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UPDATED: Tell Michigan legislators you want an inclusive non-discrimination law — and no exceptions

Hearings set for Dec. 3 and 4 on two pieces of legislation critical to the LGBT community and beyond. Take action now.


If you believe that every Michigander deserves equal protection under the law — with no exceptions — the time to be heard is now.

The Michigan Legislature is holding hearings on two pieces of legislation this week that could impact the state for years to come. Take a look and then take action.

Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act update

UPDATE: The hearing mentioned in the original post below has taken place, and the committee declined to bring the bill to a vote of the full House.

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Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants to turn Michigan into a southern state (Michissippi? Alabamigan?)

Unfair as it may be, there are certain things we northerners think of when you think of southern states. The first is bigotry and intolerance. Another is a near worshipful devotion to guns and anything related to guns. Hunting is part of it but just walking around with a big weapon strapped to your body is a much bigger part of it. In general, that’s not something that folks in northern states are nearly as enamored by. Yet another is a visceral disdain for government and regulations. Yes, we have all of these attitudes in the north, but they are just not really part of our culture.…

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REMINDER: Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is taking credit for things he had no role in

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham has a great piece out this week titled, “More and better jobs?” that takes a balanced look at Rick Snyder’s claims about the rebounding of Michigan’s and his role in it. What Graham shows is that much of the job growth in Michigan is due to the rising national economy and, just as importantly, efforts taken by his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm:

Governor Snyder…takes credit for an increase in employment that actually began under his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm. The annual average employment hit bottom in 2009 and began improving in 2010, during Granholm’s final year in office.

The job growth trend began before Snyder was elected.

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GUEST POST: Saving Pure Michigan with your vote

Could this be the end of Pure Michigan?

The following guest post was written by Janis Bobrin, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner from 1989 to 2012.
The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is so compelling because it touches on a fundamental Michigan value – the sense of place fostered by the state’s majestic waters, lands, fish and wildlife. No one who grows up or lives in Michigan is immune to the lure of these natural resources, and our responsibility to protect and manage them wisely.

All too often in Michigan’s history, however, our elected officials have shirked their duty. In the state’s first 70 years, they gave little thought or caring to what would come after their time.…

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Tell everyone why you’re voting Democratic on Nov. 4th

There are still undecided votes to be won for Democrats. Now is the time to make your case.

I know regular readers of Eclectablog are fully aware that Election Day is next week. A lot of you are the same people who are knocking on doors, making phone calls and doing whatever you can to help get out the vote. You’ve been following politics this entire election cycle if not every day of the year.

But a lot of folks are only now thinking about how they’ll vote on November 4th. Which means there are votes yet to be won for Democrats.…

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Man who shot an un-armed man over road rage to use Michigan’s “Stand Your Ground” defense

On September 2nd, Derek Flemming, a 43-year old married father of two young children was driving with his wife in Livingston County to pick up their kids when a pick-up truck nearly t-boned them as they drove down Grand River Avenue. Instead, the truck swerved and cut them off. The truck driver then slammed on his brakes and was clearly messing with Flemming. When they arrived at a stoplight, Flemming got out of his car and approached the truck which was being driven by Martin Edward Zale.

Zale then rolled down his window, pulled out a pistol, and shot Flemming, who was unarmed, in the face, murdering him in front of his wife.…

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Kalamazoo women to lose home after a 3-year old delinquent tax bill she didn’t know she owed

This story hasn’t gotten much attention which is surprising since it’s so outrageous. In 2008, Deborah Calley was in a horrendous auto accident that nearly left her permanently brain damaged. In 2010, she purchased a home in Richland, Michigan, just outside of Kalamazoo, paying cash for the home. In 2011, she made two tax payments but, unbeknownst to her, she owed a third tax payment for $2,000.

This past spring, the County began foreclosure proceedings over the missed tax payment. The County says they sent 10 notices to Calley but all but one of them went to banks with whom she has no affiliation and the one sent to her was returned to the County; she never saw it.…

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Michigan led the country in job losses in August, tied for 5th highest unemployment rate

When Rick Snyder came into office, Michigan had the nation’s 5th highest unemployment rate. After nearly four years of his relentless positive Republican action, guess where we’re ranked now?

Yup: 5th.

That number doesn’t tell the full story either. The only reason we’re ranked 5th instead of 4th or less is because so many Michiganders have left the job market. Our unemployment rate is still 1.3 percentage points above the national average of 6.1%. The worst news, however, is that our state lost 9,500 jobs between July and August, the highest job loss in the country. By contrast, 35 states saw job growth improve in the same month.…

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GUEST POST – Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

This article is cross-posted from the website of Political Research Associates and appears in PRA’s upcoming Fall, 2014 issue of The Public Eye magazine, a special edition on neoliberalism and the Right. It was written by Jane Slaughter, an American journalist based in Detroit who writes frequently on labor affairs. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, Monthly Review, and In These Times.

The term neoliberalism refers to “ideas associated with economic liberalism, which advocates — under reference to neoclassical economic theory — support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.”

Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

Those who want to privatize public services and destroy unions have made some successful incursions into the once union-friendly state.

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Like Shelby Township, Scio Township passes moratorium on oil drilling. Company keeps drilling anyway.

You know we’re in the steely grip of corporatocracy when this happens:

West Bay Exploration Company has no plans to cease drilling at the corner of West Delhi and Miller roads northwest of Ann Arbor.

The company’s oil rig is in Scio Township, where the Board of Trustees passed a moratorium last week against oil exploration activity.

West Bay Exploration vice president Gibson said Monday evening that he received the township’s moratorium that day in the mail, but had not had a chance to read it closely. […]

“We’re into the drilling phase now and there’s a safety factor that becomes involved in the drilling where we need to continue circulating mud in the hole,” Gibson said.

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