Progress Michigan http://www.progressmichigan.org No corporate money. Just uncompromised progressive politics for Michigan. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:47:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Let them Drive Golf Carts http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/let-drive-golf-carts/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/let-drive-golf-carts/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:44:19 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37173 Can you believe this? After years of failing to fix our roads and months of vacation, the Michigan legislature returned today and promptly voted to allow golf carts to be driven on local streets. Seriously? Is that what passes for leadership in the Snyder years? With forecasters calling for another polar vortex, our legislators should […]

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Can you believe this? After years of failing to fix our roads and months of vacation, the Michigan legislature returned today and promptly voted to allow golf carts to be driven on local streets. Seriously? Is that what passes for leadership in the Snyder years?

With forecasters calling for another polar vortex, our legislators should be focused on fixing our roads. Instead they spent today once again denying Michiganders the right to vote on a wolf initiative and allowing people with golf carts to drive on roads (I mean, Freedom right?).

So, Lansing conservatives let another day go by without a plan to fix our roads while finally taking up the all-important issue of local street access for golf carts. My suggestion for Michigan’s road-weary, pothole-hitting travelers – next time you see a pothole, just imagine that it’s a nice water hazard and you’re enjoying a stress free day at the links. For the legislators that continue to fail to address our priorities – stop listening to your corporate backers and listen to the people that elected you.

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Lawmakers Once Again Attack Michiganders’ Right to Vote http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/lawmakers-attack-michiganders-right-vote/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/lawmakers-attack-michiganders-right-vote/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:37:17 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37170 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan August 27, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Lawmakers Once Again Attack Michiganders’ Right to Vote Wolf hunt vote is another example of the GOP legislature’s attack on democracy LANSING — Today lawmakers in Lansing once again attacked Michiganders’ right to vote by approving legislation that authorizes a wolf hunt in […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

August 27, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Lawmakers Once Again Attack Michiganders’ Right to Vote

Wolf hunt vote is another example of the GOP legislature’s attack on democracy

LANSING — Today lawmakers in Lansing once again attacked Michiganders’ right to vote by approving legislation that authorizes a wolf hunt in Michigan.

“Rather than vote to fix our roads, investigate the rampant corruption in Gov. Snyder’s administration or restore Snyder’s cuts to education, conservative lawmakers decided to attack the right of Michiganders to vote on issues that are important to them,” said Hugh Madden, communications director for Progress Michigan. “This pattern of abuse needs to stop. The people of Michigan are tired of out-of-touch lawmakers acting like selfish children who don’t want anyone else to have a say in the democratic process.”

The wolf hunt is only the latest instance in a string of abuses by the conservative legislature to deprive people of their right to vote on important issues. Lawmakers who didn’t want to allow a vote of the people and rigged the game during the emergency manager law repeal, institution of rape insurance and the minimum wage debate.

“The people of Michigan voted these lawmakers into office and now lawmakers are returning the favor by ignoring the voices of those who elected them and casting their rights aside,” Madden continued. “There is a clear story here: The GOP legislature has had enough with democracy, they’re running the state on their own terms.”

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#WEmatter http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/wematter/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/wematter/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:45:41 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37163 Today is national Women’s Equality Day.  Last Monday, I blogged about the 94th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Today marks the date in 1920 that the 19th Amendment was officially added to the U.S. Constitution. At Progress Michigan, every day is Women’s Equality Day, as we fight day […]

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Today is national Women’s Equality Day.  Last Monday, I blogged about the 94th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Today marks the date in 1920 that the 19th Amendment was officially added to the U.S. Constitution.

At Progress Michigan, every day is Women’s Equality Day, as we fight day in and day out for equal pay for equal work, paid sick days, affordable childcare, reproductive health care, and more.

I know, you’d think that in 2014 issues like equal pay for equal work wouldn’t be issues, but sadly, in 2013 the U.S. failed to make the top 10 — or even the top 20 — of the World Economic Forum’s list of the most gender-equal countries.

In Michigan, conservatives have been turning back the clock on women’s rights faster than Beyoncé squashed divorce rumors at the VMAs. One of their most demeaning acts included passing a law requiring women to buy rape insurance last year.

If that makes you as mad as it makes us then make your voice heard. Join the conversation and help us make it clear to our elected leaders that the success of women and families and the issues we care about are important. Because, put simply, #WEmatter.

Tweet about what matters most to you and your family at @ProgressMich using the hashtag #WEmatter.

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Tuesdays with Terri: Net Neutrality http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/tuesdays-terri-net-neutrality/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/tuesdays-terri-net-neutrality/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:55:49 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37160 Terri Lynn Land is trying to run a campaign without saying anything beyond, “I’m Terri Lynn and I approve this message.” You may wonder why a candidate would do this. Why is it better to say nothing at all and let your handlers and ad makers do the talking? In Terri Lynn Land’s case, it’s […]

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Terri Lynn Land is trying to run a campaign without saying anything beyond, “I’m Terri Lynn and I approve this message.” You may wonder why a candidate would do this. Why is it better to say nothing at all and let your handlers and ad makers do the talking?

In Terri Lynn Land’s case, it’s because she has tried talking to the media and it has been, well, you’ll see. Since her meltdown at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Land hasn’t said much at all.

That’s why we decided to take her quotes, just as she said them, and present them to Michigan voters. This week, we present Terri’s statement on Net Neutrality. Sadly, I don’t think Terri even understands the basic issue. You see, Net Neutrality isn’t about being a fan of Twitter – it’s about whether or not the Internet as we know it will remain or whether access will be sold to the highest bidder. Terri’s position? We’re not sure. Watch the video and try to decipher what she said.

As a public service, we’ll continue to shed light on her Terri Lynn Land by presenting her own words.

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Progress Michigan Announces Launch of ‘Tuesdays With Terri’ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/progress-michigan-announces-launch-tuesdays-terri/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/progress-michigan-announces-launch-tuesdays-terri/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:53:08 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37158 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  August 26, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Announces Launch of ‘Tuesdays With Terri’ Video series highlights Terri Lynn Land’s few unscripted performances  MICHIGAN — Today marks the launch of Progress Michigan’s “Tuesdays with Terri,” a video series that highlights Terri Lynn Land’s clear misunderstanding of […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan 

August 26, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Announces Launch of ‘Tuesdays With Terri’

Video series highlights Terri Lynn Land’s few unscripted performances 

MICHIGAN — Today marks the launch of Progress Michigan’s “Tuesdays with Terri,” a video series that highlights Terri Lynn Land’s clear misunderstanding of important issues and inability to provide a clear agenda to Michigan families.

“We thought it would be helpful to share with Michiganders the few times that Terri Lynn Land has been unscripted and has actually spoken with the media,” said Hugh Madden, communications director at Progress Michigan. “We wanted to give Michiganders the unfiltered Terri Lynn Land: No script, no handlers, no talking points. The results are not pretty and we think that speaks volumes.”

For the next four weeks, on “Tuesdays with Terri”, Progress Michigan will release a new video highlighting Land’s past comments to the media — verbatim — without her PR handlers to run interference or take the comments “off the record,” like has been done in the past in the middle of questions.

“When you listen to Terri Lynn Land, all you get is a string of tired and hollow right-wing talking points,” Madden continued. “Thus far, Land refuses to debate, has been a consistent media-dodger and has been short on details in terms of how she would help Michigan. Michigan voters should demand more statements from candidates than the required disclosures at the end of political ads.”

The video can be viewed here.

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Breakdown: Snyder’s Administrative Scandals http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/breakdown-snyders-administrative-scandals/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/breakdown-snyders-administrative-scandals/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:19:11 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37154 Last week was the latest chapter in a growing pattern of corruption and questionable actions from the Snyder administration. Rather than opine further on the culture of cronyism that has developed from our “Tough Nerd” governor, we figured we’d just lay bare what’s happened and let you soak it all up. Kevyn Orr Threw down […]

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Last week was the latest chapter in a growing pattern of corruption and questionable actions from the Snyder administration. Rather than opine further on the culture of cronyism that has developed from our “Tough Nerd” governor, we figured we’d just lay bare what’s happened and let you soak it all up.

Kevyn Orr

Threw down $3,000 for crab cakes and steak bites in his taxpayer-funded penthouse

Andy Dillon

Continued to earned his $174,000 salary even after he resigned and took a luxury cruise vacation

John Covington

Spent nearly $240,000 in travel, gas for his chauffeured car and IKEA furniture in less than two years

Scott Woosley

Racked up over $200,000 in lavish travel expenses, including a stretch limo and escargot

Richard Baird

Was claiming principle residency tax breaks in two states and owed nearly $17,000 in Michigan taxes

I’d love to see anyone argue against what is clearly a pattern here. 

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This Week in Progress http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/week-progress-18/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/week-progress-18/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:21:09 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37151 Another week, another scandal rocks the Snyder administration. This Week in PM Blogging:  If you like it then you should have put a check on it You have a right to vote, but only because generations before you fought like hell for your rights.  Good News: Pension Tax Not a Tax News flash for seniors: […]

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Another week, another scandal rocks the Snyder administration.

This Week in PM Blogging: 

If you like it then you should have put a check on it

You have a right to vote, but only because generations before you fought like hell for your rights. 

Good News: Pension Tax Not a Tax

News flash for seniors: That tax you’re paying on your pension is apparently not a tax.

Tweet Retreat

Tweet. Defend. Runaway. Apologize. Thanks, GLEP, for the lesson in how not to handle a Twitter controversy.

Wake Me Up When September Begins

They say they’re fighting for your freedom and paycheck, but why do corporate front groups really want you to opt-out of your union?

TWIP Clip:

Another Snyder Scandal

It seems like that just about once a week we’re hearing about a new scandal from the top levels of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration. This week was no exception.

Thanks to some great journalistic digging by MIRS News in Lansing, it was discovered that Snyder’s top confidant and advisory, Richard Baird, was registered to vote in both Michigan and Illinois and was also receiving tax exemptions for homes in both states.

Baird owed nearly $17,000 in back taxes from the improper exemptions, which he paid back today. The Snyder administration declared it was a simple mistake and Baird paid back what he owed this morning.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to cut a $17,000 check at the drop of a hat? Snyder’s rich and well-connected officials have it so easy.

This Baird situation brings several problems into question: Is this considered tax fraud? We called for an investigation into the matter as soon as the news broke.

Kevyn Orr and crab cakes; Andy Dillon and his $174,000 paycheck; John Covington and his limo; Scott Woosley and his ritzy travel expenses; Richard Baird and his tax exemptions — a growing list of Snyder’s top officials have been caught rigging the system and playing games with taxpayer money. Michiganders deserve better.

Where will the next shoe drop?

Progressive Reads:

Rep. Dingell calls out colleagues who supported ALS funding cuts for hypocritical ice bucketing

Michigan is Taking the Radioactive Fracking Waste That Other States Rejected

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Yet Another Scandal Hits the Snyder Administration http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/yet-another-scandal-hits-snyder-administration/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/yet-another-scandal-hits-snyder-administration/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:53:29 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37146 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan August 21, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Yet Another Scandal Hits the Snyder Administration Gov. Snyder’s right-hand man involved in voting and taxation scandal MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan released a statement today calling for an investigation into yet another developing scandal from the top levels of the Snyder administration. […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

August 21, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Yet Another Scandal Hits the Snyder Administration

Gov. Snyder’s right-hand man involved in voting and taxation scandal

MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan released a statement today calling for an investigation into yet another developing scandal from the top levels of the Snyder administration.

According to MIRS News, Richard Baird, Gov. Rick Snyder’s top advisor “ran for precinct delegate in Michigan this month while being registered to vote in two states and while having principal residence tax exemptions attached to properties in two states.”

“After years of searching for examples of voter fraud, it seems that Michigan Republicans needed to look no further than Governor Snyder’s right-hand man,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Here you have a case where Snyder’s top-confidant allegedly committed both voter as well as tax fraud. There needs to be an investigation into this matter by the appropriate authorities. This seems to be part of pattern of corruption from the Snyder administration. Despite what they might think, Snyder and the high-ranking members of his administration are not exempt from the law.”

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Wake Me Up When September Begins http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/wake-september-begins/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/wake-september-begins/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:26:44 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37141 The right-wingers over at Americans for Prosperity and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are urging teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association. They claim it’s about freedom. (That word: freedom, I’m beginning to forget what it even means because it’s so often bastardized by the right to fit their litany of agendas.) The Mackinac […]

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The right-wingers over at Americans for Prosperity and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are urging teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association.

They claim it’s about freedom. (That word: freedom, I’m beginning to forget what it even means because it’s so often bastardized by the right to fit their litany of agendas.)

The Mackinac Center has a well-known fascination of wanting to dismantle public education as we know it and AFP is a front group for the Koch brothers. These are not organizations that care about people. They only care about increasing corporate profits.

The campaign isn’t about saving people money. This isn’t about so-called “freedom” in the workplace. This is an attack on working families and the collective power they gain when they organize.

Need proof?

As Jack McHugh, a Mackinac Center senior legislative analyst put it in an email: “Our goal is [to] outlaw government bargaining in Michigan, which in practical terms means no more MEA.”

Don’t believe the intentions of corporate front groups. They’ll gladly help you opt-out of the union, only to have your power in the workplace diminished. That’s exactly what they want.

There’s a popular right-wing talking point that MEA union dues go to political candidates, but that’s just a lie. And the Mackinac Center came under fire for using public email systems to spew their political messaging.

I got a call from a teacher the other day about the Mackinac Center’s opt-out campaign. The teacher said he was tired of the lies and misinformation that was being spewed from their camp — and guess what? So are a lot of other people.

One final note: The graphic below was posted by AFP Michigan. I’d just like to point out that without unions like the MEA, we wouldn’t have vacations (or overtime, or workplace safety regulations, or the 40 hour work week, and the list goes on).

Screenshot 2014-08-21 13.34.51

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Tweet Retreat http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/tweet-retreat-2/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/08/tweet-retreat-2/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:48:38 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37133 By Tiffany Silgas Akleh, Progress Michigan intern Last week, the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) tweeted a meme comparing George Wallace, the racist governor who blocked integration in the Alabama public schools to Mike Flanagan, the Superintendent of Public Instruction who is calling on charter school authorizers to hold charter schools accountable. GLEP was called […]

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By Tiffany Silgas Akleh, Progress Michigan intern

Last week, the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) tweeted a meme comparing George Wallace, the racist governor who blocked integration in the Alabama public schools to Mike Flanagan, the Superintendent of Public Instruction who is calling on charter school authorizers to hold charter schools accountable.

GLEP was called out for their tweet by multiple organizations including Progress Michigan. GLEP retreated and deleted the tweet.

However, they did not delete the prior tweets defending their comparison. Let’s take a look at each tweet and have some fun with their logic.

Really? Allowing for-profit schools to operate without proper oversight is the civil rights issue of our generation? Not equal pay for equal work, marriage equality, income inequality or the continued defunding of education?

Public schools should be high performing, competitive schools that prepare students for success. They should operate with accountability and transparency. Using race to defend their original race-baiting tweet is at best odd.

This one irritates me, because George Wallace blocked the integration of black and white students, while Flanagan is simply trying to hold for-profit charter schools accountable. The two are not even close to the same level.

GLEP should apologize for blocking real accountability instead of just retracting a tweet.

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