Friday, October 26, 2007

Recall 1983

I just finished watching a historical presentation on the recalls of 1983. I can not comment on the other recalls, although I knew the people involved, but I sure can comment on the McCullough Recall because I was smack dab in the middle of it. It was one of the coldest winters I can remember. This was truly a grass roots movement. We had next to no money and we only had our anger to keep us warm.

In the panel presentation, McCollough says he sent out people to present his side of the story. They were like thugs. We had to call the police on them several times. They badgered people who came up to sign. I remember him calling us a dogs breakfast and malcontents. We believed and I still do to this day, that it was some of his supporters who signed the petitions more then once. There were probably others who signed more than once by mistake because we were frequently in front of the same stores over a three month period. Some people may have forgotten if they signed. There were three signatures that appeared on one petition which appeared on a petition that were forged according to his handwriting specialist. When we investigated those three people said they did indeed sign the petition and we could not find the signatures on other petitions turned in. My question is who would think to hire a handwriting annalist to look over all those petitions unless you expect to find something.

I will also tell you right now that John Engler never had the authority to stop the recall nor anyone else. They were collected by people who wanted McCollough removed from office and that was not something to be bargained away by anyone in Lansing no matter what they may have said.

Rose Bogaert, Chair
Wayne County Taxpayers Assn.

Good ThingsCome...

It's unbelievable our website is finally whole. Comcast got it together.Now all of you who have been dying to become a member of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association or want information about the recalls can contact us on line. Oh, did I forget to mention we have a donation button. We can now become one of the 15 to 20 people a day to ask you for a donation. I am very sympathetic.

Most of all, I would like to mention that we are in worse shape then we were 30 days ago in this state. We now have an expanded service tax which can further erode our economy. The WCTA has joined the "Ax the Tax" coalition, which is dedicated to repeal the new service taxes (sometimes the lobbyist are right). If we can not do it legislatively we are committed to do it on the ballot. It behoves us to support this because businesses do not pay taxes - people pay taxes. We also have an income tax which also burdens the already suffering taxpayers in this state. As I write the budget 30 day extension is about to run out. If we fail to cut our costs we will go deeper in debt.

There is also a website where you can get information about Recalls. It's like a central sorting house. You contact them and they will put you in touch with the right people. This is not something to take lightly. It is important that our elected officials be reminded who is sovereign. We have to take a few of them out just so they are certain it can be done. If they forget who it is they are supposed to represent then representative government doesn't mean anything.

Our federal government is not doing much better. Instead of doing the peoples business, they are up to monkey business. They are still padding the bills with earmarks and there is political bantering and gotcha politics on every issue.

What is a battered taxpayer to do?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bias in the Freep

I was almost in tears when I read the informational peice on Speaker Andy Dillon in the Free Press. His family loves him. He goes to church. He is good looking, a nice guy and well educated. He is an all american politician. What that has to do with the tax increases he advocated I am not certain. I am sure that there are many in this state with the same qualities who have lost their jobs, their homes or their children to other states or countries due to our business climate and bad policies.

The State Constitution provides a tool to the electorate when your representative refuses to represent you or does something illegal and that is recall. Recall requires that you collect the valid signatures of 25% of the number who voted in the last election for governor in the district. This is not an easy task. In the case of Speaker Dillon aprox. 12,000 signatures would have to be gathered to account for a margin of error. After the sinatures are gathered and certified, the person to be recalled gets to put a rebuttal on the ballot.

So why go through all the trouble? Because good government doesn't just happen. Because it is your obligation to pay attention. The less you pay attention the weaker you become and the more intrusive government becomes. I believe that the tax increases have hurt the people and the business climate of this state. So take a position, whatever it is, and get involved.

Rose Bogaert, Chair

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ax the Tax

The WCTA just joined the Ax the Tax Coalition. The are dedicated to get rid of the most recent sales taxes placed on some services in Michigan. The bill is so poorly written, even some in the legislature have second thoughts about how they voted. Some of the taxes would be compounded like with the value added tax and of course all would be passed down to the consumer. If the legislature can not be persuaded to remove the taxes then we would work to have it removed through the ballot process. It's just one more job killer in Michigan. Contact us for more information.

Speaking of killers, our website is only partially up and running. If you have us in your favorites, please delete us and put us back in because Comcast has changed the address. You can still reach us at but it must be routed differently. Keep in mind we are only partially up and running. Apparently they are short of their high speed power stuff. You can not join, pay by credit card, donate or take part in our survey. You can, however, contact government, read our newsletters, read and look stuff up. They asked that we be patient. They would pick the quality that I lack most.

Rose Bogaert, Chair

Thursday, October 18, 2007

High Speed Internet Service.

For those of you who have been trying to contact our website, we have been hijacked by the webmaster at Comcast. They have been changing to their new bigger and better service. So, of course, we now have no website. They say they are working as fast as possible. It is now going on 48 hours. If you need to contact us you may do so by phone. The WCTA number is 313-278-8383. It makes it harder to conduct recalls if no one can contact you. Hopefully they will not lose all our data.

In the meantime, you can contact the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. They will transfer Wayne County inquiries to me. (You don't think this can be a left wing conspiracy do you? Naaaaa. )They would just shoot me. This thing is not personal with me. It is about what these tax hikes can do to the state. It's about how many people will get hurt as a result of these bad policies. These tax hikes are not a temporary inconvenience. They are a permanent blow. Michigan's bad economy has taken its toll on hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens. We are still doing thing the way we always have. Poorly!

Rose Bogaert, Chair
Wayne County Taxpayers Ass0ciation, Inc.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Turn

Since the passage of the income tax increase and the passage of the expansion of the sales tax to certain services, I have been fielding questions about state legislators who are being recalled in Wayne County. What I can say is that if anyone is interested I can steer you in the right direction, give you procedural advice and act as a contact source. Most of the calls I get, want the governors head. There has been no official filing on the governor as yet, but don't let that deter you. If enough of you are interested, there will an attempt .

The problem is that we must collect 1,500,000 signatures to insure we have enough to recall her. We have 180 days to collect recall signatures after language has been approved but they must all be collected within 90 consecutive days. You need a heck of an organization to get that done. Don't let that keep you from contacting us or the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance for direction or encouragement.

I personally have the distinct honor of attempting to recall of House Speaker, Andy Dillon who is responsible for orchestrating the increases and bowing to the governor. If you look at those people who contributed to him, you can see why. It is not like either party could not see this coming. They have all been responsible for the mess the state is in. For thirty years I have been hearing that we have to diversify business in Michigan and they just haven't bothered to get it done.

The tax increases could well be the last nails in the coffin in this state. We can not do any worse than having the highest unemployment. The exodus of our educated and unemployed from this state does nothing to help. The worst offense of all is the reluctance to cut spending and transferring the burden on to those who are having trouble keeping their homes, experiencing wage reductions, larger deductibles on insurance and an uncertain future. As far as the taxes on services, businesses do not pay taxes people pay taxes. They just pass the tax down to the consumer

Get involved and help save our state.

Rose Bogaert, Chair

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Pertinent Anachronism is "CYA"

All the blustering and bloviating in the legislature in Lansing amounted to nothing. If it were within my power I would ask for the resignation of almost every one of them. I would also extend a special request to our governor. According to the WCTA poll thus far 76% of those who voted would sign to recall their legislator if they voted for a tax increase. We hope that they will make the effort and do just that.

The worst part of all this is that our elected officials have no respect for us. They pat themselves on the back for making deals which would have the least political impact on them. They deserve to be confronted on their lack of concern for the future of this state. Even the lobbyists, who think they have won, have not. If there are less people, there are less teachers. If there are more taxes, there is less business. If there are fewer jobs, there are less people. If there are less people, there is less revenue. The spiral will continue and will be repeated over and over again.

This legislature has missed an opportunity to turn Michigan's economy around. They have failed to uphold the constitution which they swore to uphold. They have caved to a governor who talks down to her constituents and can out and out lie with a straight face. As she awards a multi million dollar no bid contract to her friend or takes trips abroad at taxpayer expense to bring back handfuls of jobs, hundreds of thousands have lost jobs to this continued policy without hope of recovery. Notice I have not let the republicans off on this issue. They are enablers. They are part of the wheeling and dealing.

They passed a replacement for the Single business tax ,which was to be revenue neutral, with the Michigan Business Tax that is expected to bring in $750 million more in revenue. They expanded the sales taxes on to some services. Wait. It will not be long before we will be right back to the same place. They will not have enough money and we will revisit the value added tax or an increase in sales tax.

It is becoming more and more obvious that the taxpayers must come together and stay together no matter what party or political persuasion or we will become more crippled than we are. We need a constitutional amendment to clarify and restrict these politicians from foolishly spending so much of our money. We need a term limited, part-time legislature so that they will be harder for lobbyist to get at and more available to us. We need competent legislators who do not think that it takes more than six years to learn their job. We need statesmen who reflects the concerns of their constituent and if there is something we have wrong, explain honestly and not ignore us.

The status quo will not do. Join us.

Rose Bogaert, Chair
Wayne County Taxpayers Association, Inc.