When you don’t have the votes, you cheat
An anti-democracy group ironically called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution is asking Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to throw away the petitions containing nearly 700,000 signatures to keep the Protect Our Jobs referendum off the November ballot, saying:
“We believe that you have a clear legal duty to reject the filed petition and to refuse to further process it, canvass the signatures or to refer the petition to the Board of State Canvassers for certification to the ballot.”
The Protect Our Jobs referendum would enshrine collective bargaining rights for Michiganders in the state constitution, preventing anti-union, anti-labor legislation from destroying the hallmark of the labor movement. Because conservatives fear they don’t have the votes to defeat the initiative, they are doing an end-run around the democratic process and going straight to their Republican friends in high places.
A coalition of business groups sent a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, asking she intervene to keep a union-backed proposal off the November ballot.
The coalition is opposed to the “Protect Our Jobs” initiative for a constitutional amendment to guarantee collective bargaining rights. If approved by voters in November, the amendment would keep Michigan from becoming a right-to-work state and could reverse dozens of laws that curb union rights.
The business coalition told Johnson the union-backed constitutional amendment would result in a rewrite of the state constitution because it’s in conflict with several sections of the document. They said it would also result in the repeal of roughly 80 state laws.
Members of the coalition, known as Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, include the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Business Leaders for Michigan, the West Michigan Policy Forum and other groups, spokesman Nick De Leeuw said.
Just like the fake controversy created around the Emergency Manager law repeal petitions, this is an effort by conservatives to bypass the democratic process and use their absolute control over our state government to maintain their power and prevent any opposition to achieving their goals.
It’s time for people in Michigan across the entire political spectrum to rise up and demand an end to this abrogation of our laws and constitution.
Tea party members, are you listening?
[Images by Chris Savage | Eclectablog]