March 30, 2020
Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) talks about the late Rep. Isaac Robinson and their joint March 16 press conference, one of the last times Robinson, who died Sunday, made a public appearance. How is she feeling? How are House Democratic members? How is Robinson being remembered? (24:06)
Rounding up personal protection equipment (PPE) has been at the forefront of governmental efforts to help doctors and nurses care for COVID-19 patients, but a feared staffing shortage at hospitals has emerged as another concern for Brian Peters, president and CEO of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA). He also expresses fears of the next potential hotspot for an outbreak -- state prisons in rural areas.
Why would the Legislature need to meet on April 7? Did Trump create a problem for himself with his "That woman from Michigan" quip? And will the Whitmer administration wish they hadn't issued that strict March 24 guidance letter on a possible COVID-19 treatment? This and more in this week's podcast.
March 23, 2020
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay at Home" order is not surprising to retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Strategy, who praised the Governor's proactive steps in attempting to slow the coronavirus spread. The Western Michigan University/Cooley Law associate dean gives Gov. Whitmer an "A" for her work while President Donald Trump struggles to get a passing grade. Listen to why that is (20:28).
Also, Andrea Bitely from Truscott Rossman helps break down the critical pieces of Whitmer's "Stay at Home" order. MIRS receives a letter from our former intern from China, who gives her perceptions on how "The West" is responding to the pandemic. The May 5 elections, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and rosemary bread all in this week's edition.
March 16, 2020
It's "inevitable" that business will be shut down by the Governor's recent executive order to close bars, restaurants and other business establishments to dine-in traffic in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Patrick Anderson, president and CEO of the Anderson Economic Group. He's predicting that the "body blow" to the economy of shutting down sporting events and other gatherings will create not just a recession, but at least a mini depression.
Anderson also speaks about the major changes to labor law that is a part of the U.S. House bill that was sent to the Senate over the weekend.
Why is the House and Senate returning for session Tuesday? MIRS discusses this with Mikenzie Frost of Sinclair Broadcasting and the media response to claims that it's responsible for creating coronavirus panic.
March 9, 2020
New polling numbers that show Joe Biden opening up a massive 41-point lead on Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. Hear why a "Biden blowout" is expected (18:36). Former Michigan Democratic Party Mark Brewer isn't predicting a winner, but he does speak on where he's seeing Elizabeth Warren support going after she dropped out (35:35), among other issues.
Heather Lombardini, Lansing managing director for Lambert and Kristin Combs, Lambert's fundraising manager, say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been a "disaster" and that's helping Republicans rake in strong fundraising numbers (11:17). This, Sen. Pete Lucido's reaction to the Senate Business Office report, and more.
March 2, 2020
Conservative radio host "Trucker" Randy Bishop talks about the impetus behind the Second Amendment sanctuary county resolutions that have been adopted in 22 counties as of Monday. Why are these resolutions needed? What does he think about Sen. Jon Bumstead voting against the rejection of George Heartwell to the Natural Resources Commission?
Also progressive social media commentator Angela Vasquez-Giroux, a former spokesperson for several prominent Democrats, sits in with the MIRS team to talk about the future of Joel Ferguson on the Michigan State University Board, Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Detroit) emerging as the new House Democratic leader for the next term and more.
February 24, 2020
The at-times indignant "The Bernie Bros" have made it hard for some Democrats to completely embrace the candidacy of Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Brandon Dillon, the former Michigan Democratic Party chair, explains why that's a problem and what Sanders should do about it. Dillon joins Kathy Barks Hoffman, longtime political journalist and current vice president at Martin Waymire, who talks about how Sanders supporters can be off-putting in a similar way President Donald Trump supporters were tough for mainstream Republicans to get used to in 2016, among many other subjects.
Also, Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) talks about legislation to criminalize spousal rape, a bill to better educate high schoolers about HIV, the shifting political winds of Livonia and . . . opossums?
February 17, 2020
Michigan's 11th Senate District is more diverse than New Hampshire or Iowa and should be selecting Democratic presidential hopefuls before either, according to the home Senator, Jeremy Moss. Moss disputes the theory that Pete Buttigieg's campaign is a non-starter with African-Americans and shares some news about the future of his FOIA and LORA bills.
Also, Thursday's rejection of Anna Mitterling to the Natural Resources Commission officially kicked off political season in Lansing, according to MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn. He shares his commentary on how its guns v. women early in the 2020 campaign.
And according to one member of Generation Z, government is so political it isn't working for anyone. Hear thoughts from Amanda Shafer from Bridge USA. This, five tough presidential trivia questions and more.
February 10, 2020
Threats and violence are an issue at Secretary of State offices as wait times for those without appointments reached 52 minutes in 2019. Rep. Ann Bollin (R-Brighton Twp.) said she doesn't believe the increased security that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put in her proposed budget is the answer. What is? Bollin also talks about how Michigan could speed up the counting of its absentee ballots so Michigan can avoid an Iowa Caucus-like vote-counting disaster this November.
Also Bob McCann from Cover Two Strategies and the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education joins Sara Wurfel from Truscott Rossman on Whitmer's State of the Union response, her education funding choices and why the budget presentation is more important than the State of the State address.
February 3, 2020
Which Democratic candidates will still be around come Michigan's Mar. 10 presidential primary? Is 35 minutes for a State of the State address good? Chris DeWitt from DeWitt Communications and Sam Inglot from Progress Michigan weigh in on those questions among other topics.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash's fundraising totals are discussed. Did Peter Meijer cross a line in his Super Bowl ad? Has Elissa Slotkin already won re-election? Who has the better roads plan -- Speaker Lee Chatfield or Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey? MIRS peppers Inglot on Progress Michigan's lobbying reform constitutional amendment and more.
January 27, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says attempting to push through high numbers of public acts to show the Legislature's activity level is a "fool's errand." On this week's podcast, Shirkey talks about how he'd prefer the Legislature spend more time on government oversight to make sure the laws that are passed are working as intended. He also runs through other legislative priorities in 2020.
Also, Andrea Bitely of Truscott Rossman says Sen. Pete Lucido is running out of time to make a real, heart-felt apology about the way in which he interacts with women and acknowledging the fact that it is making them uncomfortable. John Sellek of Harbor Strategic weighs in on Progress Michigan's constitutional amendment proposal and MIRS Publisher John Reurink says that with Gov. Whitmer giving the State of the Union response, the window in which to get any major substantial legislative accomplishments can get done in 2020 is rapidly closing.