Bill Ballenger and Dennis Denno host The Friday Morning Podcast. They discuss current events in Michigan, with a focus on politics and history. Check out our Facebook page here!
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PODCAST: Interview With State Rep. Matt Koleszar
10/30/20 State Rep. Matt Kolesazr talks about his district, education, free tuition for the kids of fallen police and fire fighters, and his rescue pets. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Interview with State Rep. Tyrone Carter
10/22/20 Discussion with state Representative Tyrone Carter about COVID, education, policing, and education. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Interview with Katelyn Kivel, A Reporter for The Gander
10/16/20 Discussion with Katelyn Kivel about politics, education, LGBT issues, and Michigan blueberries too. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
Interview with House Candidate Samantha Steckloff
10/9/20 The FMP interviews House Democratic candidate Samantha Steckoff, who is running in the 37th district, which includes the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Interview with Helena Scott, Dem candidate for State House
10/2/20 The FMP talks with Helena Scott about unions, one fair wage, education, her 7th House District, and more. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Exclusive Interview with Former State Senator Virgil Smith
9/22/20 Friday Morning Podcast has an exclusive interview with former Democratic state Senator Virgil Smith, where he talks about his time in the Senate and in prison, and also talks education and insurance policy. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
Conversation with a special education para-educator
September 18 2020 The FMP interviews Kelly Connell, who is an elementary school special education para-educator, and leader with Macomb for Kids. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Interview with a MEA ESP
What do ESPs do in a school district and why are they so important? Interview with Roy Freeman, the Michigan Education Association ESP Caucus Executive Board President. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
We’re Back With Shri!
9/4/20 Former goober candidate Shri Thanedar is most likely going to be the next state Representative from the 3rd House District. What are his goals and what does his future Detroit look like? Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
MI Dem Convention this Weekend; Education Update
8/25/20 Interview with Ellen Cogen Lipton, running for State Board of Education. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: What To Watch For At the DNC Convention
8/19/20 Interview with Dr. Jimmy Womack regarding what to watch for at the DNC Convention, what it was like to have a PGA tournament in his backyard, his experience helping in the prison community, and his Republican grandmother who was present when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Kamala Harris – One Detroit Leader’s Opinion
8/12/20 State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Chair of the Detroit Caucus, gives her thoughts on Kamala Harris as V.P., education, and a potential campaign for Detroit Mayor. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: What’s Going On In China—That’s East China, MI
8/7/20 Interview with Kim Eberhard, an amazing teacher in the East China school district. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Grebner Predicts Disaster This November
7/31/20 Mark Grebner, pundit, pollster, and list provider, predicts a general election disaster and also offers other political insight. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Has the Culture at MSU Changed? Are Dems Really Energized?
7/24/20 Interview with Michigan State University (MSU) Board of Trustee member Brian Mosallam. He talks about MSU’s culture, his re-election prospects, and whether we will have college football this fall. Partners with www.deadlinedetroit.com.
PODCAST: Update from the State Board of Education
7/17/20 Great interview with Casandra Ulbrich, President of the MI State Board of Education. Will schools reopen, why is AG Nessel suing the Trump administration, and how you and your dog can become a volunteer search and rescue team. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com. Sorry for the poor sound quality of the interview.
PODCAST: Jason Strayhorn, Candidate for State Bd. Of Ed.; Update on MSU Football
7/10/20-Interview with Jason Strayhorn, who is attempting to earn the Democratic nomination for the State Board of Education. Jason is a radio analyst for MSU football and gives his take on an upcoming college football season. Partners with www.deadlinedetroit.com.
PODCAST: BLM—Do Unions Agree? Do We Need Police Unions?
7/1/20 Discussion with Mark Gaffney, a member of the Wayne State University (WSU) Board of Governors and former MI AFL-CIO Prez. Are labor unions helping Black Lives Matter? Are police unions necessary? What’s the latest at WSU? Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: What Will Gov’s Education Task Force Announce? How Suburban Schools Are Dealing w/COVID
6/25/20 How will the governor’s school task force announcement affect education this fall? How are suburban schools dealing with COVID-19? One school changed their Indian mascot to a bird mascot—how did that work out for them? Interview with Deanna Barash, Assistant Superintendent of West Bloomfield Public Schools. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: What are schools doing to open this fall and what do they need from us?
How will cuts to schools affect kids, teachers, and support staff? How are schools planning for the Fall? What are parents concerned about? Interview with Jeff Beal, Superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Will Schools Be Safe and Open This Fall?
6/12/20 How are schools preparing for a fall opening and how do schools talk about Black Lives Matter? A discussion with Ingham County Intermediate School District Superintendent Jason Mellema. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: A Conversation About Race, Education, and Politics in America
Dennis Denno interviews LaMar Lemmons, who is a former MI state Representative, former Chair of the Detroit Public School Board, and current Chief of Staff for State Senator Betty Jean Alexander. They have an open and honest conversation about race, education, and politics in America. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Where Public Education is Headed in a COVID-19 World
What is the future of public education in Michigan? Should parents be comfortable to sending their kids to school in the fall? Will school sports be eliminated? Chris Wigent, the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA), answers these questions and more. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Will MI Universities Open This Fall? Will We See College Football?
5/22/20 Will MI universities open this fall, and what should parents look for from colleges in a COVID-19 world? What is the status of college football? Interview with Jim Cotter, former ED of Admissions and Recruitment at MSU and currently a Director at MSU Athletics. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: More Chaos at the Capitol; Are Kids Cared For During COVID?
Bill Ballenger gives his wrap-up of events in Michigan government, and Dennis Denno interviews experts in education and special needs children during the lockdown. Partner with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Lawsuits, Elections, and Education, Oh My!
5/8/20 Bill Ballenger gives an update on another week crammed with political news. Dennis Denno interviews Flint educator Ralph Arellano Jr. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Whitmer winning PR battle, court battles loom; educator opinionates
Bill Ballenger expounds on the governor’s powers and what the next steps will be. Third grade teacher Andy Frankel talks about teaching during COVID19. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Miraculous Marathons/Boccaccio Braggadocio
3/27/20 The Friday Morning Podcast casts aside the clouds of Coronavirus for a retrospective on the spectacular long distance racing career of someone who just completed her 50th marathon in all 50 U.S. States. She was accompanied on almost all of them by her husband, Dennis, who actually got out and ran a few half-marathons, […]
PODCAST: Hope for Hoadley/Upsetting Upton/Gas Tax Gastronomy
Interview with state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo), Minority Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations and House Fiscal Governing Committees who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI 6). Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com. https://soundcloud.com/user-595768561/hope-for-hoadleyupsetting-uptongas-tax-gastronomy/s-xTxEaGmYqXX
PODCAST: MI Massacre/Bernie Bombs/Biden Blowout
3/10/20 Discussion about the Michigan Prez Primary and what happens next. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Prez Primary Prestidigitation/Work Requirement Repulsed/Mass Transit Meltdown
Whiplash for political junkies trying to keep track of what MI Prez Primary will really be about. Despite all the drop-outs in the past 72 hours, will we actually be the state that decides whether it’s Bernie or Joe? Judge strikes down “work requirement” for Medicaid recipients. MI House Speaker Chatfield (R-Levering) pulls plug on […]
PODCAST: Heartless to Heartwell/Reviving Racing/El-Sayed Says
2/28/19 Gov. Whitmer pushed fed. judge to rule quickly that work requirement for Medicaid recipients is illegal. Pure MI may be rescued by Legislature. Sen. Ananich’s bill to allow betting on “Historic Horse Races” ekes way out of committee. Senate axes second Whitmer appointment to Natural Resources Commission. CNN-TV hires Abdul El-Sayed as commentator on […]
PODCAST: Prez battles and Cries of Racism in MI House
2/21/20 Prez Debates and MI. Potential absentee ballot fiasco. House Dem Leader is accused of being racist and discussion of future House Dem leader. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Voting Vicissitudes/Branch Office Brouhahas/Primary Puzzles
Huge surge in absentee voting could be a big factor in Michigan’s March 10 prez primary election. Most of state gov. shuts down on Wednesday because of cogeneration plant failure. Mike Bloomberg saturates MI with staff and millions of $$$ in TV ads. Interview with political reporter Beth LeBlanc of The Detroit News. Partners with […]
PODCAST: That Was the Week That Was — and What a Week It Was!
2/7/20 Iowa Dem Party prez nomination caucuses a debacle. What will happen in New Hampshire Tuesday? Trump turns SOTU into a campaign rally, Speaker Pelosi tears up his speech, but Gov. Whitmer says: “When they go low, we go high,” and restrains herself in her party’s response to the prez. Gov. Whitmer presents her […]
PODCAST: Reaction to Whitmer State of the State Speech
1/29/20 We discussed Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State speech with Zoe Clark, Program Director at MI Radio. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
Chaldean Cacophony/Surviving Solon/Thanedar Tries Again
1/24/20 Anticipation about what Gov. Whitmer will say about ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ in her State of the State address. First-ever formal legislator-against-legislator sexual harassment complaint filed against Senator Lucido (R-Shelby Twp). Chaldean community up in arms about social media attacks by state senate staffer. Only one legislator who served under the 1908 MI Constitution […]
PODCAST: PFAS Pfooey/Jailhouse Rock/Loose Lips Sink Ships
1/17/20 Green ooze on I-696 engulfs state and federal regulators. While crime rate and # of state prison inmates drop, local jailhouse population throughout MI reaches record high. State Senator Lucido makes inappropriate comments to female reporter. Iconoclastic former state Sen. Jack Faxon dies at age 83. Interview with Macomb Co. Public Works Commish Candice […]
PODCAST: Neeley Dynasty/SoS Message/LGBTQ Amendment
1/8/20 Breaking interview with future Democratic State Representative Cynthia Neeley. Will fix the damn roads be in the State of the State, and what’s going on with Rep. Larry Inman, followed by a discussion about the potential LGBTQ amendment. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Crushing Quid Pro Quo/MSU Malpractice/Flaming Flintstones
1/3/20 AG Nessel can’t seem to decide whether or how to proceed with an investigation into MSU’s handling of allegations against serial sexual predator Larry Nassar. Battle for all-important Dem nomination for a seat in the MI House of Reps to succeed the new Flint mayor, culminates this coming Tuesday, Jan. 7, with Neeley’s wife […]
PODCAST: What’s going on with the MEDC
12/2/19 Interview with Fred Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at the MEDC and executive director of the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center (MLSIC). He talks about how the MEDC is working with industries to fight blindness and improve breast cancer detection. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Impeachment and MI/MI Supremes Punt
12/20/19 Trump was in MI while he was also being impeached. The MI Supreme Ct. punts on a ruling. More news out of the MI Civil Rights Commish. Interview with Mark Griffin, Prez of the MI Petroleum Assoc. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Deal Delivered/Inman Not Inmate/Gambling Galore
12/13/19 Finishing touches put on partial restoration of vetoed funding for FY 2020 and reversal of budget transfers. Leg. sends Whitmer 10-bills instituting online gambling and sports betting. Rep. Inman beats the rap on lying to the FBI, with charges against him on attempted extortion and bribery resulting in a hung jury and a mistrial. […]
PODCAST: State budget agreement/New Trustee at MSU/Inman Isn’t Out
12/6/19 Is there a state budget agreement and if so, what are the consequences? MSU has a brand new shiny Trustee with a great resume. Rep. Inman is still in office, but might be holding on by his fingernails. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Go Blue! Interview w/UM Regent Paul Brown
11/27/19 This week we interviewed Paul Brown, a Regent at UM. A few topics discussed were academics, university funding, and Jim Harbaugh! Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Term Limits Targeted/Interview with Congress. Candidate
11/22/19 A new group is suing over term limits. Interview with State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, a candidate for Congress. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Interview with new Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley
11/15/19 Bill Ballenger and Dennis Denno interview new Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Electrifying Election/Fouts Furioso/Sheldon Shows ’em
11/6/19 Interview with MIRS newsletter editor Kyle Melinn, who sums up Tuesday, Nov. 5, election results across MI. What does it all mean going into 2020? Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Flint Fracas/Gambling Galore/Kudos to Conyers
11/1/19 Tense mayoral contest in Flint. Online and sports betting legislation expanding gaming in MI passes state House, but Gov. Whitmer is not on board. John Conyers, longest-serving African-American in history of Congress, dies at age 90. Interview with Heidi Washington, director of the state Dept. of Corrections. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Milliken Mourning/Sizzling Surveys/Terminating Term Limits
10/25/19 Reminiscences about former Gov. Milliken, who died last week. Denno Research survey yield some surprising results. MI legislators seem serious about getting a proposal to modify the state’s term limits law on the ballot, but many hurdles stand in their way. Interview with CMU Professor Sterling Johnson on impeachment. Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Restoring Trust/Vaping Vacuum/Lapsing Legislators
10/17/19 Spate of state lawmakers convicted of crimes and expelled from Legislature over past four years is an all-time record. Gov. Whitmer and GOP Legislative Leaders Continue to meet on FY 2020 budget. Judge slaps down emergency order banning scented vaping products. Interview with state Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-E. Lansing). Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Supplemental Surprises/Scoring School Choice/Enjoying Jack Daniel’s
10/11/19 Budget wars heat up again with bills introduced to restore funds cut by Gov. Whitmer and/or possible veto override votes. National poll shows surprising support among Dem. voters for K-12 education choice, including charter schools. Interview with Dave Woodward, Chair of the Oakland Co. Board of Commissioners. Denno field trip to Kentucky and Tennessee […]
PODCAST: Veto Vesuvius/Noble Nonagenarians/Slotkin vs. Snyder?
10/2/19 Gov. Whitmer issues record number of line-item vetoes of budget bills, axing nearly $1 billion from state spending. She will meet with “The Quadrant” this week to see whether Rs will agree to reignite negotiations in order to get some of the veto money restored. U.S. Rep. Slotkin (D-MI 8) draws an opponent, Nikki […]
PODCAST: Shutdown Showdown/Auto Insurance Insurrection/Recall Redivivus
9/26/19 Legislature finally sends FY 2020 budget to Gov. Whitmer, but nobody knows what she will do. VP Pence motorcade dominates headlines at GOP conclave on Mackinac Island. 2,500 opponents of auto insurance rate reform march on Capitol. Interview with MI House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). Partners with www.DeadlineDetroit.com.
PODCAST: Budget Battle/Border Brouhaha/Bipartisan Ballistics
9/18/19 A special early edition of the Friday Morning Podcast. Gov. Whitmer asks legislative Republicans to send her their budget before they leave for Mackinac Island GOP conference this weekend, but they demur. Interview with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI 6). Sponsored by www.DeadlineDetroit.com and www.Vanguard-PA.com.
PODCAST: Continuing Capitol Consternation/Flouting Flavored Vaping/Municipal Misery
9/13/19 Gov. Whitmer backtracks on insistence that Legislature send her a FY 2020 budget that includes what she considers adequate funding to ‘Fix the Damn Roads,’ but does that mean the path to resolve differences she has with lawmakers by October 1 has gotten easier to negotiate? Apparently not, at least right away. Whitmer learns […]
PODCAST: Vaping Vetoes/Fiscal Frazzle/Opioid Obloquy
9/6/19 Gov. Whitmer issues emergency rules banning flavored vaping in MI. Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) returns to state House of Reps—and votes!—for first time in three months after being indicted on bribery charges. Interview with state Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) on a variety of topics, including his own political ambitions. Sponsored by […]
PODCAST: Chaldean Chemistry/Budget Brawl/Arbulu Awkwardness
8/30/19 Gov. Whitmer exchanges snarky criticism with state Repub. legislative leaders about imminent FY 2020 budget crisis. MI Civil Rights Commission fires its ED, Augustin Arbulu, as a result of his remarks objectifying women. A little history on MI ballot proposals. Interview with Matt Manna, president of the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce. Sponsored by www.vanguard-pa.com […]
PODCAST: Ultimate Ultimatum/Continuation Conundrum/Alaska Abomination
8/22/19 Gov. Whitmer issues ultimatum to Repub. legislative leaders to produce a concrete FY 2020 budget plan that includes adequate funding to “Fix the Damn Roads,” but they seem unlikely to do so any time soon. Dennis Denno and his wife, Raina, take an Alaska road trip where she runs her 49th marathon in […]
PODCAST: County Exec Countdown/Bottle Bill Blitz/Civil Rights Incivility
The attempt by the Oakland C. Board of Commish to replace the late Brooks Patterson as Oakland Co. Exec. continues. Gov. Whitmer and state Senate Majority Leader Shirkey cope with perception that they may not be able to work out an agreement on the FY 2020 state budget by the start of next fiscal year. […]
PODCAST: Patterson Paternoster/Election Electricity/Inman In-or-Out?
8/9/19 Oakland Co. Executive L. Brooks Patterson dies at age 80, provoking battle to replace him. Not many races in MI’s primary election, which produces few surprises, little campaign spending, and skimpy voter turnout. Dems mount recall campaign against beleaguered state Rep. Larry Inman, but if it appears petitioners may gather enough signatures, might state […]
PODCAST: Presidential Palaver/Headlee Hallucinations/Budget Brouhaha
8/2/19 Democratic presidential candidates conclude two nights of debates at Detroit’s Fox Theater. MI Court of Appeals rules state government has “breached its duty” in reporting its unfunded mandates in revenue sharing with local governments. MI Supreme Court recesses without issuing opinion on “adopt and amend” petition drive legislation enacted by Legislature in last year’s […]
PODCAST: Mitchell Mash-up/Postponing Pension Debt Payoff/Turnout Turbulence
7/26/19 U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI 10) announces he won’t run for a third term. Gov. Whitmer says she’s willing to consider Republicans’ ideas about postponing retirement of teacher pension debt for 5-10 years to raise more money to “Fix the Damn Roads.” NAACP National Convention in Detroit hears from most major Dem. presidential candidates […]
PODCAST: WSU Whack-a-Mole/PSC Players/Cleveland Comeback
7/19/2019 Wayne State University Board of Governors reeling from unresolved internal dispute in which half the eight-member panel is suing the other half. Gov. Whitmer appoints former Granholm aide Tremaine Phillips to Michigan Public Service Commission. A visit to what has been called “The Mistake by the Lake,” where things are looking up. Interview with […]
PODCAST: Amash Mish-Mash/LaFave Laugher/Dems Detonate
7/12/19 Democrats seeking party’s presidential nomination flood MI. State Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) blasts AG Nessel for blocking him on Twitter, which he claims is illegal. More candidates jump into the 2020 race in West Michigan’s 3rd CD, where Dems think they have a chance if incumbent Justin Amash follows through on his plan […]
PODCAST: Wayne State Whackadoodle/Nessel Nostrums/Straits Strategems
7/3/19 One half of the Wayne State U. Board of Governors is suing the other half in a policy dispute. AG Nessel continues to make news. Former Dem goober candidate Shri Thanedar moves into Detroit — does it matter? Poll shows Flint Mayor Karen Weaver virtually tied with challenger State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, with half […]
Searching Sparty’s Secrets/Trump v. Attila the Hun/Absent Solons Excoriated
6/28/19 Gov. Whitmer blasts Legislature for taking most of summer off without passing budget. Legislature explores bonding to find money for “Fix the Damn Roads,” and Gov is open to it. MI Republican Party Chair Cox, a former ICE agent, is victim of vandalism at state headquarters. MSU to issue another report, and Prez […]
PODCAST: Nessel Nuke/Congressional Confusion/Bonding Bombast
6/21/19 AG Nessel says that the MI Civil Rights Commish can ignore an opinion by her predecessor that the commission has no authority to enforce LGBTQ rights under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. More candidates surface in MI’s 3rd Congressional District. Financial problems in the Benton Harbor School District and whether its high school must […]
PODCAST: Amash Mish-Mash/Mr. Hockey’s Bridge/Belting Benton Harbor
6/14/19 Poll shows challenger James Lower leading incumbent Congressman Justin Amash in 2020 Republican primary by a whopping 16 points. D-Day arrives for Benton Harbor to come up with a plan to solve their K-12 school system’s fiscal crisis, or Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’ll close down their high school. Legislative Republicans’ scramble to […]
PODCAST: Benton Harbor Brouhaha/Blue Water Bonanza/Term Limits Tidbits
6/7/19 Gov. Whitmer journeys to Benton Harbor to defend high school closure plan. Any attempt to amend term limits faces Denno Research/Vanguard PA polling data showing voters like status quo. A legislator claims state could reap up to $800 million by selling the Blue Water Bridge and more. Republican John James says he’ll take another […]
PODCAST: Rates Reform Redux/Line 5 Litigation/New Spartan Sam Stanley
5/31/19 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs new auto insurance rate reform legislation into law. AG Nessel repeats her ultimatum that she is giving Whitmer until the end of next month to negotiate a deal on Line 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac, but if that doesn’t happen, Nessel will move legally to decommission the apparatus. MSU […]
PODCAST: Zoe at the Mackinac Zoo/Petition Palaver/Caucus Castoff
5/24/19 New Denno Research poll shows Michiganders don’t want President Trump impeached, but they don’t want him to re-elect him, either. Attorney General Dana Nessel renders part of controversial “petition reform” legislation unconstitutional. Quicken Loans mogul Dan Gilbert threatens petition drive to reform auto insurance rating system if Gov. Whitmer and Legislature don’t get the […]
PODCAST: Extortion Extravaganza/Vanquishing Vaping
5/17/19 State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) is indicted by a federal grand jury for trying to extort a labor union in exchange for his vote. State appeals court throws a curveball into auto insurance reform. Legislature again votes to prohibit use of e-cigarets and vaping products by minors — Gov. Snyder vetoed such legislation […]
PODCAST: Pinky Swear Protest/Bipartisan Bonhomie/Wrongly Convicted Wrung Out to Dry?
5/10/19 Action-packed week in MI Legislature as auto insurance reform roars through both chambers in barely more than a day, w/Gov. Whitmer threatening veto. Bill to offer $10 million in compensation to wrongly-convicted passed unanimously by both chambers, may be vetoed by Gov. Whitmer for “inside baseball” political reasons. Interview w/state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kzoo), […]
PODCAST: Gerrymander Gymnastics/A.G. Gyrations/Kentucky Derby Kerfuffle
5/3/19 MI’s Dept. of Attorney General is at war with itself over Flint Water crisis. Who will win the Kentucky Derby? Interview with state House Minority Floor Leader Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), who gives the lowdown on the court battle over Michigan gerrymandering, how his bills to protect the state’s environment have a better […]
PODCAST: Macomb Co. Craziness/Gerrymandering Gymnastics/Aggravating the A.G.
4/26/19 Three-judge federal panel rules MI’s Congressional and legislative districts have been gerrymandered since 2011 and that new lines must be drawn by August 1. Senate Majority Leader Shirkey hints on radio that impeachment of A.G. Nessel is not out of the question. Interview with Chad Selweski, who discussed Macomb County politics, including the […]
PODCAST: Barr Ballistics/Electricians Electrified/Gas Tax Gastritis
4/18/19 New poll for NECA and IBEW 252 and 665 shows unionized workers are highly valued, especially electricians. Another survey reveals MI voters don’t like Gov. Whitmer’s proposed 45-cents-per-gallon gas tax hike. They’re also in a grumpy mood about the direction of the country and the State of MI. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re […]
PODCAST: Capitol Reconfiguration/Texas Travels/Presidential Perquisites
4/12/19 State Capitol Commission forges ahead with construction of Heritage Hall, a 54,000 square foot underground addition to the state Capitol in Lansing that may take more than two years to complete. Dennis Denno returns from his 1,200-mile weekend Texas road trip, where he saw the Houston Space Center, the site of JFK’s assassination, and […]
PODCAST: Poll Pulverizes GOP/Whitmer’s Message to Dem. Prez Candidates
4/5/19 New national poll finds Republicans not as trustworthy as Democrats on health care. Same survey finds former VP Biden weathering criticism that he’s too old and not progressive. Also, more than half of voters believe Russia has compromising info on Trump. Should Democratic Presidential candidates listen to MI Gov. Whitmer? Lanae Erickson, Senior Vice […]
PODCAST: Catastrophic Car Costs/Tunnel Turbulence/Gas Tax Troubles
3/29/19 Gov. Whitmer won’t sign budget if Legislature doesn’t give her money to “Fix the Damn Roads.” Attorney General Dana Nessel torpedoes ex-Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan for building a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. Michigan Catastrophic Claims Assn. hikes fees to a record high $222 per vehicle, prompting outrage from legislators pledged to reforming […]
PODCAST: Growing Gaming Gamble/Forward FOIA!/James v. Peters?
Michigan House on way to passing huge expanded gambling package. Bills to “let the sunshine in” on state government also clear House — but will they die again in Senate? Would Republican John James have a better chance against U.S. Senator Gary Peters next year than he did against Debbie Stabenow last year? Interview with […]
PODCAST: Interview with state Representative Mari Manoogian
3/15/19 Interview with state Representative Mari Manoogian. Sponsored by Deadine Detroit and Vanguard Public Affairs.
PODCAST: Whitmer Budget/Gas Tax Godzilla/Budget Brouhaha
3/5/19 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lays out some bold new proposals to the Legislature in her first budget message. Interview with former state Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema (R-Wyoming), who liked what he heard. Sponsored by Vanguard Public Affairs and Deadline Detroit.
PODCAST: Cox Crushes Competition/Senate Switch?/Prevailing Wage Pulverized
3/1/19 GOP state convention, gerrymandering, and a court case + interview with Princeton University’s Guide on how to cure MI gerrymandering. Sponsored by Vanguard and Deadline Detroit.
PODCAST: Watershore Wallop/Mason Masonry
2/22/19 Discussion about how national issues intersect with Michigan issues. Interview with City of Mason Manager Deb Stuart. Sponsored by Vanguard Public Affairs and Deadline Detroit.
PODCAST: Governor SOS Message and Zoe Clark’s Response
2/12/19 What did Zoe Clark, Michigan Radio’s Program Director, think of Michigan’s 49th governor first SoS speech? Sponsored by Deadline Detroit and Vanguard!
PODCAST: Whitmer EO Whittled/Redistricting Redivivus/Retirement Tax Rebuked
2/8/19 Interview with newly-elected state Rep. Laurie Pohutski (D-Livonia), the first Democratic House member from her area in nearly half a century. Sponsored by Deadline Detroit and Vanguard P.A.
PODCAST: Winter Weather Wipeout/Premature Polls/Berman Barometer
A week’s worth of Michigan government wiped out by Polar Vortex. A Glengariff Group poll shows Whitmer with positive approval numbers and job rating before she has a chance to really do anything — how does this compare with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder at comparable points in their tenures? Interview with […]
PODCAST: Lucido Lops off Legal Lucre/Benson Bumps Belligerents/Lower Lowers the Boom
1/25/19 Ironies abound as state Senate committee reports out bill to reform civil asset forfeiture. New Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson aggressively pursues court settlement to redraw Congressional and legislative district lines with elections to be held with new maps next year. Benson also asks for a legal opinion from just-elected Attorney General Dana Nessel […]
PODCAST: Engler Implodes/Reduxing Auto Insurance Rate Reform/From Football to Freshman
1/18/19 Former Gov. John Engler resigns under pressure as interim president of MSU. Michigan legislators show they are serious about auto insurance rate reform. What exactly does AG Dana Nessel mean by “prosecution for profit?” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer meets with “Quadrant” of House and Senate leaders for first of what she hopes will be many […]
PODCAST: Baby Boxes Broadsided/We Are Women — Hear Us Roar!/ 100th Legislature Convenes
1/11/19 On his way out the door, ex-Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed two bills that would have enhanced safeguards against infant-abandonment by ashamed new mothers — why? Bridget McCormack is elected Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, making Michigan the only state in the country with women at the helm of the governorship, secretary of […]
PODCAST: Trump Terror in Troy/Line 5 Litigation/Referendum Roulette
1/4/19 Another assessment of how a Blue Wave swept over Oakland Co. in last year’s general election, and why. Explaining it all is former state Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy), who lost re-election to a Democrat, newcomer Mallory McMorrow, even though he ran ahead of virtually every other Republican office-seeker in his district. Also, Gretchen […]
PODCAST: Dem Demolition/Republicans Routed/Rocky to the Rescue?
12/28/18 Historic Lame Duck comes to an end, with One Tough Nerd signing hundreds of bills. Interview with former state Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham), who ponders ongoing power shift in Oakland Co. from Republican to Democratic and the ascension of another ex-legislator, Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, as the next GOP chairman of Michigan’s second largest county. […]
PODCAST: Flying Finn Shocks the World/Do Capitol Lawmakers Understand U.P. K-12 Schools?
12/21/18 Historic Lame Duck session of Michigan Legislature chugs to conclusion. Interview with state Rep.-elect Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock), who stunned political observers with upset win in Nov. 6 general election for an open seat in the 110th state House district in western Upper Peninsula. Sponsored by Deadline Detroit.
PODCAST: Young MacDonald Has a Dream/The Silence of the Ewes
Historic Lame Duck session of Michigan Legislature has already broken records, and lawmakers aren’t done yet. Meanwhile, three incoming top state officials are strangely quiet in their reactions to what is going on. Interview with state Senator-elect Michael MacDonald (R-Sterling Heights), who touts his plan for making Michigan the Cape Canaveral of the Midwest. He […]
PODCAST: Brixie Breaks Fast/Lame Duck Lollapalooza
12/7/18 History of lame duck sessions of the Michigan Legislature. When did they start? Is this year’s any different from those of the past? Interview with state Rep.-elect Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), an 18-year member of her local government board of trustees and, most recently, its treasurer. Sponsored by Deadline Detroit!
PODCAST: El-Sayed Eruption/Cherry Picking/Coffee Confabulation
Lengthy Atlantic magazine article on how Democrats pulled off a major electoral success in Michigan on Nov. 6, including provocative quotes from erstwhile Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed. Interview with state Rep.-elect John Cherry (D-Flint), who won an open seat in the 49th House district in the general election — he’s the son of former […]
Selweski Scoop/Macomb Mayhem
11/23/18 Interview with veteran Macomb County Political Pundit/Journalist Chad Selweski, who sums up the latest campaign hijinx in Michigan’s most turbulent political battleground. Sponsored by Deadline Detroit.
PODCAST: Lassoing Legislative Leadership/Montpelier and Monticello/Hollier Than Thou
Three new caucus leaders are chosen in the Michigan Legislature, plus Jim Ananich (D-Flint) as the only holdover “chief” among Democrats and Republicans in the Michigan House and Senate. Interview with newly-elected state Senator Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), whose background offers some new and refreshing approaches to legislating in the state capital of Lansing. Another Dennis […]