About Inside Michigan Politics

INSIDE MICHIGAN POLITICS analyzes political and policy trends for several thousand readers, including corporations, trade associations, labor unions, government agencies, the White House and several foreign governments.  Founded in 1987 by Bill Ballenger, IMP has been cited in The New York Times, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, HOTLINE and the Associated Press. Bill now serves as Associate Editor. IMP is published and edited by Susan J. Demas.

About Susan

 Susan J. Demas, 37, is an editor, researcher and writer with 12 years experience. She is a 2006 Knight Foundation fellow in The Fourth Estate and the Third Sector program for nonprofit organizations, finance and  media through Marshall University in Huntington, W.V.

 Susan built up a successful freelance writing business over the last six years, while working as a full-time  editor and reporter, with clients including magazines, nonprofits and universities. Her work has run in or on  more than 70 national, international and regional media outlets including NBC News, Newsweek, Forbes, The  Economist, National Public Radio, the Australian Broadcast Corp., The Politico, The Atlantic, The Columbia  Journalism Review, Guardian U.K., Chicago Sun-Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Boston Herald, Seattle  Times, Toronto Sun, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Jose Mercury News, (St. Paul) Pioneer Press, Des Moines  Register and Michigan Public Radio.

In 2010, Susan helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, which investigates and fact-checks political ads and speeches. The award-winning project is run by the nonpartisan Center for Michigan.

Susan has been a syndicated political columnist for the Detroit News, Lansing State Journal, Huffington Post and Real Clear Politics. She currently writes a biweekly column for MLive.com and its eight papers. Susan's “Capitol Chronicles” blog for MLive was named one of the Washington Post's 2009 best state political blogs. Both the Washington Post and Huffington Post have named her to their lists of best political tweeters.

Susan started her journalism career at the second-largest newspaper in Iowa, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette, where she reported on the 2004 Iowa caucuses. In 2004, Demas reported from the U.S. Army Base at Ft. Dix, N.J., on National Guard units training for the Iraq war and wrote a continuing series for several publications until their homecoming in 2006.

She has reported women’s issues, Middle East affairs, politics, health care, human services, nonprofit organizations and business issues for five newspapers across the Midwest, including the Saginaw News, Battle Creek Enquirer and Jackson Citizen Patriot. Most recently, Susan served as Deputy Editor for Michigan Information and Research Service, where she covered national and state politics.

A native of Northbrook, Illinois, Susan attended the University of Iowa, where she conducted research for a 10-year National Institute of Health agricultural health and cancer study through the College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology. She majored in the highly marketable majors of English and History, concentrating on 19th and 20th century American literature and the French Revolution, and she minored in Women’s Studies. Susan also completed graduate coursework in Sociology, focusing on women’s and family issues.

Susan is a regular guest on WKAR's "Off the Record." She also speaks at events for groups and schools, including the Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Political Leadership Program, University of Michigan Ford School for Public Policy, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Lansing Community College, Community Action Agencies, Michigan Radio's "Issues and Ale" series, Delta-Waverly Rotary Club, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland, Progressive Women's Alliance, the Frazier Group, Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and Illinois Future Problem Solvers.

To have Susan speak to your group, call (517) 420-6779 or write her at P.O. Box 11067, Lansing, MI 48901-9990.

About Bill

Born in Flint, Michigan, on 28 March 1941, Bill Ballenger is a former state representative and state senator, an ex-state racing commissioner, and director of the Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulation. Mr. Ballenger also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare in the administration of President Gerald R. Ford.

Bill Ballenger holds a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Princeton University and a master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He held the Robert P. & Marjorie Griffin Endowed Professorship in American Government at Central Michigan University from 2003-2007. He has also been a visiting Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan / Flint; Michigan State University; & Western Michigan University.

Much has been said about Bill Ballenger over the years. He has been dubbed by the Detroit News as "Michigan's undisputed Crown Prince of Pundits." In addition to his work on Inside Michigan Politics, he appears frequently on radio and television nationally & throughout Michigan. He also gives speeches & quotes to a variety of newspapers & various interest groups.

Does Bill go on the road?

Absolutely! Inside Michigan Politics editor/publisher Bill Ballenger is available to speak to your organization.

Involved in the Michigan political community for over three decades, Bill Ballenger is a recognized authority on Michigan government and politics. IMP is considered must-read material for Michigan's business and political leaders. And Ballenger is a regular commentator and political analyst for Lansing's WLNS-TV (Channel 6) & WILX (Channel 10), nationally on CNN-TV, CNBC, and on Channels 2, 4 and 7 (Detroit) and Nippon TV (Japanese cable), Channels 5, 8, and 12 and radio stations in Detroit (WJR, WWJ, WXYT and WCXI) and a dozen other cities, plus Michigan Public Radio, Public Television's "Off the Record" and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer."

For nearly a dozen years Ballenger's "News/Talk 870" call-in show on WKAR-AM every Friday (11:00a-12 Noon) was the only radio program in Michigan devoted to in-depth discussion of all sides of all the important political issues.

Ballenger speaks frequently on issues pertaining to Michigan government and politics. He often serves as a moderator at candidate forums.

Ballenger has also been cited in The New York Times, Detroit Free Press, Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Associated Press.

If you want Bill Ballenger to speak to your organization, call (517) 487-6665 or write him at 2029 S. Waverly Rd., Lansing, MI 48917.

Bill Ballenger has spoken for the following groups:

  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
  • American Society of Public Administrators (Michigan Chapter)
  • Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.
  • Association of Accountants, Auditors, & Business Administrators
  • Bloomfield Republican Women's Club
  • Communication Workers of America
  • Construction Council of Michigan
  • County Road Association of Michigan
  • County Treasurers Association of Michigan
  • Democratic Club 225 (Flint)
  • Firstbank Corp.
  • Genesee County Medical Society
  • Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Grand Traverse Co. Lincoln Day Center
  • Health Care Association of Michigan
  • Holland Chamber of Commerce
  • Ingham County Bar Association
  • Michigan Association of Counties
  • Michigan Association of Insurance Companies
  • Michigan Association of School Administrators
  • Michigan Association of School Boards
  • Michigan Business Groups (Washington, D.C.)
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Michigan Community College Association
  • Michigan Conference of Political Scientists
  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • Michigan Federation of Private Child & Family Agencies
  • Michigan League of Human Services
  • Michigan Licensed Beverage Association
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • Michigan Out-of-Formula School District Association
  • Michigan Secretary of State, Elections Division Personnel 
  • Michigan Society of Association Executives
  • Michigan State Medical Society
  • Michigan State University Public Policy Forum
  • Michigan Townships Association
  • Michigan United County Officers Association
  • Middle Cities Education Association
  • National Federation of Press Women
  • Oakland County 400 Club (Republicans)
  • Operation Action U.P. (Marquette)
  • Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Michigan
  • Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan
  • The Retired Officers Association
  • Saginaw Valley Press Club
  • Sales & Marketing Executives of Flint
  • SEIU State Council
  • 17th Congressional District Committee (Democrats)
  • Traverse Bay Area K-12 School Superintendents
  • Traverse City Area League of Women Voters
  • Traverse City Rotary Club
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
  • Upjohn Corp.
  • Washington (D.C.) Area State Relations Group
  • Western Michigan University, MPA Lecture Series