The Refuge: Fall 2009

A publication of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Property Rights Network

Welcome to the new and improved version of The Refuge!  It has joined efforts with another Mackinac Center publication — Michigan Capitol Confidential. For readers of The Refuge, if you have enjoyed what you have been reading about property rights during the first two issues, then this change is going to mean two things:

  1. You'll be getting The Refuge more frequently: Michigan Capitol Confidential is published six times per year, rather than quarterly.
  2. You'll be getting MORE than just The Refuge. In addition to news about protecting your home and property from the covetous eyes of government, you'll now get the inside story on what else your elected officials are up to.

What this change will NOT mean is any reduction in content on the property rights news that you have come to rely upon from The Refuge. You'll still get everything you signed up for — just more frequently! You'll be able to find it right here, in a dedicated "Refuge" section, inside of Michigan Capitol Confidential.

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Both of these publications are relatively new outreaches for the Mackinac Center. During the short history of both periodicals, each of us have visited and spoken to dozens of audiences across Michigan. And what we learned very quickly is that, for the most part, you're all the same people with the same concerns. So, it didn't take us long to figure out that we might be able to serve you more than twice as well by combining our efforts.

For longtime readers of Michigan Capitol Confidential, this is just one more improvement upon our mission to bring you news about YOUR government that you might not be getting elsewhere. Future issues will now come with several more pages of content — literally a brand new dedicated section just for property rights news.

If you haven't already told us that you want to remain on the FREE permanent mailing list, please do so. We'd hate to cut you off because you never told us how much you enjoyed what you are reading. And, as always, please don't hesitate to recommend the addresses of friends and family you think might also enjoy this information. (Somebody referring YOUR name might be why you're reading this issue right now!)

While this is a free publication, it is funded by the donations of patriots such as you. If you can spare a contribution in any amount, it will greatly enhance our ability to serve you better and find more people just like you in the future. The Mackinac Center is a 501(c)(3) research and educational institute, and your generous support is tax deductible on your federal income taxes.

But above all, if you're already a short- or long-time subscriber of either publication, thank you for your continued support. We hope you've enjoyed the road we've traveled with you so far, and can't wait to show you where we plan to go in the future.


Russ Harding, Director, Mackinac Center Property Rights Network

Bruce Edward Walker, Editor, The Refuge

Ken Braun, Senior Managing Editor, Michigan Capitol Confidential

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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