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The ballot initiative to repeal Michigan's onerous, anti-democratic Emergency Manager law will go on the November ballot, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday. The repeal campaign had collected enough signatures, only to be faced with a challenge to the font size on the petitions. The State Board of Canvassers was deadlocked along partisan lines over the font size question, but at the Supreme Court, one Republican joined Democrats in voting to approve the measure's inclusion on the ballot, though on different grounds (which Eclectablog analyzes).
Four justices agreed to direct "the Board of State Canvassers to certify Stand Up For Democracy's petition for the ballot."

Once the board certifies the petitions, Public Act 4 will be suspended until voters decide in the November general election whether to repeal the law. That would cast a cloud of uncertainty over emergency managers and financial review teams appointed under the act in cities and school districts across the state.

The Board of State Canvassers could meet as early as next week to place the referendum on the ballot and suspend the law, said board chairwoman Julie Matuzak, a Democrat.

Public Act 4, the law up for repeal, is an expansion of an earlier Emergency Manager law. Under it, the governor can appoint an emergency manager to take over the finances of troubled cities and towns, cutting what they want, scrapping contracts with city workers, and selling off assets. Emptywheel has argued that the law has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans.

Public Policy Polling asked voters about the ballot measure recently, and found repeal trailing by a 41 to 31 margin.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If Repeal supporters call it what it is, the (7+ / 0-)

    Michigan Dictator statute, the numbers will come up and Repeal will be a reality.  Good luck!

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:19:15 PM PDT

  •  It's about time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, luckylizard, brae70

    Watch the RW monied interests pour an avalanche of money into the state to bamboozle voters about the Emergency Manager.

    Sadly, we don't have that ability in Wisconsin.  It would have been better to put the extremist rammed through legislation on the ballot than use the difficult and cumbersome recall procedure.

    Best wishes to Michiganders.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:24:49 PM PDT

  •  There is a ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... surprising level emotion behind this ... I heard some of it today as people who have been feeling alienated and disenfanchised spoke out.

    But, then, perhaps it's not so surprising when you consider what some Michigan people and their friends and relatives went through just to have the right to vote.

  •  Excellent news. (3+ / 0-)

    Now these cities and town can face bankruptcy all on their own.  Hope they're ready the lawsuits and being locked out of the capital markets for the next decade.

    Democracy wins.

    Children have imaginary friends, adults have god.

    by soros on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:57:39 PM PDT

    •  Some of these towns and cities are broke (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, ZenTrainer, chuco35, bridav58, DuzT

      because they are owed money that they have been unable to collect, both from the state government and from absentee landlords who fail to pay their taxes and whose abandoned house fires have to be extinguished by city firefighters, whose grass and fields must be mowed by the cities, and whose eyesoreness driver all the other residents' property values down, a curious negative that some politicians want to take credit for (Scott Walker in WI claims to his constituents that he lowered their property taxes.  Laughable.  The foreclosures and empty houses lowered property taxes because homes have lost their value. ) This is similar to Greece where the Greek tax collectors failed to collect what was owed the government.  But these days tax evaders and slumlords are held in high esteem and even run for public office, so democracy has already lost.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 04:26:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think there has been any evidence (0+ / 0-)

      that the EM's are working.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well then, perhaps Obama should just declare (0+ / 0-)

      martial law to take care of the budget and banksters robbing this country and if they don't like it then he can just bomb them into submission with drones.  Not to mention remove those hacks on the supreme court and in CONgress and send them to FEMA camps.

      (in case it needed to be said, the above is snark)

      There is no saving throw against stupid.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:28:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great news! (4+ / 0-)

    Can we beat it?

    You're not being "oppressed" when another group gains rights you've always enjoyed.

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:34:19 PM PDT

  •  I see white men throwing black elected officials (8+ / 0-)

    out of power under this law.

    But I guess that's just a coincidence.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:42:10 PM PDT

  •  Great news, Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, pdx kirk

    "The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country-and we haven't seen them since." - Gore Vidal

    by blueoregon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:42:53 PM PDT

  •  well i guess (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, devtob, pdx kirk, bridav58, DuzT

    this decision means the gop hasn't yet been able to stack the mich supreme court with their right wing ideologues who would have sided with the cons over democracy american style.

  •  Does this mean that sales of things like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pdx kirk

    stadiums, and radio stations are null if the law is recalled?

    Or will it be argued that contract law is sacred?......

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:57:53 PM PDT

  •  So what's the plan (0+ / 0-)

    These towns are bankrupt or close to it.

    How are they planning to survive? Hope they won't be asking for a bailout.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 04:00:27 PM PDT

  •  How dare the taxpayers and voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, devtob, DuzT

    vote out the Michigan Dictator Statute.  How can tax payer funded be sold to the lowest private bidder.

    The money pumped by the 1% to fight this threat will break all records.

    I hope they don't vote on electronic voting machines that cannot be verified.

    Too late the elections are already rigged.

  •  Some of the towns that were taken over by the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer

    EMs are towns that have been in trouble financially ever since the Midwest went rustbelt.  People with money management skills have not run for public office in these places because of rampant single and social issue politics.  One hopes that will change, or these places will indeed go bankrupt and may go into annexation, but at least they won't become the personal holdings of billionaires who will charge folks to drive through them, or worse, keep folks from driving through them.  It will take time and the work of the young entrepeneurs to save such places.  Young business people have already set up camp in Detroit.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 04:34:21 PM PDT

  •  Some states are only trying to disenfranchise (7+ / 0-)

    voters, but this law in essence completely takes away the voting rights of the citizens.  By putting an emergency manager in and removing duly elected officials the voters input is negated.  To me this is the most dangerous precedent being set by the right wing agenda.  We have see something similar in the Congress by the obstruction of the Republican/Tea Party.  They did not win, and don't want this president so they have basically gone on strike, and illegal shutdown in essence.  How long before these emergency laws are put in place in all states run by the right wing tea party as well as voting restrictions and then it seems to be a slippery slope from there.  The people of Michigan have done the right thing by challenging this law and if their hard work continues this type of attack on the voters mandates will slow down.

  •  The essential reason for the EM law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, pdx kirk, DuzT

    is to screw unionized employees of towns and cities out of their jobs and/or benefits.

    And to therefore reduce the ability of public employee unions to support Democratic candidates.

    Alas, as was evident in the Walker recall, many working/middle-class voters will not stand up for teachers, cops, firefighters, etc.

    Because they believe what the slanders about public employees they see on Fox "News" and hear on Republican radio.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:37:50 PM PDT

    •  They aren't 'their' jobs (0+ / 0-)

      It isn't some kind of birthright. They serve the town as employees. If the town can't afford to pay them, it won't. It sucks, but it's what we in the private sector deal with every day.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:17:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What will they do on collective bargaining ballot? (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently Bill Shuette just issued an opinion designed to deep six the constitutional ballot initiative for collective bargaining.

  •  It is all about TAXATION without Representation! (0+ / 0-)

    Emergency Managers are dictators. They go into a town, dismantle the local govt, suspend all elected officials and do what they want with common good assets. One of the most egregious acts was to sell the Pontiac $ 50 mn stadium for $538,000 to a Canadian company and then the EMERGENCY MANAGER went to work for the Canadian company as a lobbyist to turn the stadium into a gambling casino complex. All the while, EFM as ripping off the taxpayers of MI, and the gov is standing by just lusting at the next opportunity to exercise his power and control over the OTHER. People in MI need to wake up. The thieves are in your pockets, homes, schools and other public places. We fought a war over this. the TEA is BOSTON HARBOR is running red again with AMERICAN blood only the victims are too numb to feel the thousand cuts.

    An EGG is not a person, A corporation is not a person!

    by CarmanK on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 02:27:25 AM PDT

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