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How are you voting on the non-partisan part of your ballot? Proposals?

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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:25 PM
Original message
How are you voting on the non-partisan part of your ballot? Proposals?
Just got my ballot here in Ann Arbor. I am voting my conscience (straight Dem) on the partisan portion of the ballot, but could use some DU input on the rest.

Thanks!
:patriot:
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Cavanagh and Beckering for Supreme Court - and HELL NO on 2!
www.justicecavanagh.com
www.janebeckering.com

www.oneunitedmichigan.org

I'm also firmly against Props 3 (mourning dove hunting) and 5 (school funding).
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Me, too.
On all counts.

I'm also voting for tightening the restrictions for taking property away.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. No. No. No. Yes. Yes.
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 09:40 AM by TahitiNut
:shrug: (I may change my mind on #4, though.)

Proposal 06-1: Constitutional Protection of DNR Funds

Proposal 06-2: Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (i.e. ban affirmation action programs)

Proposal 06-3: Referendum on Mourning Dove Hunting

Proposal 06-4: Eminent Domain

Proposal 06-5: Educational Funding Guarantee Law
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. Vote NO on All Proposals
From what I have gathered learning about these Proposals, I think they should all be voted down; vote No on all of them. There is a really informative forum discussion on the Proposals, by the fact-finding group Citizens Research Council of Michigan, that has been playing on the local cable Government-access channels, that tells about these Proposals with a lot of detail. It is a pretty dry presentation, and runs two hours, but if you can manage to sit through it once or twice, you end up with a real understanding of them. They also have information on their website, http://www.crcmich.org / .

Vote No on 1: This is a proposal that Conservation and Recreation funds should only be used for those purposes, and nothing else in the State budget, no matter how bad the economy gets, and worst of all, makes it a Constitutional Amendment, so that a whole voter drive, etc., must be conducted every time you need funds for other things in the budget, and these are available. Republicans have been fucking around with the Constittution on all levels for years now, and it would be good to remember that this is a tortured, labored process to have to undergo every time State funds may be needed, and the idea of using funds for other purposes is a necessary one, used all the time. There needs to be an idea of a general, multi-purpose fund available where needed.

Vote No on 2: This is the fraudulently worded ban on Affirmative Action, and on all programs that would target assistance to groups that have been discriminated against, or who need help. The League of Women Voters, which I belong to, has come out against this proposal, noting that it threatens all programs, no matter of what kind, that target any one group--school programs to get girls interested in math and science, programs to help poor inner-city black students with college costs, programs to help the disabled, battered women's shelters (gender-specific), all health screening that is race or gender specific, programs to help women or racial minorities start their own businesses, on and on and on. This scam is funded by a group of California Republican millionaires who have done the same thing to California and Washington State, and in California, after the passage of a similar proposal there, black student enrollment at universities plummeted by 50%, and never recovered. Meanwhile, "legacy" programs, unfairly accepting the children of rich donors to universities, will be unaffected; they account for a larger percentage of students than does all of Affirmative Action. Discrimination still exists, and must be countered by a just and fair society some way, yet this proposal would do away with all existing programs that remedy things. A modern economy is partly judged by how it deals with inequities, whether it attempts to help its citizens to attain higher education, and other things. Removing a structure of just remedies, so that corporations can be even more lawless, is not a good move. Many groups benefit from Affirmative Action legislation--women, older people, the disabled, and racial minorities, not to mention rural students preferred for college admission because of their location, etc.--and Michigan as a modern egalitarian State will suffer if it is killed by this phony Republican group from California. The so-called "threat" of "preferences" is a fake: the http://www.crcmich.org/election/index.html section on Proposal 2 has these lines: "The State of Michigan has a strong civil service system and competitive bidding for government contracts. It does not provide preferences in hiring or contracting through a statewide affirmative action program. A review of local governments' policies yielded little evidence of affirmative action programs that grant preferencial treatment on the basis of minority status or gender." A total fraud, with suspicious motives behind it--vote No.

Vote No on 3: Voting No will continue the ban on the horrible "sport" of calling doves "game birds" and hunting them. Vote No; doves are song birds.

Vote No on 4: This is a change of some kind to the Eminent Domain law, which I don't believe is needed, it will not affect the Eminent Domain law that already exists, people will still have the right to fight the attempted taking of their property for "public usage" as before, and there are provisions in the new proposal for what amounts of money will be paid, that are (I think) unConstitutionally vague, "must be paid at least 125% of property's fair market value," which many believe will lead to a flood of court cases fighting for higher amounts, etc. It is not needed and does not improve the law, according to Citizens Research Council.

Vote No on 5: Another fraud. This is something that pretends to increase funding for schools, supplies, buildings, hiring new teachers, etc.; it is no such thing. According to Citizens Research Council, it is a badly figured scheme to increase the amount of funding for the retirement pensions of school system employees, re-figure enrollment figures based on "averages," cap the amount given to this pension fund from school system funds, and take an ever-increasing amount out of Michigan's General Fund, killing the ability of the State to pay for other budgeted items, and eating up a larger and larger percentage of the budget each year. It is a weird, fiscal disaster, opposed by the League of Women Voters. The strange, unknown group behind this mess, something called "Citizens for Education," (helpful?), has been sending propaganda claiming that the funds will be used to fund "Michigan's education"--school supplies, etc.; it will not. It has nothing to do with a school system's budget, which is voted on by passing a millage, which this is not. It will be a nightmare, and use up increasing amounts of the State's general budget. Vote No on 5.

Well, as unsatisfactory as this may seem, I think they are all bad, 2 and 5 are frauds, deliberately worded to seem like what they are not, 1 and 4 are not needed, and 3 continues the ban on dove-hunting. No on all. Remember, however, to vote YES on GRANHOLM.

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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Thanks for the detailed reponse. nt
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russ1943 Donating Member (405 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. Proposal # 3 is counter intuitive
Reading the Grand Rapids Press today (Sunday 29th) they explain that a yes vote, if successful will ban dove hunting. A no vote allows dove hunting to continue.
It's deja vu all over again.
The folks who oppose the recently passed existing law which allows dove hunting initiated the proposal and if you agree with their effort you would have to vote yes to ban dove hunting.

If their (GR Press')explanation is correct, my prediction is most people will likely vote opposite their intent.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Thanks!
I should have known. I thought a no vote on all of them was the way to go, but now it appears this one needs to be a yes.
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herbbrown Donating Member (318 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. yea that was great
A rundown of the proposals you'd find no where else, and I agree with the no votes.
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Leaning Yes, No, No, No, No
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 12:43 PM by Strawman
Proposal 1: Leaning Yes. This is tough because while I oppose the idea of tying the hands of legislators in terms of budgeting (which I think Proposal 5 does), I also place some value in the idea of fiscal equity and the spending of money from fees corresponding to the way they were raised. In particular, when I go to a state park and pay $5 or whatever to get in, I understand that I am paying that fee to maintain that state park, not to balance the state budget because our legislators don't have the political will to raise taxes in a more transparent manner. If I'm paying $5 or $10 bucks just to drive through the park gates, I don't want to see those parks go to shit because even though they're raising more than enough in fees, the Republicans decide to repeal the SBT or roll back the income tax.

Proposal 2: No. I believe in affirmative action and despise whiny racists who want to blame "quotas" for their own personal failures. If anything affirmative action doesn't go far enough. I'd like to see it expanded, not restricted. Any white person who honestly thinks that there's a social advantage to being black in Michigan or in America due to a handful of weak government efforts to promote equality ought to have their fucking head examined.

Proposal 3: No. Just out of spite for any asshole that thinks blasting a pigeon from point blank range with an Uzi is somehow sport. I don't have a problem with hunting, but I don't think our laws should cater to psychotics who want to just blow helpless creatures' heads off for the "fun" of it. To me, this isn't hunting, it's indulging a loud obnoxious faction of homicidal maniacs. It's not a practice that the larger community of sane individuals ought to endorse. if I honestly believed there were a mass of hungry Michiganders just waiting to fill their freezers with morning dove meat, I might feel differently, but that is just pure nonsense.

Proposal 4: No. I'll admit up front that I don't know a whole lot about this proposal, but in general it seems to me this would hurt the City of Detroit in their efforts at development and tearing down abandoned and condemned buildings. And as posted up thread, I don't see any need to change the current law. They need to knock down more abandoned homes and buildings in Detroit and the last thing they need is another legal hurdle. It's easy to be a property rights absolutist if you're not living next an abandoned building that's a dangerous haven for crime and drugs and a blight that ruins your property values. And I don't have alot of sympathy for speculators who buy some old building, do nothing with it and hold development hostage to try and extort as much money out of the city as they can. I think this is more common than the sympathetic old lady who doesn't want to move being pushed out for economic development.

Proposal 5: No. Education might be the most important expenditure in every budget but I oppose tying the hands of the Governor and the legislature in this manner as a matter of principle. I can understand why the MEA would want to do this. If they get their cut, who cares about anyone else? But it's a bad, undemocratic way to make policy. If it's a good idea for education, why not come up with a formula for the entire budget and offer that as a referendum? We can formulate our own governance and the governance of all Michiganians that follow in perpetuity. Problem solved. :sarcasm:

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Why you should vote yes on 4
Basically, the feds loosened the eminent domain laws to make it easier for land to be taken for commercial development that may benefit developers, but not necessarily benefit the common good. This proposal tightens the laws in Michigan to protect individual property owners.
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I will read more about it
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 01:32 PM by Strawman
and if I'm convinced that it is needed and doesn't put an undue burden on the city to promote development and tear down abandoned houses, I might change my mind. It's a matter of balancing not wanting people to lose property to greedy developers whose projects promote a narrow private interest on the one hand and worrying on the other about people exploiting the law to hinder necessary development (and demolition) that really is in the interest of the community on the other.

I was not entirely troubled by the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain. My immediate reaction was that maybe this could help the city deal with these people who try to stand in the way of development that is in the interest of the community at-large for their own selfish profit.
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Read the CRC report, now I'm definitely voting no
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 02:22 PM by Strawman
I see this proposal as a knee jerk reaction to the Kelo case that is bad for anyone who wants to see economic development in the central city.

You never want it to be too easy to take property, especially someone's home, but this proposal goes beyond returning us to a pre-Kelo situation. It completely shifts the burden in eminent domain/condemnation cases from the property owner to the government. That has never been the case historically, even before Kelo and it's been hard enough to promote development in the city and tear down abandoned houses.

No way will I vote for that. You're voting for sprawl and crack houses if you vote yes on that.
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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. The legislative sponsor of Prop 4 is Tony Stamas (R) of Midland
It is sad that I have come to be suspicious of anything with an (R) after it, but this post-Rove era of the GOP is scary.
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. It's libertarian, property rights absolutism, that's why
Besides do you think the folks in Midland give a rat's ass about urban blight, sprawl, or redeveloping core cities?
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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Thanks
for explaining your positions, it helps me a lot.
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. The Republicans are against 5
Which makes me suspicious. I heard this on WDET this morning. This makes me want to vote for it.
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. So is Granholm
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 04:12 PM by Strawman
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=51...

It's bad policy. And I'm sure that those Dems that are totally in the pocketbook of the teachers union will favor it no matter how stupid it is. I've used the being-against-what-most-Republicans-are-for heuristic myself on occasion, but it would be a mistake to do that here.
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joeygirl Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. We shouldn't vote against things that are correct just because
the Repukes say that it's bad policy as well. I'm voting No because I don't buy into the notion that more money will actually make it into the classroom. And it's fiscally irresponsible. If our economy continues to tank, and we have to pay these mandatory increases every year, where is this money going to come from? The budget cuts that will be needed to cover the mandated increase will make Engler's look small by comparison. Is that really a road that we want to go down?
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
32. Changing to NO on ALL
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 11:48 AM by Strawman
I was leaning yes on 1, but I've changed to a no since there really has not been any significant transfer of funds from park fees or hunting licenses, etc. away from the DNR to other programs, so there is really no need for this proposal. If that were to become common practice, I would be inclined to vote yes on a similar proposal in the future. As another poster pointed out, keeping the funds in the DNR budget could just mean that my park fees are off limits to some needed school program in a budget year where there is a severe pinch, but available for some development related project that serves a private interest. It doesn't guarantee that my park fees will go to that park.

Also, in general, if there is no compelling need for this proposal based on massive transfers of these funds away from their intended use, I'm skeptical why it was proposed.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. Michigan Municipal League on Eminent Domain/Prop 4
There was a really interesting forum on the ballot proposals put on by the Michigan Municipal League, and information at their site, at http://www.mml.org/legislative/bills/ballot.htm ; they are against both the Eminent Domain and Prop 5 Education Funding proposals.

A big point made during the Eminent Domain presentation is that the strict regulations concerning proving "blight" would essentially make it impossible for a local Government to purchase abandoned factories and other now-neglected commercial properties, to keep them from further deterioration. First of all, the recent outrageous Federal Supreme Court decision extending eminent domain to apply to mere corporate interests that wanted to take property and lands for their own selfish profit-making does not apply to Michigan, as we were and are already under the jurisdiction of the stricter Michigan Supreme Court "Hathcock" case. The new proposal, if passed, would raise the level of proof for a claim of eliminating "blight" that a City or other "condemning authority will have to show by 'clear and convincing' evidence that the taking is for blight. The language is also worded in such a manner as to require that proof of blight be demonstrated on a parcel by parcel basis," (from M.M.L.). This raises the burden of proof to an almost comical "beyond a reasonable doubt" criminal statute level, and makes studies and evidence-gathering of the City or etc., to make the case for it, prohibitively expensive. No ordinary city would be able to clear blighted areas anymore, and could no longer prevent themselves from turning to slums.

Many cities have very active purchasing programs, where the City will buy a property that the owner cannot sell on the market, because of the economic situation, etc., and will then keep up the property, by mowing the lawn, keeping it painted, paying the property taxes, etc., and keeping the neighborhood clean and well-maintained until it finally does sell. Everyone benefits from this kind of local "capital improvement" investment by a City. Businesses themselves prefer to move to areas with more active governments that put money back into the infrastructure, streets, lighting, schools, water and sewer pipes, and blight removal. Making this activity of the government of older cities--still good areas but not rich--so painfully hard to meet, will doom them all.

"Oddly," although not odd at all really, the backers and initiators of this Eminent Domain Proposal 4 are the extremist, archconservative capitalist Republican, Mackinac Center for Public Policy think tank (where DeVos likes to go), and strangely enough, on their website, at http://www.mackinac.org/print.asp?ID=7968 , they refer to the "blight" clause as a "loophole" that "would close" under the new law if passed--then what? Other groups behind this thing are the Michigan Homebuilders Association, Michigan Association of Realtors, and what the Michigan Municipal League speaker called, "as well as a few other private property-rights groups." Sounds ominous to me. If this is to "protect" "little homeowners" from the "big, bad Government," then why aren't ACORN (poverty advocacy group), the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and all the other citizens' groups for it--they are not. It is a further, rich capitalist erosion of soveriegn Government's ability to determine the course, even the nature, of its own place; as all gradually becomes the corporate fiefdom, the global "market." Vote NO on Proposal 4; Vote No on all Proposals.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Thanks for this.
I think you've changed my mind on this one. It had seemed like a good thing, but now it appears that it is anything but. Looks like "no" on everything is the way to go.
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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I agree. Some proposals sounded good, but I am leaning "no" on all of them now.
nt.
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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
19. yes, no, no, no, yes
DNR funds have too often been diverted to developers.

On Prop 5, I think anybody who supports *public* education needs to realize that public schools are staggering under a decade of flat or declining budgets. If we want an educated workforce, if we want to keep good teachers, we have to insure that school districts shouldn't have to bankrupt themselves to provide a service that EVERYBODY in the state benefits from. I've read the CRC analysis, but want to point out that the business interests are a hefty proportion of their board of directors.

Here are some people on the other side of the question:
http://www.michigank16.org/index.html

Let me highlight just one point from their "talking points" - when we don't "tie governments' hands" and allow them the "flexibility" to shift resources away from education, this is what happens:

State support for Michigan’s public community colleges and universities has been cut by hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years. Our local, public K-12 schools are continually forced to make cuts to basic programs, threatening the viability of Michigan’s entire K-16 public education system.


Ok, a couple of more points I want to highlight:

Noted observer of politics, economics and education, Phil Power, pointed out that manufacturing CEOs agree: the presence of a quality K-16 public education system is the most important factor in the survival of manufacturing in Michigan.

In his report entitled, “A Roadmap to Michigan’s Future: Meeting the Challenge of a Global Knowledge-Driven Economy,” James J. Duderstadt, former President of the University of Michigan, said building Michigan’s regional advantage is achieved through “ . . . creating a highly educated and skilled workforce (in) an environment that stimulates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial behavior.”

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates recently told the National Council of State Legislatures that a vibrant K-16 education system is the key to attract businesses to a state. More education means higher earnings and the creation of more high paying jobs.


So, in response to the earlier crack about "I can understand why the MEA would want to do this. If they get their cut, who cares about anyone else?" (Apparently Engler's demonizing of teachers lives on in our hearts - it's not like we actually *want* competent people to teach our children, after all...) I say, bringing good businesses here benefits the whole state, not just teachers.

If you feel you must cut off your nose to spite your face, go right ahead. Just realize that that IS what you're doing.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. No, no ,no, yes,yes
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MichDem10 Donating Member (644 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yes, No, No, Yes, Yes
Prop 1: Yes. Money generated by the parks should be used for the parks. Since the legislature does not have the courage to budget properly by cutting certain things or raising taxes if need be, I believe they need to have their hands tied by the voters. The shell game of using funds in one area to cover for another has to stop.

Prop 2: No. Affirmative action is still needed in Michigan

Prop 3: No. I have no problem with hunting. Doves do not have meat for hunters to feed their families and they are not over populated. Decisions like these need to left to the DNR NOT outside interest groups.

Prop 4: Yes. Eminent domain was meant for the good of all (highways)NOT commercial for profit developers. This should help to stop abuses by commercial developers. It helps to protect individual rights from commercial developers and compensates home owners in the event they are involved an eminent domain situation.

Prop 5: Yes. Education IS the most important expenditure in Michigan's budget. I support tying the hands of the Governor and the legislature. For far to long the government has lacked the COURAGE to do the right thing by properly funding all aspects of public education. The more educated your work force is the more likely companies are to locate in Michigan. With more jobs you will get more tax revenue. The grants I received from the state when I attended U of M have generated more than 25 times their original amount in tax revenues for the state treasury. If my taxes have to go up because of this amendment then so be it! You get what you pay for!
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
22. Voting no on everything
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
23. Beware of Propaganda
On the issue of Proposal 5, I think that people--both honest and dishonest--are not reading the actual language of the Proposal. The two important points of the language of the Proposal are, 1) Two-thirds of the money will go to pay for the teachers' retirement fund, nothing is specifically slated to go to students, supplies, current teachers and their budgets, building maintenance, hiring--nothing; it is not a millage, and 2) It will change the way the retirement fund is paid for, reducing the amount contributed by local school districts, which had always paid for all, and converting it to an increasing take of Michigan's General Fund; this WILL take away from police, fire, garbage pick-up and other City services funded by the State-Sharing plan.

The Voters' Guide from the League of Women Voters Michigan--which opposes Prop 5--puts it this way: "Proponents of the 'K-16' ballot proposal will tout the plan as 'for education.' The reality is that the plan is not at all about 'education.' Rather it's about funding teacher retirement at the expense of cuts to other critical government services, and tax increases on individuals and working families," and "The Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate--57 statewide organizations, including law enforcement, fire fighters, health care providers, social service organization, taxpayers, and local governments--believes this plan is wrong for Michigan. The cost of this proposal is extraordinary. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates it will cost at least $565 million more per year. This is on top of the recently passed FY 2006/07 education budgets totaling approximately $400 million. The only way to pay for this peoposal is through cuts to other critical services or tax increases. Despite 974 words of petition language, the proposal never mentions student achievment or tuition restraint! It does detail a guarantee for teacher retirement funding. In fact, 2/3 of the funding is earmarked for retirement costs...quite obviously never intended 'for the kids.' " A special LWV Michigan Voter issue mentioned that not only was the actual education budget recently increased, (a fact which the proponents seem unaware of), but that the increasing funds taken out of the general budget to pay for the pension fund "will mean less money for everything else unless the Legislature raises taxes. Either state money will be shifted from non-mandated school programs (such as adult education, school readiness or middle school math grants), or other areas the state supports such as social services, and public safety will be cut, or perhaps both will be required for the Legislature to balance the state budget."

The Michigan Municipal League, (which should know about how this is going to affect local and county budgets, and which opposes Prop 5), has a link you can click on, on the page http://www.mml.org/legislative/bills/ballot.htm to get a PDF called "Why Proposal 5 is Wrong for Michigan." It is part of a coalition against it, the Stop K-16 Coalition. Part of the PDF has this point:

"But isn't this 'for the kids'?
"Unfortunately, nothing in Proposal 5's lengthy petition language says anything about improving student achievement or higher educational standards. The only guarantee from Proposal 5's at least $565 million dollar budget is that $380 million will go to teacher's pensions. Over 2/3 of this ballot proposal geared toward 'helping children' is earmarked not for the classroom but for teachers pensions. Last year, the Legislature and Governor approved a $200 per pupil funding increase. This year, they have approved spending increases $210 per pupil. Educators have advised that all of these increases are going toward health care and pension costs. Not one dime of these increases will go into the classroom!"

The mandated pension-funding increases, and reduced funding from local school systems, will take increasing amounts out of the General fund, and cut funding to non-mandated things, or will increase taxes to pay for this scheme. Nothing is going into the classroom--it will not pay for supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students, or anything else. It is not intended to. The fact that the propagandists for Prop 5 keep using the totally dishonest line about how "we need higher education for good jobs," etc., has made me start to think that they know they are lying, and, "Republican-like," are trying to. I will not respond at all to the peculiar viciousness of reply #19, except to mention how much it reads like a Republican Committee "framing" ad campaign. It is destroying a wonderful and educational thread. Vote NO on Proposal 5; vote No on all Proposals.
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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Yes, lets beware of propaganda
The actual ballot language:

Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).


In what universe does this equate to "Nothing is going into the classroom--it will not pay for supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students, or anything else."?


Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.


Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year student enrollment average.


Again, in what universe do these provisions equate to "Nothing is going into the classroom--it will not pay for supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students, or anything else."?


Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.


This seems to be your main objection. God forbid that teachers have a secure retirement, nevermind that "good benefits" have *always* been the trade off for low pay, and has convinced many a bright person to go into teaching when they could have made more elsewhere. Take away the "benefits" that off-set low pay, and only an idiot would go into the profession. Do you *want* idiots teaching the next generation? (And yes, in case you're wondering, I have teachers in my family, including my husband, and four of my cousins, and I can guarantee you that having a pension was one of the main factors in deciding to go into the job. It doesn't pay enough to actually *save* for retirement.)

But, even if you don't care about the quality of teachers in our schools, doesn't reducing the funding burden on local school districts free up money for other things? Including "supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students or anything else"?


Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.


And once again, in what universe does this equate to "Nothing is going into the classroom--it will not pay for supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students, or anything else."?

If everybody benefits - *both* by attracting more businesses (jobs), and by attracting good teachers - shouldn't everybody pay? Isn't that pretty much the definition of "the common good"?


I will not respond at all to the peculiar viciousness of reply #19

LOL. Providing information from the "other side" is "vicious"? Heh.

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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Prop 5 Does Not Fund School Operations; It is a Retirement Fund
As I mentioned, there are no guarantees for anything but retirement funding. This changes the funding formula and will take from the General fund, taking from police, fire, etc., which has never been done before, and as I gave quotes from analyses of the Proposal, there are no guarantees that anything will go into the classroom in any way, shape or form. I will not respond here either to your weird, creepy "characterizing" of me, which I do not deserve and have never expressed a single opinion supporting. Proposal 5 is not a millage; it will not fund school systems or their operation.
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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. That is simply not true
And no amount of repetition is going to make it true. Prop. 5 adds funds for school systems in three ways. A direct increase in school funding of $565 million, plus an annual increase for inflation, an indirect increase from the reduction in schools' out-of-pocket costs for teachers' pension-plan funding, and by reducing the gap between the "basic funding allowance" and the "maximum funding allowance."

This goes TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Whether any of the money makes it into the classroom is up to your local school district. If you have a problem with the way they spend their money, take it up with them.

I should also add, the teachers retirement system is run by the State Office of Retirement Services. Teachers are the only state employees whose pension plans the state currently does NOT fund completely. Local communities don't fund the retirement plans of Judges, State Police, and other state employees (the other retirement plans administered by this office). The reason local schools pay *any* of it is that they have more control over teachers employment (salary, working conditions and healthcare benefits). But the retirement system is a STATE benefit, not a local school district benefit. They didn't put it together, and they don't administer it. It's not the local school districts' retirement plan, it's the STATE'S retirement plan.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Again, No Reference to the Studies of the Proposal
Again, you did not refer to the studies by the League of Women Voters, Michigan Municipal League, and coalition against this proposal, all of whom studied it and how it would work, and all of whom warn against the increasing drain on the entire State budget by the changed funding rule for retirement/pensions. I did not study it, these other groups did and I quoted their results; again you did not read or answer them. "If you have a problem with the way they spend their money..." etc., was weird and insulting. Try to stick to an issue, whether it "frames" well or not. I don't know why you told me that "Local communities don't fund the retirement plans of Judges, State Police," etc. What does that have to do with anything, other than to change the subject?

The very problem is that this proposal will change the retirement funding for teachers, etc., from a local school-district to a State General Fund responsibility. The numbers do not add up, and it will take an increasing percentage of the State general fund. Please do not pretend that I made that up myself; read the studies from the groups I quoted, go to their websites, etc. "No amount of repetition is going to make it true"--that at least, is a fact, no matter who you work for. From the M.M.L. PDF "Why Proposal 5 is Wrong for Michigan," "Of the at least $565 million dollars Proposal 5 will require, $380 million is earmarked for teacher's pensions." Please address these findings, rather than going over your own "points" again.
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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I've read the proposal
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 07:02 PM by bain_sidhe
and the analysis prepared by the Citizens Research Council. I have made my own conclusions. The League of Women Voters used the CRC analysis to come to their conclusions. The Michigan Municipal League, and the coalition against prop 5 have come to their own conclusions as well, as is their right. I simply disagree with their conclusions. Yes, everybody wants a piece of the pot, and many of those opposed to Prop 5 want to protect their piece, as do those in support of Prop 5. Everybody's got an agenda, and here's mine: I want to increase funding for education, and I want to protect teachers from being stripped of their pensions by school systems going bankrupt under the current funding crisis. (Almost 50 of them, by last count.)

This proposal, in my opinion, is a direct result of Engler's campaign to destroy the public school system, and so is my support of it. I actually think that Granholm is doing the best she can for schools in the face of the structural budget deficit Engler engineered (more of that "starve the beast" philosophy). It's not her hands I feel the need to tie, it's some future Republican Governor and legislature's hands. This law can be changed if future circumstances require it, but not easily. This, IMHO, will make it less likely that some future Republican Governor can pick up where Engler left off.

A couple of things for people still confused:.

The "increase in funding" is a *real* increase and goes directly to the schools. As with most state school funding, the school district decides how to spend it. That's part of the "local control" mandated by law.

The decrease in a school district's out of pocket costs for funding pension liabilities is a *real* decrease. It is money the school district will not have to pay out.

The difference between the funds received by a school district from taxes and the "funding guarantee" by the state comes from the state, from the general fund - and always has. The proposal mandates a "cost of living" increase for this "funding guarantee." Also to be paid for by the state, from the general fund, the difference between the pension-fund liabilities (now paid completely by the schools, out of their operating funds) and the school system's contribution capped by the proposal at either 80% of the actual contribution rate, or 14.87% of payroll (currently it's 17.74% of payroll).

Yes, both of these will reduce the money available for other purposes. It's no surprise that the Municipal League is against it, as it might impact their share of the pot. But here's the difference: If residents of a city or county demand a service the city can't pay for, the city can raise taxes. The same goes for the State. They won't like it, and the residents may decide that they can do without that service. But if they really, really want it, they have that option. But, due to Proposal A in 1993, schools *can't* raise taxes to provide needed services, or to comply with unfunded mandates. So, on the one hand, schools *by law* can't increase their revenues, and on the other hand, they must pay for unfunded mandates out of their operating costs.

Everybody wants a piece of the pie. I understand that, and I even agree that there are many social services that deserve funding. But it's a matter of priorities. My priority is to fund education, and to insure that we get and keep *good teachers* in our classrooms. Your priority may be different. That's what political campaigns are all about. One of us will convince the majority to share our priorities.

Oh, and one other priority... I want education's piece protected from people like Engler.

If you want to read the CRC anaylsis, it's here: http://www.crcmich.org/election/index.html
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
31. No on all of them
Especially 2.

I'm enthused about voting to protect mourning doves, too. Like hunters don't have enought animals they can shoot at in Michigan.
Although, there should be a trade-off that lets suburbanites and city residents shoot possums, raccoons and rats with bb guns.

I grew up in a suburb that had laws against it. I also had neighbors who raised swans. They had no qualms about shooting raccoons, muskrats or weasels who would try to steal their swan's eggs! And the neighbors had to problems with it, either.
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maddogesq Donating Member (915 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
34. Yes?, no, no, yes, yes.
I am still up in the air on 1. If someone who has the scoop on one can elighten me, please PM. 2 and 3 are no-brainers. 4 and 5 seem all right by me.
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dewie Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-02-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
35. How I'm voting and a little bit of why
#1 (Constitutional Protection of DNR Funds): haven't decided, but leaning toward "No".

Here are the principles I am using to make my decision:

(A) Avoid amending the Constitution if at all possible. It is too difficult and costly to undo if it turns out there are unintended or hidden consequences. Let statutes do the job if they can.

(B) Dollars spent for "X" should be given to "X", not "Y".

(C) Sometimes, B doesn't work. What if we recognize a program that is essential, but just can't get enough financial support solely from the participants (e.g. public radio)? Should we let it die, or should we support it with money from more popular programs? Conversely, if a program is financially self-supporting and even flush with excess funds, should that money be kept there where it is not needed, or should it be transferred to a worthy and needy program? To quote the CRC, "Moving these DNR funds into the Constitution would eliminate the chance of the accounts being raided to balance budgets in the future" but would it also eliminate the chance of the accounts being bolstered from other accounts if they fall short?

(D) I strongly favor protecting Michigan's natural resources.

#2 (Michigan Civil Rights Initiative a.k.a. Constitutional Ban on Affirmative Action): No.

Again with the "Constitutional Amendment"! From previous posts, I think everyone knows that this one has tons of hidden agenda. I don't support Affirmative Action. I believe that equal means equal and we can't make up for past grievances by adding new ones ("Two wrongs..."). Nobody deserves less than fair, just and equal treatment - but nobody deserves more either. Having said that, I will say that this proposal is not intended to achieve equality. I believe that it is a veiled attempt to introduce a means by which certain groups will try to weaken or eliminate many important state programs based on gender. Is cervical cancer screening discriminatory?

#3 (Referendum on Mourning Dove Hunting): No.

I do not hunt or fish, but my father was an avid hunter/fisher and I believe that everyone has the right to hunt or fish if they choose. My father also had enough Native American (Cherokee) blood that he believed in only taking what he and his family needed from nature and using what he took. When he was still trying to get me to be a hunter, he showed me a Cherokee ceremony where he offered his prey a last meal and a prayer of thanks for its sacrifice to our family. Hunting for pure sport is just brutal killing. I don't support any hunting or fishing when the purpose is to notch another kill or bag another trophy.

#4 (Eminent Domain): No.

Can't we do anything any more without making it a constitutional amendment? While I support what I think is the intent of this proposed amendment, I agree with the CRC analysis that it goes too far and makes the burden of proof way too difficult for government entities. We shouldn't pass this amendment, but we do need to find some way of preventing rich private interest from abusing the current system.

#5 (Education Funding Law Guarantee): No.

Some of the previous posts have made some very good arguments in favor of this proposal, but I think that several bad assumptions have been made:

(A) More money = better education.

According to international comparisons, the USA spends more per student than practically every other country but our students rank far down on the list. We need to find out why and get better value for the dollars we already spend. We might start by looking at the depth and breadth of the administrative level of our education system compared to other countries.

(B) More money = better teachers.

When a particular profession is well compensated, some people will go into the field who otherwise would not have done so, including some who shouldn't.

(C) Teachers are underpaid.

The entry level salary for teachers in Ann Arbor is more than I currently make (I am 47 and an Ann Arbor resident). Some teachers in K-12 make nearly 2 1/2 times as much as I do. Half of my wife's family is, or was, in the teaching profession. I will agree that teachers are underappreciated, understaffed, overstressed and overworked, but I think that being underpaid is very, very subjective.

This proposal is a plain and simple money grab.

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