If you think a proposal on the November ballot requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes was put there by a grassroots, tax-limitation group, you’re wrong.
Proposal 5 is another maneuver by billionaire Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun to try to stop construction of the proposed New International Trade Crossing bridge linking Detroit and Windsor.
Haglund notes that a small group of people funded petition gathers and innocent-sounding groups to put these issues on the ballot.
This is mostly correct. But while Haglund focuses on two initiatives that he obviously disagrees with, it is notable that he does not discuss the other four proposals on the ballot.
- Proposal 1: Referendum on the Emergency Manager Law – Put on the ballot largely because of union opposition to emergency managers that are able to limit their power at the bargaining table in order to save local cities and school districts. The proposal is entirely funded by the government employee union AFSCME.
- Proposal 2: The 'Protect Our Jobs' Amendment – Put on the ballot by a coalition of unions that started and lead the drive for signature gathering while spending millions on advertising trying to convince residents how to vote. Almost entirely funded by union groups.
- Proposal 3: '25 x 25' Renewable Energy Standard – Put on the ballot from signature gatherers and the group “Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs” which is largely funded by Green Tech Action Fund, a California-based environmental lobbying group.
- Proposal 4: The Unionization of Home-Based Caregivers – Put on the ballot and backed by “Citizens United for Affordable Quality Home Care” which is 100 percent funded by Home Care First Inc., which is suspected of being the front name for the SEIU. The union is the only group that would actually benefit from this amendment being passed.
Because of the time and expertise it takes to make the ballot, almost every proposal this year and in the past have been started by a small group of individuals before being picked up by the grassroots. But it remains the responsibility of Michigan voters to approve or reject these proposals.
Haglund and others in the media are prone to frame the backing of certain initiatives as suspect because they are being supported by groups or individuals who would benefit from them passing. He should keep in mind that all kinds of groups support initiatives through their self-interest, and consistency would dictate a column pointing out the special interests supporting other constitutional changes.