MLive columnist Rick Haglund writes that the 2/3 tax limitation and international bridge ballot proposals are not a grassroots effort.

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.

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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.

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.


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Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, and with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by services like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win. Not everyone agrees. Some in the accommodations and tourism industries aren’t happy with the increased competition and are advocating for limiting people’s rights to rent out their homes. Some homeowner associations are pushing back as well. And while cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids have mostly embraced home sharing, some local governments have restricted and even banned the practice.

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