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Friday, October 25,2013

‘Boy, what a blunder’

East Lansing City Council candidate admits wrongdoing, apologizes for using nonprofit resources to promote campaign

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, Oct. 25 — An East Lansing City Council candidate who founded the East Lansing Film Festival has admitted wrongdoing and apologized for using film festival resources to promote her campaign.
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Thursday, October 24,2013

Update: Bernero denies directing contributions to Dunbar campaign

Campaign finance expert says allegations would be hard to prove without direct evidence

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Oct. 24 — Updated 3:35 p.m.: Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero denies having told his campaign staff to direct their payments as contract employees to Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar's campaign.
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Thursday, October 24,2013

Questionable campaign contributions

Two of Bernero's campaign staffers make big donations to Dunbar, Yorko days after getting paid big for work on Bernero’s campaign

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Oct. 24 — On a Friday in June, two of Mayor Virg Bernero’s campaign staffers were paid significantly more as contract workers than they had been previously for helping run his reelection. By Tuesday the following week, campaign manager Christopher Breznau and staffer Elizabeth Hart donated $1,000 each and $500 each to the reelection campaigns of City Council members Kathie Dunbar and Jessica Yorko, respectively, county campaign finance records show.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

Bernero v. Jeffries

Is this the year Bernero gets his wish of breaking up Carol Wood and Brian Jeffries?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and City Councilman Brian Jeffries live around the corner from each other, but their personalities are light years apart. In turn, those differences have caused a Grand Canyonsized political gap between the Mayor’s Office on the ninth floor of City Hall and Jeffries’ part-time Council office on the 10th floor.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

No one up for challenging Swope

Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope running unopposed for second term in a row — he must be doing something right

by Andy Balaskovitz
Since being elected Lansing’s city clerk in 2005, Chris Swope has successfully lobbied to cut the number of required annual City Council meetings in half, consolidated voting precincts to save money and transitioned to a paperless form of getting Council information out to interested residents.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

Who will stay and who will go?

A predictable mayoral race, a quiet 2nd Ward and close calls in the 4th Ward and At-Large

by Andy Balaskovitz
If there’s a foregone conclusion to any of this year’s mayoral and City Council races, let’s just come out and say it: Few would disagree that Virg Bernero is coasting to his third term as mayor.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

2013: Split among organized labor

by Andy Balaskovitz
This election is an off year for unity among organized labor. Let’s take Mayor Virg Bernero and his slate, for example.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

Questions surround pot question

In weeks leading up to Nov. 5 election, Lansing City Attorney’s Office still investigating what pot-related ballot question means

by Andy Balaskovitz
As of late last week, it’s still unclear what, exactly, a pot-related ballot question being decided by Lansing voters this election would mean for marijuana enforcement if it passes.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

Taxes and the mayor

Charlotte income tax proposal is playing factor in mayoral race

by Andy Balaskovitz
Charlotte voters will decide if the Eaton County seat will become the 23rd Michigan city to levy a local income tax. The proposal, debated for nearly a year by City Council, would raise an estimated $1.1 million to $1.5 million annually if levied at the maximum 1 percent on residents and .5 percent on non-residents.
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Wednesday, October 23,2013

Changes in store for E.L. Council

Two four-year, one partial two-year term up for grabs on East Lansing City Council

by Andy Balaskovitz
The five-member East Lansing City Council will get at least two new members starting next year. Two seats are up for four-year terms. Another seat is up to complete the remaining two years of the term of Councilman Don Powers, who resigned.
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