On the Five Mich. Ballot Initiatives
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:38 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Even though it may seem that the election season has already been going on forever, we still have 54 days until election day.
On that day, in addition to all the office holders being chosen, there will be five proposed amendments to the Michigan State Constitution on the state ballot.
Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says every one of them is a selfish enterprise, paid for by big money, and ought to be rejected.
I think that people who have lots of money to throw around think the average voter is at best, ill-informed... And at worst, stupid.
And sometimes I worry they might be right.
On the ballot this year, as you already heard, are five—count 'em—five amendments to the state constitution that for the most part are designed to benefit a select few.
And they're on the ballot because those who want them there have lots of money.
Once upon a time only true believers stood on street corners all over the state to gather enough signatures to get something on the ballot. It took dedication, time, and effort.
Now these groups just hire it out. It can cost well over a million dollars. And the petitions are written in an appealing way that can almost make you feel un-American by refusing to sign them.
Two of the proposals are thanks to the diminutive Detroit billionaire Matty Moroun.
For more than a year now he's spent millions of dollars on a bizarre ad campaign of lies, distortions, misinformation and disinformation.
He also donates tons of money to state reelection campaigns.
Moroun owns the Ambassador Bridge spanning the river between Detroit and Windsor. He's trying to keep the state and the government of Canada from building a new more efficient bridge two miles downstream.
Canada and Governor Snyder say our most important trading partner will foot the entire cost and get paid back in the years ahead through tolls.
Maroun says it'll cost us so much that we'll no longer be able to afford cops, teachers, schools, new roads, or anything else, for that matter, and that all of our children will starve and get mumps.
Moroun is just trying to hang on to his $60 million a year from his bridge.
I believe Snyder and Canada. I hope you do too.
Moroun's other proposal would require a super-majority in Lansing to raise or lower taxes.
Another seeks to put collective bargaining rights for home health workers into the state constitution.
I can't argue against collective bargaining as the only leverage workers have with business management, particularly at a time when CEO's often make 500 times what the average worker makes.
But collective bargaining as a Constitutional right? I don't think so.
Gov. Snyder thinks it would set labor laws back decades, and would also hinder economic recovery.
Another says that 25 percent of the state's energy should come from renewable sources by 2025.
A noble idea, but costly if not impossible to enforce.
We're headed that way anyway, without making it constitutional. Lets keep at it one logical step at a time.
A lot of stuff to digest. But after you do, I think you'll agree—that 'no' is the way to go.
In this corner... I'm Tom Van Howe.