’s been a great week for the late night comics: Trump’s courtroom catnaps, Kristi Noem’s one-person animal control program, and Joe Biden’s week-late contribution to the annual 4-20 marijuana celebration. Abortion laws continue to torment elected Republicans South Dakota abortion rights groups collect enough signatures to advance ballot measure - NBC News Joe Biden has an epiphany with a reclassification of weed Trump opens up to Time magazine about his 2nd term plans – and it’s dystopian preview Donald Trump on What His Second Term Would Look Like - TIME And the Trump stage show drops into Michigan to heap insults on state Democrats, judges and prosecutors ‘Everything’s bad,’ Trump tells Michigan rally, offering policy solutions - mlive.com Trump warns of tax hikes, EV doom in Michigan rally. Here are the facts - Bridge Michigan Trump backs surveillance and prosecution of women to enforce abortion bans - Judd Legum/Popular Information Alleged Republican leaders who loudly proclaim Donald Trump is a threat to the nation say that’s not as bad as Joe Biden Peter Meijer concedes the obvious: he can’t win the GOP Senate nomination GOP frontrunner Mike Rogers has a residency problem - his alleged Michigan home has been torn down Two top-level Michigan congressional candidates face challenges on their petitions. We hear from the state’s top election lawyer … that would be Mark Brewer! =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
5/2/202433 minutes, 45 seconds
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Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1

Matt Davies - Washington Post Another week, still more insanity... It’s O.J. without the white Bronco as the first-ever criminal trial of a former President gets underway with the former publisher of National Enquirer throwing Trump under the bus. “Catch and Kill” was a strategy for keeping Trump out of political trouble. Now it describes his legal predicament: he got caught, and it could kill his candidacy, his company and possibly his freedom. New York law enforcement and corrections officials are reportedly conferring with the Secret Service on what to do if Trump is sent to jail for contempt of court. Arizona joins Michigan, Georgia and Nevada in criminally indicting fake electors … with Trump named an unindicted co-conspirator in both Michigan and Arizona, and facing criminal charges in Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court hears Trump's argument that, as President, he is above the law - free to kill, stage an insurrection, accept bribes and ignore parking tickets. Two more polls show a tightening presidential race, with one showing Biden in the lead among likely voters Marist Poll 4-22-24 NBC April 2024 Poll Sexual predator Larry Nasser is now a $1-BILLION disaster with a $138-million settlement from the FBI to victims for slow-walking the investigation. This is on top of $500-million being paid out by Michigan State University and $380-million from USA Gymnastics. Another draconian anti-abortion law reaches the U.S. Supreme Court as Democrats focus on women’s reproductive freedom as Issue Number One. We recorded this week’s podcast on Thursday (April 25): the 10th Anniversary of the day the Flint water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River. What lessons have we learned, and what lessons should we have learned? Also in the news this week: Republicans are starting to worry about RFK Jr. - POLITICO RNC Ditches Recently-Launched ‘Bank Your Vote,’ Vows New Program | Conservative America Today - Conservative America Today Republican false electors in presidential election misled by leaders, attorneys say - mlive.com Millions more salaried US workers are set to be eligible for overtime pay starting July 1 - AP News Biden Unveils $7 Billion “Solar for All” Investment for Earth Day – Mother Jones Biden administration issues new rules on airline fees and refunds - AP News Tennessee passes bill to allow armed teachers in public schools - AP News One-third of sitting Michigan House lawmakers to see primary challenge - Detroit News Opinion | Mike Pence: Donald Trump Has Betrayed the Pro-Life Movement - The New York Times Our guest this week is the likely Democratic nominee for an open seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, University of Michigan professor Kimberly Thomas. The Michigan Democratic Party’s executive committee has formally endorsed Thomas for the open seat created when Republican nominee David Viviano decided against running for reelection. Thomas is a clinical professor of law, and the director and co-founder of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Michigan Law and also teaches in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic. She specializes in trial and appellate practice, youth justice, and criminal sentencing law. In 2017, Thomas served as a US Fulbright Scholar at the University College Cork School of Law in Cork, Ireland and is a former editorial board member of the Clinical Law Review. Before joining the Law School faculty in 2003, Thomas served as a trial attorney with Defender Association of Philadelphia. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations
4/25/202439 minutes, 49 seconds
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Nap Time for Sleepy Don

Still another week like no other: the previous guy napping at his own criminal trial, the current guy seeing his polling numbers nudge upwards with an economy that the Wall Street Journal calls "The Envy of the World", and a stunning tipping point in a major Michigan political scandal: Attorney General Nessel stuns Lansing with criminal indictments of former House Speaker Lee Chatfield and his wife. We’ll talk with outspoken campaign finance reform advocate Bob LaBrant. Democrats, as expected, win the 2 special elections to fill state House vacancies, restoring the Dem’s trifecta control of state government. More campaign finance shenanigans, with our Mark Brewer hot on the trail of the malefactors. In national political news – Sleepy Donald Trump’s social media company’s stock matches his New York trial energy level: sinking fast.  Joe Biden continues to gain ground in national polling as he campaigns while Trump fumes in court. The U.S. economy is, in the words of a Wall Street Journal Headline, “the envy of the world” … but that’s not registering with American voters. Crime in the U.S. is dropping … but that’s not registering with voters either. Our focus is the story of the week (and maybe the year) in Michigan: a 13-count indictment of former House Speaker Lee Chatfield. Dave Grandlund - Caglecartoons.com =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
4/18/202432 minutes
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Trump Trials, Episode 1 (Guest: Mark Ludwig, MI Democratic Rural Caucus)

What a week as things go from bad to worse for the Martyr of Mar-a-Lago: History will be made this week as the first-ever criminal trial of a former President gets underway Trump announces his “whatever” wishy-washy abortion policy during a total eclipse, only to have an Arizona court ruling shove his weasle-words into a harsh spotlight. A federal court has rejected Republican efforts to overturn Michigan’s voter approved election reform laws The Republican National Committee is fundraising with a robocall that repeats the Big Lie - no surprise from the Lara Trump-run subsidiary of the Trump Companies Trump, at Fund-Raiser, Says He Wants Immigrants From ‘Nice’ Countries - The New York Times (he forgot to include Slovenia on his list) The House Majority PAC has announced $186-million in advertising buys, with a huge chunk of that focused on 3 races in Michigan A new Biden administration rule will close the gun show loophole, increasing background checks. Still more student loans are forgiven through Presidential action 'On life support': Senate Republicans are prepared to sink the child tax credit bill Michigan Democrats are serious about restoring the party’s standing in rural Michigan. Jeff and I areMark were at the party’s annual Rural Caucus Summit. They are joined on the podcast by Rural Caucus chairperson Mark Ludwig. Mark was born and raised in Michigan. His youth was spent assisting his father during the early days of the environmental movement, studying Great Lakes water birds affected by industrial pollution. He settled in Allegan County, founding a small beef farm in Clyde Township in 2005 with his wife Kim. Mark served on the Fennville Public School Board, Clyde Township Planning Commission and currently serves on the Allegan Conservation District Board of Directors. Mark graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Environmental Issues and has a Short Course Degree from UW Madison in Grass Based Dairy. Christopher Seyant - Boston Globe =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
4/13/202439 minutes, 24 seconds
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Let’s Nuke Gaza 💣!

  Jack Ohman - Tribute Content Agency “Let’s Nuke Gaza”:  that is apparently the new middle east strategy of Michigan’s "unremarkable and brain dead" congressman Tim Walberg (R-Tipton). Also this week: We were blessed with a visit from Mar-A-Lago librarian and bible salesman D. J. Trump, who announced a consolation call and more than a few so-called facts in a Grand Rapids harangue that didn't quite match reality. Dan Kildee dropped a huge hint … a $14,000 hint … about his preferred successor in Congress A federal court OK’d a new state House district map that does no favors for Democrats Two special elections on April 16th will bring the state House back to full strength. The Republican candidate in one of those races is called out for promoting a new state abortion ban. Michigan’s Republican Party (or at least, one wing of it) X'd that a statement from the Mayor of Baltimore “Another shining example of colored Communism.” In Alabama, another major upset signals that women's reproductive rights proves to be a winning strategy for Alabama Democrat. No Labels = No candidate Florida will be voting in November on legalizing abortion and marijuana thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling this week. In the world of political fundraising, Elissa Slotkin continues to pile up the Benjamins: $4.4m raised, $8.6m cash on hand and Congressional candidate Curtis Hertel tallied $1.3m raised, $2m cash on hand And the imaginary company Truth Social's stock bubble is already bursting, down more than 40% from its public trading launch as investors realize there's no there there. Mark and Jeff will be speaking April 12-13 at the Rural Summit at Shanty Creek. The event is open to the public. Click here for program and registration information. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
4/5/202429 minutes, 47 seconds
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Convicts and Conspiracy Theories (Guest: Stuart Stevens)

Ann Taenes - Washington Post Trump's RNC is reuniting the band: convicted criminals Paul Manafort and Steve Bannon (and maybe now-in-jail Peter Navarro) plus world-class whackos Steven Miller and Corey Lewandowski...under the "leadership" of daughter-in-law Lara Trump. It's looking like a rerun of 2020, but better organized but without Jared or Ivanka. Just this week, we're seeing The screening for new Republican National Committee employees: do they agree that the 2020 election was stolen?  Michigan’s Ronna “Don’t Call Me Romney” McDaniel’s NBC gig lasts half a Scaramucci after an on-air rebellion  The Zillow listings for Trump properties will have to wait as the Sneaker-and-Bible Salesman gets a $300-million reprieve from a New York appeals court Trump gets a tenuous windfall with Truth Social, but the company continues to lose money and could end up bankrupt (just like Trump casinos, Trump Airline, Trump Water, Trump University etc. etc.) Trump gets to pray about his first criminal trial, now set to begin on April 15th (which likely means fewer rounds of golf). Around Michigan: Former Governor Granholm returns to the Mitten bearing gifts: $1.5-billion to restart the Palisades nuclear plant Ottawa County may be Michigan’s most conservative politically, but its voters aren’t at all happy with the new ultra-right-wing mob running the county Protecting healthcare, Social Security and Medicare are back as fundamental campaign issues The most successful one-night fundraiser in political history gets launched with Biden's backup band: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Biden’s polling numbers are up in Michigan and nationally, and the campaign opens a 2nd office in Michigan. Meanwhile Trump’s Michigan remains in shambles. We're joined this week by longtime Republican political consultant Stuart Stevens, now a senior adviser with the Lincoln Project. Stevens has worked at the top level of more presidential and senatorial campaigns than just about anyone. His first presidential effort: the Bob Dole campaign in 1996. His book The Big Enchilada is a chronicle of George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign.  He is also a prolific writer. It Was All A Lie: How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump is his eighth book; his ninth book, The Conspiracy to End America Five Ways came out last October. He has also written extensively for dramatic television series, starting with Northern Exposure and including I’ll Fly Away, K. Street, Commander in Chief and others. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
3/28/202441 minutes, 48 seconds
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Mar-A-Lago Garage Sale (Guests: Authors of “White Rural Rage”)

This week's politics begin with a check on Zillow listings... The man who once claimed a net worth of more than 10-Billion dollars says he can’t come up with a measly half-billion to satisfy a New York court judgment. If he’s so rich, why can’t he simply mortgage one of his many many many amazing properties? There are more signs of cracks in Trump’s support within the Republican Party as Trump is dissed by former Veep Mike Pence, Indiana Sen. Todd Young, and Nikki Haley donors On the plus side for the former game-show host, it appears that the judge in his trial for stealing top-secret documents is totally in his hip pocket Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano says he won’t seek reelection, giving Democrats a chance to solidify their majority on the officially-but-not-really nonpartisan court Electric-powered cars are taking center-stage in the Michigan presidential campaign Two anniversaries highlight the week: The 14th anniversary of the signing of Obamacare: state Democrats are turning up the heat in federal races, going after Republican candidates on healthcare The 10th anniversary of the first same-sex wedding in Michigan Also this week: The UAW makes an endorsement in the Democratic primary race to succeed Dan Kildee The Legislature ends Michigan’s ban on surrogacy contracts and, in the process, protects In-Vitro Fertilization. Michigan Democrats are taking on the challenge of reconnecting with rural Michigan. We talk with the authors of a provocative analysis of the partisan divide between rural and urban/suburban Michigan: “White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy”. Journalist Paul Waldman is a former columnist for The Washington Post, The Week, and TheAmerican Prospect. He is currently an MSNBC columnist, writes The Cross Section newsletter, and co-hosts the Boundary Issues podcast. Tom Schaller is a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A former columnist for The Baltimore Sun, he has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author or co-author of four other books, including Common Enemies, The Stronghold, and Whistling Past Dixie. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
3/22/202449 minutes, 6 seconds
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Photographic Recall (Guest: House Ethics Chair Erin Byrnes)

Just some of this week's political happenings --  The Trump-appointed prosecutor who questioned the President’s memory has his own memory losses when questioned by Congress The President returns to Michigan in what will become a recurring political story for our state Donald Trump weighs in on the Republican race for U.S. senate, endorsing a candidate who once called Trump’s political tactics “destructive”. In a move that will bring joy to the hearts of the football and basketball coaches at Michigan and Michigan State: the NAACP is urging black student-athletes to avoid Florida due to DeSantis anti-DEI edicts RFK Jr. proves his campaign is pretty much a joke as he floats the names of Aaron Rodgers and Jesse “The Body” Ventura as his running mate Democrats in Lansing are taking another stab at passing meaningful financial disclosure laws.  A group of state House Democrats are once again introducing comprehensive financial disclosure legislation,disclosures that go far beyond the minimalist requirements enacted last year in response to the 2022 ballot proposal enacted by voters. Leading the charge for putting teeth into the law is Representative Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), chair of the House Committee on Ethics and Oversight. Rep. Byrnes is serving her first term representing the west end of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. She earned a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and went on to graduate school in New York City, where she served as a middle school special education teacher and took classes in the evening. After returning home to be close to family and serve her community, Rep. Byrnes continued her work as an educator at the University of Michigan in 2011 and completed the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University in 2015. She’s served as a member of the Dearborn City Council since 2018 and most recently as council president pro tem. Trump jumps onto the third rail of politics: Social Security/Medicare. Ouch!             =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
3/14/202440 minutes, 18 seconds
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Amped Up Joe’s State of the Union (Guest: Barbara McQuade)

The general election campaign for President is officially underway... Scranton Joe delivers a take-no-prisoners State of the Union that leaves his supporters ecstatic and Republicans sputtering. Spoiler alert: the 2024 Campaign theme is a sequel movie “This Country for Old Men” Super Tuesday was a good day for former athletes who want to be Senators: one-time NFL star Colin Allred wins the Democratic nomination to run against Ted Cruz; in California, Michigan State University alum and All-Star baseball player Steve Garvey survives the jungle primary, setting him up to lose to Congressman Adam Schiff. And it was a great day for Jason Palmer who, just like Mike Bloomberg in 2020, swept to victory in the American Samoa caucus. The Supreme Court effectively decides the 14th amendment prohibiting insurrectionists from seeking federal office is just a suggestion. More turmoil at Michigan State University: as a new president takes over in East Lansing, two trustees face the possibility of being fired and a third could be censured — the aftermath of the firing of football coach Mel Tucker. Our guest this week is University of Michigan professor, former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC contributor Barbara McQuade discussing her new book which amplifies the alarm about the role of misinformation in the 2024 campaign as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Trump ballot access case. McQuade served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2010 to 2017. As part of President Donald Trump's 2017 dismissal of U.S. attorneys, she stepped down in March 2017. She is a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, the author of "Attack from Within" and a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's office, McQuade practiced law at the firm of Butzel Long in Detroit and served as a law clerk for Hon. Bernard A. Friedman on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. McQuade started her career as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan from 1998 until becoming U.S. Attorney in that same district. She was also a professor of law at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law from 2003 to 2009. McQuade was appointed by President Barack Obama and started her term as U.S. Attorney on January 4, 2010. Upon taking office in January 2010, During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, the office reached convictions in several high-profile cases, including the case of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on public corruption charges; the conviction and life sentence of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be al-Qaeda shoe-bomber behind the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot to destroy an airplane in flight from the Netherlands to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport; the conviction of former Michigan Supreme Court justice Diane Hathaway on bank fraud charges; and the convictions of former employees for stealing trade secrets from Detroit automakers. In 2017, McQuade became a regular contributor to MSNBC, initially commenting primarily on purported scandals related to President Donald Trump, though the range of topics she analyzes has become broader over time. Since 2021, she also co-hosts the #SistersInLaw podcast with Jill Wine-Banks, Joyce Vance and Kimberly Atkins Stohr. McQuade was born in Detroit. She received her undergraduate degree in 1987 from the University of Michigan and her J.D. in 1991 from the University of Michigan Law School. Video: Highlights of President Biden's 2024 State of the Union address (via Politico) =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research
3/8/202451 minutes, 11 seconds
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Warning Signs (Guest: Lou Glazer)

This week in politics starts, of course, with Michigan's Presidential Primary. The primary has Biden and Trump winning by a bunch — but both campaigns see warning signs for November. Also this week: Sneaker salesman Trump graciously accepts victory by calling Gretchen Whitmer “a terrible governor who sold you out”, and UAW president Shawn Fein “atrocious" A state court has, for now, put Kristina Karamo out to political pasture, but the fight for control of what’s left of the Michigan Republican Party goes on Michigan born-and-bred Ronna Romney McDaniel admits the obvious: she’s officially another victim of Trump’s one-way loyalty Former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers is trying to rewrite his legislative history sponsoring legislative mirroring last week’s Alabama ruling that embryos are people Joining the podcast is Lou Glazer, head of the economic think tank Michigan Future, a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations. Glazer currently is heading efforts to implement a new agenda designed to raise household income for all. Prior to joining MFI, he served as Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Commerce during the Blanchard Administration. He received Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
2/29/202448 minutes, 35 seconds
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“Sneaker Con” (Guest: Bernie Porn)

Another remarkable week in national and state politics: The Michigan presidential primary is Tuesday. Biden and Trump will win, but both can be wounded in the process. Vice President Harris campaigned in west Michigan Thursday. Surrounded by Governor Whitmer, Senator Stabenow and Congresswoman Hillary Scholten – all women – the focus was on reproductive rights, an issue catapulted back to the debate by an insane court ruling in Alabama. The Biden campaign goes into attack mode, focusing on the many bat-shit crazy things coming out of the mouths of Trump and his congressional stooges The President has canceled another $1.2-billion in student loan debts In Michigan, a major development in campaign finance reform which was spurred by onetime Republican strategist Bob Lebrant and my esteemed co-host. The latest Michigan polling shows that the presidential and U.S. senate races are cliffhangers. We are joined by pollster Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA to talk numbers. Video: Vice President Harris and Governor Whitmer lead the Grand Rapids discussion on Reproductive Rights =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
2/23/202440 minutes, 30 seconds
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“Dumb, Shameful, Dangerous, Un-American” (Guest: Christina Hines)

It’s been another remarkable week in national and state politics. Nationally,  President Biden takes off the gloves - battering Donald Trump after Trump’s vow to abandon our NATO allies if they don’t pay protection. The GOP’s governing body confirms it is part of the Trump family-run business, confirming his choice for a new Michigan GOP chair … but it’s not going to be a peaceful transition of power. James Craig, once again considered a Republican frontrunner, gives up on his 2nd straight statewide campaign and says now he might run for Mayor of Detroit.  A Republican state legislator loses his office and staff after promoting the racist “Great Replacement” theory. Early voting starts Saturday for Michigan’s presidential primary … and 1.4-million voters have already requested absentee ballots. Will there be a large crossover vote?  142 new state laws went into effect on Tuesday - their effective dates delayed by a constitutional loophole exploited by legislative Republicans to delay the inevitable. And Mark, always the activist, has filed an ethics complaint against his home-county prosecutor for using government facilities as a campaign prop While most of the media coverage … and our discussions … focus on federal and statewide races, many of the races with the most direct impact on families are local. One of the most important in this election cycle is the effort by Democrats in Macomb County to flip the prosecutor’s office. Incumbent Peter Lucido, a MAGA Republican, has been controversial for years with a career highlighted by multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including one complaint filed by a Lansing reporter while he was in the Legislature. Joining the podcast this week is the career prosecutor who is running to remove Lucido: Christina Hines. Right out of law school she became an assistant prosecutor in Wayne County, followed by service as the Chief of the Appeals Division at the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, and Chief of the Special Victims Unit Division. She’s a native of Macomb County: born in Warren, a graduate of Warren Woods Tower High School, and then the University of Michigan and Wayne State University law school where she now serves as an adjunct professor of law. The problem with fixing the problem on the southwest border? Donald J. Trump. (The Lincoln Project) =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
2/16/202444 minutes, 38 seconds
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Speaker Johnson’s Leadership Academy (Guest: Nick Dodge)

The debate over solar energy in Michigan may move to the ballot. It’s been another remarkable week in national and state politics. Nationally:  A three-judge DC court of appeals panel unanimously shoots down Donald Trump’s claim that a President has full immunity from crimes. The Supreme Court signals that it will not allow states to take Trump’s name off the ballot. Nikki Haley comes in a distant second in Nevada, losing by 30 points to “none of the above.” The Republican caucuses in the House and Senate admit it: they are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Trump Organization. Former Fox News troublemaker Tucker Carlson joins Vladimir Putin’s PR staff. Meanwhile, the national economy keeps strengthening … but Joe Biden still doesn’t get credit from voters. VIDEO: “Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.” - President Biden In Michigan: The Wall Street Journal raises more than eyebrows with a story labeling Dearborn as “America’s Jihad Capital”. It turns out Kristina Karamo isn’t the only Republican Party chair who’s been fired. Former Michigan GOP chair Ronna “Don’t Call Me Romney” McDaniel is on her way out as national GOP chair. The Biden administration is in Michigan looking to make peace with angry Michigan Muslims and Palestinian-Americans. A landmark court case in the Oxford High School murders comes just days before new Michigan gun safety laws go into effect. And efforts are underway to undo one of the green energy laws that goes into effect next week. We're joined by Nick Dodge of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
2/9/202439 minutes, 20 seconds
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Taylor Swift Psy-Op! (Guest: Curtis Hertel, Jr.)

MAGA Republicans had no problem with White House visits during the Trump years by B-List singers Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Kanye West – but they are freaking out when confronted with the possible Biden endorsement by the most popular entertainer in the world. They are also going ballistic about the UAW’s Shawn Fain’s emphatic support of President Biden. As we record this podcast, Biden is a couple of miles from my Macomb County home visiting with some of the 1-million UAW workers and retirees … voters who could be the difference in swing states across the industrial midwest. Also this week: The latest campaign finance reports are in. How much do they signal about the elections? We’ll take a look at some of those reports. The Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission has some new state House maps for southeast Michigan. Will the maps survive federal court scrutiny … and do they shift the balance of political power in our 50-50 state? Secretary of State Benson has a $1-million political war chest - a signal for 2026? Joe Biden continues to draw heat from Michigan Palestinians; meanwhile the only Palestinian-American in Congress, Rashida Tlaib raises $3.6 million in the last three months of 2023. Republicans now say it might be okay to ignore the Supreme Court, using the same logic that was used by the southern states when they succeeded and launched the Civil War. In Flint, there's a new contender for congress: the Mayor. We are joined this week by the Democratic candidate in one of what will be one of the most hotly contested congressional races in the nation – former state Senator Curtis Hertel, who is running to succeed Elissa Slotkin in the House. As Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Director of Legislative Affairs, Hertel led the state through passing bipartisan legislation that cut taxes for seniors and working families, expanded workers’ rights, and won additional new investments in advanced manufacturing that will bring good-paying jobs to Mid-Michigan and across the state. He was also instrumental in passing legislation that repealed the archaic 1931 law that banned abortion in Michigan, even in cases of rape and incest. In the legislature, Hertel led the fight to preserve Michigan’s status as the world leader in auto manufacturing and bring thousands of next-generation electric vehicle jobs to Mid-Michigan by working with Democrats and Republicans to help pass the legislation that won GM’s $6.5 billion investment in the Delta and Orion Township battery cell and electric vehicle plants. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== You really need this for your mourning coffee!
2/2/202444 minutes, 17 seconds
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Losing While Winning: Chinks in Trump’s Armor Become More Visible

Donald Trump appears to have done what Jeff predicted on this podcast months ago: locked up the nomination for his third attempt to win the national popular vote. But in the process, some new, large chinks in his Mar-A-Lago armor are showing up as some Haley supporters join the never-Trump movement. Trump has already started his annual “the election is stolen” mantra, apparently in anticipation of losing again. Meanwhile, President Biden gets two big boosts to his reelection chances: First: the new numbers about the recession that never was. In fact, the U.S. economy is soaring. Economic growth in 2023 was bigger than in any year of the Trump presidency. Just as important politically: Biden gets a rousing endorsement from the United Auto Workers which could prove critical in Michigan, Wisconsin and maybe even Ohio. We may have a border crisis, but Trump has ordered his supplicants in Congress to sink a bipartisan border bill – because he’s more interested in having a campaign issue than a solution. In Michigan: Governor Whitmer unveils her priorities for 2024 focused on the basics: economic growth, education and the cost of living. Governor Whitmer is flanked by Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist as she delivers her State of the State Address. The Republican National Committee has started to move into the internal chaos that is the state’s GOP. The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is working furiously to meet a deadline that’s just days away for coming up with a new, constitutional map for Southeast Michigan legislative districts. Our neighbors in Ohio have launched a war on transgender people, with that state’s Republican Legislature overriding Governor Dewine’s veto of an anti-LQBTQ+ bill. We're joined by Detroit News politics editor Chad Livengood to talk about the politics of Whitmer’s State of the State speech and the prospects of getting her program through the Legislature. Chad was a political reporter in The News' Lansing Bureau from 2012 through 2016 before becoming a reporter and columnist at Crain's Detroit Business. He rejoined The News' politics team in May 2022. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== You really need this for your mourning coffee!
1/26/202444 minutes, 11 seconds
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Non-Liquid Gold (and other Iowa tall tales)

Self-described "stable genius" D. J. Trump cleverly labels Iowa's #1 cash crop as "non-liquid gold." This week, on A Republic, If You Can Keep It:  17% of Republicans in the corn-rich state of Iowa have spoken. Their message: Trump really won in 2020, but half of them don’t want Trump in 2024. Trump doubles-down on his contention that a President has a license to kill Michigan Republicans prepare for their presidential-delegate-selection convention – but can they afford the room rental? We may have a new contender in the race for the U.S. Senate nomination - as new polling shows the leader is some dude named “undecided.” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson steps into the redistricting controversy The U.S. Supreme Court sidesteps the first in a series of anti-transgender Americans lawsuit A new statewide poll shows Biden with a narrow lead over Trump - is it an outlier? We start with the headline of the week - from Mother Jones: Florida Man Facing 91 Criminal Counts Wins Iowa Caucuses =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
1/20/202439 minutes, 13 seconds
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License to Kill

Trump. Donald Trump. A License to Kill? Donald Trump’s lawyer contends a President has the right to break the law without facing criminal prosecution, even if that means ordering a political assassination. That was just the beginning in an especially active week of lying and sedition by the Orange Menace as he: Resurrected an oldie-but-goodie lie. In 2015 it was Barack Obama who wasn’t a real American eligible to run because he was born in Kenya; in 2016 it was Ted Cruz, challenged for being a Canadian; in 2020 it was California-born Kamala Harris, challenged because her parents were immigrants. Now it’s Nikki Haley who he claims is disqualified because her parents weren’t U.S. citizens when she was born … in South Carolina. Refused to sign an Illinois election pledge not to overthrow the government. Went batshit crazy in a New York courtroom, with the judge finally telling him to (in effect) shut up. Continued to raise millions on his every manifestation of personal grievances. Meanwhile, the first actual voting in the 2024 presidential campaign is Monday: the battle for runner-up. In Michigan: The latest polling shows potentially big trouble for Joe Biden, and a statistical tie in the U.S. Senate race. The circular firing squad once known as the Republican Party has become a total mess with two factions both claiming to be the real Republican Party – with no headquarters, but two separate websites each claiming they are the official website. Leaders of the MAGA-centric party (parties?) want to eliminate primary elections for their ticket, leaving the decisions to a handful of party activists. A federal court has given the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission just 3 weeks to come up with a new state House map for southeast Michigan. Onetime Trump critic Mike Rogers has done a 180 in hopes of landing a U.S. Senate endorsement. And Bill Schuette Jr. says he’s not running for Congress - a blow to Republican chances to flip Michigan’s 7th congressional district.
1/12/202430 minutes, 37 seconds
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Election Law 101 (Guest: John Bebow)

Election law ... and the courts ... dominate politics as we begin 2024: Michigan’s redistricting re-do - what, why, and how! The Supreme Court’s challenge from conflicting decisions on Trump’s ballot access A separate Supreme Court challenge on whether the President is above the law … or, as Nixon famously told David Frost decades ago "but when the President does it, that means that it's not illegal" Also this week: Another candidate steps up to succeed Dan Kildee in Congress, and immediately becomes the Democratic frontrunner Kristina Karamo’s days as Michigan Republican Party chair may be numbered And a new report illustrates how Donald Trump and his family used the U.S. government to rake in millions for their businesses. John Bebow (Bridge Michigan photo) We're joined by award-winning journalist John Bebow. Bebow began his journalism career on a bike delivering newspapers and ended it playing an instrumental role in shaping Michigan’s modern media industry. Bebow, 56, stepped down at the end of 2023 from his role as publisher of Bridge Michigan, a publication that under his leadership won more than 200 state and national awards and was lauded as a national model for economic viability in nonprofit news. He will remain as an executive adviser through 2025. He had crucial roles in some of the biggest changes in Michigan media over the past 25 years, from uncovering corruption in Detroit as a reporter and helping launch the MLive online news site to launching and growing Bridge Michigan and its sister publication, BridgeDetroit. In 2006, Bebow was the first employee of The Center for Michigan, that launched what was then Bridge Magazine in 2011. When the latest round of expansion concludes this month, Bridge and the Center will have more than two dozen full-time employees, with offices in Ypsilanti and Lansing and a more than $4 million annual budget. “It is exponentially more rewarding than any story that ever appeared under my byline,” Bebow said of Bridge’s growth. “It’s so far beyond my wildest dreams, it would have taken me two bottles of Jack Daniel's to have dreamed up the ridiculous success that has happened.” Bebow has had ink in his blood since middle school, when he delivered the Lansing State Journal on a route in his Ingham County hometown of Mason. After graduating from Western Michigan University, he worked at the Lansing State Journal, Traverse City Record-Eagle and Ann Arbor News before joining The Detroit News. There, he covered the mob, corruption in casino development and troubles in the city water department. He deployed to Iraq to cover the war for the News in 2003, and was injured in a military truck mishap. After a stint at the Chicago Tribune, John returned to his home state, where, for the Detroit Free Press, he investigated Baker College. Bebow was part of the launch of MLive, which served as an early model for publications moving stories online. There, he rose to become editor in chief. “Without John Bebow, there is no Bridge Michigan,” said David Egner, CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. (Bridge photo by Brayan Gutierrez) At Bridge, the former investigative reporter became a prolific fundraiser, a shrewd accountant, and a boss that demanded the best of his employees while sticking to a mantra of “family first,” giving staffers generous time off to deal with family issues. “I have tremendous admiration and respect for my colleagues,” he said. “I lit a lot of fires, (but) I think a lot of that was needed at various points to get to where we are today. It was the product and the impact that were first and foremost.” By almost any measure, those efforts worked. The initial goal of Bridge in 2011 was to reach 10,000 Michigan residents. By 2022, annual readership had swelled to 7.8 million. In 2024, there will be about 20 journalists putting out at least six online editions and five newsletters every we...
1/5/202446 minutes, 20 seconds
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Happy Festivus! (Guest: Clara Hendrickson)

Festivus, the holiday created by the folks on the Seinfeld TV show, is this Saturday: the TV-official day for the airing of grievances. For Donald Trump, every day is a day for the airing of grievances — and this week he had plenty of opportunity: Colorado’s Supreme Court threw him off that state’s ballot … for now Nearly a quarter of Trump voters say he shouldn’t be the nominee if he’s convicted of a felony, but another one-third want a president willing to break rules and the law if that gets the job done Trump’s erstwhile attorney Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy after a defamation judgment that could next challenge Trump His racist statements about immigrants poisoning America ignite fires (a puzzling statement who's married not one, but two immigrants!). Also this week: Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed felony charges against state House Speaker Lee Chatfield. We’ll talk with one of the reporters covering the story, Clara Hendrickson of the Detroit Free Press The Colorado decision on Trump gives more support to the case now in front of Michigan’s Supreme Court to do the same in our state And a new tally of spending on roads says Governor Whitmer has put $2-billion into her promise to “fix the damn roads” during 2023. And even as we were recording the podcast, more breaking news: a federal Court of Appeals has thrown out parts of Michigan citizen-drawn legislative districts. Mark and Jeff offer their thoughts even as they read the ruling while we record! The perfect gift for the democracy lovers in your life! =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
12/22/202337 minutes, 55 seconds
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Gone Fishing (for Bidens)

As their Lord and Master Donald Trump has commanded, Republicans in the U.S. House have officially launched a fishing expedition in hopes of finding something -- anything! -- they can use as an excuse to impeach Joe Biden. It was a straight party-line vote: something that may haunt Republicans next November. Just to give Democrats even more electoral ammunition: The economic numbers continue to shine: a new record-setting high this week for the Dow Jones Industrials, inflation and mortgage rates coming down, gas prices below $3 per gallon, and continuing job growth. Will this translate into improved job performance ratings for the President? The Republican war on women has escalated with a cruel, heartless, unconscionable denial of an emergency abortion for a Texas woman – something that could have killed her. And a new case in Kentucky will keep the GOP’s no-abortions-ever policies in the headlines. New York Democrats get the green flag for gerrymandering their state – which could flip multiple U.S. House seats The Republican war on transgender Americans escalates in Ohio The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to rule on Trump’s claim that he is immune to criminal penalties for anything he did as President Two more state criminal investigations have been launched involving former Republican Speakers of the state House Michigan attorney general investigating $25M grant to ex-House speaker’s aide - Bridge Michigan Dana Nessel’s office probing $2M rocket plan that failed to launch - Bridge Michigan Governor Whitmer, meanwhile, will be sending out state earned income tax credit checks to 700,000 families - and you can never lose by giving people money! The perfect holiday gift for the democracy lovers in your life! =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
12/14/202334 minutes, 31 seconds
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Dictator for a Day (Guest: Tom Bonier)

Trump finally says it out loud: he's open to being a dictator, but only admits to wanting to be our fuhrer for Day One. This comes as Atlantic magazine devotes an entire issue to the potential end of democracy under a return of Trump, and Liz Cheney warns that if he’s reelected he’ll never leave. Elsewhere in the political ecoshere: There’s another Republican wannabe in the race for U.S. Senator from Michigan – someone with a big personal bank account One potential candidates says “no thanks”, another says “maybe” in the race to succeed Dan Kildee in Congress Michigan’s Republican Party is reported to be on the verge of bankruptcy The GOP battle for second place gets nastier … and low TV ratings But lucky for us: CNN promises two more meaningless debates in the run-ups to the Iowas caucuses and New Hampshire primary Joining the conversation this week is nationally respected political data guru Tom Bonier. Bonier is a veteran Democratic political strategist and CEO of TargetSmart, a political data services firm. Prior to TargetSmart, Tom co-founded Clarity Campaign Labs in 2012 and helped build it into one of the nation’s leading Democratic analytics and research firms. He has spent more than 20 years working in Democratic and progressive politics. Prior to Clarity, Bonier served as Chief Operating Officer at the National Committee for an Effective Congress (NCEC). Throughout his career, Bonier has received numerous awards for his contributions to political campaigning, redistricting, and strategic planning. The perfect holiday gift for the democracy lovers in your life! "Feeble" - the latest from The Lincoln Project. Trump says they used A.I. to make him look bad. The response: no need to do that! =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
12/8/202353 minutes, 48 seconds
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Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Governor Whitmer may have just that by now as she signs dozens of bills passed in the closing days of the legislative session. Jeff and Mark offer their take on how the successes … and delayed initiatives … of 2023 could impact 2024. They also update the nationally significant congressional race in Michigan’s 8th district in the aftermath of Dan Kildee’s retirement announcement. Also in this week's chat-fest: Donald Trump continues to spend a lot of time in court. In between his $250-MILLION business fraud trial in New York, and his four pending criminal trials in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington D.C. he also has to focus on keeping his name on the ballot in multiple states, including Michigan.  The circular firing squad that is the Michigan Republican Party continues to take aim on each other. Chairperson-for-now Kristina Karamo has instituted an internal purge in an effort to enforce loyalty to Madame Chair. Donations to GOP drop as worries mount about the party’s finances Kevin Kijewski, Attorney for Alleged MI Fake Elector Clifford Frost, Wants Co-Defendants to ‘Shut Up’ Second Democrat says he was offered $20M to run against Tlaib Michigan anti-property-tax group seeks to get on 2024 state ballot Trump Has a Master Plan for Destroying the ‘Deep State’ Election 2024: Trump says he would renew efforts to replace 'Obamacare' White House Calls Out GOP Obamacare Threat After Trump Suggests He’d Repeal Law Trump hints at expanded role for the military within the US
11/30/202332 minutes, 48 seconds
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Polling Numbers Are a Concern, But…

The latest polling in Michigan is bad news for Joe Biden … and adding to his woes, word that left-wing third-party candidate Cornell West is targeting Michigan. To make things even worse, he had another birthday! This Thanksgiving weekend also brings bad news for embattled Michigan Republican Party chair Kristina Karamo – her days with that title may be numbered. And Peter Meijer’s top campaign opponent in the U.S. Senate race appears to be the Republican Party. Governor Whitmer has set an ambitious timeline for special elections to fill two vacancies in the state House, elections which will likely restore the Democrats’ two-seat majority in that chamber. She also signed legislation which could be the Democrats’ strongest weapon in the 2024 election: The Reproductive Healthcare Act. A lot of potential candidates are saying “no thanks” to running to succeed retiring Congressman Dan Kildee. And the soap opera that is the Michigan State University Board of Trustees is posing a threat to MSU’s national accreditation. Joining the podcast is pollster Bernie Porn of EPIC•MRA public opinion research whose most recent numbers show Biden slipping, Whitmer with continued high numbers, and Elissa Slotkin with a narrow lead in the race to succeed Debbie Stabenow as United States Senator. EPIC•MRA has been measuring voter sentiment in Michigan for more than four decades, and is has the highest rating from the numbers nerds at FiveThirtyEight.com. The "Celebrating 91 Indictments" mugshot mug! It's the perfect Christmas gift that keeps on giving, trial after trial after trial. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
11/22/202328 minutes, 2 seconds
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Scum, Vermin, Smurfs and Smackdown

The big Michigan political story this week: the stunning decision by Flint Congressman Dan Kildee to retire from Congress. We're joined by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Stephen Henderson to discuss the end of a mini-political dynasty and what it means for 2024 in Michigan. The heat keeps building in Republican politics: Trump refers to Americans who disagree with him as Communists, Fascists, Marxists and vermin - rhetoric that mirrors the words of Adolph Hitler 90 years ago;  Republican members of Congress throw insults at each other; One Senator tries to turn a Senate hearing into a cage match, only to have Bernie Sanders play peacemaker; The House ethics committee comes to the shocking conclusion that George Santos is a crook and a liar. Shocking! Trump says it out loud: a 2nd Trump presidency would mean the end of democratic rule as he uses the federal government to shut down dissent Michigan’s presidential primary will be February 27, and Donald Trump likely WILL be on the ballot … despite Mark’s best efforts New Hampshire’s presidential primary will be a month earlier, but the results won’t count in the Democratic delegate count The MAGA-controlled Ottawa County Board of Commissioners is looking at spending $4-million to get rid of the county’s health director Would-be Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Hill Harper claims he has no bank accounts, no income, and no assets … even though he’s loaned his campaign nearly a half-million dollars, owns two homes and at least one business Ohio Republicans are trying to figure out how to cancel the statewide vote in support of a reproductive rights constitutional amendment – another example of MAGA Republicans trying to overturn an election Stephen Henderson and Jeff got together for a deep-dive into Michigan politics and politicians. Henderson won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year Award while writing for the Detroit Free Press. He is the host of Detroit Today,a weekday talk show that features conversations about inequality of all kinds, democratic and civic participation and great ideas from contemporary books. He is also the host of Detroit Public Television's American Black Journal, a weekly talk show featuring African American perspectives on topics around arts, culture, and community issues important to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the nation. A native of Detroit, Henderson graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1988 and the University of Michigan in 1992. He has worked for the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the Lexington Herald-Leader, and Knight Ridder as a reporter, editorial writer and editor. He was the Editorial Page Editor and a columnist for the Detroit Free Press from 2009 to 2017. The "Celebrating 91 Indictments" mugshot mug! It's the perfect Christmas gift that keeps on giving, trial after trial after trial. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
11/17/202359 minutes, 26 seconds
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An Early Christmas!

Christmas comes early for the now-departed Michigan Legislature, but only after an unprecedented year of major legislation. Ho ho ho! The Legislature is taking an early (and extended) holiday break. With two House members set to resign after being elected Mayors of their hometowns, Democrats and Republicans have a 54-54 split in the state House, meaning an end (for now) of Democrats' state government trifecta. Adding to their early holiday joy, good tidings from Republicans in the form of guaranteed messy and expensive Republican primary for the U.S. Senate as Peter Meijer joins the field, along with more news of internal turmoil for the Michigan Republican Party. Ethics (or a lack of same) make headlines this week. In Washington, Republicans in the Senate make it clear they have no interest in the apparent long-term corruption of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but Republicans in the House are focused on what is, to now, an evidence-free drive to impeach Joe Biden. In Michigan, a watered-down financial disclosure package clears the state House in a late-night marathon session and is on its way to Governor Whitmer for signing.  Also this week:  Mark Brewer updates us on the legal efforts (in which he is a lead attorney) to keep Insurrection Master Strategist Donald Trump off the Michigan ballot. The U.S. House votes to censure Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib which could well help her in her reelection bid next year. Right to Life is suing to overturn Michigan’s newly approved constitutional amendment guaranteeing women’s reproductive healthcare options Legal arguments have concluded in a federal trial over whether Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission violated the Voting Rights Act in drawing Michigan’s legislative maps.  We're joined in the podcast by Bridge Michigan reporter Lauren Gibbons who has been covering all the legislative action in Lansing, as well as the federal court case on redistricting. Lauren covers state politics and policy for Bridge Michigan. Prior to joining Bridge's Capitol team, she worked at MLive, where she led coverage of the state Legislature and the redistricting process, and before that covered the state Senate for MIRS News. She has covered the ins and outs of Michigan politics for nearly a decade and has won awards both for her political coverage and her work documenting the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. Lauren grew up in the Lansing area and graduated from Michigan State University, majoring in journalism and history. She lives in Ferndale, and her party tricks include Irish dancing and telling friends what political districts they live in without looking. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @LaurenMGibbons. =========================== This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC ▪ MRA,  a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
11/10/202355 minutes, 50 seconds
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“We Know Nothing”

"I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing!" We Know Nothing sums up the testimony so far from Don Junior and Eric Trump in the New York civil trial over business fraud … a trial that could put the Trump Organization out of business. In coming days we’ll likely hear more pleas of ignorance from one-time White House aide Ivanka Trump and her Daddy, as the former President testifies in court under oath for the first time. And it comes one year from Election Day 2024. 365 days after we set  our clocks back over the weekend, America will have the chance to set our nation back generations by returning Donald Trump to the Oval Office. In Michigan, more action on a boatload of Democratic legislative priorities, some even garnering the rarest of all achievements: bipartisan support. On the list: Ambitious laws to reduce the state’s carbon footprint Compromise legislation easing the red tape surrounding seeking an abortion And comprise legislation implementing last year’s statewide vote on ethics reform Senate Majority Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) Also this week:  Growing talk that Peter Meijer will join the GOP race for the U.S. Senate which is very bad news for Mike Rogers, even as the DeVos family dumps 46-thousand-dollars into the Rogers campaign; The U.S. House tables a resolution of censure targeting Rashida Tlaib; And the most important story of the week: the apparent end to the weeks-long UAW strike against the Big 3 domestic automakers, with strong hints of unionization efforts at Tesla and foreign manufacturers.  We're joined this week by Senator Majority Floor Leader Sam Singh who is deeply involved in just about every key issue facing lawmakers. As Floor Leader, Singh is the traffic cop for legislation in the Senate. He’s also lead sponsor of some of the most critical legislation facing the Legislature this year. Singh, an East Lansing Democrat, was Democratic Leader in the last of his three terms in the state House. He is also a former Mayor of East Lansing. Singh’s state Senate district includes his alma mater, Michigan State University, which is dealing with multiple leadership crises right now. =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== "Addled Trump Confuses Sioux City and Sioux Falls; Ivanka Ordered to Testify" - A Closer Look (Late Night with Seth Meyers)
11/3/202347 minutes, 41 seconds
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They Call Them Flippers

This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC•MRA Public Opinion Research Nick Pigeon leads the non-partisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network - Lansing's "follow the money" non-profit. In Georgia, three of Donald Trump’s attorneys have flipped - pleading guilty, getting no jail time, but agreeing to testify against the 15 remaining defendantsin the state’s RICO conspiracy case … including Donald Trump. In Washington, Trump’s chief of staff has reportedly flipped in exchange for immunity from federal charges – a deal that signals he’s got some bombshells to reveal. And in Michigan, one of the accused fake electors has flipped, signaling very bad news for the remaining 15 defendants including former state Republican co-chair Meshawn Maddock. In Washington, House Republicans have set the stage for flipping control back to Democrats in 2025. By unanimous vote, Republicans have entered 100% MAGA mode, fully under the thumb of Donald Trump, as a virtually unknown back-bencher becomes the least qualified and potentially most dangerous Speaker of the House in a century.  In other news: Michigan’s top two universities are mired in scandals growing out of athletics – scandals that could topple MSU’s board chair, UM’s football coach … and maybe even the concept of electing the boards that run those two schools North Carolina’s latest gerrymander virtually guarantees GOP control of a 50-50 state by making legislative and congressional elections irrelevant Georgia legislators are ordered to make their maps a little less skewed Justice Clarence Thomas is back in the news for all the wrong reasons – another favor from a friend who forgave Thomas’s quarter-million-dollar motor home loan out of the goodness of his heart Michigan legislators are finally grappling with implementing anti-corruption disclosure legislation that some are calling half-hearted. We are joined by one of those critics, Nicholas Pigeon of the non-partisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network. =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
10/28/202343 minutes
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Three Strikes? You’re Out!

This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC•MRA Public Opinion Research Rep. "Gym" Jordan - the latest to fall in the U.S. House "Who Wants to Be Speaker" Reality Show Jim Jordan keeps going downhill in his quest to win the worst job in government. He’s now lost 3 votes and 1 closed-meeting secret ballot with more Republicans opposing him each time. Jeff and Mark do a deep dive into the political implications in Michigan for the 2024 federal elections in our state. Also this week: Trump lawyers Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro have flipped in the Georgia RICO case – bad news for fellow Georgia defendants Donald Trump, Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani. Mike Rogers tries to distance Senate campaign from his anti-abortion record The new campaign finance reports show two fundraising juggernauts in Michigan - Elissa Slotkin and John James. 3Q 2023 House fundraising reports roundup 3Q 2023 Senate fundraising reports roundup First-term congressman Shri Thanedar is a target for Detroit Democrats in the 2024 primary Surprise surprise: a major Republican donor is backing ultra-left presidential candidate Cornel West. And we also have an exclusive first-person update on covid in Michigan. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths from covid are continuing to decline – but we have proof positive covid hasn’t disappeared. Jeff Timmer is in Day Five of a nasty case of covid, but managed to find his podcast microphone: a real trooper! In the words of philosopher Yogi Berra, "it ain't over until it's over" ... and for Jeff and his wife, it ain't over! =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
10/23/202328 minutes, 46 seconds
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Three Strikes and You’re Out!

This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC•MRA Public Opinion Research Rep. "Gym" Jordan - the latest to fall in the U.S. House "Who Wants to Be Speaker" Reality Show Jim Jordan keeps going downhill in his quest to win the worst job in government. He’s now lost 3 votes, with more Republicans opposing him each time. Jeff and Mark do a deep dive into the political implications in Michigan for the 2024 federal elections in our state. Also this week: Trump lawyers Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro have flipped in the Georgia RICO case – bad news for fellow Georgia defendants Donald Trump, Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani. Mike Rogers tries to distance Senate campaign from his anti-abortion record The new campaign finance reports show two fundraising juggernauts in Michigan - Elissa Slotkin and John James. 3Q 2023 House fundraising reports roundup 3Q 2023 Senate fundraising reports roundup First-term congressman Shri Thanedar is a target for Detroit Democrats in the 2024 primary Surprise surprise: a major Republican donor is backing ultra-left presidential candidate Cornel West. And we also have an exclusive first-person update on covid in Michigan. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths from covid are continuing to decline – but we have proof positive covid hasn’t disappeared. Jeff Timmer is in Day Five of a nasty case of covid, but managed to find his podcast microphone: a real trooper! In the words of philosopher Yogi Berra, "it ain't over until it's over" ... and for Jeff and his wife, it ain't over! =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
10/20/202329 minutes, 41 seconds
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Paraylysis

This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC•MRA Public Opinion Research The ultra-right-wingers in the U.S. House tried to shut down the federal government and failed … but they have managed to shut down the House of Representatives. As we record this podcast, nobody can muster up the votes to take what’s the worst job in government: Speaker of the House of Representatives. Also this week: A new court filing says Michigan’s fake electors were operating under orders from Donald Trump … and they knew it. RFK Jr., once the darling of Trump-Loving MAGAs when he was running as a Democrat, is now the enemy because he’s running as an independent. The field of candidates lining up to run for congress against John James is growing The first poll in the GOP primary race for U.S. Senate shows James Craig with a sizable lead over Mike Rogers  The shooting death of a Lansing political activist while canvassing raises the question: is the fear factor a new controlling political dynamic? The Legislature isn't making headlines, but continues to move forward on most ... but now all ... of Democratic priority issues =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
10/12/202336 minutes, 4 seconds
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Help Wanted! Contact Matt Gaetz for details.

This episode is sponsored in part by EPIC-MRA Public Opinion Research 7th District Congressional Candidate Curtis Hertel Jr. talks about GOP Chaos in D.C. and his campaign in what could be the most expensive congressional race in the U.S. Thanks to Bidenomics, there are help wanted signs everywhere, and now, there’s even a help-wanted sign at the House of Representatives to fill a sudden vacancy for Speaker. Qualifications: an ability to get along with certifiable crazies AND get laws passed without the support of the Democratic Senate or President Biden. Also this week: Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig will try again to get enough valid signatures to get on the statewide ballot, this time for U.S. Senate Donald Trump is in court facing a fine and sanctions that could sink his business … and have already deflated his claims that he’s a hugely successful businessman. The UAW strike continues with Shawn Fein identifying more strike targets to turn up the heat on the domestic Big 3, and poses an increasing threat to Michigan’s economy President Biden shifts administration policy on border security, much to the frustration of Republicans fearful they can no longer ride the issue. We're joined joined by the Democrat seeking to hold onto what will be the most contested Democratic seat in Congress next year: Elissa Slotkin’s 7th. Our guest is Curtis Hertel Jr. Hertel’s political roots are local: beginning as a county commissioner, followed by county register of deeds, and then two terms in the state Senate. Most recently he was Governor Whitmer’s chief legislative liaison. Hertel comes from one of Michigan’s leading political families. His father, Curtis Sr., was Speaker of the state House; two of his uncles also served in the state Legislature, with one of them moving on to Congress; his brother currently serves in the state Senate. Just to round things out, his wife Elizabeth is the state’s director of Health and Human Services. Delivers! (YouTube) =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
10/6/202343 minutes, 57 seconds
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DC Chaos and Two Appeals to Workers (Guest: Rep. Dan Kildee)

This podcast is sponsored in part by EPIC-MRA Opinion Research This week's guest: Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) on the mess that is the House GOP An alternate title for this week: the “We All Feel a Little Dumber” edition of A Republic, If You Can Keep It. We are dumber for having listened to 2 hours of 7 people auditioning for 2nd place in the Republican presidential rankings – a race that looks like the 1973 Belmont Stakes when the second-place horse finished 31 lengths behind Secretariat. We’re recording on Friday morning … about 36 hours before it’s likely the federal government will go into shutdown mode. We are joined by one of the top Democrats in the U.S. House, Congressman Dan Kildee, to talk budget, impeachment, Kevin McCarthy and the UAW strike. Also this week: Joe Biden and Donald Trump both make Michigan visits: one of them to support union workers, the other at the invitation of the owner of a non-union auto supplier.  What’s left of the official Michigan Republican Party held a leadership conference on Mackinac Island missing party leaders, but with fringe conspiracy-spouting crazies well represented. Both of Michigan’s senators have joined in calls for the resignation of indicted New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. And a New York court has hit Donald Trump where it hurts most: ruling that Trump isn’t nearly as rich as he has claimed…with the potential of $250-million in fines for years of ongoing business fraud by Trump and his two oldest sons. Congressman Dan Kildee is chief deputy whip in the Democratic caucus, and serves on the committee that is responsible for tax legislation - Ways and Means - and the committee responsible for allocating tax money - Budget. A native of Flint, Congressman Kildee is in his 6th term in the House. He was first elected to public office at the age of 18 when he successfully ran for the Flint School Board. Since then he served 12 years on the Genesee County Commission, and 12 years as county treasurer before his election to Congress. He became nationally known for creating the nation’s first community land bank, a non-profit corporation which restores blighted properties in Genesee County. The concept has been copied nationwide. The MAGA threat to our democracy President Biden speaks at a tribute to Sen. John McCain - Full speech =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
9/29/202343 minutes, 13 seconds
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A Strike and a Shutdown

This podcast is sponsored in part by EPIC-MRA Opinion Research This week: Economist Dr. Charles Ballard on twin challenges – the UAW Strike and pending U.S. government shutdown Michigan’s economy is staring down the business end of a double-barrelled shotgun: the UAW strike which is causing huge losses for the state’s signature industry, and a looming shutdown of the federal government. We take a deep dive into the political and economic impact on Michigan with our guest, senior economist Dr. Charles Ballard. Also this week: Donald Trump is coming to Michigan to pretend he supports unions at an event scheduled to compete with the Fox TV reality show “Republicans Who Won’t Be President,” a.k.a. The 2nd GOP presidential debate… One of those master debaters, Senator Tim Scott, says the way to handle a strike is fire the strikers, a sign that he’s not looking for any union endorsements… Convicted bribe recipient and former state House Speaker Rick Johnson accepted in-kind services in lieu of cash… and,  The upcoming state GOP leadership conference is missing one thing: GOP leaders =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
9/22/202350 minutes, 36 seconds
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Elections Optional – The GOP vs. Democracy

A foundation of our democratic system is that we elect the people who run our governments. But there’s an ominous trend developing in Republican-run states: elections only count when they win. We be focus on examples of this growing menace to the world’s oldest democratic government. The worst example (out of so many): Wisconsin. The highly gerrymandered GOP majority has: Stripped Governor Evers and Attorney General Paul of many of the powers held by their predecessors; Openly discussed impeaching newly elected Supreme Court justice for saying she thinks gerrymandering is bad; Voted to fire the state's elections director who refused to back up claims of a stolen election Also this week: Jocelyn Benson says she won’t kick Donald Trump off the Michigan ballot…unless the courts stop her; The U.S. House is in chaos with Matt Gaetz calling Speaker Kevin McCarthy pathetic, and lying like a dead dog; A government shutdown looms as the Cuckoo Caucus takes over because investigating Joe Biden is what Donald Trump is demanding; Democrats in the state Legislature are poised for a battle over abortion rights with a bill allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions We are recording this podcast hours before the UAW strike deadline in its contract negotiations with GM, Ford and Stellantis. Obviously the economic and political impact is bigger in Michigan than anywhere in the country … but we don’t know what’s going to happen. Wait until next week…
9/14/202334 minutes, 20 seconds
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Who’s Flipping Now? (Guest: Stuart Stevens)

This podcast is sponsored in part by EPIC-MRA Opinion Research The bargaining between the prosecutors and various Trump-related defendants is ratcheting up, even as Trump’s numbers in the GOP nomination race also are moving up. But will Donald Trump even appear on the ballot if there’s a Republican presidential primary in Michigan? That question is up in the air with a potential lawsuit challenging Trump’s eligibility, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson stuck in the middle of a very sticky and unprecedented legal situation. Also on our agenda this week:  Michigan Democrats are turning up the heat on Republicans over reproductive healthcare rights with a new package of bills aimed at keeping the government out of these decisions.  Courts in two states have thrown out congressional district maps because of Republican gerrymandering. A couple of candidates make it official: Mike Rogers is moving back to Michigan to run for the Senate, and Carl Marlinga is looking for a rematch with John James. We're joined this week by author and Lincoln Project Adviser Stuart Stevens. Stu has worked at the top level of more presidential and senatorial campaigns than just about anyone. His first presidential effort: the Bob Dole campaign in 1996. His book The Big Enchilada is a chronicle of George W. Bush's 2000 campaign. Other campaigns on his resume include Mitt Romney, Governor Haley Barbour, Governor Tom Ridge, Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Dick Lugar, Senator Mel Martínez, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Jon Kyl, Governor Bill Weld, Governor Paul Cellucci, Governor Bob RileySSS Stevens is also a prolific writer. It Was All A Lie: How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump is his eighth book; his ninth book, The Conspiracy to End America Five Ways comes out October 10. He has also written extensively for dramatic television series, starting with Northern Exposure and including I’ll Fly Away, K. Street, Commander in Chief and others. =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
9/7/202350 minutes, 40 seconds
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Michigan Trifecta, Part II (Guest: Sen. Mallory McMorrow)

This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRA While assorted Republicans are getting booked, arraigned, found liable for slander and generally spending millions on defense attorneys, Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer are talking about “what’s next.” For Biden - what’s next is a battle with pharmaceutical companies over prices; for Whitmer - an ambitious agenda for a fall legislative session where she has the smallest possible majorities in both chambers. Michigan’s new congressional and legislative maps, in effect for just one election cycle, face a growing challenge in federal court. Onetime Congressman Mike Rogers apparently will get into Michigan’s U.S. Senate race, but first he has to move back to Michigan from Florida and register to vote; Rogers may be joined in the race by another former congressman - Peter Meijer - who is "exploring" a candidacy. And the broken Michigan GOP gets another national profile (in the New York Times) … and it ain’t pretty. We're joined this week by a Michigan legislator who – through no fault of her own – has become a national symbol of the growing political power of suburban moms: Senator Mallory McMorrow. McMorrow gained sudden national attention as a result of her ardent support of policies protecting reproductive rights. She became an overnight sensation for a floor speech standing up against false, bigoted, homophobic attacks on her and her colleagues. Her legislative focus also includes empowering local communities, and making Michigan a business- and family-friendly state. Senator McMorrow is the Senate Majority Whip and serving her second term in the Michigan Senate. She has a deep affinity for the automotive industry after working for more than a decade in product design, media and advertising with companies like Mazda, Mattel, Gawker Media, Hearst and other global brands. Since becoming a state Senator she has won victories on policy changes such as ending Michigan’s tampon tax, helping struggling businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, and protecting certain individuals (including domestic violence survivors) by creating an address confidentiality program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the University of Notre Dame. =========================== EPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
8/31/202351 minutes, 27 seconds
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Mug Shots Week (Guest: Rep. Julie Brixie)

The battle for 2nd place in the Republican presidential campaign gets launched … with nobody winning. While the GOP's Wannabe Eight gathered in Milwaukee, the Defendant in Chief appeared in two new prime time specials, “Live at the Fulton County Booking” and “Conversations with a Fired Talk Show Host on a Failing Website." Representative Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township) Also this week: the MAGA-inspired effort to recall a half-dozen state House members bogs down; and the UAW negotiations with the Big Three have major implications for the nation and Michigan's economy. We're joined this week by a state legislator at the center of two major issues: gun safety, and added protections for victims of sexual abuse. Representative Julie Brixie’s district includes the MSU campus: site of a tragic mass shooting, and the starting point for the nightmare of Larry Nassar. Rep. Brixie has been active in community service for 25 years. With a Master’s degree in crop and soil sciences with a specialization in environmental toxicology, Brixie began as a citizen activist on environmental issues in the township. In 1998, she was named to the Meridian Township Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission.  A year later she was elected to the Meridian Township Board, where she served her community for 18 years – two terms as a Trustee and three terms as Treasurer. She is now in her third term in the state House, where she serves on the Appropriations Committee, chairing the subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources.  
8/25/202345 minutes, 34 seconds
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Arraignment Night in Georgia (Guest – Pollster Bernie Porn)

In December 2020, Rudy Giuliani brought his Big Lie circus to the Michigan House Oversight Committee in a session that was quickly mocked on Saturday Night Live. That appearance and what he said is part of the 19-defendant criminal racketeering indictment issued in Georgia, part of a major Michigan presence in the latest criminal proceeding against Donald Trump. With 19 defendants and 30 unindicted co-conspirators in the latest indictment, the obvious question is: will any of them flip? But there are other things going on in politics. Really there are. This week marks the one-year anniversary of Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a law that doesn’t really do much about inflation but has already had a huge impact on the nation’s manufacturing sector and creating a once-in-a-lifetime assault on climate change, as well as cut healthcare costs and guarantee that the biggest of the big corporations pay income taxes. The President is building his reelection campaign around this law in addition to the huge infrastructure bill which has sprouted orange barrels nationwide and the CHIPS Act which is bringing the manufacturing of all-important microchips back to the U.S. Will campaigning on policy work better than counting on running against a serial criminal? Bernie Porn Democrats finally go on the offensive as Republicans continue their efforts to tie Joe Biden to his son’s misdeeds. Democrats want to talk about the hundreds-of-millions the Trump family collected while The Donald was in the Oval office. And we’ve got some movement in the state’s U.S. Senate campaign – also part of the polling we will look at. But Mark and Jeff begin in Georgia. Trump has a Grand Slam of four criminal indictments this year, totaling 91 felony counts. Does anybody care? Joining the conversation is Michigan's top pollster, Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA. He provides new numbers on the top races, plus some insights into what will be a rocky and unprecedented 2024 campaign. The Georgia 19. Who will flip first? =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
8/17/202343 minutes, 1 second
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Not Guilty Not Guilty Not Guilty (Guest: Jonathan Oosting)

Bridge Michigan state capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty: it’s being said so much by Republicans these days, it might have to be included in the platform of the onetime “law and order” party. We update the status of various investigations and pre-trial activities of the once Grand Old Party.with Bridge Michigan reporter Jonathan Oosting who has been looking at some questionable sweetheart funding for a buddy of former Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth. The 16 fake Michigan electors have all had their initial dates in court; Michigan Democrats could temporarily lose their 2-vote majority in the state House; Michigan looks at paying for roads through a pay-by-the-mile plan; and Mike Rogers looks like he’s ready to rejoin the campaign trail a decade after leaving Congress.  And we can't overlook the latest revelations about the many rich friends of Justice Clarence Thomas who apparently can't resist the urge to lavish him with outrageously expensive vacations and excursions to sports events. Jonathan Oosting was named 2021 Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association. He covered the state Capitol for The Detroit News and MLive before joining Bridge in September of 2019. He is in his 11th year of covering the shenanigans in downtown Lansing. He has two masters degrees: English Language and Literature from Grand Valley, and Journalism from Michigan State. He's from Grand Rapids, lives in Lansing and loves spending time Up North. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
8/10/202345 minutes, 17 seconds
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Crackpot Lawyers (Guest: Rick Wilson)

This has been a very very very very very bad week for Donald Trump … and Matt DePerno … and former Representative Daire Rendon … and the Michigan Republican Party.  Spoiler alert: it's another week of our true-crime podcast. But for six state House Democrats who were targeted for recall It was a pretty good week with the state Board of Canvassers rejecting the proposed recall petitions (all of them ably represented by their lawyer, Mark Brewer!) The podcast was recorded minutes after Donald 'Jail-Adverse" Trump was arraigned for the third time this year on felony criminal charges. Joining the conversation as we mark a truly momentous moment in U.S. political history is longtime Trump critic Rick Wilson. A former member of the Republican Party, Rick has produced televised political commercials for governors, U.S. Senate candidates, Super PACs, and corporations. He left the Republican Party following the 2016 United States presidential election, and in late 2019 went on to co-found The Lincoln Project. In 2018, Rick released his first book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, in which he laments the re-alignment of the Republican Party behind Trump. The book reached number one on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. Wilson's second book, Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump – and Democrats from Themselves, was published in January 2020. He now hosts the podcast “Rick Wilson’s The Enemies List.” =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
8/3/202342 minutes, 8 seconds
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X – The Podcast

We’re on indictment watch again this week. By the time you are listening to us, Donald Trump could be completing his 2023 "indictment hat trick", this time for his leadership of efforts to steal the 2020 election. In addition to his two already issued criminal indictments, he’s also facing a court date in the continuation of his losing civil battle with rape victim E. Jean Carroll … and he might get the indictment grand slam as Georgia prepares to step in. Sam Inglot - Executive Director, Progress Michigan In Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel appears on the verge of issuing multiple indictments for tampering with election tabulators. The likely targets are her 2022 GOP opponent Matt DePerno, along with former state representative Daire Rendon and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf. There’s no question the takeover of state government by Democrats - the first total control for the party in 40 years - has brought about a lot of change in Michigan law, changes that are being noticed nationwide. We talk aboutt what to expect in Chapter 2 of this governance story with the new Executive Director of Progress Michigan, Sam Inglot! =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
7/28/202344 minutes, 39 seconds
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Indictments Week (Guest: Clara Hendrickson)

What a week: Donald Trump on the cusp of another criminal indictment - if you’re keeping score, it would be his third… 16 of the more prominent names in the Michigan Republican Party are indicted for the Fake Electors plot… And Marjorie Taylor Greene appears in a Biden campaign commercial – supporting his record of accomplishment. As much as we wanted to focus on BarbenHeimer, we’re also look at possible criminality by still another former Republican state House speaker … and a brazen attempt by the very broke Michigan Republican Party to force a do-over of 2022’s state House election. We're joined by the Detroit Free Press’s outstanding political reporter Clara Hendrickson, who maintain her equilibrium despite a very wild week! Clara covers Michigan politics with a focus on the governor's office and the state Legislature. She has previously covered voting rights, election administration and redistricting in Michigan.  She came to The Detroit Free Press by way of Report for America – an initiative of The GroundTruth Project – to fact-check Michigan issues and politics in partnership with PolitiFact during the 2020 election. She previously worked as a research analyst at the Brookings Institution and freelance journalist in Washington, D.C. At Brookings, she wrote on a range of public policy issues, including rising regional inequality, domestic and international efforts to regulate “Big Tech” and the financial challenges confronting local newsrooms. Her journalism has appeared in Boston Review, Democracy Journal, The Atlantic and Politico Magazine. She has also contributed feature articles for the non-profit outlet DCist, such as the impact on service workers of eliminating late-night public transportation routes and efforts to provide residents affordable exercise options in neighborhoods that don’t have a gym. Hendrickson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania where she was an op-ed columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian, frequently covering labor and income disparity issues on campus and in Philadelphia. Attorney General Dana Nessel announces indictments of 16 Republican "Fake" presidential electors. President Biden celebrates his "endorsement" from MGT!                   =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== News Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan Politics and Policy Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Charges 16 ‘False Electors’ with Election Law and Forgery Felonies - Attorney General's Office Transcript: Attorney General Nessel's statement on the Fake Electors indictments Trump's fake electors in Michigan face criminal charges - Detroit Free Press GOP officials call Nessel's Trump elector charges a 'witch hunt,' defend slate - Detroit News Opinion | Michigan indicts alleged plotters in fake elector scheme. Here’s what it means. - The Washington Post What we know about the 16 Michigan Trump electors facing charges- Detroit News Records: Wentworth secured $6.8M grant to dredge lake where former aide lives - Bridge Michigan Michigan: Double payment concerns suspended $25M Clare health campus grant - Bridge Michigan Five Michigan House Democrats, one Republican face recall threats - Bridge Michigan Mayoral bids could shake up Dems' majority in Michigan House - Detroit Free Press Michigan GOP bank accounts down to $93K, recording reveals - Detroit News
7/21/202359 minutes, 46 seconds
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Courts, Ethics and Politics (Guest: Former Michigan Chief Justice Bridget McCormack)

For a second time, physical violence breaks out at a Michigan Republican Party leadership meeting … this time, complete with criminal charges pending. And speaking of Republican criminals, the federal investigation into Trump’s efforts to steal the 2020 election now involves testimony from Jocelyn Benson as the investigation spreads to Michigan, Arizona and Georgia. Donald Trump’s apparent “get out of jail free” strategy is to get elected President or, at worst, get one of his MAGA wannabes elected so they tell the Justice Department to back off. It’s another challenge for a court system under increasing fire for political manipulation, conflicts of interest and outright corruption. We talk about a credibility crisis for the 3rd branch of government with former Michigan Chief Justice Bridget McCormack. McCormack served on the Michigan Supreme Court from 2013 to 2022, first as an associate justice, and as chief justice from 2019 to 2022. Previously she was a professor at the University of Michigan Law School where she served as Michigan Law’s associate dean for clinical affairs, clinical professor of law, and co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, a non-DNA clinic representing wrongfully convicted Michigan prisoners. McCormack also launched and worked in a pediatric advocacy law clinic focusing on children with health problems, and a domestic violence clinic. She retired from the Supreme Court at the end of 2022 and became President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Arbitration Association in February. Her first campaign featured an online ad that went viral with 1.9 million views. "Walk and Talk the Vote" was a reunion of the West Wing cast focusing on her candidacy. The production was organized by her younger sister Mary – one of the stars of the iconic series – complete with West Wing stars including Martin Sheen, Brad Whitford, Allison Janney, Lily Tomlin and Joshua Malina. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== News Stories We’re Following This Week Courts Under Fire Bridget McCormack Bio Data for Progress Polling on SCOTUS Supreme Court Term Limits - Brennan Center for Justice The Trump Documents Case Puts the Justice System on Trial - The New York Times Trump Lawyers Seek Indefinite Postponement of Documents Trial - The New York Times Trump centers campaign on his prosecution, vilifying legal system - The Washington Post Alito Took Unreported Luxury Trip With GOP Donor Paul Singer - ProPublica Justice Alito Defends Private Jet Travel to Luxury Fishing Trip - The New York Times The Elite Circle Clarence Thomas Entered That Led to the Supreme Court - The New York Times Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor's staff prodded colleges and libraries to buy her books - AP News Supreme Court justices and donors mingle at campus visits. These documents show the ethical dilemmas - AP News Justices teach when the Supreme Court isn't in session. It can double as an all-expenses-paid trip - AP News Senate panel plans to move forward on Supreme Court ethics bill after Alito report - POLITICO Doughty's social media injunction undoes election disinformation efforts - The Washington Post After 303 Creative Decision, Large Majority of Voters Say Business Owners Should Not Be Able to Deny Services Based on Personal Beliefs How Supreme Court decisions are activating a generation of young voters - The Washington Post Michigan Policy and Politics
7/14/202351 minutes, 30 seconds
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Follow the Money

This week's guest: House Ethics Committee Chair Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn). Michigan has some of the weakest government ethics and openness laws in the nation. After years of empty promises, Democrats in the Legislature are moving on a comprehensive reform package. Joining the podcast is the chair of the state House Ethics Committee, Dearborn Representative Erin Byrnes. After weeks of a U.S. Senate race with just one prominent candidate, both parties are seeing some movement. Detroiter Hill Harper has launched his pre-announcement campaign for the Democratic primary; a former Congressman and Wall Street millionaire are moving towards running on the Republican side. The national drumbeat for a Whitmer presidential campaign continues to build, even as the Governor firmly commits to backing President BIden’s reelection. And we’ve got some interesting developments in two of Michigan’s most closely contested congressional districts. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== News Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan Policy and Politics Insider: Lawmakers say 'pieces in place' for transparency overhaul - Detroit News Actor Hill Harper poised to challenge Slotkin in Michigan Senate primary - POLITICO Michigan Senate Race Poised to Draw More Candidates Soon - Time GOP former congressman eyeing Michigan U.S. Senate seat - Detroit News Michigan Democrats move to remove GOP Senate candidate from party - Detroit News Hertel resigns as Whitmer legislative affairs director, fueling speculation of congressional run ⋆ Michigan Advance Kristina Karamo feuds with co-chair, as Michigan Republican civil war worsens - Bridge Michigan Ex-Michigan GOP budget chair: Karamo opposed party spending limits - Detroit News Prosecutor describes 'multiple crimes' in Michigan voting equipment probe - Detroit News Moms for Liberty's focus on school races nationwide sets up political clash with teachers unions - AP News Democrats' new primary calendar remains unresolved. The party insists that's OK - AP News The D.N.C. Has a Primary Problem - The New York Times Macomb County, Prosecutor Peter Lucido hit with discrimination lawsuit - Detroit Free Press Critic of Chinese battery plant once lobbied for Chinese company - Detroit News Why Not Whitmer? - The Atlantic Why Gretchen Whitmer Has What It Takes for a White House Run - Vanity Fair Bypassing Biden: Democrats Think of What Could Have Been - POLITICO Biden’s hydrogen bombshell leaves Europe in the dust - POLITICO National Policy and Politics Biden versus the bad news bros (Economic Fakerism) - New York Times Republican opposition to LGBTQ rights erupts in backlash to Pride month - The Washington Post The Supreme Court rejects Biden’s plan to wipe away $400 billion in student loan debt - WILX TV FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Provide Debt Relief and Support for Student Loan Borrowers - The White House Poll: 61% support Biden's Student Loan Debt Relief Plan - Data for Progress Voters Not Happy with SCOTUS - Data for Progress Ex-GOP Ohio House speaker sentenced to 20 years for role in $60M bribery scheme; appeal expected - AP News The Mysterious Case of the Fake Gay Marriage Website, the Real Straight Man, and the Supreme Court - The New Republic Judge limits Biden administration in working with social media companies - AP News Trump-appointed judge botches facts - The Washington Post
7/7/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
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Top Secrets Go Better with Coke™

This week's guest: Trygve Olson from the Lincoln Democracy Institute on growing violence in politics. We now have an audio tape of Donald Trump committing a felony: sharing classified military information that he stole from the White House and giving the details to people with no security clearance. Despite that, Oakland Republicans hand him a certificate for a made-up award as "Man of the Decade" which Trump immediately "humbly" included in a fundraising email. Back in the real world, the administration launches an all-out campaign promoting Bidenomics ... with some snark aimed at Republicans who "voted no but take the dough." The Supreme Court wraps up this term with positive results on voting rights, and reversing precedent on affirmative action in college admissions. In Michigan, a new state budget is now on the Governor’s desk — on time and balanced, with major new funding for education, and tax cuts for millions of Michiganders.The Legislature also sends a tranche of bills on everything from expanded civil rights to allowing beer at college football games.  And while the Michigan Legislature is passing laws to improve our elections process, there are warning signs about the potential for increased political violence. A new comprehensive national survey warns of an increasing appetite and tolerance for violence as a part of our political process. We talk with the onetime Mitch McConnell staffer who led the study … along with a collaborator on that report, the honorable and esteemed Mr. Jeff Timmer. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== This week's news links Michigan Politics and Policy Lincoln Democracy Project Full Study Lincoln Democracy Project Summary Supreme Court ruling on online harassment angers victims, advocates - The Washington Post Michigan Legislature sends $81.7B state budget to Whitmer's desk - Detroit Free Press Michigan lawmakers approve record $82B budget plan - Detroit News Michigan passes $21.5B school budget with boost for at-risk students | Bridge Michigan Michigan budget has $950M in no-bid pork projects, some transparency reforms - Bridge Michigan Early voting, beer in college stadiums await Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature - Bridge Michigan Michigan set to become 22nd state to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youths - Bridge Michigan Michigan bill repeals Snyder-era law limiting state regulations - Detroit Free Press High-speed internet is a necessity, President Biden says, pledging all US will have access by 2030 - AP News Michigan to receive $1.5B to extend internet to 210,000 in rural areas - Bridge Michigan Dana Nessel: $10B PFAS settlement with 3M doesn’t resolve Michigan’s claims - Bridge Michigan Trump said EVs will ‘decimate’ Michigan. Bridge fact-checks his claims - Bridge Michigan A return to the familiar as Trump kicks off Michigan campaigning for '24 - Detroit Free Press USS Carl M. Levin commissioned, going on active duty in US Navy - Detroit Free Press Across the nation Bidonomics - White House Embracing "Bidenomics," Biden seeks to turn an insult into a strength - The Washington Post White House touts legislative wins on the road, in GOP strongholds - POLITICO The public still has negative views of the national economy - AP-NORC Supreme Court rejects GOP in North Carolina case that could have reshaped elections beyon...
6/30/202353 minutes, 29 seconds
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Supreme Court Travels – and Other Scandals (Guest: Craig Mauger)

This week's guest: award-winning Detroit News Lansing reporter Craig Mauger. Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot — while Joe Biden stands alone in focusing on actually dealing with the challenges facing ordinary Americans. We’ve got another Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justice eyebrow-deep in a scandal over luxury vacations paid for by billionaire GOP activists; U.S. House Republicans censuring Adam Schiff for exposing the criminal history of their Lord and Master, Donald Trump; a cat fight between the two leading House crazies, with Marjorie Taylor Greene calling Lauren Boebert “a little bitch” as they fight over who gets to impeach Josef Biden; and leading the way, Donald Trump going on Fox TV and confessing to obstruction of justice and violating the Espionage Act. And Michigan isn’t exempt from the crazy. There are internal GOP feuds in multiple county party organizations, and the chair of the party has been hit with thousands of dollars in court-ordered sanctions thanks to one of the many Big LIe lawsuits filed in Michigan. In this week's podcast we catch up with what’s happening in Lansing which has it’s own list of ongoing investigations into misdeeds. We’ll be joined by award-winning Detroit News statehouse reporter Craig Mauger. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Michigan Politics and Policy Michigan House passes ban on child marriage in the state - Detroit Free Press Ex-GOP governor candidate Ryan Kelley to plead guilty in Jan. 6 case - Detroit News Charges filed in signature scandal for 2022 Michigan governor race - Detroit Free Press Lawmakers explore name, image, likeness deals for high school athletes - Detroit News Teacher union bargaining rights see sweeping changes under House bills - Detroit News Why Gretchen Whitmer Has What It Takes for a White House Run - Vanity Fair Lawmakers explore name, image, likeness deals for high school athletes - Detroit News Slotkin helping to recruit Hertel as possible candidate to replace her in 7th District – The Livingston Post.com Michigan House votes to expand hate crimes to protect gay, disabled residents - Bridge Michigan Michigan Democrats push 8 days of absentee ballot counting to curb ‘chaos’ - Bridge Michigan Democrats meet with anti-Trump conservatives to fight No Labels 2024 bid - The Washington Post Michigan GOP chair must pay for Detroit election lawsuit - Detroit Free Press Michigan commission accuses former AG candidate DePerno of misconduct Leaked Audio: Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo Says Outrage Over Holocaust Tweet Was ‘Completely Hilarious’ - The Daily Beast Michigan GOP split over new plan to select presidential delegates - Detroit Free Press ‘MAGA vs. ultra-MAGA’: Michigan’s Republican Party at war with itself - The Washington Post Across the Nation IRS reduces tax return backlog by 80% and is doing better job answering the phone - AP News US murder rate declines dramatically in 2023 — but you probably haven't heard about it - Popular Information Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Law Banning Gender Transition Care for Minors - The New York Times DeSantis allies set up a school to train a $100 million door-knocking army - The Washington Post Impeachment fever isn’t going away - The Washington Post House passes GOP-led measure to censure Adam Schiff - The Washington Post Editorial | House Republicans censuring Adam Schiff says more about them than him - The Was...
6/22/202356 minutes, 40 seconds
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Indictment Week Deux – (Archive interviews with George Conway and Michael Cohen

Mark and Jeff are taking a little me-time this week. With the historic 37-count federal indictment of the Defendant in Chief, nothing seemed more appropriate than going into our archives. We revisit conversations with two men who know DJT as well as anyone: outspoken Trump critic/Twitter nemesis George Conway, and onetime Trump fixer Michael Cohen. Don't say they didn't warn us... (Jeff and Mark return with a new episode next week) =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================  
6/19/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 14 seconds
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Cheaper by the Dozen (Guest: Kyle Melinn)

UPDATE: This episode of the podcast was recorded about an hour before Donald Trump announced that he's made history again by being indicted on multiple felony counts ... Michigan’s Quality Guru Perry Johnson now has a lot of competition for the most obscure Republican presidential candidate as the field of GOP wannabes grows to about an even dozen, and as we learn that North Dakota has a Governor and his name is Doug Burgum. Mark and Jeff take a look at the most unusual cadre of candidates … as well as the quixotic Democratic campaign of the Kennedy family’s black sheep. Also on the agenda this week: the U.S. Supreme Court's surprising ruling in support of the Voting Rights Act, turmoil in the ranks of U.S. House Republicans, and an early start to the 2023 state legislative campaign. Joining us on the podcast is a veteran of state capitol journalism, Kyle Melinn. Kyle has been editor of the MIRS Newsletter for 20 years. If you aren’t familiar with their newsletter, it’s a daily deep dive into everything happening in state government – a must-read for leaders in government, lobbyists, other journalists and state politics junkies. Kyle also is host of the longest-running political podcast in Michigan, the MIRS Monday Podcast, a part of the Michigan political landscape for 13 years.
6/9/202354 minutes, 32 seconds
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Don’t Play Poker with Joe Biden! (Guest: Rick Pluta)

Another crisis averted after the political pros take charge in Washington. Joe Biden quietly cleans up a right-wing created mess, avoiding the shock of a first-ever U.S. credit default with deft negotiating skills and public confidence that he could get it done (and did!). Governor Whitmer takes what could be a major step for Michigan’s future, or could end up as just another report getting dusty in the archives. A key Michigan congressional battleground district gets more focus as the list of likely serious Democratic contenders goes down to just 1. And the state’s political/business power structure gets together on Mackinac Island to talk policy. We get an insider’s look from Michigan Public Radio’s award-winning correspondent Rick Pluta. Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener. He was one of the first Michigan political reporters to write about “pay-to-play” fundraising, and the controversies surrounding recognition of same-sex relationships. He broke the news that Gov. John Engler was planning a huge juvenile justice overhaul that included adult-time-for-adult-crime sentencing, and has continued to report since then on the effects of that policy decision. Pluta co-hosts the weekly segment “It’s Just Politics” on Michigan Radio which is co-hosted with Zoe Clark. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management ===========================
6/2/20230
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Florida Presidential Cage Match (Guest: Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum)

Ron DeSantis teams up with everybody’s favorite billionaire for a 404-error campaign launch … while Donald Trump hunkers down in Mar A Lago waiting for what could be his summer of indictments. In Michigan, politics and government is a little more on track - the Governor signing another major gun safety law, the state’s attorney discipline board takes aim at the lawyers who led the Big Lie lawsuits, and there’s still another money-based scandal brewing as part of the Republican legislative legacy. And we're sad to report that neither Jeff nor Mark is on Putin's list of 500 Americans barred from visiting Russia. Barack Obama and Stephen Colbert made the list -- but Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are still welcome. (Also on the list: former Senators John McCain, Harry M. Reid and Orrin G. Hatch -- who are all currently dead.) The calendar may tell us it’s the spring of 2023, but for local election administrators across the state it’s already 2024. The newly enacted voter protection rights approved by voters in 2022, the likelihood of an early presidential primary and continuing right-wing claims of 2020 election fraud, have local clerks in full implementation mode for what could well be a very challenging election cycle. Joining the conversation this week is one of the state’s leading experts on running fair and accurate elections, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. Prior to her election as Ingham County Clerk 10 years ago she served for 6 years in the state Legislature where she was ranking member of the House Elections Committee. She’s a lifelong resident of rural Lansing, and the daughter of Dianne Byrum who was the first woman to lead a party caucus in the state Legislature. Barb Byrum has a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management, and a law degree from the MSU College of Law. Also in Clerk Byrum’s resume: after the 2014 Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriages she presided over the first gay marriage in Michigan. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan politics and policy Michigan inked $25M grant without vetting ex-aide to House speaker, ex-convict - Bridge Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Extreme Risk (Red Flag) Protection Order Legislation to Keep Michigan Communities Safe - Executive Office How firearms could be confiscated under Michigan's new 'red flag' law - Detroit News AG Nessel Joins Coalition Supporting Federal Restriction Prohibiting Handgun Sales to Individuals Under 21 - Attorney General's Office Whitmer repeals letter grade rankings for public schools - Detroit Free Press Pamela Pugh enters race for Michigan's open US Senate seat Leslie Love announces run for Senate, challenges Slotkin - Lansing State Journal Commission accuses lawyers who tried to reverse 2020 election of misconduct - Detroit News AG Nessel Sues Avid Telecom Over Illegal Robocalls - Attorney General's Office Voting Rights and Candidates GOP state lawmakers try to restrict ballot initiatives, partly to thwart abortion protections - AP News Ahead of 2024 election, several states overhauled voting laws - The Washington Post Biden maintains edge over Trump in 2024 US election - Reuters/Ipsos poll The GOP Culture Wars Transgender Mississippi girl misses graduation after judge's ruling - Reuters Abortion to be included in Michigan anti-discrimination law - Bridge Michigan Nebraska passes 12-week abortion,
5/25/202345 minutes, 11 seconds
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Let’s Pay Our Bills! (Guest: Lou Glazer)

The polling shows Michigan voters unhappy with the economy, yet the numbers tell a different story. Unemployment rate dropped to 3.8% in April, tying the pre-pandemic February 2020 rate.  Since the mid-1970s, Michigan’s unemployment rate only fell below 4.0% during three periods: periodically from 1998-2000, from November 2019 to March 2020, and now.  In April, Michigan had a total labor force of 4,869,000. This was an increase of 18,000 over the month and 26,000 over the year.  The state recorded 4,420,000 payroll jobs in April, an increase of 5,000 jobs over March and an increase of 61,000 jobs over the year.  Michigan’s labor force participation rate climbed to 60.2 percent this month, the highest rate since September 2020.  One huge threat to that strong economy: Congress. Congressional leaders say the nation won’t default on the national debt, but we’re really at the mercy of the GOP Cuckoo Squad … and George Santos. Also in the political spotlight: Republicans are continuing to do everything they can to enact laws and nominate candidates that are only popular with their base, moves that could well lead to a GOP election bloodbath in 2024. Florida, under Ron DeSantis, is leading the way - even investigating an elementary school teacher for showing a Disney film in her classroom. Michigan is becoming the un-Florida, enacting laws that enjoy wide voter support and using those laws as a lure for new talent. Joining our conversation is the head of the progressive think tank Michigan Future, Lou Glazer, about Michigan’s new marketing campaigns focused on promoting progressive social policies. Michigan Future, Inc., is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations. Lou currently is heading efforts to implement a new agenda designed to raise household income for all. Prior to joining Michigan Future, Lou Glazer served as Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Commerce during the Blanchard Administration. He received Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan’s pitch to lure new residents: nature, high tech, abortion rights - Bridge Michigan Panel: Michigan needs to act with urgency as population slides - Bridge Michigan Michigan’s environmental rules could be stricter than national ones under bill - Bridge Michigan Leslie Love announces run for Senate, challenges Slotkin - Lansing State Journal Insider: Mich. lawmaker says Legislature 'infected' with corruption - Detroit News Commission accuses lawyers who tried to reverse 2020 election of misconduct - Detroit News Biden maintains edge over Trump in 2024 US election - Reuters/Ipsos poll Georgia prosecutor fights back against Trump attempt to remove her from election probe - AP News Florida teacher under state investigation for showing 5th graders a Disney movie The Culture and Voting Rights Wars Abortion to be included in Michigan anti-discrimination law - Bridge Michigan Texas legislature votes to ban transgender care for children - The Washington Post A look at transgender restrictions moving forward in the US - AP News North Carolina Senate overrides governor’s veto of abortion...
5/18/202352 minutes, 38 seconds
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A Bad Week for GOP Liars (Guest: Chad Livengood)

The two biggest liars in politics had an especially bad week. It’s 5-million dollars for one of the many crimes of Donald Trump followed by a 13-count felony indictment over the Congressman currently known as George Santos. It was topped off by a truly bizarre hour organized and broadcast by CNN, which called it a Town Hall but in reality should have been labeled a Trump campaign rally. On a much more positive note, Governor Whitmer’s sister is running for Congress. Lynn Whitmer Gereghty is running in a suburban New York City district - for the seat held by new Biden buddy Republican Mike Lawson who upset DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney in 2022. And while Congress is in a stalemate over the budget and national debt (threatening an economic disaster), Michigan’s legislature is quietly moving forward on enacting Governor Whitmer’s budget. Sitting in for the vacationing Jeff Timmer this week is longtime political troublemaker (and this podcast's producer) Walt Sorg. Joining the conversation this week is Chad Livengood, politics editor and a columnist at The Detroit News. Chad was a political reporter in The News' Lansing Bureau from 2012 through 2016 before becoming a reporter and columnist at Crain's Detroit Business. He rejoined The News' politics team in May 2022. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan Politics and Policy Michigan House passes $80.1B budget for 2024 fiscal year ⋆ Michigan Advance House Budget Proposes Record Funding For Education – housedems.com Michigan Democrats rethink how to fund special projects with competing plans Michigan’s new roads plan: More money for big counties (that vote Democratic) - Bridge Michigan Michigan Senate lawmakers spar before passing $21 billion school aid budget - Bridge Michigan Michigan nears ban on handheld cell phone use while driving - Bridge Michigan Livengood - 7 areas to watch as Democrats wrangle over Michigan's next state budget - Detroit News Budget gives Michigan Republicans another opportunity for influence - Detroit News Livengood: Michigan architects seek reform of rise in 'dark' political money Livengood: 2024 may feel like Trump-Biden sequel, but wild cards remain Default Impact on Michigan - White House Fact Sheet Michigan commission finds ‘misconduct’ by pro-Trump attorneys in 2020 lawsuit - Bridge Michigan AG Nessel Announces Distribution of $141 Million Settlement to Millions of Low-Income Americans Deceived by TurboTax Owner Intuit Michigan paid $10M before ‘red flags’ froze ex-House speaker Jason Wentworth’s pet project - Bridge Michigan GOP Voters Say Trump Has Too Much Baggage. They'll Vote for Him Anyway. - The Atlantic Whitmer signs bills negotiated in Ford plant spending deal - Detroit Free Press How Michigan hashes out big money deals with business - Lansing State Journal Voters Want Clarence Thomas to Resign and Support a Supreme Court Code of Ethics - Data for Progress Chasten Buttigieg's new book might help young adults - Detroit Free Press Campaigns and Candidates Benson urges legislators to support military families overseas, voters with disabilities, and parents seeking elected office Michigan may let candidates, officials use campaign funds for child care | Bridge Michigan Sister of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enters New York congressional race - The Washington Post GOP Voters Say Trump Has Too Much Baggage.
5/12/202355 minutes, 47 seconds
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Clarence Thomas’s GoFundMe (Guests: Nancy Wang, Debbie Mikula)

Still no big-name Republicans in the Senate race, but a deep pockets candidate may parachute in. On the Democratic side, a potential deep pockets challenger to Elissa Slotkin drops a hint that he’s running — a hint dropped on national TV. Led by Florida and Texas, red states have launched a book banning binge unlike anything we’ve seen since the days of McCarthyism in the early 1950s. It’s probably the most attention most people have paid to librarians since the 1962 movie The Music Man (centered around the romance between Professor Harold Hill and "Marian, Madam Librarian”). The Michigan Library Association asked our friends at EPIC/MRA to survey the attitudes in Michigan towards libraries and book bans.We talk with the MLA’s executive director, Debbie Mikula, about the poll. Also: the corrosive impact of money on politics and governance. Money is at the heart of a lot of political scandals. Michigan has some of the loosest campaign finance regulations in the nation and that’s led way too many scandals and mini-scandals. One of the groups working to reign in the abuses is Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots organization best known for leading the successful drive to end gerrymandering in Michigan’s congressional and legislative races. Joining us on the podcast is the Executive Director of VNP, Nancy Wang. VNP is in the vanguard of grassroots groups working to bring some reforms to Michigan's campaign finance regulation, as well as several other much-needed good government reforms. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Michigan Politics and Policy CROWN Act (SB 90) Whitmer announces $400 million clean hydrogen plant for Michigan - Detroit Free Press Michigan poised to ban employers from firing workers for having abortions - Bridge Michigan Michigan House OKs ban on holding phones; violators face fines of $100 and up | Bridge Michigan Michigan's US Senate race: Where is big Republican candidate? - Lansing State Journal New York Stock Exchange exec mulling Michigan Senate bid - POLITICO Republicans propose 'constitutional carry' bills after MSU shooting - Detroit News Better IRS service is forcing an earlier debt deadline - POLITICO UAW demands Biden support 'top wages' for EV workers before endorsing Biden rejects GOP spending cuts, warns of catastrophic government default - The Washington Post Problem Solvers Caucus Debt Ceiling Outline Corruption 2023 VNP Ethics Reform Policy Summary Clarence Thomas Raised Him. Harlan Crow Paid His Tuition. — ProPublica Emails Reveal ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Herschel Walker Money Scandal - Daily Beast ‘Red flags’ surround $25M health campus pushed by ex-Michigan House speaker Jason Wentworth | Bridge Michigan Insider: Ex-House Dem leader says money's influence in politics is 'eroding trust' - Detroit News GOP War on Freedom Michigan Library Association Poll on Book Banning Florida lawmakers restrict pronouns and tackle book objections in sweeping education bill - POLITICO Florida legislature passes anti-trans bathroom bill - The Washington Post North Carolina Republicans unveil 12-week abortion ban - The Washington Post Zooey Zephyr row spotlights rise of GOP far-right caucuses - AP News Opinion | Republicans Are Running Wild in My State - Frank Bruni in The New York Times Adams Township Clerk, Supervisor lose recall election - WILX TV
5/4/202347 minutes, 35 seconds
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Finish the Job

The Biden campaign is officially underway – with Gretchen Whitmer the only Governor among the campaign’s 7 co-chairs. A signal of things to come? There are media reports of a special grand jury on election machine tampering add to state Republicans’ unenviable list of criminal investigations, even as one scandal brings a guilty plea from a former Republican House Speaker whose cooperation may bring still more indictments. Mark and Jeff discuss the latest turmoil (criminal and otherwise) in the GOP, the spiraling culture wars targeting just about anyone who isn't a straight white male, the futility of attacking Mickey Mouse, and another Republican-controlled state legislature officially silencing differing points of view. President Biden's reelection announcement (via YouTube) =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Campaigns Biden Re-election Announcement - Twitter Joe Biden’s 2024 Message Is ‘Old Beats Crazy’ - Intelligencer Opinion | DeSantis’s Puddin’ Head Campaign - The New York Times The Lincoln Project: RIP Tucker - Twitter Top Dem super PAC starts Biden ad blitz, pledges $75 million campaign effort - POLITICO Slotkin's Senate run may complicate Dems bid to retake House | AP News Elissa Slotkin gets a US Senate challenger in Dearborn businessman - Detroit Free Press Michigan Headlines Former MI House Speaker Rick Johnson pleads guilty to bribery - WPBN Secret grand jury has probed post-2020 examination of voting machines in Michigan Proposal would add sexual orientation to Michigan hate crime laws - Lansing State Journal After passing three gun bills, Michigan Democrats say they’re not done - Bridge Michigan Governors, Led by Whitmer, Fight GOP's Budget Machete GOP Culture Wars Nessel, sheriff, clash over enforcement of red flag law - WLNS 6 News Kalamazoo YWCA seeks tax dollars to support gender affirming, abortion care - Bridge Michigan Indiana's best, brightest flee state to live in more progressive areas - Indianapolis Star Transgender lawmaker banned from Montana House floor for rest of 2023 session - PBS NewsHour Many States Are Trying to Restrict Gender Treatments for Adults, Too - The New York Times In a thriving Michigan county, a community goes to war with itself - The Washington Post North Dakota governor signs law banning nearly all abortions - AP News 7 arrested for protesting in support of Montana transgender lawmaker - AP News
4/27/202337 minutes, 29 seconds
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Where Goeth Gen Z? (Guest: John Della Volpe)

It’s now official - Fox News lies, but that’s just a cost of doing business as the media giant buys its way out of getting caught … while failing to share the news with the millions the company has willingly deceived.Also this week: there’s a nationwide contrast on two hot-button issues: gun safety and reproductive healthcare rights look to be the pivotal issues in 2024, and Republicans are on the wrong side of both. The turmoil in the Michigan Republican Party continues and now even features actual physical fighting as a war breaks out between two leaders of the whack-job core of the party. And speaking of delusional – we have a quick update on the Quixotic presidential campaign of onetime failed Michigan gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson.  Returning to the podcast this week is John Della Volpe who has spent 20 years surveying millennials and Gen Z and advised President JOE BIDEN’s 2020 campaign on its outreach to younger voters. John is the director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, and the author of Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America. The Washington Post referred to John as one of the world’s leading authorities on global sentiment, opinion, and influence, especially among young Americans and in the age of digital and social media. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Fox "News" Lawsuit Fox News reaches $787.5 million settlement in Dominion’s defamation lawsuit - POLITICO Five takeaways from the Fox News-Dominion settlement | The Hill 'Difficult to say with a straight face': Tapper reacts to Fox News' statement on settlement | CNN Politics Gun safety vs. the NRA Michigan lawmakers send 'red flag' law gun bill to Whitmer GOP presidential hopefuls make pitches at Indianapolis NRA convention - Indianapolis Star NRA convention draws top GOP 2024 hopefuls after shootings - AP News Trump and Pence compete for ovations at the NRA after a rash of mass shootings - POLITICO Pro-gun groups sue to stop Michigan's new gun safety laws - Detroit Free Press Oxford woman, whose son survived shooting, takes on Rep. John James GOP in Disarray Michigan GOP infighting leads to actual fight between Kristina Karamo, Matt DePerno backers - Bridge Michigan Broke Michigan Republican Party plans fall Mackinac conference - Detroit News Abortion divides 2024 candidates and confounds many within the GOP - The Washington Post Opinion | The Abortion Ban Backlash Is Starting to Freak Out Republicans - The New York Times Why GOP culture warriors lost big in school board races this month - POLITICO Other political news Michigan Democrats eye next items on legislative agenda Mich. senators spar over law against unmarried couples living together - Detroit News Livengood: Michigan architects seek reform of rise in 'dark' political money - Detroit News FEC Disclosure Form 3 for PERRY JOHNSON FOR PRESIDENT INC. DeSantis seeks to control Disney with state oversight powers - AP News Clarence Thomas–Harlan Crow scandal: The Supreme Court justice broke the law. We would know. - Slate
4/20/202341 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Attack on Transgender Americans (Guest: Equality Michigan’s Emme Zanotti)

In a study of contrasts, Donald Trump and Trump wannabes are gathered in Indianapolis as we recorded this week’s podcast. They are all paying homage to the National Rifle Association at the gun manufacturing groups annual convention … even as Governor Whitmer signs two more gun safety laws opposed by the NRA into law with state and national leaders of March for Our Lives at her side…and additional laws working their way through the Legislature. The national debate over reproductive rights grows even more heated. Just before we started recording, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito — who wrote the Dobbs decision overturning Roe – has issued a short stay on the Texas court ban on the abortion drug mifopristone. In Michigan, the Governor and Attorney General have joined forces with their Democratic counterparts nationally in challenging the initial court finding. We’ll talk about the how this debate is nothing but bad news for Republicans. It’s not just reproductive rights under national attack. Republican legislatures across the nation have declared war on transgender Americans. We’re joined on the pod this week by Emme Zanotti, Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement, for the Equality Michigan Action Network.  Emme is a dedicated advocate for equality with integral roles in candidate campaign management, statewide caucus leadership, progressive coalition advisory, non-profit board service, and enhancing LGBTQ+ issue awareness and protections in the private sector. As a transgender woman who too often relied or had to rely on self-advocacy, Emme’s passion is in coalition-building, empowering fellow-LGBTQ+ Michiganders to enter the advocacy arena, and making sure the community is well-represented at the tables where decision-making is happening about their lives and well-being.  She is a former board member at Stand with Trans where she still facilitates a monthly support group for young trans women, and she most recently served as co-Chair and Vice Chair of the #HateWont Win Coalition and the Michigan Democratic Party’s LGBT&A Caucus. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Republican Attacks on Transgender Americans Trans kids feel unsafe and stressed at school. This study shows why. - Washington Post Indiana transgender bill signed by Holcomb backed by national groups - State Affairs GOP lawmakers override veto of transgender bill in Kentucky – AP News Florida Senate approves ban on transgender treatments for kids – POLITICO North Dakota advances suite of restrictions on trans rights – AP News West Virginia governor signs ban on gender-affirming care – AP News Kansas passes trans bathroom bill; Arkansas OKs own version – AP News Utah Is “Protecting” LGBTQ+ Kids by Letting Their Parents Read All Their Messages – Mother Jones High court: Trans girl can run girls track in West Virginia – AP News Climate Change and Environment Michigan Democrats: Utilities must use 100% carbon free energy by 2035 | Bridge Michigan Momentum Builds in Michigan Senate for Clean Energy Transition | Evergreen Action Senate Democrats Introduce Clean Energy Future Plan - Senator Sue Shink NEW POLL: Michigan Voters Want Legislature to Take Action on Clean Energy and Climate, Hold Utility Companies Accountable Following Blackouts - Evergreen Action Biden Proposes Emission Rules to Boost Sales of Electric Cars - The New York Times Sen.
4/15/202353 minutes, 21 seconds
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34 Counts

Photo credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Pool But of course Mark and Jeff weigh in on the first indictments handed down against career criminal Donald Trump. Their focus: the potential political impact on Michigan (site of one of the nation’s first presidential primaries)…and on the multiple criminal investigations into prominent Michigan Republicans. Also this week: In 1866, New York state surrogate Gideon John Tucker wrote in a decision on a legal malpractice claim: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session." The Michigan legislature is in recess right now so all is safe, and gives us time to ruminate on what may be the most important election in 2023: the flipping of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Also on our agenda this week: the stampede of Red States to attack transgender Americans, and the politics of what looks to be a temporary income tax cut in Michigan. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Stories We’re Following This Week Gun Safety What top Republican lawmakers said about the Nashville school shooting - The Washington Post Michigan Democrats have more ideas on gun safety, labor, civil rights - Detroit Free Press Democratic gun safety laws met with a shrug in Michigan gun country - Bridge Michigan After Nashville shooting, Senate chaplain makes rare plea to lawmakers - The Washington Post State Government Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel calls income tax cut temporary. Republicans express fury - Bridge Michigan Income tax rate reduction opinion - Office of the Attorney General Michigan is passing gun safety laws. Most counties may not enforce them - Bridge Michigan What top Republican lawmakers said about the Nashville school shooting - The Washington Post White House calls Ron DeSantis ‘shameful’ for signing Florida gun bill - The Washington Post Lansing power players, secret deals draw feds' attention in marijuana probe - Detroit News Wisconsin Supreme Court Democrats' choice wins key Wisconsin Supreme Court race - AP News Janet Protasiewicz defeats Dan Kelly in Wisconsin Supreme Court race - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Judge Janet Protasiewicz on Twitter: how to pronounce her name GOP Attacks on LGBTQ Rights Indiana governor signs ban on gender-affirming health care - AP News GOP lawmakers override veto of transgender bill in Kentucky - AP News Florida Senate approves ban on transgender treatments for kids - POLITICO North Dakota advances suite of restrictions on trans rights - AP News West Virginia governor signs ban on gender-affirming care - AP News Kansas passes trans bathroom bill; Arkansas OKs own version - AP News Other Political News Feds set to charge Rick Johnson, others in Lansing corruption scandal Governor Whitmer Repeals Michigan’s Extreme 1931 Abortion Ban - Executive Office The opaque $70 million scheme that could make Trump the next president - Judd Legum @ Popular Information Trump indictment document - AP News Arizona Democrats sue to keep 'No Labels' candidates off ballots | CNN Politics Democrat Diane Young launches U.S. House campaign against GOP's James Detroit voters approve two ballot proposals, defeat a third - Detroit Free Press
4/5/202341 minutes, 43 seconds
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More Thoughts, More Prayers – No Action (Guest: Pollster Celinda Lake)

Another mass shooting with an AR-15 armed shooter brings more thoughts and prayers from NRA-owned politicians … and that’s about all. In Washington. While Republicans in the U.S. House focus on protecting kids from drag queens and classic books … instead of protecting them from being shot in their classrooms … Michigan’s Legislature continues to do just the opposite. Gun safety is the latest issue to move from campaign promises all the way to the Governor’s desk. Also enacted in this hyper-active legislative session: returning union rights to workers and civil rights for all Michiganders regardless of sexual identity or orientation. Joining the discussion this week is Democratic Party pollster Celinda Lake with insights on how Democrats can leverage the MAGA takeover of the Republican Party and reclaim the allegiance of Midwest blue-collar voters. Celinda is one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists. She was one of two lead pollsters for the Biden campaign in 2020 and continues to serve as a pollster to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), other national party committees, and dozens of Democratic incumbents and challengers at all levels of the electoral process. Celinda and her firm, Lake Research Partners, are known for cutting-edge research on issues including the economy, health care, the environment, and education. Celinda, a native of Montana—born and raised on a ranch—and one of the political world's most avid whitewater rafters, holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Survey Research from the University of Michigan and her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Massachusetts, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is co-author of a must-read book on political strategy, “A Question of Respect.” Celinda teamed up with Republican pollster Ed Goeas to provide a political resource and a compelling case for how the nation reached a moment of massive political divisions, where it needs to go, and what it will take to get there. She also led research on behalf of American Family Values of how the Democrats’ brand in the Midwest is damaged in blue-collar counties. The report concludes that “Democrats have their best opportunity to make progress in these counties in a generation.” =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to Stories We’re Following This Week Democratic Report Explores Blue-Collar Struggles: ‘Our Brand Is Pretty Damaged’ - The New York Times A Question of Respect Path to the Majority: Expanding the Map - Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Opinion | The GOP gains among ‘voters of color’ are overhyped - Perry Bacon/The Washington Post Democratic Report Explores Blue-Collar Struggles: ‘Our Brand Is Pretty Damaged’ - The New York Times Path to the Majority: Expanding the Map - Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Opinion | The GOP gains among ‘voters of color’ are overhyped - Perry Bacon/The Washington Post Benson won't run for U.S. Senate in Michigan in 2024 - Detroit News Legislature's three-month sprint reflects sea change in Michigan politics - Detroit News Michigan 1st state in decades to repeal 'right-to-work' law - AP News New Laws Enacted so far in 2023 - Legislative Service Bureau Michigan GOP shoots itself in foot linking gun control to Holocaust - Detroit Free Press Michigan GOP slammed for comparing gun reform to Holocaust - AP News Michigan is passing gun safety laws.
3/29/202347 minutes, 4 seconds
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Cyborg Politics (Guest: Dennis Kennedy)

Artificial intelligence -- A I -- is all the rage. It’s more than a tool for school kids to get help with papers, or pass the bar exam without breaking a sweat. But it can be a dangerous new tool for manipulating elections by unscrupulous campaigns, hostile foreign governments ... or Tucker Carlson. No longer can we say with certainty that “hearing or seeing is believing.” While what sounds or looks real could all be a deception created on a computer. Helping us wade through this new technology and the threats it portends is Dennis Kennedy, Director of the Center for Law, Technology and Innovation at MSU’s School of Law.  He is currently President of Dennis Kennedy Advisory Services where he focuses on legal technology, innovation, speaking, writing, and coaching. He also chairs the board of the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center. Dennis is a graduate of Georgetown Law School. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to Stories We're Watching This Week TikTok bans deepfakes of young people as it updates guidelines - AP News Generative AI is a legal minefield - Axios Biden-Trump fake audio argument - TikTok Could Michigan’s GOP split into two? - WLNS 6 News In Senate bid, Slotkin betting voters are fed up with school shootings Michigan Senate OK's gun safety proposals on background checks, more - Detroit Free Press Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Legislation Expanding Rights and Freedoms for LGBTQ+ Michiganders - Governor's Office1 SBE President Pugh Considering Senate Run - Detroit News “CSI” Actor Hill Harper Readying a Senate Run - Puck Lansing Mayor Andy Schor won't run for 7th Congressional seat Michigan voter roll maintenance means removing nearly 100,000 registrations - Bridge Michigan Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visiting Michigan in April The war on drag shows - Popular Information Experts cast doubt that Lapeer librarian can be charged over LGBTQ book - Bridge Michigan The fate of ‘Gender Queer’ now in the hands of Lapeer librarian - Bridge Michigan Hate crimes in the U.S. increased by 11.6% in 2021 from the previous year, per a new FBI report - The Recount   
3/21/202346 minutes, 18 seconds
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Gun Fight

Clearing the field for Slotkin, a battle over worker rights (including a potential petition drive) and a homeless GOP. That tops the conversation this week. Mark and Jeff focus, however, on the drive in Lansing to finally do something about the epidemic of mass shootings. Joining the conversation is pollster Richard Czuba of the Glengariff Group. His recent polling shows overwhelming bipartisan public support for a wide variety of gun safety measures.Czuba has been conducting survey research since 1983. After serving as the advisor to Michigan’s Governor for Research and Planning, overseeing a new brand campaign for the state of Mchigan, and being extensively involved in both political and policy campaigns, he took his extensive experience in public surveying and policy and founded the Glengariff Group, Inc. in 1998. He brings more than three decades of expertise in survey and focus group research, issue management, and strategic planning with all levels of government and public sector organizations. Also talking about gun safety this week: President Joe Biden. President Biden announces an Executive Order designed to expand federal expansion of background checks for gun purchases. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to Stories We're Following This Week Biden Announces Executive Order Bolstering Gun Safety Measures - The New York Times Biden announces new order on gun violence, but options are limited - The Washington Post Inside the Gun Safety Package Michigan Lawmakers Want to Pass - Time Democrats push Michigan gun reforms. Here’s what the laws are now - Bridge Michigan Michigan voters support lifetime firearms ban for some crimes, poll says - Detroit News Insider: Voters in poll see gun laws as priority for Michigan Legislature - Detroit News Gun rights group calls for recall effort against lawmakers who vote for reform - Fox47 Lansing Michigan man who threatened Dems charged with gun crime - WLNS 6 News New Statewide Voter Poll -  the Economy, Future Direction; Pronounced Partisan Differences Continue - Detroit Regional Chamber How Democrats disarmed a brewing Senate battle in Michigan - POLITICO Michigan Senate repeals right-to-work law, restores prevailing wage - Detroit. News Whitmer plans to sign right-to-work repeal despite referendum promise- Detroit News Michigan Right-to-Work backers plot ballot proposal as Dems pursue repeal - Bridge Michigan What is Michigan Right-to-Work: How law impacted wages, jobs, unions - Bridge Michigan Democrats pitch tax credit for union dues, other pro-labor measures Insider: Michigan GOP chair says she's 'decentralizing' operations Wayne State creates plan guaranteeing free tuition to half of its students - Detroit News Wayne State to offer free tuition to certain Michigan students - Detroit Free Press Michigan prosecutor mulls charging Lapeer library over LGBTQ book - Bridge Michigan President's Budget | OMB | The White House House conservatives issue new spending demands in debt ceiling debate - The Washington Post February job growth tempered but strong - The Washington Post
3/15/202349 minutes, 36 seconds
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March Madness (Guest: Saul Anuzis)

Yes, it's the “March Madness” edition of “A Republic, If You Can Keep It”. This year, the orgy of college basketball is joined by the madness that is Tucker Carlson and Fox News, along with the incredible productivity of the Michigan's new legislative majority in Lansing. That new Democratic majority is moving major legislation at a record-setting pace. Several huge bills have cleared the Legislature in the last few days. Among them: a nearly one-billion-dollar tax cut, mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, an expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act providing basic protections for LGBTQ+ Michiganders, and a $630-million incentive package for the Ford battery plant in Marshall. Other bills moving quickly through the legislature repeal the Snyder-era attacks on unions, repeal Michigan’s 1931 abortion law and enact new gun safety laws. Joining the podcast this week: longtime Republican activist Saul Anuzis. Anuzis served as Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 2005-2009 and was a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009 and 2011.  Previous positions included working with Newt Gingrich at American Solutions, Jack Kemp’s 1988 Presidential campaign, Chief of Staff to MI Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus, Chairman of the MI Senate Republican Campaign Committee and serving on the MI House Republican Campaign Committee and most recently as a Senior Advisor to the Ted Cruz for President Campaign in the 2016 cycle. Today, Anuzis is one of the leaders in a bipartisan effort to reform the presidential election process. The United States is the only democracy in the world that makes it possible to finish second in an election… and still win. Two of the last four Presidents lost the popular vote but were elected thanks to the Electoral College. The National Popular Vote initiative would end that giant-sized quirk in our elections. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to Stories We're Following This Week House votes to expand background checks on gun sales - Detroit Free Press Gun reform proposals receive first hearing in Michigan Legislature - WILX TV Michigan voters support lifetime firearms ban for some crimes, poll says - Detroit News Michigan Safety Survey Report - Glengariff Group MSU shooting victim’s mom testifies for gun safety laws - Bridge Michigan Democrats mobilize on gun safety bills after flipping state legislatures, governor's offices - The Washington Post Democrats push Michigan gun reforms. Here’s what the laws are now | Bridge Michigan Michigan House passes bills to repeal right-to-work - Detroit Free Press Tax relief restored for Michigan retirees, low-income earners- Detroit Free Press Whitmer approves $630 million to support Ford battery plant - Detroit Free Press 5 (mostly) good things to know about Michigan’s progress on EVs - Bridge Michigan New Michigan scholarship seeks to fill jobs at state’s EV companies - Bridge Michigan Opinion | Ford Is Leaving Tesla in the Dust - The New York Times Michigan Right-to-Work repeal advances to House - Bridge Michigan Michigan House votes to repeal 1931 abortion ban - Bridge Michigan Opinion | Joe Biden: My Plan to Extend Medicare for Another Generation - The New York Times The Programs You’d Have to Cut to Balance the Budget - The New York Times Tucker Carlson amplifies Jan. 6 lies with GOP-provided video - AP News
3/9/202346 minutes, 24 seconds
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2nd Anniversary Edition (Guest: Corey Dukes)

Contact Us! This weekend marks the beginning of our third year with the podcast. This is show Number 108 since we kicked off our weekly chat with columnist Bill Kristol. Since then, we have had the opportunity to talk with many of the top national and state political leaders, journalists and political operatives. We thank them all, and especially thank our growing cadre of weekly listeners..  Elissa Slotkin's Announcement for Senate - YouTube We begin the podcast with an update on the race to succeed Debbie Stabenow in the U.S. Senate. We have our first significant official candidate: Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin announced her candidacy at the beginning of the week … and raised more than $1-million in contributions within 24 hours of her well-coordinated announcement. Perhaps just as significant: Republican Congressman John James decided against running, and that seems to open the door even wider for a wacko Q-Anon MAGA election-denier Republican to get the nomination. The state House Elections Committee held its first hearing this week on a large package of voter rights legislation, focusing on a bill to keep guns out of polling places. As committee chair Penelope Tsernoglou told us on the pod two weeks ago, the entire package of voting rights bills is on the fast track. But that’s not the case in a lot of states which are actually moving in the opposite direction, making it harder to vote. Joining the conversation is someone working every day for free and fair elections, Corey Dukes. Corey leads Protect Democracy’s State Election Advocacy team along with its efforts to engage and mobilize leaders in civil society.  During his time at Protect Democracy, Corey has directed the organization's work engaging with 2020 presidential candidates as well as its work anticipating and responding to the results of the 2020 and 2022 elections across several key states. Previously, Corey served as a senior policy advisor to United States Senator Claire McCaskill, Pennsylvania state director for Hillary for America, and as a senior advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren. He has also served as a campaign and media consultant focused on engaging communities of color.   Protect Democracy is a cross-ideological non-profit group dedicated to defeating the authoritarian threat, building more resilient democratic institutions, and protecting our freedom and liberal democracy. Its experts and advocates use litigation, legislative and communications strategies, technology, research, and analysis to stand up for free and fair elections, the rule of law, fact-based debate, and a better democracy for future generations. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to Stories We're Following This Week Elissa Slotkin running for US Senate seat in Michigan - Detroit Free Press Elissa Slotkin announces bid to succeed Debbie Stabenow. Who's in, out of Michigan U.S. Senate race? - Bridge Michigan Slotkin raises over $1M after campaign announcement - WILX TV Almost 18 months from the primary, Michigan’s U.S. Senate race has early entrants - mlive.com GOP Rep. John James won’t seek Michigan’s open Senate seat - WLNS 6 News Michigan Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says he won't run for U.S. Senate - Detroit News 7th, 10th congressional districts update - Daily Kos Tom Barrett to run again for Congress in 2024; Dems still considering - Lansing State Journal Michigan lawmakers send Whitmer tax cuts; $180 payments are dead - Bridge Mi...
3/2/202354 minutes, 20 seconds
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“RIP Michigan GOP” (Guest: Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet)

Just when we thought Michigan Republicans couldn’t edge further into the chasm of conspiracy theory crazy, the once Grand Old Party bypasses Trump-and-Pillow-Guy endorsed Matt DePerno for party chair because he just wasn’t extreme enough. Jeff offer an R-rated analysis of the current status of his former party under the dubious leadership of the Tin Foil Hat brigade. Meanwhile, the new Democratic majority in the Legislature is moving pedal-to-the-metal speed on issues near-and-dear to the hearts of their core constituency. One of them: major tax cuts. Joining the conversation is the Senate sponsor of the legislation providing nearly a billion-dollars in tax cuts for working families and retirees, Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet. Just days into her first term in the Michigan Senate, Senator McDonald Rivet is spearheading the expansion of the state’s match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit from 6 percent to 30 percent. This historic legislation will provide half a billion dollars into Michigan’s local economies annually.  She brings to the Senate 30 years as an educational and economic policy strategist and executive where she worked to revitalize neighborhoods, increase youth development programs, and address institutional inequities. Prior to her election to the state Senate she served as vice president of Michigan Future, Inc., chief strategy officer for the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Bay City Commissioner, and president/CEO of Greater Midland, Inc. She was also a lead architect of Michigan’s birth to five systems of care (Great Start) and its parent organization, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC). McDonald Rivet has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in education and public administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. She and her husband, Joseph, are proud parents of six children and live in Bay City. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to the stories we're following Official Podcast of Michigan Democratic Party Finley: R.I.P., Michigan GOP - Detroit News Michigan G.O.P. Installs Kristina Karamo, an Election Denier, as Leader - The New York Times How Democrats are using their new power in these two state legislature - Axios What It Looks Like When the Far Right Takes Control of Local Government - POLITICO  Michigan lawmaker survey offers glimpse on gun law changes - Detroit Free Press Gun bill would require background checks for Michigan rifle, shotgun sales - Detroit News Michigan Democrats move to tighten gun rules after MSU shootings - Bridge Michigan Democratic Governors Form Alliance on Abortion Rights - NowThis Tax deal clears Michigan Senate, but inflation checks remain in limbo - Bridge Michigan  
2/23/202346 minutes, 45 seconds
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Welcome to the Nut House (Guest: AFL CIO President Ron Bieber)

The horror of this week at Michigan State University casts a cloud over our state, and especially the campus just five miles east of the Capitol building. It was the 67th mass shooting in the first 46 days of 2023. As we recorded this week’s podcast, a memorial service was gathering in the center of the East Lansing campus in remembrance of Arielle Anderson, Alexander Verner and Brian Fraser … and with prayers for five more students hospitalized at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital. Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner and Arielle Anderson =========================== This week it's the “Perry for President” (be still, my heart) edition of “A Republic, If You Can Keep It”. Yes, Perry Johnson thinks he’s ready to be America’s Quality Guru in Chief … along with the somewhat more qualified but equally unlikely to win former South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. Maybe a Perry - Nicki ticket? Also this week, Michigan Republicans head to their state convention this weekend secure in the knowledge their next chairperson will be an Election Denier. The pre-convention activities begin, appropriately, with a Matt DePerno fundraiser at The Nut House (a sports bar across the street from the convention hall).  We're joined this week by President Ron Bieber, who has served at president of the Michigan AFL-CIO since 2015. Bieber joined UAW Local 730 in 1978, after hiring into the General Motors Metal Fabricating plant in Wyoming, Michigan. He was elected to his first union position at the age of 23, and moved up the ranks, being appointed to the UAW International staff in 1992. In 2009, Bieber was promoted as an Administrative Assistant to the UAW President and named the Director of the UAW CAP Department. In this position, his responsibilities included the administration of the Political, Retired Workers and Civil Rights departments of the UAW. Ron currently serves on the boards of the Economic Alliance of Michigan, the Michigan Association of United Ways, and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition. =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management • Database Development & List Management =========================== Links to stories we're following MSU shooting victims remembered: Alexandria Verner, Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser - The Washington Post Twitter: "A survivor of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting is a student at Michigan State University Oxford High student survives second shooting at Michigan State - The Washington Post MSU shooting 2023: ‘We cannot keep living like this:’ Dems vow gun reform | Bridge Michigan Opinion | Michigan State shootings are a reminder: We must take the guns away - The Washington Post This week in politics Michigan House OKs Democratic tax plan as tensions hit Capitol Minority Leader Hall, Michigan Republicans Set To Turn Their Backs On Inflation Relief - Michigan Democratic Party Insider: Wentworth-linked nonprofit spent $137,000 on travel President Perry Johnson? Michigan businessman launches long-shot campaign | Bridge Michigan Finley: Perry Johnson's bizarro presidential campaign ad aims to shock Perry for Prez Super Bowl ad via Twitter Election deniers vie to lead broke Michigan GOP. Donors aren’t happy. | Bridge Michigan Campaign donors love a winner, dump Michigan GOP for Democrats after election | Bridge Michigan National Task Force on Election Crises Report Sanctions for bogus election lawsuits spurs GOP proposal to protect attorneys from punishment - Raw Story
2/15/202348 minutes, 6 seconds
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Promoting the Vote (Guest: House Elections Chair Penelope Tsernoglou)

The State of the Union becomes a soft launch for the Biden reelection campaign; the Governor’s budget takes full advantage of a massive state surplus; Michigan is officially in the first tier of presidential primary states; and more state Republicans are under criminal investigation. Our guest is the chair of the state House Elections Committee, East Lansing Representative Penelope Tsernoglou. Rep. Tsernoglou’s legislative priorities include expanding fair access to the ballot; advocating for labor unions, workers, and working families; increasing access to health care; reforming the criminal justice system, defending Michigan’s water and air, protecting our children from gun violence; and supporting public education.  Born in Metro Detroit, Rep. Tsernoglou grew up in Southfield. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, with majors in psychology and sociology. After graduating from Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law, she worked as a victims advocate for End Violent Encounters (EVE), Lansing’s first shelter devoted to survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. She later worked as a defense attorney representing indigent defendants and juveniles in Ingham and Eaton Counties. Rep. Tsernoglou has devoted much of her career to public service. She served three terms on the Ingham County Commission (including one term as chair). She is former owner of Practical Political Consultants, a bipartisan political data supplier, which played a crucial supporting role in the 2018 Voters Not Politicians campaign to end gerrymandering of the congressional and legislative district maps. Links to the stories we're following GOP Crime Watch State officials indicate a criminal investigation is underway into Sen. Bumstead ⋆ Michigan Advance Feds investigate ex-House Speaker Johnson for bribery in pot licensing FBI raids pot lobbyist's home in bribery probe involving ex-Speaker 'Dark money' nonprofit at center of yet another Lansing scandal Marijuana group quietly gave cash to Michigan lawmakers' nonprofits The crimes Trump or his allies could be charged with in Fulton County - The Washington Post Presidential Primary Democrats Overhaul Party’s Primary Calendar, Upending a Political Tradition - The New York Times Michigan's move to early primary state brings potential economic boon Whitmer’s Lowering MI Costs agenda Whitmer presents $79B state budget resulting from record state surplus Minority Leader Hall again calls for immediate, long-lasting relief for Michiganders, small businesses Democrats, out of power for decades, passing bills in record time in Lansing | Bridge Michigan Whitmer, Dems want 'inflation relief' checks for all taxpayers Whitmer laid out talent attraction plan in annual address Michigan Democrats seek to codify LGBTQ civil-rights protections | Bridge Michigan UPDATE: Michigan fights back - by Judd Legum Trump vows to use DOJ and Congress to make being transgender illegal while promoting the ‘nuclear family’ - Raw Story The GOP ‘Big Brother’ Agenda The College Board Just Watered Down Its New AP African American History Course – Mother Jones The College Board Strips Down Its A.P. Curriculum for African American Studies - The New York Times DeSantis targets state college for overhaul with new conservative identity DeSantis trolls with 'tax-free gas stove' proposal — there's just one big problem with that - Raw Story =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research • Community - Media Relations • Issue - Image Management
2/10/202353 minutes, 56 seconds
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Follow the Money (Guests: Lisa Gilbert & Gabe Lezra)

The first million-selling hit from Motown is our theme this week. (RIP Barrett Strong, 1941-2023) Virtually all political scandals involve either seeking greater power, or money. This week’s discussion focuses on the latter. We are joined in the podcast by two national leaders in the drive to disrupt the political money machine: Gabe Lezra from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (better known as CREW), and Lisa Gilbert from Public Citizen. Topping the political news this week: legislative Democrats move quickly on economic development, two major tax cuts and the presidential primary; Haley Stevens rules out a Senate race; Republicans double down on whining about 2020 and the Big Lie; and Florida provides a preview of the Big Brother mentality that could be the mantra of our next President. Lisa Gilbert is the Executive Vice President at Public Citizen. She advocates for government transparency and integrity, financial reform, civil justice, and consumer protections. Lisa has testified before Congress, and been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post and NPR. She was also a featured contributor to the National Journal's "Expert Blog" on lobbying and ethics, and writes frequently for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, and The Hill. Gabe Lezra is the Federal Policy Manager and a Senior Counsel at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), where he specializes in anti-corruption, democracy reform, and government ethics law. He also serves as the Policy Working Group Leader at the Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) coalition, where he has helped develop the coalition’s democracy reform agenda. Prior to joining CREW, Gabe served as a counsel at the American Association for Justice and as a financial institutions and consumer law associate at Debevoise and Plimpton LLP in New York. Gabe received his J.D. with honors from Georgetown Law and his B.A. with high honors from Wesleyan University. This week in politics Michigan moves for early slot for 2024 presidential primary | AP News Michigan slated for early slot in 2024 presidential primary Haley Stevens on Twitter: Not running for US Senate Democrats win, GOP upset as Michigan votes to move up presidential primary | Bridge Michigan Whitmer: Pension tax rollback and EITC should be 2023’s first laws Whitmer signs spending bill, allocates $240M in federal COVID-19 funds Business group to Michigan Legislature: Extend tax cuts to more seniors | Bridge Michigan Some seniors may be left out of Lansing's rush to cut taxes Gretchen Whitmer on guns: ‘The time for only thoughts and prayers is over.’ | Bridge Michigan Minimum wage increase set for February blocked by Michigan court | Bridge Michigan Livengood: Whitmer's messaging has a ring of national aspiration GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel defeats rival in fierce campaign | AP News The crimes Trump or his allies could be charged with in Fulton County - The Washington Post The GOP gameplan… GOP report shows plan to ramp up focus on disproven election fraud claims - The Washington Post RNC urges GOP candidates to ‘go on offense’ on abortion in 2024 - The Washington Post Inside the audacious new scheme to erase LGBTQ people from Michigan schools Fighting misinformation in U.S. history GOP-led committees plan to issue subpoenas in Biden probes without consulting Democrats | CNN Politics =========================== This week's podcast is underwritten in part by EPIC-MRAEPIC ▪ MRA is a full service survey research firm with expertise in: • Public Opinion Surveys • Market Research Studies • Live Telephone Surveys • On-Line and Automated Surveys • Focus Group Research • Bond Proposals - Millage Campaigns • Political Campaigns & Consulting • Ballot Proposals - Issue Advocacy Research
2/2/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 7 seconds