September 16, 2019
Republicans head up to Mackinac Island this weekend for their biennial conference. What kind of presence will U.S. Rep. Fred Upton have? How about former U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop? Was President Donald Trump ever an option for the conference? MIRS talks with Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox on this and other issues.
Also Chief Justice Bridget McCormack ran a charity 5K with inmates at a Jackson prison this past weekend. How did that happen? She talks about the run and other issues in this week's edition.
September 9, 2019
Why did Gov. Gretchen Whitmer drop the road funding push from the FY 2020 budget discussions only days after her team called out Republican lawmakers for pushing for a "Trump-like" shutdown? Did she blink? Does preventing a government shutdown preserve her now-positive national image and keep her in the conversation as a vice presidential possibility?
Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA says the main pieces of the road funding discussion all poll terribly and the public is supportive of other possible solutions. What are those other solutions? Also, Porn said current polling shows President Trump losing in Michigan next year and "it's not even close."
What happens to the House Republicans' plan to drop the sales tax off gasoline now that road funding expansion has been pushed to the back burner? House Appropriations Committee Chair Shane Hernandez answers this and several other questions.
September 2, 2019
What do organized labor members think of President Donald Trump and his trade policies? Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber shares his opinions in this special Labor Day edition. On the Line 5 tunnel, he says, "I don't get it ... It seems like a perfect solution to me."
Also, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.) explains at an Ionia constituent meeting how he believes he can change a "corrupt" political system in Washington D.C. as an independent (15:17).
August 26, 2019
It's five weeks before the next fiscal year and the pressure is on to cut a deal. Who is feeling it more -- the Governor or the Legislature? Do the Republicans now benefit -- from a negotiations standpoint -- from not putting out a road's plan? MIRS talks with Capitol Strategies Group CEO Matt Miner, the former chief of staff for ex-Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.
Also, Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Twp.) says she has the blueback for the 47-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase crafted by former legislative leaders Ken Sikkema, Bob Emerson, John Cherry and Paul Hillegonds ready to be introduced. What will she support on a tax increase? What will she not? MIRS gets answers to this and more like, "What are people talking about at the doors right now?"
Hint: It's not the roads.
August 19, 2019
Was the spectacle that became the appointment of David Coulter as Oakland County executive a "debacle?" How do Oakland County Democrats repair the public's perception of what happened? Former Oakland County Democratic Chair Frank Houston gives his perceptions.
Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart talks about the state budget (24:19) and MIRS reporter Mike Malott gives his report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual conference from Austin, Texas (17:51).
August 12, 2019
Will a politically split Oakland County Commission support former Chair Dave Woodward as the county's next executive? Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods) and political consultant Dave Forsmark give their opinions.
Wittenberg also announces that he'll be running for Oakland County Treasurer as current Treasurer Andy Meisner runs for county executive (18:56). Forsmark handicaps the GOP 10th Congressional District primary at this early stage (9:14) and MIRS Editor reports back from vacation with some Beaver Island history.
August 5, 2019
Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) likes the idea of eliminating the sales tax on gasoline and then raising gas taxes to make up the difference so every state tax dollar collected at the pump goes to roads. He also supports the expansion of sales tax on services as a way to raise money for schools and state government.
MIRS Monday brings back Andrea Bitely, now of Truscott Rossman, to recap the Detroit Democratic presidential debates. Listen to 90 seconds of audio reporters were able to score with Elizabeth Warren after the debates and how reporters were kept cool during the debates.
July 29, 2019
In the run-up to the Democratic presidential debates in Detroit, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper talks to MIRS about beer, why two guys from Colorado are running for president, the names he was called as a kid, and more interesting bits from his life (18:05).
Outside of his political accomplishments, Hickenlooper talks about Twitter and his great-grandfather, a Civil War soldier who was awarded the rank of general at age 28.
Also, Jeff Timmer, the former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, declares himself an independent in the face of a Donald Trump presidency that he feels goes against the Ronald Reagan ideals of what it means to be a conservative.
Timmer talks about his role in the 2011 redistricting process and what he sees coming out of the 2021 redraw with the new citizens commission.
July 24, 2019
The following is unedited audio of the NAACP presidential forum at Detroit's Cobo Hall with nine Democratic candidates and one Republican candidate:
00:00 -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
12:17 -- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
24:09 -- Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke of Texas
36:22 -- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
48:18 -- former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro
59:39 -- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
1:11:15 -- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
1:23:23 -- Former Vice President Joe Biden
1:35:54 -- U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
1:48:26 -- Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld
July 22, 2019
Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, a Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate, visits the U.S.-Mexican border and received a firsthand tour of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in El Paso, Texas (18:38). She shares her observations and whether she is more or less supportive of President Donald Trump's handling of the border after her visit (34:26).
Also, Kim Trent, chair of the Wayne State Board of Governors, talks about why the 8-member board has developed a contentious 4-4 split that has resulted in one faction suing the other over a vote to purchase property for a new pediatrics building. The board has a 7-1 Democratic-Republican split (37:38).
But first, Progress Michigan Deputy Director Sam Inglot shares how he would react if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ends up supporting a Line 5 tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, whether Democrats should give up the ghost on the 1st and 7th congressional districts and why his progressive advocacy group is agitated that "Democrats for Life" is meeting in East Lansing this week.