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GUEST POST: How the Koch Brothers are becoming the most powerful political party in America

This guest post comes from Sean McElwee — a research associate at Demos and an excellent follow on Twitter. Find out more about Sean, his work and what his research into voting uncovered about Michigan by checking out his Eclectablog posts on how to make America more progressive and Michigan’s somewhat impressive voter turnout.
In my latest Salon piece, I explore an increasingly important divide on the right: between business conservatives primarily concerned with their bottom lines and ideological conservatives (like the Koch Brothers) driven by an anti-government zeal. Normally, these groups align well, but in the case of the Medicaid expansion, they did not.…

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Welcome back, Mr. Cotter!

Michigan House speaker Kevin Cotter (R) Mt. Pleasant is a real piece of work.

Bear with me here.

The amount of time the Republican-controlled State House has spent this summer working on issues that matter to most taxpayers has been scant with relatively little to show for it, and it has happened without direction and leadership. Cotter’s regrettable remark about NOT needing Democrats to get their agenda moving forward (if there indeed is an agenda) seems a bit more than indefensible. In fact, it seems a bit idiotic at this point, to be honest.

The failed attempt to find and fund a roads package that all can find acceptable was never realistic.…

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Courser/Gamrat: The Truth Will/Should/Maybe Set You Free

I wrote the following on my Facebook page yesterday:

“This is more than just an outrage. It is more than just two tea party zealots forcing their ill-conceived and obsessive behavior and “ideas” upon the unwashed and uneducated who have followed them with gusto and hearty resolve. This is more than just about hypocrisy and plain stupidity.

“What it is about is lying and stealing public dollars for personal benefit. It is about attempted bribery and tearing apart two families and the families of those who worked for them. It is about pretending to be one thing but being something totally different, their bi-polar existence, if you will.…

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We don’t have time to agree on everything; we just have time to stand up and demand our state back

My last post here at Eclectablog created a bit of a stir, and certainly got many of you thinking, which is a good thing. I wasn’t necessarily looking for approval, but I was looking for reaction, and I got plenty of that, most of it supportive and some if it negative and, in my mind anyway, regressive in its tone and temperament. When someone suggests that the way to “show them” (whoever “them” are) is to NOT vote and NOT rally or show up, well your priorities are very much displaced and way out of tune as to how you get “their” attention.…

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ComebackCreep Snyder

If 2016 is your answer to the debacle in Michigan last week, then we are asking the wrong question

For the many of us who watch and participate in democracy on a daily basis, this past week was perhaps the most damaging and disheartening week for Michigan in many, many years. Yes, I said years. It is clear that the Republican agenda – their “in your face” agenda – is clearly working for them, even though their agenda is not in concert with the vast majority of people in the state. Their ongoing and relentless pursuit of demoralizing the LGBTQ community and their constant attack on most things considered good and decent is a result of having a majority at all levels of state government.…

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Republicans are as wrong about Obamacare as they were about the Iraq War

A new report from the Urban Institute details what every honest adult already knows: Obamacare is the most successful new government program since Medicare and Medicaid.

In states that have fully implemented the law, the uninsured population has been cut in half. Tens of millions of Americans have been covered and about 14 million of them were uninsured before.

Health spending is now predicted to be $2.4 trillion lower than estimates made Obamacare became law. We can’t say that all was the result of Obamacare — but we can say that if it were predicted to be $2.4 trillion higher, Obamacare would get all the blame.…

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What Goes Around Comes Around…WAY Around!

A few weeks back, in what I knew would be a predictable response to my support for Proposal 1, MANY of you took me to task for my “fascist” and anti-Democratic reasoning to why I supported Proposal 1 (which you can read here). You have that right, I have that right, and we now find ourselves approximately eight weeks away from the May 5 election decision that looks like a much higher mountain to climb than I thought it would.

Soon, as we know, camps on both sides of this issue will be spending the small fortunes they will have amassed to fund their point of view in an attempt to try to persuade you and the “undecided’s” why you should see things their way.…

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When You Vote Republican

Why this solid anti-Proposal 1 advocate is voting YES and why you should, too

In less than 10 weeks from today the voters of Michigan will be asked to vote on the ballot question titled Proposal 1, or as it is commonly being called the “road fix bill”. Here are the main elements of Proposal 1:

  • An increase in transportation revenue of $1.3 billion, with $1.2 billion a year going to roads and about $112 million going to mass-transit.
  • Removal of the sales tax from fuel sales.
  • An increase in wholesale fuel taxes that will result in about a 3-cent-a-gallon increase from the average fuel price.
  • An increase of $45 million in vehicle registration fees and $50 million in fees for heavy trucks.
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As the Michigan Democratic Party convenes tomorrow stop blaming Lon Johnson for Democrat’s problems and blame who is really at fault: YOU!

Update:  The program I mention toward the end of this story was called “The Win Machine” and it was delayed for use but eventually went up and was successfully used by 2500 people, a significant number.  Also, and this did deserve a mention earlier today, but the app/site was VERY successful and helped both many Democrats and Republicans register to vote.  Lon and his leadership team deserve lots of kudos for that piece of brilliance.That clarification was important to include.

Tomorrow Democrats from across the state will convene in downtown Detroit for their semi-annual convention. The spring convention will hold no surprises tomorrow.…

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Why the road to fixing our roads is worse than the roads we actually drive and have to endure

Today is December 15, 2014 and that, in itself might mean many things to you. However, for political observers, pundits, analyzers, etc., today marks the final days of the Michigan Legislative agenda for 2014 and will also usher in, in a few very short weeks, a new House and Senate. This is the last week of what is known as Lame Duck, a time when, at least in the last few election cycles, has ushered in laws that have been shocking, partisan, and hurtful even. Lame Duck is NOT a legislative effort required by law. In fact, Lame Duck is not anything but one last chance, especially for those who are term-limited breast beaters, to get in one last dig and attempt to force upon the people of the state of Michigan new laws that they will not have to be held accountable for.…

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For a Party that hates abortion, why do they practice it so much?

This past week I have been mired in the aftermath of the Board of Regents meeting at Eastern Michigan University, where a politically appointed and partisan Board of Regents ignored the will of those in attendance, the thousands who signed a petition, mountains of evidence that prove that Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) is failing students in Detroit as well as their own appointed president, Sue Martin, and decided to continue EMUs and ongoing relationship with the toxic and controversial EAA.

Eastern Michigan University is well-respected as a nationwide leading University in preparing teachers for the real world, and the EMU College of Education is held up as an example of excellence and holds that distinction, I am venturing to guess, because they have made some hard and even controversial choices over many decades, to make sure standards and practices were cutting edge and seasoned.…

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