Posts Tagged Election
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.
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/
It sure looks like it. There isn’t a day that goes by where my research on the “failed” Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) hasn’t “given away” the citizens of Michigan’s tax dollars. This must and should stop! How can our elected representatives in Lansing justify asking we taxpayers for a tax increase for our roads with this type of cronyism benefiting themselves and their business buddies? They can’t! Read more below the picture.
Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe Closes Michigan Taxpayers Lose Again
The Shoppe faced a series of setbacks before announcing closure after just 16 months. Just another in a long list of taxpayer funded failures through the “failed” MEDC. The Solakas, the owners were not the only parties to lose money.
$130,000 in community grant money was spent assisting the butcher shop from organizations including Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and the “failed” (MEDC) Michigan Economic Development Corp. Is every business in Michigan propped up and funded with taxpayer dollars? Sure looks like it!
There was “NO” mention of this taxpayer giveaway through the “failed” MEDC in this November 2012 article.
Whole Foods opens in Detroit with Taxpayer Help
George Jackson, who as president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. helped bring Whole Foods to the city. If Detroit is broke where did the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. get the money for this subsidy? Ah how about the “failed” MEDC funneling yet more of all Michigan taxpayers monies to these businesses! Read more below the picture.
Olga Stella, vice president of business development at Detroit Economic Growth Corp. which provided a $1.25 million grant. The DEGC is a private nonprofit group that supports economic development in Detroit. The remaining $5.8 million came from state and local grants and the sale of tax credits tied to the project.
Whole Foods should send Michigan taxpayers a big thank-you note.
Some of the prominent names that show up in this endeavor are local businessman and the politically connected Alfred Taubman. If you remember he was also a partner in the “failed” MEDC subsidized Raleigh Film Studio in Pontiac the taxpayer funded movie studio that the under-funded state pension fund is now on the hook for their “failed” missed bond payments! The under-funded state pension fund is “you” the taxpayers of Michigan!
Also of interest is Mr. Taubman’s Antitrust Conviction the early 2000s, an investigation into alleged price-fixing between Sotheby’s and rival auction house Christie’s led to a confession by Sotheby’s CEO Diana Brooks of an elaborate price fixing “scheme” with her counterpart at Christie’s, Christopher Davidge.
In a plea bargain arrangement, prosecutors offered to keep her out of prison if she agreed to implicate Taubman. She did, and thereafter Taubman was convicted in a jury trial of price fixing. He was fined $7.5 million (USD) and imprisoned for ten months in 2002 for anti-trust violations.Taubman was released in 2003.
One of Mr. Taubman’s partners in that “failed” Raleigh Film Studio is John Rakolta Jr. who is the CEO of Walbridge (formerly known as Walbridge Aldinger). Governor Rick Snyder appointed Mr. Rakolta to the board of, you guessed it the “failed” (MEDC) Michigan Economic Development Corp. Can you say a definite conflict of interest? Rakolta has also served as the chairman of New Detroit from 2003 to 2010.
John Rakolta and his company Walbridge was recently involved in the shady dealings in the new Wayne County Jail project that was shut down and has recently come under investigation by Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy in Detroit.
So my fellow Michigan taxpaying citizens does anybody but me see that these businessmen and their political buddies in Lansing are running a criminal enterprise using “our” tax dollars in an all for profit scheme? Shady characters and convicted felons are working with our elected officials literally stealing our money!
A word to the wise come election time here in 2014, be very careful how you cast your vote you may well get something you don’t necessarily want! Politicians will tell you what you want to hear as to get elected but the results are not in your best interest!
It took 15 years to build a grocery store. Not only 15 years, it also took a whole lot of corporate welfare as well.