Tag: Emergency Manager Law

Michigan’s Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven’t.

Michigan’s Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven’t.

The primary justification for Emergency Financial Managers or Emergency Managers in Michigan from the very earliest iterations (and continuing through to today) is that some cities and school districts were just too full of corruption and ineptitude and that the state needed to swoop in and save the day.

However, this easy answer has turned out not have been the silver bullet its proponents had promised it would be. In fact, cities and school districts with Emergency Managers aren’t doing much better now than they were before.

In 2011, Pontiac’s Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel outsourced the city’s water treatment to a company facing 26 felony Clean Water Act violations.…

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Former spokesman for Gov. Snyder and Detroit Emergency Manager Orr cashes in on Atlantic City’s financial crisis

Former spokesman for Gov. Snyder and Detroit Emergency Manager Orr cashes in on Atlantic City’s financial crisis

Bill Nowling is a longtime Republican spokesman and strategist. He was Governor Rick Snyder’s spokesman for a time. Then he was Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s mouthpiece.

Now Nowling is cashing in on Atlantic City’s current financial emergency:

Atlantic City’s Emergency Manager, Kevin Lavin, appointed by Gov. Christie in January, did not issue an updated report this month as promised in his previous report, when he recommended $10 million in budget cuts, hundreds of layoffs, and mediators to negotiate with casinos and unions.

He did, however, produce a $375 an hour newly hired spokesman, Bill Nowling, previously the spokesman for Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who also served as a consultant for Atlantic City.

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There was a 3rd SCOTUS decision this week progressives should be thrilled with, one with implications for Michigan

There was a 3rd SCOTUS decision this week progressives should be thrilled with, one with implications for Michigan

As the celebrations over the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell (which upheld the Affordable Care Act [again]) and their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (which found same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional) begin settle down, it’s worth looking at a third case they decided this week that should have progressives applauding. This one, Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. involved fair housing practices:

Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn’t be limited by questions of intent.
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Anti-democratic Emergency Manager? Check! State takeover of schools? Check! New Jersey adopts the Michigan GOP model.

Anti-democratic Emergency Manager? Check! State takeover of schools? Check! New Jersey adopts the Michigan GOP model.

In the spring of 2011 when I first began sounding the alarm bells at Eclectablog about the undemocratic Emergency Manager legislation that was quickly passed by the newly-elected, Republican-controlled state legislature, I warned that this was not a “Michigan only” problem. I have said repeatedly that Michigan is only the beta testing ground for an agenda and a way of governing that will be spread to other states if it is not stopped.

In Michigan, despite plurality of voters rejecting emergency management at the ballot box in 2012, we failed to stop it. And now, as predicted, the show is going on the road.…

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Gov. Snyder proves his rhetoric on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law was lies, will appoint new EM for Detroit schools

Gov. Snyder proves his rhetoric on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law was lies, will appoint new EM for Detroit schools

When Governor Rick Snyder was asked about overturning the will of Michigan voters when he signed new Emergency Manager legislation into law a few short weeks after voters voted it down in 2012, he defended the move with this comment:

Actually, what we did was look at some of the key issues and concerns that were clear about the public vote. That got to the point of how long someone was in the position and did the community have other options to choose. So, we modified the law to take those into account. So, what we did was look at, okay, here are the issues, here are some of the primary criticisms and put that into account of having a new law to go forward.
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Constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law headed to federal court

Constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law headed to federal court

Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh has found that a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law, Public Act 436, can move forward based on its disparate impact on African Americans in Michigan.

The suit alleges that PA 436 is unconstitutional based on nine specific causes:

  1. Denial of “substantive due process” by violating the right to vote of Michigan citizens living in municipalities controlled by Emergency Managers
  2. Violation of the Guarantee Clause which guarantees ” to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”
  3. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the denial of the “fundamental right to vote [which] has been denied, abridged, and/or diluted by PA 436 because governing authority is stripped from local elected officials and transferred to one unelected EM with no accountability to local citizens”
  4. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race
  5. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on wealth
  6. Violation of the Voting Rights Act
  7. Violation of the First Amendment by:
    1. Viewpoint discrimination which violates the First Amendment when it regulates speech based on substantive content
    2. Denial of Freedom of Speech
    3. Denial of the right to petition the government
  8. Violation of the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery
  9. Discrimination against localities with Emergency Manager appointed under previous laws

Every one of these was found to be invalid except for #4, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race.…

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Democracy denied: Flint Emergency Manager appointing City Council members instead of holding elections

Democracy denied: Flint Emergency Manager appointing City Council members instead of holding elections

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is using his powers as a state-appointed overseer of the city to appoint two outgoing City Council members rather than permitting a special election as the City’s rules require:

Emergency manager Darnell Earley says he will use his power under state law to appoint replacements for two departing City Council members, rather than allowing their colleagues to take on the task.

Earley said in a news release today, Nov. 13, that he will accept letters of interest, resumes, and references from residents interested in the 3rd and 6th Ward vacancies. […]

Council members have said the state emergency manager law gives Earley the authority to make the council appointments but suggested he allow the council to do so as a part of Flint’s transition to home rule.

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A comprehensive look at Michigan’s new(est) Emergency Manager Law, now with STABILITY & CHOICE!

A comprehensive look at Michigan’s new(est) Emergency Manager Law, now with STABILITY & CHOICE!

I read this stuff so you don't have to

A mere 37 days after voters repealed Public Act 4, Michigan's notorious and anti-democratic Emergency Manager Law, Republican legislators passed a new version to replace it. It was signed into law as Public Act 436 thirteen days later. This defiant thumb-in-the-eye to the will of the voters was even more egregious since it contains two appropriations, one to pay Emergency Managers and another to hire consultants, lawyers, "work-out experts", and others to implement the law. These appropriations ensure voters won't have a chance to interfere with the business of our Very Serious GOP legislators on this matter again. So, what, exactly, is in this new law? Well, for starters, let's have a look at the title: "THE LOCAL FINANCIAL STABILITY AND CHOICE ACT" I'm not kidding. That's what they call it. It's surprising they didn't figure out a way to include the words "FREEDOM" and "INDEPENDENCE" while they were at it. You can read the law HERE (pdf). All the gory details of this new law after the jump. Read more ›
With Detroit under an Emergency Manager, half of Michigan blacks will have no elected local government

With Detroit under an Emergency Manager, half of Michigan blacks will have no elected local government

A non-racist law with wildly racial impact

Back in December of 2011, I wrote a series of pieces that showed how Michigan's Emergency Manager Law was having a skewed negative impact on African American cities. With Detroit on the verge of being assigned an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) and with updated census data, it's time to revisit the chart that put this law on the national radar. In 2011, there were approximately 9,876,801 people in Michigan, about 1,402,506 (or 14.2%) of whom were African American. If Detroit gets an Emergency Financial Manager, 49% of the African Americans in Michigan will live in cities where their elected officials have been replaced by a single, state-appointed ruler. Details after the jump. Read more ›

Congressmen Conyers, Clarke, and Peters request answers from Governor Snyder regarding their proposed Detroit Consent Agreement

In a comprehensive and sternly-worded letter to Governor Rick Snyder (pdf), Congressmen John Conyers, Jr., Hansen Clarke, and Gary Peters are asking for some answers regarding his administration’s proposed Detroit Consent Agreement.

The letter focuses on seven key areas:

  1. Failure of State to Provide Any Financial Assistance
    Governor Snyder is asked to explain why, unlike in other struggling cities across the country, they “will not consider the same types of financial partnership approaches utilized for cities such as New York, Cleveland, and Philadelphia”.
  2. Unconstitutional Limitation on Collective Bargaining
    During a legal forum held by Rep. Conyers last month, Kenneth Klee, a renowned expert on constitutional issues relating to bankruptcy testified:
    “[A]s currently drafted, the [Michigan EM Law] is violative of the Contracts Clause ..
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Snyder administration denied appeal on prohibition against signing Consent Agreement with Detroit

Snyder administration denied appeal on prohibition against signing Consent Agreement with Detroit

Ouch. That’ll leave a mark.

My favorite Michigan judge at the moment, Ingham County Judge William Collette, today issued yet another spanking to the administration of Governor Rick Snyder. The Snyder administration appealed a ruling made an earlier this week barring them from signing a Consent Agreement with Detroit until after a March 29th hearing. That hearing has been postponed twice at the request of the Snyder administration.

Today, Judge Collette denied their appeal. He said he felt “bushwacked” by the state’s request.

An Ingham County Judge this morning denied a request by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Detroit financial review team to lift his order that bars them from entering into a consent agreement with Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit City Council to address the city’s financial emergency until late next week.…
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