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View Diary: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder deals democracy another blow (291 comments)

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  •  I agreee that Detroit is a disaster (1+ / 0-)
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    There is more than enough blame to go around. Let's start with former Michigan Governor Granholm (D), who initially signed the Fiscal Emergency Manager legislation into law during her term as Governor of Michigan. Snyder followed her into the Governor's chair. Granholm had already started appointing Emergency Finanace Managers in other minority dominated cities with unclear results before she left office. Snyder however continued pushing implementation of the law up until its repeal. Now that it is back he is moving full speed on Detroit.

    Here's some blame for the African-American voters in these minority majority Michigan cities. Emergency Managers (EM) have been placed in Highland Park, Benton Harbor, Pontiac, and Hamtramck all with devastating results. One common factor can be found in each of these Michigan cities and that is the amount of internal corruption which has been masked out of sight over the decades by the sheer size of an existing vibrant expanding economy. The economies in these cities were heavily labor intensive, so that many of the voting residents gave little attention to the size of the ongoing fiscal mismanagement by city hall. However the decades old outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to overseas factories from these cities finally exacerbated the political corruption and fiscal mismanagement until it was no longer sustainable. The simple fact is that when the jobs ran out, the property tax income to the city shrank ballooning the municiple debt to astronomical levels, and the elected city officials had no plans or magic capable of resolving the exploding debt. Some cities simply jacked up real estate taxes along with increased taxes on water and sewer services. These measures immediately ignited a long and continous flight out of the city by upper and middle class tax payers.

    Representative John Conyers held a Judiciary Forum of the Legal implications of the Michigan Emergency Manager Law on February 21, 2012 in Highland Park Michigan. In the aftermath of this meeting the EM law was subsequently voted down at the polls. Currently the Michigan Legislature has passed a carbon copy of the EM law and Snyder has signed it once again into law.

    IMHO a lot of blame is quietly laying at president Obama's White House doorsteps. The president's blame goes back to his first term, and I recognize his repeated rhetoric that "he is the president of all the peoiple" has merit from a defensive point of view as the first African-American president. However, that does not excuse his lack of action when faced by the continuing dismal news of the rapid decline of major minority municipalities in America. I rather expect that Obama recruited Van Jones  to be the White House point man to explore the possibility of some sort of presidential intervention to aid these depressed urban areas. However, the GOP caught wind of Jones possibly being appointed to the White House staff and fired off a high powered media blitz against Jones branding him as a Communist. This caused the White House to drop Jones like a hot potato, and no further action has been taken by the White House regarding such a position since then. This is very curious since the SOLID African-American vote was not only critical but necessary for Obama to win his second term in the White House.

    Please do not misunderstand my assignment of blame to Obama. I did not expect the Obama administration to push for a new "model cities" program or even designate certain urban locations as new "enterprise zones". However, I believe that there is a lot that coulld have been done by establishing a functioning organizational connection between these failing city governments and the Obama administration. This was especilally true when one considers that not one thin dime of stimulus money was given to ANY major minority municipality for construction work out of all of the money that was in the original stimulus package.  

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