Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The crookedness in the Michigan Emergency Managers Law

In case you didn't know, the Governor of Michigan and the crazy GOP there has instituted the ' Emergency Managers' Law. Basically, it strips the citizens of Michigan of the right to have their own locally elected governments.

Keith Owens has been reporting on the happenings in Michigan. Here is his latest on what the Governor is trying to do:‘Helpful’ Republican Gov. Rick Snyder eyeing Detroit for holiday meal.

The blogger Eclectablog has been doing a yoeman's job covering this story also.

December 3, 2011
Emergency Manager near for Inkster. With Detroit and Inkster, OVER HALF of Michigan blacks disenfranchised.
Lost in the media hubub regarding the possibility that Detroit may be put under the control of an Emergency Manager (EM) was related news about Inkster, Michigan. I reported in October and then again in November that Inkster is on a glide path toward a take over by an EM. The penultimate step toward that final outcome was taken this week as Governor Snyder established a team to review Inkster's finances.

The state took a big step today towards making Inkster the next Michigan city to fall under the oversight of an emergency manager.

Governor Snyder has appointed a seven-member review team to delve deep into Inkster’s city finances. A preliminary review has already found the city is in ‘probable financial stress’.

The city has struggled to deal with a multi-million dollar deficit. This week, the city laid off 20 percent of its police officers and the police chief announced he’s leaving too.

If the review team finds Inkster is facing a ‘financial emergency’, the governor may appoint an emergency manager to solve the problem.

Emergency managers are already in place in Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Ecorse and the Detroit Public Schools.

If Inkster and Detroit are added to the list, the chart from my previous post will look like this:

City Population % African American # of African Americans
Benton Harbor 10,038 89.2% 8,954
Detroit 713,777 82.7% 590,294
Ecorse 9,512 46.4% 4,414
Flint 102,434 56.6% 57,978
Inkster 25,369 73.2% 18,570
Pontiac 59,515 52.1% 31,007
Total 711,217
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Again, Michigan had 9,883,640 residents in 2010, 14.2% of whom were African Americans for a total of 1,403,477. With the addition of Detroit and Inkster, the percentage of African Americans in Michigan without representative local government will be 50.7%.

Over half.

Both Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz have done pieces recently on the happenings in Michigan.

Rachel Maddow's segment, which she calls the most underreported story of the year.

I still believe the story of Michigan's Emergency Manager law -- of what's being done to democracy in the name of fixing Detroit and Flint and Pontiac and Inkster and Benton Harbor -- I still believe that this could be the most important and under-covered story of the year. I know my colleague Ed Schultz feels the same way.

It's because along with the national story of Republican legislators making it harder to vote in this country, Republican lawmakers in Michigan have declared that your local vote could be rendered moot if your town falls on hard enough times.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Here is Ed Schultz's segment on it:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This coulmnist makes it seem like a resident of a city under an emergency manager is stripped of all voting rights. Last time I checked, citizens could still vote in all other elections, including the next election for governor. Perhaps he should knock off this scaremongering and instead do a piece on how these cities got into thier financial mess in the first place.