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BOOM! Former Courser/Gamrat staffers file suit against Michigan House Republican leadership for firing them illegally

Oh, my…

Former staffers for ousted tea party philanderers Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser have filed a federal lawsuit against the Republican leadership of the Michigan State House of Representatives claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The 36-page lawsuit, which you can read HERE, outlines repeated attempts by Ben Graham and Keith Allard to alert House Speaker Kevin Cotter and the Republican leaders of the House Business Office of Gamrat’s and Courser’s illegal use of government resources, illicit sexual affair, and their creation of a hostile work environment for their staffers.

According to the suit, Allard, Graham, and other new staffers were told repeatedly during their orientation that they should take any employment concerns to Chief of Staff Norm Saari, House Majority Counsel Brock Swartzle, or the House Business Office.…

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Michigan Republican legislator on why schools 'fail': "We can't fix that. We can't make an African American white." (Updated)

Michigan Republican legislator on why schools ‘fail’: “We can’t fix that. We can’t make an African American white.” (Updated)

This past Wednesday during a Senate Education Committee hearing, Committee Vice Chair Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy) was discussing why some schools “fail”. During the course his comments, he made a statement that has dropped jaws across the country.

“You mentioned why these schools fail,” he said. “You mention the economically disadvantaged and non-white population are contributors to that. And, you know, we can’t fix THAT! We can’t make an African American white. [grins] It is what it is. So we can’t fix that.”

Don’t believe it? Watch for yourself:

AFT Michigan President David Hecker set the record straight on the causes of poor academic performance in cities:

What Sen.…
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Michigan Republicans pass road bill that punishes the non-wealthy while not actually fixing our roads any time soon

Michigan Republicans pass road bill that punishes the non-wealthy while not actually fixing our roads any time soon

House Speaker Kevin Cotter took to the House floor last night to tell us all that they have kicked the can down the road too far on road funding and, by golly, it’s time to get this done. Then he said something that is the most blatant exhibition Orwellian Newspeak that I’ve seen in some time:

This is a plan that we can be proud of, a plan that is protected against time. We have cleared the sins of the 1997 problem so that we will not leave the problem for legislators that will follow us and, more importantly, as the Appropriations Chair mentioned, we will not be leaving a problem for our children and grandchildren that follow us.
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GUEST POST - Hey, Great Lakes Education Project: Got Integrity?

GUEST POST – Hey, Great Lakes Education Project: Got Integrity?

The following essay was written by Mitchell Robinson and was originally published on his most-excellent blog at MitchellRobinson.net. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education, and coordinator of the music student teaching program at Michigan State University. His essay is reposted here with permission.
The Great Lakes Education Project is a Michigan advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the charter school agenda in the state. GLEP’s official mission statement says the following: “Because a zip code shouldn’t determine the education outcomes for children, GLEP believes we must expand choice, improve quality and increase accountability. We support Governor Snyder’s ‘any time, any place, any way, at any pace’ approach to education.” But it’s worth noting that Michigan leads the nation in “for-profit” charter schools, with nearly 80% of the state’s charters being of the “for-profit” variety, making GLEP not so much an educational organization as a PR firm for charter school authorizers.…

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The Courser/Gamrat train wreck continues apace with proselytizing, lies, and red herrings

The Courser/Gamrat train wreck continues apace with proselytizing, lies, and red herrings

I have to admit that, after months of writing about Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser, I’m sick of them. I’m sick of their judgemental, anti-LGBT hypocrisy. I’m sick of their narcissism. I’m sick of THEM.

Unfortunately, now that they are in the ditch they seem to be pushing the accelerator pedal to the floor. First we have Gamrat’s teary-eyed apology that seemed to have her lying about what she knew about the “false flag” email that got them into trouble to begin with. She told a reporter at her press conference that she had reported the “blackmailing” to Michigan State Police which is clearly untrue.…

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Petitioners for corporate front group effort to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law lying to get signatures

Petitioners for corporate front group effort to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law lying to get signatures

In 2012, the group Protecting Michigan Taxpayers was formed as a front group for anti-union forces who wanted to defeat Proposal 2 which would have enshrined collective bargaining rights for workers into Michigan’s state constitution. The group has been dormant since their victory in November of 2012 but was resurrected last spring to push a ballot initiative of their own, one which will repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law which helps maintain decent wages for construction workers in our state.

Over the past few months, PMT has raised over a million dollars, largely from three sources. They got $360,000 from the Michigan Freedom Fund, an anti-union group funded largely by the DeVos family.…

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Australian couple to divorce if marriage equality becomes law because God, will break the 9th Commandment to do so

Australian couple to divorce if marriage equality becomes law because God, will break the 9th Commandment to do so

An Australian couple in Canberra recently penned an op-ed for the Canberra CityNews saying that, if the Australian government decides to recognize same-sex marriages, they will get a divorce. It’s not because they don’t love each. They do. They were high school sweethearts who have been married for 10 years. It’s not that. It’s that, if same-sex couples can get married then their marriage means nothing.

When we signed that official-looking marriage certificate 10 years ago at Tuggeranong Baptist Church, we understood that the state was endorsing marriage, as currently defined, as the fundamental social institution – with all that this implied.…
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Republican State House Rep. Todd Courser: Supports anti-Vaxers, lies about non-existent vaccine-autism connection

Republican State House Rep. Todd Courser: Supports anti-Vaxers, lies about non-existent vaccine-autism connection

It’s a shocking and depressing fact that there are uneducated people out there who are afraid of vaccinations because they read somewhere or heard from someone that one time that vaccinations cause autism.

They don’t.

But that didn’t stop Republican Todd Courser from expressing his support for the anti-Vaxer community and to reinforce people’s unfounded and unscientific fears about the non-existent autism/vaccination connection on his Facebook page

This man is an elected state Representative. It’s one thing to use fearmongering against your political opponents to get people to vote for you or support your positions. It’s entirely another thing to use outright lies, provable lies, lies that can cause real harm not just to individuals but to our communities, as well.…

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Those "Rivers of Opportunity" Were Flowing Prior to Governor Snyder

Those “Rivers of Opportunity” Were Flowing Prior to Governor Snyder

If you’re on Governor Snyder’s email list you recently received his most recent glitter bomb of self-congratulation. In it he points out that Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped by half from 11.2% in December, 2011, but offers no reasons for this drop. It’s reasonable to assume the drop is primarily related to the increase in auto sales along with the national economy moving at a less sluggish pace. Is this because of GOP policies or Obama’s? If Snyder’s own policies explained any good news he would be touting something specific about that decline in unemployment, something like that mass migration of businesses to Michigan once Right to Work legislation was passed.…

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Governor Snyder unveils fake "increase" in per-pupil school funding

Governor Snyder unveils fake “increase” in per-pupil school funding

I apologize for the lack of new posts this past week. My family is dealing with an ongoing medical crisis with my father and I have not had time to write. Regular posting will resume when the crisis is resolved.

Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his new budget. According to his spin on the budget, per-pupil funding will be increased by $75 per student. At the time, Democratic Representative Brandon Dillon noted that this so-called “increase” would be more than offset by cuts to schools in other areas:

While questioning State Budget Director John Roberts, Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, noted that the budget includes a decrease in the amount of performance-based funding available for districts.…
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Fact checkers: Bill Schuette is lying about Mark Totten's position as a federal prosecutor

Fact checkers: Bill Schuette is lying about Mark Totten’s position as a federal prosecutor

Last weekend, Democrat Mark Totten’s campaign for Attorney General called on television stations to stop airing an ad attacking him for claiming he is a federal prosecutor. The ad, they said, is a trumped up lie.

The Bridge Magazine Truth Squad agrees and has called a rare “flagrant foul” on the ad:

Both sides agree on certain facts about Totten’s recent experience with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids, the most pertinent of which is that Totten’s work was unpaid.

Totten, a lawyer and full-time professor at Michigan State University’s College of Law, volunteered from September 2011 to February 2013 under then-U.S.

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