Disgraced, recalled, homophobic former Education Comm. Chair Paul Scott now a lobbyist for anti-teacher group StudentsFirst

Former state House Representative Paul Scott earned a reputation during his time in office as one of the most anti-teacher legislators in Michigan. In his position as the Chair of the House Education Committee, he oversaw some of the most egregious attacks on teachers since Republicans swept into power following the 2010 election. It was bad enough that, eventually, Scott was recalled by voters in his district. The recall had a long and convoluted history with Scott attempting – unsuccessfully – to have the courts throw it out three times. In one of his attempts, he used the ludicrous rationale that he himself had created too much confusion for the recall to continue.…

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EXCLUSIVE: Terri Lynn Land lost the state nearly $350,000 due to financial mismanagement as Secretary of State

In 2003, while Terri Lynn Land, was Secretary of State, Michigan received nearly $95 million under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). This money was targeted at improving election equipment, updating election technology, and addressing problems with provisional voting, voting information, statewide voter registration lists, and voters who register by mail.

In order to receive HAVA funds, states had to provide 5% of the award in matching funds. The tab for Michigan came to $4,155,814 which was approved by Michigan legislators. Under the rules of the HAVA, both the federal funds and the matching funds were to be placed into an interest-earning account where the magic of compound interest would significantly increase the pot of money available for improving our elections in Michigan.…

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PRIVATIZATION FAIL: Aramark employee arrested for bringing drugs – LOTS of drugs – to Michigan prisoners (Updated)

When Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns told Rick Snyder’s Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore that he was “concerned about [Aramark] losing control of a joint” in FOIAed emails released by Progress Michigan, he was predicting the future, it appears. This morning, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that an Aramark employee has been arrested for bringing drugs into prisoners at the St. Louis Correctional Facility:

An Aramark kitchen food worker is facing charges related to drug smuggling after five prisoners at St. Louis Correctional Facility were found with heroin, marijuana, cocaine and tobacco Monday, a Corrections Department spokesman confirmed.…
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UPDATED: Mackinac Center is outraged – OUTRAGED! – that we spend more on teachers than on prisons

Most of the time, when I read stuff slithering out of the Mackinac Center’s propaganda arm Michigan Capitol Confidential, I just shrug it off with a Reaganesque, “there they go again”. But every once in a while their effluvium is so nonsensical that it makes me read and reread it again to make sure that it isn’t something coming from The Onion. One of their posts yesterday, titled “Michigan Now Spending More on Teacher Retiree Liabilities Than Prisons”, is in that category.

The thrust of the post, and I’m not kidding here, is that it is simply outrageous that, in Michigan, we’re spending more on teachers than on prisons.…

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BREAKING: Kerry Bentivolio “seriously considering” running as a write-in candidate in MI-11

During an interview with MIRS news service yesterday, Kerry Bentivolio said he is “seriously considering” a run as a write-in candidate in the November General Election to be reelected as the Congressman for Michigan’s 11th District:

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), one of four sitting members of Congress to lose in a primary this year, says he is “seriously considering” waging a write-in campaign in November.

In an interview with the Michigan news outlet MIRS, Bentivolio said he has decided to write his name on the ballot and is weighing whether he will actively encourage others to do the same.

“I know what I’m doing.

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VIDEO: Michigan GOP Chair Bobby Schostak: “The debates are gonna happen” & “Gov. Milliken is irrelevant”

This past weekend, the Chairs of both the Michigan Republican Party, Bobby Schostak, and the Michigan Democratic Party, Lon Johnson appeared on Fox 2’s “Let it Rip!” program to discuss the upcoming election.

Schostak showed up without a tie, carrying an aloof and almost derisive attitude. He struggled to defend his candidates time and again. In contrast, Johnson was well-dressed, poised, and on message the entire time. He hammered several points over and over again: Gov. Snyder has cut education by $1 billion, raised taxes on seniors’ pensions, labor has been attacked and had their collective bargaining rights stripped, women’s reproductive health choices have been diminished, and, despite occupying every single major government position, Republicans have not been able to fix our roads.…

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Obamacare is still a huge issue — in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid

Why denying health insurance to 4 million Americans is smart — but deadly — politics for the GOP

This past weekend, “In just a year Obamacare goes from top Congress issue to barely mentioned” by The Washington Post‘s Colby Itkowitz topped Reddit’s muy popular r/politics page.

Itkowitz’s analysis was based on mentions by members of Congress:

It was last September when Republicans sparred with Democrats over the future of the health-care law, a disagreement that prompted a 17-day federal government shutdown and overall chaos. It was pretty much anyone on Capitol Hill talked about. Republicans wanted you to know how terrible it was for America, and Democrats wanted you to remember to sign up on Oct.

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Privatizing to Aramark in Chicago has led to filthy, rodent-infested classrooms

I’ve written plenty about Aramark in Michigan, the company that rakes in piles of your tax money as governments outsource key services to this for-profit corporation. I’ve also talked about how their for-profit prison food contracts have had problems in other states, as well.

But Aramark isn’t just in the prison food business. One of the other things they do is janitorial services. When Chicago Public Schools privatized this service to two companies, one of which was Aramark, things went seriously downhill.

Filthy buildings. Principals overseeing cleaning or hiring extra help out of pocket. Teachers scrambling to clean classrooms in time for the first days of school.
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