Posts tagged Michigan

Ballot Watch: East Midwest

This is Bal­lot Watch. Today is the the sixth of a series of arti­cles on the upcom­ing bal­lot ini­tia­tives and some key local elec­tions in var­i­ous regions around the coun­try. Some of these cover top­ics in com­mon with mul­ti­ple states, while oth­ers look at a state level.

Today’s Bal­lot Watch is the sec­ond half of a two-​​part arti­cle cov­er­ing the Mid­west. By edi­to­r­ial dis­cre­tion, and in an attempt to divide up the arti­cles into fairly equal num­bers of states, the “Mid­west” is here defined by the states you see in the graphic — Min­nesota, Wis­con­sin, Illi­nois, Michi­gan, Indi­ana, Ohio, and Penn­syl­va­nia. I cov­ered Illi­nois, Indi­ana, and Min­nesota yes­ter­day, so today belongs to Michi­gan, Ohio, and Penn­syl­va­nia. (more…)

Ballot Watch: Unions

Wel­come to Bal­lot Watch. Today is the first in the series of arti­cles on the upcom­ing bal­lot ini­tia­tives and some key local elec­tions. Some of these will cover top­ics in com­mon with mul­ti­ple states, while oth­ers will look at a state level.

What bet­ter time to kick off the Bal­lot Watch series then on Labor Day, when we can take a look at some of the state bal­lot ini­tia­tives that will affect work­ers this com­ing November.


National AFL-​​CIO Pres­i­dent Richard Trumka speaks in Wisconsin.

Idaho has three attempts to repeal new edu­ca­tion reform laws which shifted to merit pay, elim­i­nated tenure, and removed class size from col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing. South Dakota has a sim­i­lar repeal mea­sure on the bal­lot. Illi­nois has a ques­tion intended to limit increases in pen­sion ben­e­fits for pub­lic work­ers. Michi­gan has a bal­lot ques­tion that would allow home health care providers to union­ize, and another that would repeal the state’s Emer­gency Man­ager pro­gram. North Car­olina has an ini­tia­tive that would make it harder for work­places to unionize.

Let’s look briefly at each of these bal­lot ini­tia­tives. How do you feel about them? Do you think any of them will affect voter turnout? Some of them are in pres­i­den­tial swing states — might they affect the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion? (more…)

Michigan, Act IV

Denied. At least for now.

Michi­gan is a divided state. Of course it is; there are two penin­su­lae. But it seems that the state Board of Can­vassers is sim­i­larly divided, with a party-​​line 2–2 vote on the valid­ity of peti­tions for a Novem­ber bal­lot mea­sure to repeal Pub­lic Act 4, the state’s emer­gency man­agers law.

We dis­cussed the under­ly­ing bat­tle a cou­ple of weeks ago. The Repub­li­cans’ com­plaint regard­ing the peti­tions con­cerns the size of the font in the heading.

While Repub­li­can Jeff Tim­mer says that they are “tied by the let­ter of the law”, stare deci­sis in Michi­gan says oth­er­wise. In par­tic­u­lar, wig­gle room has been per­mit­ted if there were enough sig­na­tures to over­ride the rel­a­tive harm of point sizes below the legal minimum.

Because of this, Sec­re­tary of State Ruth John­son said, “We antic­i­pate that the issue will go to the next higher court with the Michi­gan Court of Appeal and pos­si­bly on to the Michi­gan Supreme Court.” It’s unclear whether the courts will make a final deter­mi­na­tion in time for the Novem­ber ballot.

Is Michigan Meshuggeneh?

There’s some­thing rot­ten in the state of Michi­gan. It’s hard to write about what’s hap­pen­ing there in any­thing less than extreme terms. What’s hap­pen­ing is awfully extreme.

Across Amer­ica, newly-​​emboldened Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tures have been enact­ing a series of laws that limit vot­ing rights, limit union rights, restrict mar­riage rights, cut off access to abor­tion and other health­care ser­vices, and oth­er­wise put in place a far-​​right agenda of social engi­neer­ing. (Even Newt Gin­grich rec­og­nized this ten­dency on a national level.) In Michi­gan, they’ve gone sev­eral steps fur­ther, elim­i­nat­ing democ­racy in many of their larger cities, and vio­lat­ing their own Con­sti­tu­tion in order to do it.

It’s a com­pli­cated story, but it starts and ends with the Republican-​​controlled leg­is­la­ture and with Rick Sny­der, the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor. There were pro­tec­tions put in place to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing. But those safe­guards are being will­fully ignored. (more…)

Today’s Primaries: Arizona and Michigan

Today is a very impor­tant day for both for­mer Mass­a­chu­setts Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney and for­mer Sen­a­tor Rick San­to­rum (R-​​PA). Vot­ers in Ari­zona and Michi­gan go to the polls today to express their pref­er­ences for the Repub­li­can can­di­date for President.

Feb­ru­ary started with San­to­rum sweep­ing all three states (Col­orado, Min­nesota, and Mis­souri) in one day. His campaign’s sud­den and unex­pected via­bil­ity quickly devel­oped momen­tum in national polls, a momen­tum reflected in Ari­zona and Michi­gan. This was a sce­nario nobody con­sid­ered in Jan­u­ary, or even last year. Both states should be easy wins for Rom­ney, Ari­zona because of the Mor­mon pop­u­la­tion, and Michi­gan because it’s his home state. (more…)

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