Secretary of State Benson names leadership team

BY: - January 23, 2019

New Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson last week announced several top members of her executive staff. Benson, the state’s top elections chief and a former dean of Wayne State University’s law school, announced in a statement that those appointments include her assistant secretary of state, top legal aides and a veteran communications executive. “These […]

Michigan GOP looks to hit pause on Benson gerrymandering settlement

BY: - January 22, 2019

Attorneys representing Michigan GOP lawmakers are seeking to delay a pending settlement agreement in a lawsuit alleging Republican gerrymandering in several of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. In a role reversal from last year’s Lame Duck legislative session, now it’s Republicans accusing Democrats of a “power grab.” On Tuesday morning, lawyers for Republicans in League […]

Benson reflects on legacies of Richard Austin and MLK

BY: - January 21, 2019

Prior to being elected secretary of state last year, Jocelyn Benson had a long career dedicated to both civil right and voting rights. A former intern and researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Benson has served on the board of the organization dedicated to tracking extremist groups and “fighting hate and bigotry and to […]

Gerrymandering suit settlement could spark political showdown for 2020

BY: - January 19, 2019

Voters may have believed they settled the issue of how to draw fairer legislative and congressional districts in Michigan when they voted for Proposal 2 on Nov. 6. But a new front in the redistricting fight could open up before the new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) is seated. And it could mean new maps […]

Benson: Michigan’s team of female executives is a ‘win-win’

BY: - January 18, 2019

As the first Democrat to serve as Michigan Secretary of State in almost 25 years, Jocelyn Benson is also part of a brand-new leadership team in the state. Michigan is the only state in the country with women in top four leadership posts: Benson, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Chief Justice Bridget […]

Voters Not Politicians could challenge ballot proposal limits

BY: - January 8, 2019

Updated, 9:50 a.m., 1/9/19 A litany of legislation signed during last month’s Lame Duck session is under scrutiny as groups consider a variety of challenges. Voters Not Politicians is the organization that got Proposal 2 passed in November aimed at ending the practice of gerrymandered legislative districts in Michigan. The group may mount some kind […]

Whitmer seeks to ‘build bridges’ in inaugural address

BY: - January 1, 2019

Updated at 5:41 p.m. Members of Michigan’s newly inaugurated, all-Democratic executive branch sought to offer a conciliatory tone following a contentious Lame Duck legislative session filled with multiple bills aimed at stripping their power. The 100th Legislature will once again be controlled by Republicans, led by House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader […]

Gov. vetoes bill snatching Nessel’s power, signs ballot initiative limits

BY: - December 29, 2018

It was a humdinger of an evening for term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed perhaps the most-watched legislation on his plate. That was the bill that would have clamped down on the power of Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel, who will be the first Democrat to hold the office in 16 years. “We are grateful to […]

Missed anything in the busiest Lame Duck ever? Catch up here.

BY: - December 26, 2018

Members of the 99th Michigan Legislature made history this year, sending more than 400 pieces of legislation to Gov. Rick Snyder in the body’s busiest lame-duck session in history. Joe Borgstrom, principal of the Lansing economic development firm Place+Main, summed up a lot of the criticism of this frenzied Lame Duck session in a recent tweet. […]

GOP clamps down on ballot proposals after progressive victories Nov. 6

BY: and - December 21, 2018

Updated, 6:36 a.m. Dec. 21 Legislation that would make it more difficult to gather signatures for ballot proposals is headed Gov. Rick Snyder’s way. It hasn’t escaped notice that the measure was introduced and sped through the GOP-led Legislature only after three progressive initiatives for marijuana, redistricting reform and voting rights passed on Nov. 6. […]

GOP tightens up same-day voter registration outlined in Proposal 3

BY: - December 21, 2018

GOP Gov. Rick Snyder will have to decide whether to sign off on legislation that makes changes to a voting-rights proposal passed last month. Voting-rights advocates say that legislative changes made tonight to Proposal 3 proposal will dampen the intended effects. But the heart and soul of the Promote the Vote campaign remains intact, a […]

Michigan’s manic Lame Duck session continues to mesmerize national media

BY: - December 15, 2018

Michigan’s frenetic end-of-the-year legislative session before Democrats assume all top statewide offices continues to command the attention of national outlets. Reporters from national outfits like CNN attended the exit interview last week of GOP Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, eager to see if the term-limited governor would show his hand on signing […]