Michigan Democracy on the Endangered Species List

Don’t care about wolf hunting? Think again.

Democracy Denied.

The GOP-led Michigan House voted today to deny voters their democratic right to have a say on yet another ballot proposal. In a predictably partisan vote of 65 to 43, they waved through into law, a petition drive from a select group of pro-hunting advocates to codify wolf hunting in the state. Lawmakers did this for two reasons: to appease some far right elements, knowing that a popular vote would likely have protected wolves, and also to suppress democratic voter turn-out in November — when they all face re-election.

The initiative becomes the law of the land without the governor’s signature, as prescribed by the constitution.

Outrage Over the End-run on Democracy.

Kristi Lloyd, democratic process activist and proponent of protecting wolves, had this to say:

It is beyond comprehension that the Michigan legislature, once again, took action to preclude the voters from participating in the democratic process. The lies and misinformation, exaggerations that were given as reasons to hunt wolves and circumvent 400,000+ registered MI signed petitions circulated by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected had a reasonable expectation to have their constitutional right honored. But as seen with other issues in MI they catered to a very small, but well-financed group that pushed for a wolf hunt. I would like to have been surprised today, but I am not disappointed either. I had very low expectations for this GOP-dominated legislature.

A Possible Loophole?

The petition language had an appropriation attached, which renders the law referendum proof. However, that may prove to be the constitutional undoing of the law. There’s something called the “single object clause” which governs the content of laws in Michigan. Article IV, Section 24 of the constitution states the following:single object clauseA constitutional challenge to the new wolf hunt law could be based on the fact that the enacted law threw-in a couple of enticements, including an un-necessary $1 million bonus package to fight asian carp, plus a clause to allow active duty military personnel to get free hunting and fishing licenses. The purpose of the appropriation, and the sympathetic gimme, was to insulate the law from referendum and to lure petition signers who may have been interested in combating the invasive species or do a kindness for service members, but didn’t give a flip about wolves.

Michigan lawmakers are among the worst in the nation when it comes to derailing citizen-driven initiatives. Earlier today, the Diane Rehm show focused on the subject of ballot initiatives. The show cited Michigan and Missouri legislatures to be the rising stars of the most corrupt in thwarting citizen-driven causes, and shuttling-through corporate and politically motivated measures.

Editorial Boards Flex Some Muscle

Let’s have another look at the growing list of scathing editorials Michigan lawmakers have earned, as we await the list to grow exponentially by this coming Sunday:

The Chicago Tribune

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Livingston Daily

Petoskey News

Port Huron Times Herald

The Northwestern.com

Tim Skubick


Lansing State Journal

Battle Creek Enquirer

Jack Lessenberry

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Detroit Free Press

These editors and pundits will remember, as endorsement season looms.

DSCN0444Amy Kerr Hardin

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Michigan Democracy on the Endangered Species List

  1. Donna guernsey says:

    Love your contributions. This is what is on my mind. As each bil has an attached appropriations (intentional device to circumvent democracy) what is the total amount of appropriated dollars, what activity is funded by these appropriation money, etc. curious if this is significant in that it could be funding education , roads, etc.

    Thank you for considering this question and for all you are doing,

  2. Jeffrey Lincoln says:

    How about the Prevailing Wage controversy. Republicans are buying the repeal through signatures. Then they can vote it into law. Add a expenditure to the bill and it is appeal proof. What happened to the voice of the people. Turns into a minority rule in the majority of the people. I call that a police state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *