An Uninformed Voter is a gop Voter

From one extremist right wing red state to another, Constitutional rights have been stripped away from citizens, including the right to choose, the right to vote, the right to be secure and free from deranged domestic terrorists who with increased ease legally purchase arsenals of assault weapons and ammunition that they use on a close to daily basis to kill and maim. Now, however, a new tactic has been created by a traditionally moderate state that in recent years has elected republican legislators and a republican

governor that have done their best to destroy democracy as the world knows it.

In the formerly great state of Michigan, the 21st century first saw the state implement the concept of the “Emergency Manager” where their extremist dictator and pseudo-governor Rick Snyder has been able to replace duly elected local officials - mayors and city councils, school board members and
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others – with his appointed managers, who under their draconian state law are legally empowered to usurp power and control and enact and enforce whatever rules, laws and regulations they deem appropriate, as elected officials sit by, powerless to act.

Michigan has also enacted restrictive voting rules, effectively denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of citizens, and the state has refused to follow the lead of a majority of US states and permit early voting. Also, the state remains in the 19th century regarding mail-in ballots, and in a country where virtually every state either requires voting by mail or lets any registered voter mail in their ballot if that is their choice, Michigan only permits the archaic “Absentee” ballot where a showing of impossibility to show up at the polls is the standard to vote by mail.

But now, the reactionary government of Michigan has gone a step further into pre-history, and is attempting to end once and for all the “information’ age in their fair state: Sitting on dictator Snyder’s desk is the just-passed Michigan Senate Bill 571, which will with out question receive his signature in the coming days, or hours. Among many other things

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related in one way or another to further restricting the informed vote of Michigan citizens, Senate Bill 571 will bar local governmental officials, including mayors, council members, commissioners, school board members, and all the rest, from using television, radio, email, mass mailings, the telephone - virtually every modern (and pre-modern) means of communication - to discuss any ballot measure, within 60
days of an election.

For real?


Here it is:

“Except for an election official in the performance of his or her duties under the Michigan election law, 1954 pa 116, mcl 8 168.1 to 168.992, a public body, or a person acting for a public body, shall not, during the period 60 days before an election in which a local ballot question appears on a ballot, use public funds or resources for a communication by means of radio, television, mass mailing*, or prerecorded telephone message if that communication references a local ballot question and is targeted to the relevant electorate where the local ballot question appears on the ballot.”

In fact, the bill could be interpreted even more stringently. Some commentators believe that “a public body, or a person acting for a public body” could extend to librarians, who could be prohibited from proving information to patrons, or from including ballot information in a newsletter. And, it’s pretty clear that public officials would be prohibited from discussing such ballot measures at at public hearing, certainly any that are broadcast, or on any public access television program.

This provision was a small portion of the massive Senate Bill 571 and it was inserted at some point as the bill grew from its original 12 pages to over fifty overnight during the final legislative session of the year, and there were no public hearings or notices given to those affected by such last-minute additions. Senate Democrats were likewise
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kept uninformed, with the amendments sprung on them as the vote was called. It passed in each house without a single Democratic vote.

There is another provision snuck into the bill at the last minute that further displays the mindset of Michigan’s extremist gop legislators: They eliminated pre-election reporting requirements of groups making independent expenditures and they now are allowed to keep secret the identity of those who make contributions until after the each election.

Democracy, 21st century gop style.

*The bill also defines “Mass Mailing” as “any postal mailing of more than 500 pieces”

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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