June 10, 2019
How did the Benton Harbor School District get in the mess it's in? It's $18 million in debt. Its high school is on the verge of being shut down. The state's former consent agreement consultant for Benton Harbor schools, Don Weatherspoon, explains why "the numbers don't work" to keep the district open and how the current situation could have been avoided.
Also, Mikenzie Frost from Sinclair Broadcasting joins the MIRS panel to talk about the political implications of Benton Harbor and the potential of bringing back the idea of expanding the sales tax on services as a revenue source for K-12 schools and local governments if the state gets rid of the sales tax on gasoline.
June 3, 2019
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Twp.) talks about the potential of impeaching President Donald Trump and where he stands on the issue. The most senior member of the Michigan Democratic congressional delegation also talks about possible federal legislation on responding to PFAS contamination.
Also, the MIRS team spitballs what type of gasoline tax increase Michigan voters can expect after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers strike a deal on additional road funding dollars. What is bigger news, potential U.S. Senate candidate John James coming to Delta Township or U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigning at Lansing Community College? This, term limit reform and more in this week's edition of MIRS Monday.
May 30, 2019
The following is unedited audio from the bill signing ceremony of SB 1. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders all make statements from the Grand Hotel's front porch on Mackinac Island prior to Whitmer putting pen to paper.
May 25, 2019
Full coverage of the historical auto insurance reform package coming together this week with comments from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (8:24), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (13:53) and Detroit Rep. Isaac Robinson (18:21).
Also, the MIRS team provides commentary on the deal. Who comes out the winner? How big of a role did developer Dan Gilbert play in the process?
May 20, 2019
Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville) joins House Republican leadership in calling for the resignation of Rep. Larry Inman in the wake of his criminal indictment last week. He also talks about developer Dan Gilbert preparing for a citizens initiative on the auto no-fault insurance debate (21:01).
Also, should House Speaker Lee Chatfield expel Inman (8:15)? Will the Gilbert proposal push Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to strike a deal on auto no-fault? What now on pushing the ban for D&E abortions and Congressman Justin Amash draws a Rep. James Lower for a primary opponent (18:52). Elizabeth Battiste of Martin Waymire sits in with the MIRS team as we discuss these topics.
May 13, 2019
Do ratepayers or insurance companies get the rebates if the $20+ billion Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund (MCCA) is found to have more money than necessary under both the House and Senate-based auto no-fault reform bill? Steve Sinas, legal counsel for the Coalition to Protect Auto No Fault (CPAN) said it's not clear in either bill. That's one of many problems with what the Legislature passed last week, he says (21:23).
Also, Detroit political consultant Steve Hood explains why Detroit is split on the auto law-fault repeal bill and why Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan made a big mistake in locking horns with business owner Robert Carmack.
May 6, 2019
He was the House Speaker who oversaw the drawing of the legislative and congressional boundaries that a federal court panel recently threw out as partisan gerrymandered. What does Jase Bolger say about the judges' decision and the process by which the maps were drawn? How does he respond to emails submitted as evidence that Republicans were "packing" and "cracking" the district lines for partisan advantage?
Also, what would the Republicans' chances of keeping the state Senate if they had to run in a presidential year for the first time since the 1960s? Someone who knows a thing or two about winning elections for Senate Republicans, Denise DeCook of DeCook Strategies, gives her opinion on this, presidential politics and the slower start from this year's legislative cycle.
April 29, 2019
The odds legislators ultimately will draw new congressional and legislative boundaries for 2020? Mark Grebner from Practical Political Consulting put the odds at 5%. Find out why in this week's podcast. Also, MIRS and Grebner talk about how President Donald Trump and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are similar while being polar opposites (9:26).
John Cavanagh of EPIC-MRA talks about the latest Inside Survey that's out in the field (20:55) and weighs in with his own observations on Trump and Nessel (28:02). This and more in this week's edition.
April 22, 2019
Less than four months into her tenure as Attorney General, Dana Nessel is raising eyebrows with her blunt, tell-it-like-is commentary that has yielded five MIRS Quotes of the Day in 2019. Nessel talks to MIRS about her first 100 days on the job and if we should expect her to tone down her public comments much going forward.
Also, Rebecca Bahar-Cook of Capitol Fundraising Associates talks about putting together this year's inaugural festivities. What happened had it been -10 degrees outside? What happened when the dignitaries came out to the top steps to find they were four seats short? Why did two state officials take their oath of office before the ceremony?
Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on the slow pace of this year's session on this week's edition.
April 15, 2019
It's been 10 years since the Tea Party burst on the political scene with "Tax Day" rallies across the country. Leading the charge in Michigan was Sharon Lollio with Rattle With Us and Gene Clem, formerly of the Van-Kal Tea Party movement. The two join today's podcast to talk about the state of the Tea Party, the cause for a declining visual Tea Party presence and the future of the movement.
Also, Ron Fournier with Truscott Rossman joins the MIRS panel to talk about Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Donald Trump's relationship with the media, the decline in traditional media jobs and the Energy Promise.