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After agreeing to study determining the cost to educate a child in Michigan, GOP now poised to kill “this crazy study”

Education cost study? We doan need no stinkin’ education cost study!

As part of the package of legislation passed to put Proposal 1 on the ballot, Republicans agreed to fund a study of the costs to educate a child in Michigan. Democrats pushed for the study so that smart choices regarding the funding of schools can be made in the future. Republicans not only agreed to it, it was in fact a bill – H.B. 423 – introduced by a Republican and all of the cosponsors were Republican. Twenty-five House Republicans and eight Senate Republicans voted for it. It was signed into law by our Republican governor as Public Act 555 of 2014 and is now actually part of the Revised School Code.…

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INTERVIEW: Brian Stone, candidate for MI-15 in Dearborn – “This is my town. This is my city. And I know it well.”

Not long ago, my friend Mike Henry, the Chair of the Ann Arbor Dems, introduced me to Brian Stone, a 28-year old openly gay man from Dearborn who has already thrown his hat into the ring for the 15th District State House seat. “You should know this guy,” Mike told me. “He’s going to surprise you.”

I generally avoid interviewing candidates before the primaries for an assortment of reasons but I agreed to at least chat with Stone and hear what he had to say. My instant impression was that he is very adept at talking with reporters and interviewers and saying all the right things.…

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Michigan Democrats propose changing constitution to create a graduated state income tax

Thirty-four states along with Washington, D.C. have graduated state income taxes where wealthy people pay a higher percentage than people who make less money. This is also how our federal taxes are configured. Michigan, however, does not. We are one of only seven states with a flat tax.

A recent EPIC-MRA poll shows that an astonishing 66% of Michigan voters would support this change, including a majority of Republicans. According to Democratic State Rep. Jim Townsend, we could raise an additional $700,000,000 of revenue in the state and still lower taxes for 95% of Michiganders.

There are three ways to put the issue before votes which is necessary because it requires a change to the state constitution.…

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Something to know before the “morning after”

On March 3rd, State Senator Bert Johnson (D, MI-02) and three other Michigan Democrats introduced Senate Bill 172 requiring the state health department to provide information about “emergency contraception,” otherwise known as the “Morning After” pill. The bill was referred to committee with no further action at this time, and probably not at any time under the current GOP-dominated legislature that consistently shows itself to have a narrow, authoritarian, and restrictive view of human reproduction.

The language in the bill is specific about educating the public as a means of avoiding abortions as well as unplanned pregnancies and doing it safely by using the FDA-approved “morning after” pill.…

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Tim Walberg moved to GOP’s “Vulnerable Patriots Program” amid dismal fundraising results

Michigan’s 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg is in deep trouble if recent events are any indication. It started with his sole Democratic opponent Gretchen Driskell raising more money than him during the last quarter. According to FEC filings, Driskell raised $173,732 compared with only $165,929 for Walberg.

Those numbers don’t tell the entire story, however. Driskell didn’t even get into the race until the second week of February so Walberg had nearly twice the time in which to raise that money. Those fundraising amounts include the $47,000 Walberg raised from 21 different committees compared to Driskell who only raised $4,549 from 12 different committees.…

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As if on cue, Michigan House Republicans announce plans to start slashing state budget to fix the roads

Not just predictable. Predicted.

The dust hadn’t even settled on the epic crash and burn of Michigan’s Proposal 1 yesterday when Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter began discussing his plans for slashing the budgets of other areas to come up with over a billion dollars needed to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges.

He gave a glimpse into his thinking on the House Republicans’ webpage:

Yesterday, the people of Michigan were heard loud and clear: focus on the roads, find a simple solution and keep taxes low. Today, the challenge is to follow their direction and find a way to properly invest in Michigan’s infrastructure and fix the roads.…
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Congratulations to those who voted no on Prop 1. What you won was a front row seat to experience what regressive really is!

The contentious nature of Proposal 1 has been well documented on these pages and both Chris Savage and I have taken a great deal of criticism and of have been the recipients less than honorable insults from some of you who believe that to disagree on an issue somehow makes us instant conservatives or “slackies” for the Right. Of course that is not based in fact or reality, but I knew it was coming weeks ago after I wrote my first piece endorsing Proposal 1 and my reasons why, my factual reasons why, I was supporting it were met with not a single fact in return as to why you opposed it.…

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Michigan Democratic legislators call for legal protections for LGBT people

In a move that demonstrates the Democratic principle of fairness for all, lawmakers seek update to Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

In a press conference today, members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses urged an update of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) that will protect Michiganders from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Placing LGBT Michiganders under the protections of the ELCRA will give them the same protections that already exist for Michiganders on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight or marital status, ensuring that Michigan is welcoming and fair to all of its citizens.…

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Debunking some common progressive liberal excuses for not voting YES ON PROPOSAL 1

Part 2 of a series. Part 1 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

Before I get into this piece, I want to clarify a couple of things. First of all, in the conversation on Proposal 1 in Michigan, at least on the progressive side, we are starting from the position that Republicans are hideous leaders that created gigantic hole in our budget by slashing taxes for corporations. And they are now compelled to fill that hole by cutting essential programs and services – including education – or by forcing Michiganders to raise taxes on themselves. That is self-evident and, if we as citizens are doing our jobs – something we too often fail to do – they will be ridden out of Lansing on a rail in the next election.…

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Proposal 1: The issue that has turned too many Michigan progressives into tea partiers

Part 1 in a series. Part 2 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

There are few topics that unite tea partiers with progressive liberals but Michigan’s Prop 1 has not only united these two disparate groups, it has, for all intents and purposes, turned many progressives into tea partiers in their own right. What I mean by this is that they have allowed their hatred for our Republican governor and his colleagues in the legislature to cloud their judgment on Proposal 1, turning them against it when the truly progressive position is to support it.

When I am discussing this with my progressive friends, the ones who are against Proposal 1 say they will never support something Rick Snyder supports.…

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