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

Feds demand answers from Gov. Whitmer on Michigan nursing home deaths

Feds demand answers from Gov. Whitmer on Michigan nursing home deaths

August 26, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The U.S. Department of Justice demands records from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Democratic governors who "issued orders which may have resulted in the deaths of thousands." A Whitmer spokeswoman says the request is  “election-year politics.”

COVID-19 recession could trigger a surprise tax cut in Michigan

COVID-19 recession could trigger a surprise tax cut in Michigan

August 26, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A little-known tax cut trigger tucked into a 2015 Michigan law was designed to slow runaway government growth. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to reverse it before the 2022 election, warning it could slow the state’s recovery.

Michigan economy is stronger than expected amid pandemic. Thank the stimulus.

Michigan economy is stronger than expected amid pandemic. Thank the stimulus.

August 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Consumer spending is up amid the pandemic, as Michigan residents are spending federal bailout money designed to keep the economy going amid the pandemic. But state economists warn Michigan still faces tough times.

Fact Squad: Truth blurred in John James ad claiming Peters is ‘invisible’

Fact Squad: Truth blurred in John James ad claiming Peters is ‘invisible’

August 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The latest TV attack ad from Republican challenger John James blends a few facts (some of which are quite old) to reach a questionable conclusion that Sen. Gary Peters has done little but double his wealth while in Washington, D.C.

As Election Day approaches, Trump and Michigan GOP now push absentee voting

As Election Day approaches, Trump and Michigan GOP now push absentee voting

August 21, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

Both Democrat Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump are leaning into mail-in voting as the coronavirus pandemic promises to complicate the November election. Trump has long raised doubts about the practice.

Feds OK extra $300 a week for Michigan jobless – but it may not last long

Feds OK extra $300 a week for Michigan jobless – but it may not last long

August 21, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Nearly a million Michiganders who have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic will eventually qualify for $300 per week in extra unemployment benefits, but the payments could take weeks to arrive and may last just weeks more.

Relief, optimism and mistrust greet $600M Flint water lawsuit settlement

Relief, optimism and mistrust greet $600M Flint water lawsuit settlement

August 20, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Half a decade after LeAnne Walters helped expose the Flint water crisis, the mother of four says she and her children still suffer from rashes because of the stew of toxins they ingested through their tap. A  $600 million settlement with the state “is a form of justice, but by no means does this fix what has happened,” she told Bridge.

Fact Squad: Misleading GOP ad smears Gary Peters’ record on coronavirus

Fact Squad: Misleading GOP ad smears Gary Peters’ record on coronavirus

August 19, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A new TV attack ad from a Republican group accuses Michigan Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of blocking emergency aid for small businesses in the United States and praising China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the commercial misleads on several fronts.

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

August 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Paula Gardner

President Trump is making extra unemployment benefits available because of the pandemic that has left more than 2.4 million Michigan residents jobless. The state could have pursued an extra $100 per week in benefits, but opted against it because of declining tax revenue.

With Gretchen Whitmer on national stage, Michigan Dems plot to dump Trump

With Gretchen Whitmer on national stage, Michigan Dems plot to dump Trump

August 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Democrats say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s prominent role in the national convention points to her rising profile within the party and the electoral importance of the state, which Trump narrowly won in 2016.

What school restart deal means for Michigan parents, students and educators

What school restart deal means for Michigan parents, students and educators

August 15, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A compromise schools plan approved by the Michigan Senate, and backed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, requires weekly check-ins between teachers and students, monthly board meetings to reaffirm instruction plans and offers some funding safeguards. Unions backed the deal, but some educators are upset it was rushed just before the start of school.

 

Whitmer, GOP reach Michigan school restart deal over protests from educators

Whitmer, GOP reach Michigan school restart deal over protests from educators

August 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan schools can restart this fall with online-only instruction but will be required to revisit that decision monthly and allow for parental feedback in public meetings under a new deal between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders.

 GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

GOP leader on Michigan budget woes: ‘We just need to suffer through it’

August 14, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan may not get any more help from the federal government as it seeks to balance a projected multibillion budget deficit by October, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to the most powerful Republican in the state Legislature.

Gov. Whitmer, GOP near deal on Michigan school reopenings amid pandemic

Gov. Whitmer, GOP near deal on Michigan school reopenings amid pandemic

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan school districts would have the ability to choose in-person, remote or hybrid instruction this fall under a plan being negotiated by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led Legislature.

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

Fact Squad: Peters ad accurately touts work for farmers, omits lack of success

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A new campaign ad from Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters highlights his work alongside Michigan cherry farmers fighting a flood of cheap Turkish imports. The ad is factual but glosses over that the fight hasn’t been successful.

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

Michigan senator who got COVID didn’t wear a mask at anti-Whitmer event

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Sen. Tom Barrett says he took “reasonable precautions” before he contracted the coronavirus, but less than two weeks before he was diagnosed, he didn’t wear a mask at a petition drive event that drew hundreds.  Public health officials say there’s no indication that it caused an outbreak.

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

Michigan health director: Blame me for COVID contract with political firm

August 13, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon on Thursday apologized and took responsibility for initially contracting with a political firm to conduct contact tracing at the height of the state’s COVID-19 crisis.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

Michigan Gov. Whitmer isn’t Biden’s VP pick but will speak at convention

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Joe Biden on Tuesday named Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate to help take on Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, ending speculation he could pick Whitmer or other candidates who had been vetted for the role.

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

Fact Squad: John James skips details in ad claiming Peters ‘downplayed’ COVID

August 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

An attack ad from Republican challenger John James uses a 2-second clip and old attendance records to argue Sen. Gary Peters should have done a better job safeguarding against the coronavirus. In making the case, the ad omits some key facts.

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

If Biden taps Gretchen Whitmer as VP, what happens to Michigan government?

August 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

 Vice presidential nominees almost never resign unless or until they win election, so Gretchen Whitmer likely would remain Michigan governor even if she is tapped by Joe Biden as his running mate. But would she curtail her duties to campaign amid a deadly pandemic?

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