FYI-MICHIGAN PROPOSITION 2, PROTECT OUR JOBS

Let’s make  no mistake about this.  Proposition 2 is the most important of the propositions on the ballot.  This one is so important that, its opposition is not just campaigning against it directly, the are running an ad that entreats voters to just vote no on all of the “constitutional change” proposals.

Karen Bouffard, in a Detroit News article “Proposal 2 campaigns confusing, polarizing For Michigan voters,” writes:

“Supporters claim unions are under attack and workers will lose their hard-won rights, pay and benefits if the proposal doesn’t win. Republican leaders have passed roughly 30 laws opposed by unions since the GOP swept the state House, Senate and Governor’s Office in 2010.

Opponents say the amendment would eradicate a half-century of labor laws, including those that protect workers and keep pedophile teachers out of classrooms.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120924/POLITICS01/209240339#ixzz27cMLDFr8

Ms. Bouffard does a great job of breaking down both sides of the argument, for and against.  I’d encourage everybody to take a few moments and read her article.

But despite the pro’s and con’s this “one” fact is clear.

This proposition is about the future of Michigan.  “PROTECT OUR JOBS” IS ABOUT PROTECTING OUR FUTURE!

This is what the proposal will look like on the ballot:

PROPOSAL 12-2
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION
REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
This proposal would:

  • Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.
  • Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions.  Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
  • Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.
  • Define “employer” as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

Should this proposal be approved?

YES _
NO _

Let’s go over this proposal point-by-point.

Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.

It’s being argued that public and private employees have that right.  To the extent that many workers are benefiting from union protections, that may seem to be true.  But, these protections are not guaranteed.  These protections are under attack on many levels.  Laws like the Emergency Manager Law, have stripped powers, voided contracts, and reduced or eliminated the rights of employees in both the public and private sectors.  The opponents of this proposal have used calls for the “right to work” to rally their supporters, but I wonder if those supporters “really” know what right to work means.

This is posted on the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy site:

What “Right to Work” Would Mean for Michigan
Roland Zullo, Research Scientist
Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations
University of Michigan

There is an effort afoot to make Michigan a “right to work” state. Unfortunately,
most citizens are unaware of what “right to work” means or the implications if such a law
is passed. Our purpose here is to explain the law, map the arguments for and against, and
describe potential effects for Michigan should such a proposal become law.

To begin, the term “right to work” (hereafter RTW) is a misnomer. RTW has
nothing to do with the right of a person to seek and accept gainful employment. Rather,
RTW laws prohibit a labor union and employer from negotiating union security clauses.
What are union security clauses? Union security clauses are contract provisions that
regulate the collection of union dues. In non-RTW states, such as Michigan, the parties
are free to negotiate a range of union security options. Unions typically prefer “union
shop” terms that require every person benefiting from union representation to pay union
dues. In RTW states, the parties are barred from negotiating union security clauses,
making the default the “open shop,” where the payment of dues is optional for workers
represented by the union. Between these two policy poles are arrangements that require
represented persons to pay a proportion of full dues, and even to allow objectors to
unionization to contribute dues to charity. Such arrangements are, however, also
proscribed under the RTW proposal before Michigan.

Labor unions are nearly universal in their opposition to RTW laws, and their
argument is straightforward: each person that benefits directly from union representation
should pay their fair share of the cost of that representation. In the very least, represented
persons should pay a dues amount to cover the expense of negotiating and administering
the labor agreement (what are referred to as collective bargaining activities). For unions,
this is just since, by law, they are required to represent all persons within a bargaining
unit. It is critical to appreciate that although unions have some input into the composition
of the bargaining unit, they cannot exclude persons that simply do not want unionization.

You can find this entire post at:  http://irlee.umich.edu/Publications/Docs/RightToWorkInMichigan.pdf

Simply put, right to work is really the right to work for less.  Less wages, because collective bargaining brings about a fair wage for employees.  Less stability, because collective bargaining establishes workplace rules for safety and maintaining the work force.  Less benefits,  employer paid healthcare, vacations, sick pay and pensions.  All of these things were brought about through the efforts of collective bargaining and right to work could diminish or eliminate them.

Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions.  Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.

Michigan lawmakers have passed a law that prohibits school districts from deducting union dues. They’ve passed another law designed to prevent graduate student research assistants from unionizing.  Last year, another tough new bill gave appointed emergency managers the right to dissolve or change collective-bargaining contracts as they see fit.  GOP legislators are talking about trying to make Michigan a “right to work” state that would ban the union shop.

Let’s be clear, a constitutional right to collective bargaining is not constitutionally mandating unions.  This Act would allow employees the constitutional right to choose.  This is about freedom from intimidation and censure from employers that would impose on that right.

Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.

As I understand this part of the proposal, it would allow the employees to restore previously negotiated conditions of employment, and prevent the state from unilaterally imposing changes, without union consideration or negotiation.

Define “employer” as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

This is self-explanatory.

**********************************************************************************************************

The opponents of  Proposition 2 are running advertisements claiming that the proposal will “eliminate safety rules for school bus drivers,” or could stop schools from getting rid of criminals.”  That the proposal is “dangerous for kids and terrifying for parents.”  That is just plain nonsense.  Unions are made up of people, mom and dads, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers.  These people have sons and daughters who use the services that the unions seek to protect.  Why would anyone imply that the safety of their sons and daughters would not be of tantamount importance to them.  Making such a ludicrous statement is not only careless but it’s insulting as well.  Insulting to union workers and to the people that they believe, will believe, what they say.  They’ve threatened that if passed Proposition 2 will lead to teacher strikes like the recent one in Chicago, but that is, also, not true.  Notwithstanding the fact that people do not strike just for the hell of it, it is also illegal for government employees in Michigan to strike.  These are plain and simple scare tactics, designed to pull at the heartstrings of regular everyday people, and to manipulate them to vote a particular way.  These tactics should not and will not work .

What this proposal does is return the citizens of Michigan to the conditions that allowed us to become the premier industrial/manufacturing state in the region, perhaps in the United States of America.  Organized Labor has been and will continue to be the driving force in making those conditions possible.

There is a very good article written by Jack Lessenberry in the Toledo Blade that speaks about the need for this proposal.  This article shows that this is important not just for Michigan, but the entire region.  Here is a link to the article:  http://www.toledoblade.com/JackLessenberry/2012/03/09/Michigan-unions-mobilize-to-protect-bargaining-rights.html

I would also recommend, that for more information, interested citizens should contact the various local Union headquarters in the area.  They can answer any questions you may have regarding the need for collective bargaining.

WRITE A “LETTER FROM THE HEART” TO MICHELLE

FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES
MICHELLE OBAMA
Please make your mark in history.  Write your letter to our First Lady Michelle Obama now.  Please do this for our First Lad and yes, do it for yourself so you can be a part of a history making project.  Your letter will be part of a book that is being published in honor of our First Lady.  Your letter can be 12 words or up to 2012 words  So, do it.  Deadline November 5, 2012.
Go ahead and let Ms. Obama know you are so proud to call her First Lady!
Please share this notice.
You can email your letter to: firstladyletters@gmail.com
You can also mail your letter to:
Letters from the Heart,
3826 Burlingame Street
Detroit, Michigan 48206

WELL GROVER, YOU GOT YOUR MAN!

Well Grover, I think, you’ve got your man.  The truth about the real strategy coming from the right-wing is becoming more and more obvious for all of America to see.  Grover Norquist gave a speech back in February of this year at the CPAC gathering in Washington, DC.  This is what he had to say:

“All we have to do is replace Obama. …  We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. […]

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

Well, as they say, you need to be careful what you ask for.  Let’s go back to January 20, 2009.

They, your party members and some of it’s backers, put their nefarious plot together on the day President Obama was inaugurated.  That meeting at the Caucus Club in Washington DC, was designed to put into motion a plan to attempt to gain control of the House of Representatives (which they did) and the Senate.  To gain control of as many State House’s and Legislatures as they could (they were marginally successful with that), obstruct the President at every turn, and use whatever successes they had at the state level to suppress the President’s support.

Your guys used a jobs meme at both national and local levels, in the mid-term elections of 2010, to gain control.  Your group co-opted the tea-party groups as part of your plan, coincidentally, a group whose enmity for the president is matched only by [your groups] enmity for them, and immediately pivoted away from the jobs promise, which would have helped the country and by extension the President, distracted the entire country with an assault on what had been accepted social norms, and then, set about using every tactic they could to suppress the vote.

Then came the primaries and you, and your cohort’s, in spite of the more qualified available party members (Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Jon Huntsman and Jeb Bush), Mitt Romney became the party’s choice.  But lets think about that.  You didn’t pick Mitt because of his intelligence, you picked him because of his statuesque stance.  You didn’t pick Mitt for his time as CEO of Bain, you picked him in spite of it.  You didn’t pick Mitt because of his plan for America, you actually picked him because he didn’t have a workable plan.  You didn’t pick him because of his positions on the issues, you picked him because of his many different positions on the same issues.  This election wasn’t supposed to be about him anyway.

All you wanted from him was “enough working digits to handle a pen.”

Then, the “Mitt” hit the fan.

In the month since the Republican National Convention, the campaign has almost completely come off it’s rails. Beginning at the convention itself, except for the final night, your candidate was pretty much a prime-time afterthought. Even on that thursday night, Mitt found himself upstaged by Clint Eastwood and a chair.  Your convention was, then, upstaged a week later by what, the concensus says, was a very successful convention by the Democrat’s.

The next week, the “October surprise” came early, and a possible chance at redemption presented itself.  The attack on the consulate in Lybia (with the assassination of Ambassador Stevens), and the uprising spreading from Egypt and middle-east, gave Mitt and the party, an opportunity show America, and the world, how you would handle yourselves in a crisis.  Well that didn’t work out very well.  Mitt’s planned, but premature, attack on the president, based on what was found to be incorrect information, was a complete fail.

Then just as you were starting yet another reinvention of your candidate, this video of Mitt, speaking so casually and with such disdain, about half of our population was revealed.  Really Mitt?  47%?

What you now have is a candidate that is trailing in virtually every demographic, in virtually every poll.  Down ticket candidates are abandoning Mitt left and right.  Right-wing pundits are assailing Mitt, questioning whether he is up to the task of unseating President Obama.  The answers I’m hearing from them do not show a lot of confidence.  But Grover, you got what you asked for.

As for you, Mitt my man, you’ve been played.  You were at the CPAC  weren’t you?  Didn’t you hear what Rick Santorum had to say?  “Money will not defeat Barack Obama, ideas will.”  Didn’t you hear what Grover Norquist had to say, about those digits?

Well Grover (can I call you “Grove”), there’s one thing you, and your buddies, can say, when you sit around the Caucus Club and talk about the mess you, and your party, find yourselves in.

YOU DID BUILD THAT!

HEY MITT! IT’S THE 47%. IT’S “THESE PEOPLE.” ARE YOU LISTENING?

“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.  That that’s an entitlement.  And the government should give it to them.  And they will vote for this president no matter what.  These are people who pay no income tax.  My job is not to worry about those people.  I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

These are the words spoken by candidate Mitt Romney on May 17th of this year, at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, as reported by Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn, on their website.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/secret-video-romney-private-fundraiser

So, according to candidate Mitt Romney, 47% of the population does not matter.  That would be the 47% of Americans who don’t pay any federal income taxes.  47% of American’s are lazy and waiting for their government checks.  47% of American’s have no ambition’s or dreams.

That is the fiction.  These are the facts.

Let’s take a look at who those 47% of Americans are:

  • 28.3% of that total do pay payroll taxes.
  • 10.3% of that total are elderly.  (Retired, or, on Social Security)
  • 6.9% of that total are the poor.  (Income less than $20,000 per year)
  • The rest, approximately 1%, earn more than $20,000 per year, but through deductions like the mortgage tax credit, child credits, or earned income tax credit, owe no taxes.

http://www.businessinsider.com/mitt-romneys-47-who-are-dependent-on-the-government-2012-9

I’m not sure which alternative universe Mitt Romney lives in, but in this one, where real people live, they listen and learn from the people who want to lead them, the people who desire to be the President of the United States.  “These people,” as you call them, do take personal responsibility.  They get up, go to work, they do pay taxes, they take care of their loved ones.  They love and support their country.

And, they vote!

“These people” who you (Mitt), and your party, have castigated and denigrated, I’m talking about African-Americans, Hispanics, women, the LBGT community, and now, seniors and retired people, now see a common foe.  They are forming a coalition [that] not even the vast amounts of money, that you and your backers have been able to raise, is going to be able to defeat.

“These people” are now looking beyond your failed candidacy to republicans down-ticket.  They are looking at who among you is willing to stand up and refute your careless callousness.  The candidates, who by their silence, tacitly approve of your statements will be compelled to own them, to explain them to their constituents.

To the republicans running for office, the spotlight is on you.  “These people,” have heard from your leader. What say you?  As I stated before, they, “these people,” listen and they learn.

Then, they vote!

FYI-MICHIGAN PROPOSITION 1, STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY

What is the “Stand Up For Democracy” proposal about?

The stated purpose of this proposal is:  Petition seeks to invoke the right of referendum for the emergency financial manager law, 2011 PA  4.

Let’s break this proposal down into two parts.

First, the “right of referendum.”

This is from State of Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9:

Initiative and referendum; limitations; appropriations; petitions.

  • The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution.  The power of referendum does not extend to acts making appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds and must be invoked in the manner prescribed by law within 90 days following the final adjournment of the legislative session at which the law was enacted. To invoke the initiative or referendum, petitions signed by a number of registered electors, not less than eight percent for initiative and five percent for referendum of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected shall be required.

Referendum, approval.

  • No law as to which the power of referendum properly has been invoked shall be effective thereafter unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at the next general election.

Initiative; duty of legislature, referendum.

  • Any law proposed by initiative petition shall be either enacted or rejected by the legislature without change or amendment within 40 session days from the time such petition is received by the legislature. If any law proposed by such petition shall be enacted by the legislature it shall be subject to referendum, as hereinafter provided.

Legislative rejection of initiated measure; different measure; submission to people.

  • If the law so proposed is not enacted by the legislature within the 40 days, the state officer authorized by law shall submit such proposed law to the people for approval or rejection at the next general election. The legislature may reject any measure so proposed by initiative petition and propose a different measure upon the same subject by a yea and nay vote upon separate
  • roll calls, and in such event both measures shall be submitted by such state officer to the electors for approval or rejection at the next general election.

Initiative or referendum law; effective date, veto, amendment and repeal.

  • Any law submitted to the people by either initiative or referendum petition and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon at any election shall take effect 10 days after the date of the official declaration of the vote. No law initiated or adopted by the people shall be subject to the veto power of the governor, and no law adopted by the people at the polls under the initiative
  • provisions of this section shall be amended or repealed, except by a vote of the electors unless otherwise provided in the initiative measure or by three-fourths of the members elected to and serving in each house of the legislature. Laws approved by the people under the referendum provision of this section may be amended by the legislature at any subsequent session thereof.
  • If two or more measures approved by the electors at the same election conflict, that receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail.

Legislative implementation.

  • The legislature shall implement the provisions of this section.

Now this may all seem a bit complicated, but, what “Article II, Section 9” is saying is that we “do” have a voice.  We have used that voice, by petition, to let them, Governor Snyder and the Legislature, know that what they have done is unacceptable.  We the people “do not” have to just sit back and accept what the “state” is dishing out.

Second, “The Emergency Financial Manager Law.”

They have used, what was a well intended law initiated under Governor James Blanchard, to strip away the power of the vote, of the citizens, throughout the state.   It seems, coincidently, that this law is being implemented primarily in urban areas, Detroit (including Ecorse, Inkster, and Pontiac), Flint, Benton Harbor, all areas with predominately minority populations, and minority leadership and administrations.  It began with takeovers of school systems, and has led to complete takeovers of local governments, effectively suppressing the power of the vote, and the will of the electorate in these areas.

There is an article about this problem, written by Chris Savage on “The Nation” website entitle “The Scandal of Michigan’s Emergency Managers,” that describes this situation very well.  Find it at:  http://www.thenation.com/article/166297/scandal-michigans-emergency-managers

It is important to note “this” paragraph in the article:

GOP lawmakers are discussing replacement legislation, with Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger warning about “the chaos that could ensue if the emergency manager law is suspended.” Since Michigan law prevents referendums on appropriations bills, PA 4 opponents fear that any such law will contain an appropriation to make it “referendum proof,” a tactic already used by the state GOP this year.”

These “tactics” are the reason that voting the complete ballot is important.

The Republicans in the U.S. Congress have reduced or eliminated “block grants” to the states.  States have refused, in some instances, to accept “Recovery Act” (stimulus) funds.  State Legislatures have reduced “revenue sharing” to cities, in their states.  They have cut billions of dollars from public schools, and public services, forcing them to drastically cut services or go bankrupt.  Then, to top it all off, they send in these Emergency Managers with the power to ignore or fire locally elected officials, cancel union contracts, layoff employees, outsource civil service jobs, usually to companies paying low wages, low or no benefits, and that have no union rights.

I once heard Rev. Jesse Jackson say, “this is like crippling a man, and then penalizing him for limping.”

Knowledge is the weapon we must use to fight this “electoral based oppression.”    The information is out there.  Read everything you can, talk to everyone you know, spread the word that we can go on the offensive, we must go on the offensive to protect our future.

Learn, and then VOTE!

OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

DEAR PENNSYLVANIA

To the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Despite the lack of evidence of “voter fraud.”  Despite the fact, that for years people have voted with other “acceptable forms of identification.”  Despite the fact, that the stated objective of the “Voter ID Law,” passed by the PA legislature, is to insure a Romney victory in the Commonwealth, over President Obama, in the November election.  Despite the fact, that older citizens, college students and minorities are disproportionately affected by this law.  Despite all of these facts, Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has decided to uphold the PA Voter ID law.

This from CNN.com:  “Judge Robert Simpson, with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, on Wednesday issued an order expressing no constitutional reason to stop the law from taking effect, despite writing in his decision that he had “sympathy” for the witnesses.

‘At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for the counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to the evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system,’ Simpson wrote.”  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/15/pennsylvania-judge-upholds-voter-id-law/

Though the ACLU and others have vowed to continue this fight, next, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and if necessary, beyond, the PA GOP has declared victory, and is sure that this legislation has given them a leg up, an advantage, in their efforts to retain control of the Commonwealth, and to defeat President Obama, in Pennsylvania, in November.  But, their celebrations could be a bit premature.

Let’s look at a few other facts:

There are 8,478,509 registered voters in Pennsylvania:
• 4,311,203 registered Democratic voters
• 3,132,039 registered Republican voters
• 38,031 registered Libertarian voters
• 997,236 registered all other party voters

(Note: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania’s voting age population is estimated at 9,829,635).

Since Jan. 2010, a total of 345,439 approved new voter applications were processed:

• 149,806 registered as Democrats
• 103,518 registered as Republicans
• 6,537  registered Libertarian voters
• 85,578  registered all other party voters

This data can be found at:  http://gantdaily.com/2010/11/02/nearly-8-5-million-registered-to-vote-in-pa/   More complete data can be found at: at www.dos.state.pa.us.

Now, it is projected that up to 10% of registered voters in PA could be affected by the voter ID law, perhaps as much 20% in urban areas.  Even if those projections are correct there is no guarantee that the objectives of the PA GOP can be met.  Indeed, due to the collateral consequences of their voter suppression efforts, it is more likely that those efforts will energize what might have been an apathetic, over-confident, Democrat base.  There is another collateral consequence that possibly wasn’t considered.  Independent voters are watching these efforts, as well.  It is not difficult to discern what is happening here, and American’s don’t particularly like to see people trying to game the system.  I don’t believe they are taking into consideration, that Americans want their competitors to “play fair.”

The Democrat Party has people working hard to get voters properly ID’d and registered, but what I find truly remarkable, is that groups like Rev. Al Sharpton‘s “National Action Network,” and Rev. Jesse Jackson‘s “Rainbow/Push Coalition are actively working to see that “all” eligible voters have the required identification, and are registered and prepared to vote.  Listening to the Reverend’s Sharpton and Jackson, I’ve not heard any talk about  party, except that one party is disproportionately affected by these efforts.  They, simply, want all eligible people to vote.  They “are” playing fair.

Notice, also, that Democrats are out registering Republicans, in the Commonwealth, by almost 50%.  This will have a significant impact on the PA GOP’s voter suppression efforts, as well.

All of that being said, let’s look at the worst possible outcome.  That the law stands, and all of its negative projections are met.  Based on the statistics, a 10% loss of the Democrat electorate would not give the GOP a majority of the vote in Pennsylvania.  (This is with voters voting along strict party lines.)  When you factor in the Presidents current lead among independents, and several other demographic areas, this entire voter ID episode could end up being, just an expensive charade.

But let’s not take anything for granted, Pennsylvania.  I’ve got a challenge for you.  It’s “EACH ONE REACH ONE.”  If each eligible, properly credentialed, voter takes a moment to insure that a person, a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, has the proper identification, then, all of these PA GOP voter suppression efforts will be, nothing but, a waste of time and money, on their part.

That waste of time and money just may be the most important part of this entire episode.  I have deliberately stayed away from talking about the groups that stand to gain the most from these voter suppression efforts.  Groups like the people behind the Super PAC‘s, that are spending vast amounts of money to influence your/our elections.  When we stand up to them, when we let them know that our elections are not for sale, when they see [that] there is no return on this, and these types of investment(s)…., well they are businessmen and women, practical thinking men and women.  There is a better way forward for America, a “fairer” way forward for America.  When this episode is over, perhaps, we can direct our combined efforts towards finding, that better, fairer, way.

In the meantime, citizens of Pennsylvania, “EACH ONE, REACH ONE!”

And then, on November 6th, VOTE!!!!!

ATTENTION VOTERS, BE AWARE

This was sent to me in an e-mail:
_______________________________________________________________________________________
ATTENTION! TO EVERYONE WHO IS VOTING IN THE NOVEMBER 2012 ELECTION!!
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN VERIFIED AS BEING “TRUE” THROUGH SNOPES.COM!
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO VOTE A “STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET” THIS NOVEMBER, BE SURE TO “PUNCH PRESIDENT OBAMA’s NAME “FIRST” ON THE CARD, THEN PROCEED TO PUNCH “STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET”! IF YOU DON’T PUNCH PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NAME FIRST ON THE TICKET, YOUR VOTE WILL BE VOIDED!!!!
PLEASE PASS THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON TO ALL YOUR E-MAIL FRIENDS AND FAMILIES. I’M SURE THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT BE TOLD TO YOU AT THE POLLS THIS COMING NOVEMBER!!!!!!
BEWARE WHEN VOTING A STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET IN NOVEMBER
________________________________________________________________________________________

I visited the Snopes.com site to verify this information and found it to be rated partially true.  In fact, Snopes’ states that:  “Voting processes vary from region to region, and as far as we know this warning applies only to North Carolina, where straight ticket voting is available for all races except for presidential electors; voters in that state (regardless of party) therefore need to specifically select a presidential candidate in addition to voting a straight ticket.”   http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/straightticket.asp

As we get closer and closer to the November elections, there is going to be more and more bits of information and, unfortunately, some misinformation about the candidates, the elections, and the election processes.  This is the reason why, as voters, we have to be as diligent as we’ve ever been.

I spoke with Ms. Gloria Williams, formerly of the City of  Detroit Department of Elections, to get some clarification of the voting process, relative to Detroit, Wayne County, and Michigan.  She was able to verify that the information in the e-mail was not a concern for the voters of this state. A voter that selects a presidential candidate of a party and also selects the straight ticket for that party does not risk voiding their vote.  Also, if a voter selects the straight ticket box, then, that selection will include the top of the ticket, as well.

As the Snopes post states, though, “voting processes vary from region to region,”  It is important that each voter knows the laws in their particular areas.  (City, County and State)  For the voters in my area, here are the departments and their websites where you can get voter and election information:

It is every voters responsibility to know the laws for voting in their districts.  We need to know [them] for ourselves.  This election, like the last, is the most important election of our lives.  Each election carries that designation, and each requires the same level of respect.  As we continue in our quest to “form a more perfect union,” our vote, the freedom to choose how we are governed, and by whom, is by far the most important constitutional tool, in our “democratic” tool box.  Don’t let it be silenced, usurped, or otherwise manipulated, by rumor or unverified statements.   Take the time to know for yourself.

Here are a couple of quotations about voting:

  • “People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true.  Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.”  This  is quoted from William H Judd, a conservative politician, from a time when conservatism had a much different connotation.
  • “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve,”  This quotation is often attributed to Alexis de Toqueville.

These quotations speak volumes, but not more than your votes.  You must know, for yourselves [the] how, when and where, to exercise this right.

AND THEN, GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

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