Riley Beggin

Riley Beggin is Bridge’s Capitol watchdog reporter. She lives in Lansing, where she covers Michigan politics, including legislative, gubernatorial and other state-wide elections. Riley will be reporting stories that aim to shed light on state governance and hold public officials accountable to those they serve. She joined Bridge in January 2018 after working as a digital producer for KPCC, Los Angeles’ NPR member station. Before that, she was a fellow at ABC News’ Washington Bureau and an intern with NPR’s investigative unit. Riley majored in history and international relations at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She also holds a master’s degree in investigative journalism from the University of Missouri. You can reach Riley at rbeggin@bridgemi.com or call her at 517-657-3580.

Articles

Michigan Democrats stay quiet in lame duck. Some say it’s part of a plan.

December 11, 2018 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Party activists want Gretchen Whitmer and other incoming Dems to lash out as Republicans seek to rein in their power. But party insiders urge patience as they try to limit damage and quietly seek vetoes from Gov. Snyder.

Michigan Senate GOP moves bills enacting Props 2 and 3, despite objections

December 5, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Republicans say they are setting processes in place for a commission to oversee political redistricting, as well as reforms such as same-day voting. Proponents suspect an ulterior motive.

Michigan GOP moves bills that foes say will weaken incoming Democrats’ power

December 5, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Republican-introduced legislation would create a new bipartisan commission responsible for campaign finance regulation, removing the power from the Secretary of State’s office.

Lame duck Michigan legislators aim to shape redistricting over protests

December 4, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Supporters of the group behind Michigan’s new redistricting commission are livid over a bill that would define political party affiliations for the new system.

On wild day, Michigan lawmakers move to give themselves lawsuit power

December 4, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Amid protests and a bomb scare, Republican lawmakers advance a bill to allow the Legislature to intervene in lawsuits.

You can smoke pot in Michigan but not buy it. What you need to know.

December 4, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Thursday marks the first day adult Michiganders can legally smoke recreational marijuana. Where they’ll get it? That’s another story. Here are 9 things you need to know about the new law.

Michigan Republicans aim to soften minimum wage, sick leave in lame duck

November 27, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Changes are likely to the citizen-initiated laws the Republican Legislature passed in September. Proponents of the changes say they’re critical to protect small business. Opponents say they violate the will of the people.

Republican bill would shield donors to ‘dark money’ groups in Michigan

November 16, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey wants to ban state agencies from seeking the names of donors to political nonprofits. The bill comes as Dems are about to take over the offices of Attorney General and Secretary of State.

5 places where Michigan’s governor and legislature can make deals

November 13, 2018 | Riley Beggin

From roads to water to job training, state residents are counting on Michigan Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer and a Republican Legislature to set partisanship aside and start solving problems. See where they might find common ground.

One woman’s Facebook post leads to Michigan vote against gerrymandering

November 7, 2018 | Riley Beggin

The improbable story of how a political novice upended Michigan’s biased system for drawing legislative districts, transforming the state’s political landscape.

What Gretchen Whitmer promises to do as Michigan’s next governor

November 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Fixing the damn roads will cost some damn money, and the Democratic winner for Michigan governor must now work with the Legislature to find it. We summarize this and other promises Gretchen Whitmer made in her campaign.

Michigan Proposal 2 redistricting group defends dark money as fighting fire with fire

November 1, 2018 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Voters Not Politicians makes no apologies for accepting $10 million from dark-money groups, saying its well-funded opponents are doing the same. Critics say the donations show national progressive groups are steering the ballot effort.

Michigan redistricting group brings in whopping $13.9 million

October 26, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Voters Not Politicians, advocating for a citizens redistricting committee, made nearly $14 million. Protect My Vote, a committee that does not support redistricting or voting ballot measures, has brought in $1.47 million. Bridge brings you up to the minute on spending around all three Michigan ballot issues.

Gretchen Whitmer: I’ll pay to fix Michigan by ‘closing loopholes’

October 26, 2018 | Riley Beggin

How will the Democratic gubernatorial candidate fund the $2B+ she promises for schools, childcare and lead pipe replacement? ‘Anticipated growth,’ ‘closing loopholes’ and new money, she says in an interview.

Truth Squad | Fact-checking Michigan’s second, and final, governor’s debate

October 25, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Bridge Magazine waded through a litany of stale talking points to provide context and facts to accusations leveled by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette at their final debate Wednesday.

Truth Squad | Scare tactics on Michigan redistricting measure get foul rating

October 22, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Experts confirm Proposal 2 would be more expensive than our current redistricting system, but the ballot initiative has accountability provisions the radio ad ignores

Truth Squad | Ads unfairly attack Whitmer on healthcare, missed votes

October 22, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Ads accuse Michigan Democratic governor candidate Gretchen Whitmer of pushing “radical” healthcare plan, missing more than 1,000 votes in the legislature, being the “worst kind of politician.”

Michigan’s Republican black-sheep justice is winning some unlikely allies

October 16, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement has been snubbed by Republicans for her votes on key rulings. But moderates in both parties are rallying (and giving) to a justice they say put principles above party.

Michigan ballot issues: What to know about Prop 3 (voting rights)

October 11, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Proposal 3 ‒ aka Promote the Vote ‒ adds 7 voting reforms to Michigan’s constitution. We lay out the pros and cons, and the cash behind it. This is the last of three Bridge reports on Michigan ballot issues.

Who’s funding Michigan’s voting rights ballot proposal?

October 11, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Bridge follows the money on who is supporting Proposal 3, also known as Promote the Vote. Spoiler alert: It includes the ACLU. Who is backing opposition to the effort is less clear.

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