December 26, 2016
Al Pscholka, Aric Nesbitt, Tim Kelly, Ed McBroom, Harvey Santana. Five different House members are nominated, but only one is the House Member of the Year. Find out who takes home the prize as part of MIRS' annual series that's based on effectiveness, impact and level of activity. The award is followed by nomination and named winner of a new category, Political Figure of the Year (16:30). Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and Betsy DeVos among those nominated.
Also, what does the newly signed energy package mean to the average ratepayer? What process is state regulators taking to determine if the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is shut down? Valerie Brader, the executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy answers those and other questions (30:50).
December 19, 2016
MIRS starts its year-end award series with the naming of its Senator of the Year and its Democrat of the Year. Every year, MIRS recognizes those lawmakers who stood out in the categories of impact, effectiveness and level of activity. History is made on the Senator of the Year category. Which five Senators were nominated? Which five Democrats were nominated?
Also, Gov. Rick Snyder describes how he sees the General Fund shaping up in the next few years? Does he see tax increases in the state's future?
December 12, 2016
Note to anyone interested in running for governor in 2018: Attorney General Bill Schuette said today he'd like to talk to you before you make any plans to announce. Schuette also talks with MIRS Publisher John Reurink and Editor Kyle Melinn about the Flint water investigation, the failed presidential recount in Michigan and if he regrets trying to prosecute former Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
Also, John Yob of Strategic National suggests former Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser as a state party chair if current Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel is President-Elect Donald Trump's pick for Republican National Committee Chair to replace Reince Priebus, who is Trump's incoming chief of staff. Yob also urges Michigan Republicans to unite behind Trump and "let the past be the past and stop fighting yesterday's battles."
December 5, 2016
House Speaker-Elect Tom Leonard gives his thoughts on the pending energy reform legislation, municipal employee retiree health care costs and the "TIF on steroids" package pending in the House. The current Speaker Pro Tem also offers up Rep. Gary Glenn for his nomination for MIRS House Member of the Year. Listen to hear his reasoning and who his second choice would be.
And how did Leonard get connected with former Gov. John Engler Chief of Staff Dan Pero for his incoming chief of staff? Leonard shares that story and more.
Also, the MIRS team sees the pension reform legislation in the Senate as dead and gives other observations on bills pending in lame duck.
November 28, 2016
The $11 billion unfunded liability that Michigan local governments are saddled with needs state government intervention, but is lame duck the time for that conversation? Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League tackles that question. He also offers statewide solutions for what can be done to curb costs so that cities -- already financially hobbled by state revenue sharing cuts and lower property values from the Great Recession -- can get on better financial footing.
What are the chance the energy reform package is passed in lame duck? MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn puts the odds at between 85 and 90 percent "yes," but not everyone agrees.
MIRS also offers commentary on the prospects of a statewide presidential recount. Who does a recount help and who does it hurt? Listen to this and more in this week's edition.
November 21, 2016
In trying to save the budget from a $140 million hit, the state was forced to endure another bad headline about fighting a Flint water delivery order. The MIRS team tackles this topic as well as the legislative discussion about amending the state's term limit law.
According to Publisher John Reurink, "There is not a legitimate argument that you can make to the citizens of Michigan that term limits should be repealed." Not everyone around the table agreed. Listen to theories on how a term limits proposal could pass.
Also more layoffs at both major Detroit daily newspapers appear to be on the way. Why are advertising-based or subscription-based general readership publications continuing to bleed staff? And how can journalism make money?
November 14, 2016
How was the media so wrong on the presidential race? Did straight party voting help the GOP? Will the energy package be delayed as we wait for clarity on future federal energy policy from the incoming Trump administration? That and more from the crew of MIRS. Also, Steve Linder president of the Sterling Group debates campaign finance issues with Craig Mauger the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
It should be noted that Randy Richardville account discussed during the debate was referenced as a 527. It is in fact a 501C4. Also, there was an assertion about funders to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Their donors over $200 can be found online at: http://mcfn.org/about
November 7, 2016
How did the presidential race go from being essentially over in Michigan to the state becoming Ground Zero for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the final day of the campaign? Matt Resch from Resch Strategies and Dennis Denno of Denno Research join the MIRS team to answer this and other questions: Why Grand Rapids? Why did the third party candidates not catch on during a campaign in which both major party candidates were so disliked?
These questions and more in this week's edition.
October 31, 2016
Gary Johnson says the FBI's latest look into Hillary Clinton's emails throws her presumed victory into question. So what does that mean for his campaign? Which states does he think he can win? What will it mean for the Libertarian Party if he were to receive 5 percent of the national vote. Johnson answers these and other questions.
Also, who is the face of the progressive movement in the United States and Michigan? Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan shares his thoughts on this and the issue that he sees being pushed to the forefront after this election and beyond.
The MIRS staff lists five scary things we've seen in this election, and in celebration of Halloween, our five favorite Halloween songs.
October 26, 2016
The following is a robo-call being sent to voters in the 106th House District from a secretive 527 calling itself the "Reinventing Michigan and Better Michigan Fund." The voice is that of House Republican spokesperson Gideon D'Assandro, although he declined to confirm that is the case.