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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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Democracy denied: Flint Emergency Manager appointing City Council members instead of holding elections

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is using his powers as a state-appointed overseer of the city to appoint two outgoing City Council members rather than permitting a special election as the City’s rules require:

Emergency manager Darnell Earley says he will use his power under state law to appoint replacements for two departing City Council members, rather than allowing their colleagues to take on the task.

Earley said in a news release today, Nov. 13, that he will accept letters of interest, resumes, and references from residents interested in the 3rd and 6th Ward vacancies. […]

Council members have said the state emergency manager law gives Earley the authority to make the council appointments but suggested he allow the council to do so as a part of Flint’s transition to home rule.

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Michigan exports its anti-democratic model: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie considers an Emergency Manager for Atlantic City

Remember when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Michigan to visit Governor Rick Snyder in March? And when he came back again in September? At the time, everyone assumed that it was because he was fundraising as part of his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

It turns out that it may have been as much as fact-finding mission as anything else. This week, Christie announced that he is considering imposing an Emergency Manager on the city of Atlantic City:

An emergency manager to oversee the city’s troubled finances and the creation of a new public-private development corporation are part of a package of reforms Gov.…
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An open letter to Gov. Rick Snyder: Give Michigan a state-based insurance marketplace

Prove to your constituents that you care about everyone in the state — not just big-money special interests.

Dear Governor Snyder:

I didn’t vote for you in either election, but you are Michigan’s governor. I haven’t agreed with you on much, but you did support Medicaid expansion in Michigan, although you could have done a lot more to urge the Legislature to act decisively. You also said you supported Michigan creating a state-based insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare), although you put up even less of a fight on that one.

Now, with your re-election behind you and the health insurance of nearly 240,000 Michiganders at risk, it’s time to lead.…

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GUEST POST: Michigan Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway

Below I am crossposting a piece written by Walt Sorg and published at his blog The Michigan Curmudgeon. Walt has held senior positions in all three branches of Michigan state government, serving under Speaker Bobby Crim and Governor Jim Blanchard as well as at the State Bar of Michigan. He began his 48-year tenure in or around Michigan government as a young journalist covering George Romney, Senator Phil Hart and state House Speaker Bill Ryan.

Before we get into Walt’s essay, I wanted to emphasize something he wrote that echoes my feelings with regard the blame game that’s happening in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election.…

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Guess which Michigan candidates had 6,000+ people rally for them yesterday. HINT: it wasn’t the Republicans.

While Michigan Republican Party chair Bobby Schostak, the man behind “The Worst Campaign Ad That Human Beings Actually Paid for This Year”, tells anyone who will listen that President Obama’s visit to Michigan yesterday is going to harm the election chances of Mark Schauer, Gary Peters, and all of our Democratic candidates, over 6,000 people showed up to see him speak last night and to rally for our candidates. Hundreds of others were turned away. My friend Mary wrote this on my Facebook page:

First time in my life I was more than happy to spend over an hour out in the cold to stand in a very long line only to be turned away with hundreds of other very energized voters.…
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INTERVIEW: Democrat Margaret Guerrero DeLuca has seen it all and has had enough

This is the fourth and last in profiling a series of women candidates running for the Michigan State House of Representatives. As voters we have an amazing opportunity to realize something special on Tuesday and that is electing more women to the State House, something I believe is essential to moving the state forward.

After spending a short amount of time with Margaret Guerrero DeLuca, the Democratic candidate for the 82nd State House District that encompasses all of Lapeer County, where she was born and raised, one word kept sticking in my head: ENERGY!

And I mean energy to burn.

The former Imlay City Mayor and Commissioner, she is only the second Mayor in their history, Margaret can easily stake a claim that she has been able to transcend conventional wisdom on many fronts.…

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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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Big Picture: A visual examination of whose side Rick Snyder is on when it comes to taxes

Last week, Anne introduced a new feature on Eclectablog – Big Picture – a new way to look at the issues using an engaging visual approach. The first one took a look at Governor Rick Snyder’s harmful impacts on public education in Michigan. You can view that one HERE

Today is Anne’s second installment. This one looks at the dangerous tax policies of our Republican Governor. He’s raised taxes on over half of our citizens, but what do we have to show for it? The fifth highest unemployment rate and Michigan led the country in job losses in August.

Click the image below to explore whose side Rick Snyder is on when it comes to taxes.…

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BREAKING: Snyder administration officials illegally destroyed documents sought in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request

Progress Michigan has been doing yeomans work holding the Snyder administration accountable for corrupt actitivies, shining the sanitizing sunshine needed to ensure that transparency isn’t just a catch phrase used by our Governor. In response to an August request for documents from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Progress Michigan was told in September that no such documents existed. Then, this week, they were told that the documents HAD existed but that they were destroyed when MDCH Director Jim Haveman retired.

However, the request was submitted on August 21st. Mr. Haveman retired after a mild stroke a full week later on August 28th.…

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