Jonathan Oosting

Jonathan Oosting is an award-winning Michigan political reporter covering the Capitol beat for Bridge. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University and has previously worked for The Detroit News and MLive Media Group. He is from Grand Rapids and lives in Lansing. You can reach him at joosting@bridgemi.com, 517-862-1079 or on Twitter @jonathanoosting.

Articles

Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis a 'wake-up call,' Michigan Gov. Whitmer says

Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis a 'wake-up call,' Michigan Gov. Whitmer says

October 2, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The president is in quarantine but had planned rallies in Wisconsin on Saturday. Whitmer said the diagnosis is a reminder that the dangers of the pandemic persist.

Two conservative operatives charged with trying to suppress votes in Detroit

Two conservative operatives charged with trying to suppress votes in Detroit

October 1, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel alleges two conservative operators used robocalls in Detroit and other cities with large African-American populations. The calls claimed that voting could ‘track people for mandatory vaccines.’

 Trump needs suburbs to win Michigan. But many women reject his racial pitch.

Trump needs suburbs to win Michigan. But many women reject his racial pitch.

October 1, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Suburban women have fled from the GOP, and President Trump hopes to win them back with ads stoking fears of rioting and public housing. It’s a message that may have worked in the 1970s, but it’s a tougher sell in increasingly diverse communities, voters and pollsters say.

Fact Squad: Trump, Biden swap falsehoods about Michigan, autos at messy debate

Fact Squad: Trump, Biden swap falsehoods about Michigan, autos at messy debate

September 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Amid all the shouting and interrupting, there were a few factual claims about Michigan and the auto industry during the first debate between Trump and Biden. Spoiler alert: The pursuit of truth was not a debate winner.

Michigan lawmaker, a critic of masks and Gov. Whitmer, contracts COVID-19

Michigan lawmaker, a critic of masks and Gov. Whitmer, contracts COVID-19

September 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Republican state Rep. Beau LaFave, a critic of orders to restrict businesses because of COVID-19, is self-quarantining after contracting the virus. He said the illness hasn't changed his mind about Gov. Whitmer's orders.

Nessel investigates Unlock Michigan petition drive

Nessel investigates Unlock Michigan petition drive

September 28, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

One longtime elections attorney said the attorney general's probe could result in misdemeanor criminal charges against circulators, petition firms or others involved in the effort.

Unfazed by crises, northern Michigan embraces Trump record on jobs, abortion

Unfazed by crises, northern Michigan embraces Trump record on jobs, abortion

September 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Welcome to Missaukee County, where 3 of 4 voters backed Donald Trump four years ago and voters say racial injustice and the coronavirus aren’t pressing issues. Trump needs to dominate in such rural areas if he hopes to repeat in November, experts say.

Signature fight expected over Michigan petition drive to limit Whitmer powers

Signature fight expected over Michigan petition drive to limit Whitmer powers

September 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The Unlock Michigan group seeking to repeal Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers has collected enough signatures to advance its initiative to the Republican-led Legislature for likely enactment. But they may not be counted until next year, setting up a fight.

Schools spared, pork added, Pure Michigan restored in $62.8B state budget

Schools spared, pork added, Pure Michigan restored in $62.8B state budget

September 23, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Months after dire predictions that COVID-19 would force massive state spending cuts, rebounding revenue and federal assistance helped Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders strike a deal to avoid major service cuts. They even managed to find enough money for 33 “pork barrel” spending projects.

Whitmer, GOP leaders ditch transparency on budget for secret COVID deal

Whitmer, GOP leaders ditch transparency on budget for secret COVID deal

September 22, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

State lawmakers could vote as soon as Wednesday on a roughly $60 billion budget bill that few have seen. It’s the latest development involving Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who campaigned on a pledge of transparency but has been slow to release information during the pandemic.

Voting activists get twin victories in Michigan with transport, ballot cases

Voting activists get twin victories in Michigan with transport, ballot cases

September 18, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

In separate rulings, judges rule that ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 will count in the election and block a ban on providing transportation to the polls.

Militias, far-right groups recast selves as mainstream at Lansing gun rally

Militias, far-right groups recast selves as mainstream at Lansing gun rally

September 17, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

An annual Second Amendment rally in the capital saw traditional gun rights groups joined by a variety of militia and far-right organizations who say they are needed to protect against government overreach and the unrest they equate with protests over police violence. 

 

In tense hearing, Whitmer official defends MI COVID nursing home strategy

In tense hearing, Whitmer official defends MI COVID nursing home strategy

September 16, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

Republican legislators accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s  administration of failing to adequately prepare for the pandemic. “20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing,” countered state health director Robert Gordon.

Michigan Senate votes to let clerks open absentee ballot envelopes day early

Michigan Senate votes to let clerks open absentee ballot envelopes day early

September 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan law now allows clerks to process absentee ballots only on Election Day. Municipal clerks say that would be a “recipe for disaster” this year given an expected surge and would delay results reporting in a closely watched presidential election.

Schools, local governments spared from cuts under Michigan budget deal

Schools, local governments spared from cuts under Michigan budget deal

September 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration and Republican legislative leaders said Monday they've agreed to a framework for the 2021 budget that will protect funding for K-12 schools and local governments despite revenue declines amid COVID-19.

Guns still allowed inside Michigan Capitol, after ban shot down again

Guns still allowed inside Michigan Capitol, after ban shot down again

September 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

More than four months after armed protesters brought weapons inside during a tense legislative debate, the Michigan Capitol Commissioners rejected proposals that would have banned guns from the building or prohibited open carry. But they say the debate is not over.

Joe Biden touts ‘Buy American’ jobs plan, rips Donald Trump in Michigan

Joe Biden touts ‘Buy American’ jobs plan, rips Donald Trump in Michigan

September 9, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The Democratic presidential nominee outlined his plan to boost manufacturing as he wooed blue-collar workers in Macomb County. He also blasted Donald Trump’s handling of COVID-19, accusing the president of a “life-and-death betrayal of the American people.”

Michigan Supreme Court questions Whitmer’s ‘profound’ power during pandemic

Michigan Supreme Court questions Whitmer’s ‘profound’ power during pandemic

September 9, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Justices grilled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s attorney for more than an hour and a half Wednesday, questioning the limits of her authority to take emergency actions without legislative approval during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

News or ads? Liberal sites in Michigan spend big to hype Slotkin, Democrats

News or ads? Liberal sites in Michigan spend big to hype Slotkin, Democrats

August 31, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Simon D. Schuster

Progressives are taking a cue from conservatives and founding ‘news’ sites like Courier Newsroom, which spends big money on election-year social media ads to benefit Democratic in swing districts such as U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly.

Michigan GOP plans huge door-knocking effort to re-elect Trump amid pandemic

Michigan GOP plans huge door-knocking effort to re-elect Trump amid pandemic

August 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

As Democrats turn to virtual rallies and phone calls amid the COVID-19 pandemic, masked-up Republicans resumed door-knocking in June, have hosted “MAGA meetups” across the state and will welcome Vice President Mike Pence to Traverse City on Friday.

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