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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New Michigan House Education Committee chair Tom McMillin: Jerk

The Republican chosen to replace recalled Rep. Paul Scott as the chair of the state House Education Committee, Tom McMillin, is, apparently, a first class jerk. Check out this exchange during a recent Committee hearing on lifting the cap on charter schools from GONGWER:

Several in the packed crowd bristled at Mr. McMillin’s way of questioning those testifying, and he also had words with Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield Township) who didn’t appreciate his answering the question she was asking a charter school advocate.

Following testimony from staff members at the Holly Academy, Ms. Brown asked if they still supported the bill, knowing that SB 618 caps the number of Schools of Excellence, of which Holly Academy is one.

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Michigan Democratic Senators propose constitutional ban on for-profit schools

I’ve been a bit critical of my Senator Rebekah Warren lately but this I like. Warren is teaming up with Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor to introduce legislation to ban for-profit schools in Michigan.

Democratic Sens. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor and Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor announced Tuesday they will introduce a constitutional amendment to ban for-profit schools in Michigan, saying Michigan has more charters operating for a profit than most other states.

The ban would only affect K-12 schools, such as charters, that receive money from the state School Aid fund. Already in Michigan, four out of five charter schools are operated by private, for-profit education management organizations, according to the senators.

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GOP Rep. Mike Rogers parrots a lie that enables Big Businesses to justify not hiring

From Michigan 8th District GOP Representative Mike Rogers comes a lie that enables large corporations to justify continuing to hoard vast amounts of money and other capital in a time when they should be doing all they can to stimulate the economy and job growth. Here’s the lie told by Mike Rogers:

Job creators are currently sitting on approximately $2 trillion in unused capital and untold numbers of job opportunities because they do not know their regulatory costs for the next two years. Businesses of all sizes need the certainty necessary to determine how much the government will cost them before they seek to grow and expand.…
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Flint, Michigan gets an Emergency Manager – Michael Brown

Former temporary mayor and city administrator of Flint, Michigan, Michael Brown has been named the Emergency Manager of Flint. The decision to appoint an EM was made the same day current mayor Dayne Walling was re-elected.

“Michael Brown has a strong track record of serving the Flint-area community,” Snyder said in a statement. “Given his experience in public, private, and non-profit settings, I’m confident he is well-equipped to take on this critical post.”

Brown is currently president of the Prima Civitas Foundation and director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office, which he established in 2009.

As emergency manager, Brown will make $170,000, according to his contract, which he signed Monday.

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Tuesday afternoon sanity break

Or maybe “insanity” break ’cause this is insane!

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Recall of Wisc Gov Scott Walker gathers 300,000+ signatures in 12 days

It’s amazing what can happen when a state-level Democratic Party joins up with grassroots activists to recall overstepping Republicans. United Wisconsin and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced yesterday that they have gathered over 300,000 signatures to recall Scott Walker in just 12 days. They need a total of 540,206 valid signatures by January and their goal is 750,000.

Meanwhile, back in Michigan, what is the Michigan Democratic Party doing? Promoting a new website and 30-minute ad to go after Mitt Romney.

Does anybody but me find it astonishing that this is how the MDP is spending its time at the moment?…

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