My breaking of the news about the anti-petition signing robocalls has received widespread coverage. In addition to the Rachel Maddow Show, several other news outlets have covered it, including the Herald Palladium, Michigan Messenger and WNDU.
Michigan Forward, the group who is working to put the repeal of the odious Financial Manager law on the ballot, has now issued a response.
You read it here first.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2011
Contact: LaToya Henry (313) 447-6404
Michigan Forward “Stands-Up” to False Accusations and Misinformation Disseminated in Robo Calls
DETROIT – The blatantly false charges being spread in an anonymous robo call to voters in Western Michigan are a desperate attempt to stop the hard work of hundreds of genuine grassroots volunteers collecting signatures to repeal Public Act 4. That anybody would cast suspicion on citizens participating in Michigan’s constitutional democratic process is an attack on democracy itself.
Our volunteers are committed to stopping this law dead in its tracks and are being welcomed by the voters of Michigan with open arms as evidenced by the well over 120,000 signatures they have collected thus far with relative ease with over 60 days to go in the petition’s statutory window. Michigan’s voters value the sanctity of their right to vote and have their votes stand until the next election cycle.
We are appalled by these anonymous robo call tactics, as should any Michigan voter who has “one person/one vote” at the core of their democratic DNA. These tactics are not a surprise; extremists and ideologues will use any means to satisfy their own ends regardless of the popular will of the public. Anyone who creates or supports a law such as Public Act 4 to depose locally elected officials to allow the sale of the public’s assets without any public accountability and disclosure is someone who doesn’t believe in providing real solutions to communities that are in distress. Michigan’s new emergency manager law has been infected with an ideological virus attacking the very foundation of the local control and self-determination that Democracy provides. The extremists behind the robo calls want nothing less than total dictatorial control over public power and property in a vacuum where liability cannot exist.
Their shameless hypocrisy is evident in their attempt to invoke outrageous fears about those who are petitioning against Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law; a petition that is part of the constitutional democratic processes they otherwise try to claim as their “patriotic” moral high ground. Their fear of the public voice in the democratic process is evident in their desperate use of fear as their new tactic. This fear is well founded as EPIC/MRA polls show Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law will go down in an overwhelming defeat once the law is placed before the voters of Michigan. Public Act 4 is an overreach of power, they know now this law will not stand, so they are playing the fear card in desperation to subvert the will of the people. Like all cowards and those who would bend the rules to their own aims, they are doing it behind a cloak of anonymity and money from hidden sources. The voters of Michigan will see through the smoke when and where it counts: at the ballot box in 2012.
We encourage those behind the fear-mongering robo calls to stop the false accusations and instead work to help cities such as Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Ecorse and school districts such as Detroit Public Schools survive the “emergencies” that have been forced upon them. Come out and stand behind your actions where all can see you, your funding, and your agenda clearly in the light of day. In the meantime, the voters of Michigan will not be cowed by the unfounded seeds of fear you want to plant on Michigan’s democratic landscape.
For more information on the campaign to repeal Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law go to www.michiganforward.org or call 1-866-306-5168 to volunteer.
Michigan Forward is a Michigan non-profit organization specializing in creating progressive public policy initiatives for state and local governments.