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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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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