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Michigan Progressive Women's Caucus unveils legislation to improve birth control access

Michigan Progressive Women’s Caucus unveils legislation to improve birth control access

Legislation aims to prevent unintended pregnancies and improve women’s access to essential healthcare services.

No matter where you stand on a woman’s right to choose, everybody wants to see fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions.

Because we know that abstinence education doesn’t work — after all, biology is what it is, and people are inclined to have sex when given the chance, especially hormonally-charged teenagers — the real solution is broader access to birth control.

In Michigan, the unintended pregnancy rate is as high as 80 percent among young women ages 15-19. That’s an awful lot of unintended pregnancies. To help reverse that trend, the Progressive Women’s Legislative Caucus has unveiled legislation that would help women take charge of their reproductive health.…

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INTERVIEW: State Rep. Brandon Dillon, candidate for Michigan Democratic Party Chair

State House Rep. Brandon Dillon first came onto my radar when I watched this video of a floor speech he gave shortly after Republicans made Michigan a Right to Work state where he described Michigan as “where democracy goes to die”:

Since then, he’s been a rising star in the House, joining with former Rep. Ellen Cogen-Lipton and others to take a leadership role on the issue of education and being an outspoken critic of his Republican colleagues and their overreach & hypocrisy.

Last month, after Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson made the surprise announcement that he was stepping down to run for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, Dillon threw his hat into the ring.…

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New polling shows just how gerrymandered the blue state of Michigan really is

New polling shows just how gerrymandered the blue state of Michigan really is

Given the results of the last few elections in Michigan where Democrats received the majority of the votes but Republicans won a majority of the seats in the state legislature, there is little to argue about when it comes to discussing gerrymandering and how terribly gerrymandered our state is. There are hardly any competitive seats in our state anymore. Period.

However, a new poll out from Public Policy Polling brings the reality of this into sharp relief. Without question, the voters in our state lean toward progressive, sometimes sharply, on a wide array of issues while our state legislature is as Republican as any southern state.…

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Why is Virgil Smith still in the state Senate? Is it because he's the Republicans' useful Democratic idiot?

Why is Virgil Smith still in the state Senate? Is it because he’s the Republicans’ useful Democratic idiot?


Virgil Smith (r) shown hanging out today with Senate Republican Leader Arlan Meekhof and Republican Mike Kowall

On the morning of May 10th, Democratic Senator Virgil Smith from Detroit pumped 10 rounds into his ex-wife’s car from a rifle. Smith admits to having done it saying it was “stupidest thing he had done in his life”. Last Friday he was bound over for trial on felony charges of felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property of $20,000 or more, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

But Virgil Smith is still a state Senator. Why is that?…

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UPDATED: MDP Chair Lon Johnson to announce candidacy for MI-01 Congressional seat today

UPDATED: MDP Chair Lon Johnson to announce candidacy for MI-01 Congressional seat today

Tonight at 5:00 p.m., Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson will announce his candidacy for Congress in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, challenging Republican incumbent Dan Benishek. He will be making the announcement at the Marquette County Democrats’ annual Summer Sizzle Picnic in Ishpeming.

Word on the street is that House Democrat Brandon Dillon will be replacing Johnson as Chair of the MDP. Dillon is well-known for his fiery floor speeches and high energy, both of which make him a good fit for the position.

UPDATE: Johnson also resigned as Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party with the following statement:

We have worked hard over the past few years to strengthen our infrastructure and grow the party.…
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Democrats reintroduce legislation to repeal Michigan's controversial abortion law

Democrats reintroduce legislation to repeal Michigan’s controversial abortion law

Sponsors call the law “cruel and unnecessary” and are fighting to restore women’s full access to healthcare.


In 2013, Michigan made national news — and not in a good way — for passing a law that forces women to buy additional health insurance for necessary medical care during a miscarriage or abortion, even in cases of rape and when the woman’s health is in jeopardy. The legislation was signed into law despite a public outcry and the advice of doctors, who warn the law is poorly worded and may prevent women from getting the care they need as a result.…

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After agreeing to study determining the cost to educate a child in Michigan, GOP now poised to kill "this crazy study"

After agreeing to study determining the cost to educate a child in Michigan, GOP now poised to kill “this crazy study”

Education cost study? We doan need no stinkin’ education cost study!

As part of the package of legislation passed to put Proposal 1 on the ballot, Republicans agreed to fund a study of the costs to educate a child in Michigan. Democrats pushed for the study so that smart choices regarding the funding of schools can be made in the future. Republicans not only agreed to it, it was in fact a bill – H.B. 423 – introduced by a Republican and all of the cosponsors were Republican. Twenty-five House Republicans and eight Senate Republicans voted for it. It was signed into law by our Republican governor as Public Act 555 of 2014 and is now actually part of the Revised School Code.…

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INTERVIEW: Brian Stone, candidate for MI-15 in Dearborn - "This is my town. This is my city. And I know it well."

INTERVIEW: Brian Stone, candidate for MI-15 in Dearborn – “This is my town. This is my city. And I know it well.”

Not long ago, my friend Mike Henry, the Chair of the Ann Arbor Dems, introduced me to Brian Stone, a 28-year old openly gay man from Dearborn who has already thrown his hat into the ring for the 15th District State House seat. “You should know this guy,” Mike told me. “He’s going to surprise you.”

I generally avoid interviewing candidates before the primaries for an assortment of reasons but I agreed to at least chat with Stone and hear what he had to say. My instant impression was that he is very adept at talking with reporters and interviewers and saying all the right things.…

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Michigan Democrats propose changing constitution to create a graduated state income tax

Michigan Democrats propose changing constitution to create a graduated state income tax

Thirty-four states along with Washington, D.C. have graduated state income taxes where wealthy people pay a higher percentage than people who make less money. This is also how our federal taxes are configured. Michigan, however, does not. We are one of only seven states with a flat tax.

A recent EPIC-MRA poll shows that an astonishing 66% of Michigan voters would support this change, including a majority of Republicans. According to Democratic State Rep. Jim Townsend, we could raise an additional $700,000,000 of revenue in the state and still lower taxes for 95% of Michiganders.

There are three ways to put the issue before votes which is necessary because it requires a change to the state constitution.…

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Something to know before the "morning after"

Something to know before the “morning after”

On March 3rd, State Senator Bert Johnson (D, MI-02) and three other Michigan Democrats introduced Senate Bill 172 requiring the state health department to provide information about “emergency contraception,” otherwise known as the “Morning After” pill. The bill was referred to committee with no further action at this time, and probably not at any time under the current GOP-dominated legislature that consistently shows itself to have a narrow, authoritarian, and restrictive view of human reproduction.

The language in the bill is specific about educating the public as a means of avoiding abortions as well as unplanned pregnancies and doing it safely by using the FDA-approved “morning after” pill.…

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