Bill Ballenger was the founder of Inside Michigan Politics, a state-based biweekly subscription newsletter that he launched in 1987 and published for 27 years. He was also, for six years, a horse racing columnist for The Detroit Free Press. For a dozen years (1992-2004), he hosted a weekly hour-long, call-in program on political issues on WKAR, a public radio station on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He also was featured on The Friday Morning Podcast from 2016 to 2019, and he hosted a weekly hour-long talk show called “The Political Insider” on the Michigan Talk Network for three years, from 2018-2021.
Now that Bill is no longer associated with Inside Michigan Politics and his radio shows and podcast, he offers The Ballenger Report as something different than Inside Michigan Politics or any other news service. The Ballenger Report will offer unique articles that you will not find anywhere else. His podcast and his 165 “Political Insider” radio shows are also archived in The Ballenger Report.
“The Ballenger Report” will present what you would expect from Bill Ballenger — forecasts of national, state, and local races, including judicial contests. Ballenger was dubbed by the late Charlie Cain, onetime state capital bureau chief of The Detroit News, as “Michigan’s undisputed Crown Prince of Pundits.” He is a frequent commentator on Michigan politics and government for a broad array of newspapers and radio and television stations nationally and internationally, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Roll Call, USA TODAY, HOTLINE, the Associated Press, WJR Radio and many other stations, CNN, National Public Radio, PBS’s “The News Hour,” the BBC, and Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record.”
Ballenger was born William S. Ballenger, III, in Flint, Michigan. He is a former state representative (1969-70) and state senator (1971-74), an ex-state racing commissioner (1982-85), and director of the state Dept. of Licensing & Regulation (1977-81). He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education & Welfare in the administration of President Gerald R. Ford (1975-76).
Ballenger holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has been a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Michigan/Flint; in both Lyman Briggs and Justin Morrill Colleges at Michigan State University; and in the Public Administration program of Western Michigan University. From 2003-2007, he was the Robert P. and Marjorie Griffin Professor of American Government at Central Michigan University.