Say you’re an elected official that rammed through an anti-democratic Emergency Manager law that takes away the responsibilities and powers we afford our duly elected officials and replaced them with appointed Emergency Managers. Furthermore, imagine that you’ve fabricated a budget shortfall so you can cut education, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and hand out $1.8 billion in tax breaks to special corporate interests; all while taxing pensions.
Wow. You would have managed to piss off just about every constituency except for big business. Obviously, there is going to be some blowback, so how best to to prevent it?
Simple: take down the likely forums for discussion.
This past Tuesday, the Detroit News published an article explaining why the Snyder administration was taking down some of their Facebook pages, specifically the Treasury Department’s page. Officially, the Treasury Department’s page – the only page specifically mentioned as being taken down – was removed because the department did not have the staff or content to maintain it.
Wait, the department responsible for overseeing the implementation of the controversial, confusing, and misunderstood Emergency Manager law doesn’t have content to maintain their Facebook page. Moreover, isn’t utilizing Facebook a way to “improve government communication,” as their own Department of Technology, Management and budget claims:
“It’s always, ‘how do we improve government communication?'” said Kurt Weiss, a spokesman for the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “We’re not just using it to be hip and cool.”
Watching the emergency manager law and Gov. Snyder’s budget unfold has been a lot like watching a slow-moving natural disaster. We know it’s coming, we know it’s going to be bad, we’re just hoping the levees will hold.
Will the levees hold?
While Gov. Snyder can shut down the Treasury’s Facebook page, he can’t shut down the I Make Michigan Work website. If you’re a public employee let everyone know how you make Michigan work by submitting a short, 30 second testimonial. If you know someone who is a public employee make sure to send them a link!
Would you like to know more about the Emergency Manager law and if your community is in trouble? Check out our Emergency Managers: Dismantling Democracy in Michigan feature.