Recent Posts

Overview of suit to invalidate and undo Right to Work in Michigan

Overview of suit to invalidate and undo Right to Work in Michigan

I have a piece up at the AFL-CIO NOW blog that gives a good overview of the complaint currently in the Ingham County Circuit Court seeking to strike down the Right to Work bills that were signed into law in December 2012. The complaint contends that the bills violate he Open Meetings Act, the First Amendment and the Michigan and U.S. constitutions and, therefore, the votes should be invalidated.

Here’s my favorite part:

Although the Republicans still maintain majorities in both the Michigan House and Senate, their margins in the House narrowed considerably after the November 2012 election. They narrowed enough, in fact, that they would not be able to pass these bills today. The two bills involved were passed 58-51 with six Republicans joining Democrats. Five of those Republicans retained their seats and Democrats picked up another five seats. Therefore, the outcome of this complaint could well spell the end of “right to work” in Michigan.

You can read the rest here:

Coalition of Michigan Lawmakers, Unions and Citizen Journalist File Lawsuit to Block ‘Right to Work’ for Less

Enjoy.

Read more ›
As the national Republicans court immigrant voters with  immigration reform, Michigan Republicans work to alienate them

As the national Republicans court immigrant voters with immigration reform, Michigan Republicans work to alienate them

A winning strategy…for Democrats

As national Republicans are working hard to reverse the trend of Hispanic voters leaving their party in droves, Republicans in Michigan seemed bound and determined to do just the opposite. In what is a seemingly never ending push to solve problems that do not exist, Republican state Senator Joe Hune has introduced legislation to bar undocumented immigrants from obtaining any government benefits. There are already laws on the books to prevent this, but that is irrelevant when a good sound bite full of empty symbolism is in the making.

Hune’s justification is nearly comical. Read it and much more after the jump.

Read more ›
Senators Stabenow & Levin + ENTIRE Mich Dem Congressional caucus support Lon Johnson to replace MDP Chair Mark Brewer

Senators Stabenow & Levin + ENTIRE Mich Dem Congressional caucus support Lon Johnson to replace MDP Chair Mark Brewer

Time to change quarterbacks?

Mark Brewer has been the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party for the past 18 years. This year, however, the leadership of both the UAW and the Teamsters have pulled their support. Today, in a signal that this power struggle for control of the MDP may have legs, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin along with every single Michigan Democratic member of Congress sent out a letter in support of Lon Johnson who has been selected to run against Brewer at the statewide Democratic Party Convention on February 23rd.

The letter was sent out under Stabenow’s letterhead and was signed by her, Senator Levin, and Congressmen John Dingell, John Conyers, Sander Levin, Gary Peters, and Dan Kildee.

You can read it in its entirety after the jump.

Read more ›
POLL: Should excess tax revenues be put into Michigan’s “Rainy Day Fund”? If not, what should be done?

POLL: Should excess tax revenues be put into Michigan’s “Rainy Day Fund”? If not, what should be done?

Is it still raining in Michigan?

As I have been telling folks for the past year, Republicans have raised the effective tax rates on more than half of all Michiganders in the past year. You’ll notice when you do your state taxes this year; many folks are already facing the reality that, instead of getting a refund like they always have in the past, they now OWE several hundred dollars to the State of Michigan. Get your checkbooks out, folks. SOMEBODY has to pay for nearly $2 billion in tax cuts for corporations and that somebody is YOU.

Meanwhile, as the tax coffers start to overflow a bit, Republicans are eager to sock some of it away into the Budget Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the “Rainy Day Fund”. During the financial meltdown during the latter half of the Bush administration, Governor Granholm was forced to use that money to keep the state afloat. The fund now has a half billion dollars in it. The question many are asking is if we should put MORE money in it.

What do YOU think? Take our poll after the jump.

Read more ›
Sen. Reid & Obama administration target biggest example of “choosing winners” we have: Big Oil subsidies

Sen. Reid & Obama administration target biggest example of “choosing winners” we have: Big Oil subsidies

Big Oil subsidies are, simply put, indefensible

Conservatives who are dead set against making any investments in new technologies that can help propel our country and its economy forward are famous for using the argument that this is “picking winners and losers”. The irony is that, in order to even be considered for federal government subsidies, new technologies — like renewable energy projects, for example — must have already proven themselves as winners that are simply in need of a kickstart to make them affordable and profitable.

With negotiations over the upcoming sequester — automatic, across the board budget cuts — ready to dominate the headlines, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Obama administration are suggesting that it’s time to end one the most glaring examples “picking winners” that we have in this country today: $4 billion in subsidies to Big Oil companies.

More after the jump.

Read more ›
Convicted Oakland County Dem Chair accuses state Chair Brewer of election scam involvement 2 years late

Convicted Oakland County Dem Chair accuses state Chair Brewer of election scam involvement 2 years late

Really? NOW you bring this up?

During the summer of 2010, across the state you could find paid petitioners circulating petitions to put the “Tea Party” on the November ballot. Candidates were recruited and it looked as if the tea party folks were finally going to get some skin in the game instead of trying to take over the Republican Party.

It later turned out to be a giant scam, orchestrated by people in the Oakland County Democratic Party including its chair Mike McGuinness. He and another party employee, Jason Bauer, were both convicted of forging election paperwork to put people on the ballot as Tea Party candidates, some of whom were never even contacted about running as phony candidates.

Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Mark Brewer denied all knowledge or involvement in the embarrassing scandal. However, out of the blue, McGuinness resurfaced this week in the comments section of the Michigan Liberal website to say he was recruited by Brewer for this scheme. With Brewer being challenged as MDP Chair, the timing is so suspicious as to be completely unbelievable.

More after the jump.

Read more ›
AUDIO: Speaker at Americans for Prosperity workshop refers to “ethnically challenged” charter school students

AUDIO: Speaker at Americans for Prosperity workshop refers to “ethnically challenged” charter school students

Hoo boy…

At a recent Americans for Prosperity-sponsored “Citizens Watchdog Training” workshop in Warren, Michigan, one of their speakers was a prominent Michigan conservative and member of the North Oakland Tea Party Patriots, Norm Hughes. During his talk, he used a phrase I have honestly never heard before: “ethnically challenged”. What is “ethnically challenged”? I have no idea.

Let’s roll tape, courtesy of Progress Michigan (after the jump.)

Read more ›
If immigration reform were supposed to make the GOP look less like the party of intolerant white guys, it isn’t working

If immigration reform were supposed to make the GOP look less like the party of intolerant white guys, it isn’t working

But did we mention that Marco Rubio’s parents were born in Cuba? Immigration reform isn’t a chance for Republicans to win more Latino votes. It’s their only hope to stop getting fewer and fewer Latino votes. Senator Marco Rubio, who would like to be the GOP nominee in 2016, knows that to win the presidency, he at least needs to […]

Read more ›
Calling all progressive activists! The deadline for submitting a Netroots Nation session proposal is soon!

Calling all progressive activists! The deadline for submitting a Netroots Nation session proposal is soon!

The most energizing conference you will EVER attend

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a regular attendee of the national Netroots Nation conference. Last year, Anne got involved as a staff photographer and you can be sure we’ll both be there again this year in San Jose, June 20-23. Netroots Nation is, simply put, the most high-value conference of the year for progressive activists. You can get a flavor of it by reading our posts from last year HERE, HERE, and HERE.

A big part of what makes Netroots Nation work is that the panels and trainings are put on by some of the top activists in the country. Some you may know, others you may not. Either way, the quality of the panels and trainings is exceptional. Along the way, you’ll make some amazing connections, as well, connections that will stay with you into the future.

Find out how YOU can participate by submitting a panel or training proposal for Netroots Nation 2013 after the jump.

Read more ›
To the self-described “patriots” of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like

To the self-described “patriots” of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

With the reelection of Barack Obama and the subsequent resurgence in tea party rhetoric about “tyranny”, stoked white hot by talk of enacting a handful of sensible gun regulations, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our present-day “patriots”, and I use that phrase very loosely, have perverted the meaning of the word tyranny and the philosophies of our Founding Fathers.

Although it is widespread across the nation, one particular example of it here in Michigan really ignited my thinking on this. A tea party state Senator, Patrick Colbeck, has taken to posting passages from the Declaration of Independence on his Facebook page this week. That, in and of itself, is no big deal, of course. However, the quotes he has chosen make it clear that he is making a direct comparison between the King of England during the period before the American Revolution and our current President, Barack Obama.

Much more after the jump.

Read more ›
Michigan Sen. Colbeck introduces “patriotism” bills modeled after bill pushed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

Michigan Sen. Colbeck introduces “patriotism” bills modeled after bill pushed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

Draped in a flag, carrying a cross

With all of the struggles Michigan faces right now, it’s good to know that things aren’t so bad that religious zealots and “patriots” like Senator Patrick Colbeck have time to worry about censorship in the teaching of American History in our classrooms. This week, Colbeck introduced a bill to remedy this egregious (and essentially nonexistent) problem. The bill is modeled after legislation promoted and passed in 2001 by far-right conservative and tea party goddess Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Bachmann’s bill copies a law passed in North Carolina in 1997.

Details after the jump.

Read more ›
Quantcast
Quantcast