Full-Time Hypocrisy Just Say “YES” to a Part-Time Legislature
The taxpayers of Michigan would be better “served” with a part-time legislature and it would be more in line with the “Pure Michigan” theme. Michigan legislators worked (in session) only 81 days during 2012 and 100 days in 2011; pay them accordingly.
The way it’s set up now only works for the legislators, the powerful “lobbyist” and “special interest” that contribute to their campaign coffers. Essentially public policy is set by these groups over “We the People” who have elected them to represent and serve us. The public be damned.
The idea that they are working for us just does not cut it. The only thing they are working on is getting re-elected so that they don’t lose the gravy train they already enjoy along with their spot at the public “feeding” trough.
Many legislators constantly complain about people receiving welfare benefits without knowing their situations by claiming they are lazy and refuse to look for work. These legislators are in session for less than half of the 365 days a year, and yet receive all the benefits of a full-time worker.
They are nothing more than elected welfare recipients, getting all the benefits from the taxpayers in this state without having to show up for work.
Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce advocates for some semblance of legislative reform, especially in light of the fact that far and away the majority of states across the nation accomplish their work on a part-time basis and have for years.
Since they were able to pass 282 bills (that the majority of us didn’t want) in three weeks of the lame-duck session, three to four weeks is all they need to work. Cut their pay 75% with no more free public-paid health care. Maybe then the citizens of Michigan will finally get their money’s worth.
Feel the pain – it’s time for the part-timers to become part-time. Our illustrious Legislature is overdue to become part-time. Since they act like part-timers and meet so infrequently, let’s make them what they are: part-time! While we’re at it, reduce that over inflated salary to part-time status as well. It’s time these politicians feel the same pain we do with reduced incomes, higher taxes and less benefits.
With big money including “corporations as people,” controlling the legislative process representing the people of your district is a dream.
The only communication I receive from my legislator is a reply from a staff person telling me why my representative disagrees with my position or suggestion, if I receive even that. I have been told by my representative that I just don’t understand how the legislative process works! Oh but I understand all to well.
Let’s take a look just some of the wasted time spent by our elected lawmakers in Lansing shall we.
Here in 2014 while our legislators were “in session” Senator Rick Jones (R) got into a facebook exchange with the president of the Michigan Open Carry organization over the Remington Gun manufacturer building a plant in Alabama bringing that state over 2,000 jobs.
Looks to me like our legislators have way to much time on their hands! If they have the time while “in session” to surf the Internet and get into debates we need a part-time legislature.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley Led State Officials in taking the Legislative Polar Plunge
I don’t think so and they would be looking for a new job! Our elected officials are elected to serve all Michigan citizens and not just one special group.
This bipartisan group of legislators had a swimming pool brought in and filled with warm water to take this plunge in front of the Capitol building in Lansing. Some wore suits, some wore costumes such as superman and one was dressed as a German-Austrian with a stein full of beer. Keep in mind this was at 3:00 in the afternoon while “in session.”
Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Twp. in 2013 introduced a resolution for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” that was approved by his fellow legislators. Khan celebrated the passage by taking the podium Tuesday while wearing a black eye patch and saying, “It’s time, and now recognized, that the state of Michigan acknowledges this holiday and grants it the recognition it truly deserves.” Kahn pointed out that Michigan is the Great Lakes state and should support and promote “worthy maritime initiatives.”
Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, however, didn’t think very highly of the resolution. “I just want to thank the senator from the 32nd District for making the most compelling argument he could for a part-time legislature,” Whitmer said.
Is now the time for Michigan’s Legislature to go part-time?
You bet it is! I and many I have conversed with all agree that the less time our elected officials spend in Lansing the less damage they can do! More time spent with constituents in their districts and their concerns and the less time spent with “lobbyist” and “special interest” that “pay” for their agenda to be advanced on public policy the better.
With the flurry of “tax increases” that have been levied upon the taxpaying citizens of Michigan at the hands of the Republican controlled legislature in Lansing since gaining power and control with the help of the Tea Party in 2010 is unconscionable.
The Tea Party movement is named, of course, for the famous event in late 1773 when cases of tea were dumped unceremoniously into the Boston harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a carefully orchestrated strike against a commodity that was being taxed and sold by a monopoly provider the British East India Tea Company. The tea the Sons of Liberty dumped into Boston Harbor was in fact from China.
The link below is an excellent read for those Tea Party Conservative Patriots of Freedom and Liberty who strongly believe in a Constitutional government and a return to those principles that have lost their way in today’s tyrannical government. The following is adapted from a speech delivered by Charles R. Kesler on October 21, 2013, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.
Taxpayers Lose Again, Fisker Automotive Sold to China’s Wanxiang
Wanxiang bought Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems LLC, last year through a similar bankruptcy sale. A123 and Fisker were both recipients of a controversial U.S. Department of Energy loan program meant to support clean energy technology. Michigan taxpayers also suffered dearly when the quasi UN-elected MEDC give away tax dollars to A123 Systems in taxpayer funded subsidies.
Michigan‘s A123 Systems Files for Bankruptcy
State Battery-Plant Subsidy was a “Risky Venture” from the onset with several economist warnings. The Michigan and Government-funded battery maker files for bankruptcy after receiving $249.1 million federal grant money (taxpayer dollars). A123 Systems received a $100 million “cash subsidy” (taxpayer dollars) from the state of Michigan for a 75-acre facility the company had leased in Romulus.
The subsidy was in the form of cash because the plant had been granted “renaissance zone” status by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. This is yet another in the long line of failures of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. an entity that should and must be abolished as to cut the size and scope of Michigan Government and save the taxpayers money!
A123 Systems won another $125 million in tax credits and incentives from the Michigan Economic Development Corp in spring 2009 and a $10 million cash grant from the state in fall 2008. Just move along nothing to see here Michigan Taxpayers just more of our tax dollars down the drain courtesy of the “failed” Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).
China’s Wanxiang Corp. Bought A123 Systems now Fisker
Wanxiang Group Buys American Battery Maker
Michigan taxpayers ponied up a plenty in subsidies for this failed battery maker that was purchased by China’s Wanxiang America Corp.through the “failed” MEDC.
Wanxiang buys A123 systems
Fisker’s assets to go to Wanxiang
Along with the wreckage of A123 and countless other “stimulus”-driven financial black holes the Chinese have acquired, the government in Beijing and citizens of The People’s Republic thank the United States for both borrowing money from China and then using it to buy assets it sells back to them at pennies on the dollar. Well done Michigan Lawmakers and the “failed” MEDC along with our lawmakers in D.C. more government for everyone!
Bankrupt Fisker’s assets to go to China’s Wanxiang
Governor Rick Snyder’s economic “team” was one of several contractors who pumped millions into ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s alleged criminal enterprise. Although the government hid the companies’ identities in the indictment, public records and interviews helped put names to aliases. The list of companies includes deep-pocketed donors and powerful executives. Hmmm… maybe that’s why the governor chose to abolish the “Nerd Fund” rather than to expose his donors?
The companies involved are going to be needed by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to help prosecute the case. “It’s always hard to say whether the payer of a bribe is culpable or a victim of the crime,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University and former federal prosecutor.
“Sometimes that’s hard to distinguish.” So far, most executives linked to the corruption probe have escaped indictment. Some witnesses were granted immunity and others are victims, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.
Among the contractors who were allegedly extorted to retain Bobby Ferguson as a subcontractor include Walbridge, a general contractor headed by John Rakolta Jr., a longtime area powerbroker who was recently named to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) by Snyder. Wayne County and its Building Authority has filed a law suit seeking to recover $154 million from 3 jail contractors including John Rakolta’s Walbridge.
John Rakolta’s film studio, Raleigh Film Studios in Pontiac was awarded taxpayer funded subsidies when this studio defaulted on it’s bond payments the taxpayers of Michigan are now on the hook for making those missed payments through the under funded state pension fund. These subsides were awarded through the “failed” MEDC prior to Rakolta being appointed to the MEDC board. Can you say conflict of interest?
As of Sept. 30, 2010, the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Michigan State Employees’ Retirement System were unfunded by $21.7 billion.
The “secrecy” and back-door “deals” are very suspect to say the least surrounding politicians, government, and businessmen and looks to be a scheme (scam) bilking the taxpayers of Michigan out of millions of tax dollars all for political and financial gains. Let’s just hope and pray that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and her “team” continue looking down this rabbit hole of corruption and bring those businessmen and politicians to justice.
Bob Ficano, John Rakolta And The Big Jail Problem
Feds’ subpoenas target Wayne County business dealings
Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano replaces top officials (Romney related)
So, what was Schuette’s cut?
Suspicions sometimes followed after Kilpatrick, Ficano dealings along with John Rakolta
John Rakolta allegedly through media reports donated $10,000.00 to Democrat Bob Ficano’s campaign war chest only to receive the contract for the new Wayne County jail project.
Public Employee Pension Systems Raided To Pay Film Studio Bills
Michigan-Subsidized Film Studio Fails; State Pension Fund Had Guaranteed Loan
House Cuts $25M State Film Subsidies in Proposed Budget – Not So Fast Say’s Richardville
Report: State pension funds bankroll Pontiac studio; taxpayers lose on films
Michigan Pensions Cover Missed Bond Payment for Film Studio
The Republicans with the Republican controlled legislature in Lansing is passing legislation more in line with the Democrat Party! The Grand Old Party is supposed to stand for a more conservative stand on issues. They are supposed to stand for and believe that the federal government should not play a big role in people’s lives. Most Republicans favor lower taxes and less government spending on social programs. They are supposed to stand for and believe in less government intervention in business and the economy. Not the case here in Michigan!
Our current Republican Governor and his counterparts within the Republican controlled legislature in Lansing has proven the exact opposite of the stated stand above they do not adhere to that ideology. Higher taxation, more regulation and bigger government involvement and intervention in business and the economy at the cost to taxpayers has further proven they are on the wrong track for Michigan’s taxpaying citizens and the Republican Party’s stated mission.
In January 2013, with a $25 million (taxpayer funded) U.S.. Department of Transportation grant under the guise of economic development and the proposed 45 permanent positions for Detroit Department of Transportation workers this project has moved forward. With all the “secrecy” surrounding the Michigan Economic Development Authority (MEDC) and their non-transparency no telling how much other taxpayer funds will be funneled to this project!
We taxpayers have been to this dance before. One look at the projections made when the Detroit People Mover was proposed should send up huge “red flags” to the taxpayers of Michigan. The M-1 Rail Line will eventually be donated to the Regional Transit Authority, officials said. Governor Snyder’s 2014 executive supplemental budget calls $2 million “taxpayer dollars” from the general fund to be allocated to the Regional Transit Authority. How much more of Michigan taxpayers’ dollars will be wasted only time will tell. The M-1 Rail Line is expected to serve 6,000 riders a day initially and eventually grow to 10,000. See People Mover.
The Detroit People Mover opened in 1987 at the time of planning; the system was projected to have a ridership of 67,700 daily. In it’s first year, an average of 11,000 riders used the People Mover each day. The Mover costs $12 million annually in city and “state subsidies” to run. So, all Michigan taxpayers who never have or never will use this system pays for the few who do use it. In 2006, the Mover filled less than 10 percent of its seats! The daily ridership 7,083 – Annual ridership 2,328,084 (FY 2011).
Michigan Senate OKs bill “shifting” $100M for snow removal and RTA
The “Theft” of our road tax money continues!
The legislation would mean at least $10.83 million for the four counties in the Detroit region, including $2.44 million for Macomb County, $3.74 million for Wayne County and $3.86 million for Oakland County, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Michigan Senate OKs $100M plan to repair damaged roads, fill potholes and taxpayer funded RTA Start Up cost.
The supplemental budget includes: nearly $20 million for Harper and Hutzel hospitals, and $2 million in start-up costs for the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan among other carve out’s to other entity’s.
Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, said passage was crucial for many departments in the state. If our legislators in Lansing would just wake up and open their eye’s they would clearly see that by abolishing the “failed” quasi government entity the business buddy favorite MEDC that would supply the much needed funds that these state departments so desperately need. But if they did that they wouldn’t receive the “kick-backs or campaign coffer enrichments now would they!
The authority has $500,000 taxpayer funded capital in the bank to work with, provided through the Michigan Department of Transportation. Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Twp., whose chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, said a discussion planned for Thursday on a supplemental appropriations bill between him, House Appropriations Chairman Joe Haverman, a Holland Republican, and state Budget Director John Nixon would likely include additional RTA taxpayer funding.
Michigan House approves regional transit authority
Senate Bill 911, which allows for the collection of new vehicle registration fees to fund the RTA, also passed through the House by a vote of 57-50. Earlier on Thursday, the House had taken action only to pass SB 909, the RTA enabling legislation.
2012 Senate Bill 909: Create Detroit regional mass transit authority
Public Act 387 of 2012
Introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R) on January 26, 2012, to create a new Detroit area regional transportation authority (previously called DARTA now called RTA Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority) covering Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties, and potentially others. Among other powers the authority could levy property taxes (special assessments) and higher local vehicle registration taxes with the approval of a majority of the aggregate of all votes cast in an election (meaning a particular community could not “opt out” of the tax increase).
2012 Senate Bill 911: Authorize Detroit regional transit vehicle registration tax
Detroit Reinvention Senate and House Bills and Public Acts
This article list taxpayer funds given to Detroit in subsidies.
2012 Senate Bill 912: Create Detroit regional mass transit authority
Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D) on January 26, 2012, to exempt the Detroit regional transit authority proposed by Senate Bill 909 (and House Bill 5309) from local zoning ordinances. This is part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s road and transit tax proposal.
Public Act 389 of 2012
2011 Senate Bill 445: Create Detroit area transit authority
Public Act 391 of 2012
2012 Senate Bill 967: Authorize dedicated “rolling transit” lanes
Public Act 390 of 2012
Comment on Bill – Re: 2012 Senate Bill 909 by waltduro on March 30, 2012
Here Snyder goes again, looking to raise taxes so his buddies at Business Leaders for Michigan can get paid.
Senate Bill 911, Authorize Detroit regional transit vehicle registration tax
Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D) on January 26, 2012, to give the regional transit authority proposed by Senate Bill 909 the power to impose a higher vehicle registration tax in the region to pay for buses and other public transportation.
Public Act 388 of 2012
Business Leaders for Michigan – Members: Many of these listed members have received taxpayer funded subsidies for their individual business ventures here in Michigan. http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/blm-members/
While watching “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News she was interviewing RNC chairman Reince Priebus and I was stoking my wood burner and had my back to the TV and all I heard was the voices and I thought it was Karl Rove’s voice because he kept saying “Now Look” the fact is over and over again just like Rove does.
Chairman Reince Priebus has even incorporated Karl Rove’s white board in this picture! Oh the insanity of it all. Can you say loser’s.
What the Republican Party needs is akin to the Marines theme…. “The Few the Proud the Brave”…We need “The Many the Conservative the Principled” that is totally lacking within the national and state GOP.
So you think your voting for a Republican? Better check the candidate your casting your vote for because if you don’t you may not get what you think! This statement says it all. Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe said:
“It’s not a shock to see large contributions from “Unions” like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Regional Council of Carpenters to the Democrats.” Oh Really?
Amber McCann actually cut her teeth in politics in former Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration. “When I was interviewing for Senator Richardville’s press secretary position they asked me how I knew I was a Republican, McCann recalls. And she said, “My dad told me that growing up.” My dad is a guy that likes to watch Fox News.
Here are some examples of “Union Campaign Donations” to so-called Republican Sen. Richardville and there are many others! Compiled from the Michigan Secretary of State’s web site, Ballotpedia and Follow the Money.
Michigan State Senate 2010 election – Campaign Contributions
Michigan Regional Council Of Carpenters $6,000
ELECTRICAL WORKERS, IBEW EDUCATIONAL COMMITTEE
RICHARDVILLE, RANDY J, MI, 2002-2010, 8, $2,140
FRIENDS OF RANDY RICHARDVILLE 512613-CAN DIRECT
MICHIGAN COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS
3800 WOODWARD AVENUE SUITE 1200 DETROIT
MI 48201-0000 12/08/05 $5,000.00 $5,000.00
MI COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS
02/23/10 $1,000.00 $1,000.00
SEIU Union Scandal
Senators Randy Richardville and Roger Kahn believe there is merit in this Thievery by the SEIU union!