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Jack Lessenberry

Updated 5 days ago

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Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.

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Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.

iTunes Ratings

35 Ratings
Average Ratings
32
1
1
0
1

Michigan, listen!

By Sparky0000121 - Feb 20 2016
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We need more Jacks in the world.

Worth your time

By Mbazell - May 09 2014
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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.

iTunes Ratings

35 Ratings
Average Ratings
32
1
1
0
1

Michigan, listen!

By Sparky0000121 - Feb 20 2016
Read more
We need more Jacks in the world.

Worth your time

By Mbazell - May 09 2014
Read more
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.
Cover image of Jack Lessenberry

Jack Lessenberry

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.

Rank #1: Schuette’s land deals

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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 image any favors during a candidates’ forum four days ago. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley , his main rival for the Republican nomination for governor, accused him of personally controlling the sale of millions in property he had inherited in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Calley also circulated documents showing that Schuette, who has said that he had placed all his assets in a blind trust, used members of his official staff to witness and notarize the documents transferring the property, apparently on state time. You might think that’d be enough to raise the eyebrows of your average citizen, for whom how to sell spare resort property is never an issue. What’s worse is that the attorney general seemed to lie about it. When asked about Calley’s charges by

May 14 2018

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Rank #2: Week in Review: GOP candidates hold first debate, and study gives term limits a "thumbs down"

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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 over the handling of the Flint water crisis and who's the biggest Trump supporter. One thing they all agreed on is that Michigan should not legalize recreational marijuana, but they said they'd respect the wishes of the voters. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what else stood out in the debate .

May 12 2018

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Rank #3: The truth about term limits

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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 between the first President George Bush, his young challenger Bill Clinton, and third party candidate H. Ross Perot. Michigan voters picked Clinton, and also opted by a landslide for term limits. I was around then, and think many chose term limits because they wanted to get rid of longtime federal officeholders like Congressman John Conyers.

May 10 2018

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Rank #4: Michigan voters approve major school bond proposals, recall anti-Muslim village president

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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.

May 09 2018

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Rank #5: Women who don’t belong in jail

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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 that. She’s been there thirty years.

May 09 2018

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Rank #6: Help the schools win the lottery: Vote today

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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 over the last ten years to the education system.” Dr. Krinock is a big supporter of public education, and is puzzled by this. Why hasn’t the lottery taken care of education?

May 08 2018

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Rank #7: Lots of people angry over "baby box" commentary

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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 baby goes in, two alarms are supposed to go off and notify both 9-1-1 and people inside the building to rescue the baby. Well, I discussed the concept on Friday, and expressed some polite skepticism, in which I echoed some of the concerns expressed by an official from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services who testified at the hearing. She noted that there were no existing standards to prevent malfunctions, like the alarms failing to go off, and to make sure the boxes are otherwise safe for infants. She also noted that when the babies are turned in anonymously, caregivers may lose the opportunity to gain vital information about details, like the baby’s medical condition. I echoed those concerns, but said I had no position on

May 07 2018

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Rank #8: The need to trust government

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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 system of hyperpartisan gerrymandering, in which legislative and congressional districts are always drawn to ensure perpetual Republican control of the Legislature and a majority of seats in Congress.

Apr 30 2018

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Rank #9: Could Mr. Brook go to Washington?

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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 candidate in a hotly contested congressional primary who told me the same thing.

May 23 2018

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Rank #10: The Michigan Civil Rights Commission defends humanity

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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 yet, no legal basis to try to prevent someone from hiring you, or renting to you, because you were black. I don’t know how successful their efforts would have been. Probably not very, at least at first. They would have risked verbal attacks, or worse. But I know that we would look back on them today as heroes. And their efforts might have gotten us thinking about open housing and employment anti-discrimination acts sooner than we did. Well, something like that happened yesterday. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted to start taking claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We now live in a crazy parallel universe where you can marry someone of the same sex anywhere in Michigan, but you can still be

May 22 2018

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