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Michigan state Rep. Brandon Dillon, speaking December 6. See Eclectablog for a partial transcript.
The Michigan legislature is expected to pass, and Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign, an anti-union law on Tuesday, including a provision that would prevent the law from being put on the ballot for a popular vote. But opponents of the law aren't giving up. Greg Sargent reports that "virtually the entire Democratic Congressional delegation in Michigan" is meeting with Snyder:
The lawmakers—who include Senator Carl Levin and Reps. John Conyers, John Dingell, and Sander Levin—will try to persuade Snyder that proceeding with the anti-union initiative will badly damage the state and that there is a middle-ground way out of the situation, a labor official familiar with planning tells me. For instance, the official says, they will suggest to Snyder that if he must sign the legislation, then perhaps he can drop the GOP’s procedural tactic and allow it to subsequently come before the people in the form of a referendum. That would at least allow Michigan voters to weigh in on the initiative, perhaps defusing some public anger.
Snyder had long said a "right to work" law was divisive and not on his agenda, but has executed a hasty about-face over the past month in response to strong pressure from wealthy donors and far-right groups like the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity. But it's come at a cost. The Detroit Free Press, for instance, eviscerated Snyder in an editorial listing a litany of times the paper had backed the governor and his initiatives:
In short, we trusted Snyder's judgment.

That trust has now been betrayed—for us, and for the hundreds of thousand of independents who voted for Snyder with the conviction that they were electing someone more independent, and more visionary, than partisan apparatchiks like Wisconsin's Scott Walker or Florida's Rick Scott. [...]

His insistence that the legislation was designed to promote the interests of unionized workers and "bring Michiganders together" was grotesquely disingenuous; even as he spoke, security personnel were locking down the capital in anticipation of protests by angry unionists.

Thousands of union members and allies are protesting at the state capitol again. And as a nice capper to this anti-union betrayal, Republicans have also used the publicity it generated as a cover for limiting access to abortion.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My theory about (7+ / 0-)

    the pressure from the wealthy donors, e.g., the Kochs, is that it's been stepped-up because of resounding recent setbacks in states like California.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:34:21 AM PST

  •  A change in the state's culture this radical (6+ / 0-)

    ... should, by rights, go before the voters.

    I know there's little or no chance of it happening, but Snyder could redeem himself by vetoing this.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:36:26 AM PST

  •  General Strike. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, 313to212, Rejoinder, madhaus
  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Prop 8 in California is going before the Supreme Court because "once you have a law it can't be taken away from you."  Can this also apply in this case?

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:22:20 AM PST

    •  This is completely different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is no civil right for a union to force membership on people who don't want it.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:40:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I realize my phrasing might not... (0+ / 0-)

        ...have been optimal, but this case is entirely different from California's case where an actual civil right is in question.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:47:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rosalie - short answer is no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Your comment oversimplifies the Prop 8 issue before the Court. If you think about broad application of your principle many laws could never be changed. RTW laws are constitutional, if they are passed by state legislators, unless a state constitution specifically prohibits them.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We don't know why Court is hearing Prop 8 (0+ / 0-)

      That argument (a right once granted cannot be revoked) was given by the 9th Circuit in striking down Prop 8. If the Supreme Court agreed, then that was no reason to hear the case at all.  Either the liberals want the argument extended on marriage equality nationally, or the conservatives want to stop it from spreading any further.  As written the Ninth Circuit opinion only applied to CA, as only CA permitted marriage equality and then had it revoked via initiative modifying the state constitution.

      Note that the SCs gave themselves an out by asking the parties to address whether the pro-Prop 8 group even has standing to argue the case.  So they could still punt, but if they wanted to, there was no need to grant certiorari at all.

      I don't know enough about the MI law to discuss whether it hits any Federal issues. I'll leave that to the attorneys.

  •  Laura I am so happy to see you posted this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hope it makes the recommended list, Dillon was on fire. He comes from the reddest, big money area in Michigan, it's great to see that there are some checks and balance in this area. I didn't know about him until I saw this video posted by a freind on Facebook.
    Can you add Dillon's  name to the title?

  •  History of the appropriation gimmick (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rejoinder, kuvasz, chrississippi, a2nite

       A little historical background may be insightful. In another infamous lame-duck session.  Republicans passed a controversial concealed carry gun law allowing almost everyone to carry a concealed weapon almost everywhere. They attached  funds to the bill to pay for the State Police education about the law (or some such petty reason) of $1 million dollars. The Michigan constitution allows passed laws to be put on the ballot unless they are appropriation bills. The opponents of the law went to the State Supreme Court to argue that the ancillary appropriation didn't really rise to the constitutional concept of an "appropriations bill", which clearly to most people it doesn't. However, since the Republicans had a majority of the supremes, they decided that a major policy bill with one line of appropriation was protected by the constitution. It was a purely   political decision, but there was nowhere to appeal. Since then, that tactic has been used whenever the legislature wants to make it harder to repeal an onerous bill.  

  •  At my daughters' school this morning (4+ / 0-)

    in Madison WI, the teachers' garb was a sea of solidarity-red.

    We're pulling for you, Michigan.  Stand up, speak loud!

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:35:01 AM PST

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