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A Sad Day for the State of Michigan

A long history of civility and at least an attempt at bi-partisanship in Mighican government ended . Can it be brought back?

Mark your calendars that December 6, 2012 was the day that the majority party in Lansing slammed the door on any vestige of cooperation between the two political parties that had been a hallmark of the Milliken years when civility and a degree of bi-partisanship was more the rule than the exception.

With Governor Snyder leading the charge the Senate and House Republicans cast propriety to the wind and passed bills (in some cases without referral to committees or public hearings) that are as divisive and poorly thought out as any possibly in history.

The Republican leadership went so far as to close the Capitol Building to the public so they wouldn’t have to hear the objections of people from across the state. A Court Order reopened the building, after Democratic leaders filed an emergency law suit.

Whether you support the legislation or oppose it, the entire episode is a blot on the record of state politics and doing “the people’s business” in a fair and proper manner. 

There was no question the anti-union, anti-women’s rights bills, so much a part of
the reactionary right’s agenda would likely have the votes to pass but the unwillingness of the legislative leaders to allow the public input, historically a hallmark of our system of government, in an attempt to ram the legislation through in a lame duck session is a disservice to the state and to the communities they represent.

Apparently the legislation in both houses differed and thus must go through a conference committee process to make the bills the same and then be voted on again, supposedly all on Tuesday. Therefore, there is still time to make opinions known and force the leadership in Lansing to retake control of the majority party from the extreme reactionary right wing that has seized its control and then take the proper action.  The question is, will they have the courage to do so.

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mark otto December 10, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Union dues are like insurance. Many pay a small chunk to spread the risk. Other than contracts, you may never need the union. But I would rather pay a small "insurance" premium to know I will be covered. If you choose not to pay dues, you choose not to be covered and you should have to pay out of pocket. Its kind of like deciding if you want to pay for collision on an older car. Hopefully I will never need it, but if I do it will lessen my costs. If I choose not to pay for collision coverage someone else shouldn't have to pay for my car repairs. I made the decision now I live with it. Thats my idea ot RTW.
Mark December 10, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Make no mistake I wasn't debating you Daniel. I was pointing out the glaring flaws in the case you attempted to make for RTW destroying the Southern states.
FHVoice December 10, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Keith, you always have a choice: either work in a union shop or not.
FHVoice December 10, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Mark, that may be your idea, but that is not how R2W4L laws work: the union is still tasked with representing employees who opt out. and can be sued if the worker thinks the union did a poor job representing his interest. Your analogy might work better if you think of classic health insurance, where people who do not or can not pay still get some treatment regardless.
FHVoice December 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM
This time, this lame-duck GOP legislature has gone way beyond any sense of a "green light". Consider "Michigan GOP sneaks thru bills to limit women's access to abortion svcs during Right to Work madness" (http://goo.gl/6RDLd) and you will have to agree this is just ANOTHER naked power grab by the GOP.

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