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
eChristmas Cards from
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
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.
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”