Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

November 2, 2012

Editorial: One 'yes,' 'no' on rest of proposals

Of the six proposals on the statewide ballot Tuesday, at least four can be traced directly to the state Legislature either not doing its job or adopting far right policies many citizens find objectionable.

Most should be rejected.

Proposal 1 is a referendum on the state's emergency manager law, which allows the governor to name a manager to take over cities or school districts in financial straits. That sounds fine, but the law gives a single, unelected person the power to shred contracts, demand wage cuts and lay off workers. Vote "no."

Proposal 2 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would put public sector workers' rights to unionize into the constitution. This would never have happened if far-right factions weren't on the verge of making Michigan a right-to-work state or, even worse, ban public sector unions. What ever happened to the First Amendment right to association? But Proposal 2 goes too far the other way. Vote "no."

Proposal 3 is a constitutional amendment that would require 25 percent of Michigan's energy come from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and biomass, by 2025. Like Proposal 2, this is not the kind of business that should be done via a constitutional amendment. But Michigan must soon move to renewable energy sources to reduce costs and curb pollution and the Legislature absolutely cannot be trusted to do that. Michigan's biggest utilities are spending millions to oppose Proposal 3. That leaves it up to voters. Vote "yes."

Proposal 4 is another proposed constitutional amendment that would declare home-care workers government employes and subject to unionization — and to paying union dues. It has no place in the Constitution. Vote "no."

Proposal 5 is one of two proposed constitutional amendments backed and paid for almost exclusively by billionaire trucking magnate Matty Moroun and his family. It would force a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve any new taxes and fees, which would paralyze Lansing. Vote "no."

Proposal 6, another constitutional amendment, is one of the most cynical pieces of public business ever seen in Michigan. Or anywhere else. The proposal would ban a new bridge in Detroit that would compete with the Moroun family's Ambassador Bridge. They've spent more than $30 million on a TV and radio campaign that is virtually all fiction. The latest: A fake radio news report that Michigan has raised the gas tax to pay for the bridge. The kicker is that Canada is paying Michigan's share, the state will get $2.2 billion in federal money, and the state hasn't raised the gas tax since the 1990s. Pure, unadulterated bull. Vote "no."

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