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Democracy revoked.
April 16, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Benton Harbor's elected officials have been unelected by the Governor of Michigan.

Under sweeping new laws, Rick Snyder the CEO Governor of Michigan can now remove elected officials from power, and he's done so in Benton Harbor.
posted by tomswift (73 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting statistic: Benton Harbor is 92.4% African American with an annual median household income of $17,471 with 42.6% of the population below the poverty line. St. Joseph, the next city south of Benton Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is 90.3% white with an annual median household income of $37,032.

Interesting indeed.
posted by rtha at 6:31 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I'd like to think that citizens of all stripes would find this repugnant. However, I'm guessing the republican residents of Michigan will think this is just dandy. Another point scored!
posted by maxwelton at 6:32 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You get the democracy your corporations pay for, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 PM on April 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


When does this happen to the city of Detroit? May? August? December?
posted by NoMich at 6:36 PM on April 16, 2011


When does this happen to the city of Detroit? May? August? December?

Whenever the Red Wings are eliminated from the playoffs.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 6:37 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can't Obama just fire Snyder to fix this?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:37 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


St. Joseph isn't really the "next city south" it is just across the bridge. St. Joseph is on the lake, Benton Harbor isn't... The divide is amazing. (trivia... the riot scenes in the beginning of "Dawn of the Dead" is stock footage from riots in Benton Harbor)
posted by tomswift at 6:37 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, democracy was an interesting experiment while it lasted. Personally, I'm hoping it can make a come back on a major reality show.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


And, Detroit has a savior.. Jeffey Fieger plans an economic revival for Detroit through drugs and prostitution.. I actually believe he could run for mayor on that platform and win...
posted by tomswift at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is it that when the Republicans don't win an election, they feel the need to usurp the will of the people by any means possible?
posted by zarq at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yet another example of how there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. See it doesn't make a difference sheeple. Oh wait.....
posted by humanfont at 6:42 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's a rumor the Republicans are going to try pushing through similar legislation in Wisconsin too.
posted by drezdn at 6:43 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Other cities in MI have had "emergency financial managers": Hamtramck from 2000 to 2007 and Highland Park from 2001 to 2009. The current EFM of the Detroit public schools recently mailed layoff notices to every teacher. Hamtramck, Flint, and Ecorse are all under threat of having another financial manager appointed. I don't think that either Detroit or Rick Snyder want to appoint an emergency financial manager there, for a variety of reasons. Such a move would almost certainly inspire sustained Madison-style protests here, which have already been sporadic over the past month or two.

It occurs to me that the financial sector via the Republican party has very indirectly yet obviously subverted our local political process.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:45 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I missing some wrinkle in this, some extenuating circumstance? Because on the surface it seems like the Governor just fired duly elected representatives of a town and in doing so subverted democracy. The only logical, American (rageman?) response is to take up arms.
maxwelton: You know, I'd like to think that citizens of all stripes would find this repugnant. However, I'm guessing the republican residents of Michigan will think this is just dandy.
Exactly. I have no illusions that Republicans/conservatives will happily applaud this move.
posted by hincandenza at 6:47 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've got to be in these two cities in two months for a wedding. Interesting read, and interesting dichotomy of the two towns that are right next to each other that I never realized would be there.
posted by deezil at 6:49 PM on April 16, 2011


Here's an op-ed from the Detroit News on the constitutionality of Public Acts 4-9.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:49 PM on April 16, 2011


You're not missing a thing, hincandenza. Republicans in Michigan are not rejecting these actions by Snyder. The only Snyder policy change they are pushing back on is the taxing of pensions... That one hits them in the pocketbook.
posted by tomswift at 6:51 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So - what was the reason/justification given for this? I don't see any thing in the link about why he did this. Was it ostensibly for financial reasons?

Also - Benton Harbor has had some turbulent history with respect to race relations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benton_Harbor_riots
posted by jpdoane at 6:52 PM on April 16, 2011


Of course, the legislation was drafted by the right-wing think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which recently FOIA'd the emails of labor studies professors at UM, MSU, and Wayne State.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:53 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line."
posted by JARED!!! at 7:07 PM on April 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


“This is sad news for democracy in Michigan. It comes after the announcement of Robert Bobb in Detroit ordering layoff of every single public school teacher in the Detroit Public School system,” says Mark Gaffney, President of Michigan AFL-CIO.

Hey, it sounds like Oakland may have lucked out when Bobb took off for Detroit. We only sent layoff notices to 20% of our teachers. And we just learned that a bunch of them will get to keep their jobs.
posted by Lexica at 7:08 PM on April 16, 2011


ofthestrait: "Here's an op-ed from the Detroit News on the constitutionality of Public Acts 4-9."

So, this is the consensus view on this matter-that neither the US nor Michigan constitutions are violated here?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 PM on April 16, 2011


chrysostom... I'm guessing that this has a lot of court battles in front of it... but, if it IS considered constitutional, it's time for a change...
posted by tomswift at 7:17 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


St. Joseph isn't really the "next city south" it is just across the bridge. St. Joseph is on the lake, Benton Harbor isn't... The divide is amazing.

Concurring. It is fascinating, and as big of a divide as I think I've ever seen. One side looks like inner St. Louis, the other side looks like Denmark.
posted by gjc at 7:18 PM on April 16, 2011


Excuse me, Mr. Harris, may we go pick up the garbage on 1st Street now?

Excuse me, Mr. Harris, may we go pick up the garbage on 2nd Street now?

Excuse me, Mr. Harris, may we go pick up the garbage on 3rd Street now?

Excuse me, Mr. Harris, may we go pick up the garbage on 4th Street now?

Excuse me, Mr. Harris, may we go pick up the garbage on 5th Street now?

Excuse me, Mr. Harris, line three for you. Someone on 17th Street is calling to complain about their garbage.
posted by erniepan at 7:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


It may well be constitutional, as most cities and villages exist as sort of charters of the state legislature. the linked detnews oped is pretty much dead on.
posted by gjc at 7:21 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sincere question -- what's the difference between the current move on Benton Harbor and New Jersey's 2002 takeover of the city government of Camden (undertaken by Dem gov Jim McGreevey?)
posted by escabeche at 7:28 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Article VII.

Sec. 22. Under general laws the electors of each city and village shall have the power and authority to frame, adopt and amend its charter, and to amend an existing charter of the city or village heretofore granted or enacted by the legislature for the government of the city or village. Each such city and village shall have power to adopt resolutions and ordinances relating to its municipal concerns, property and government, subject to the constitution and law. No enumeration of powers granted to cities and villages in this constitution shall limit or restrict the general grant of authority conferred by this section.

Sec. 34. The provisions of this constitution and law concerning counties, townships, cities and villages shall be liberally construed in their favor. Powers granted to counties and townships by this constitution and by law shall include those fairly implied and not prohibited by this constitution.
posted by erniepan at 7:28 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


The current EFM of the Detroit public schools recently mailed layoff notices to every teacher.
The district is unlikely to eliminate all the teachers. Last year, it sent out 2,000 notices and only a fraction of employees were actually laid off. But the notices are required by the union's current contract with the district. Any layoffs under this latest action won't take effect until late July.
It's standard for many states to require lay-off notices well in advance for anyone who they might lay off, or they cannot be let go later. It's a sever message to send everyone layoff notices, but it provides flexibility that they wouldn't have later if the notices weren't sent now.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 PM on April 16, 2011


Calm down, people, it's only some poor black people who got their right to elect their leaders taken away. What was it Lee Atwater said?
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
posted by orthogonality at 7:56 PM on April 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


So, this is the consensus view on this matter-that neither the US nor Michigan constitutions are violated here?

Not a lawyer, but it could get more complicated than that.

On the one hand, it's true that local governments are entirely creatures of their state governments. Created by the state for the state's purposes, having absolutely no independent right to exist, and capable of being created, merged, divided, and abolished by the state.

On the other hand, even if there's the general principle that the state can abolish local governments when it wants to, that doesn't necessarily mean that it gets to do so whenever and for whatever reason it wants to. There are reasons that would probably be forbidden by the equal protection clause -- abolishing a local government because it was too black, or too Catholic might be verboten. Likewise, abolishing all the local governments that elected a Democrat, or t'other way, would probably get nixed.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:59 PM on April 16, 2011


Gov. Scott Walker Reportedly Planning Financial Martial Law In Wisconsin.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:08 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Prior to this, I'd only heard of Benton Harbor because it's mentioned on an episode of Freaks and Geeks.
posted by box at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I missing some wrinkle in this, some extenuating circumstance? Because on the surface it seems like the Governor just fired duly elected representatives of a town and in doing so subverted democracy.

Dillon's Rule
posted by mokuba at 8:38 PM on April 16, 2011


My wife, who is a non-violent, long time, non-violent activist, stated to me that the solution is that those of us on the left should begin to embrace our second amendment right to bear arms. I'm beginning to believe that this may be an idea worth serious consideration and an action that may be necessary to preserve our democracy.
posted by tomswift at 8:39 PM on April 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


I lived in that area for several years before the great recession. Benton Harbor is the twin city to St. Joseph Michigan. One is a white resort town, the other a 'white flight' town from the end of Michigan's industrial age. The main employer in the area is Whirlpool Corporation. But, since the factories shut down many years ago there just hasn't been many jobs. So, the tax base is very weak and the government has had problems with corruption and constant recall elections, and there has been a lot of tension between the two communities. One has one of the best school systems in the state and the other one of the worst. There isn't a lot of trust.

I believe that things have gotten much better over the last 5-10 years, but after hearing what Michigan's governor wanted to do, I pretty much expected Benton Harbor to be one of the first to be taken over. But a white Republican governor telling them what to do will not help this community move forward.
posted by UseyurBrain at 8:40 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to burst this partisan bubble. Emergency financial managers have been appointed for a number of Michigan cities over the past five years or so -- Pontiac is the one I'm most familiar with, but Ecorse got an EFM in 2009 as well -- and the state had a Democratic governor (Jennifer Granholm) for two terms before January 2011. Even the Detroit Public Schools have been overseen by an emergency manager for the past couple of years. This is state government's usual way of dealing with fiscal disasters -- NOT a Republican thing. At ALL.

It's a way for cities that are a) in DEEP fiscal trouble and b) in total municipal deadlock over budget matters to avoid declaring bankruptcy. City councils tend to become deer in the headlights when they lose huge chunks of their tax bases over a short period of time, which is what happened in countless municipalities in MI -- and those that were not supremely well managed are in grave difficulties now. Having an emergency manager come in is a way for local elected officials to pass the buck for painful budget cuts that MUST be made to someone from outside. This governor, like the last one, is justified in taking such action in extreme cases like that of Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Ecorse, etc.
posted by philokalia at 8:48 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


there's been plenty of malfeasance, incompetence and corruption in the city of benton harbor in the last few years - although i have a very cynical view of this new law synder has gotten passed - i believe he's going to shortchange the cities of michigan on revenue sharing and other income and then claim that their ensuing bankruptcies make them fit for emergency takeover, thus shoving republican style "reform" down the people's throats - the fact remains that benton harbor is a mess, and some kind of emergency management is necessary

i drove through it last year - it's an utter wasteland with a downtown full of abandoned brick buildings, with perhaps 5 or 6 open businesses - then you cross the drawbridge over the st joseph river into the city of st joe and find yourself in a brightly painted, affluent lakeshore tourist town that i was unable to stop in, due to the fact they were having an art show that weekend and i literally could not find a parking place

it is one of the most striking juxtapositions of poverty and affluence one can find in america, made more so by my memory of benton harbor in the early 70s, when it was still sustaining itself somewhat - (i have relatives in the coloma area, and my people were among the benton harbor area's first settlers)

you've no idea how much it pains me to recognize that in this case, gov snyder's emergency law is actually being used in a necessary way - considering that the people of berrien county would never consider the just and fair solution of metro consolidation and the elimination of what is damn near an apartheid state

instead we have an emergency situation in this city being controlled by an emergency law - treating the symptoms while the disease ravages the patient

i can't defend the city of benton harbor's government - i can't condemn snyder's takeover

but i sure as hell can ask why things were allowed to get to this point and who is really responsible for it - the people of benton harbor or the people of the surrounding communities who plainly just don't give a fuck
posted by pyramid termite at 8:51 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


" the fact remains that benton harbor is a mess, and some kind of emergency management is necessary..."

Fact remains that people have proclaimed Benton Harbor a mess for the last 30 years. And yet they are just now in need of takeover? I don't buy it.

Jimmy Carter and Habitat for Humanity have invested a lot of time and energy in this city. Whirlpool just announced a new Corporate Headquarters in downtown. A wasteland? Yes, that happens when people don't have jobs and opportunity. There is no doubt that Benton Harbor has its struggles, but they don't suddenly need 'emergency' help. This is politics.
posted by UseyurBrain at 9:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I understand the "local cities are just chartered agencies of the States" argument, this part of the op-ed is dead wrong:

"The U.S. Constitution divides its powers between those given to the federal government and the remainder, which are reserved for the states — not local governments. "

The last clause of the 10th Amendment is "or to the people". It's a 3 way split, not 2.
posted by madajb at 9:33 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


When does this happen to the city of Detroit? May? August? December?

Whenever the Red Wings are eliminated from the playoffs.


So the state is going after Royal Oak? Nobody IN Detroit watches hockey. At Joe Louis you have empty seats and a few white men.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:37 PM on April 16, 2011


Dictatorship is the smallest government of all.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:38 PM on April 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


My wife, who is a non-violent, long time, non-violent activist, stated to me that the solution is that those of us on the left should begin to embrace our second amendment right to bear arms.

Lately, I've started thinking about this, and just the thinking about this troubles me.
posted by drezdn at 9:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.*


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*not intended to be a factual statement
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:20 PM on April 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


There's a rumor the Republicans are going to try pushing through similar legislation in Wisconsin too.

Sure, they could pass a law, but there's no city in Wisconsin in such a dire mess that it needs an emergency financial manager.

Report: Cities will lose money under Walker budget

The Wisconsin League of Municipalities on Thursday released a survey of its 36 largest members that concluded Walker's collective bargaining legislation would pay for only about 61 percent of the funding cut by his 2012 budget.

Uh-oh.
posted by dhartung at 10:24 PM on April 16, 2011


I have to burst this partisan bubble. Emergency financial managers have been appointed for a number of Michigan cities over the past five years or so -- Pontiac is the one I'm most familiar with, but Ecorse got an EFM in 2009 as well

EFMs have been around before, but not like this one. This one is the result of a special law drafted by think tanks and beelined through Congress as soon as possible in the new governor's term.
posted by scrowdid at 10:25 PM on April 16, 2011


Lately, I've started thinking about this, and just the thinking about this troubles me.

It's the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and now you know, really viscerally know, how it started.

♫ John Brown's body lies a-moulderin' in the grave,
His soul's a-marching on. ♫

posted by orthogonality at 11:32 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the 'one man, one vote' system of democracy then?
posted by pompomtom at 11:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm with tomswift. I cannot tolerate the raping of this planet and it's most deprived people by corporations who think luxury is a right. Now that the US Supreme has guaranteed that companies are more important than citizens via supposed free speech rulings, the rest of us are left to squabble over the scraps the wealthy allow us to have.
This is coming from a middle class white college graduate who feels more comfortable amidst the honest poor of Detroit than the greedy backstabbers from Bloomfield Hills.
posted by coachfortner at 11:42 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dibs on the leg.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:30 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Calm down, people, it's only some poor black people who got their right to elect their leaders taken away. What was it Lee Atwater said?

Can there be a godwin's law kind of thing where the first person to mention racism of the word nigger loses? Because this is absolutely irrelevant.
posted by gjc at 5:02 AM on April 17, 2011


The speed with which new Republican governors and legislatures in a number of states are pressing through an agenda which I can only describe as radical makes me think there's really something like a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' going on.
posted by wadefranklin at 5:03 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yet another example of how there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

NOT a Republican thing. At ALL.


The law that Snyder is acting under was passed on party lines, in both the House and Senate. In the Senate, all the Democrats voted against it, and all the Republicans voted for it. I don't know if that was also true in the House, but the vote there was also along party lines. This is not a bipartisan approach. It's Republican all the way.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:50 AM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


FTFUOE: "The U.S. Constitution divides its powers between those given to the federal government and the remainder, which are reserved for the states — not local governments. "

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
posted by mikelieman at 6:19 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dibs on the leg.
posted by Meatbomb


Eponysterical.
posted by Leta at 6:30 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another Michigander (well, I'm a Yooper now) chiming in to say that yes, Benton Harbor has been in dire financial straits for decades. My entire memory, anyway. What has changed is that Rick Snyder has been elected, that's all. The go-go nineties and the dot com boom and the mortgage bubble- all that stuff zoomed right by Benton Harbor. It's not like, oh, the financial crisis and the great recession wrote Snyder's election, and he's cleaning up the mess than Benton Harbor became. Hogwash. Benton Harbor was broke before, during, and after good economic times. They are the last place to need an "emergency" financial manager because they had nowhere to fall- it's not an emergency if it's been this way for 30 years.

This is about two clicks too close to fascism for me to feel comfortable with it. We've been getting a bunch of mailers recently about recalling Snyder, and even though recalls tend to be circuses, I find myself favoring this one.
posted by Leta at 6:37 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was in southwest Michigan last summer enjoying its charms with my girlfriend. We decided to go to a bar in Benton Harbor that had some live music. That place fit my definition of ghost town/zombie apocalypse breeding ground. It was the weekend, the weather was wonderful and no one was out, something I've never seen in a town of that size. It was made even weirder that there was a ton of the stimulus money signs all over because half of the roads there were under construction but didn't seem like anyone would be using these roads. When we got to the bar, everyone we talked to was from Chicago including the musicians.

Never in my life had my spidey sense been tingling so hard for fear that a zombie would come out of the ground and bite me. I'm going to assume this was racially motivated political nonsense, but I do hold out the hope that the governor was taking swift action against an undead school board.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 7:16 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a long-time Berrien County resident, I'm concerned about this stuff (still have family there) but damn relieved I live on the other side of the lake. MI is screwed. Benton Harbor is like Flint, but with less hope for recovery. Here's hoping this isn't the anti-democracy power play it looks like on the surface.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:14 AM on April 17, 2011


I strongly feel that they are purposely trying to provoke violence. I mean, the first town they take over has a history of rioting. Once the riots begin - and I am sure they will, if not in Benton Harbor then somewhere - it will be a great opportunity to instill martial law.

I am honestly sorry that the overnight protesters left the Wisconsin Capitol. I am appalled that Sarah Palin only brought out a few thousand people yesterday when there have been tens of thousands on previous weekends. We need consistent, concerted non-violent protest. It is going to come down to people risking their lives.

Twenty years ago, would you have thought this possible in the USA? We are frogs in pots of water. It's starting to boil, people. They are starting to boil us alive.
posted by desjardins at 8:41 AM on April 17, 2011


Can there be a godwin's law kind of thing where the first person to mention racism of the word nigger loses? Because this is absolutely irrelevant.

Judging by a large portion of the comments here, gjc, Meiftes disagree.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:30 AM on April 17, 2011


“When fascism comes to America, it will come in an African-American accountant's pocket protector and waving a reduced budget more in line with some town's shattered tax base”

And riding one of them black helicopters, amirite? Jesus Christ people, take a xanax.
posted by codswallop at 9:39 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Judging by a large portion of the comments here, gjc, Meiftes disagree.

Minor correction: I meant racism OR the word. Regardless, that's not really an argument. Black people involved does not necessarily mean racism, no matter how many people "me too" on the internet.
posted by gjc at 10:00 AM on April 17, 2011


Doesn't automatically not mean racism, either, no matter how many people "nuh uh!" on the internet.

If you don't think it's related to racism, please feel free to explain using more words than "no it isn't".
posted by Lexica at 10:03 AM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


So the state is going after Royal Oak? Nobody IN Detroit watches hockey. At Joe Louis you have empty seats and a few white men.

This is demonstrably wrong.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:04 AM on April 17, 2011


"The ELB appointment follows Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's confirmation that a financial emergency currently exists in the City of Benton Harbor, pursuant to the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act (PA 72 of 1990). The governor reached that conclusion in February, based on a recommendation by a Financial Review Team, appointed to review Benton Harbor's finances."

Some back story.

"Our partners at The Herald Palladium report that the City of Benton Harbor settled with former City Manager Richard Marsh for $192,000. Marsh accused the City Commission of letting his contract expire in 2009 after he reported suspected criminal activity and pointed out problems in the city's finances."

Drinkscart this way please.



"Benton Harbor's Public Safety Director and a City Commissioner are at odds after some personal property was confiscated.

City Commissioner Dennis Knowles says Public Safety Director Roger Lange confiscated his personal cell phone and two tape recorders without a warrant."
posted by clavdivs at 10:40 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fired? Fuck 'em. Run the town anyway. Keep writing checks. That's the new way government works, right? No such thing as rule of law, only what you can get away with before they stop you by force.

Secede from the state. Might as well. It's all about who can be the most brazenly illegal anyway.
posted by ctmf at 11:26 AM on April 17, 2011


Secede from the state.

Ohio refuses our offer, counter-offer discussed thrusday next after a fortnight of prolonged talks.
posted by clavdivs at 12:01 PM on April 17, 2011


Be sure to ask for the fleece lined shackles, if you're allowed to talk at all.

Maybe, if we're really lucky, there is still time to park our fat asses and say "FUCK YOU, NO!". Maybe.

Did they ever roll out that microwave thing that is suppose to make you feel you're on fire? How about the spraying water taser device? Any other new "crowd control" stuff lined up?
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on April 19, 2011


Walker et all are not considering a similar bill for Wisconsin.
posted by Jpfed at 10:07 AM on April 19, 2011


Goofyy, It's Michigan.
posted by clavdivs at 11:58 AM on April 19, 2011


Michigan bill being challenged.
posted by drezdn at 6:36 PM on April 19, 2011


Walker et all are not considering a similar bill for Wisconsin.

While Walker himself says he won't propose the bill, similar to the Michigan one, but not as extreme is being written by Foley and Lardner according to an F&L insider.
posted by drezdn at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2011


More news from Michigan.....
In the hallowed halls of the Michigan state Capitol this week, one of the biggest debates has been over slashing a program that gives clothes to orphans.


About 160,000 kids wouldn't receive their back-to-school clothing allowance under the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget passed by a House subcommittee. That saves $9.9 million (which will go a long way to pay for the $1.2 billion tax break we're handing businesses).
Along with cutting the Clothes for Orphans fund, the state is also proposing cutting out burial funds for paupers, breast and cervical cancer screenings for poor women, and benefits for the disabled.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:49 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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