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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Will Detroit Citizens vote in Presidential Election be disenfranchised by Public Act #4?

Photo Credit-Think Progress
ROJS News Op/Ed

Advocacy and public policy groups Detroit Rainbow Push, Michigan Forward and the Stand Up Democracy Team opposing Public Act #4 have been warning about this for the year, one month and two days to the day this Draconian legislation was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R). 

Some Michiganders have believed placing Detroit under emergency management or a consent decree, was a right move to clean of years of flawed government operations. Regardless of Detroit fiscal operations issues, city residents always knew their right to vote would be upheld. Until now, that is.

Read Steal This Government blogger and ROJS Radio Co-Host Autumn S article on the need to Occupy Detroit as Volunteer Poll Workers to protect Detroiters' votes by clicking here!

Journalist Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press article April 17th revealed one of many problems yet to come with Gov. Snyder running a bulldozer over, though and under Detroit's elected City Council members, along with City Election Clerk Janice Winfrey.

Mayor Dave Bing, wants cut Detroit City Budget 25% while paying two appointed overseers by Gov. Snyder with combined pay over $500,000 a year, to manage city finances. The budget cuts are taking direct bow shot, aimed at Detroit Department of Elections, just in time for the November 6, 2012, Local, State and Presidential ballots.

"You can't do it. You just can't do it," Winfrey said to the Detroit Free Press discussing if the city would have the resources to run Tuesday, November 6th election. "We're mandated by law to do certain things, to have certain things in place, to have a certain number of poll workers. There's no way we can conduct a presidential election."
Perfect way to disenfranchise a majority 550,000 African-American voters in Michigan's largest city which predictability would seal victory of the states' 16 Electoral Votes for President Barack Obama. What about Michigan House Democrats or Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer chances of taking back the State House of Representatives? Let's just say without votes in the city of Detroit, that task is downright impossible.

From the Detroit Free Press article:
"Bing's proposal would cut the elections department budget from $7.4 million to $5 million and the presidential election budget from a requested $1.2 million to $737,000, according to elections officials. Winfrey spent $1.49 million on the 2008 election when President Barack Obama won the White House with the help of one of every two eligible Detroit voters." 
Meanwhile back in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder forced consent agreement land, with the help of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, both 'gentlemen' who can't manage to devote enough funds to run an general election want to pay the city's new 'overseers' over $500,000 a year to run Detroit, Snyder 'Nerd' style.

From Detroit Free Press Journalist Matt Helms:
"The City Council balked today at proposed pay levels for two new crucial management positions Detroit must create to manage financing and other parts of the city’s restructuring under the consent agreement Detroit reached with the state. 
The Bing administration and Gov. Rick Snyder’s staff proposed pay of $190,000 to $280,000 a year for the new chief financial officer and $160,000 to $250,000 a year for the new program management director, who would oversee much of the reorganization of city government required under the consent deal. Both positions, which would get tens of thousands more in health and other benefits, would report to the mayor."
Seriously? We don't know our readers thoughts on this but, this is a huge problem you think. So, lets just break this down. 

Detroit, Michigan's largest city with a majority African-American population, City Clerk-Janice Winfrey states publicly she predicts not being able to run a Presidential General Election due to budget cuts mandated by Detroit's Mayor Dave Bing. Meanwhile, Mayor Bing with the Gov. Snyder's approval, seeks to pay two un-elected Consent Agreement officials up to $280,000 for one, $250,000 for the other to manage a city facing a 'financial emergency'. 

How many ways can you say Mismanagement-101?

One would think Gov. Snyder and Mayor Bing would believe its' very important to not disenfranchise the vote, right? That maybe Detroit's new Chief Financial Officer and Program Manager Director under the Consent Agreement would be willing to 'fall at the sword', hereby forgo salaries and health benefits to manage Detroit's fiscally challenged city? So far, the only sound heard at this 'out the box' idea, is the sound of 'crickets'.

Which is why the statement made by former Pontiac Emergency Manager Michael Stampfer, under previous Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and current Gov. Rick Snyder is important. Basically, Mr. Stampfer gave a Confessional-type statement on if Public Act #4 goal is to really assist cities out of financial crisis or ensure they stay in them.

Stampfer, who has an extensive resume in Public Administration, believes Emergency Managers leave dismantled communities in their wake, and fail to solve the so-called 'financial crisis' they're hired to do.
"I do not believe EMs can be successful -- they abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period of years then return it virtually dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it," Stampfer stated to The Rotary Club of Wyandotte. "  
"The program provides no structure for long term recovery, and that is why most communities slide back into trouble, if they experience any relief at all -- a vicious cycle. The Public Act is not sufficient and the state bureaucracy isn't up to a performance offering any significant success -- as can be noted from the communities repeating." 
Wonder how much longer it will be now before President Barack Obama's Department of Justice, ran by Attorney General Eric Holder, will step their toes into this state matter directly impacting the President's chances of winning Michigan over Republican rival Mitt Romney? Let's hope after reading this article, the countdown clock for Federal oversight of Michigan's November 6th General Election is starting, now!

ROJS Radio special guest on Saturday, April 28th will be leader of The New Marcus Garvey Movement and Detroit's 300, Minster Malik Shabazz starting at 11:00 AM EDT. Minster Shabazz will discuss his comments on Monday, March 26th when he told Detroit's Financial Review Team that actions take by them along with Governor Rick Snyder amount to white supremacy and that he would burn the city down before letting the state takeover.

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