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Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 5:55 a.m. joins for endorsements in Michigan's 6 ballot proposals

By Paula Gardner

Related article: Your guide to's coverage leading up to the Nov. 6 election

Endorsements in the six ballot issues facing Michigan voters are included both in Thursday's print edition of and our digital edition.

These endorsements represent a unique collaboration in Michigan: They're the result of a statewide editorial board meeting of MLive Media Group, which includes and


Check out the MLive Voter Guide

I was among the editors of eight local newspapers, two local digital news markets and other top-level leadership who met in Lansing earlier this month to debate these endorsements. There were cases made, pro and con, in each instance, and plenty of negotiation and conversation.

By the end of the meeting, we'd reached consensus on the recommendations that we'd give to voters in our collective readership in both print and online markets.

John Hiner, MLive Media Group's Statewide Content Director, wrote about our company's unprecedented announcements in a recent column: endorsements in the six ballot issues facing Michigan

Click the links below to see the endorsements for the six ballot proposals you'll be voting on Nov. 6.

"Six proposals face voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot; several of them have far-reaching implications that could alter the fabric of our state, from the largest city to the smallest school district and even into your own home. The consequences of these choices are far too important to be left to sound bites, misleading ad campaigns and heated rhetoric.

"That's why MLive Media Group is stepping forward with our endorsements on each of the six ballot proposals ... We are invested deeply in these communities, and we are committed to moving Michigan forward as a whole. We reach the largest audience in the state, and we have the opportunity -- the obligation -- to serve it with deep, meaningful journalism and informed analysis and opinion." remains committed to its primary mission of covering Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities, and we wrote many articles on local elections over recent months. But we also welcome the chance to participate in creating this statewide voice during this important election.

Paula Gardner is Community News Director at Contact her by email or follow her on Twitter.


Robert F. Magill, Jr.

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

I commend on its recommendations on the state-wide ballot proposals (Yes on 1 and No on 2-6) I would like to add further information on why 4 should be No. I donate time to a local non profit for the developmentally disabled. The parents who keep their disabled child at hom eceive a small monthly payment from the state which saves money by not having the child in a state system. One of the parents showed me that the SEIU was now taking "union dues" from her monthly payment -- even though she is not employed by any organization other than her child. And not giving her back any union "benefits" -- she could have used health insurance. The SEIU was simply taking a cut from her disabled child's help check and from that of thousands of other moms and dads in the state caring for their disabled children. That theft was what the legislature tried to stop. The SEIU, not willing to give up a free cookie jar, put #4 on the ballot. The proposal's language about a "registry" is just a smokescreen -- I can tell you there are plenty of state and private information sources available to check on home health care workers, for those who need to hire them. And for the disabled who stay at home, they don't need a registry to check on their own mom or dad. Prop 4 is a blatantly dishonest attempt at a money grab by the SEIU.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

After researching who supported each proposal and why..... helped me decide on all the proposals with the exception of 1. It's pretty scary when is endorsing the same as Tea Party groups. Anything the Tea Party endorses should be second guessed.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:09 a.m.

Agreed totally....Yes, no, no, no, no, no...and in Ann Arbor three more: no, no, no


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 9:40 a.m.

Please, do not pay attention to endorsements from the media, such as these MLive endorsements. Remember, they are corporate owned/aligned entities pushing their own agendas, not what is best for you. Also, remember that journalism schools tend to attract people who were unable to succeed in more lucrative fields. Educate yourself on the issues and make your own decisions.

Roger Kuhlman

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Vote Yes on Proposal 6 unless you believe 'free' money is going to build the new International bridge to Canada. At least $2 billion of Federal funds will be going towards this project despite the fact there is no current demonstrated need for a second Detroit bridge to Canada and the Federal government is running annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion with an accumulated Federal Debt of $16 trillion. This free money attitude held by most politicians shows why are country can not behave in a fiscally responsible manner and stop running up unsustainable debts. In the long run will face a dire bankruptcy situation much like Greece does now and it will not be pretty. Think about that. [Those $2 billion of Federal transportation funds could go, if we want to spend them, to fixing existing highways and bridges in Michigan which are in bad shape.]


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:33 a.m.

Your principles are misguided here. Is is not about "free money" it is about breaking a stranglehold on one of the most important trade crossings in the U.S., if not the world. It is about creating jobs. It will also go down historically as one of the single greatest deals in Michigan history. This is not a "bridge to nowhere" and is exactly the sort of project that federal funding should go towards. In fact, the funds are coming from Canada and the only federal funding will be in matching dollars for Michigan roads.

Basic Bob

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 9:39 a.m.

You would rather we just write a $2B check to Moroun instead? Good luck when the 80 year old bridge and tunnel crumble and our children have to take ferries to get to Canada from Detroit. This is not $2B spread over 50 states, but $2B spread over the folks in SE Michigan only. Bad choice.

East Side Dad

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:21 a.m. you got it right. I'm amazed at the misconceptions of people who think otherwise. On Prop 2, the only thing a yes vote will accomplish is to accelerate the move of manufacturing jobs out of Michigan and end our economic recovery. I understand that many are upset with the continued decline of higher paying union jobs in our state, but changing the constitution will not slow that down. I can also understand liking the idea of being able to command a high wage for manual labor requiring minimal skill. The problem is that there is no shortage of people in states to our south who are more than happy to work for a good, but lower wage, and offer more flexibility to their employers. Michigan workers have 2 choices. Adjust and accept similar packages and retain their jobs - or - keep sending their jobs south. They are not going to keep what they have. Accept it and move on. Vote no on 2.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

For those who would rather rely upon their representative to make the right choice, good, the current state of the state represents you. And if not, it will only get better for you with each new election. I once believed that was true too - a long, long time ago. Now I believe that every citizen in this country has the responsibility to ensure that their state succeeds - regardless of what the representatives in Lansing may be told to do in group think. They are no smarter and always somehow seem to be a little bit more mistaken than those they are hired to represent. I'd rather keep the prime directive responsibility - survival - by electronic plebiscite if need be..

Michael Bow

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

Why is proposal 5 bad?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:11 a.m.

Also, you should know this was proposed by Matty Maroun along with Prop 6,,, not worried about your taxes, but to ensure his competition Bridge will not get built


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Proposal 5 will in effect prevent the legislature from ever increasing taxes. While that may sound good in theory, it is poor in practice. What you end up with is a system like California - where taxes cannot be increased (because voters never allow it) but the same voters will also then mandate the government to do something like fix the roads. Sometimes you have to raise revenue on the State level if we are to have effective governance. Coincidentally, the same logic above applies to proposal 3. Green energy is great, but how can you make the mandate without knowing the expenses and then only allow the energy companies to raise rates by a tiny amount?


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

Seems AA.Com aligns its views with the tea party. Vote the exact opposite of AA.Com on all proposals except for 5 & 6 and you will be doing yourself and society a favor.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

Huh? In some strange parallel universe, maybe (more like a skew universe). Their picks are aligned with people from across the political spectrum.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

We are a republic. We elect our legislators for a reason - to make laws. If we don't like the laws then we vote them out and new laws are made. Altering our Constitution will lead to an escalation of proposals during each election cycle (see California). I'll vote to not change our Constitution.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

Hmmm... I think you are proving my point in that in a nearly fifty year cycle the average is less than one amendment per year. If even three amendments passed this year that would equate to 10% of all amendments since 1964. My hypothesis is this would open the floodgates as a way to bypass the legislature. So, alterations to the Constitution are historically relatively rare events and my choice is to keep it that way. Don't get me wrong, there are very valid reasons that the Constitution should be amended from time to time. But except for maybe one of these proposals, none rise to that level.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

Michigan's Constitution has been amended 31 times since it's beginning in1964


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

1- Vote NO. Unless of course you want your elected officials to be thrown out by whomever is governor based on their whim. 2. Vote YES, unless you like lower wages for workers and CEO's destroying the economy of the state like they have for the last 30 years, Michigan was at its APEX when union membership was at its highest. Not an accident 3. Vote YES, unless of course you think DTE , BP, and Consumers Power are in it for YOUR best interest. 4, Vote Yes, unless of course you want to allow anybody to care for your aged loved one 5. Vote NO, unless you like 13 people being able to decide how to run the stare, Oh and by the way, Engler could not have shifted taxes from property to sales when he did and Snyders giving to business while taking from the poor would not be allowed 6 Vote NO, unless of course you ar Matty Mouron. There is NO other person who should be in favor of this proposal PERIOD

Michael Bow

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

Isn't proposal 5 to give the people of the state the ability to control taxes, not corrupt special interest guided politicians? I'd also vote down the unions, they're only looking out for themselves.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

I disagree with these recommendations. I voted as follows; NO on proposals 1,5 and 6. YES on proposals 2,3 and 4. Don't be misled.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

I will be doing the same thing. It is scary when people vote based off ads and media recommendations versus their own research.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

Step 1 towards losing right to vote. A2com -> YES. Step 2 away from 1% rule. A2com -> NO. (Didn't like movie Roger & Me either). Step 3 towards survival. A2com-> NO. (Missed last spring, summer, and someone named Sandy). Step 4 awary from 1% rule again. A2com -> NO. (Our nannys and butlers are too expensive as it is). Step 5 towards less taxation. A2com -> NO. (Who's gonna pay for any more Pure Michigan fiascos?) Step 6 towards survival. A2com -> NO. (Ohhh Caanada, We like your tar sand supertruckers. Ohh Caanada, but not our residents to rule )


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Prop 1: No Prop 2: Yes Prop 3: Yes Prop 4: Yes Prop 5: NO! Prop 6: NO!


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.



Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

You've "aced" it.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

A poll on WDIV last evening says most people agree with these recommendations. Prop 1 is expected to pass, and all the others go down to defeat. The best showing of any of those was only 39%.

Evalyn Yanna

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Is there an example where an Emergency Manager took over and actually make positives changes?

Stan Hyne

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Do you know of any city that went into bankruptcy and was happy with the results ?

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

Yes. The people I know who live in Benton Harbor are very happy with the changes, especially with the dissolution of contracts given to cronies of the city hall crowd.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

LOL Yes, the manager in Pontiac sold the Silverdome for cents on the dollar to his future employer. If an emergency manager is needed, he needs to work with the elected officials, not fire them.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Well done! Virtually every publication, with any leanings either right or left, has come out in the same, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Crain's...all of them landed at "One is Yes, No on the Rest". Any other vote could have been terrible for our great state.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

I agree 91.7%! (Haven't decided on prop 3 yet.)


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

Wow. What happened. Did Rick Snyder buy slash Mlive? Anti union - anti home health care workers and pro big business(power companies) I guess this will put any questions of the political leanings of your organizations to bed. I'm voting yes on 1-5 and No on 6.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

You were happy the other day when they backed Obama for President.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

The Maroon family that wants proposal 6, also wants proposal 5.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

Disagree. I'm going by the non-partisan, league of responsible's recommendations.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

I agree with Prop 6. All the rest look like they were written by the the ALEC crowd. Right out of the Milton Friedman playbook. If you think they're gonna stop when they take down the unions, you are mistaken.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

Nobody is taking down any unions. Unions are protected by federal law. This is state law that only provides freedom of choice.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

101% in aggreement


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

The problem with proposal 1 is that it goes too far. Arbitrary removal of elected persons, elimination of unions, take over of assets for personal gain and no resolution of the financial problems doesn't exactly make this proposal a winner for the state. Agreed that help is acutely needed for failing cities but this doesn't seem to be helpful except for the Emergency Manager and his pals. The land grab in Benton Harbor for personal gain was probably illegal, but with the ER apparently anything goes. The sale of the Silverdome for 1% of its costs was bad enough, but for the ER to then turn around and partner with the developer for his own personal gain should have been forbidden. I agree that the proposals safeguarding unions and home health care workers are in fact an apparent response to protecting them against the assault by our legislation to destroy any semblance of equity. Screams of "let our constitution alone" is a hypocritical response at best since changing the consititution in favor of religious beliefs seems to not be a problem. Would love to have more adults in Lansing versus the extremists we seem to be saddled with.

Patricia K.

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

I agree with your endorsements except for Proposal 2; Proposal 2 should be a vote yes. Some of the ad campaigns saying vote no for proposal 2 have had to be taken down because of the blatant skewing of facts. It has also been very evident over the last few years in this state and in neighboring states; the attacks against unions and working families through changes in legislation by the state government. Proposal 2 is in response to those attacks.

East Side Dad

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

GoNavy has it right! There is no reason to restrict the ability of our elected officials to pass laws.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

2 is the one I'd show up to vote against even if it cost us the other five. If Michigan is to remain in recovery, we need to be able to do something to check union power.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

You can't skew the fact that Proposal 2 would prevent voters from electing officials to effect new legislation that in any way (that's a pretty wide hole) would restrict collective bargaining. People in the United States, and in Michigan especially, deserve *more* choice - not less. Why would we ever vote now to restrict our ability to pass legislation in the future? It just doesn't make sense. If somebody has a good idea for collective bargaining, introduce it through our system of not try to go through the backdoor and hamstring the state. PS My family works. Full time, in fact.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Wow, got this one right. That was pretty easy, though.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

It was. But, like you, I'm surprised they're in agreement on all six.

Albert Howard

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

I'm voting NO on Michigan's 6 ballot proposals.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

That darn First Amendment and it's pesky "right to partition" dohicky ! We'll go after that next .

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Now you want the right to have your own way when the legislature elected by your fellow voters disagrees with you. As well as the governor and supreme court. And possibly the Majority of voters directly in a referendum. The First Amendment is a right but not a guarantee that you will be happy with the result.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

...or is it petition? No matter same effect

Roy Munson

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

Shocking to see some common sense and reason coming from this "newspaper."


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Well said. Changing the constitution is not how we do things in this state.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

The Michigan Constitution has had 31 admendments since it's inception in1964


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

So putting Proposal one in the CONSTITUTION is nto changing it, but all the rest are? Give me a break. Where were all these "dont change the constitution" types when the gay marriage issue was on the ballot? Ho about when the ridiculous Headlee Amendment was on it? By the way, the CONSTITUION says the people of the state of Michigan have the RIGHT to direct democracy. That means ANY single issue can be put on it when all proper things are done and it does not violate the US constitution. Quit whining about changing the constitution when it is in it that it can be done that way.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

PattyinYpsi: The governor is an elected official. If you dislike his actions, don't vote for him next time. If Detroit decided to secede from the country, would you be OK so long as it was a "democratically chosen decision?" We live in the United States of America, not the Federation of Associated Cities of North America.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

Yes. A much better way is to let the governor carry out the most anti-democratic action that has ever taken place in the history of this country: replacing elected officials with his unelected friends.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

All evidence to the contrary notwithstanding


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

The guv's bought-and-paid-for re-posting site strikes again. Was he in on that meeting, or did he just send an email telling you what to do?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

johnnya2, proposal one does not suggest amending the state constitution, the others all do and they are all special interests that will hurt Michigan.

Alan Goldsmith

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 10:24 a.m.

Nice headline in the print edition this morning: "Wreckless Union Power Grab Will Hurt Us All". I guess the MLive and my definition of 'us' isn't quite the same. You left out the 'cigar smoking overweight union thugs' in the 'endorsement' writeup too.

Steve Bean

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Was it "Wreckless" or "Reckless"?


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 10:20 a.m.

Common sense and reason...amazing....... good on Mlive....

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 10:12 a.m.

100% in agreement