Emergency Manager Law, Public Act 4 — April 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Where is the media on the font-size challenge to Public Act 4 repeal petitions?


Hello? Anybody out there?

I really have to ask the question, “Where is the mainstream media on the challenge to Public Act 4 repeal petitions?” This is not just a wonky, technical discussion. This is an attempt to silence the voices of nearly a quarter million Michiganders on a concocted technicality. (If you’ve missed my previous posts on this, you can read them HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

So, where IS the media on this? Many news groups gleefully reported the challenge in the first place. However, except for one piece by Michigan Radio (and The Rachel Maddow Show, of course, [watch their segment HERE]), there’s been no digging into the Sterling Corporation who runs Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, the group who is challenging the petitions. There’s been no analysis about the history of challenges like this or about the actual challenge itself. We need our journalists to keep things honest and, on this issue, they have been largely silent.

The challenge to the petitions to put the repeal of Public Act 4 — Michigan’s Emergency Manager law — can really be seen as nothing more than an effort to force the Stand Up For Democracy coalition to spend money defending themselves instead of on getting the repeal passed in November. It isn’t a serious challenge because they know they don’t have the necessary three votes on the Board of State Canvassers. And they also know there is precedent for rejecting such a challenge.

It seems clear that the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility challenge is just an attempt to stir up lawsuits and otherwise consume the resources of the grassroots coalition of Stand Up For Democracy. Meanwhile, you can be sure money from groups that want to see Michigan’s Emergency Manager law upheld will flood into our state to fight it. Because this thing is going national if it’s not struck down, of that you can be sure.

I honestly wonder, though, if they have thought this through. If they were somehow successful, imagine what will happen when those who oppose PA 4 see their efforts thrown out due to a tiny technicality. It’s not hard to imagine protests that could get very ugly. There’s already a strong sense in our state that Republicans are hell bent on denying a voice (and even votes, in some cases) for their political opponents. If the repeal of PA 4 is derailed by this absurd, last-minute desperate challenge, it’s going to simply throw fuel on the fire that’s burning in many Michiganders’ bellies for justice.

Fortunately, I don’t think they WILL be successful. For the sake of my state, I truly hope not.