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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.
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Making the point for the opposition to prop 2, support for bad behavior reveals itself in the thumb.
Putting the dot on the 'i', the Bay City teachers union wrote a $40,000 check to the ballot committee behind Proposal 2 shortly after receiving an internal legal memo from the Michigan Education Association. (MEA) The memo that claimed Prop 2 would reinstate controversial Bay City contract provisions that prevent the school district from firing teachers caught selling drugs or under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the classroom, according to campaign finance reports.
The Bay City Education Association wrote the $40,000 check, one of the single largest contributions by any local teachers union in the state, to the "Protect Our Jobs" ballot committee on May 23rd, only a month after an MEA circulated legal memo declaring Proposal 2 would overturn the law identified in the local union's contract that barred provisions requiring a teacher to be caught drunk five times or under the influence of drugs three times before being fired.
The same contract had provisions where a teacher could be caught selling drugs on school property in some circumstances not once, but twice before the teacher could be terminated. (Contract pages 92-93.)
"The more parents learn about Proposal 2 the less they like it," said Nick De Leeuw, Spokesman for Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution. "The possible consequences in Bay City prove that Proposal 2 is not just bad policy, it is not worth the risk to Michigan children."
Lawmakers and the governor teamed in 2011 to enact Public Act 103, which legally overturned the kind of shocking contract provisions found in the Bay City teachers' contract but the contract itself explicitly states (contract page 87) that should Public Act 103 be struck down, the protections for teachers who abuse drugs and alcohol on school property or sell drugs in class would go back into effect.
According to an internal memo from the MEA's Legal Department (see attachment) delivered to the Bay City teachers union only weeks before their massive contribution, passage of Proposal 2 would "immediately" overturn Public Act 103. The MEA is also one of Proposal 2's most prominent financial backers.
The MEA's leaked memo states in part: "The new prohibited bargaining topics created by 2011 PA 103 and included in Section 15(3) of PERA would NO LONGER exist. This law currently prohibits bargaining over...Teacher discipline policies..."
The Bay City Education Association's contribution can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/OA77vD.
SE Michigan Democrat state representatives apparently have a new plan for retirement. Criminal enterprise.
A story about a drug bust in Detroit offhandedly mentions the aspirations of a former Michigan State Representative (Democrat) who like so many of his criminal minded brethren have little regard for rule of law or the health and well being of our youth. From MLIVE:
"Powell and 11 other suspects, including former State Rep. Ken Daniels of Detroit, face a host of federal charges, including conspiracy to distribute more than 30 grams of heroin, 12 kilograms of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of marijuana and money laundering in excess of $21 million."
Isn't that special?
Daniels, who has a saying on his website "It takes teamwork to make the dream work" talks about public safety on that same site:
"The safety of our citizens is a number one priority. Many people in our communities have been impacted by crime. We need to take steps to create policies, not only in Lansing, but in our local communities, to help reduce crime. As your State Senator, I want to work on various programs that will rehabilitate inmates in our correctional facilities, so that they don't commit more crimes once they are released. I will work hard to secure funding for more police officers and place them in high crime areas in our communities. We are dealing with a cycle of crime, especially in Detroit and it is time for us to take our neighborhoods back. But it all starts with new policies at the local and state level."
Well, I guess the 3rd place drubbing he received in the 2010 senate primary bid (he lost to Bert Johnson) really motivated him to seek alternate campaign financing resources. If I am figuring this right, $21,000,000.00 is $1,750,000.00 for each of those folks busted. Why for THAT kind of cash he could have been planning to primary against Debbie Stabenow for HER stake in the federal criminal enterprise!
While the former state rep offers himself as a sacrifice to increase feelings of self worth in our drug teams, we give him credit for toting the Democrat line to the "T." Criminal enterprise fits them so well.
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Here we go again.
Democrat Representatives Lisa Brown and Jim Ananich have each sponsored (with 27 Democratic co-sponsors) a portion and re-introduced the Michigan Trial Lawyer Enhancement Act (House Bills 4440 and 4650).
Every legislative cycle about this time Michigan Democrats attempt to take advantage of a largely hibernating voting public, sponsoring and passing legislation designed to pay off debts to big-time campaign donors and special interest friends.
It's the oldest trick in the book. You campaign as a populist, you tell the people its all about them and then as soon as they aren't looking you start funneling as many perks, favors and giant paydays as possible to your cronies, no matter how many Michigan jobs it'll kill.
We've talked about this issue before. We sounded the alert when the Dems tried to do their trial lawyer pals a solid in 2007. We sounded it again when they took another stab later that year. They tried it again in 2008 and we were there again in 2009. ( I Should note on this last, a technical ahem .. 'complication' truncated some great discussion ... sigh.)
~ Continued below the fold ~
(611 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
Remember Nancy Reagan? And the age of anti-drug education?
Nancy's "just say no" theme was used to encourage our young minds full of mush to abstain when offered that chance to get high. Even if the pusher was offering it free, at least at first. "Your brain on drugs" commercials soon followed, pointing out the scrambled senses you will endure upon taking such things that promote dependence on controlled substances and the effects of your addiction on family and friends with the later occurring "friends don't let friends use drugs" campaign.
It seems some folks recognized the dangers of addiction, and used media and the first lady's profile to advance that such things like addiction are bad. But now, it has apparently flipped, with Obama playing the pusherman.
What surprises me is that one of our state senators, who by many acts has tried to properly fight addictive drugs, might have missed the addiction he might serve personally to the people in Michigan. Michigan State Senator Jim Marleau seemingly capitulating to an unconstitutional role that the federal government would force on the state's citizenry, appears to be ready to promise our resources in a way that will keep us addicted to federal handouts and mandates into eternity.
The details following below.
(4 comments, 753 words in story) Full Story
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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