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Posted on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

University of Michigan students protest choice of Gov. Rick Snyder as spring commencement speaker

By Juliana Keeping


University of Michigan students hold signs and chant Wednesday while protesting the selection of Gov. Rick Snyder as the spring commencement speaker at the office of university President Mary Sue Coleman at the Fleming Administration Building.

Melanie Maxwell |

Characterizing Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget cuts as a power grab for the privileged few, dozens of University of Michigan students Wednesday protested the decision to name him the spring commencement speaker.

Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman extended the invitation to the new governor, a tradition since 1967, university officials said. Michigan regents - who rarely disagree with Coleman in public - will decide Thursday whether to approve Coleman’s choice of Snyder as the April 30 commencement speaker.

Holding signs that read “Not in our House” and “Graduation cancelled due to budget cuts,” dozens of students voiced their concerns in the Diag and at the Fleming Administration Building at a rally organized on Facebook. Rally leaders vowed to take the protest to the monthly regents meeting in Detroit.

Wielding a bullhorn, Michigan senior Zach Goldsmith led the crowd in “Rick is wrong” chant and said he found the choice of Snyder as commencement speaker insulting.

Anti-Snyder rhetoric picked up momentum Wednesday around the state. Michigan College Democrats traveled to a Capitol rally to decry the proposed 15 percent cut to higher education funding, joining seniors who planned to speak out on the governor’s plans to tax pensions.

Snyder spokesperson Sara Wurfel said in an e-mail Monday that Snyder is trying to build “a solid and strong Michigan that works for everyone,” and that the proposed budget is aimed at preserving safety nets while improving the economy.

Protesters on the Diag said the proposed $1.8 billion tax break to businesses would be made on the backs of the poor and elderly.

A separate online petition organized by U-M student Rick Durance had 4,091 signatures as of Wednesday.

The petition isn’t about Snyder, per se, Durance said. He said he wants the university to stop inviting politicians to speak. That rule that would have prevented President Barack Obama from speaking at the 2010 spring ceremony.

“Had Obama been anti-public education, I would have done the same thing,” said Durance, a history major.

Though counter protesters weren’t spotted in the crowd Wednesday, not everyone had signed on to the anti-Snyder rhetoric. Some Facebook users called the protest organizers hypocrites - at least, online.

Facebook user Michael Reseigh wrote:

“All Snyder's doing is balancing the budget and trying to attract new businesses to this state, something that hasn't been done for the last 8 years under Granholm. Yes, this means some people like seniors who have had a tax-free retirement to start paying taxes on it. Obviously the liberal policies of the last decade have not worked as Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country since no businesses want to open here.”

Via e-mail, U-M spokesperson Kelly Cunningham defended the school’s choice of speaker and noted Snyder’s ties to the university.

“The choice of commencement speaker is very important to the graduating class, their family and friends attending the ceremony and we work to find someone who will inspire others through the commencement address and by virtue of his or her distinguished accomplishments,” Cunningham wrote. “We are very pleased that Governor Snyder, a three time alum of the university before age 23, was able to accept the invitation in his first term.”

Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter


Kai Petainen

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Question. If the invitation is sent to all governors and presidents.... Although he was unpopular, was the invitation given to President George Bush?


Fri, Mar 18, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

George H. W. Bush in 1991. His speech was unmemorable. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The other George Bush did not speak, but this does not mean he was not invited.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

yesterdday when I wrote, I was deleted, so it looks like Rick has friends at the Ann Arbor News, so today, I will write if the students do not like who is going to speak, they should just get up and walk out when he is going to speak. Why spend so much time with getting a signature for a petition, when the President Mary lou will have who she wants to speak for graduation and with the wonderful smile of excitment in the picture of her, I am sure she is happy. The voters won with Rick and the results are showing how well he is.

Moscow On The Huron

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 11:54 a.m.

Ah, the ignorance of youth. It was a simpler time.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 8:30 a.m.

&quot;Is this a purely ideological rejection?&quot; - Well, if you consider the &quot;ideological rejections&quot; of facts like human-contributed causes for global climate change and U.S. birth certificates of people you don't like, then, yeah, this is an &quot;ideological rejection.&quot; Reciprocation is a &quot;tough cookie&quot; - ain't it? Only in this case, it's a rejection based on the facts: Snyder's agenda is the same as Republican officials everywhere: destroy funding for public services to FORCE the American people to accept &quot;privatized, unregulated&quot; EVERYTHING. &quot;... bunch of whiners who can't deal with the fact that Virg Bernero was soundly defeated...&quot; - - yes, Mayor Bernero was soundly defeated: by the Fat Republican Campaign Money Pile, which was used to deceive the voters and get Entrepreneur Snyder elected to an office he never worked a day to qualify for. Boycott the U of M Commencement - if U of M persists in having Gov. $nyder as the guest speaker. There's no sense giving this guy another (tax paid) platform to spout his &quot;ideals&quot; to students (and the rest of the state of Michigan). While you're at it, write a letter to Mary Sue Coleman and tell her to get over her girlish crush on male politicians. She's an embarrassment whenever she's on the same stage with one of those guys (of either party).


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 4:59 a.m.

It's just too early to see if this governor will be a success or failure. If I were a graduating UM student, I would feel ripped off.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 4:53 a.m.

Hard to believe. Rick is trying to make it so current grads and their kids are not paying for bills ran up by the liberal tax and spend crowd. Hopefully this is a minority and the students who took advantage of their educational oppurtunities will realize he is doing the right thing. Go Rick and Go Blue!

Alex J

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

I think they're just upset Obama couldn't speak at their commencement.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 6:24 a.m.

Do you think the president has time to speak at every commencement? People in Michigan hold this university in high regard flash! UM is not that special in the overall picture of universities in the US. It is not Ivy League - just thinks it is, is not diverse - just thinks it is, is not in a desirable location - only Michiganders think it is.... The president is probably otherwise engaged.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Apparently money can buy a seat as Govenor in Michigan. Rick Snyder is the anti Robin Hood. He steals from the poor and gives to the rich. He seems to want to give to rich business men like himself. How many are family and friends of Rick?


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

The Michigan Student Assembly just voted down, by a close margin, a resolution opposing Governor Snyder giving the commencement address this April 30th.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

It seems to me, that it is part of tradition and all governors have been invited to speak -- regardless of political affiliation or affiliation to the UofM. Whether or not you disagree with his policies is not relevant. It is tradition, keep the tradition. You can disagree with the governor or the policies, but it is important to still respect the governor and allow him the opportunity to speak.

Jimmy Olsen

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

Here is where the 15% can come from for higher education at the U....take a glance at the over-bloated salaries at UM. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Everyone should put stop getting their underwear all in a bunch. These are the proposals from a man who said during the election he would balance our budget. Someone besides the tax and spend crowd has to put something out there. What we will eventually end up with might be different. Say, we don't start taxing senior pensions unless they are over 50,000 ? The threats for seniors to move are idle, the grass is not so green on the other side. Remember, they consume just as many services in this state as everyone else. I am a little disappointed he didn't suggest to privatize our prisons, etc, since we spend more money on those than education. Protest all you want - I want Rick. Go Rick Go !!


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 6:06 a.m.

Pensions need to be taxed and everything else needs to be looked at too. I am a fan of the cap on film incentives. Give that to businesses who are permanently here. I think he is making some good decisions. I may not agree with all of them, but who will?


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

These students deserve a failing grade in economics. It's about jobs plain and simple. I can understand the pensioners being up in arms, but these young job seekers are the constituents who should be thanking Snyder for going out on a limb for them.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 6:03 a.m.

The pensioners should not be up in arms! They should thank their lucky stars that they live in one of four states that don't tax pensions. If Michigan votes to tax them, they still have three alternatives, or they can live here on less, like the rest of us do.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

The Board of Regents should and will unanimously approve Governor Snyder as the commencement speaker. The fact someone of his stature is taking time to come out to his alma mater and deliver such an address should be a source of gratitude from the graduates.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Funding to Michigan's universities is already at an all time low. Unfortunately, the collective memory of the older generation is so terribly senile that they've forgotten that when they were in college up to 70% of their school's funding came directly from the state. They call us whiners... yet they never had to pay near what we do or work as hard to do it. Now they want to take more out of our pockets under the delusional pretense that it will lure jobs to Michigan and balance the budget. All this nonsense is going to do is line the pockets of the wealthy. Trickle down has never ever worked and anyone with a mind for history already knows that.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:29 a.m.

And to think my daughter is being indoctrinated with such tripe. I hope Bobby is in the minority as far his thinking, or this state is in BIG trouble.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

Robert, This is the same older generation who benefitted handsomely from the way things were in the past, retires from government jobs with two pensions and don't pay any taxes. I have friends who are doing just that. I have teacher friends who can retire in their fifties on your dime pal. Think about what you are protesting against and do your homework. You're the one who will be stuck without a job, student loans to pay off, and crushing taxes. And by the way trickle down has worked very nicely for many baby boomers and could for you too if you weren't so sold on socialist ideals.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

More students need to get involved. Seniors, let this amoral meglomaniac know he isn't wanted at his alma mater. Let him know you aren't going to sit there at graduation and smile like fools while he destroys education and hyjacks democracy from the people.

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

Just because you don't want him speaking doesn't mean the Students agree with you. The MSA voted 60% in favor of striking down the resolution. Move along people, nothing to see here.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Well, the MSA voted 60% against the resolution seeking to prevent Snyder from speaking. Gosh, just about the same percentage that Snyder whipped Bernero by. Of the 4000 signatures garnered how many are from students and how many from faculty &amp; staff? Me thinks this is mostly faculty &amp; staff who fully understand that 40 years of feather bedding is about to come to a halt. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

average joe

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

I can't get past the fact that the students want Spike Lee to be the speaker. Perhaps if he is that worthy to U/M students, then Mr. Lee should come here &amp; make a movie WITHOUT getting any film subsidies. After all, isn't the film subsidy taking money away from the state treasury &amp; therefore from the education budget?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:55 p.m.

Governor Synder's actions to date do not bode well for the citizens of this state. Emergency managers legislation passed without any discussion. Please take the time to read this, ponder, and realize the implications. I couldn't support the candidate and I am very concerned about this Governor's intentions. Taking from the poor and giving to the rich isn't exactly a stellar position.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

&quot;Taking from the poor and giving to the rich&quot; How exactly is he doing this? You are repeating what someone else has said, not the reality of the proposal.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

I am not sure that it matters who speaks, it appears that these students did not listen to last year's speaker who said &quot;...if you're someone who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you're a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not often be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. &quot; The rest of President Obama's speach is still available online. It is well worth reading and considering in this circumstance.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

Amen to that!


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

All of the students are protesting because Snyder wants to make Michigan a more favorable place so they can have jobs??? Seriously?????? I graduated from there and can't believe the lack of understanding of basic financial knowledge. Balance the budget and don't listen to the whiners, otherwise you'll have to listen to them whine when their taxes are more than their student loan payments, unless mommy and daddy paid for their schooling. In that case good luck mom and dad because they're gonna be living in your basement.


Fri, Mar 18, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

@Why: No, Michigan is a great state. If you haven't figured it out then you haven't traveled around the state. Go to the west side, or up north. Maybe it's not your cup of tea, but I've been around the block and am glad to be here.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:48 a.m.

My daughter graduated from Michigan in 2009 but could not get a job here despite her honors degree. (We were delighted.) She is not living in our basement and is paying her own student loans. She is working in Boston, Ma with a great salary. As non-Michiganders temporarily stuck here, I want to know why everyone thinks this state is so great, particularly you, Mike. It is not. I have lived everywhere, including outside the US. Michigan is mediocre at best. Maybe you should venture to Ohio.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:26 a.m.

Atticus, who do you think pays the taxes? Who do you think creates the jobs? You, and your fellow socialists better learn quick that it's game over, man, game over.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Why should Atticus learn about the MBT when he can just go with his gut feelings about it?

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:20 a.m.

Atticus, Making the tax climate more favorable to business does not equate to corporate welfare. Please remove your head from the clouds, and come back down to Earth.

Atticus F.

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

In what way will corporate welfare, and handouts to millionaires help the economy? He's litterally taking money from people who spend it on neccesities, and handing it to people who intend to put said money into offshore holding accounts. I don't understand how could could be suffering from the delusion that that you have an understanding of financial knowledge with your outlook on economics.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Please give up, it will not be changed anyway.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Just imagine how much fun it will be if it isn't changed, when these creative, energetic kids show up to graduate Let the real protest COMMENCE!


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

It is Michigan tradition to invite a newly elected Governor. It is a way for the University to establish a relationship with the new leader. In this case he also happens to be a Michigan grad. Not a guy who will gut UM. Good gosh, why bite the hand that feeds you??????? Where is Coach Hoke when we need him......&quot;This is Michigan for God's sake!

Dante Marcos

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Great piece here on Snyder's lawlessness: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Don't worry Dante this will be sorted out by adults, not some progressive rag.

Atticus F.

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

Message to Rick Snyder: Get out of our town!


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Atticus: Just another compaint without anything to back it? Still no plan? Funny, I still hear that businesses are paying taxes. But your response always seems to be take from the rich. Maybe if you owned a business you would realize that the profits from businesses are used to help grow the business and employ more people. If you want businesses to use all their profits to pay taxes, then they will never grow. People will not have jobs. But of course only wealthy people will pay taxes, not you and me. So again I ask, why don't you provide a detailed plan of how to get our economy going and still balance the budget? Lay it out. Many of us want to hear it.

Monica R-W

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 6:15 a.m.

Message to Nerd Gov. Snyder~ You have managed to upset a number of voters in your county of residence ~Washtenaw Cty~ in less than three months being in office. Worse, you want to cut funding to 15 Universities in Michigan...making it harder for students ~like you were formerly at the U of M~ to obtain a higher education. You received your educational degrees Nerd Gov. Snyder three times over. Why are you trying to cut today's students out of the same thing you have? Regardless, your true colors are shining though and your favorably rating is WORSE than former Governor Granholm...until her SECOND TERM...44 percent and dropping. Meanwhile, Nerd Gov. Snyder, you have been in office, less than than three months. So, Michiganders are in the stages of organizing a RECALL campaign against you. Will they be successful? Well, at the rate you are losing support (that honeymoon sure did expire quickly, huh), I would bet if they do not get a minimum of 790,538 certified voters signatures...they will get VERY CLOSE! By the way, you might want to check out <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> . From my short observation...they appear organized and ready for a fight. Take care! &quot;The Working Class is under attack....what do they do? STAND UP FIGHT BACK!&quot;


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

Majority of Ann Arborites, huh? The same ones following the old adage of, &quot;Those that can't do, teach&quot;? The buck stops here, baby.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

Atticus he isn't handing cash to corporations, he's just not TAKING as much. Hey Rick CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT until the job is done. You have the support of this whole town, except the guy above this post.

Atticus F.

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

grye, handing cash to corporations in no way guarentees that they will actually hire people...Didn't the bush tax cuts teach you anything?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

I've yet to hear how you will fix the problems that politicians have created. We now get a business person in charge to make the tough decision, and everyone whines. Tell us your magnificent plan that will make everyone happy and smile from ear to ear. How will you do it Atticus?

Atticus F.

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

I do in deed speak for the Majority of AnnArborites.

Moscow On The Huron

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

You speak for the town now?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Message to Rick Synder; You are doing a fine job and are welcome here anytime you want. Plus I'll buy you a beer. One more thing Rick pay no attention to the people with their hands out, it's the rest of us who are paying your salary.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

First off - this is NOT your town. Second off - this is Rick's State (he's the new governor in MI). Third off - You go away instead. Somewhere else a village is missing its idiot and you need a job.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

These intelligent future graduates have better start thinking about compromise . . . the future depends on it.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

They're thinking about leaving behind the state and its fascist governor...


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Well, if the regents do choose to invite Snyder, it'll almost certainly spark a local May Day campus protest greater than any seen since the Vietnam era. The middle class finally starts to wake up!


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.


Joe Hood

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

I think I can count sixteen people in that picture. Were there more?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Did you look at all the pictures?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Why should the students have a say? Let this be a life's lesson. Unless you are the boss, you don't get to make the rules. By having Rick speak, maybe these whiners will want to be their own boss and start up a successful business in Michigan. Then they will be amazed that Rick's plan is what is needed to fix the economy. By the way, Mary Sue is not the boss, the regents are the boss. She may get overruled.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:33 a.m.

Bet you they will start their businesses elsewhere - brain drain is epic in Michigan.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

I hope that the Regents will listen to the students. Graduation should be for and about the graduates. The speaker decisionshould not be based on some outdated tradition or for any possible benefit it may offer to a university official.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

Yeah, it does seem kind of selfish for so many varied groups to be upset about Snyder's dismantling of public institutions while he makes a payout to rich people like himself. It's also selfish for people to assume that their democratically elected officials actually have power and should be responsive to the will of voters and legally binding contracts - but Snyder has taken care of that too with his emergency financial officers. Our only hope might be that the middle class and the working poor of Michigan realize how much this administration is trampling upon their civil rights and take appropriately selfish action: recall the nerd! Join the protest! Don't take the theft of your civil liberties lying down!

Monica R-W

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 6:03 a.m.

Floyd.... Join the movement...spread the word...Michiganders can start the process to boot Rick out of the Governor's office beginning July 1, 2011.... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

Floyd, Maybe you should start up a business and create some jobs, you seem to have all of the answers. And while your at it just sign over your whole paycheck to support all of the bloated government and collect some welfare and &quot;bridge cards&quot;

Basic Bob

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Elected officials have all the power until they abdicate their authority by not managing their finances. Even though they prove they are unqualified to run the city, close-minded partisans continue to reelect the incompetent. Then the same close-minded people claim it is their civil right to force other people to pay for their mistakes. Sorry, YOU elected the bums. BTW, U-M graduates have nothing in common with the working poor. If they are not already rich, they are right on track. Just like Gov. Rick!


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

There won't be a middle class with Snyder in office.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Is there still a middle class?


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

Does anyone really care what the students want? They are here today and gone tomorrow. The fact that they didn't mind having Obama, a man who is ruining the country, yet have a problem with someone who is trying to get Michigan in order again, shows how little they know about life!


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:30 a.m.

They &quot;didn't mind&quot; having the President of the United States of America speak? Show some respect - you may not agree with Obama but plenty of other people said otherwise when they voted him in. I doubt any of those graduates will forget when the President spoke, whether they agreed, disagreed, had voted or not.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

Amen, brother.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

Wait a minute. This is COMPLETELY bogus! Snyder really hasn't done anything yet - good or bad. He was only inaugurated a little over a month and a half ago! So what's the problem with him speaking? Is this purely an ideological rejection? At an institution of higher learning where people are supposed to be taught to reasonably listen to all sides in order to form an opinion, suppressing free speech because you don't THINK you will agree with the speaker in complete conflict with any concept of enlightenment. Barack Obama spoke a year ago. I'm sure many of the 90,000 attendees didn't completely agree with him. Now we're going to show how enlightened we are by demonstrating against the right of someone that might hold a different view to express his opinion. I get it. A double standard! I'm no apologist for Snyder or his policies, But I will defend his right to say anything because if you take that right away from him, you can take it away from me, too!


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:25 a.m.

Exactly! He is no one to anyone yet! Find someone with something of substance. There is not yet substance in Snyder. I hope there is but am not counting on it yet.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Regents - time to listen to the students; they have a good point. A 44 year old &quot;tradition&quot; of inviting the new governor to speak at the graduation of a nearly 200 year-old school does not need to be followed. The students don't want the education slasher at THEIR graduation; please go with a more appropriate speaker.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:23 a.m.

And it is not like the students are not used to being robbed before - I can't remember, was it something &quot;Promise&quot; that my current college student had stolen? Yes, I think there was a promise in there somewhere.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

This isn't that hard. The students get to have a say in who speaks at their own graduation. Objecting to honoring someone who wants to make it harder to pay for school isn't unreasonable.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

They have a right to object, no doubt. But they have the same right to pick the graduation speaker as they have to picking the next President of the University.

Moscow On The Huron

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Then you'll get Snooki.

Yeah buddy

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Agreed. I support Snyder and his policies, but students should always decide who speaks at graduation.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

I find it interesting how various groups attack those holding political positions in re to funding decisions. Here we read about students protesting cuts to education joining seniors protesting about taxing their pensions. There is a selfish attitude going on here, something of a &quot;Don't cut us,......&quot; But none of them ever say the second part of that sentence&quot; &quot;....cut them.&quot; And they never offer any ideas of who should suffer cuts in lieu of them. That could lead to fights among the protesters. Those who complain about cuts in there arena are in effect saying this, cut somewhere else. So actually they may be united in who they are protesting, but are really in competition with each other, especially when the pot only holds so much funding. Wouldn't it be funny if the governor appeared at a protest and announced, &quot;We hear you senior citizens! We are not going to tax you, instead, we will cut university funding further!&quot; Or vice versa. At least part of the crowd would cheer, then go home quite happy. I suppose the Regents can pick another speaker. I wonder though if the graduates will remember who they hear from. I doubt any would forget the Governor was the speaker but some other graduate who has done well? Maybe not.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

The answer to your statement about the counter proposal to budget cuts is very simple. Stop slick rick from enriching himself and his wealthy cronies by cutting business taxes so drastically.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

a2scio the poor don't pay taxes, they can't be cut unless you're talking about the handouts.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

God forbid he raise taxes. The following is a do-it-yourself Michigan budget. If one takes it seriously one finds there are plenty of options to the Snyder budget: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> But he has made it clear that he is not listening, and Rpublpicans have majorities in both houses that are large enough that Democrats simply are ignored. Yes, elections have consequences. And so does legislation that is enacted without taking into account the concerns of the political minority. It was the greatest concern our founding fathers had when they founded this country (the tyranny of the majority), and Republicans in this state are doing their very best to drive that history lesson home. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

I have an idea that is not education vs. seniors. The State could implement a progressive tax on income that would shift the burden from the poorer who are struggling to survive day-to-day to the wealthier who are more able to pay a higher tax rate.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

You can't fix Michigan's problems without upsetting someone. So, Rick, take this story to mean you're on the right track.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

If that's all it takes to fix the state, Governor Granholm, apparently, was on track years ago. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

Nothing but a bunch of whiners, who cant deal with the fact the Virg Bernero was soundly defeated in the November 2010 elections.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

So why do you support slick rick? I didn't vote for him, but except for those with maybe $100million or more in their pocket, I just can't fathom why anyone would have.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5 p.m.

Congratulations DF Smith on following the conservative argument style so perfectly. Attack the person who disagrees with you, not the basis for their argument. Rush, Glen, and the rest of Rupert Murdoch's empire would be so proud!


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

So Ed How much funding should the U of M get? Are they getting too little, or too much please enlighten us. I don't feel this is as much about the cuts as it is don't cut me Bro.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

I did not vote for Snyder, but I see nothing wrong with him giving the graduation address. But let's not pretend that there aren't legitimate reasons for people to oppose his addressing the UM graduation, among them being his cuts in education spending. Good Night and Good Luck