State representatives shift focus to job growth

East Lansing, Mich.— Many candidates running for the state Legislature this election hope to shift policies toward job growth and college attainment in an effort to improve the local and regional economy. Michigan ranks No. 30 in best states for business and No. 43 for growth prospects according to Forbes, which is a 12 spot leap from last year’s rank in best states for business. Casey O’Neill, the Republican candidate for 76th District State Representative, has a campaign platform centered on job creation and job growth.

Motion graphic: Understanding political polls

A poll is supposed to be a snapshot of how an election would go at the time the poll is taken, but results vary so widely, even among polls taken on the same day, it makes you wonder. Seeing how polls are conducted, you’ll know why this happens.

MSU student, 23, running for state representative in 67th district

By Alexandra Donlin
MI First Election

Most college students typically don’t think about running for a political office, at least while they’re still in school. However, Alec Findlay, despite being a senior at Michigan State University and only 23, has decided to run for state representative in the 67th District, which includes Mason, Williamston, Leslie and part of Lansing. “Alec’s work-ethic, intelligence and social skills will serve him and the district well,” said Patrick McAran, friend and supporter of Findlay. “There is much disapproval of the incumbent candidate and it seems it is time for a change.”

Findlay, a Democrat, is running against Tom Cochran, also a Democrat, who is running for this third and final term, due to term limits. Aside from being a full-time political science student, Findlay also works part-time – all while he is building up his campaign.

Michigan House representatives speak at MSU

By Alexandra Donlin
MI First Election

When getting out to vote, Asian Pacific Americans often struggle with deciding who to vote or even how to vote. Asian Pacific Americans make up 6 percent of the U.S. population, but voter turnout is lower than any other racial group in the country. This could be because they are often underrepresented in government. On Feb. 27, the Asian Pacific American Studies Program at Michigan State University held an event called Activism, Politics, and Social Media Summit … Raising Asian American Voices.

Third of candidates on conservation group’s “Dirty Dozen” in Great Lakes states

Image: League of Women Voters of California
By Dmitri Barvinok, Jenny Kalish, Zachary Peña and Maranda Trombley

A non-profit conservation group lists nine candidates from the Great Lakes region among the 2012 politicians it says hinders environmental legislation. The two “Dirty Dozen” lists identify 12 federal and 12 state-level candidates that the League of Conservation voters say have the worst environmental records in close races around the country. The nation-wide group works toward environment-friendly public policies. A third of the candidates the league identified are running in the Great Lakes states. The lists are created with the help of more than 30 similar groups at the state level.