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Michigan state capitol at night
If Michigan Republicans are campaigning to be named worst Republicans in a state that voted for Barack Obama twice and has two Democratic senators, they can probably relax. Because wow. A Toledo Blade editorial explains that both Wayne State University and the University of Michigan adopted eight-year contracts with their faculty and staff before the lame-duck-passed anti-union freeloader law could go into effect. Because the contracts were passed before the law went into effect, it won't affect faculty and staff at the universities until the contracts expire. That means that, while no one will have to join the union, people who don't join will have to pay a fee covering the costs of their representation.
But majority Republicans on the state House’s higher education subcommittee were furious at what they perceived as an attempt to get around the new right-to-work law.

So they voted to slash both schools’ state aid by 15 percent. That could mean a cut of $47 million for U of M and $27.5 million for Wayne State. One GOP lawmaker boasted that “we‘ve sent a serious message here,” and accused the universities of trying to violate state law.

It’s not clear how either school could have broken a law that is not yet in effect. And Wayne State president Allan Gilmour, a tough negotiator who was Ford Motor Co.’s longtime chief financial officer, told lawmakers that the long contract actually saves taxpayers money.

The "serious message" Michigan Republicans are sending here, of course, is "we're unrepentant assholes." And if passed into law, this particular piece of unrepentant assholery will hit not just faculty and staff at the two universities but students as well, since you don't cut university funding by 15 percent without leading to increased tuition, cuts that affect the quality of education offered, or—most likely—both.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  let's take the Republicans' fury (8+ / 0-)

    go right back at them for what they did on the emergency manager law that was overturned by the voters -  in a lame-duck session (about which more in a moment) they reinstated the law using a parliamentary trick to keep it from being subject to voter initiative an referendum, thus clearly flouting the intent of the voters in Michigan.

    In lame duck session - because even though they controlled the legislature in the new session, by an insufficient margin to impose such atrocities against the clear will of the voters of Michigan.

    Lame duck sessions have been historically problematic - remember the midnight judges appointed by Adams after the outgoing Federalist Congress, having been defeated by Jefferson and his party in the election of 1800, included 42 magistrates for the District of Columbia and 16 new Federal judges.  That some of these appointees did not get their signed paperwork from the Secretary of State John Marshall because he was in a hurry to get sworn in himself as Chief Justice is what led to he seminal case of Marbury v Madison.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:52:50 PM PDT

  •  This kind of behavior, or the insulated, (9+ / 0-)

    police-state-like behavior of the Walker regime's obsession with protesters who sing, demonstrates the craven lawless bent of the Tea Party and its influence on other Republicans (and some Democrats). It is a wanton disregard for the rule of law and a most shameless abuse of same, predicated by a childish need to win by cheating even where playing fair would accomplish the same goal; a deep-rooted hatred of Other combined with a priggishness so exaggerated in its moral indignation that it would make Cotton Mather blush with the embarrassment of licentious excess.

    If these people love America, they have a hell of a way of showing it. They certainly have contempt for the hardworking people and students of Michigan.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:20:26 PM PDT

    •  My thoughts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Stude Dude

      If liberals really hated America, they'd vote republican.  All I can say is the majority of people in these states voted these assholes into office. Especially in Wisconsin. They had their chance to get rid of them and didn't. Why I can't fathom.  I hope their vote bites them in the wallet.

  •  Well... (7+ / 0-)

    It's up to the Michigan Democratic Party to get their shit together and kick these assholes out in 2014. If they can't do it after all the crap that the GOP has tried to get away with, then I don't feel sorry for Michiganders...they will get the government they deserve and voted for (or didn't care enough to turn up and vote them out).

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -Voltaire

    by PsiFighter37 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:34:20 PM PDT

    •  I'll still feel sorry for them (0+ / 0-)

      ... the way I feel sorry for inveterate drug users who've ruined their lives and yet still can't kick the habitin.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:16:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans attacking their two favorite enemies (6+ / 0-)

    unions and education because they know that both have been used to boost the middle class and close the ever widening income gap.  The Republicans, who require their base voters to be ignorant and economically vulnerable can't allow that.

  •  STOP PAYMENT ON (4+ / 0-)

    those bugger's salaries, franking privileges, access to the gas pump on the state dime; cut off their representative charge cards, office charge cards, all business accounts, travel allowances, their PHONE service, and cut off the heating and air conditioning and water, cancel all janitorial and custodial services.  Prepare to ccarge them 200 dollars per day per hundred square feet rent just on the office space, without utilities or water; and until all funds are restored by these bastards, SUSPEND THEIR PARKING AND LIMO PRIVILEGES and in fact, take their state cars away from them.

    Tell those SOBs they may reapply in triplicate for all those things IF and WHEN all funds are restored.

    And deny them any time off until they meet in session and resotre everything.  Fine them for every hour they're not in session, 100 bucks per hour per Teapig, in the meantime.

    It may not be legal, but it's EQUAL and FITTING.

    I fart in your general direction. Now run away before I taunt you some more

    by Adelante on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:41:36 PM PDT

  •  The real message is that we are bullies (7+ / 0-)

    who have given up even the pretense of caring about democracy.


  •  Why do the Republicans hate America? (7+ / 0-)

    Slashing the funding of major research institutions is an extremely effective way to weaken the future U.S. economy. Even if the cuts are reversed in a couple of years, which is highly unlikely in the current political climate, the damage will last for decades.

    Somewhere on the bottom of the sea bin Laden is smiling.

  •  How the hell (3+ / 0-)

    did we end up with a bunch of toddler in the government?! This is basic playground revenge. It has no place in a democracy.

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:44:24 PM PDT

  •  Michigan Republicans are the craziest in the (6+ / 0-)

    Country, and Rachel Maddow seems to be the only one who shines any light on these lunatics.

    2014 needs to be start of driving these nut bags from power, starting with Snyder.

  •  If I were president of the university, (12+ / 0-)

    I'd take the 15% cut and apply it to athletic programs only. Especially men's football and men's basketball. Every sports fan in the state will be angry at the legislature.

    I don't know if this would work. Just a thought.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:59:52 PM PDT

  •  It is also worth noting that both universities (9+ / 0-)

    lie in heavily Democratic strongholds, so this is a way of inflicting retribution on blue areas of the Michigan economy.

    Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

    by geodemographics on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:59:54 PM PDT

  •  Who keeps electing these Nazi pieces of shit? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gamblndan, ChemBob, mconvente, bobinson

    Business doesn't distinguish between making money and taking money.

    by Troubadour on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:00:07 PM PDT

  •  God help this country..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stvnjon, unionblue

    If these fucking scumbags get both the house, Senate and Christie in office in 16!  They don't give a shit about anyone but themselves and they need a compete ass fucking by the rest of the country!  They are bullies and have no regard for anyone elses views & I for one am sick and tired of these nut bags always getting their voice heard on TV more then out views.  The media always makes it 50-50 or really 60-40 their views, and Democrats do a horrible job punching back!  

    Democrats better wake the fuck up and start fighting back and planning ways to up root these assholes!  Find ways to register more voters in those districts, talk to the people in these districts who aren't as extreme and tell them to vote these nuts out!  From Scott Walker, to Lepage in Maine, Scott in Fla, and Snyder is the absolute worst!  I didn't think it could get any worse then Walker but for anyone who wonders, this is what the nation will get if these guys ever get all three houses!  And if you think the filibuster will save us think again! Because unlike the ball less Harry Reid, these nuts won't hesitate to get rid of the filibuster and push through the end of Soc Security, Medicare, and Medicade!  They would make all schools private, and get rid of all unions and the post office!  They are radical sick people!  They need to kicked the hell out!!!

    I'm ready to fight to the death against these people!  To me the Tea Party is worse then the Taliban'. I'm ready to go to war with all of them!  

  •  O wow o wow! I think this puts Michigan ahead! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobinson, Sue B

    In the race between Wisconsin, Indiana, the Deep South (and I guess now North Dakota) to be the Worst State in the Union! These guys are on fire!
    And still nobody from Michigan is getting that Jew-In-1936-Germany feeling of getting out of there? Well, there's still the widespread fracking coming to wreck your water supply. Another great step downhill for Michigan!

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:28:02 PM PDT

    •  no, no, no... I haven't crossed MI off list yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In no particular order:
      South Carolina

      There is still hope in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and even North Carolina and Virginia and, even North Dakota due to the fact I still kind of like Ed Schultz. Louisiana could come off if I go to Mardi Gras again.

      Hey voters, you reap what you sow. If it's unreasonably Gerrymandered, you let 'em.

      i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

      by bobinson on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:18:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a State guy... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, here4tehbeer, snowman3, Dr Arcadia

    This gives me reason to think well of U of M. Please don't tell my wife!

  •  U of MI has lived on out of state tuition (0+ / 0-)

    for more than 30 years. They have educated their best and brightest on the back of out of state students. Currently I'm paying Ivy League tuition for my daughter to go to U of MI -- not going to happen if the quality goes down. If they want to implode . . . let them because their students are the most political engaged campus per US News or something like that. They registered 6,500 students in a couple of weeks. Wake the sleeping dead up in MI and their parents!!!

  •  Speaking as a U-M alumnus (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, wahineslc, la58, Caniac41, snowman3

    I have to figure the Michigan GOP went too far with this one. University of Michigan alumni are a pretty well-heeled lot, and highly loyal to the maize and blue. I could be wrong, but I don't think they will respond very well to this sort of thing. It would be nice to see some wealthy Michigan alumni bring some resources to bear against the Republicans in the state. I'm not just talking campaign donations. I'm talking lawyers, judges, techies, etc., etc.

  •  Howard Dean will be working on flipping state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snowman3, unionblue

    legislatures in 2013 (Virginia), 2014, & 2016.  We need to flip Michigan and get rid of its governor in 2014.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:44:30 AM PDT

  •  As Dr. King said (0+ / 0-)

    RTW is a false slogan. It is neither about rights nor work but about busting unions and leaving workers voiceless. Freeloader law is another apt name. Unions can resist by getting back to their organizing roots. The rest of us can resist by shunning anti union places like Walmart. And by voting for pro worker, pro labor candidates.

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