Having no one to tell them "NO" previously, our leadership brazenly assumes immunity from the law.
Watching Obama the other night was something many of my friends could not do.
As he quite literally leaned on the podium and gave an in-your-face ‘I don’t give a damn about your efforts’ speech to the congress, he further provoked with the threat of veto for anything that did not meet his agenda. The soft sneer of disrespect to the people’s house and its ‘opposition’ inhabitants was palpable. But it was not unexpected.
How else might a top executive act when he is given every thing that he wants? In what other way would he comport himself when weak threats are buttressed by inaction and outright political cowardice? The Republican controlled House of Representatives has hardly put its foot down each time the president has acted in an unconstitutional manner, and there is little indication it might in the future.
So the law does not matter to this president, and for many of the same reasons, it does not matter to Michigan’s governor. When people seek power, they are sometimes willing to overlook the blatant disregard for checks and balances, and pretend the emperor is indeed fully clothed.
On the same night and preceding the president’s state of the union, the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder also spoke on the conditions and his desires of this session. Like the speech that would follow his own, he spoke of ideas and goals that are hardly objectionable to either side of the aisle, and then he added his own mission in the mix as would be expected.
He praised last session’s legislators for their work in the lame duck, and zeroed in on something he has been trying to do since he first took office in 2011; Just fix the roads.
Of course we can have little argument about wanting good roads as that is the proper function of government, but there is a great divide on how it might be accomplished. One of the disagreeable items is the solution provided by the lame duck, which was to pass the responsibility to taxpayers, essentially declare there is nowhere else to get money, and demand a tax increase! The last legislative session placed hostage the state voters with a May 5 ballot question at a cost of not only a 16.7% increase in our sales tax, increased registration fees, and a volatile wholesale tax on our fuel, but the additional operational cost of an election in ALL voting districts which would probably not have happened otherwise.
But the governor has always gotten what he wants. Whether it is expanded welfare in Michigan, a bridge that we don’t need, or defiance of a transparency ACT, Rick Snyder has cowed the Republican majority in the legislature into doing his bidding, or making sure he was not at all accountable to THEIR agendas or disagreement.
HE, like the President of the United States, has little inclination to truly consider any opposing will of the legislative bodies and those they represent. He has shown little regard for the law as we have seen with hidden funds and donors, veto of unanimously passed transparency legislation, and now Campaign Finance statutes.
In his address he repeatedly demanded a yes vote from the podium on the May 5th ballot initiative which is against the law.
In these environments, there is incredible latitude on how elected officials can present their case. Rick Snyder could have said “This measure will help our roads.” He could have said “This package is good for our roads, gives untold billions more to our schools, and will make sure that no bridge falls on the average Michigander’s head.” He COULD have said “If this measure is passed, lollypops will fall from the sky, wars will end, and everyone will have a new Chevy volt in their garage,” even as much of a LIE it would be, and how similar it might sound to the president’s promises.
But legally, the Governor cannot say:
“In the end, what I need you to do, is vote YES. Vote YES, so we can have safer roads. Vote YES, so we can get rid of those crumbling bridges and crumbling roads. Vote YES, so we can have stronger schools and local government. Vote YES, so we can have tax relief for lower income people. There’s only good reasons to vote YES, Lets get it done, lets get it done in May, and do it right.”
Which he did (1:47 start) on January 20, 2015.
He cannot legally do so. And because the same folks who have not challenged him on prior issues are not likely to lift an eyebrow, (though one did briefly) it is incumbent upon the watchdogs to stick their neck out once again.
Today, I am mailing an official complaint to the Bureau of Elections on a part 57 violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. I am asking for them to review the violations for:
Repeated demands to vote yes from the podium at the state of the state address on January 20, 2015. Rick Snyder did not simply attempt to talk about the benefits, or educate but expressly asked for a YES VOTE on the May 5, 2015 ballot measure to raise the state sales tax.”
Things he cannot do. Is it necessary to remind that Governor Snyder obtained his Juris Doctor at U of M?
Like those in Washington, there are few in Michigan’s political elite who will risk the favor of the executive and make a stand on principle or face down explicit illegal acts by that executive.
The stamp is on the envelope, and the envelope is in the box.
Lets see where this goes, OK?