My friends and I, along with many dedicated democracy lovers in the statewide coalition Stand Up for Democracy, have spent over a year and a half campaigning and fighting for our basic right to home rule in the state of Michigan. We ran an honest and earnest petition drive with great integrity, and that is why we prevailed. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, and with plenty more hard work and a bit of luck, we will enjoy success in the good fight in November.
Yet, after battling so hard, and for so long, to get the referendum to repeal Public Act 4 –the Emergency Manager Law on the Michigan ballot, you’d think I’d sympathize with the struggles of all other such campaigns for ballot initiatives, right?
Wrong! — Dead wrong!
There are six proposals on the Michigan ballot this Fall. Four are legitimate ballot questions that deserve electoral consideration….. but not Proposal 6.
It’s Prop 6 that really gets my goat — and for good reason, or I should say reasons.
If you live in Michigan and own a functioning TV set, you know all about Prop 6, and you probably have exercised use of the mute function on your remote more than usual these past few months.
Prop 6 is the ballot proposal initiated on behalf of the Moroun family, owners of the aged Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The proposal requires a statewide election to approve any future bridges or tunnels to Canada where state funds are involved. Just to be clear, even if the bulk of the funding were from other sources, MDOT would still have to, by law, weigh-in on the project –because,duh…that’s their job. So, Prop 6 would effectively challenge ALL international infrastructure projects to electoral consideration.
Here are three solid reasons to be disgusted with Prop 6 (in no particular order):
1. The ads themselves are just plain annoying in their sheer frequency — I mean, really, hasen’t it been fucking enough already people? – like a political Chinese water torture?
2. The ads are more than fact-challenged — they are unabashedly based on complete lies. (And yes, this is the most important reason.) Just today my mailbox contained an 11.5 x 6 glossy piece of steaming horseshit claiming the bridge will cost Michigan taxpayers $3.5 billion dollars at the expense of kids, even though in truth it is fully funded by the Canadian government, because they (unlike the myopic money-grubbing morons in our state legislature) understand the long-term importance of infrastructure to our recovering economy. The Truth Squad at The Center for Michigan gave a “Flagrant Foul” rating for inaccuracy to the group producing these flights of fancy who call themselves “The People Should Decide Ballot Committee”.
The latest angle they’ve taken is to attempt to scare voters into thinking the bridge will rob money from schools and firefighters leaving working class families even more vulnerable in our unsteady economy. But what’s truly wobbly here are their arguments against the bridge…and possibly the Ambassador Bridge itself.
3. This ballot question is waaaay too specific for a constitutional amendment to begin with. Even if they hadn’t pulled wildly fabricated reasons out of their asses, the question is simply inappropriate for constitutional inclusion. It’s the equivalent of putting local zoning ordinances to a statewide vote. If any municipality wishes to build a bridge across a river to Canada they should enjoy the autonomy of home rule and answer the question within their community. The residents of Ishpeming or Washtenaw should not have any say on a bridge in Detroit — and if they want to weigh-in, then they should move to Detroit. The real estate is a bargain I hear.
Prop 6 is nothing more than a bunch of rich asshole friends of the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, the Moroun family, pooling their millions to attempt to hijack and re-purpose the on-going progressive movement to protect education, public services, and our teachers and firefighters.
Tell your friends not to be fooled.
We busted our asses on the referendum to repeal PA-4 — it earned its rightful place on the ballot this November through the integrity of process and the weight of the matter, but to see Prop 6 on the same ballot — as if it carries the same gravitas, is a disgrace.
Vote NO on proposal six!
Amy Kerr Hardin