Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Republicans prepare to Deliver Another Slap in the Face to Democracy

Since the 2010 election, Michigan Republicans have been intend on showing the public they know what's best for them, regardless of what the people have voted for in the past.

The Medical Marijuana initiative that passed in 2008? Attorney General Bill Schuette has been doing his best to dismantle it with court challenges.

The stem cell research initiative that passed in 2008? The Republican-controlled Legislature has imposed burdensome reporting requirements to try to stifle that job-creating, life-saving research.

The right to vote in local elections? Gone, or soon to be, in Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Pontiac, Flint, and Detroit.

And the latest afront to democracy and the rule of law is in Oakland County. Oakland County followed the same law that all the rest of Michigan's 83 counties did in drawing new districts for electing county commissioners. The clerk, treasurer, prosecutor, and heads of the county Democratic and Republican parties met and devised new boundaries for electing the county commissioners. It wasn't a problem for Oakland County before, but this time, a majority of that group was Democratic. Republicans didn't like the plan and challenged it in court, but the Michigan Court of Appeals said it met the legal guidelines and upheld it.

Not satisfied that the rules were followed, Republicans have decided to change the rules. A measure in the Legislature would allow the Oakland County Commission -- and only that county commission -- to draw their own boundaries. Republicans like that approach because they control the county commission, 15-10.

Lawmakers aren't even following their own rules in trying to change the rules for Oakland County. The Senate is skipping committee meetings to ram it through the Legislature before the holiday recess.

Republican abuse of power seems to know no boundaries.

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