Dec 12, 2011
Opponents of Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager law are close to having collected enough petition signatures to put a referendum overturning the law on the ballot in November 2012. As soon as their signatures are verified, the law would be suspended until the election decides the issue.
Members of unions, community groups and churches around the state have been involved in the petition campaign. They are trying to overturn a law that allows the governor to appoint emergency managers over cities, counties and school districts, with dictatorial powers to break union contracts, set wages and benefits as they please, and sell off assets.
It’s very likely that if the referendum makes it to the ballot, the law will be overturned. It is wildly unpopular among teachers and city workers likely to face deep concessions from emergency managers – not to mention people who know how the law destroys their children’s schools.
Faced with the risk that the population might interfere with their plans, State Treasurer Andy Dillon, a Democrat, and Republican Governor Rick Snyder are scurrying to rewrite the law before the petition campaign can be completed.
Democracy? What’s that?
Dillon and Snyder are too busy doing the dirty work for the wealthy to observe little niceties like the will of the people!
The fact is the politicians of both parties have a problem. They have been squeezing the population year after year, cutting services, cutting jobs, attacking wages and benefits – all in the quest for more money from the state treasury for the biggest bosses in the state. But public workers and teachers have been saying NO.
So the politicians need a dictator – and if they have to tear up the few democratic rights people have in order to get one – well, that’s what they’re ready to do.