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By JGillman, Section News
And this time Republicans, poisoned by the Snyder brand are on board.
Automatic wage increases, a term that can only be associated with those on a government paycheck, are actually being considered in a bill sponsored by 'Republicans.' HB5097, as the Mackinac Center reports, will exempt certain PA312 of 1969 covered employees from PA54 of 2011.
".. House Bill 5097, which has 23 co-sponsors, would exempt law enforcement and fire department employees from the law. Specifically, the exemption would apply to employees who are covered by Public Act 312 of 1969, which is a compulsory arbitration law.Bravo.
Perhaps next, they might propose an automatic wage increase for farmers? Without the heroic acts of farmers none of us might eat! What about plumbers? Fighting fire without water wouldn't work too well. How about auto makers, etc.. ?
According to Mackinac there are 18 Republicans co-sponsoring the legislation. Reps: Kevin Cotter, Hugh Crawford, Kevin Daley, Jeff Farrington, Frank Foster, Ken Goike, Nancy Jenkins, Eileen Kowall, Ken Kurtz, Andrea LaFontaine, Matt Lori, Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Mike McCready, Rick Outman, Peter Pettalia, Wayne Schmidt, Pat Somerville, and Dale Zorn.
Five Democrat Reps: Vicki Barnett, Paul Clemente, Brandon Dillon, Tim Greimel, and Henry Yanez.
(1 comment) Comments >>
By JGillman, Section News
Mr. Schuette, if a particular AG was to support rule-of-law, and wish to defend the 'RIGHTS' of Michigan citizens, perhaps this story might tickle that AG's fancy?
If this is a true and factual account, (there is no reason to suspect it is not) then there had best be some heads mounted on the Attorney General's trophy room wall before long. Scotty Boman, former US Senate candidate and current candidate for Detroit City Clerk underwent an assault on his person July 30, and his rights were violated by those who pledge to serve. According to the Michigan Libertarian website:
Campaigning has become dangerous for Detroit City Clerk candidate Scotty Boman. According to Boman, a member of the WCCCD campus police attempted to intimidate him while he was taking pictures of his opponent's (Janice Winfrey) signage at the early voting location at the Northwest Campus of WCCCD on Tuesday July 30th. After he moved to where volunteers for other candidates were handing out literature, he was assaulted by the officer, then thrown to the ground by additional officers as he attempted to hand campaign literature to a passers-by. Boman said he was then held prisoner until a campaign forum, that the officers knew he was scheduled to attend, was nearly over.Ultimately the charge Boman faced was trespassing.
After he was detained in a closet by police.
Trespassing? On publicly owned property?
Hello Bill? ACLU? Is this thing on?
(2 comments) Comments >>
By JGillman, Section Multimedia
Its a good one.
CPMC just cut loose with their latest ad titled "Dangerous," featuring metro Detroit police officer Terry Fortuna exposing the truth about Proposal 2. The state's Attorney General and law enforcement leaders from across Michigan have been educating residents about the devastating effect Proposal 2 would have on 170 laws that voters, parents, Sheriffs and police count on to protect Michiganders.
Officer Fortuna says:
"I'm pro-union, its just that I'm not pro Proposal 2. They are trying to sell this as collective bargaining, but collective bargaining is already protected by federal law. You don't have to know anything about Proposal 2 except that its dangerous. Vote NO on Proposal 2."
According to Proposal 2's own language, the proposed constitutional amendment would give union contracts veto power over state laws, by "invalidat(ing) existing or future state or local laws" and will "override state laws that regulate...conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements," giving government union contracts veto power over the laws that keep Michigan kids and families safe.
AG Schuette found that this language would invalidate over 170 different laws and reforms, including many that keep Michigan kids safe at school like laws establishing minimum safety training standards for bus drivers and empowering school districts to immediately remove teachers from the classroom who have been caught under the influence or selling drugs at school.
The Michigan Education Association, the state's largest teachers union and one of the most prominent financial backers of Proposal 2, concurred with Schuette's findings earlier this year when they issued a confidential legal memo that claimed passage of Proposal 2 would "immediately" overturn the law that gives public schools the right to immediately remove teachers caught selling drugs in the classroom or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school, among others.
(4 comments) Comments >>
By JGillman, Section News
Some decisions shouldn't require a great deal of thought, but people are still making the wrong choices.
If you regularly text while driving, its safe to assume you have made a few other stupid mistakes in your life. There is an element of common sense involved, and a great amount of responsibility as well. If you hurt, maim, or kill someone because you have not given your full attention to the act of driving what could be an instrument of death, you fail. You lose, and perhaps not so much as those who suffer the losses of YOUR actions, but your life will change.
Women Fard, Guys Gawk, nearly all of us have eaten food so easily picked up from a drive through dollar menu, and yes.. its hard to find anyone who has not at least taken a cell phone call while operating the family wagon, pick up or Coup De Ville. In fact I would argue that most gals from the tender age of "daddy give me the keys" use earrings to mount their personal communication devices to the sides of their heads.
And the camel's nose, always searching for a new and deliciously imposing way to insert itself into our lives, seems to lift the tent's edge all too easily nowadays. And it has really bad breath.
(3 comments, 436 words in story) Full Story
By conservmatt, Section News
Harvard Professor Gates and His run in with the law.
(1 comment, 676 words in story) Full Story
By Nick, Section News
A brand new week and the same old news. John Cherry continues to travel the state, hosting faux "town hall" meetings, pretending to talk about an economy that has imploded on his watch to such a staggering degree it makes national recession statistics seem something to aspire to. 'If ONLY we were ONLY as bad off as the rest of the nation... which is going through the worst economic turmoil since the Carter administration.'
Alas, we're not that lucky. We're stuck for the next year and a half with Jennifer Granholm and John Cherry's particular brand of executive performance and if we're not on our toes, tossing everything we've got behind an alternative... ANY freaking alternative this election cycle, we'll be getting another four years of stories like these...
The Detroit News really knows how to be an encouragement on a Monday morning as it quantifies factory job losses during the Granholm-Cherry administration's control of Lansing, and it's a staggering number to boot. Try 950,000. Between late 2000 and 2010 almost 1 million blue collar jobs are expected to have disappeared.
The national recession, folks in other states remember better than us, actually started in 2007. In other words, Lansing had this state in the ICU before the rest of the Country caught a sniffle.
(4 comments, 613 words in story) Full Story
By The Wizard of Laws, Section News
Cross-posted in The Wizard of Laws
"And then I was really like, holy macaroni."
This was the reaction of a Michigan judge upon learning that one of the witnesses in the prosecution of two drug dealers was actually an informant, that the prosecutor withheld the information from defense attorneys, and that police officers lied about it on the witness stand. To compound matters, the judge went along with the deception, claiming that if the witness's true role was disclosed, "he would be dead tomorrow."
The judge, the prosecutor, and the police officers are now charged with various crimes centered about perjured testimony in the trials of two drug dealers in 2005. As detailed here and elsewhere, an informant tipped police about the existence and location of a large quantity of cocaine, along with plans for moving it. When the "movers" arrived, police were waiting, and they arrested everyone. The informant was also arrested, to protect his role in the affair.
During the subsequent trial, two police officers lied on the stand, testifying that they did not know about the informant's role in advance. In fact, the informant was paid for his information. The prosecutor knew the testimony was false, so she approached the judge and discussed it with the judge -- alone -- in the judge's chambers, although a sealed transcript was made of the conversation. The judge agreed to go along with the deception, purportedly out of fear for the informant's safety.
So. let's review the cast of our little drama:
-- 2 drug dealers with 47 kilos (about 103 pounds) of cocaine, worth approximately $27 million;
-- a paid police informant;
-- two police officers who knew of the informant's status and involvement, but lied about it on the witness stand;
-- a prosecutor who was aware of the perjury and met with the judge in order to conceal it; and
-- a judge who, once apprised of the perjury, went along with the cover-up.
This is our criminal justice system? How screwed up have things become when the prosecution and the police lie in order to convict two drug dealers (who were caught redhanded, by the way) and the judge goes along with it? Has "the ends justify the means" leached completely into the courts from our political system?
You may ask, what is the relevance of the informant's status? It goes to the initial stakeout, stop, and arrest, and whether the police had probable cause to arrest and search the defendants. If probable cause did not exist, any evidence seized (namely, the 47 kilos of cocaine) would be declared inadmissible, and the charges would go up in smoke. So, in order to get a conviction, the prosecution had to preserve the admissibility of the evidence seized during the arrest, and their zeal (or incompetence or fear) led to the perjury and the cover-up.
For her part, the judge believed that the prosecutor was not "good enough to handle that case," and said she feared the informant would wind up dead if his status was disclosed to the defense attorneys, whom she "just didn't trust."
The actions of the police, the prosecutor, and the judge cannot simply be chalked up to a desire to get bad guys off the streets. Undoubtedly, that was part of it, but such a desire cannot override the law. When she assumed her post, the judge took the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of [judge]according to the best of my ability.
This oath, prescribed by our state Constitution, does not say that the judge can support the Constitution sometimes, or when compliance will be easy. The judge's oath imposes ongoing duties and obligations that cannot be shirked. A judge's job is not easy and often entails very difficult decisions with no clear answer. Concealing perjury, however, is never an option.
The same goes for the prosecutor and the police. There is no indication that they could not have gotten the convictions if they had revealed the informant's true role, and the defendants later pleaded guilty. While they should not have taken affirmative steps to put the informant in danger, they cannot lie, not even to save him from a fate that may have been preordained when he chose to involve himself in the world of big-time drug dealing.
With all the tremendously important issues implicated in this case, however, I can't help thinking that we should not have someone on the bench who reacts to surprise developments by saying, "Holy macaroni!"
(3 comments) Comments >>
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