Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 23-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ people, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 100 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.

AG could weigh in on Elliott-Larsen, but GOP leader doesn’t favor adding LGBTQs

By: and - January 25, 2019

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) will consider asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to review an opinion of her predecessor, Bill Schuette, to decide whether the term “sex” in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity. This comes on the same day that House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) said on “Off […]

Reps. Dingell and Upton

Bipartisan bill makes state jobless benefits available for federal workers during shutdown

By: - January 24, 2019

A bipartisan pair of Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), have teamed up with legislation for unpaid federal workers during the partial government shutdown. They introduced this week emergency legislation to allow states to make unemployment benefits available to unpaid federal workers, who, despite the shutdown, have continued to […]

Michigan gets $3M in Johnson & Johnson medical device settlement

By: - January 23, 2019

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that she and 45 other attorneys general reached a settlement with companies over medical devices. Michigan’s cut is $2.93 million. The AG office said the $120 million Consent Judgment with Johnson & Johnson and Medical Device Business Inc, formerly known as DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., resolves allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted […]

AG to weigh in on another GOP Lame Duck law

By: and - January 23, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel “welcomes” the opinion request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that challenges the legality of the newly established law limiting ballot petition drives, Public Act 608 of 2018. “Restricting the right of Michiganders to participate in the political process is a serious subject matter,” said Nessel, a Democrat. “PA 608 […]

Trump bypasses Michigan for State of the Union speech

By: - January 22, 2019

Michigan’s dream of hosting President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech is over almost as quickly as it began. After landing on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning, Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) tweeted Tuesday afternoon his thanks to Trump “for the great conversation earlier this AM and for your continued commitment to […]


Susan J. Demas: John Engler, living embodiment of toxic masculinity

By: - January 22, 2019

Nobody expected John Engler to go gently into that good night. And he didn’t. In an 11-page screed dripping with bitterness and a twinge of self-pity, Michigan State University’s interim president essentially told the board last week: “You can’t fire me; I quit.” The GOP former three-term governor — who has remained a larger-than-life figure […]

Twitter roundup: Kildee calls Trump a #manbaby, Tlaib has Cardi B’s back

By: - January 21, 2019

This week in Twitter is probably best summed up with the fire emoji, as past and present members of Michigan’s congressional delegation weighed in on the partial federal government shutdown and more. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint), majority chief deputy whip, took his case against President Donald Trump to both MSNBC and social media. Kildee […]

Judge Miller dies at age 80

By: - January 18, 2019

Updated, 1:55 p.m., with Attorney General Dana Nessel’s statement: Former Macomb County Judge Donald Miller, husband of longtime former U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, died Friday morning, the Macomb Daily reports. Appointed by Gov. John Engler, Donald Miller served as a circuit court Judge from 1998 until he retired in 2010. He also served for seven […]

A statue on MSU's campus adorned with a teal ribbon

Whitmer: MSU has a ‘clean slate’ after Engler

By: and - January 17, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Michigan State University alumna and a sexual assault survivor, said on Thursday that the university has a chance to move forward now that interim President John Engler has resigned.  Whitmer, a Democrat, did not mention the GOP former governor by name in a statement. She also didn’t mention the name of MSU […]

John Engler

Engler resigns from MSU, blames Democrats

By: - January 17, 2019

In a defiant and verbose 11-page resignation letter, interim Michigan State University President John Engler appeared to blame a familiar target for his woes: Democrats. As the Advance reported earlier on Wednesday, the board issued a notice to meet at 8 a.m. Thursday and apparently had the votes to fire Engler. The GOP former governor […]

Engler may be out at MSU after Nassar comments

By: and - January 16, 2019

Will interim Michigan State University President John Engler make it until a scheduled board meeting first thing Thursday morning? As board members suggest they have the votes to remove Engler, speculation is growing that the GOP former three-term Michigan governor could resign beforehand. Engler has repeatedly been criticized for his handling of the aftermath of […]

Whitmer to convene 1st ‘quadrant’ meeting Wednesday

By: and - January 15, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday will hold her first meeting with the four leaders of each legislative caucus, her spokeswoman confirmed to the Advance. Michigan has a divided government, with a Democratic governor and both houses of the Legislature led by Republicans. Whitmer has said it’s a priority to restart the “quadrant meetings,” which lapsed during […]