On this edition of Focal Point, a look at a busy week in politics. The FBI foils a plan to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the candidates for Vice President debate, the the Libertarian presidential candidate visits Detroit. On campus, over 700 student employees are out of work as COVID-19 continues to spread in Ingham County. But even as the pandemic continues, new businesses come to East Lansing. All that and more on Focal Point.
President Trumps 54 million dollar budget proposal cuts large parts of federal government funding which could potentially affect the disabled and senior citizens. In Ingham County alone meals on wheels delivers about five hundred thousand meals a year and has 21 different sites that volunteers work from. “I’m concerned that the seniors who are sitting in there homes and are hearing about the program being cut, how they’re feeling,” said Carl Buonodono Nutrition Director for Meals on Wheels.
President Trumps budget plan will potentially cut the Older Americans Act and the Development Block Grant which equates to being about half of Meals on Wheels funding.
This potential cut of funding would lead to there being less sites open which means those who receive food from the program will no longer be able to do so. This budget plan not only affects those who get meals but also those who deliver them. 90 year old Robert Mac-Kinnon who goes by Bob, has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for 15 year and feels with out Meals on Wheels he wouldn’t get his daily joy of helping others.
By CAITLIN TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal calls for spending more than $4 million in federal grants to fight gender violence, but some local nonprofits are worried the money will evaporate under the Trump administration. The Trump transition team is relying on the Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance” as a foundation for reducing federal spending. It includes cutting grants combating violence against women. “What we are hearing now from state organizations is we need to be more prepared to fight,” said Whitney Buffa, the program director for Women’s Information Service, Inc. (WISE) in Big Rapids. The organization offers a 24-hour emergency shelter and crisis hotline, as well as education and prevention classes for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families.
Donald Trump is winning the Facebook popularity race as of 11 a.m. with his two posts receiving more than double the likes than Clinton’s six posts. Since the polls opened at 7 a.m., Trump has had over 102,000 shares, 527,000 likes, and 40,000 comments. With Clinton having over 45,000 shares, 241,000 likes, and 11,000 comments. Despite the fact Clinton has posted more than the Republican candidate, Trump’s two posts have had significantly more positive social media attention. With Trump leading the social media race on Facebook all week, his total likes surpassing Clinton’s by two million.
East Lansing, Mich.– Michigan State hospitality business junior McKenna Kiiskila plans to vote in the future, just not yet. For her, this presidential election is certainly not worth breaking the seal over. “To be completely honest, I just didn’t side with either candidate, so I figured better to stay neutral,” Kiiskila, a 21-year-old from Romeo, Michigan, said. “Neither have my vote, so I don’t want to vote for either.”
Kiiskila said she’s not politically minded, and she isn’t “dialed in” to a lot of political occurrences at the smaller scale. As this is the first presidential election that Kiiskila is eligible to participate in, it’s the first time that she has considered registering or voting.
Traffic cleared and Lizzie Ausmus led me across Grand River Ave towards the MSU Union. She only had 25 minutes for an interview, in between work and her class at the engineering building. Ausmus is a bio-systems engineering junior, and she rarely has time for anything besides class and work. “It’s a struggle a lot of the time,” she said. “I don’t really have what you would call the normal college life.”
Alongside her demanding classes, Ausmus works at the Timbers Golf Club every weekend as a caddie.
The Michigan presidential primary is March 8, but so is Michigan State University’s spring break. Spring break for MSU runs from March 7 to the 11 with the presidential primary falling in the middle. Whether the timing of spring break will significantly impact the presidential primary remains to be seen, but Christian Gray, a 22-year-old senior majoring in political theory believes that the conflicting events will have a negative effect on voting. “A lot of students are going home or going on vacation,” said Gray, who is currently leaning toward Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. “That’s kind of where their focus is rather than, you know, playing a part as a voter.