Author: Eclectablog

SAVE THE DATE: Third annual Eclectablog fundraising party – May 17, 2016 at ABC Microbrewery

SAVE THE DATE: Third annual Eclectablog fundraising party – May 17, 2016 at ABC Microbrewery

Every day, every week, every month of the year, Eclectablog is here, championing progressive causes and holding those in power accountable for their actions. Day after day, the writers here at Eclectablog are providing essential analysis and advocacy, spreading word of the valuable work of progressive activists and groups, and holding elected officials’ feet to the fire.

In return, we come to you, our readers, and ask you to support what we do. Our model, where all regular contributors are paid for their superlative writing, is rare but it’s one that represents our progressive values.

We come to you asking for money as infrequently as possible and, once a year, we try to do something that’s fun.…

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The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

I’ve been writing lately about the attempt by the Snyder administration to continue the undemocratic takeover of local schools facing financial difficulties without having to use an Emergency Manager. Thanks to the Flint water catastrophe where the residents’ drinking water was contaminated with lead thanks to decisions made by Emergency Managers, that phrase has become (pardon the pun) toxic. As I have written (HERE and HERE), the individual put in charge of taking over the school districts is now called a “CEO”. And the CEO has all sorts of power:

  • Assume the financial and academic authority over multiple schools;
  • Assume the role of the locally elected school board for those schools they have been assigned;
  • Control all funds attributable to pupils at the school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Permanently close a school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Sell closed school buildings without the consent of the locally elected board; and
  • Convert schools into charter schools without the consent of the locally elected board.
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Michigan legislators more afraid of signs than guns in the State Capitol Building

Michigan legislators more afraid of signs than guns in the State Capitol Building

I have known for quite awhile that you can’t bring a sign into the State Capitol Building. You can’t miss the signs telling you to leave your signs behind when you enter the august edifice. What I did NOT know until recently is that bringing a gun into that same building is A-OK. Thankfully, sanity is prevailing, at least on the side of Democrats who have introduced legislation to prohibit firearms in the Capitol and allowing people to express their First Amendment rights by bringing in a sign

As it stands today you can openly carry a firearm, but not a sign, into the state capitol.…

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GUEST POST – Michigan: Say NO to discrimination and stand up for small businesses

GUEST POST – Michigan: Say NO to discrimination and stand up for small businesses

The following guest post was written by my friend Chris Armstrong, Partnerships and Government Affairs Director for Small Business Majority. Chris was the former student body president of University of Michigan and experienced first hand the corrosive impacts of anti-gay bigotry at the hands of former state Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell who stalked and harassed him during his time at U of M. Armstrong sued Shirvell and ended up winning a $4.5 million judgment against him.

You can learn more about Small Business Majority HERE.

Enjoy.
Around the country, we’re seeing a troubling trend of states passing laws that effectively legalize discrimination against LGBT people, sometimes known as religious exemption or religious freedom laws.…

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More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

Earlier this month, I suggested that the Snyder administration has no intention of replacing a single water line in Flint where the drinking water was contaminated with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of Snyder’s appointed Emergency Managers and the ineptitude of his appointee at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Dan Wyant, a man with zero experience in managing water systems:

Amid all this non-action, the Snyder administration has started to warn municipalities that they should avoid “partial lead service line replacements”. […]

Add to this the fact that Flint water lead levels are beginning to drop as the phosphate added to the water for corrosion protection is building up a protective layer on the inside of water lines and it is starting to look as if the Snyder administration is simply waiting until lead levels have dropped enough for Flint residents to begin using their water again.…

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GUEST POST: Education reformers’ “School Choice” is a false choice

GUEST POST: Education reformers’ “School Choice” is a false choice

The following essay was written by Mitchell Robinson and is cross-posted on his most-excellent blog at MitchellRobinson.net. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education, and coordinator of the music student teaching program at Michigan State University. Follow Mitchell on Twitter at @mrobmsu. His essay is reposted here with permission.

Enjoy.

A major plank of most education reform agendas is the issue of “school choice.” Reformers claim that school choice gives parents the power to move their children to “better schools,” and gives children a better chance of success. But what if unfettered, unregulated school choice didn’t improve academic achievement, and was really a scam designed to defund poor urban school districts and destabilize public education?…

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Could 2016 be the year of the four-party post-primary presidential contest?

Could 2016 be the year of the four-party post-primary presidential contest?

Let’s face it: NOBODY has a clue how the presidential primaries will shake out. Despite recent surges (and primary wins) by Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the presumptive “favorites” according to the basic delegate math. But there’s also the fact that this year is like no other presidential election year in recent memory and, if the trend continues, anything could happen.

More and more recently I have been considering the possibility that 2016 may be the year that the post-primary race has four rather than only two legitimate candidates running. (I realize that the term “legitimate” in connection with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is a stretch but I’m talking candidates that would have more than fringe support.) It’s been my long-held belief that third party runs in the U.S.…

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GOP Congressman Mike Bishop lies about promising vote on bridge to Canada, wants to eliminate the Dept. of Education

GOP Congressman Mike Bishop lies about promising vote on bridge to Canada, wants to eliminate the Dept. of Education

It’s well-known that MI-08 Republican Congressman Mike Bishop is a bought-and-paid-for lapdog of the Moroun family. The patriarch of that family, Manuel “Matty” Moroun, is the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge that spans the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor. Although there is a desperate need for an additional bridge to facilitate truck traffic that now backs up for miles on busy days, Moroun is equally desperate that no additional bridge be built unless he is the one that builds it and profits from it. He went so far as to attempt to get voters to pass a ballot initiative back in 2012 that would assist him in maintaining his monopoly.…

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INTERVIEW: David Alexander Bullock talks about the effort to recall Gov. Snyder and how people can get involved

INTERVIEW: David Alexander Bullock talks about the effort to recall Gov. Snyder and how people can get involved

On March 27th, David Alexander Bullock took on a project nobody has yet dared to do: To see if he can collect nearly 790,000 valid petition signatures in just 60 days to put the recall of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on the ballot. Prior to 2012, signatures had to be gathered in 90 days but Republicans were tired of people trying to get them out of office after their attacks on schools, workers, and democracy itself so they passed legislation signed into law by Gov. Snyder making democracy just that much more difficult.

Bullock has experience at this. He was one of the primary organizers of the successful effort to repeal Public Act 4, the Michigan’s first Emergency Manager law after Republicans swept into office in 2010.…

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YOUR LAUGH OF THE DAY: Michigan GOP demands Dems pay salary of criminal senator Republicans refused to throw out

YOUR LAUGH OF THE DAY: Michigan GOP demands Dems pay salary of criminal senator Republicans refused to throw out

Last summer, I asked a very simple question: “Why is Virgil Smith still in the state Senate? Is it because he’s the Republicans’ useful Democratic idiot?” Democratic state Senator Virgil Smith was convicted of shooting up his wife’s car in a domestic dispute and is now behind bars. Until he resigned this past week, he continued to receive his state salary.

The state Senate, as everyone knows, is controlled by Republicans who have a super-majority. They could have tossed him out of office at any time, just like their colleagues in the House did with philandering hypocrites Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.…

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DON’T MISS IT! – Clean Water Action’s 2016 Great Lake Awards Celebration next Wednesday, April 13, 2016

DON’T MISS IT! – Clean Water Action’s 2016 Great Lake Awards Celebration next Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Next Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Clean Water Action Michigan will hold their 2016 Great Lake Awards Celebration. As in past years, they will be honoring a number of people who have contributed to the important cause of clean water in the Great Lakes State and continue to make waves — keeping the fight to protect Michigan’s most important resources in motion!

Two of this year’s award recipients are personal friends of mine so, as a past recipient of their “Great Lakes Guardian” Award, I am particularly excited about it!

  • State Representative Jeff Irwin – Jeff Irwin is a third-term state representative who has focused on investing in education, equal opportunity for all Michiganders, and protecting our Michigan’s environment.
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