Public Sector

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.


Higher death rates, medical bills for Michigan motorcyclists without helmets

November 18, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Government and medical studies reveal motorcyclists are more likely to die or be seriously injured if they are not wearing helmets in a crash, raising questions about the 2012 repeal of Michigan’s helmet law. A Republican Legislature sees no reason to take up the issue.

Electoral College voting

November 13, 2014 | Ron French

Republicans are promising another effort to change the way Michigan electoral votes are apportioned in presidential races, giving Republican candidates an advantage even when most state votes go to a Democrat.

Road funding

November 13, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Snyder, business groups and state experts agree that more than $1 billion is needed to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads. If an agreement is not brokered in lame duck, the prospects of a deal diminish significantly in January.

A-F grades for schools

November 13, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Michigan currently uses a confusing, color-coded system for grading the performance of its public schools. Some lawmakers want the state to convert to an A-F grading system that they say is easier for parents and educators to understand.

First meeting of Detroit financial review board on Wednesday

November 11, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Gov. Rick Snyder appoints New York’s Richard Ravitch to head a nine-member commission that will oversee Detroit’s finances post-bankruptcy.

Is Michigan now officially a red state?

November 6, 2014 | Nancy Derringer, Ted Roelofs

What was once a state of solid Democratic majorities is undeniably moving in another direction, and has been for two decades. What might lie along that road?

10 issues to watch in Legislature’s “lame-duck” session

November 6, 2014 | Ron French

By all accounts, finding money to fix Michigan’s roads is a priority. But what after that? A school bill? Or something nuclear, like changing how we count presidential electoral votes?

7 ways Tuesday’s election changes Michigan

November 6, 2014 | Bridge Staff

From governor on down, Republicans intensified their dominance in Lansing. Here’s what the data tell us about Michigan’s future.

Fewer voted, Snyder wins – here’s how he did it.

November 5, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Despite claims that voter turnout would be above 2010 levels, perhaps turning the Michigan governor's race into a toss-up, turnout was actually down across Michigan Tuesday and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder won handily.

Election Day Playbook: What to watch for tonight

November 4, 2014 | Ron French, Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Mike Wilkinson

Woody Allen once famously said that “80 percent of success is just showing up.” But Dems would probably settle for half that as they seek to unseat an incumbent governor.

Election preview: How a handful of House races could shape Michigan’s future

October 30, 2014 | Ted Roelofs, Ron French

With the state House perhaps up for grabs, uncertainty for tea party candidates and what could be a close race for governor, Lansing’s approach to road funding, education and other key issues is unsettled.

The governor’s race: where they stand (in 3 minutes or less)

October 30, 2014 | Ron French

Incumbent Rick Snyder and challenger Mark Schauer differ on a lot of issues. Here’s a primer before you step into the voting booth.

Election cash: How Super-PACs and ‘dark money’ are dominating state races

October 30, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Record outside spending in the U.S. Senate race, and armored truck-loads of cash from unknown donors. Welcome to Michigan elections.

A Bridge primer on how to gauge the credibility of political polls

October 28, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan voters are being inundated with horse-race poll results showing which candidates are up or down. Before taking those results as gospel, consider the source. Bridge shows you how.

12 questions to ask about political polls

October 28, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Judging the independence and reliability of polls during election season can difficult, even for politically astute voters. Here are a few questions to ask to help determine a survey’s credibility.

Gov. Snyder tied, or way ahead ‒ which poll is right in governor’s race?

October 28, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Two automated polls show a tight race, while a third that relies on live interviewers shows Snyder comfortably leading challenger Mark Schauer. What’s a partisan to believe?

GOP hunts votes in the D

October 16, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

The Republican National Committee opened an African-American engagement office in overwhelmingly Democratic Detroit. Early returns are a bit fuzzy.

Regular Detroiters get their day in bankruptcy court

October 16, 2014 | Sandra Svoboda

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes gave 15 ordinary Detroit retirees, appearing without lawyers, an opportunity to appear at the city’s bankruptcy trial to voice their objection to the restructuring plan.

Michigan primaries – where democracy goes to die

August 4, 2014 | Ron French

Primary voters in Dickinson County will go the polls Tuesday; probably in the same sedan. A county-by-county guide to voter apathy in Michigan.

See how YOUR county (doesn’t) vote

August 4, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Go to Bridge’s voter turnout map to see how your county turns out to vote in past primary elections