Whitmer Walks While Legislature Leads

With only weeks before the state’s budget deadline, and a looming government shutdown, voters are clamoring for solutions that keep the lights on, keep their taxes low, and prioritize the cash they send to Lansing to tackle the biggest problems.
 
https://media.giphy.com/media/LkXsWtqzxade8/giphy.gifGovernor Gretchen Whitmer’s response to the looming crisis? She abruptly walked out of budget negotiations to go do the Today Show on NBC, make an end run around the legislature to ban flavored vape, and launch an all-out assault on your 2nd Amendment gun rights.

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STOP Insulting Michigan Taxpayers

Here they go again.
 
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and many in the legislature – including some Republicans – are actively and publicly embracing the idea of raising taxes on motorists, consumers, and Michigan families to pay for big new spending in next year’s state budget, with the threat of an October 1 government shutdown looming overhead.

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This Labor Day, Road Construction Union Remains on Strike

Labor Day; a time to celebrate Michigan workers, to enjoy one last taste of summer, to take that last family outing before the kids head back to school, to navigate orange barrels and never-ending lane closures.
 
This holiday weekend may be more frustrating than ever for motorists as work sites on local roads and highways remain behind schedule amidst a month-long strike by the Operating Engineers union. Worse, there appears to be no end in sight.

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A Supreme Court Slush Fund?

The purpose of the class action process is to compensate specific victims of misconduct.  However, there is a proposal before the court that would amend the Michigan Court Rules and redirect class action settlement funds from class action members to fund public and civic programs of third parties who may not have even been injured by the defendant’s conduct.

Because this proposal would allow the court to redirect funds to third parties – often advocacy groups – chosen by class counsel and approved by the judge, it raises serious First Amendment concerns. Similar to the recent Janus case before the United States Supreme Court, it is possible that class action plaintiffs and defendants could be compelled by the court to support speech through organizations with which they disagree.

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In Whitmer’s Michigan, Road Forks You!

It’s been said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Here in Michigan, the debate over road funding is going back to a familiar, off-key chorus.
 
In October, Bill Schuette accused Gretchen Whitmer of supporting a 20-cent gas tax hike to “fix the damn roads.” She called that claim “ridiculous,” “nonsense,” and swore that he was making it up. She won the election and went on to reveal her big, bold plan to fix the roads… which was nothing more than a 45-cent gas tax hike!

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“New” Revenue

Governor Whitmer remains insistent that she cannot “fix the damn roads” without raising taxes on Michigan citizens, or as she likes to call it, “new revenue.”

Unfortunately, it seems some in the legislature are starting to agree. While they balked at her proposed 45-cent gas tax hike, they’re entertaining the notion of a smaller, 20-cent gas tax hike.

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Whitmer Throws the Car into… Neutral

Those who were hoping for a big summer as Governor Gretchen Whitmer looked to drive the state forward could be forgiven for feeling… stuck in neutral.

Instead of fixing the damn roads, Whitmer has demanded the legislature do her work for you.

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Lazy summers and the cost of inaction

This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

“Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach. I feel it in the air, the summer's out of reach.” – Don Henley

August will soon be in our rearview mirror, and along with it the first summer on the job for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Like Henley in his 1984 classic, Michiganians may have a little voice inside their heads screaming don’t look back.  

Whitmer reversed course on campaign pledges and wasted summer months on a dilettante roadshow promoting a tax hike that was dead on arrival when there was still snow on the ground.

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Waiting is the name of the game

Bad enough that Jocelyn Benson failed her own “transparency” test, making headlines for attaching expensive price tags to FOIA requests. Her department has consistently refused to answer FOIA requests in a timely or complete manner. (The department estimated one of our requests would be completed in 2-3 weeks… and that has now grown to 2-3 months. We’re still waiting!)

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The Transparency Hypocrisy

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson apparently has something to hide, and she’s pulling out all of the stops to ensure you never figure out what it is.

Officials at the Michigan Republican Party recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Benson’s office for public records surrounding her partisan handling of the upcoming redistricting commission created by last year’s Proposal 2.

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