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Posted on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

A2Y Chamber takes stance against 5 of 6 statewide ballot proposals, releases candidate questionnaires

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber has released copies of local political candidates' responses to a questionnaire it sent out in advance of the Nov. 6 election.

They provide insight into the minds of candidates seeking seats on the Ann Arbor City Council, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, Ypsilanti City Council, Michigan House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

The chamber also announced its positions on six statewide ballot proposals. The chamber took a stance in favor of Proposal 1, which would keep Michigan's controversial emergency manager act intact, and said it opposes Proposals 2 through 6, which would amend the state's constitution as it relates to collective bargaining, renewable energy, taxes and international bridges.

The chamber argues the broad and complex issues in the last five proposals are best left to the Michigan Legislature to address.


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"Although arguments can be made for the substance of each proposal, the chamber believes that to enshrine them in the constitution is too permanent a solution because it removes the ability of elected legislators to create, change, test, and modify laws of such great importance," the chamber stated. "The A2Y Chamber calls for these important issues to be addressed through future legislative action."

As for the emergency manager act, otherwise known as Public Act 4 of 2011, the chamber made a somewhat neutral argument but ultimately came out in favor of passing Proposal 1.

"Proponents believe PA 4 provides needed tools to aide local units of government in dire fiscal situations, while at the same time ensuring the state of Michigan can protect its credit rating," the chamber stated. "Opponents refer to it as an overreach and an abandonment of the democratic process by, in some cases, eliminating local governmental control."

However, the chamber said the law was passed through the legislative process in both the Michigan House and Senate and deserves a chance to remain in place long enough to sufficiently judge its effectiveness, and a yes vote on Proposal 1 allows for that chance.

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Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Rita Mitchell

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:36 a.m.

As said earlier, Michigan's constitution is different from the US Constitution. It is set up to be amended, and has been amended over 30 times since adopted in 1963, after a statewide constitutional convention.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

Why would you vote yes on 1? Do you think it's ok for an EM to come in an strip a city of it's elected officials? This seems completely out of line with democracy as we know it.

John S. Armbruster

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

The answer is simple. Those opposed to the emergency manager law are hoping the governor will just give them money and let them fix the problem and the public employee unions are supporting it so that the EM cannot fire or lay them off or cut their pay or benefits. My hope is if Proposal 1 fails the the governor just tells Detroit and the others "Have a nice time with the bankrupcy court". Watch them scream then.

martini man

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Yep , I'll be voting ,,, exactly the way the Chamber recommends. We don't need a bunch of liberal activists messing with the constitution . They screw up enough stuff as it is. YES on 1 ..NO on all those other proposals.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

The majority of responses I've heard about these proposals have been the same, yes on 1 no on 2-6. As it should be.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

Thank you Chamber -- voice of reason.... YES, no, no, no, no, no...and in Ann Arbor, two, and no....


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

All of you union stooges can rant and rave about how the chamber of commerce doesn't care about "worker's rights", but the fact is that prop two will go down in flames because the average Michigander is fed up with union thuggery demolishing the economy of this state. And you have nobody to blame but your own greed. Let the flaming commence.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Yup, those greedy union thug 3rd grade teachers with their $50,000/year salaries are the ones demolishing the economy of this state.

Tom Todd

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Vote yes on Prop 2

the leprachaun

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

vote no on 6

tom swift jr.

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Here is a directory of Chamber Members if you are interested in voting pro/con regarding their recommendations with your wallet.

Robert Gordon

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

Our Constitution has been amended over thirty times. For some big things, and well, we voted to change "handicapped" to "disabled" in the 1990's. There is nothing inherently holy about Michigan's Constitution, as it is able to be rewritten from scratch once every sixteen years.

tom swift jr.

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

No surprises here.... Makes me wonder, however, why I would spend money at member businesses who are encouraging votes against my best interests. Could post a list of members of the aa/y chamber?

Robert Gordon

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Corporate shills.

Jack Eaton

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

The national and state Chambers have regularly lobbied against equal pay for women, protection from workplace discrimination, workplace safety, and environmental protections that I would be reluctant to accept the suggestions of any group affiliated with those organizations. Unless the local Chamber has repudiated the agendas of the state and national Chambers, these recommendations should not be followed.

John of Saline

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

I remember the newspaper strike. The picketers were famous for hurling racist and sexist slurs at the replacement workers (who were much more diverse than the strikers). That was after various violent attempts to shut down newspaper plants, throwing "star nails" to flatten tires at passing cars, and blocking a freeway at rush hour to make some sort of point. Which was, they liked being paid for 8 hours of work for only doing about half of that, and they liked stupid work rules that (for instance) required loading docks to have a guy on hand to make calls for extra supplies as needed--and stand around doing nothing the rest of the time. I'm surprised they didn't demand 50 Linotype operator jobs to be maintained through 2045; they had no concept that technology was changing publishing and there wasn't some bottomless pit of money with which to satisfy their endless demands. The Free Press and News quickly figured out that they could put out the papers with a LOT fewer people, and the strike ended with all the replacements staying on and the strikers only being hired when new spots opened. Ooops. Almost bad as the air traffic controllers in '81.

Jack Eaton

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

"How about the Free Press?" Don't forget that the seemingly liberal Free Press was indistinguishable from the seemingly conservative Detroit News during the newspaper strike of the 1990's. Corporate news is corporate first, and a news-like product, second. They will endorse President Obama, because that is the product they are selling. They have fought the defensive actions of the labor backed proposals because that is their corporate interest, which comes before their product.

John of Saline

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

How about the Free Press? Their liberal union-friendly editorial page recommends the same votes.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

The almighty dollar has spoken. I will be voting almost the opposite NO on 1, YES on 2-4, NO 5-6.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

The Chamber of Commerce against workers rights? I'm shocked!


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Actually the CofC is against union rights to make their leadership richer while destroying Michigan business ability to employ these workers. Now let the negative voting on this post from union stooges commence.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

For the record, I'm usually against changing the state's constitution. But the balance of power in the country has tipped so heavily towards the wealthy that Proposal 2 is more than necessary.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

Thank you Chamber of Commerce. Someone actually cares about jobs and the economy in Michigan.