Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RESA Wants Millage Increase

The Wayne County Intermendiate School District RESA wants a millage increase. Suprisingly, they are getting school districts to agree that they want more money. The Detroit School Board still believes, or at least claims to believe, lack of money is their problem. I guess more than $11,000 per student in Detroit is not enough to expect some kind of resonable education. This is insanity.

How did this come about? With the passage of Proposal A and the change in how schools were funded, the only way to increase operating millage was on a county wide millage. Exempt from this were sinking funds and bonds which were still allowed on a local district level and are used unmercifully.

The County millage could be increased up to 3 mils with the approval of the districts that together make up more than half the student population of the county district and then it would be placed on the ballot. We should be grateful they are so considerate to ask for only 1.9 of the three mills allowed. That is only $1.90 for every $1,000 of taxable value on your property. If your taxable value is $50,000 this means you will only have to pay $95 more per year. This millage will only generate $92 million. It will then be distributed back to the districts based on student population. More redistribution of wealth with no accountability and guarentee of better education.

If we let this happen we deserve it. Accountability first. If we don't get accountability, we are throwing good money after bad.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do We Need and Want a Constitutional Convention?

The picture above was sent to me by a friend about a week ago and started me thinking. It was taken in 1990 during the Headlee Tax Cut Initiative. For those of you who do not recognize those in the picture Dick Headlee of the Headlee Amendment fame is on the left and the lady with the owl looking glasses on the right is me. It seems that a similar picture could have been taken a number of times over the years as I have worked on many Constitutional Amendments.

In November of 2010 we will be asked if we want to call a Constitutional Convention. According to the Citizens Research Council the State Constitution has been amended 31 times since it went into effect in January of 1964. The length of the document has increased from 19,203 to 36,525 words. We agree that a shorter more succinct version would be desirable, but we have to credit the courts and the legislature itself for making this necessary.

Every time the legislature tries to subvert the will of the people it becomes necessary to amend the Constitution in a way that allows little room to misinterpret the language. Because of their efforts, a common theme of the amendments has been to reduce the power of the legislature in favor of the citizens. It is not that we have abandoned the idea of representative government, it is that they have failed to take their obligation seriously. They don't even have the ability to pass a budget on time.

The legislature itself has placed issues on the ballot. As early as the mid 1890s they realized the need for ballot initiatives but it wasn't until the adoption of the 1908 Constitution that it became a reality. It was so restrictive that it was not very functional. It wasn't until the 1913 amendment to the Constitution that it took on its present form allowing constitutional, statutory and referendum amendments.

CRC Special Report on Michigan Constitutional Issues
Approval Rates by Decade
In the first three decades of the life of the 1963 Constitution, approximately one-third of the proposed
amendments were adopted, whether proposed by joint resolution (34.4 percent) or initiative petition
(33.3 percent). Since 1993, however, over three-quarters of the proposals have been adopted by the
voters, with 100 percent of the legislative proposals adopted and 42.9 percent of the initiatives passing.
All of the amendments proposed in 2004, 2006, and 2008 were adopted.

There is no need to call a Constitutional Convention. It took a lot of work and sweat to make the changes we have. We can not trust a hand full of political cronies to make decisions for all the people and legislators who had ideas accepted by the citizens of Michigan. There has been talk of limiting the referendum, expanding term limits and streamlining language that protects us from skirting the intent of the amendments. If the ideas are good they can presented one at a time for considered analysis and informed decision.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party Lansing April 15, 2010

It was a great day in Lansing and all over Michigan. We helped sponsor the Tea Party in Lansing, but there were Tea Parties everywhere. If you missed the excitement at these parties, you really missed something. You can feel the energy in the crowd. The people are upbeat and ready to do what they have to to preserve our system of government and demand accountability from our elected officials.

I gave a short speech in Lansing and I let the people know how happy I was to see them there. The one thing you can always count on is the American Spirit. They gave me hope and warmed my heart with their sincerity and willingness to do what needs to be done.

From there,it was too late to go to the Plymouth Tea Party, so I went to Sterling Heights where Michigan Taxpayers Alliance was having a rip roaring Tea Party. I serve on their board, so I guess that was another reason I wanted to make sure I got there. Mr. Perks, the giant pink pig was there as well. I ran into many familiar faces and a lot of new enthusiastic ones.

The thing that amazes me the most is, when anybody asks the question if these people have been involved in politics before, the majority of the people say they haven't.
That is what makes this so exciting.

From there, it was off to St. Clair Shores to the Metro Detroit Freedom Coalition to hear a debate between the candidates running for governor. The moderator was Frank Beckmann from WJR. He is a great guy and did an excellent job with the four candidates who where there.

Keep up the great work folks. We the people will straighten out this mess yet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Onward and Upward

This video is as meaninful now as it was last year.

The final stop in Michigan of the Tea Party Express in Clinton Township was a great success. Now it is time to think about the next event.

On April 15, tax day the Wayne County Taxpayers Association will be cosponsoring the Lansing Tea Party at the steps of the Capitol. The legislature will be in session and it will do them good to know that the people Michigan will not give up our country or state. The Governor, legislators, and special interests want to raise taxes by billions of dollars. With the highest unemployment rate in the country and Michigan per capita income dropping from 9th to 41st in the country we need to send a message to politicians that they must put our economy first and bureaucrats second.

Noon – 1:30 PM
State Capitol lawn, Lansing

Featured Speakers include:

• Attorney General Mike Cox
• Rich Michaels, Host of WMMQ-FM 94.9 Michaels in the Morning
• Joan Fabiano, Grassroots in Michigan
• Kyle Olson, Education Action Group
• Rose Bogaert, Wayne County Taxpayers Association
• Tina DuPont, Tea Party of West Michigan
• Kathy Hoekstra, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Please show us your support. Send them a message and let them know that we are not going away. If you can not attend in Lansing, and I hope you will, try to make it to one of the local tea parties even if just for a little while. Go to http://michiganactivists.com and find a location near you. I will be attending as many as possible.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tomorrow, April 9, is the kick off in Wayne County of the Michigan Citizens for Healthcare Freedom Petition Drive. The problem is that there are a bunch of other activities going on at the same time. We encourage anyone who doesn't already have plans to join us at:
Canfield Community Center
1801 N. Beech Daly
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
8:00pm to 9:00pm

At first I felt a little sad until I realized that the activities that are happening are worthwhile and that all they have to do is contact me and I would see that those who could not join us get petitions. It also meant that they are out of their chairs and doing something to defend their freedom and encouraging others to do the same. As a matter of fact I was impressed by the numbers. I hope to see you there.

Now for April 15, tax day, the Wayne County Taxpayers Association is co sponsoring:

The Michigan Tea Party Rally in Lansing.
Thursday, April 15, 11:30am – 1:30pm
100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933
Capitol Steps (East)

The Michigan House and Senate will be in session. This is an opportunity to show Lansing politicians that the people of Michigan are serious about free market reforms, smaller government and lower taxes. Speakers included (subject to updates): WMMQ’s Rich Michaels and Kyle Olson of Education Action Group will be joining us and you can expect the Capitol steps and lawn to be full of activist leaders.

There are Tea Parties all over the state that day and I will try to visit as many as I can schedule. In the mean time, check out the Michigan Activist Calendar that will give you an opportunity to keep up on the things that are happening around the state.

There will be other updates on what is happening around you. Get involved, save your country, and do something important for your family.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Come Join Us

The Wayne County Taxpayers Association will be one of the county coordinators for Michigan Citizens for Healthcare Freedom. Our kickoff will be at:

Canfield Community Center
1801 N. Beech Daly
Dearborn Heights, MI
Friday, April 9, 8:00 to 9:00 PM


The objective is to place on the November ballot a referendum to amend the State Constitution to fight back against the Washington health care takeover.
If you want more Information or locations where you may pick up or sign a petitions in the future, please contact me at 313-278-8383 or email me at wctaxpayers@comcast.net or, you may also contact Michigan Citizens for Healthcare Freedom at http://www.michiganhcf.com/ .
If you wish to distribute petitions or know of a location that might allow us to distribute them, please let us know. In the future, information will be available on our website http://www.wctaxpayers.org/ .