20 episodes

Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.

Jack Lessenberry University of Michigan

    • News
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.

    Could Mr. Brook go to Washington?

    Could Mr. Brook go to Washington?

    Last week, I spoke to a candidate for statewide office who lamented that she hadn’t been able to get out much among the people or keep up on important policy issues because she had to spend all day, every day on the phone, raising money. I also saw a candidate in a hotly contested congressional primary who told me the same thing.

    • 2 min
    The Michigan Civil Rights Commission defends humanity

    The Michigan Civil Rights Commission defends humanity

    Let’s say there had been a Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 1961, and it announced that it was going to start investigating claims of discrimination against black people. Undoubtedly that would have met considerable opposition, since there was, as yet, no legal basis to try to prevent someone from hiring you, or renting to you, because you were black. I don’t know how successful their efforts would have been. Probably not very, at least at first. They would have risked verbal attacks, or

    • 2 min
    The difference between Republicans and Democrats

    The difference between Republicans and Democrats

    I’ve been asked to speak to a group in Mount Clemens today about the difference between Republicans and Democrats. That may sound easy to answer, but it’s not. To an extent, however, the difference is easier to define than fifty years ago. Today, the split is largely ideological. Back then, the differences were, to a large extent, hereditary and economic. Voters in blue-collar, working-class areas like Warren or Flint voted overwhelmingly Democratic. White- collar and academic areas like

    • 3 min
    The man who saw tomorrow

    The man who saw tomorrow

    Stan Ovshinsky barely had a high school education, and part of him was always more at home in machine shops like the one where began working when he got out of high school. “For me, manufacturing has always had glamour to it,” he said. Yet he is remembered as a scientist who made breakthroughs that took your breath away: The first workable solar cells, rewritable CDs and DVD’s, the nickel-metal-hydride battery that powers your laptop.

    • 2 min
    Should Michigan legalize sports gambling?

    Should Michigan legalize sports gambling?

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law giving Nevada a monopoly over legal sports gambling. And there were immediately voices clamoring to legalize it here. They argued that the state would get more tax revenue as a result, and that it would boost tourism. Well, the tourism part sounds dubious to me, but I can easily believe that there is tax revenue in it. But will it be worth what it does to people? Here’s a little story worth considering: They tore down Detroit’s iconic Tiger

    • 2 min
    Campaigns are too expensive. In theory, the FCC could change that.

    Campaigns are too expensive. In theory, the FCC could change that.

    Yesterday I mentioned a candidate for Congress who was frustrated that he had to spend so much time attempting to raise the money needed to run a competitive race. He’s far from alone. Virtually every candidate I know complains about the same thing. These days, running in a competitive congressional race costs millions.

    • 3 min

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A great pithy take on Michigan politics from a professor at Wayne State with decades of experience with his home state.

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