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It's Just Politics

Politics can be messy. Politics can be confusing. But, that certainly doesn't mean politics can't be a total thrilling joy-ride. Join It's Just Politics hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta every Monday morning for a fast-paced spin around Michigan politics.

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Republicans eye getting in front of marijuana legalization

Update, Friday, April 27 at 10:40 a.m.: On Thursday, Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the petition to place the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot. House Speaker Tom Leonard says he doesn't foresee the Legislature adopting the measure in the next 40 days. "There is not much support it in the caucus," he said. "I do not personally support it, so I think this something that ultimately voters are going to have to decide.” Original story from Monday, April 23: Sensing that legalizing marijuana in Michigan might be inevitable, some Republicans want to get in front of the issue to try to avoid political catastrophe in November. A petition campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan has cleared a bunch of hurdles. The group pushing the initiative says they have turned in enough signatures to get on the ballot in November. Recent surveys show that Michiganders are growing more accepting of the idea of legalizing marijuana in the state. Four years ago an EPIC-MRA poll


16 Apr 2018

Rank #1

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Can Democrats heal after bitter fight over attorney general race

The fight for the Democratic nod for state attorney general has gotten nasty with less than a week to go before Michigan Democrats decide on a candidate.


9 Apr 2018

Rank #2

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President Trump visits MI and gives Bill Schuette a shout-out

Republican gubernatorial candidates wanted to get next to President Donald Trump this weekend but only one got the presidential shout-out in Washington Township, MI. “A really great friend of mine, a great attorney general, the next governor of Michigan, Bill Schuette. Where’s Bill? Bill? Where? Alright, wherever the hell he is…”


30 Apr 2018

Rank #3

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Republicans pressure universities on speech, board elections

As part of the state Legislature’s response to Michigan State University’s handling of Larry Nassar , lawmakers are asking the state’s 15 public universities to explain their policies on sexual misconduct. But, the questions are not stopping there.


19 Feb 2018

Rank #4

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Snyder ignites controversy with anti-LGBT appointment to civil rights board

Did Governor Rick Snyder intend to name an anti-gay activist to the state civil rights commission? Or is this one that just slipped past him? Democrats and Republicans are asking, “What was he thinking?” Snyder seems to have rekindled the fight over LGBT rights in Michigan with his appointment of Ira Combs to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission .


12 Feb 2018

Rank #5

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Progressive candidate Abdul El-Sayed has confusing defense of voting record

Abdul El-Sayed’s did not have a good week. And it’s not looking like it’s going to get better any time soon. El-Sayed has captured the imagination of progressives who think he can bring a liberal agenda to Lansing and become the nation’s first Muslim-American governor. This past weekend, at a Democratic forum for Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates in Washtenaw County, there was a throng of excited folks all waiting to talk to him.


5 Feb 2018

Rank #6

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The future for the MSU Board of Trustees

The Larry Nassar trials are over and the final round of sentencing hearings begin this week in Eaton County. More and more attention now is turning to East Lansing and how the top echelons at Michigan State University allowed an environment for this abuse to happen and continue. And because the MSU Board of Trustees is elected statewide, the university’s handling of the situation is going to be a political issue in the 2018 elections.


29 Jan 2018

Rank #7

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Snyder to deliver his final State of the State address. What will he say?

Governor Rick Snyder brings his sound fiscal-management-show to the stage one last time tomorrow at the Capitol. But, he’s delivering his final State of the State address to an audience of lawmakers who just dealt him a rare veto override. Snyder could be celebrating eight years of Republican control in Lansing while he’s been in office. Except Snyder has often found himself on the other side of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.


22 Jan 2018

Rank #8

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Michigan roads are bad. That doesn't mean they're going to get fixed

Why are Michigan roads so bad? Because we don’t put enough money into fixing them. Why is that? Because lawmakers don’t fear underfunding the state’s roads will cost them on Election Day.


26 Feb 2018

Rank #9

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53 bills in the state Legislature deal with guns. But, what will get done?

Gun laws across the country are under the microscope at state capitols. And Michigan is no exception. But the reality is, we’re not seeing a re-thinking of gun policy. Instead, everyone’s just returned to their corners. There’s increasing pressure for Lansing to do something following the school shootings in Parkland, Florida.


5 Mar 2018

Rank #10