One of the biggest and most under-reported battles is taking place in our neighbor across the lake, Michigan.
Michigan's corporate-controlled governor, Rick Snyder, has rammed through many oppressive laws, with the most egregious among them is to impose fiscal martial on certain communities that don't past their fiscal fitness tests. Under this law, Snyder would be able to appoint agents of the state to utterly take over a community, stripping elected leaders of their powers and imposing their rules upon the people, including the unilateral, arbitrary demolish of bargaining rights for the local unions. Snyder's official name for these agents is Emergency Financial Manager, but the people refer to them simply, and more appropriately, as "local dictators." It is unsurprising that Snyder is imposing his fiscal feudal lords on predominately black neighborhoods, like Benton Harbor.
As in Ohio, Maine, and here in old Fitzwalkerstan, the people of Michigan stood up and protested and fought back.
They started the motions to do a petition drive to repeal this hateful and oppressive law. They wanted to get enough signatures to have this law put to a referendum vote. However, the corporate-backed front groups challenged the people's petitions, claiming that the petitions themselves were illegal because they were - get ready for this - using the wrong font size!
This fight actually made it up all the way to the Michigan State Supreme Court.
And it was there that justice and common sense prevailed. The people of Michigan will get to vote whether this oppressive law falls or stands. With the supreme court's decision to uphold the people's rights, the dictatorial law is suspended. But even this has led to disagreement:
To implement the court’s ruling, the State Board of Canvassers must certify the ballot question. That’s likely to happen next week, and once it does, Public Act 4 will be suspended pending the repeal’s outcome in the November election.Currently, polls show that support for this oppressive law is up by as much at 10 points, but with 25% still undecided. The Unions and other pro-citizen groups are fighting to get people educated before the November vote.
Gov. Rick Snyder and his appointees say all actions taken under the law since it took effect early in 2011 will stand, and current emergency managers will revert to the powers they had under the former emergency manager law, passed in 1990. The big difference: the old law does not permit managers to unilaterally amend or scrap collective bargaining agreements.
Others disagreed. Members of the board of Detroit Public Schools were talking publicly Friday about dumping emergency manager Roy Roberts and killing a plan to transfer certain schools to a special statewide Education Achievement Authority for low-achieving schools set up under the act’s powers.
School board president LaMar Lemmons II said the suspension of Public Act 4 will mean there is no emergency manager law – therefore no emergency mangers or emergency financial managers – until voters decide in November.
Once the ballot question is certified, the school board should be in charge and that means Roberts should step down, he said.
Roberts fought back through his chief of staff, Kevin Smith, sending a message to employees.
“Mr. Roberts has directed that all staff continue with your duties without interruption in conduct of the affairs of this district unless and until directed by him otherwise,” a portion of the letter read in bold, capital letters. “The board of education has no authority to direct DPS personnel to take any actions to the contrary.”
Treasurer Andy Dillon said he doesn’t believe the board has the power cited by Lemmons and he expects the new education authority to be the subject of another court battle.
I just hope that Michigan isn't being quietly having their voting machines replaced by the easily tampered ones we have in Fitzwalkerstan.