Unions wasted millions in Wisconsin, Michigan governor races

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This is by  Jason Hart @

Taxpayers of Wisconsin 3 Union Thugs 0.

Scott Walker gets elected taxpayers 1 union thugs 0.

Scott Walker wins the recall race taxpayers 2 union thugs 0.

Scott Walker gets reelected taxpayers 3 union thugs 0.

Michigan taxpayers 2 Union Thugs 0.


Union bosses dumped more than $7.5 million into the Wisconsin and Michigan governor races only to see both states’ labor-reforming incumbents re-elected.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, both Republicans, were two of the five governors publicly targeted by union coalition AFL-CIO in February. Last Tuesday, Walker defeated Democrat Mary Burke 52-47, and Snyder defeated Democrat Mark Schauer 51-47.

Big labor hates — and in 2012 tried to recall — Walker because of 2011’s Act 10, a centerpiece of his agenda limiting the power of public-sector unions. Snyder signed two right-to-work laws in 2012, empowering most Michigan workers to opt out of paying labor union bosses and launching himself near the top of the union enemies list.

Based on campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Burke’s failed campaign received more than $650,000 of cash and in-kind support from labor unions.Without accounting for union contributions to Democratic Party committees or any of a laundry list of politically active “progressive” nonprofits, unions this year spent at least $4,387,631 against Walker and at least $3,276,973 against Snyder. These figures likely far understate unions’ staff and monetary investments in both races.

The Washington, D.C., headquarters of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, United Food and Commercial Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and International Association of Fire Fighters each sent Burke donations of the maximum $43,128 allowed by state law.

National Education Association headquarters sent Burke $43,000 from D.C., and her campaign received max contributions from Wisconsin Professional Police Association, United Auto Workers Wisconsin and NEA-affiliate Wisconsin Education Association Council. Several WEAC locals gave Burke four- or five-figure donations.

Campaign finance reports submitted to the Michigan secretary of state show union contributions to Schauer exceeding $630,000. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades sent $50,000 from its national headquarters, IBEW headquarters donated $44,500, UFCW headquarters gave $44,300 and AFSCME headquarters gave $34,000.

Schauer received maximum $68,000 contributions from the Michigan affiliates of UAW and Communications Workers of America, and received $60,381 from Michigan Education Association.

Although labor bosses profess opposition to unlimited independent expenditures from “super PACs,” most union spending against Walker and Snyder came from independent expenditures. Union fronts Greater Wisconsin Committee and We Are Wisconsin spent a combined total of more than $3.7 million in big labor’s latest attempt to defeat Walker.

Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC spent $1,218,468 in the governor’s race and received $1,298,000 from WEAC in the latest reporting period. AFSCME headquarters funneled $2,370,000 to We Are Wisconsin Political Fund and WEAC gave $500,000 during the latest reporting period, while the group spent $2,517,443 in the governor’s race.

“Once again, Big Labor failed in its attempt to defeat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the author of collective bargaining reform,” Brett Healy, president of the Wisconsin-based, free-market MacIver Institute said in an email to

“One union boss even said they had ‘a score to settle’ with Walker,” Healy added.

“Wisconsin taxpayers, on the other hand, are ecstatic that Act 10 has saved them almost $3 billion dollars over the last (four) years which has led Walker to cut taxes by $2 billion dollars, freeze property taxes at 2010 levels statewide and freeze tuition at the University of Wisconsin.

“The popularity of Act 10 with Wisconsinites is exactly the reason why Big Labor’s decision to spend their members’ hard-earned money on this wild-goose chase is so ridiculous and disappointing,” Healy said. “It is clear the unions are more worried about yielding crass political power than the welfare of their members.

“Sounds to me like the taxpayers have settled the score, once and for all, with Big Labor,” Healy said.

In Michigan, union super PACs sank more than $2.6 million into unseating Snyder. NEA Advocacy Fund spent $703,747, Service Employees International Union Community Alliance spent $689,270 and AFL-CIO’s Workers’ Voice spent $632,459.

Michigan For All spent $644,617 in the governor’s race, fueled by donations of $300,000 from SEIU Community Alliance, over $700,000 from AFSCME, and more than $400,000 from NEA Advocacy Fund.

F. Vincent Vernuccio, labor policy director at Michigan’s free-market Mackinac Center, told the Nov. 4 election “was less a referendum and more a reaffirmation on labor reform.”

“The referendums occurred in May and July, which were the two deadlines for unions to put right-to-work on the ballot in Michigan, either as an initiative or a constitutional amendment,” Vernuccio said. “And it happened throughout the governor’s race, where right-to-work was not even an issue used by Snyder’s opponents against him.”


Outrageous: How Many Wives Can A Muslim Man Have On Welfare In Michigan?

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This is from Girls Just Wanna Have Guns.

One more reason the state of Michigan is rapidly sliding into the sewer.

This is one more reason to scrap the food stamp program.


While polygamy is illegal in the United States, our government doesn’t seem all that concerned about Muslims in Michigan claiming welfare for their multiple wives. Yup, that’s right. They are completely fine with them taking American taxpayers dollars (your money) while breaking the law. Check it out.

Michigan Governor Signs Short Barreled Rifle and Shotgun Bill Into Law

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This is from Guns Save Lives.

Bravo Governor Rick Snyder(R-MI) for bringing more freedom to the state of Michigan.



The following story comes from theNRA-ILA,

Fairfax, VA – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed an important pro-gun bill into law, which repeals the previous state ban on the private ownership of short-barreled rifles and shotguns. Senate Bill 610 earned bipartisan support clearing the House by a vote of 103 to 6, and the Senate by a vote of 36 to 2.

“Gun bans don’t work and serve only to harm law-abiding gun owners,” noted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I am pleased Governor Snyder and lawmakers in Michigan joined the overwhelming majority of our states by allowing their residents the opportunity to possess these firearms,” added Cox.

A similar bill recently passed with bipartisan support in Washington State and is sitting on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk, awaiting his signature.

Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are already strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act, requiring their buyers to undergo a background check, pay a $200 federal tax and register these firearms with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“On behalf of the National Rifle Association’s five million members, I want to thank Governor Snyder for signing this bill into law and the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Michael Green, for championing this important legislation,” added Cox. “Victories such as these are critical to ensuring we maintain our Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” Cox concluded.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at and on Twitter @NRA.

Michigan Legalizing Short Barreled Rifles & Shotguns

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This is from AmmoLand.


Michigan – -( Michigan is on the verge of passing another gun rights milestone by legalizing short barreled rifles and shotguns (SBRs/SBSs).

As gun rights go, Michigan has come a long way since I moved here 15 years ago. At that time, I marveled at the whole pistol registration “safety inspection” scheme – I had to go to the police station several times to buy my first pistol – the very strict transportation laws, and the lack of any means to get a concealed pistol license.

Once the concealed pistol law changed to “shall issue,” I was one of the first persons to get a pistol license in Kent County having gone to the county clerk’s office the morning of the first day to pick up my packet. I still remember how unfriendly the person working behind the desk was. I could tell she was not very happy about the new law.

Since then, more and more rights have been restored to the citizens of Michigan. The right now in question is that to possess rifles and shotguns with barrels shorter than 16″ or 18″ respectively if (and only if) they are legal to possess according to federal law. There is no question that SBRs and SBSs comprise a highly desired class of firearms. People have come to realize that these are some of the best weapons from a handling perspective. They are ideal for fighting in close quarters, the most relevant example of which would be using them to defend one’s own home.

Federal law, namely the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and ATF regulations, controls the lawful possession of NFA Firearms. Short barreled rifles and shotguns (as well as suppressors) are subject to the NFA. In a nutshell, one must have federal approval to possess NFA items, including paying a $200 tax for each item. An SBR with a suppressor would require two tax stamps and therefore $400 in additional taxes.

In addition to an individual owning these items, the NFA also provides for corporate and trust ownership. Purchasing these items with a trust currently has several advantages.

An NFA trust is a living trust that you set up to own your NFA items. It may also own other firearms as well. The way an NFA trust is drafted ensures that your trustee (whoever is in charge of the trust) or trustees if more than one, as well as the beneficiaries are authorized to possess those items. An NFA trust with additional trustees, for example naming your spouse as trustee, ensures that he or she is not an unauthorized person in constructive possession of your NFA items. Likewise, upon your death, there is a person who is authorized to possess the items and a process in place to ensure that your beneficiaries are authorized as well and that they get the items in an orderly and lawful fashion.

Currently, purchasing NFA items directly with a trust bypasses a few of the additional requirements placed on individual purchasers, such as the requirements of local law enforcement approval, fingerprints, and photographs. This has been one of the main reasons why people have used NFA trusts. From an attorney standpoint, however, the issues of constructive possession mentioned above and the orderly transition of ownership are just as important as the convenience of purchasing.

As you may have heard, there are proposed changes (Proposed Rule 41P) to the ATF regulations concerning the purchase of NFA items with a trust. One of the proposed changes would require local law enforcement approval of purchases, even with trusts. This is a more onerous burden that one might think because few law enforcement officers want to certify that a person is worthy of possessing firearms. There is no incentive for them to do so and it risks their credibility if someone were to misuse a firearm subsequent to the officer’s approval. Another proposed rule is that fingerprints, photographs, and a full background check would be required for every “responsible party” of a trust or corporation. Just who is a “responsible party” in the final rules, if adopted, remains to be seen.

As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to using an NFA trust to purchase NFA items, even if some of the ATF’s proposed rules are adopted. The only real drawback is the cost of setting up a trust. Most NFA trusts, with some support from an attorney, can be had for around $600. There are some slightly less expensive alternatives, as well as some more expensive ones that have additional features, such as asset protection and perpetual ownership. Perpetual ownership would be applicable if a new law were to ban the transfer of certain items once the original owner died. If the trust were to own the items, and because a trust doesn’t die, then many generations should be able to enjoy the use of the items in question.

If you are interested in an NFA trust or would like more information, you are welcome to contact me at 888-878-7658.

Charles E. Cottrell
Attorney at Law
The West Michigan Estate Planning Center
Cottrell & Jacobs PLC
6739 Fulton E., Suite A-10
Ada, Michigan 49301
Tel: 616-682-5574
Toll Free: 888-878-7658

The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day.

Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit:

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This is from Brietbarts Big Government.

More of the sons of Obama need to be fatally shot

and this knockout game will stop.

But sadly the game is being played in places where

Second Amendment is restricted. 



A teen playing the “Knockout Game” in Lansing, Michigan unwittingly targeted a concealed carry permit holder and was shot twice. He survived and is now in jail.

As Breitbart News previously reported, the “Knockout Game” thrives in areas where victims are unarmed. In the “game,” teens approach a stranger on the sidewalk or in an alley and punch the stranger in an attempt to knock him or her out. A punch that results in a knockout scores one point.

WILX in Lansing reported that teenager Marvell Weaver, who is black, tried to knock out a father who was standing at a bus stop waiting for his daughter to arrive. Instead of simply punching the father, Weaver tried a variation on the “game” by trying to taze the man. The taser malfunctioned, and the father pulled a .40 cal handgun and shot the teenager twice.

Weaver admits to previously knocking out six or seven people on other days before targeting the man who shot him. He said being shot by the father at the bus stop was “a lesson learned.”

Weaver is now serving one year in jail.


25 Facts About The Fall Of Detroit That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head

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This is from Zero Hedge.

America is heading down the drain also.

Detroit just beat America to the drain and down the sewer.


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

It is so sad to watch one of America’s greatest cities die a horrible death.  Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about.  On Thursday, we learned that the decision had been made for the city of Detroit to formally file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  It was going to be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States by far, but on Friday it was stopped at least temporarily by an Ingham County judge.

She ruled that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution because it would result in reduced pension payments for retired workers.  She also stated that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing was “also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy“, and she ordered that a copy of her judgment be sent to Barack Obama.  How “honoring the president” has anything to do with the bankruptcy of Detroit is a bit of a mystery, but what that judge has done is ensured that there will be months of legal wrangling ahead over Detroit’s money woes.

It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out.  But one thing is for sure – the city of Detroit is flat broke.  One of the greatest cities in the history of the world is just a shell of its former self.  The following are 25 facts about the fall of Detroit that will leave you shaking your head…

1) At this point, the city of Detroit owes money to more than 100,000 creditors.

2) Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities.  That breaks down to more than $25,000 per resident.

3) Back in 1960, the city of Detroit actually had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.

4) In 1950, there were about 296,000 manufacturing jobs in Detroit.  Today, there are less than 27,000.

5) Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in the state of Michigan were lost.

6) There are lots of houses available for sale in Detroit right nowfor $500 or less.

7) At this point, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the city.

8) About one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.

9) An astounding 47 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.

10) Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.

11) If you can believe it, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

12) Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.

13) The city of Detroit is now very heavily dependent on the tax revenue it pulls in from the casinos in the city.  Right now, Detroit is bringing in about 11 million dollars a month in tax revenue from the casinos.

14) There are 70 “Superfund” hazardous waste sites in Detroit.

15) 40 percent of the street lights do not work.

16) Only about a third of the ambulances are running.

17) Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 miles on them.

18) Two-thirds of the parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down since 2008.

19) The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by about 40 percent over the past decade.

20) When you call the police in Detroit, it takes them an average of 58 minutes to respond.

21) Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.

22) The violent crime rate in Detroit is five times higher than the national average.

23) The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.

24) Today, police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.

25) Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.

It is easy to point fingers and mock Detroit, but the truth is that the rest of America is going down the exact same path that Detroit has gone down.

Detroit just got there first.

All over this country, there are hundreds of state and local governments that are also on the verge of financial ruin

“Everyone will say, ‘Oh well, it’s Detroit. I thought it was already in bankruptcy,’ ” said Michigan State University economist Eric Scorsone. “But Detroit is not unique. It’s the same in Chicago and New York and San Diego and San Jose. It’s a lot of major cities in this country. They may not be as extreme as Detroit, but a lot of them face the same problems.”

A while back, Meredith Whitney was highly criticized for predicting that there would be a huge wave of municipal defaults in this country.  When it didn’t happen, the critics let her have it mercilessly.

But Meredith Whitney was not wrong.

She was just early.

Detroit is only just the beginning.  When the next major financial crisis strikes, we are going to see a wave of municipal bankruptcies unlike anything we have ever seen before.

And of course the biggest debt problem of all in this country is the U.S. government.  We are going to pay a great price for piling up nearly 17 trillion dollars of debt and over 200 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities.

All over the nation, our economic infrastructure is being gutted, debt levels are exploding and poverty is spreading.  We are consuming far more wealth than we are producing, and our share of global GDP has been declining dramatically.

We have been living way above our means for so long that we think it is “normal”, but an extremely painful “adjustment” is coming and most Americans are not going to know how to handle it.

So don’t laugh at Detroit.  The economic pain that Detroit is experiencing will be coming to your area of the country soon enough.


5 Ways Liberalism Destroyed Detroit

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This is by John Hawkins in Town Hall.

Detroit is what America will look very soon.

Obama has the same attitude as the clowns running Detroit.


“Does anybody think it’s OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses?” — Detroit’s Emergency ManagerKevyn Orr

“A few years ago, the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research rated Detroit as the most liberal city in America.” — Michael Tanner


Detroit was once one of the world’s great cities. It was the 4th largest metropolis in America, jobs were plentiful because of the auto industry, and Motown even kept it on the cutting edge musically.

Unfortunately, from 1962 until the present day, the mayor of Detroit has been a Democrat.

The result?

Detroit’s population has dropped from 1.8 million to just over 700,000, the unemployment rate is over 50% if you count the people who’ve given up on finding jobs, property values have dropped so much you can buy homes in the crime-ridden city for $500, and Detroit has gone bankrupt.

How did Democrats kill one of the most prosperous cities in America? With the same sort of unfettered liberalism that Democrats like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi want to foist on the rest of the nation.

1) Unions crippled the auto industry: The Big 3 automakers could afford unions when they practically had a monopoly on auto production in the United States. However, once they started facing real competition from overseas, the unions made them less and less competitive. The unions forced the companies to pay out more than market value for their workers, put stifling work rules in place that made flexibility and innovation difficult, and created generous pension plans that are proving to be unsustainable. This wouldn’t have been possible without a symbiotic relationship between the unions and the Democrats in government who tied the hands of the Big 3 automakers and simply wouldn’t allow them to get rid of the unions that were slowly strangling them to death. Eventually because of the unions, the Big 3 automakers had to deal with significantly larger costs per car than their overseas competitors and they took it out of the only place they could: the cars. As the quality of their products dropped, their competitors took an ever larger share of their market, and there were fewer jobs to go around. If you want to know why the “Motor City” is up on cinder blocks in Michigan‘s front yard, this is where it started.

2) White citizens were demonized until they left: Detroit was a heavily segregated city and in 1967, there were black riots. After that, white flight to the suburbs began. This was dramatically exacerbated when Coleman Young became Detroit’s first black mayor in 1972. Young was cut from the same cloth as men like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but unlike the two of them, he actually had power. Young systematically drove white government employees out of their jobs so they could be replaced by blacks, was hostile to the white suburbs, and was generally perceived as anti-white. Naturally, a lot of white people just left, which reduced the population and significantly cut into the tax base. Today, Detroit is a 7.9% white city, and if he were alive and kicking, that would probably suit Coleman Young just fine.

3) Out-of-control crime helped drive much of the black middle class out of the city: Ever heard of “Devil’s Night?” It’s the night before Halloween and in Detroit, fires are set all over the city. Combine the sort of criminal mentality that produces an unofficial “holiday” like that with a sky high unemployment rate and Draconian laws designed to make it difficult for law abiding citizens to arm themselves, and it’s not a surprise that crime is a problem in Detroit. However, the issue goes much deeper than that. In case you haven’t noticed, in a conflict between a cop and a criminal, the hearts of liberals almost always seem to bleed for the thug. Combine that with the liberal tendency, when money gets tight, to cut essential programs instead of their perks and the goodies they hand out to their supporters, and you end up with a police department that is both dramatically underfunded and completely incompetent.

How bad has it gotten?

“The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by about 40 percent over the past decade,” “it takes (the police) an average of 58 minutes to respond” to a call and the “police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.”

4) Reckless government spending bankrupted the city: Detroit’s tax base has been plunging like an anvil dropped into the Marianas Trench and so, in true liberal fashion, liberals have raised taxes to make up for it instead of cutting spending. “The city’s per-capita tax burden is the highest in Michigan. Detroit has the country’s highest property taxes on homes, the top commercial property tax and the second-highest industrial property tax.” Unfortunately for Detroit, you can’t get blood from a stone. As jobs and wealth fled the city, there was simply less cash available for big government programs, pensions, and the incredibly generous, but almost completely unfunded union health care program. It’s fantastic that the city paid “80 percent to 100 percent of retirees’ medical costs,” but 99.6% of those costs were unfunded. As Obamacare supporters should have learned by now, it’s a lot easier for politicians to make big promises about what they’re going to give you than it is to back them up in the real world.

5) The government is completely incompetent: Ever notice that the bigger government seems to get, the less it does anything well? Citizens of Detroit could tell you all about that. The school system is horrible, which explains why a staggering 47% of the population is illiterate. In addition, 40% of the street lights don’t work, only about 1/3 of the ambulances are running, and 2/3 of the parks have been closed since 2008. Just to give you an idea of its priorities, an independent report in 2012 suggested the city fire 80% of the Water and Sewage Department including a horseshoer” that it has on staff even though it has NO HORSES.. How did the union respond to that report? “They don’t have enough people as it is right now. They are just dreaming to think they can operate that plant with less.” Detroit may not have enough police, ambulances, or competent teachers, but if you ever need a horseshoe in the Motor City, they’ve got you covered.


Detroit is a “Conservative Utopia”???

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This is from Joe For America.

Why is PMSNBC still on the air?

Why does PMSNBC still employ Ed “The Mental Midget”Schultz?

Except for Liberal Loons does any sane person watch “The Ed Show

t is truly a sad thing to think that some people rely on MSNBC for their “news”.  After hearing some of the ridiculous stuff spewed by a few liberal family members, I am pretty sure they are avid viewers.

MSNBC is a disgrace.

Over the weekend, Ed Schultz, host of “The ED Show” on MSNBC had the following to say:

Detroit, Michigan used to be, really, a symbol of industrial strength and manufacturing in this country, but thanks to a lot of Republican policies, the city is now filing for bankruptcy…”

Yes, he really did say that.  Don’t believe me?   Watch the first 2 minutes of this for yourself:


Then the moron goes on to say:

“…earlier this year, (Governor) Snyder appointed emergency city manager, Kevyn Orr, who has taken over Detroit’s finances.  This, bottom line here, is an unelected official who began selling off public assets and slashing public services.  Detroit has just 1/3rd of its ambulances in operation.  The average emergency response time for Police in this city is 58 minutes.  And when you have horrible public services, no one wants to live in the city, which means less tax revenue to fix all of the problems and the needs of the public.  It is a very vicious cycle.  It’s the Republican way, and Snyder’s emergency city manager is to blame.” 

Let us examine what Stupid, sorry, Ed, is trying to pawn off on his viewers.  Democrats have been in charge of Detroit since 1961, when the City’s last republican mayor lost his reelection campaign.  Since then, the city has had Democrat mayors and Democrat policies.  “Earlier this year” (ie: at most, less than 8 months ago), an emergency city manager was put in place by the Republican Governor of the state, and since he was unable to fix 52 years of Democrat destruction in 8 months, it is the Republican’s fault!

What on God’s green earth is this moron smoking?  How does this idiot have his own television show?  How stupid do you have to be to believe the crap coming out of this man’s mouth?


Snyder shoulders Detroit bankruptcy decision, won’t ask for federal help

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This is from Fox News Politics.

Why should the taxpayers be on the hook to bail out Detroit?

There is plenty of blames for the DemocRats,the city and

public sector unions.

Their greed and stupidity caused Detroit’s problems.


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and the bankruptcy specialist he appointed to fix Detroit’s unprecedented financial problems put the blame Sunday squarely on the city and defended their decision to file for Chapter 9.

The Republican governor said Detroit created the problems and stood steadfast behind his decision to file Thursday for bankruptcy, with the city roughly $19 billion in debt.

“This is a tragic, difficult decision, but a right one,” he said. “It’s not about just more money, it’s about accountable government.”

He said corruption and city leaders ignoring warning signs for 60 years contributed to the problems. Among his biggest concerns, Snyder said, is the decline of municipal services for Detroit’s remaining 700,000 residents, including police response times of nearly one hour.

Snyder said the state cannot help and asking for a federal bailout is “not the right answer,” though Washington has that option.

The Obama administration has extended no offer to help, after Congress and the White House agreed to bail out Chrysler and General Motors during the recent recession.

“Can we help Detroit? We don’t know,” Vice President Joe Biden said last week. His remarks followed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney appearing to rule out such assistance.

“That’s something that local leaders and creditors are going to have to resolve,” he said. “But we will be partners in an effort to assist the city and the state as they move forward.”

Among the emerging concerns is that the federal government would have to help repeatedly, considering Chicago reportedly has an unfunded pension liability of at least $19 billion while Los Angeles’ is estimate to be as much as $30 billion.

“There are a lot of other cities right behind Detroit,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean told Fox News on Sunday.

Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager and bankruptcy lawyer appointed by Snyder, made comments similar to the governor’s on Sunday but avoided questions about a possible government bailout.

“This is the only way,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “We were compelled to file for bankruptcy.”

Orr said his goal is to restructure the debt, including roughly $3.5 million in underfunded pension liabilities, and to get Detroit on its feet again by fall 2014.

He also said he has appealed a judge’s ruling Friday that the bankruptcy violates Michigan’s constitution, which protects government employees’ pensions.

Orr also said that his plan would extend full payments only to pensioners for the next six months and acknowledge the hardship it will cause.

“This is very personal to me,” he said. “My mother is a pensioner.”

Still, he said Detroit “dug this hole,” in part by not addressing its problems earlier.

With a population of 1.8 million in the 1950s, Detroit’s slow decline started with residents migrating to the suburbs in the 1960s and was accelerated by automakers leaving Detroit, which diminished the city’s tax base and made it difficult for officials to provide basic services such as police protection.

The filing makes the city the largest in the United States to file for bankruptcy.

Orr also defended criticism from the financial sector, saying potential investors will look at an improved Detroit, not the old one.

I remember when people said “nobody will ever buy a car from a bankrupt automaker,” Orr said.

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Virginia Moves to Make Card-Check Unconstitutional

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This is from CNSNews.


To the Virginia Legislature I say “Bravo.”

More states need to follow Virginia’s lead.

Unions want to be able to intimidate people into voting union.

( – Virginia is moving towards making card-check – the controversial union proposal to replace secret-ballot elections with simple card-signing petitions – unconstitutional in the state.

The effort is led by State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) who said that “no citizen” should be denied the ability to vote by secret ballot.

“It’s really a simple bill,” Reeves told in an interview Thursday. “It’s there to improve voter integrity and privacy. I personally believe that no citizen should be forced to reveal how they voted in any election be it federal, state, local, or even a union election.”

The proposed amendment would add a section to Virginia’s Bill of Rights guaranteeing the right to a secret ballot election in all cases, even in the case of a union election.

The proposal is intended to block so-called card check legislation that failed to pass Congress two years ago. That bill, which remains a Democratic and union priority, would have allowed unions to organize a workplace simply by getting a majority of workers to sign union cards, avoiding the need for a secret-ballot election where both the union and the business owners can compete for workers’ votes.

Virginia is already a right-to-work state, meaning that workers cannot be forced to join a union if one exists at their workplace. Reeve’s bill would strengthen Virginia’s legal framework by guaranteeing that card-check legislation could never be passed in Virginia.

The amendment must still make its way through Virginia’s rigorous constitutional amendment process. It is expected to pass both the House of Delegates and state Senate and be signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).

However, it must be held over for one election cycle, then pass the legislative process a second time before it is placed on the ballot for voters’ approval. The earliest it could be seen on the ballot in Virginia would be the 2014 midterm elections, assuming Republicans win the 2013 state-wide elections next year.

Reeves said that the recent controversy in Michigan – where the state legislature passed right-to-work legislation over the extreme opposition of Democrats and union activists – was an unexpected boon, bringing more attention to his efforts in Virginia.

“Sometimes in this business, time means everything, so I can’t thank the Michigan state legislature enough for helping us bring this to the forefront,” he said. “It’s a critical issue, and I mean President Obama, he owes big labor and all those union bosses he owes because of what helped him get elected so they would like to see card-check come through at the federal level.”



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