Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gets it right — twice

A couple of things happened this week in the Governor’s office that I think were good moves and I commend Governor Snyder for them.

First, earlier in the week, he signed legislation that moves all school board elections across the state to November of even-numbered years. This is a smart move that will save money and will encourage far higher turnout than these elections normally achieve. Many school board elections are held in the summer, if you can believe it, which is the reason they often see turnouts in the range of 10-15%. It’s absurd to elect people to such an important position with that level of voter involvement.…

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ICYMI: Why the Michigan GOP took the “Financial” out of “Emergency Financial Manager”

With Detroit facing an imminent takeover by an Emergency Manager, I thought now might be a good time to remind everyone about a subtle but incredibly important change that occurred when Public Act 4 — the Emergency Manager Law — was passed. This was first published in June.

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When Michigan Republicans passed the legislation that became Michigan Public Act 4 of 2011 or P.A. 4 or the “Emergency Manager Act” or “local government and school district fiscal accountability act” or, as I call it, the Financial Martial Law Act, they took a subtle step that few noticed.…

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Half of Michigan African Americans will soon be under the rule of an Emergency Manager

Here’s an interesting thing to ponder: based on 2010 census figures, when Detroit gets an Emergency Manager, over 49% of Michigan African Americans will have lost their representative government and will be under the rule of an Emergency Manager.

(Note: I’ve been reminded that Ecorse has an Emergency Manager as well so I have updated the chart below.)

City Population % African American # of African Americans
Benton Harbor 10,038 89.2% 8,954
Detroit 713,777 82.7% 590,294
Ecorse 9,512 46.4% 4,414
Flint 102,434 56.6% 57,978
Pontiac 59,515 52.1% 31,007
Total &nbsp &nbsp 692,647

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Michigan had 9,883,640 residents in 2010, 14.2% of whom were African Americans for a total of 1,403,477.…

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Eclectablog on Fox Detroit Channel 2 TONIGHT

In case you’ve ever wanted to see what I look like or sound like, you’ll have your chance tonight if you’re in the southeastern Michigan area. I’ll be on Fox Detroit News’ Let it Rip program at 10:30 p.m. I’ll be among several guests on to discuss the Snyder administration’s decision to move forward with an Emergency Manager for Detroit.

My mom would have been so proud ; )…

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Mich Governor Rick Snyder to begin process for installing Emergency Manager in Detroit

THIS is not unexpected but, in my mind, chilling.

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected as early as Friday to begin the process to appoint an emergency manager for the city of Detroit, the Free Press has learned.

Snyder is expected to call for a financial review, the first step in state intervention. Both Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit City Council have refused to initiate such a review.

Bing and Snyder had a conversation Wednesday, and Snyder informed the mayor he intended to start the emergency manager process. [...]

Bing has repeatedly said he does not believe an emergency manager is necessary.

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White House is spot-on with their messaging. Media ignores it.

There has been a LOT of complaining about the poor messaging coming out of the White House. It’s hard to find anyone on the anti-Obama left that doesn’t have some negative thing to say about it, in fact. What most people don’t realize is that the White House has pretty fantastic messaging when it comes to the main media sources. From Daily Press Guidances that give the next day’s events along with background to official White House statements, press releases and speech transcripts, they are providing America’s media with plenty of fodder for their reporting. So far as I can tell, the vast majority ends up in the trash folder.…

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Washtenaw County Commission: Penny-wise & pound-foolish on “animal control”

I have a new piece up at A2Politico that discusses a recent decision by the Washtenaw County Commission to unilaterally cut the payment for its contract with the Huron Valley Humane Society (HVHS) in half. At first, this might seem unimportant given the fiscal crises faced by most municipalities these days. But when you dig deeper, you realize what a complete squandering of resources this decision represents

The short version of this tale is basically this: the County has a contract with the HVHS to supply almost all of their state-mandated animal control and care services. For $500,000 annually, the HVHS does everything including hundreds of animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions each year.…

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Michigan state Rep. Kurt Damrow: Republican trainwreck (seriously, you won’t believe it)

Last month I wrote about the Republican trainwreck that is state Rep. Kurt Damrow from the thumb area of Michigan. At that time, he had been unceremoniously tossed out of his County party and was facing potential prosecution for making unfounded allegations to the Michigan State Police (MSP) against several folks in Huron County. According to media sources, Damrow gave the MSP a “five-page narrative . . . that included a laundry list of allegations against several officials and residents in Huron County.”

Well, all of this has come to a head this and then some. First, yesterday, a complaint that Damrow filed false allegations was been forwarded to the Tuscola prosecutor by the MSP.…

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