It's Just Politics

It's Just Politics

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Join Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta every Friday afternoon for a fast-paced spin around Michigan politics. Political junkies get your fill!More from It's Just Politics »

Most Recent Episodes

A botched roll-out for the new head of the scandal-plagued state Department of Environmental Quality

There's a new chief for the embattled state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) but the effort to restore confidence to the agency that was a huge part of the Flint water crisis is off to a rocky start.

A botched roll-out for the new head of the scandal-plagued state Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan lawmakers set to meet at Capitol for fewest days in 14 years

The sultry days of summer are no break from politics. In fact, the state Legislature's summer recess is becoming a political wedge itself.

Michigan lawmakers set to meet at Capitol for fewest days in 14 years

Getting qualified school board candidates is next big step for Detroit schools overhaul

The latest re-invention of public schools in Detroit is underway with the state trying yet again to overhaul the district facing huge financial and academic difficulties. But it's still too early to declare victory. This new plan out of Lansing is without the support of legislative Democrats, the Detroit delegation and Mayor Mike Duggan. But it does return the Detroit public schools back to the control of a locally elected school board. This is coming after many state appointed emergency managers over seven years have tried but failed to turn around the district. This latest state plan is a taxpayer-funded bailout of the district but, remember, a lot of that debt was racked up while the district was being run by the state. So, now what's meant to happen is the old district will basically only be in existence to pay off millions and millions of dollars of debt. Using this state money from the bailout, a new Detroit Community Schools district will be created. And, as Governor Snyder says

Getting qualified school board candidates is next big step for Detroit schools overhaul

Group pushing for marijuana legalization in MI could have huge impact on future ballot campaigns

The group that's trying to legalize marijuana in Michigan is telling the state: See you in court. And the outcome of the challenge could have a huge impact on politics, law-making, and future elections in Michigan.

Group pushing for marijuana legalization in MI could have huge impact on future ballot campaigns

Gov. Snyder goes all Mick Jagger: You can't always get what you want...

Governor Rick Snyder is trying to make the best of it as a plan he endorsed to try and save the Detroit Public Schools is starting to look like it isn't going to happen. The Detroit Public Schools are in financial crisis. The district could go into default - bankruptcy is even an option - if the the state Legislature doesn't adopt a bailout plan this month. If that happens, it's possible tens of thousands of students in the city could be without a school to go to come fall. Snyder, like Governors John Engler (R) and Jennifer Granholm (D) before him, has become bogged down in the seemingly intractable dilemma of how to fix Detroit's schools. As the latest iteration of this newest debate on DPS plays out this week in Lansing, Snyder is confronted by the reality that the aforementioned "fix" is a lot less than what he and his metro-Detroit business allies were hoping for. Now, there is a plan that was adopted by the state Senate that Republicans and Democrats and Detroit Mayor Mike

Gov. Snyder goes all Mick Jagger: You can't always get what you want...

Mackinac Policy Conference opens with fireworks over DPS funding

Over 1,500 politicians, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and business people are at the Grand Hotel for this year's Mackinac Policy Conference. There will be three days of events and speakers, including Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Our It's Just Politics team, Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, describes the event as a "melting pot" of Michigan leaders.

Michigan political and business leaders head to Mackinac Island without a fix for Detroit schools

The week after Memorial Day is when Michigan's political and business leaders pack up and head north to Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference. Mackinac is a major political event where political fundraisers are as ubiquitous as horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and complimentary cocktails.

Michigan political and business leaders head to Mackinac Island without a fix for Detroit schools

Will Donald Trump at the top of the ballot help Michigan Democrats?

Donald Trump is now the presumptive GOP presidential nominee so, what does that portend for Republicans further down the ballot? For Donald Trump to win the presidency, he'll have to change the Electoral College map to win states Republicans don't usually win. And, based on Trump's apparent appeal to blue collar voters in old Rust Belt states, Michigan is high on that list. Michigan Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller endorsed Trump last week. "In this case, with Donald Trump, I think Michigan is very much in play. I think the entire electoral map is going to be changing as evidenced by the recent poll that showed that he was neck and neck in three critical states, uh, literally, a dead-heat in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and if that is happening in Pennsylvania, I believe it is going to be happening in Michigan, as well. And, certainly in Macomb County, home of the Reagan Democrats," Miller said last week. But, at the same time, Democrats are hoping a lightning rod candidate

Republicans fight themselves over how to fix Detroit schools

There is no agreement at the state Capitol about how to fix Detroit's schools and time is growing short as the possibility of a default looms. But, it's not Republicans versus Democrats on this one. This is a showdown between Republicans.

Can Gov. Snyder afford to snub President Obama during trip to Flint?

President Obama is planning to fly into Flint later this week to check in on the response to the city's drinking water crisis and Governor Rick Snyder doesn't plan to follow along on the presidential visit. So, the question becomes: can the governor of Michigan really altogether snub the president of the United States? Snyder has certainly tried to lay an equal share of the blame for what went wrong in Flint on problems caused by the federal government and its layers of bureaucracy. But as reports and investigations have found, the Flint water crisis lies mostly on the state Department of Environmental Quality and state-appointed emergency managers. So, it's easy to see why Rick Snyder wouldn't particularly want to be in attendance at any event the President holds in Flint. It's likely Obama will talk about the failures - especially the state's mistakes - that led to the crisis. Meantime, it wasn't that long ago that Governor Snyder would point to Washington D.C. as a bastion of

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