If the Christmas carols being sung outside of Rick Snyder’s home don’t cause his Grinch-like heart to swell, let’s try shutting down Lansing…

If I were a good blogger, I’d be standing in the cold tonight with those folks singing Christmas carols outside of the Governor’s Superior Township residence, but, instead, I’m here at home, where I’ve been all day, tending to the needs of my sick family… making chicken soup, fluffing pillows, and doing all of the other stuff that people with sick kids are expected to do, regardless of whether revolutions are brewing outside.

I know it’s unlikely that the carolers, who are, at this very moment, singing Joy to the World outside the locked gates of Rick Snyder’s exclusive private community, will have much luck in convincing him to veto the right-to-work legislation which will likely be put on his desk tomorrow, but I feel as though I should be there, if for no other reason than to record the fact that some folks took the evening away from their families and tried to remind the Governor what this season is all about. Like I said, I’m doubtful that they’ll make much headway, but, if animated Christmas specials have taught me anything, it’s that miracles can happen at this time of year, and that even the most cold and miserly of hearts have the capacity to swell with love and compassion. Who can forget, for instance, when the old Grinch, looking down on Whoville, after having done his best to ruin Christmas for them, heard the voices of the people rise up together, not in anger, but in joyous song? Remember how his heart, when he heard their beautiful voices, swelled to an alarming size? I know that it’s unlikely, but isn’t there a chance that the same thing could be playing out at this very moment, just five miles outside of Ypsilanti, at the intersection of Geddes and Valleyview? Might not Rick Snyder’s heart, right this minute, be swelling three sizes? Isn’t it possible that he could be calling the Koch brothers and Dick DeVos at this very moment, telling them he can’t be bought?

Assuming that doesn’t happen, and Snyder doesn’t call a a press conference first thing tomorrow morning, announcing his change of heart, people will be massing in Lansing, to demonstrate just how incredibly unpopular this legislation is.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll make it to Lansing tomorrow, either. As much as I’d like to participate in what promises to be a historic protest at the Capitol, I just can’t find a way to make it happen. Between work obligations, other commitments, and the possibility that the kids could be sick again tomorrow, I just don’t see how it’s possible. For what it’s worth, though, my thoughts will be with you… Here’s hoping the weather is good, the cops show restraint, and that Snyder, assuming the Christmas carols didn’t work, caves in the face of overwhelming public outrage.

Speaking of this growing sense of outrage, I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but the Detroit Free Press – a paper that endorsed Snyder for Governor – came out with a scathing editorial this weekend, blasting Snyder for having “betrayed” the people of Michigan, who had taken him at his word when he said that right-to-work legislation was “not on (his) agenda.” As the editorial board at the Free Press rightly points out, this is nothing more than “an attempt to institutionalize Republicans’ current political advantage.” Furthermore, as they poitn out, the talking points which Snyder has offered to explain why, in his opinion, this needs to be done now, are both “diversionary” and “demonstrably false.” This, as they conclude, has nothing to do with creating good paying jobs in Michigan, and everything to do with the Republican compulsion, “to emasculate, once and for all, the Democratic Party’s most reliable source of financial and organizational support.”

This is something that President Obama reiterated earlier today, when speaking at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant in Redford, Michigan. (The company was announcing a significant expansion to the plant.) “These so-called right-to-work laws don’t have anything to do with economics,” the President said. “They have to do with politics. What they are really doing is giving you the right to work for less money.” Here’s a clip.

[The entire speech can be seen here.]

Those of you who are planning to go to Lansing tomorrow, I’m told that you should aim to be Lansing Center (333 East Michigan Ave) at 8:00 AM. From there, folks will be marching to the Capitol at 9:00, in hopes of pressuring Snyder to either veto the bill, postpone it until the next legislative session, when it can be debated further, or put it to a referendum, so that the voters of Michigan can vote on it… Before you go, please do me a favor and read over this document prepared by the Michigan ACLU, which explains your rights as a protester, and tells you who to call if things, god forbid, take an ugly turn. (The police, it would seem are preparing for the worst, and judging by what’s already happened, arrests will be made.)

Be safe, friends, and keep your cellphones handy. When it comes down to your word, against that of a cop, having good documentary evidence is critical.

[note: For those of you who aren’t up to speed on what’s going on in Lansing, and why right-to-work is wrong for Michigan, you’ll find my somewhat comprehensive post on the subject here.]

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  1. Edward
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Best of luck to all of those heading to Lansing this morning. My thoughts are with you.

  2. anonymous
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    A scene from the march.


  3. Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty pessimistic. It’s clear that the legislature is voting with their constituencies, as exemplified by the disastrous failure of proposition 2.

    The truth is that non union rural voters are driving the makeup of state legislatures. They have no interest in unions, and work in industries that depend on extremely cheap, temporary labor. It should be no surprise that these bills are passing in states like Indiana and Michigan.

    What disappointing, however, is that the governor has chosen to adopt this position. Here’s hoping that he changes his mind, but I’m doubtful that he will.

  4. Meta
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Follow the money.

    From Salon:

    Should we be surprised that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who testified under oath that “Right to Work” wasn’t part of his agenda, is poised to sign just such a bill later today?

    Snyder’s announcement last week that he’d support right to work has taken the sheen off his carefully cultivated image as a pragmatic alternative to hard-charging GOP counterparts in Ohio and Wisconsin. But it secures a dream of the anti-union Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, whose associates are well-represented among Snyder’s donors, and whose economic agenda has been ascendant within the modern GOP.

    “I think he was being a puppet for larger interests outside of the state,” United Auto Workers vice president Cindy Estrada told Salon Monday afternoon.

    So-called right to work laws ban union contracts from requiring workers in a bargaining unit to pay for the costs of representation. (Contrary to much rhetoric – and some reporting – U.S. law already prevents workers from being required to join a union or pay dues, per se. The issue is whether non-members, whom the union is still legally required to negotiate for and represent at work, can be required to pay representation fees.) Right to work defunds and discourages unions, and makes it easier for employers to discriminate against pro-union workers. Passing right to work in Michigan, arguably the birthplace of the modern U.S. labor movement, would be ­– by all signs, will be – a major coup for the right.

    It didn’t come out of nowhere. In a video shot by a Michigan Democratic tracker, former Michigan GOP chair Ron Weiser is seen describing right to work plans that date back to 2007. A Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson told Salon that the video was recorded at a gathering of several Tea Party groups on August 9, 2012 (the Michigan GOP and the governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment). In the video, Weiser describes hiring a political consultant and “working on that full-time” from October 2007 through the following March. Weiser, a former real-estate developer and U.S. ambassador who’s now the national RNC finance chair, describes a plan to gather signatures to put right to work on the ballot in 2008.

    But Weiser tells the crowd that the strategy changed after a meeting in Washington with former Michigan Governor John Engler (now the president of the Business Roundtable), former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, billionaire donor Dick DeVos, and “some people from AFP,” the Koch-backed Tea Party group. At that meeting, Weiser says in the video, “what we determined was that to win that election, and to be sure we were gonna win it, we couldn’t have a governor that was against it. So we decided to wait. Wait until we had a governor. Now we have a legislature and we have a governor.” That governor is Rick Snyder.

    Nowhere in the video clip does Weiser express concern about Snyder’s expressed antipathy towards right to work. But clearly, right to work supporters had no reason to worry.

    Snyder’s previously avowed lack of interest in right to work was one of the building blocks in a media narrative casting the governor (slogan: “One Tough Nerd”) as a moderate problem-solver. The Detroit Free Press, which endorsed Snyder in 2010, noted in a Sunday editorial that it had frequently “trusted Snyder’s judgment” on economic policy, in part because “we believed him” when he promised to be “a pragmatist focused like a laser on initiatives that promised to raise standards of living for all Michiganders.” With a rushed-through right to work bill poised for Snyder’s signature, the editors wrote, “That trust has now been betrayed…”

    It wasn’t just the Free Press. An August New York Times article offered a sympathetic portrait of the governor as a man trying to steer a middle course in a partisan era. But as some Democrats argued, that was an unjustifiably generous view of Snyder’s record, including on labor: While disclaiming interest in “Right to Work,” he signed a series of lower-profile anti-union bills into law. Those included denying collective bargaining rights to graduate student research assistants and domestic care-givers, and dramatically expanding the power of appointed emergency managers to shred the provisions of public workers’ union contracts.

    But why did Snyder suddenly become the face of right to work? Republicans charge that unions forced the issue by backing a failed referendum effort to put collective bargaining rights into the constitution, and a successful one reversing Snyder’s emergency manager move. Unions counter that the governor is doing the bidding of wealthy anti-union donors while subverting the will of voters, who just shrunk the legislature’s GOP majority.

    At a Monday press conference following a meeting with Snyder, congressional Democrats from Michigan criticized the governor for doing a sudden “180” on the issue. But in retrospect, said the UAW’s Estrada, “to have that big a change of heart so suddenly tells me that there must have been a piece of Governor Snyder that was planning this all along.” She said she believes Snyder “was influenced by outsiders, like the Koch brothers and ALEC, and then other very powerful insiders like Dick Devos and the Mackinac Center.” In other words, the conservatives who helped get him elected.

    While Snyder spent nearly $6 million of his own cash on his 2010 campaign, he had serious back-up. As Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll reported last winter, the Republican Governors Association spun off a short-term PAC called RGA Michigan 2010 which spent over $8.3 million, “54 percent more than any other PAC had poured into any election in Michigan history” (some of that cash was allegedly funneled out of state, but over $5 million went to the state GOP). Among the group’s top donors: David Koch, Paul Singer, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. $1,485,000 came from the DeVos clan, who co-founded the direct-marketing company Amway.

    Dick Devos, a former Amway CEO, was the GOP’s self-funded (failed) gubernatorial nominee in 2006. During that campaign, he said he had no interest in “Right to Work.” But like Snyder, he’s had an apparent change of heart. The business group West Michigan Policy Forum, which Devos chairs, recently announced that it was prepared to get a right to work law on the ballot if legislators didn’t send one to the governor’s desk. A Mother Jones review of tax records revealed that the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation is also a donor to The Mackinac Center, a conservative think tank also backed by the Walton Family Foundation and the Charles G. Koch Foundation. As Kroll reported, Snyder’s “emergency manager” law adopted four out of four recommendations from Mackinac.

    Paul Singer chairs the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank which has received funding from a Koch-backed foundation. Singer also directs Elliott Management, which played a lead role in buying up the debt of Delphi, the auto parts company which supplies to GM and Chrysler, and made a major profit off of the auto bailout. As Greg Palast reported in The Nation, “Of the 29 Delphi plants operating in the United States when the hedge funders began buying up control, only four remain, with not a single union production worker.”

    David Koch was famously impersonated by blogger Ian Murphy in a prank phone call congratulating Scott Walker on his union-busting fortitude. The Kochs are major supporters of ALEC, and provided the funds to start AFP, a successor to the Koch-backed Citizens for a Sound Economy. As Lee Fang reported at The Nation, in 2008 through 2011, Mackinac and AFP-Michigan vastly outspent the union-backed group Progress Michigan.

    Amway, Mackinac and the Manhattan Institute are all ALEC members. The right to work bills passed by the Michigan House and Senate have substantial overlap with the wording and content of ALEC’s model “Right to Work Act.”

    In a Monday interview with Salon, AFP Michigan state director Scott Hagerstrom said he wasn’t familiar with who had donated to help Snyder, but touted AFP members’ phone calls and rallies on behalf of right to work. Hagerstrom called the bill “one of our top two policy priorities,” along with eliminating the state income tax. He said AFP’s Michigan chapter has pushed for right to work since its inception in 2007, and that passing the bill “will be a very big victory for personal freedom and for Michigan’s economy.”

    In a 2011 speech recorded by ThinkProgress, Hagerstrom told the Conservative Political Action Conference, “We fight these battles on taxes and regulation, but really, what we would like to see is to take the unions out at the knees so they don’t have the resources to fight these battles.” Asked about those comments, Hagerstrom told Salon he “threw out a sports analogy” as part of explaining “the damage that the union culture, the union bosses, have done.” He added that he hopes the absence of mandatory contributions will force unions to put “their focus more on workers.”

    On a Monday conference call with reporters, U.S .Senator Debbie Stabenow said that if Snyder signs right to work, “it’s going to be many, many years before we recover.” Estrada told Salon that the UAW retains “the hope that Governor Snyder will take real leadership” and back away from the bill. But she added, “I don’t think we’re going to change his mind.”

    Read more:

    Video of Weiser:

  5. anon
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    snyder’s office just sent out email spam outlining why right-to-work is wonderful.

  6. Eel
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Photos of the carolers last night.


  7. anonymous
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Another scene from the protest.


  8. Knox
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Salon has been nailing it. Did you see the article a few days ago entitled Michissisppi?

    “What does this have to do with the right-to-work law? Michigan has lost so many educated workers that the state’s leadership seems to feel it has no choice but to become a low-wage haven. The kind of place that attracts chicken processors, not software engineers. (There is a Google office in Ann Arbor. It was set up there by Google founder and University of Michigan graduate Larry Page, as a sop to the state he abandoned for Silicon Valley, which is to the 21st century economy what Detroit was to the 20th.) Unable to adjust to the 21st century, Michigan is going back to the 19th.”


  9. SparkleMotion
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Has anyone been able to find actual text of the bill? When the bullshit machines of the Koch bros and HuffPo are at full scream, I want to read the text for myself.

  10. anonymous
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    One more. This one is from Gretchen Whitmer.


  11. Meta
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    S-Motion, here are the bill numbers, so that you can Google them.

    “Republicans used existing pieces of labor legislation – House Bill 4054 in the House and House Bill 4003 and Senate Billl 116 in the Senate – to move through the right-to-work provisions without having to introduce fresh bills.”

  12. Bob
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Perhaps those of us disgusted by the Greff family and your loyalty to the corner should gather outside during your event. We can sing union songs while you are busy drinking flat beer and raping gingerbread men.

  13. SparkleMotion
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you Meta.

  14. XXX
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    In the past year, I’ve seen the Greffs at the Brewery a total of zero times. I can understand your dislike of them for having supported Snyder, but, the truth is, they’re absentee owners. The space is clean, big, and, from what I understand, essentially free. And the staff is friendly. Some, myself included, would even argue that the beer is good. If I were you, Bob, I’d call the Greffs in India and take it up with them, and stop shitting on people who are trying to do interesting things in one of the few semi-public spaces available in Ypsilanti.

  15. Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Ron Weiser, who helped mastermind this right-to-work legislation, owns McKinley Properties. Perhaps you’ve seen their signs.

    If you’re unhappy about right-to-work—or unhappy about corporate influence in local politics—, you might say so to the McKinley CEO directly. You can encourage him to keep on doing honest work in the real estate field, but that he ought to encourage others in the McKinley hierarchy to keep their influence out of local politics:

    Albert Berriz

    However, given that McKinley executives, Ron Weiser, Governor Snyder, and other influence-wielding multimillionaires have become multimillionaires because of political cunning, throat-cutting, and backroom wheeling-and-dealing, perhaps our only recourse is to encourage those local institutions who actively benefit from McKinley’s resources, to sever relations with McKinley, lest we begin to politicize their relationships.

    The following are local instutions that McKinley Properties, Inc., actively supports (if someone else can take a moment to provide contacts phone numbers and emails for these institutions, I’d be thankful, as I’m about to walk back over to the capitol):

    Michigan Theater – Capital Campaign Leadership and Operational Support
    American Red Cross Washtenaw County Chapter – Capital Campaign
    The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
    The Neutral Zone: Ann Arbor’s Teen Center
    Carrot Way Project – Support
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County – Leadership
    Alzheimer’s Association in Washtenaw County and Oklahoma City
    Dawn Farms – Leadership
    Artrain USA – Leadership and Operational Support
    Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village – Leadership and Operational Support
    Purple Rose Theater – Support
    Firehouse Friends – Leadership and Support
    National Kidney Foundation – Support
    Food Gatherer’s – Support
    NEW Center – Leadership and Operational Support
    Spectrum (A program of HelpSource) Honors Community Spirit – Support
    Ann Arbor Public Schools Foundation (Superball Tournament) -Support
    McKinley Foundation – Support
    The Villages of Taylor Special Events
    United Way of Washtenaw County

  16. Bob
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I think the beer is pretty lousy but that is irrelevant. So we should give them a pass because they are absentee owners? Continuing to defend them and their space is the only shitting happening here. And there is no such thing as essentially free.

    As I write this the news is breaking that the legislation just passed. I’m not sure Snyder even had the balls to go onto the house floor to do it. He’s probably hiding in the men’s room with state troopers guarding the door.

    The hell with anyone unwilling to even use their real name in this discussion as well.

  17. Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I find it hard not to be disgusted with the ownership of the Corner Brewery, for a number of reasons.

    I sincerely wish I knew less about them.

  18. Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s completely off topic, though, and not worthy of discussion.

    My apologies.

  19. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi all! I’m on my union guaranteed lunch break. (It’s kind of sad that we have to bargain for these things but trust me–when I was in the legal field, you did not get lunch breaks). Just wanted to send support & love up to my brethern in Lansing.

    Don’t forget about the other bullshit that went through Lansing, including the law that makes it illegal for insurance companies to cover abortion (I hope I am understanding that correctly…I just read it quickly on someone’s Facebook). I’d also like to mention that I’m now reading about how special education might be the next thing to go if we fall off the fiscal cliff. Keep paying attention, friends!!

  20. JS
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Do you know of any good ways to contribute to the Right to Work protest since I cannot make it to Lansing? I am planning on using the official contact form on Snyder’s website but I am not at all confident that will actually go anywhere. Are there other internet campaigns or ways to get my voice out there?

  21. anonymous
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Bette O’Conner-Rogers, RN treats a protester at the MNA first aid tent who was maced.


  22. Jeff Irwin by proxy
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    From House Democrat Jeff Irwin:

    “When the House passed HB 4003, the Republicans and their clerk, Gary Randall, illegally refused to hear our motion for reconsideration. This is all part of a pattern of lousy and lazy parliamentary process in the Michigan House.

    Michigan House Republicans regularly violate Article 4, Section 18 of the Constitution when they deny properly supported requests for roll call votes and now they’re ignoring the other rules of the House.”

  23. Call Snyder
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Call the Office of the Governor: (517) 335-7858

  24. Meta
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    From the Detroit Free Press.

    As the first right-to-work bill was being passed inside the Capitol by the state House, protesters outside jeered at the news. They began to scream and shout in opposition, prompting a large contingent of State Police troopers to form a line in front of mounted police and begin pushing the charged-up crowd back from the Capitol steps, drawing even louder complaints from protesters.

    “Shame on you!” chants could be heard across the Capitol lawn.

    More State Police began arriving, with about 10 mounted officers and more than 40 other state troopers standing two deep near the Capitol steps. Some of the officers on the edges of the crowd carried tear gas.

    It was a crowd that at one point tore down a tent being occupied by Americans for Prosperity, a pro right-to-work group. Love said troopers went onto the lawn as the tent came down and a couple of people said “they just escaped in the nick of time without being trapped under the tent when it collapsed.”

    As they tore down the tent, protesters yelled “Tear it down, tear it down.”

    The dismantling came after a verbal skirmish between those who favor the legislation and those who don’t.

    “Keep your hands off other people’s stuff,” one of the pro right-to-work activists said as some in the crowd started pulling at the tent.

    “Keep your hands off my money,” a protester yelled back.

    By the time voting began, the crowd outside had swelled to more than 10,000 people by police estimates.

    Read more:

  25. Elf
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    The Americans for Prosperity counter-protestors “just escaped in the nick of time without being trapped under the tent when it collapsed.”

    The horror!

    Our families can’t afford food and rent, but they just barely managed to escape from a collapsing tent.

  26. Meta
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    From Eclectablog.

    1:35 p.m. – House passes S.B. 116 58-52. Michigan is officially a Right to Work for Less/Freedom to Freeload state. It’s worth noting that, given the shift in seats in favor of Democrats on November 6th, this bill would have failed in the new 2013 session.

    Susan Demas of MIRS News service informed me that the House Bill 4054, which the Senate passed last Thursday, is the exact same bill as S.B. 116. They only passed it in case the House didn’t have the votes they needed today on 116 (which they did.) Therefore, all that is left is for the Governor’s signature and there’s no doubt that he will sign them, probably early next week.

    Read more:

  27. Knox
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.

    Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.”

    —Martin Luther King Jr., (1961)

  28. Ken J.
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to speculate that the Republicans hold a much better political hand here than most people think.

    Between now and the 2014 midterms, the City of Detroit is going bankrupt, either de factor or de jure, and as part of that bankruptcy process, most social services are going to be extinguished. I think that a good part of the Democratic vote in Detroit is going to be either too depressed, or too pre-occupied with basic survival, to mount much of a GOTV operation in 2014. “Vote Democratic, even though we can’t fix Detroit either” is going to be a hard sell.

    (Who knows how much resources the EFM will choose to allocate for polling in 2014?)

  29. facebook stalker
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I saw your mention of the Free Press editorial, and, then, a few minutes later, happened across the following comment on Facebook.

    “F the Free Press. They encouraged the killing of prop 2 and now they want to act surprised by this situation.”

  30. facebook stalker
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    McKinley Properties, I don’t think I quite understand what you’re getting at. Are you asking people to contact Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and all of these other organizations, and ask them not to accept the money of Weiser and Co? Or are you suggesting that we ask them to intervene on behalf of working class Michiganders and place calls to Weiser, asking him to grow a heart?

  31. Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Both would be a fair start.

  32. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    facebook stalker, they are Shills for the way higher ups and McKinley and right wing money line their the Big Players pockets.
    ,,,,,,,get it?

    It’s been going on for decade after decade, even centuries.
    Care to Audit them?

  33. Mr. Y
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with hitting McKinley in the pocketbook by not doing business with them, but it doesn’t make sense to me to go to The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, for instance, and tell them to turn down Weiser’s money. How does that help anyone? If anything, it keeps some portion of his money out of politics, while feeding and sheltering the poor. You’re arguing, I suppose, that it legitimizes him. I’d counter that there are more effective ways to deal with him. Does anyone remember the anti-Dahlmann posters that were floating around town for a while, drawing attention to the fact that he was allowing Ypsi’s depot to languish, while investing into his properties in Ann Arbor and elsewhere? Why not start with something like that? Why not launch a website that connects the dots between Weiser and far-right agenda bringing Michigan down?

  34. 734
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Americans for Prosperity could have pulled the tent in on themselves to make it loos as though they were attacked.


  35. Mr. XYZ
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    The “Americans for Prosperity” tent was large, heated, fully-stocked with food and drinks, and even decorated with decorative chandeliers for the 20-some obviously well-heeled guests inside.

    Occasionally, an AFP member would step outside to taunt the a few of 20,000-some protesters nearby — or to wave an anti-union placard or two. (One read “Stop Feeding the Union Pig.)

    I didn’t witness the tent actually being pulled down, but in the aftermath … their were broken folding tables, smashed chandeliers … and globs of chili-and-cheese dip strewn across the the capitol lawn.

  36. Demetrius
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Today, Michigan Republicans, led by their faux-moderate governor, voted to have our state join the ranks of places like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina in a rapidly escalating “race to the bottom” in terms of wages, benefits, and working conditions — including worker safety and job security.

    In doing so, they figuratively pissed on the graves of all those brave factory workers who literally fought and died at factory gates, and on highway overpasses, so that their children, and their children’s children, would have the dignity of being able to work in a safer workplace, earn a decent wage, receive modest benefits, and earn overtime after 40 hours.

  37. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    As someone on Facebook said, “with a lie and one swipe of the pen, these fuckers pissed it all away”. I may have added the thing about fuckers pissing it all away. Pox on all of them. I hope they rot in hell and on earth.

  38. Demetrius
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    There’s certainly a lot to be pissed off about, but the thing that bothers me most is the fact that Republicans tucked an appropriation into the legislation — which, under the Michigan Constitution, permanently prevents the voters from mounting any campaign to overturn it.

    This was one of the most important and far-reaching decisions made in our state in recent decades. Yet – Republicans were so afraid that it might eventually be overturned in a popular vote that they deliberately included a “poison pill” in a cynical attempt to stymie the right of Michigan voters to decide this important issue.

    Remember THAT the next time some Republican starts yammering about “freedom,” and “democracy” and “local control.”

  39. Tim
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I am completely disgusted.

    How am I to provide a life for my family here with this place so hostile to basic rights? How am I to provide any quality of life, let alone basic, as now every single industry is encouraged to slip into the same cesspool as every other right to be poor state?
    Aside from family and my spiritual community there is exceptionally little keeping me here. How am I to survive, let alone thrive, in such a state?

  40. Paul B
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this will provide a rallying cry for Unions throughout the Nation, as well as an opportunity for introspection. It’s pretty damning PR that less than a quarter (24.1 percent) of expenditures by Michigan’s 25 largest private sector (or public/private hybrid) union locals go toward actually representing workers, according to those unions’ latest LM-2 filings. The rest goes toward other expenditures, including benefits, political activity, and general overhead. (http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOrgQry.do).

    I feel like a great campaign for labor unions at this point would be to align themselves with the Affordable Care Act, and commit to spending at least 80% of their revenue on fighting for workers’ rights, with the rest going toward overhead, political donations, &c. The publicity would be amazing, and workers would feel electrified once more by unions that devoted the lion’s share of their dues toward representing them. I’m bummed this legislation passed, but don’t count the unions out just yet!

  41. Posted December 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    At last, we’re starting to get some good press for our political work here at McKinley.


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