Michigan Dems choose to support repeal of Emergency Mgr law but not renewable energy ballot proposal



UPDATED: I was unaware that a “No” vote on the repeal of Public Act 4 means that the law will NOT go back into effect. “No” is the desirable vote. I have edited accordingly. My apology for the error.

In what will be a huge disappointment to many progressives across Michigan, Democrats chose not to support a key ballot initiative at their convention this weekend. They will not be supporting the initiative to require 25% of our energy to be from renewable sources by 2025 (Proposal 3) but will be supporting the repeal of Public Act 4.

A November ballot proposal seeking a 25 percent renewable energy mandate in the state constitution will not get endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party at the party’s state convention this weekend.

But the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs campaign did win the endorsement Sunday of the United Auto Workers.

“I think it’s good for the Big Three,” UAW President Bob King told The Detroit News after urging members to vote “yes” for Proposal 3.

The ballot campaign, however, suffered a setback when construction and utility unions protested inclusion of the initiative in the Michigan Democratic Party’s 2012 platform, arguing that mandating more solar and wind power could lead to fewer union jobs at coal-burning power plants.

The issue exposed a rift between labor unions that Democratic Party leaders hoped to smooth over Sunday as activists prepared to vote on the party’s platform. {…}

Democrats are urging a “no” vote on Proposal 1 to repeal the emergency manager law, Brewer said.

The killing of the resolution to support Prop 3 is a short-sighted, selfish move, in my opinion. It puts the desires of a two groups of union members over the welfare of everyone in our state. The support by the UAW is suggestive, too, I might add. As Muskegon Critic pointed out in his piece at Blogging for Michigan, Prop 3 would actually INCREASE the number of jobs in Michigan and pave the way for a solid renewable energy industry in our state. It would also be a step forward in decreasing the harmful environmental and health impacts of burning coal in our state.

The decision to support the repeal of the Emergency Manager Law is the correct one. Public Act 4 has already proven that it does not work. None of the cities where it has been implemented have come out from under an Emergency Financial Manager and their are countless examples of the EFMs doing more harm than good.

The Dems are supporting Proposal 2, the Protect Our Jobs/Protect Working Families ballot proposal, as well as the home health care proposal (Proposal 4.) They declined to take a position on the bridge and casino proposals, however.

I’m hopeful that Prop 3 will succeed without the support of Michigan Democratic Party but it’s a profound disappointment that they didn’t find their way to put their weight and support behind this progressive initiative.

  • Disappointing. Nonetheless, as far as I can tell, nothing nothing is precluding local parties and Democratic clubs from getting involved in supporting Proposal 3. Hint, hint.

  • kirke123

    here we go again mr brewer, just got bought off and blaming it on the unions, really? your either a democrat or not, which are you? another sad day until we find another leader!
    i think this is one republicans will vote for and for all our sakes lets hope it passes

    • My understanding is that Mark Brewer was not responsible in any way for the decision not to support Prop 3. From what I have heard, he was actually in favor of it being supported by was overridden by a couple of the union groups.

      I don’t think it’s fair to lay this at his doorstep.

  • David Holtz

    Disappointing, boneheaded move by the Democratic party leadership, particularly after overwhelming support for Proposal 3 from grassroots delegates voting in congressional caucuses Saturday, support from the party’s resolutions committee several days ago and endorsement by the party’s Environment and Energy Committee. At the Ingham County party convention a few weeks ago a resolution of support for the 25×25 proposal passed nearly unanimously. This costs the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs campaign the opportunity to be included in the party’s slate mailings. But it will also cost the party more in terms of support from progressives.

  • This is some union leaders making unions look stupid. Don’t demand that members work in cancer & asthma causing coal plants — demand union construction workers dismantle the coal plants and re-training or pensions for the displaced union workers in the coal plants. It sounds like the Operating Engineers (please correct me if I am wrong) who tried to block an environmentalist march to the giant Detroit incinerator during the Social Forum.
    Unions are (or should be) about more than keeping current members in (crappy) jobs; unions can be (IWW) about remaking society for the 99% … and that means no more coal plants and the huge costs that go with them.

    Chris is absolutely correct about the need to repeal the Emergency Manager law. EMs can impose cutbacks on residents and workers … but are prohibited from negotiating a reduction in debt or planning for long term viability of the city or school system. EM is Snyder’s version of IMF austerity. for more see tiny.cc/EMbasics

    • The United Mine Workers is one of they most decpicable group of humans ever to call themselves a union. Look up the strike in Kentucky back in 1973. They were crooks and murderers. They worked with management to break the strike and hire scabs. They are not to be considered and that is the basis for the decision I’m sure, That and the money that Consumers and DTE already make off of us.