Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:44 PM
LovingA2andMI (730 posts)
The Case against Michigan's P.A. 4 & Why a Constitutional Referendum Vote is Right
In the past couple of weeks, my local newspaper Ann Arbor.com has featured two articles attempting to slam the work Michigan Forward and its' Chairman Brandon Jessup has done to place a Constitutional Referendum vote on the general election ballot; re-affirming or repealing Michigan's Public Act #4.
Now for a disclaimer-As a Michigan Politics Blogger and political activist...our blog and weekend podcast radio show via Blog Talk Radio Network-have worked for the past year in educating the public why P.A.#4 present a vicious direct attack on Democracy in Michigan witnessed in my lifetime. On our podcast, we've interview Brandon three times and wrote three articles this year about the effort to repeal P.A. 4.
When I saw these articles in my local newspaper (especially the last one) I felt the need to write a Op/Ed piece, specifically highlighting areas in Michigan Constitution were P.A. 4 and our states' founding document greatly conflict. Additionally, I found on a Google Archive search, a 1981 Michigan Daily Article including a groundbreaking quote from Michigan's longest serving Gov. William Milliken (R) (yes, he was/is a Republican) detailing his vicious defense of Michigan's Open Meeting Act 267 of 1976. Former Gov. Milliken signed this act into law.
On February 6th, Judge William Collette of Ingham County Circuit Court ruled that P.A. 4's the "closed Financial Review Teams" meetings violated Michigan's Open Meeting Act Statue. This was a very important ruling as it raises a question. Specifically, with legal precedence of "Emergency Managers" appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and State Treasurer Andy Dillon (DINO-D) after these previously "closed Financial Review Team" meetings. Open for debate and discussion is if these Emergency Managers have authority to make mandates on cities, townships, villages, school boards, counties and local authorities at all....literally.
Today, Michigan has Emergency Managers in the cities of Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac and up until 2/21 Emergency Manager Jack Martin was running Highland Park Public Schools District. Martin was "deactivated" from his duties, by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) nearly three weeks after Judge Collette's ruling. Another open question is why was Martin deactivated and did it have anything to do with Judge Collette's ruling, noted above.
I have forwarded this article on our blog for a "Letter to the Editor" with Ann Arbor.com. Either way, until its' possibly posted there, I believe its' important to share this piece with Michigan forum members of Democratic Underground. It's rare that I cross-link articles on the blog here. But, I think this article raises important questions about our Constitution, The Open Meetings Act, why Gov. Milliken signed the law, defended it against a 1981 Republican attempt to test validity of the statue and why P.A. 4 is the most aggrieved piece of legislation crafted in Michigan since 1837.
The first two links are the Ann Arbor.com articles highlighted above:
Piece 1-Why bankruptcy is worse for Michigan cities than emergency managers
Piece 2-Q&A with Brandon A. Jessup: The fight to repeal Michigan's Emergency Manager law
The last link is to our article on ROJS News.com
The case against Michigan Public Act #4 and why a Constitutional Referendum vote is right
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Replies to this discussion thread
The Case against Michigan's P.A. 4 & Why a Constitutional Referendum Vote is Right (Original post)
Response to LovingA2andMI (Original post)
Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:04 PM
COLGATE4 (6,017 posts)
1. I really admire Judge Collette - I practiced before
him on several occasions when living in Michigan. He's a decent, hard-working and very intelligent judge who's invariably fair to all parties in his court - litigants and attorneys. He made a courageous (and correct) decision here.
Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)
Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:16 AM
LovingA2andMI (730 posts)
I admire a Judge like Collette that applies law/judicial statue based on facts instead of who's paying them. Makes me be able to believe in the justice system again!