By Jack Lessenberry
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.
||CleanCould Mr. Brook go to Washington?||Last week, I spoke to a candidate for statewide office who lamented that she hadn’t been able to get out much among the people or keep up on important policy issues because she had to spend all day, every day on the phone, raising money. I also saw a||5/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Michigan Civil Rights Commission defends humanity||Let’s say there had been a Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 1961, and it announced that it was going to start investigating claims of discrimination against black people. Undoubtedly that would have met considerable opposition, since there was, as||5/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe difference between Republicans and Democrats||I’ve been asked to speak to a group in Mount Clemens today about the difference between Republicans and Democrats. That may sound easy to answer, but it’s not. To an extent, however, the difference is easier to define than fifty years ago. Today, th||5/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe man who saw tomorrow||Stan Ovshinsky barely had a high school education, and part of him was always more at home in machine shops like the one where began working when he got out of high school. “For me, manufacturing has always had glamour to it,” he said. Yet he is||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanShould Michigan legalize sports gambling?||On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law giving Nevada a monopoly over legal sports gambling. And there were immediately voices clamoring to legalize it here. They argued that the state would get more tax revenue as a result, and that it would||5/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCampaigns are too expensive. In theory, the FCC could change that.||Yesterday I mentioned a candidate for Congress who was frustrated that he had to spend so much time attempting to raise the money needed to run a competitive race. He’s far from alone. Virtually every candidate I know complains about the same thing. T||5/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe cost of running for Congress||Anyone who thinks they know how Michigan’s fall elections will turn out is a fool, but this much seems fairly certain: The race for the 11th Congressional District will likely be the most expensive and the most hotly contested. There’s no incumbent,||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSchuette’s land deals||Back in the old days, when a politician got caught doing something questionable, we said “this doesn’t look good.” Today, they say “the optics are terrible.” Well, whatever your terms, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette didn’t do his im||5/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWeek in Review: GOP candidates hold first debate, and study gives term limits a "thumbs down"||The four Republicans running for governor held their first debate this week. It was the first time Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines have appeared together on one stage. There were arguments ov||5/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhatever happened to citizenship?||Two years ago, southeast Michigan voted down what I think may have been the region’s best chance at a sensible and affordable regional transit service. Had the ballot proposal passed, a network of special rapid buses with their own lanes would have be||5/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe truth about term limits||Twenty-six years ago, Michigan voters faced a ballot proposal to amend the state constitution to impose strict term limits on all federal and state officeholders. That didn’t get a lot of attention then, because the main event that year was the battle||5/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMichigan voters approve major school bond proposals, recall anti-Muslim village president||Voters went to the polls yesterday in several cities across the state, including Jackson, Kalamazoo and Kalkaska. Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Doug Tribou discuss the results.||5/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWomen who don’t belong in jail||You’ve probably never heard of Melissa Chapman, who has spent the majority of her life in Michigan prisons. When she was 18, her violent and abusive boyfriend shot a man and forced her to help hide the body. She was sentenced to life in prison for tha||5/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHelp the schools win the lottery: Vote today||Mark Krinock, a neurosurgeon from Kalamazoo, asked me something via email yesterday that I’ve heard people asking for many years. “I am curious how the state of education can be in such dire straits when the lottery has contributed over $7 billion o||5/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLots of people angry over "baby box" commentary||There was a hearing in the Michigan House of Representatives last week on a bill that would allow a parent who wished to anonymously give up a child to place it in a box attached to the side of a building like a hospital, or a police station. When the||5/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWeek in Review: Study says oil leak would cost state billions and DMC cuts ties with Wayne State||A new study says Michigan's economy would take a big hit if there was an oil spill in the Mackinac Straits. A Michigan State University professor estimates a spill could cost the state's economy more than $6 billion. Enbridge Energy says the study is||5/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe legal fight over animal rights||It often seems like we care less about each other than we used to – or at least, we are choosing policies not designed to help society in general or the next generation. Our lawmakers have been happily giving tax cuts to the rich while letting our||5/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Democratic primary has turned into a game of Whac-A-Mole||Abdul El-Sayed and Shri Thanedar are each accomplished men. The 63-year-old Thanedar came over here penniless from India, started companies and made fortunes, even though he also has lost one or two. El-Sayed, who at 33 is barely half Thanedar's age, is||5/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAre farmers' profits more important than our water?||Last week, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced that efforts to decrease those potentially toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie aren’t working. When I read that, let’s say I wasn’t exactly surprised. I moderated a large forum on this subj||5/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe need to trust government||We could debate endlessly about what people want and expect from state government, but a few things are clear: First, we want a government we can trust and that will respond to what we want. And it is also very clear people are fed up with our current||4/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
A little left of Center
-- but tries hard not to be.
We need more Jacks in the world.
Worth your time
Every Michigan resident should give Jack a listen. Even if you don't always line up with his personal politics, his reporting is fair and he looks at anyone with suspicion or ire if they deserve it.