Exclusive interview with Karla Swift – newly-elected president of the Michigan AFL-CIO

Yesterday at their two-day state convention in Detroit, Michigan AFL-CIO members elected Karla Swift as the organization’s new president. Swift replaces Mark Gaffney who led the group for 12 years.

Karla Swift (pictured right with UAW president Bob King in Lansing), is a long-time organizer for the International Union, the UAW and for various community groups. Most recently she was the state director for We Are the People, a progressive coalition of labor and other groups in Michigan.

I spoke with Ms. Smith by phone last night to ask her about her new position and her vision for the Michigan AFL-CIO.…

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Ann Arbor outsources processing of parking tickets

Not surprisingly, there is a huge push to “Buy Michigan” to help our local economy these days. For example, there is Buy Michigan Now, BuyMichiganProducts.com, Buy Michigan First, and Think Michigan Made. With all of this, I was shocked to see this on my parking ticket last weekend:


Click for a larger version

Really, Ann Arbor? You’re outsourcing the processing of parking tickets to a firm in Tarrytown, New York? Nobody in the Ann Arbor area or even in Michigan could do this?

So much for rooting for the home team. Lame. Very, very lame.

P.S. You have to pay a “convenience fee” of $3.50 to pay by phone or online meaning it’s actually cheaper to send your payment all the way to New York if you aren’t able to get to City Hall during business hours.

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Rep Tim Walberg brings jobs fair to southern Michigan – blames regulation for lack of employer participation

This past week, Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) sponsored a jobs fair. So far, so good. I’ve been waiting for him to do something, anything related to jobs so I view this sort of thing favorably. Unfortunately, the fair doesn’t appear to have been very successful.


On Wednesday, I hosted a Job Resource Fair at the Jackson County Fair Grounds. This event gave companies across the district a chance to connect with an estimated 600+ job seekers. While visiting with job seekers I thought, “How great it would be if at the next Job Resource Fair we could reduce the number of attendees and raise the number of employers?” We need to encourage job creation for those who want to be employed and provide a service.…
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Michigan political news round-up – 10/2/2011

I’ve been on vacation with twelve of my wife’s family members in town so the blogging has been light. Normal blogging resumes this week.

Here’s an update of what’s been happening in my fair state.
Remember when Republicans took over Congress in Washington, D.C. and they reversed Nancy Pelosi’s “Green the Capitol” effort just to be dicks? Michigan Republicans are doing the same thing:

No companies in Michigan are building incandescent light bulbs, but the Legislature wants to make sure that if any want to they can — in a pique over new federal rules.

Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out in January because of a federal mandate to promote more energy-efficient bulbs.

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Get a job, poor person! Sorry there aren’t enough for everyone.

As I have written about before, tomorrow, October 1st, over 41,000 Michiganders will be thrown off the welfare rolls in Michigan. Nearly 30,000 children are affected by this. Over half of these families live in Detroit where, as reported by the Detroit News, 21,000 families will now be without benefits.

In Part 1 of a 2 part MLive series, there simply aren’t enough jobs available for these people who will no longer have any source of income.

Andrew Stone, employment and training manager at Michigan Works in Muskegon and Oceana counties, said the job search agency will hold nine weeks of workshops in October and November about the basics of finding and keeping a job.…
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Exclusive interview with former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

This week, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and her husband Dan Mulhern made their first stop in our state on their national book tour for their new release A Governor’s Story — The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Governor Granholm by phone from her home in Berkeley, California and my interview, along with some of my wife’s photos from their Ann Arbor talk/book signing are now up at A2Politico.

Here is a brief excerpt:

A2Politico: A recurring theme in your book A Governor’s Story is that most people in Michigan didn’t realize how bad things were, how much your administration had done to cut taxes and stave off economic collapse, and how much you accomplished to lower the footprint of state government.…
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Effort to recall Rick Snyder has failed to gather enough signatures

The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder announced this morning that they have failed to gather enough signatures in the amount of time allotted by the Michigan Constitution to place the recall of Rick Snyder on the ballot.

It is with a measure of sadness that we announce that the bid to recall Gov. Rick Snyder will come up short in the number of signatures required to file. We do not have a final count yet, but will have one soon and will send out another update when that time comes.

We would first like to take this opportunity to thank all of the over 5000 active volunteers and their families who participated, sacrificed their time and put blood, sweat and tears into this campaign.

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Yet another boot on the face of Mich teachers – a year in prison for sending emails

You know what I hate? I positively detest the phrase “union thugs” or “union goons”. It implies this organized group of people willing to harm others to make sure they get their way.

When you look at what Republicans are doing to unionized teachers in Michigan, you realize that when Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof says making our state a Right to Teach state is good because it is “an opportunity to let teachers get farther away from union goons”, what you’re seeing is a classic case of transference. They are accusing others of the behavior they themselves are exhibiting.…

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