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I'll give Rick Snyder credit. The dude displays a whole lotta chutzpah. He's going to be the Grand Marshal at the Benton Harbor Grand Floral Festival next month

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to take part in the 2011 Grand Floral Parade on May 7 as its grand marshal.

Blossomtime Executive Director Sabrina LaSota said the governor's office has confirmed his plans to appear.

The governor is always invited to be the parade's grand marshal, though it has been years since a governor has taken part in Southwest Michigan's annual salute to the fruit industry.

Lt. Gov. Jim Cherry served as grand marshal in 2004, and Gov. John Engler was here in 1994, LaSota said.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. that Saturday at Pearl and Main streets in St. Joseph, then goes along Main Street in Benton Harbor and ends at 6th and Main streets in Benton Harbor.

Gee, I wonder if there will be a protest?

By the way, speaking of protests in Benton Harbor, next, Wednesday, April 27th, there will be an End the Silence march in Benton Harbor from noon-3:00 p.m. It is being organized by Heartland Revolution and a flyer for the event is HERE. They also have a Facebook page for the event HERE.

Jesse Jackson made an appearance in Benton Harbor this week to highlight their situation.

"Clearly we must prepare to file a major lawsuit to restore democratic rights in Benton Harbor," said Jackson. He encouraged church and city leaders to form a coalition.


"You don't solve an economic crisis by decapitating mayors and city council people. You don't solve the economic crisis by replacing democracy with dictators in the name of emergency."

According to one article, "Jackson plans to come back to Benton Harbor once a Rainbow Push Coalition group is formed locally." Video HERE.

I'm a little dubious that Jackson is a good person to organize in Benton Harbor because I think he tends to stir up a lot of emotion without actually accomplishing the political goals that we need to achieve. That said, there doesn't appear to be a great deal of leadership rising up at the moment so, perhaps his involvement can be a positive one.

Finally, the two first lawsuits challenging Michigan's Emergency Financial Law were filed this past week (though not related to the Benton Harbor EFM.)

The City of Detroit's two pension boards have challenged part of the state's new emergency financial manager law, calling it unconstitutional and a threat to the pension systems.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claims the law gives the governor and state treasurer unbridled power to appoint emergency managers with "czar-like powers" that could usurp collective bargaining rights of city employees who negotiated pension plans. One pension system covers general employees, the other police and firefighters.

The 30-page complaint calls unconstitutional a portion of the new law that the suit claims allows EFMs to remove members of local pension boards "for any or no reason at all."

The two pension boards are the Detroit's General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System.

I'm just sayin'...

Cross-posted from

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 05:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan.

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