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Columns

Johnson won’t run for governor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Tuesday he has ruled out a run for Wisconsin governor in 2022, but he remains undecided about whether to seek a third term in the Senate. " I have no idea who started that rumor, but if I run for anything, it's not going to be for ...

Work needed to expand open government laws in Michigan

Transparency in government might sound like a yawn of a topic in usual times. But these are not usual times. Today, open government laws are truly about life-and-death matters. We continue to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic, struggle to come to grips with policing practices that ...

Michigan official wants governor, lawmakers subject to FOIA rules

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s secretary of state is aiming to have Michigan join most of the rest of the country in expanding public information requests to the governor and Legislature, she announced during a news conference Monday. Kicking off Sunshine Week by laying out a government ...

Governors evade sunshine laws to keep records from public

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s outspoken business-as-usual approach throughout the coronavirus pandemic has made her a darling of national conservatives and allowed her to hopscotch across the country as a fundraising force. But the public cannot see emails on how she ...

Governors applaud Biden’s vaccine timeline but need supply

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Governors largely cheered President Joe Biden’s declaration that all adults should be eligible for coronavirus vaccinations by May 1, but the goal will require a shift for states that have been methodical in how they roll out the shots. The top health official in ...

Biden’s $1.9T rescue signed, agenda now a slog in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tough as it was for Democrats, passing President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package into law was the easy part. Now, they are hunkering down to push the next priorities in Biden’s agenda forward past what, so far, has been a wall of ...

Longtime Michigan AG Frank Kelley remembered

DETROIT (AP) — Frank J. Kelley, who died Friday at age 96, was affectionately called the “eternal general” for his 37 years as Michigan’s longest-serving attorney general. Kelley, a Democrat, served from 1961 to 1999, winning statewide election 10 times. He moved to Naples, Fla., in ...

After pandemic year, weary world looks back — and forward

No one has been untouched. Not the Michigan woman who awakened one morning, her wife dead by her side. Not the domestic worker in Mozambique, her livelihood threatened by the virus. Not the North Carolina mother who struggled to keep her business and her family going amid rising anti-Asian ...

Legislature had over $600K in severance deals

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature, where majority Republicans have blasted Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over severance payments to top officials, on Tuesday disclosed more than $600,000 worth of separation agreements or legal settlements over the past decade. The bulk of ...

GOP struggles to define Biden, turns to culture wars instead

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and the Democrats were on the brink of pushing through sprawling legislation with an eyepopping, $1.9 trillion price tag. But many Republican politicians and conservative commentators had other priorities in recent days. A passionate defense of Dr. ...

Biden’s relief package a bet gov’t can help cure America

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants America to know that he’s from the government and he’s here to help. That sentiment became a well-worn punchline under Ronald Reagan and shaped the politics of both parties for four decades. Democrat Bill Clinton declared the era of big ...

Trump, RNC clash over use of his name in fundraising

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee is defending its right to use former President Donald Trump’s name in fundraising appeals after he demanded they put an end to the practice. In a Monday letter to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel J. Justin Riemer said the ...

Virus aid in sight, Democrats now debate filibuster changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — With President Joe Biden on the verge of his first big legislative victory, a key moderate Democrat said Sunday he’s open to changing Senate rules that could allow for more party-line votes to push through other parts of the White House’s agenda such as voting ...

Senate OKs $1.9T virus relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — An exhausted Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Saturday as President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies notched a victory they called crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums. After laboring all night on a ...

Poll: Majority in US approve of Biden, especially virus response

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden is enjoying an early presidential honeymoon, with 60% of Americans approving of his job performance thus far and even more backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. ...

Grandpa’s antics while sledding

It occurs to all of us at various times in our lives. The feeling (sinking at the bottom of your stomach) that you may have stepped into something beyond your limitations. This emotion is derived from past similar youthful experiences, coupled with the aging process. So now, let us ...

By slimmest of margins, Senate takes up $1.9T relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is beginning debate on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden's top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats were hoping for Senate ...

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation. House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of ...

Dems tighten relief benefits, firm up support for virus bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Democrats agreed to tighten eligibility limits for stimulus checks Wednesday, bowing to party moderates as leaders prepared to move their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate. At the same time, the White House and top Democrats ...

General: Pentagon hesitated on sending Guard to Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Department leaders placed unusual restrictions on the National Guard for the day of the Capitol riot and delayed sending help for hours despite an urgent plea from police for reinforcement, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the ...