By Jack Lessenberry
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Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.
||CleanMichigan's sex offender law is unfair and probably unconstitutional||When I was three years old, a little girl in my neighborhood was snatched off the street, raped and murdered. Her body was found a week later in a garbage dump, and the crime never solved. This traumatized my mother, who instilled in me a lifelong fear of||8/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCourting the black vote||Donald Trump is coming to Michigan again early next month, this time specifically to court black voters in Detroit. My guess is that the Clinton campaign is thrilled by this. In fact, they probably wish Trump would spend every day until November 8 in||8/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMuslim-American family finds relief from election rhetoric in the Olympics||I met a former student of mine for an early lunch Tuesday, in a little café in the bustling, cosmopolitan suburb of West Bloomfield. Anasie Tayyen has three children, who are seven, nine and 12, and has her hands full running after them and managing her||8/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMedia bias and the election||I heard over the weekend from a retired night city editor from an Ohio newspaper who sent me an article from the New York Post about media bias and the presidential election. He, and the authors of the article, believe the mainstream media is outrageously||8/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRigging Michigan elections would be pretty difficult||Perhaps the ultimate political nightmare scenario has been the specter of a stolen election, especially a presidential election. This is not something candidates have tended to talk about, mainly for good and responsible reasons. Democracy, to a large||8/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDonald Trump comes back to Michigan today. We have three excruciating months left of this.||Donald Trump is bringing his chaotic presidential campaign to Michigan today, for the second time in two weeks. He is going to speak to a rally at a sports arena in Dimondale, a little outside Lansing, about five this afternoon. And this morning, I||8/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRepublicans feel the sting after their ban on straight-ticket voting goes down||Democratic chances of finally winning a majority in the Michigan House of Representatives got a lot stronger Wednesday. Republican chances of winning new seats on the state board of education got considerably weaker. And that’s because a three-judge pan||8/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJudge tries bizarre tactic to circumvent Michigan's ageist election law||I’ve been covering politics for a long time, and inevitably, in every election year, amid the high drama and low insults, something happens that is just plain silly. This year, as you may have noticed, has not been a typical presidential election in any||8/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanConfessions of a former State Superintendent||Mike Flanagan retired voluntarily a year ago, after ten years as state superintendent of public instruction, a job often referred to as state superintendent of schools. That he lasted so long and retired of his own accord is more remarkable than it may||8/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAssisted suicide creeping back into conversations||Twenty years ago, before he was finally sent to prison, I asked Dr. Jack Kevorkian whether he thought physician-assisted suicide would ever be legal throughout America. He told me yes, but not for the right reasons. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You||8/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe candidates come to town||There was a fair amount of presidential excitement in the Detroit area this week, because both major party nominees came to campaign here just a few days and a few miles apart. Once, this wouldn’t have seemed unusual. Back at the turn of the century, 16||8/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCulture wars and the state board||A year or so ago, one of my students saw me talking with Kathleen Straus, a longtime member of the state board of education. Later, he asked me who she was. When I told him, he said he hadn’t known there was such a board and asked me what they did.||8/11/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA presidential candidate beyond disgrace||I certainly haven’t been thrilled with the moral leadership shown by the leaders of the Michigan Democratic Party. None called for former State Senator Virgil Smith’s resignation after he shot up his ex-wife’s car on a residential street. That was l||8/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMr. Trump Comes to Detroit||Donald Trump started his week off by coming to Motown and delivering a traditional Republican speech to the Detroit Economic Club, the spiritual home of successful old-school businessmen. I wasn’t there, though I later read the speech and watched a||8/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMilliken puts principle before Republican party||William Milliken, the longest-serving governor in Michigan history, and a man who has the Republican Party woven into his DNA, is announcing today his choice for President. He will vote for Hillary Clinton. There are those who have said for years that||8/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhen is work going to start on that new Detroit to Canada bridge?||For years, those who know how badly our economy needs a new bridge over the Detroit River have waged an epic battle with Matty Moroun, owner of the aging Ambassador Bridge. For a long time, Moroun, the 89-year-old-billionaire holder of the 87-year old||8/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOne more chance for mass transit||For years, hardworking, far-seeing people from both parties have been trying hard to come up with a mass transit plan that makes sense for metropolitan Detroit. This is not, incidentally, something that’s been pushed primarily by environmentalists, thou||8/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMelissa Gilbert today will win a prize she doesn't want||Today is primary election day across Michigan, and whenever there’s an election, there are always a number of bizarre things going on. The best one I can remember happened sixteen years ago not in Michigan, but in Missouri, where a Republican United||8/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTomorrow is election day, remember?||Michigan’s statewide primary elections are tomorrow, and most of us probably won’t bother to vote. And that’s too bad. Too bad for us, that is. Our first statewide primary was the presidential one in March, and it set an all-time turnout record. Mor||8/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSaying no to decent and reliable public transit||If I had young adult children I might have called last night and told them, “I’m sorry, but Metropolitan Detroit is hopeless. You should start planning to move somewhere like Chicago.” That’s because yesterday, two selfish and short-sighted men sa||7/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
A little left of Center
-- but tries hard not to be.
Food for thought in 3 minutes
Jack employs a matter of fact, common sense approach to his essays. He explores multiple aspects of mostly local (Michigan) issues and does not pander to any particular brand of politics. His comments are always well researched never fail to get me thinking.
Great example talk-radio and podcasting. Many Thanks to Jack and Michigan Radio for quality media in this age of overload.
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.