Presidential candidates use Super Bowl to reach national audience

President Donald Trump broadcast his new reelection ad during the Super Bowl both highlighting some of his accomplishments during his first term as president. The first ad featured a video of former inmate Alice Johnson thanking Trump for dismissing her life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction. The movement to save Johnson’s life was given a step up when reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West took her case to the White House.

Fair and Equal Michigan works to amend state civil rights law

MSU Alliance of Queer and Ally Students executive board member Jacinda Glover poses in the LBGT Resource Center. Supporters of  a ballot initiative to amend Michigan’s civil rights act to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation began collecting signatures last week. Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 reaffirmed the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was eventually amended to include protections for discrimination based on height, weight  and pregnancy. In the 44 years since its passage, several attempts have been made to pass amendments that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, especially in employment and housing. The latest to take up the mantle of this cause is Fair and Equal Michigan, which campaigned to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Female politicians dressed down for dressing up

During the 2020 State of the State Address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed issues of gender in politics.

While her lighthearted statement was directed at some of her co-legislators, it also addressed the issues of gender in politics and the way female politicians are treated based on their appearance.

Iowa Caucus: Its importance and its downfall

Marking the true beginning of the 2020 election season, the Iowa caucus took place Monday, Feb. 3, though results were still coming in Tuesday night. 

The Iowa Caucus has a long-standing tradition of being one of the first organized gatherings of individuals to vote for who they believe should lead their party. 

A sign marks a voting precinct at Michigan State University's Brody Complex on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016.

Citizens recruited to draw new voting districts

At the South Lansing Library on Tuesday, Jan. 28, Voters Not Politicians held a workshop to educate the public on the Citizens Redistricting Commission, which will draw the new district lines in Michigan. Voters Not Politicians is the nonprofit organization that helped get the anti-gerrymandering Proposal 2 on the 2018 ballot.

Gretchen Driskell campaigns at James Madison College

State of MichiganGretchen Driskell

EAST LANSING – Michigan House of Representatives Democratic candidate Gretchen Driskell spoke at a Feb. 3 event for James Madison College Kennedy Democrats. 

“She is an incredibly optimistic and hardworking candidate who is very excited to bring about progressive change in Washington, D.C.,” said Jasper Martus, president of the Kennedy Democrats. Driskell is running in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District to turn the traditionally Republican district blue by defeating incumbent Tim Walberg. 

“Tim Walberg is basically your average Republican Congressperson,” said Trevor Jones, a Driskell campaign staffer. “Walberg isn’t creating any new policy. He just kind of sits back, floats along and votes with Trump 98% of the time.”

Jones, a recent University of Michigan graduate, previously worked on Driskell’s campaign as an intern and jumped at the opportunity to work with her again. 

“Gretchen is just the perfect candidate,” Jones said.

No-excuse absentee voting faces its first primary election

On March 10, 15 Democrats and four Republicans will be on the presidential primary election ballot. With Michigan’s new voting laws approved in November 2018, it is easier than ever to vote. Michigan now allows registered voters to request  absentee ballots from their local or city clerks’ office without giving an excuse. According to the Secretary of State’s office, applications for an absentee ballot must be filled out in writing. The deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot is 5 p.m. March 6.