first published as No EFM Vote? No Bridge on Blogcritics.
Michigan took another hit on April 26 when the State Board of Canvassers, in
a split 2-2 vote, struck down the petition to bring Public Act 4 (The Emergency
Financial Manager Law) to the November ballot. The people of Michigan had
gathered 203,238 signatures; 40,000 more than were needed. The signatures were
all approved as legal. The board is made up of two Democrats and two
Republicans. All four are appointed by the governor. A winning vote can only
come from crossing party lines. There was no way either side was willing to
budge on Public Act 4. Republicans Jeffrey Timmer and Norman Shinkle voted
against the petition. Democrats Julie Matuzak and James Water were in favor of
bringing the issue to the people.
The reason the Republicans denied it? Font size. Printer Bruce Hack, of the
Inland Press, said he certified the type size met legal requirements before
printing the petitions.
Public Act 4 is an unconstitutional law. This law gives Emergency Financial
Managers sole power and control over the city they are appointed to. They can
cancel all contracts, oust city council, and leave a mayor without merit. They
can sell property to the private sector. They are granted exectutive power, too
much power, and they answer to nobody but Governor Rick Snyder.
Of course, it is all a part of privatization. Snyder isn’t going to crawl out
of the Koch Brothers' or Waltons' pocket without a fight. I have an idea: lets
see how much power Snyder really is willing to take from the voters and the
people of Michigan.
The same board that denied allowing Public Act 4 the vote in November did
push through the vote on Snyder’s pet project: The New Bridge. He is going to
try to sell it to the people as a boost to the jobs market and our economy. He
will say Canada is willing to give us $550 million toward building the new
bridge. The truth is Canada is willing to loan us $550 million on a project that
is going to cost how much? Oh yeah, $3.6 billion!
The voters haven't forgotten that the elderly and education paid for the cuts
to Michigan’s richest at $1.8 billion. Where is Rick going to pull $3.6 billion?
Who is going to pay for that? I got it, the teachers, or maybe the hungry and
the poor, or the EFM savings from sold land and cut services.
But I have a brilliant idea. I say we turn out, in record numbers for the
vote. I say we should cast our vote against the new Detroit to Canada Bridge. It
would infuriate Rick almost as much as he has insulted the residents of
Michigan. Maybe then Mr. Snyder will understand the meaning and the message in
the power of the vote!
He has robbed the people of their vote with EFM's. If we refuse the new
bridge through voting, maybe, just maybe, he'll get the picture. Vote no on the
new bridge in November!