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Posted on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

Michigan Supreme Court: Emergency manager law heading to November ballot for possible repeal

By Staff

A split Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that a referendum of the state's controversial emergency manager law should go on the ballot, meaning Public Act 4 will go before voters in November for possible repeal.

Four of seven supreme court justices agreed that the state Board of Canvassers must certify petitions submitted by Stand Up for Democracy, the statewide coalition behind an effort to overturn the emergency manager law, according to a report on

Read the full report.



Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Republicons give away almost 2 $billion to their wealthy task masters. They cut education funding and revenue sharing to pay for it. Cities are revenue constrained by the same republicon anti-government foolishmess. Republicon appointed dictators now legally come in and cancel contracts with labor. The anti-labor republicon wealthy taskmasters have thought through their strategy very well. The fact that this is not obvious to everyone is unbelievable.


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Give us one example of Republicans giving these billions. Then explain why it is okay for the President to give Solyndra millions before it failed. Distinguish the difference.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Only 7% of the US work force is union but they get 90% of the blame for high labor cost! The rest is blamed on regulations. No union not work place safety, no 40 hour work week, no child labor laws, no overtime pay, no health care and no retirement benefits!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

How can the same people who speak of cherishing patriotism and freedom be so willing to give up others' rights to vote for who they would want to have in office?


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

Nonsense Sh1. This has nothing to do with office holders. Those office holders do not have money to balance their budgets and they did not have the tools to do it until this law was passed. As I noted above, don't complain unless you have a solution. What would you propose for a broke city to solve a huge deficit problem?


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Let's face it: the only people they want more freedom and rights for are themselves and those that look, live their lives, and believe the same way they do. They absolutely love to use the big government to try to micromanage other people's personal lives and communities every time they seize control of the central government they claim to despise and want to downsize. The proof is in the games that the Tea Party-controlled legislature is playing with what's left of state funding for schools and communities- even those that are not in financial distress.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : noon

Now that many other governments of color (say Sylvan Twp) are tetering on the edge of bankrupcy, perhaps the State wants re-think its EM agenda. Good! The problem is growth - in a finite resource world, growth is finite. Facebook-resource governments failing to plan ahead for sustainable value (fewer people with more wealth), electing instead to over-bond (coughA2), over-build (coughA2), and kick the benefit can down the road (coughA2), will implode. Because some in Lansing do have brains, leaders might now try and re-structure team Michigan to become more self-sufficient instead of nanny-Rick-goes-to-Asia investor dependent.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:32 a.m.

Let's see what Durant, the Devos clan and all the repub buddies who run charter schools to make a buck off children claiming they could do a better job while taking enormous salaries, refusing to teach any SPED students and creating bad work environments for teachers to destroy public education in the State of MI further. Those repubs are amazing...they lost the ballot vote against "charter schools" years ago and they found a way to force this destruction via the rabid "money supported" repubs in the form of taking away the very essence of our country...democracy with their version of "paternal dictatorship of democracy" they can take government money from children & families . I guess a "government money handout" is only worthy when you're rich and take over democracy....


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

And your source is? I can't find anything to back these claims.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:11 a.m.

The purpose of the EFM law is to make sure that bonds get paid in full and any sacrifice falls on the backs of workers and the public. This is a corporatist attack on not only the 99% but the idea of democracy as well. Only a plutocrat could love this law.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

The same principle would apply when laying off or cutting the pay and/or benefits of city employees as well; but you imply this is not a problem. Shared sacrifice should mean SHARED! If city workers and the public take a hit, so too should bond holders. Did you know Ford Motor Company stiffed its bond holders out of $0.60 on the dollar a few years ago? Ford management today not only has no intention of paying back the money but also talks about thriving as opposed to just surviving.

Basic Bob

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

I'm not a Republican and don"t watch that Fox News crap so explain to me; Why is it OK to not pay your bonds and default on your municipal debt? It seems irresponsible to me to back out of an agreement the city initiated.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Detroit should be able to govern itself without outside interference and without relying on the credit of the State of Michigan (because nobody would lend them a dime otherwise). It's problem is (unlike Ann Arbor) that its politicians have always been more concerned with keeping their good paying jobs (and government provided cars w/ drivers) than making sure everything adds up. Demanding bailouts and demonstrating a complete lack of accountability for the money they do receive is their real area of expertise (which they would like to continue indefinitely). BTW: In countries without democracy the democracy activists really want it. On the other hand people blithering on about democracy in a country that has been democratic for centuries are just leftwingers looking to get something for nothing.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

I'm gonna vote against the EM law myself. Let the bankrupt cities deal with a US Bankruptcy Court appointed Trustee instead. People should not be shielded from the consequences of their poor voting decisions. "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." [HL Mencken]


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Turns out bankruptcy is not a good idea. See this in regard to what is costs: Just add a few more million in legal fees to your deficit, huh? No problem.

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

I want to see the municipalities forced to face what you and I, and businesses face if we become financially insolvent, bankruptcy. Whether of our own actions or external forces, that is the reality that we all face. Rational people who are simply in bad circumstances learn and move on. Irrational people who can't read or calculate the mathematical impossibility of benefit programs, but managed to get their cronies into office via a perversion of the use of democracy, will receive their due course from the bankruptcy court and be unable to blame the governor or public. The reason that the Governor and GOP want the emergency manager law is because they live in counties that still have good credit ratings, will see their borrowing power diminished if their neighbor is subject to default of their loans. It's like living in a neighborhood with foreclosures. There is collateral damage.. But I think that might be a good thing. Let government pay as it goes rather than borrowing to infinity and beyond. Chase Ingersoll


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

I disagree, Chase. The EFM is a far better plan. It turns out that bankruptcy can add a few bucks to your deficit: So in the end, bankruptcy could be avoidable, but I think trying the EFM is the way to go initially.

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Repeating that won't make it true. It was demonstrated that the font was the correct size. There is no requirement to pre-approve a petition font. The board rejected it despite the correct size, for political reasons. Are you suggesting county clerks know more about font size than the experts in the case? It was a dirty trick by board members who were willing to violate their oath of office to block a lawful vote.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Mr. Granger - Two or three hours with the clerk in advance would have avoided the whole court issue. But the petition organizers knew better than to waste that time with any county clerk in the state. Pre-approval would have avoided the whole court mess and its costs. But, no they wanted the court mess to raise the PR level on the petition. They suckered the other side right into it.

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

"but managed to get their cronies into office via a perversion of the use of democracy" It sounds like you are describing the board members who tried to deny the vote, and the rule of law, by pretending the font size was wrong.

Jon Wax

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

oh man we are going to get jacked! first the law gets repealed, then the council votes to undo everything that has been done... then comes the requests for more and more financial assistance, if not from the state (meaning the suburbs tax dollars being rerouted to detroit) then from the feds (national tax dollars going to pay for detroit which is embarassing because now we can't even handle it in state) current population of detroit is roughly 700,000. how much are they kicking in on taxes for the costs of mismanagement? we are going to end up covering the costs for this fiasco twice: once on our state taxes, then again on our federal. looking forward to 2013 when the federal funding dries up (hopefully!) and folks get the reality check they have deserved for a long, long time. Peace "if you are not a liberal when you young, you have no heart... if you are not a conservative when you are old... you have no brains"


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

I disagree. A city's problem will remain in that city, unless the legislature and governor agrees to bail them out, which will result in increased state taxes-and probably a big change in office holders in the legislature and governor's office at the next election. Residents will flee (they already have) from bankrupt cities and what business will more there? If the law gets repealed it is over for those cities. Their debtors will take property. Detroit could loose Belle Isle, maybe the Manoogian Mansion, etc.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

It is about Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor and other failing cities. Once one of them goes bankrupt, the rest will end up paying - every citizen who pays taxes will end up paying as the interest rates on road bonds, school bonds, loans and other financial needs for every unit of government rise. Take a look at California. Our tax money will buy less, because we will pay more interest. But you, I am sure like paying more taxes for less service don't you Mr. Granger.

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

This isn't just about Detroit. For many of us it is about the other cities. They can give Detroit to Canada for all I care. Michigan had an emergency manager law. The new law is over-reaching.

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

Our elected legislators came up with a plan, not a good one but they are in charge of making laws. Not judges. If this law is recalled, we will see cities in bankruptcy court. Because unions will continue to support incompetent leadership.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:37 a.m.

Really...this is all you've got. A rant about the unions which you obviously don't realize is trying to make sure you're safe in your home & city by supporting more police/fire personnel. If the cities go bankrupt let it happen because the people had their democracy and voted their destiny...not because some repub wants to control democracy because they can make money off of it.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

Typical right wing talking point. Blame all our problems on organized labor and their lavish lifestyle, while the corporatists in our state government do everything in their power to defund municipalities,schools and anything funded with taxpayer dollars. In the meantime they are raking in the dough from insider trading schemes connected to their government policies and laughing at the clowns who drink the Fox News koolaid. You have been duped.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

So much effort expended in an effort to deny the people their right to vote. The whole font thing was a complete sham.

Monica R-W

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

No Don Bee, Please follow the case more. The SHAM is the "Citizens for Fiscal Responsibly" organization "conflict of interest" with former Canvasser Jeffery Timmer (who sat on the Board of Canvassers in a decision making role) while privately financing the "Citizen for Fiscal Responsibly" "case" on Font Size. The second SHAM was the Attorney who appeared before the Michigan Supreme Court for "Citizens for Fiscal Responsibly" waging the completely opposite argument years before in the Bloomfield Township v.s. Oakland County Clerks case.....look it up. The SHAM was carrying on any argument at all based on FONT SIZE when the guidelines were written (and lacked needed update in this technology age) about Microsoft Word's 14 Point/Bold font....when individuals who wrote the guidelines were probably typing on TYPEWRITERS then. The SHAM was attempting to suppress the Referendum Process written in our Michigan Constitution by Republican counterparts that claim to uphold the principles of Democracy via their elected positions. The SHAM was that a man that has been found to committed "perpetrated election fraud" Speaker of the Republican House-Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) by Kent County Republican Prosecutor William Forsyth can decide laws like Public Act #4 but, has yet to pay for his actions on trying to rig a election because no Statue in state election law prevents conspiring to pay someone (Mojack) $400, then $2000 dollars to run as a fake Democrat to help a last minute party "switch-a-roorer" Roy Schmidt (R-Grand Rapids)/former Democrat. And Republicans want to talk about FONT SIZE? Me pot call you kettle, BLACK!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

So Mr. Granger - only the laws that you like should be applied? We now have an answer from the court and a clear need to revise the petition law. The EM petition folks could have avoided the whole thing by getting the petition approved by any county clerk in the state in advance. But, they chose not to. The whole court thing started because the petition creators did not want to spend a couple hours with a county clerk. That is the sham in this.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

Financial expediency has always been a central justification for fascist government. Down with fascism! Long live democracy!


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

It also simply doesn't work. The EFM's have been a complete failure where they've been used, as cutting city services, selling off a community's best public assets, and packing more kids into classrooms that have already become a dumping ground for those that can't get into charter schools accomplishes nothing but further suppressing property values and city revenues.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Floyd - Did you say "Up with bankruptcy?" I knew you did. You will love the impact of Chapter 9 on democracy, I know you will.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

The T-publicans cut school funding they also cut funding to to cities then whine because those same schools and cities have financial trouble. So they send their people to gut those same cities and schools then whine some more about poorly the education system is working. They also whine about the high unemployment as they lay off said employees from good jobs.


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Exactly. They slash funding for public education, slash revenue sharing that cities were promised as a part of property tax reform, and their Wall Street buddies destroy our economy which causes collapsing property tax revenues. They've set up cities that were already struggling for failure, and then point fingers of blame when it happens. And it is really rich when they whine about the lack of good-paying jobs- as they beat up on and demonize those that actually work for a living. The unions are not the problem; it's plummeting revenues in areas where the need for public services has never been greater. Cutting funding and packing more kids in already-failing schools, and slashing services in crumbling neighborhoods, so you can give our more bags full of free money to those that helped bankrupt those communities, is not only a cruel way of punishing those that did nothing wrong but entirely counterproductive if the objective is to help those communities become sustainable, viable entities again. And for all the public-employee bashing, the few dollars saved by voiding legally-binding contracts with employees represents a drop in the bucket in comparison to declining revenues from the state, where the supposed proponents of local control are even playing games and trying to micromanage how what little is still distributed can be spent- even in communities that are not in financial distress.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

katmando - Go back to 2005 and tell me that these same schools and governments were not struggling then? This is not a new issue with the locations in question. The majority had EMs BEFORE Governor Snyder was elected.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

It is hard to have any sort of serious discussion with people who insist on using childish names. Truth.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

Why are the T-publicans so against hearing the voice of the people?


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Monica you need to quit complaining, read up on what the EFM law does and put up some solutions you think will work if you do not like this approach. You complain but you don't have an alternative. Bankruptcy is not plain and simple. Turns out it is expensive too: It adds a few million to your deficit.


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

They did hear the people. That is why there is an EFM law. The people who created the mess were booted out of office.

Monica R-W

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

And if cities, villages, townships and school districts can't manage their fiscal affairs with THEIR ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL leadership, they should file bankruptcy plain and simple. Either that or if the State Government is so worried about the impact of a city, township, village, school board or county's bankruptcy, infuse cash to that local entity with restrictions on how, when and why the money is used for. What the State Government should not EVER do is to remove the elected leadership of the localized entity, appoint an un-elected overseer to "do the States' will" regardless to what the tax payers in that community/school district believe. One is the Democracy Process and the other is a dictator procedure. I prefer Democracy myself and sometimes, true Democracy is not all that pretty but, its' what OUR COUNTRY and THIS STATE should operate within per our State and Federal Constitution!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

katmando - None of us are against hearing the voice of the people. I just think the debater need to discuss both sides of the issue. Read the Chapter 9 bankruptcy law and the rulings, then tell me you prefer that to the EM law. Also look at what is happening to bond rates and loan rates for local governments in California and tell me you want to see that happen in Michigan.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

Because the only people who count are themselves.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Repeal? And turn things back over to the people who got us in the mess in the first place. If that's repealed it tells me all I need to know about the lemmings in Michigan who don't think things through anymore.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Somargie - How is a bankruptcy judge more democratic than an EM? How is it better? Have you read the Chapter 9 rules? If Detroit goes bankrupt, gone will be the water department, belle isle and most of the buildings with any value - all sold to pay debts. Gone will be retirement benefits and every union contract. The debts come first in bankruptcy - until they are all discharged - any asset that can be sold will be sold. Good luck with that. Read the law that you would rather have in place before you "dis" the less harsh law we have.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:43 a.m.

So you feel you have to control the democracy of others so someone can take over a city, school district by someone with little to no qualifications except political connections to make an enormous and outlandish salary from a public entity that is bankrupt? That person will sell anything, fire anybody, put 61 children in a classroom and give their equally connected buddies the right to take over that school or city? I guess the Const. of the US is only important when expressing the right to buy guns, guns, guns and denying anyone but the rich healthcare and birth control too.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

How much do you want to bet when the law is affirmed we'll see words like " stole " and " bought " being used


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Ron...Yes my comment pre-supposes it will pass just as your comment pre-supposes that under handed tactics will be used because the only way anyone can disagree with a liberal from Ann Arbor is by being stupid and fooled

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

"That's fine and dandy.So that brings us back to my first comment" Given the audacity of the underhanded tricks that have already been used by those on the board who sought to deny the vote, I suspect we'll see some more schemes to deny the will of the people. Your comment pre-supposes that the law will be affirmed, and I don't think it will be. But we must be wary of more schemes, and history shows they will be from those who have previously perpetrated them. In my view, it seems likely the law will be struck down but the power mongers won't accept it. They will attempt to reinstate it by passing a nearly identical law.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

Steve.....That's fine and dandy.So that brings us back to my first comment


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

tdw: At least now the vote can take place. Claiming the petitions were invalid because of a bogus font size argument was wrong and un American. The required number of signatures was obtained to put this issue on the ballot and the Supreme Court has determined that all required procedures have been followed.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Ok Ron font size CLAIM.What doe's that have to do with winning or losing in a state wide vote ? If you can ( which I don't think you can ) please explain

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

tdw, it does not get much more underhanded than the effort to deny the petitions based on the bogus font size claim.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

No, Tom it only depends on who wins.Liberals are so arrogant that they can't believe that anyone could disagree with them,therefore anytime they lose it has to be due to some type of under handed tactic

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

that depends on the campaign tactics to be implemented.

Robert Gordon

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

It is nice to see our Supreme Court do the right thing. I do not know whether I will vote for the initiative, but I appreciate having a choice in the matter.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

Whatever your opinion on this Emergency Manager law is, at least now it can be voiced at the polls. The argument holding it up was nothing but an attempt to subvert democracy. I'm glad to see that our jurists felt the same way.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

If anyone thinks repeal of this law is good, please post alternatives to explain how Detroit, Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Pontiac can reverse their situation, as well as the effected school districts. I cannot understand how anyone would oppose this law.


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

I revisit my post to see if there are any alternatives and as I expected there are none. Sh1 talks about money taken from education and given to business, which is not true. No money I have heard of has been "given to business." Tax cuts of business profits is not giving them money, it is letting them keep money in the hope it will stimulate more business, not just to existing business but to draw business. That is what is being done in states that are drawing business. Cuts have been made to more than just schools. The cuts are the result of less tax revenue due to loss of business and population. kmgeb2000 speaks to such cuts revenue sharing to cities and counties, but forgets to note that money does not exist anymore. For that to continue, state taxes would have to be increased significantly. That a popular idea these days.


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

Public unions will simply take more of your money in taxes and your children's future. It's not the 1% you need to worry about, it's the public employees unions with their lack of productivity, accountability, benefits, perks, pensions, and attitudes of entitilement that are bringing the country down.

Monica R-W

Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

And Mike, It also appears they can't fix the problem. Michigan Public Act 72 of 1990 was in place since 1990....or 22 years ago. P.A. 4 of 2011...well that didn't solve anything either and reviewing the data from the 1990 Act, it doesn't appear that it will. So, again if the elected leadership can't fix the fiscal budgetary problems of a community or school district, the entity needs to file bankruptcy, plain and simple. No Emergency Manager's necessary or needed.


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Monica - it took decades to destroy those communities and will take a long time to bring them back to fiscal health. They're emergency managers not magicians............

Monica R-W

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

The open question Mick52 is that Gov. Rick Snyder has said that the Emergency Manager's are suppose to be a "temporary solution". Okay, then what's temporary about it? Benton Harbor-Emergency Manager (then Financial Mgr.) under P.A. 72 and P.A. 4....nothing has changed for the better with that City. Detroit Public Schools-same thing and enrollment is still down and test scores has yet to go up with any real amount of true academic gains to speak of. Ecorse-Formerly under a Financial Manager with P.A. 72....still broken under a Consent Disagree with P.A. 4. Pontiac-Same as DPS and Benton Harbor. Hamtramck & Flint cities, along with Muskegon Heights P.S.---same thing, same result. Nothing changed or fixed. So really, looking at the FACTS...what exactly has the Emergency Manager Statue-P.A. 4 or its previous a bit different in some ways version, P.A. 72 fixed? Nothing! None of this so called fixer-uppers from Lansing work. History has proven it. Either the cities and school districts need to work and solve their fiscal issues with elected leadership OR file bankruptcy PLAIN AND SIMPLE!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

sh1 and kmgeb2000 - The cities and schools that have EMs today were all failing long before Governor Snyder came into office. The cuts to K-12 aid were roughly 3% of the base grant - local taxes have fallen more than that for local governments. The money that disappeared can be said to have gone to businesses, but more of it went to unfunded mandates from Washington DC and repayment of unemployment insurance loans from the Federal Government, as well as putting some money (for the first time in 9 years into the retirement fund for state workers).

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

I think if the citizens of those cities keep electing Democrats they will do just fine.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

It will just happen..........Obama will send them some Obama bucks and then hide some tax increase in some 2000 page bill somewhere and do it all over again when they need more cash. Gotta feed the beast..............


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

sh1: add to that the revenue sharing to cities and counties that is gone as well. Everyone wants cities to be run like a business but without revenue. In this case revenue is TAXES. Our founding fathers knew this as well. Under Eisenhower (R) 90% over 1 million, Johnson & Nixon 70 % over 1 million. Ronmey <15% (as far as we know) - now thats patriotism.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

How about starting by Snyder giving back the millions he took from the education budget to give to businesses? Schools set budgets based on the money that was going to come in. The incoming monies were cut, and now districts are failing and need to be "rescued" by Snyder appointees. Such a transparent plan; I don't see how anyone can't see through it.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

The EM law was the first step in the Republicans ultimate goal -- FULL privatization of all government services. It's pretty simple, the business owners are done creating jobs and have outsourced as many as they now they are targeting government jobs for profit -- private schools, private fire and police departments, for-hire dictators ("emergency managers"), private prisons. The Republicans are just yes men for big business ---- and if they succeed...get ready, your house is on fire, better have your credit card ready.


Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Mohawk using a Native American name to promote "democracy"? Must be a government emplooyee.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

I would suggest you all go back to your high school government textbooks and look at that powers are vested in states vs. the federal government. Then look at the state constitution. There is a vast difference between the two documents and what the next level of government is responsible for/is allowed to do/can have done to it. While I dislike the idea of EMs - I dislike the impact of bankruptcy more. If an EM is undemocratic, think about the Chapter 9 bankruptcy laws and what a judge is required to do. At least with an EM, the welfare of the people in the city have a standing. With a bankruptcy judge it is pure finance. Also we are already seeing in California that it costs every unit of government more to sell bonds and borrow because of the ones that went bankrupt, not just units of government with financial issues. Why should people in cities and towns with good finances have to shell out more because some other unit of government did a poor job, where is the democracy in that?

Jay Thomas

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

Mohawk, the "failing states" are already run by democrats, so I fail to see what difference it would make if Obama appointed someone. They have no constitutional requirement to balance their budgets... which is how California got into the mess it is in. The truth is there just aren't that many things that conservatives want to spend money on... so it's more difficult for Republican states (or Republican cities) to go bankrupt.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

No, it can't. It can happen in Michigan because, like was pointed out earlier, it works with our state Constitution, but your example doesn't work with the US Constitution. You're not suggesting, are you, that Obama would do something extra-Constitutional? Because I really have to think that would NEVER happen. Nope, no chance of it at all. He would never do that.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

you fail to answer the question....legislation, such as in Michigan, can be passed in Washington to accomplish the same anti-democratic structure the Michigan republicans have answer the question.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

@ Mohawk- That would be a great example, if it were at all congruent with the way the U.S. Constitution worked. The relationship between the federal government and the states is not at all like the relationship between each state and the cities within that state. President Obama would surely be aware of this, as he's a Constitutional professor. But ya, except for those minor details, the answer to your question would be "no, I'm not down with that, because there doesn't appear to be a Constitutional mechanism to enable such a taking of power." "Crickets"?


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

@GoTJ....I heard the sound of crickets after I posted the Obama comment....these guys are blatantly arguing AGAINST's unbelievable!

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

@mohawk, there's no point arguing with these guys. Your comment about Obama doing the same thing is self evident. Of course they'd hate it, they'd call him a dictator and scream in the streets wearing teabags on their faces. But it's all fine and dandy when it comes from a Republican.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

So guys --- let's say Obama comes out and says every state that is "FAILING" will have it's governor replaced with a EM of his choice, not accountable to the voters...would you guys be on board?


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Well then Mohawk tell us how democracy will get Detroit, Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Pontiac back to fiscal health. It is easy isn't it, to object, but not so easy to come up with a solution that will work.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Can't be farther from the truth Mohawk. And if you are against privatization and its benefits, watch this video and pay special attention at 28:40. I am not always in favor of privatizing but if a city has critical budget issues it is well worth a look.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Go beg for scraps from your corporate masters. I prefer democracy.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I give that a 9.4 for inclusion of DNC talking points in your comment. I'm sorry, but I had to give you a deduction for not including anything about racism.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

Tinfoil hat alert.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6 p.m.

I agree with Angry Moderate. Let's all get out there and vote against the repeal!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

I think you went full repub..


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

If we could count on people electing the right officials to fix these cities, they'd have done it already. The fact is that elected officials simply cannot stand up to the vested interests of public employees, who are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep the generous benefits they have managed to have assigned to them - largely off the books and behind closed doors. It's these generous benefits, rather than essential services , that are bankrupting cities and municipalities. Citizens cannot vote to "fix" these problems as they are contractual in nature; only an emergency manager has the plenary power to abrogate these contracts. I hope that, on the road to the November elections, the choices are made clear to voters. This is not about "disenfranchisement," "overt racism," or anything of the like. It's about municipal workers holding citizens hostage in order to keep benefits that were awarded in a less-than-above-board fashion, and are now directly contributing to municipal insolvency.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

All political parties must realize that when legacy costs plus current costs exceed revenue, something has to give.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Well done! You hit every one of the GOP talking points!

Angry Moderate

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Glad to see the Court uphold a reasonable interpretation of the font size requirement. Now let's all get out there and vote NO.