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Posts tagged "Rick Snyder"

h/t: Joan McCarter at Daily Kos


Image APSame sex couples are married in a group by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Michigan.  (AP)

The federal government will recognize the 300-odd same-sex marriages performed over the weekend in Michigan after a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. That’s despite Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s announcement this week that his state will not recognize those marriages, citing a stay on the court decision issued last Saturday. 

The federal government’s decision was announced on Friday morning by Attorney General Eric Holder, who noted that federal recognition means those couples “will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.” He added: 

“Last June’s decision by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor was a victory for equal protection under the law and a historic step toward equality for all American families.  The Department of Justice continues to work with its federal partners to implement this decision across the government.  And we will remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing our country’s founding ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.”

Holder’s decision consistent with the government’s stance towards 1,300 married same-sex couples in Utah, who face a similar limbo of federal, but not state, recognition of their marriages while a court battle over a state ban continues. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced in January that his administration considers those marriages “on hold” until the issue is resolved. Similarly, Snyder’s statement announcing the state’s position acknowledges that the couples who married on Saturday “had a legal marriage.” But with the restoration of the state ban, he argued, Michigan was not obligated to recognize those marriages. 

Utah and Michigan bucked an earlier trend among states with contested same-sex marriages. Both California and New Mexico (states that now permanently recognize gay marriage) have recognized marriages performed during temporary windows where same-sex marriage was legal. In California, for instance, the state recognized the 18,000 same-sex couples who married after a state court legalized same sex marriage, but before voters passed Proposition 8. 

Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire


The temporary stay issued after a federal judge struck down Michigan’s law banning same-sex marriage has been extended until the state completes the appeals process.

That process could take some time. While Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told the Grand Rapids Press that he hoped the case would be resolved “as quickly as possible,” he has said that he will pursue the appeal all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Some state attorney generals have declined to pursue a defense of same-sex marriage bans. Others have fought against those bans.

But Schuette is in the middle of a re-election campaign and is making his fight against same-sex marriage part of his platform, even writing an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press about it today:

Moreover, Michigan’s voters had a rational basis for their vote: Marriage has been understood to be between one man and one woman by virtually all civilizations throughout the centuries. The notion that marriage would be anything else has only emerged in the last few decades. It is not irrational for voters to support the belief that a mom and a dad are not interchangeable.


But I also know that there is a difference between a buffet and the state’s constitution. This fundamental document is not a cafeteria in which you can pick and choose which measures are enforced and defended.

That is why I am defending Detroit’s cops’ and firefighters’ rights to their pensions, because the Michigan Constitution says pensions shall not be ‘diminished or impaired.’

That is why I went to the United States Supreme Court to defend equal treatment in admissions to our state’s outstanding colleges and universities. Because it is fundamentally wrong to treat people differently based on the color of skin, gender, race or ethnicity.

Yes, he did somehow manage to be against same-sex marriage but for “equal treatment” in the very same letter. Treating someone differently based on the color of skin, gender, race or ethnicity is fundamentally wrong. Treating someone differently on the basis of sexual orientation is rational. Also, something about public safety officials shoehorned in to try to get more votes.

In the meantime, same-sex couples cannot get married in the state, and the 300 or so who managed to get in the seven-hour window before the ruling was stayed still don’t know whether or not their marriages will actually be recognized by the state. They will, at least, be entitled to federal marriage benefits.

There was hope that Gov. Rick Snyder would make a decision whether or not the state would recognize those marriages by now, but he has so far declined to do so. His spokeswoman said he “doesn’t want to get distracted by issues that could divert his attention from jobs and the economy.”

Source: Sara Morrison for The Wire


Emails Show Republican Governor Used State Budget To Boost Profits For Family Member


On March 24, 2014, the Michigan Democratic Party released emails that show Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, along with his former budget director and current adviser, colluded to give a massive taxpayer funded subsidy to a member of the governor’s family.

Cousin George’s furniture business got a big boost in Rick Snyder’s budget.

Governor Rick Snyder’s CEO cousin, George Snyder’s business partners received more than $19 million dollars, after jotting off a quick email to cousin Rick, on April 29th, 2011. Since 2011, the share of the taxpayer budget going to George Snyder’s industry has ballooned to $41 million. What is George Snyder’s industry? Office furniture.

This week, the Michigan House of Representatives took up HB 4643, legislation which was introduced by Republican Tom McMillin, that imposes massive fines against citizens who exercise their basic first amendment rights.

Under this law, citizens can be fined up to $1,000 per day for picketing.

Michigan’s extreme right wing Governor, Rick Snyder, along with the state’s predominately GOP/tea party legislature, have passed some of the most controversial laws in the country. From the state’s insane Emergency Manager law, which grants the governor power to remove any elected official and replace that official with a hand picked lackey of the governor himself, to the much hated Right To Work legislation that was passed by the legislature only after the voters were locked out of the capital, to the state’s extreme anti-abortion legislation and it’s widely condemned ‘rape insurance‘ bill, the fanatical right wing politicians that have seized hold of Michigan have made it all too clear that what the voters want is of no consequence to them. 

As if all of that were not enough, however, this week the Michigan House of Representatives took up a bill that will require judges to impose a fine of up to $1,000 a day for picketing workers. An additional fine of up to $10,000 a day is also to be levied against any labor organization found to be leading or organizing a strike.

Not only is this law a direct attack on labor, but a direct attack on rights guaranteed to all citizens under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Here’s a video from the House Floor. Representative Jim Towsend (D) introduced three amendments to the proposed house bill, in order to protect citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly. At the end of the video the Speaker of the House can be heard to say “Amendments not adopted.”

Are Michigan workers making too much money?

What’s up with all of these anti-worker bills in Michigan? Why would the state’s representatives be launching attacks against workers? Are Michigan’s super high wages keeping employers from opening businesses in the state? Not hardly. In fact, Michigan workers are not earning anything close to super high wages.

In 2012 Michigan average income ranked 35th in the nation. What’s even more telling, however, is that between 1980 and 2000 (the last year figures were available) the income of the poorest families in Michigan increased $1,465, or 8.9 percent, and the income of Michigan’s middle class citizens increased $4,186 or 8,8 percent. During the same time period, however, the income of Michigan’s wealthiest citizens increased $66,799, or 48 percent.

Between 2000 and 2010, Michigan personal income increased 18.5 percent, while the personal income for people living in the rest of the country increased 45.2 percent. And most telling of all, Michigan personal income growth ranked 50th out of 50 states and Puerto Rico, over a thirty year period.

Who is writing the laws in Michigan?

So while the statistics tell us that Michigan wages are not keeping pace with the rest of the country, that the rate of inequality between the rich and the poor is steadfastly growing for the past several decades, and the average income for Michigan’s working class citizens is all but stagnant, Michigan republicans keep crying that high wages are keeping businesses out of the state. Still, the facts say something very different.

A 73 page report from Progress Michigan asks the all important question “Who Is Writing Our Laws In Michigan?” The answer is not surprising. The detailed report shows the extent of ALEC’s activity within the state. Michigan is also home to the right wing think tank known as the Mackinaw Center For Public Policy. Both organizations are deeply entrenched in the state’s legislative and policy making decisions.

It’s obvious the policies being herded the Michigan legislature have little to do with helping the people of the state or even of addressing problems that actually exist in Michigan. Instead the legislation is being written by right wing think tanks and pushed through by the state’s right wing legislature, who are all too happy to do the bidding of their corporate benefactors, at the expense of citizens and workers.

HB 4643 which is now in its third reading before the House, must also be signed by Michigan’s right wing governor, before it becomes a law. There is little chance that a bill given this much attention by the state’s legislature will not pass the House. Given Rick Snyder’s track record on signing extreme right wing bills into law, my guess is that the citizen’s of the state will yet again be suing their government in federal court, over a clear violation of constitutional rights.

h/t: Randa Morris at Addicting Info

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) had a sharp message Thursday for congressional Republicans, including those from his home state, opposed to Obamacare: “get over it.”

Writing in an op-ed published in the New York Times, Beshear acknowledged that Kentucky is a red state claiming two prominent Republican members of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul. But Beshear argued even Republican governors like Arizona’s Jan Brewer, Ohio’s John Kasich and Michigan’s Rick Snyder have been able to accept Obamacare as “a tool for historic change” rather than “a referendum on President Obama.” 

"So, to those more worried about political power than Kentucky’s families, I say, ‘Get over it,’" he wrote. "The Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land."

"Get over it … and get out of the way so I can help my people."

Gov. Beshear hits the nose on this quote “Get Over It.”

h/t: Catherine Thompson at TPM


If you want to know what a goddamn tool I can be from time to time, this past Thursday I was at a bar with some friends where they sell pitchers of beer for $3. It’s not good beer by any stretch of the imagination, but by the time you’re halfway through the pitcher you don’t care that it tastes and looks like piss.

In any event, I was most of the way through my pitcher of beer, waiting for my $2 burger (my gut will expand rapidly one day, but it is not this day), and we got to talking about work and our professional lives. My friend is going off to Hollywood to hobnob with beautiful people work with writers, and I had to prove I could be just as much of a name dropper as someone in Hollywood. After all, they say politics is Hollywood, for ugly people.

I told my story about meeting Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, including using Senator Levin’s iPhone and getting the world’s most uncomfortable hug from Senator Stabenow. But that wasn’t enough for my beer-addled brain, and so I got a toothy grin on my face and slurred, “Wanna see who I have in my phone’s contact list?”

I worked for Rep. Schauer as a semi-paid intern for a few weeks last summer before I took my job at the State House. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for him — he’s represented me in one way, shape, or form for about seventeen years. In the few weeks I got to work for him, he was friendly, courteous, and whip smart.

I am beyond excited that the former congressman is running for governor. I have a great number of opinions on the current administration in Michigan, most of them negative. Mark is the kind of person I want sitting in the governor’s office down the street from where I work — he cares about working families, he cares about young people, he cares about labor unions, about fairness, about all the things that have taken a backseat in Michigan since Republicans took over Lansing in 2010.

Mark for 2014!

Citing runaway deficits and long-term debts Detroit could never repay on its own, Gov. Rick Snyder today pulled the trigger and announced he will appoint an emergency financial manager for the state’s largest city. Snyder said he has a top candidate in mind, and that person would be in charge for 18 months.

The decision means Motown will soon have someone new in charge of restructuring Detroit’s dire financial mess. That restructuring likely will include drastic cuts in public services and a top-down rethinking of the type of government a shrunken city with a dwindling tax base can afford.

In many ways, those questions have been nipping at Detroit for decades, but the issues came to a head over the last 18 months as increasingly dour economic forecasts found a city unable to address fundamental questions about its debt.

“I look at today as a sad day, a day I wish had never happened in the history of Detroit, but also a day of optimism and promise,” Snyder said.

He reiterated that Detroit, once among the most prosperous cities in the nation, “went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 years,” losing more than half its population.

Snyder told an invited audience for a broadcast discussion on his decision. The forum was moderated by Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley, editorial page editors of the Free Press and the Detroit News, at Wayne State University.

Snyder said he will not name who the emergency manager will be right away.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he “did not favor” an emergency manager.

“The Governor has made his decision, and it was his decision alone to make,” Bing said in a statement. “While I respect it, I have said all along that I do not favor an Emergency Manager for the City of Detroit. I will look at the impact of the Governor’s decision as well as other options, to determine my next course of action.

“I don’t support the appointment of an EFM as it eliminates democratically elected leadership in our city,” said Brown, a former deputy police chief. “However, the question is does Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council as-a-body going forward have the will to abandon the privatization ordinance, alter the City Charter to address roadblocks, and support state legislation to change the pension board? In my view, as-a-body City Council is not willing to make these changes. The only alternative is for the governor to appoint an EFM who has the will to implement the necessary reforms.” 

H/T: Detroit Free Press

Kablammo! There go GOP Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval ratings and his standing for re-election. PPP just lays him out:

Just last month when we took a first look at the 2014 landscape we talked about how much Rick Snyder had improved his popularity during his second year in office and how he led a generic Democrat for reelection by 6 points, even as Barack Obama won the state comfortably.

Last week he threw all that out the window.

We now find Snyder as one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 38% of voters approve of him to 56% who disapprove. There are only 2 other sitting Governors we’ve polled on who have a worse net approval rating than Snyder’s -18. He’s dropped a net 28 points from our last poll on him, the weekend before the election, when he was at a +10 spread (47/37).

Three words are to blame here: right to work. Well, of course, Snyder himself is to blame: After telling the state of Michigan that he would not push through anti-union and anti-worker “right to work” legislation (that Orwellian epithet really means “right to work for less”), he went ahead and did exactly that during a shameful lame-duck session of the legislature. (Michigan Republicans lost seats this November, so they wanted to force a vote while they still had greater numbers.) Overall, voters oppose RTW 51-41, and a similar 49-40 margin says they’d vote to overturn the law if given the chance at the ballot box.

And now for the really fun stuff. If Snyder does indeed run for a second term—something he previously said he might not do—well, he’d get pummeled, if his fortunes don’t somehow turn around. Here’s how he does against a passel of possible contenders:

38-49 vs. 2010 nominee Virg Bernero
39-47 vs. Rep. Gary Peters
38-46 vs. state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer
39-44 vs. ex-Rep. Mark Schauer

Note that ceiling of 38 to 39 percent for Snyder: All of his potential opponents are unknown to half the state, even Bernero. That means, at least right now, voters are really thinking “anyone but Snyder.” Hell, as Tom Jensen points out, Bernero lost by 18 points in 2010, so these new numbers constitute a remarkable 29-point reversal of fortune.

Don’t be thinking recall, though: Voters still oppose the notion 48-44, and as we saw in Wisconsin, those numbers tend to get worse over time, not better.

h/t: David Nir at Daily Kos Elections


Organized labor and its allies essentially have two options to overturn the state’s new “right-to-work” law signed yesterday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

First Read: “First, they have filed legal actions charging that the process violated the state’s Open…

Yesterday, I wrote about how Fox “News” contributor Steven Crowder used Andrew Breitbart-style editing of video from Michigan’s anti-Right to Work for Less rally on Tuesday to paint union members the worst way possible.

The story has been picked up nationally and, last night, was quoted heavily in a post at the New York Times news blog The Lede:

Here’s the video from Mediaite. As The Lede’s Robert Mackey describes, in the first few seconds, you can see that the union member that took a swing at Crowder had already been knocked to the ground and was getting up before he went after Crowder:

h/t: Eclectablog

Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder went to the right-to-work protests outside the Capitol in Michigan today looking for trouble, and succeeded in finding it. We know Governor Scott Walker considered putting troublemakers in the crowd during the collective bargaining fight in Wisconsin, and now Fox News appears to be doing the dirty work for Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan.

In an attempt to make the pro-union workers in Michigan look like violent thugs, Crowder put himself in the midst of a passionate crowd and made a nuisance of himself, shouting provocative questions at workers whose livelihoods are on the line, until he finally got clocked.


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced on Tuesday that he has signed so-called “right-to-work” legislation into law.

"Both the public sector bill and the private sector bill have been signed," Snyder told reporters at a press conference. "I have signed these bills into law."

h/t: TPM LiveWire