This should be interesting
Next week, the state legislature reconvenes on Tuesday. When they get to work that morning, they will be greeted by thousands of outraged Michiganders who are there to let these lawmakers know that the Right to Work for Less legislation -- or Right to Freeload as some are calling it -- it an afront to the citizens of the birthplace of labor unions.
- AFL-CIO/Working America
- The Teamsters
- The Michigan Nurses Association
- Michigan Education Association
- The Washtenaw Community Action Team
- Rainbow Push Detroit
Union thugs expressing themselves. Photo credit: Larry (used with permission)
However, conservative groups are determined to throw a monkey wrench into their plans. The Michigan Laborers District Council has reserved the Capitol East Steps and the North and South Lawns. That won't be of much use, however, because the legislature is adjourned until Tuesday. Who has the steps and lawns reserved that day? The conservative front group Involve America.
Who is Involve America? According to their website they are:
The fact that they are a 501(c)(4) organization is not a coincidence. This allows them to receive funding without having to disclose who the donors are. This group, which is clearly engaged in promoting tea party values in the same way as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, doesn't reveal even a tiny glimpse of where they get their funding. But they clearly DO have funding. At a rally in at the University of New Hampshire, for example, they gave away "T-shirts, hats and raffle prizes". They did the same thing at Iowa State University and, based on this photo from their Facebook page, they had a lot of swag to hand out:[A]n organization that engages young adults (ages 18 to 25) in discussing how they are impacted by the ailing economy. We are a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) that works to involve young people in the political process by highlighting and seeking solutions to their immediate economic challenges, so that the next generation is not saddled with the consequences of decisions made by those before them.
Interestingly they haven't had any events or updated their Facebook page since a bit over a year ago. Now, suddenly, they're having a rally at the state Capitol Building the very same day as a major labor protest rally and they have reserved the entire front of the Capitol for it.
Other conservative groups have reserved the front of the Capitol Building through the end of next week, as well. On Wednesday, it's Americans for Prosperity and on Thursday it's The Michigan Conservative News. The legislature is not in session on Friday.
By the way, if you're planning on heading up to the Capitol on Tuesday but, like me, have to work, I'm told by event organizers that they expect folks to be staying there as late as 10 p.m. when the legislative session ends. Don't let the 3 p.m. end time stop you from attending. Chances are good that, like last Thursday, there will be plenty of action well past 3.
If you are interested in being a marshal at Tuesday's rally, here's an email I just received from We Are Michigan:
Hello Friends,In case you missed it, Michigan State House Representative from Grand Rapids Brandon Dillon gave the Republicans in the House an earful about their hypocrisy and outrageous behavior in jamming Right to Work for Less legislation through with no public input, no hearings, and no opportunity for Democrats to offer amendments. It's a thing of beauty:
I am working with a team of people here at We Are Michigan to built for Tuesday's big protest against Right-To-Work on Tuesday, December 11th. There is likely to be thousands of people coming in from all across the state, and that means we will need a team of solid activists (we are calling them Marshals) to help with event logistics and crowd management on Tuesday.
We are asking if you, or members of your group, can help the organizing effort by signing up as a Marshal. It is crucial that we recruit at minimum 200 Marshals to help with this event.
We will have two trainings for Marshals: one tomorrow (Sunday night) at 6:30pm to 8pm at the Michigan Education Association and another on Monday night from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the same location. Anyone interest can call 517-917-0382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here is a flier to distribute to your organizations (pdf): HERE.
We Are Michigan
It's particularly unfortunate that with a bill that probably has the highest public policy impact of any that we've debated here in the last 50 years, the other side didn't have the common courtesy or the guts to allow the public to hear what they were doing.In other news, activist Robert Davis has filed a suit attempting to prevent a vote on the legislation on Tuesday claiming it was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Act after Republicans locked down the Capitol Building on Thursday and prevented people from entering.
No committee hearings.
No opportunity to debate amendments.
No public input.
Republican staffers in the gallery taking up seats so that taxpayers who traveled from across the state to get here are locked out.
I heard one of my colleagues talk about the "great transparency" we have in this chamber since the latest leadership has come in. THIS is transparency? THIS is what passes for transparency here? If you support this legislation, and I respect the sponsor of the amendment because he's been very clear over the last two years about why he thinks the state should go this route, but the rest of the people here don't have the guts to talk about this in front of people in this state.
That's shameful. That's not democracy. This is where democracy goes to die today. Because the majority in this state who lost 52% of the vote in state House races doesn't have the guts to defend this.
I haven't heard one demand that we have a committee hearing on this. This was announced today by the Governor that this was going through. WITH an appropriation! You're not even willing to take this to the voters!
I've heard people talk that this is retribution for Proposition 2. Whatever you think about Prop 2, one thing is clear: the sponsors of that had the common courtesy to take it to the voters. They got beat fair and square. Why can't YOU take this to the voters? Because you KNOW what will happen. You're doing this in the lame duck because you KNOW in the next session YOU WON'T HAVE THE VOTES!
This is an outrage and anybody in this chamber who is willing to vote for a bill that changes the precedent in this state of such consequence without even allowing us to offer a real amendment does not deserve to be here.
Cross-posted from Eclectablog.