Michigan Populists’ Top 5 Threats to Democracy in 2013

2013 Ranking (2012 Ranking)
1. (not listed) Governor Richard Snyder- It is one thing to be eccentric (call it a nerd if you want).  It is quite another to completely disregard this crucial fact; government is not a business.  States are democratic institutions.  Businesses are not.  Businesses have one goal, to make a profit.  Government has many goals, and making a profit is not one of them.  Our CEO turned Governor seems to struggle with the difference between the two.  When the President of the United States, both of Michigan’s U.S. Senators, several of Michigan U.S. Representatives, and 13,000 protesters urged Snyder not to sign right-to-work legislation, he did it anyway.  When the voters rejected the Emergency Manager bill via referendum, he replaced it with a similar bill and had the nerve to say he “heard” the voters.  Snyder’s inability to listen to almost anyone outside his small circle has even turned off some of his previous supporters.  Snyder talks a lot about “positive action.”  In the end, those actions prove Snyder is just another right-wing extremist whose policies will have little positive impact on everyday folks.

2. (1) The Republican STUPORmajority- Perhaps the biggest waste of money in Michigan is paying the salary of Democrats in the House and Senate.  The Dems were akin to fans in the front row of a Lions game at Ford Field.  They had a close up view of the train wreck, and despite their yelling and screaming, they had no ability to prevent the carnage.    Republicans passed around 800 laws, including 282 in the lame duck session.   The pace was so fast that even the legislators didn’t know fully what was happening.  The passage of a bill that would allow guns to be carried in schools and churches is a great example of the incompetency of this group.  The Cadillac News reported that Senator Darwin Booher said he was “under the impression” that schools could opt out of allowing guns on campus.  He was wrong.  Representative Phil Potvin said he only voted for it because it was going to pass anyway, and he encouraged the Governor not to sign the bill he voted for.  Snyder did not sign the bill most likely because the Connecticut school shooting happened about the same time the bill landed on his desk.  Booher, Potvin, and their Republican brethren came out looking like idiots.  However, they are idiots with their NRA ratings intact.   It is bonehead moves like these that put the ”stupor” in stupormajority.

3. (2) ALEC – The American Legislative Exchange Council is like a brothel that pairs Republican lawmakers with big business to draft “model legislation.”  What is outrageous is that this group is able to register as a non-profit rather than as a lobbying organization.  ALEC did take some hits in 2012 when some of its corporate members bowed out because of all the bad publicity.   However, ALEC managed to get a lot of legislation passed around the country by its corporate whores, I mean legislators.  ALEC’s successes include Michigan’s new right-to-work law.

4. (3) The Right-Wing 1%’s- In Michigan we now have a government of the 1% (Rick Snyder) for the 1% (The Devos Family).  The influence of big money in Michigan was very evident in this year’s election.  In fact, it wasn’t just the regular right-wing-extremist like the Devos Family that bought influence in Lansing.  This year’s election also had big money from outside donors including a two million dollar donation by Las Vegas billionaires Sheldon & Miriam Adelson.  It is no big surprise that the poor will be hard hit by tax increases in Michigan in 2013 while the 1% won’t feel it much at all.

5. (NR) Lack of Transparency In Government- The legislature found time to pass some 800 bills, but very few had anything to do with fixing Michigan’s shady government.  Michigan was rated as having the 44th worse protections against government corruption, and not much appears to be changing.  While Governor Snyder has mentioned a need for transparency, he also set up a secretive fund to circumvent Michigan’s campaign finance laws.  It is hard to say how much corruption there is in Michigan’s government.  We do have two indicators though.  First, former Detroit Mayer Kwame Kilpatrick was one of the country’s biggest political crooks and he used a fund like Snyder’s to pull off some of his shenanigans.  We also know that State House speaker Jase Bolger was involved in one of the most unethical campaign maneuvers in Michigan history, but he remains the leader of the House Republicans.  Michigan’s Government is corrupt, from the top down.  We just don’t know how bad it is.  Evidently, that is the way Republicans intend to keep things.

Just Missed the Cut: The Michigan Chamber of Commerce & The Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Click here for the 2012 edition.

 

This entry was posted in ALEC, Chamber of Commerce, Darwin Booher, DeVos Family, Government Reform, Mackinac Center, Phil Potvin, Richard Snyder, Right-to-Work. Bookmark the permalink.