State of the State: Translating Politician to English

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her second State of the State address tomorrow.
 
She’s expected to lay out her policy priorities for the year, to unveil her road repair agenda, to discuss the state’s business climate and much more.

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The Name is Bond... Road Bond.

After vetoing $375 million in new road funding late last year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer next week is expected to roll out her new “plan” to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.
 
She’s finally acknowledged that her absurd 45 cents per gallon gas tax hike won’t fly. (Her top Democratic allies in the legislature calling it “extreme” and refusing to even sponsor her bill might have had something to do with that.) So what’s next?

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Ten Years Later: Citizens United

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the landmark Citizens United v FEC decision, and in that decade, it has become no less controversial.

At the time, pundits on MSNBC called it the “murder of what little democracy is left in this democracy.” President Obama claimed it would allow special interests to buy politicians outright. Democrats today continue to decry the decision, while fundraising off of the issue and campaigning on overturning the decision.

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Benson's Book: Fact or Fiction?

Jocelyn Benson literally wrote the book about being a Secretary of State. In that book, she claims that one of the most important – most critical – roles for an election official is to maintain clean voter files, including the removal of voters who are dead, no longer living in the state, or otherwise ineligible.

That’s why it’s so hard to understand how Benson’s found herself connected to a swirling scandal and federal lawsuit into the banana-republic-level handling of Detroit’s voter rolls.

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Secretary Benson isn't practicing what she preached on voter rolls

This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

Jocelyn Benson literally wrote the book on being a secretary of state. Just ask her.

She’s doing more than write about the position now, but new records emerging as part of a lawsuit in the city of Detroit challenge Benson’s seriousness as a constitutional officer. They also leave Benson facing a pair of startling questions: does she actually believe what she wrote, and if so, why isn’t she practicing what she preached?

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Are you kidding me?

Late last year, Republican leadership in the State House introduced House Bill 5229, a particularly bad bill that would make it easier for local governments to raise your taxes to support a regional transit authority. Thankfully, the legislature adjourned for the year without taking up this dumpster fire of an idea.  We even thanked them for doing the right thing!

Well, hold on to your wallets because it appears that our confidence that sanity had prevailed was misplaced.  Republican leadership has apparently had enough of “peace on Earth, good will toward men,” and is gearing up to ram this tax-enabling bill through the legislature as early as next week.

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May Your Days Be Merry and Bright!

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Gretchen's Goon Squad

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration was caught red handed this month attempting a brazen new shakedown scheme, threatening to close small businesses across the state unless they do the bidding of some of Whitmer’s biggest campaign donors.

If that sounds crazy, it’s because the Governor’s scheme is crazy.

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Hold officials accountable for unethical shakedown scheme

This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs must be held accountable for a brazen and incredibly unethical attempt to railroad a group of workers and small businesspeople with a shakedown scheme straight out of a prime-time TV crime drama.

A Senate oversight committee last week started the process of accountability when they held a hearing on the shocking, state-sanctioned intimidation racket. They’re probing for answers. Michiganians deserve answers from the governor, too.  And when we learn who is behind the appalling scheme, heads should roll.

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Know Who Loves Right to Work? Teachers!

Turns out Michigan’s public school teachers are big fans of personal freedom, and they’re pretty good at exercising their constitutional rights, too.

That’s according to eye-popping new numbers from the Michigan Department of Education.
 
As Michigan this week commemorates the 7th anniversary of the passage of the state’s Right to Work law, labor numbers indicate tens of thousands of Michigan teachers jumped at the chance to rid themselves of the MEA.

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