Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Game Within the Game…

Connecting the Dots in Michigan...

The “Gang” at the signing of the Gas Tax laws…

The Game Within the Game…

Connecting the dots in Michigan…

Anyone paying attention to what has been going on in Lansing for the past decade or so may be thinking the same thing: Our State government is out of control…and totally unaccountable to the people they are supposed to represent…

After Jennifer Granholm promised to “blow us away”, she did…laying the foundation for government cronyism by establishing the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, basically a slush fund which the government uses to pay back friends and donors with State contracts…The absolute best example of this would be the new Senate building, sold by a former MEDC Commissioner to the State for three times its appraised value…

Now comes Senate Bill 97, designed to expand this practice right down to the Township level…This bill (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/Senate/pdf/2017-SIB-0097.pdf) authorizes any government authority to designate taxing authority to any private business or group that develops infrastructure for health care, transportation, or ‘other’ development purposes…It also includes the use and enforcement of ‘eminent domain’…Think about that for a minute…

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Absolvendi Officium

"Public-Private Partnerships" Are bad business for government.

SB 97 passed 32-4 last Friday.

Seriously flawed in it’s very concept, the bill grants private operators the ability to operate as-if they are the chartering government itself, sans the payback at the voting booth.  Contracts could extend far beyond term limitations, and the ‘authorities’ created would be of a new design.

It will place those who fail to pay the private concern as immediately liable for fees as-if it were a government entity. It also brings back the spectre of eminent domain, and abuse of authority.

It also grants special rights to those who profit from such projects as described in the bill from paying property, sales or use taxes taxes.

Read it here.

Tell me I am wrong.

Please.

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Michigan’s Tax Charade

No Michigan Tax Deal Is Ever Worth The Paper It Is Written On

Since our devious Governor and his RINO caucus pulled out all the stops to quash the HB 4001 decrements in the state income tax last Thursday, it has dawned on Michigan politicians that the optics of the SB 111 – 115 Dan Gilbertville tax breaks just got real ugly. You can’t hand $ 1.8 billion of state revenue over to politically connected developers after stiffing the public at large without gruesome consequences. This is going to decrement some Senators’ campaign finance committee balances.

No one should fault Speaker Leonard for putting HB 4001 up for a losing vote. Bottling up and fiddling legislation behind closed doors until a winning margin is assured is not an exemplar of government transparency. Brits and Europeans may regard such shifty back room shenanigans as the hallmark of sophisticated political process, but here in America constituents want to know exactly how they are being represented. Thursday’s vote told us more about the RINOs in the Michigan House than years of deceitful political media articles and reports.

Thank you Speaker Leonard for fostering genuine political transparency.  Long overdue in Michigan.

It now appears that killing both tax reductions was the plan all along. Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Municipal League just launched a trial balloon to gut the Proposal A constitutional amendment of 1994. Proposal A limited the tax depredations of government employees acting through their local units of government, a popular activity in Michigan’s more leftward big cities and counties. The sales tax was increased 50%, but property owners got some constitutionally protected tax relief in return.

Local government employees and their Democratic political puppets want to renege on the 1994 Proposal A tax deal. Well, not entirely. Just the constitutionally protected property tax relief. No one is offering to restore the 4% sales tax rate. What was it JFK said about negotiating with the Soviets? “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” Public employees and their subservient Democratic politicians have a lot of gall claiming that President Trump is a Russian stooge and a neo communist tyrant to boot.

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Trump a disappointment on Civil Asset Forfeiture so far

I live in Tim Walberg’s district.  In fact, his residence of record is about 10 miles from my house.  Those of you that live in a Rural setting may appreciate that this is “right around the corner”.  I’ve not been a huge fan of Tim Walberg because of his repeated support for the PATRIOT ACT.  I once confronted him over his support for this act at a tea party meeting and he and I got into it a bit.  Anyhow…I smiled this morning while doing some quick research for this piece to discover Walberg sponsored legislation (albeit in 2015) to reform Civil Asset Forfeiture.  Good job, Tim!

I hope Tim continues his Civil Asset Forfeiture reform efforts in the new congressional session.

The new leader of the United States Government, on the other hand, disappoints on this front.  Many of you may have seen this video, I made this post for the benefit of those who have not.

A Texas lawmaker has the audacity to introduce legislation that requires the State Government there convict a fellow of a crime before they gank his stuff! GASP!  What’s Trump’s solution? Ruin the lawmaker’s career!

I think we need to call out bad actors on Civil Asset Forfeiture (and other violations of civil liberties and due process), whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or a beloved (by many, not I) newly elected President.  I recognize he’s not the only bad guy in this regard.  Civil Asset Forfeiture was popular during alcohol prohibition — the better part of 100 years ago.  Let’s hope Mr. Trump sees the error of his ways in the future.

One thing is for sure: he must NOT be given a pass simply because he’s a Republican (at least he says he is now — he was a Democrat between 2001 and 2009).

 

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Okay, here we go. The next Michigan Trump Flashmob: March 4th

Okay, I’ll make this simple.

Calling All Deplorables!

The time to show our President some love is here! Calling all Flashmob people!  All Trump supporters! Join us!

When and where:  Saturday, March 4th. Noon to 3pm on the east lawn of the Capitol in Lansing (and other locations listed below).

Why: President Trump is under attack for fighting to restore the values that make America a great.

Trump has our backs, we need to demonstrate we got his back covered too! Let’s make REAL news!

Show you support for President Trump!

Bring your kids, flags, signs and enjoy the afternoon with other Americans supporting Trump!

Come take a picture with the Trump Unity Bridge too!

Can’t make it to Lansing?  Then go to www.FlashmobMichigan.com for other Trump Flashmob locations around the state.

Sponsored by:

The Michigan Conservative Coalition. Leading the Grassroots in Michigan.

{More locations below}

 

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Just in case anyone is wondering why Michigan Taxpayers are getting screwed over (again)…

And what ever happened to that whole “I-BELIEVE-government-must-practice-fiscal-responsibility-and-allow-individuals-to-keep-more-of-the-money-they-earn.” mantra?

All I’ve got to say here is: “Beware of bipartisanship”.

{More below the fold}

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So Michigan Republicans Don’t Like Lower Taxes

Apparently the Michigan GOP house has Republicans who want to keep higher taxes and higher spending.

At least some of them anyhow.

Sometimes you gotta just wonder why, when given the chance, some Republican lawmakers refused to consider the amount collected from the working class as too high. Especially given they operate under the banner which says:

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

By golly, that seems simple enough.

This is truly “the money they earn.”  Oh yeah, I suppose the “fiscal responsibility” component of that oft ignored screed might well provide an ‘out’ for any ausgespielt fiscal-moral compass by a GOP type, but its not as-if the state budget is going down, right?

The following HOUSE REPUBLICANS may be using the excuse that they wanted to see cuts in spending first, but given the insignificant amount of taxes being reduced upfront, doesn’t that itself reveal the expectation that they will not?

Afendoulis (R) Calley (R) Crawford (R) Garcia (R) Inman (R)
Lilly (R) Maturen (R) McCready (R) Pagel (R) Roberts (R)
Sheppard (R) VanSingel (R)

Sad.

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Money Well Spent

Michigan students at the bottom of the educational assessment list.

V.I. Lenin: Our National Dream Realized!
USSR Education Poster, 1950

Michigan schools are demonstrating unbelievable performance levels.

perhaps not in the way one might like, however.  From the Freep:

“A new analysis of results of a national educational test shows Michigan students have continually made the least improvement nationally of scores since 2003.  

..

That analysis comes less than six months after the release of the Michigan’s Talent Crisis report by Education Trust-Midwest that found Michigan’s students are falling far behind their peers across the nation. The ETM report found that Michigan is in the bottom 10 states for key subjects and grades, including early literacy. “

Surprising?

Oh wait, they probably need more money.  Everyone knows that the amount of money spent per child is closely linked to student performance. More from the article:

” Jacob, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, said there is no single explanation of the Michigan rankings.

“I believe that there are a number of factors responsible for Michigan’s weak performance: a lack of adequate state and local funding for schools, the highly decentralized nature of governance that makes it difficult for the state Department of Education to develop coordinated reforms, the lack of regulation and accountability in the charter sector, and the economic and political instability that have plagued Detroit and other urban areas in the state,” he said. “

Whoop, there it is.

With a bonus.  Bigger control from centralized government, ignore the failing ‘regular’ schools, and put the hammer on the charter schools..

Comrade.

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2018 Michigan State Senate Elections

Cross-posted at The Western RightRight Michigan, and Red Racing Horses.

All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2014.  Republicans currently have a 27-11 supermajority, and have controlled the senate since 1983.  Republican control of the state senate has prevented democrats from complete control of Michigan’s government in some years, and stopped a lot of bad things from being passed.

Fortunately for Republicans, the Michigan state senate is up only in midterms, which usually favor Republicans much more than presidential years.  Republicans had a good year in 2014, picking up one state senate seat, following four pickups in 2010.

The 2010 redistricting produced a map that was moderately pro-Republican, while complying with all relevant laws.

Michigan Redistricting: Official Republican State Senate Map Released
Michigan Redistricting: Republican State Senate Map Passed

There are 26 open seats due to term-limits, 7 D and 19 R.  There may be other openings due to retirement or seeking another office.

All current state senators are former state representatives except three (Colbeck, Conyers, Hertel).  This pattern held in the past, and most credible candidates this time are current or former state reps.

I have included election data for the 2014 state senate election, and McCain (2008), Romney (2012), and Trump (2016) results in each district.  More data is available from Republican Michigander and RRH Elections.

Republican Michigander district profiles (see sidebar)
RRH Michigan Senate Data File

The McCain numbers look terrible for Republicans because he collapsed after publicly pulling out of Michigan.  The largest McCain percentage in any Michigan state senate district won by a democrat in the past twelve years is 46.2% in (old) district 31.

Here is a breakdown of the individual races.  State reps years in office are listed after their names, with P meaning present.

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POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SCHOOL in TC – Date & Location Change!

Unless you are politically feared you will never be politically respected

Traverse Bay 9/12 and N.M.C.N. Presents

TRAVERSE CITY MI POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SCHOOL

LaSeniorita 1245 S. Garfield Road, Traverse City MI 49686

Saturday May 6, 2017 | 10am – 6:30pm

You owe it to the principles you stand for to learn how to become the most effective activist you can be.

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