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Reply #35: How I'm voting and a little bit of why [View All]

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dewie Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-02-06 12:43 PM
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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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