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New Website Sends Coal to Lansing Politicians Who Made Voting Harder in Michigan

LegislatorLump.com holds politicians accountable for passing legislation to repeal straight-party voting

LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO launched a new website to hold lawmakers accountable for passing legislation last night that will make voting harder in Michigan.

LegislatorLump.com allows voters to send a letter to their state representative on Senate Bill 13, which will eliminate straight-party voting in Michigan. Legislators who voted for these bills will be placed on Santa’s “Naughty List,” and receive a lump of coal for the holidays.

“We should be making it easier to vote in Michigan, not harder,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This legislation will mean longer lines at the polls next year, plain and simple. Making it harder for seniors and people of color to make their voice heard at the ballot box is downright un-American. We’re putting Lansing politicians on notice that they should go back to the drawing board and work on legislation that expands access to voting. Otherwise, we will be notifying the one million active and retired union members in Michigan about how their elected officials voted on these important bills.”

On behalf of Michigan’s working people, the Michigan AFL-CIO will deliver lumps of coal to the offices of state legislators who voted for SB 13 and SB 639 prior to the legislature’s holiday recess.

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Constitution-Loving Republicans Pushing Unconstitutional Bill

Tomorrow morning, the House Commerce Committee will take up Senate Bill 492, a bill that is designed to undermine the recent Browning-Ferris ruling from the National Labor Relations Board.

According to the National AFL-CIO, “the decision makes it more possible for working people to organize and bargain with the employer that has authority to control the terms of their employment.”

The bill’s Republican supporters are falsely claiming that the Browning-Ferris ruling will somehow harm the relationship between franchisors and franchisees. But the truth is – regardless of how Lansing Republicans feel about the NLRB’s ruling – federal law trumps state law when it comes to private sector collective bargaining.

The courts have consistently rejected attempts by states to skirt the National Labor Relations Act through a patchwork of state laws.

Passing SB 492 could actually open small businesses and the State of Michigan up to expensive lawsuits – and the last thing we should be doing right now is wasting our taxpayer dollars defending a law that we already know is unconstitutional in federal court.

Instead of passing a bill that is clearly unconstitutional, Lansing should be working on legislation that will actually help small businesses – like raising wages for working people, which will spur demand for small businesses and help them create jobs.

Eliminating Straight-Party Voting Could Hurt Republican Reps Like Klint Kesto, Holly Hughes

Today the Michigan House Elections Committee is considering Senate Bill 13, which would get rid of Michigan’s century-old straight-party voting system.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, would hurt Republican and Democratic voters alike – and has the potential to hurt Republican Representatives like Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, and Holly Hughes, R-Montague, who both won close races in 2014.

In last year’s election, Kesto received 51.4 percent of his 16,740 total votes from straight-party ballots. However, his Democratic opponent, Sandy Colvin, only received 43.3 percent of his 15,300 votes from straight-party tickets.

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Kesto defeated Colvin by a margin of 1,440 votes. His 1,984 vote margin among straight-party ballots was more than enough to put him over the top.

Similarly, Republican Representative Holly Hughes received 47.5 percent of her 12,734 total votes from straight-party ballots. Her Democratic opponent, former Rep. Colleen Lamonte, only received 45 percent of her 12,681 total votes from straight-party tickets.

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Hughes defeated Lamonte by a margin of just 53 votes, which made her 343 vote advantage among straight-party tickets decisive.

Additionally, Republican Representatives Brad Jacobsen and Jason Sheppard also received more straight-party votes than their Democratic opponents in 2014.

Ultimately, SB 13 is bad news for everyone.

If this bill passes, it will mean even longer lines at the polls on Election Day – making it harder for seniors, minority, and low-income voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

Can you take a minute to call your state rep?

Call 517-373-6339 right now.

Tell them to protect straight-party voting, and vote NO on SB 13.

We should be making it easier to vote – not harder.

 

GOP Road Bill Won’t Actually Fix Roads

Fuzzy math, accounting gimmicks mean no new road funding for at least two years

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement today from President Ron Bieber commenting on the latest Lansing Republican road bill:

“This bill is based on fuzzy math and accounting gimmicks, and it won’t do anything to actually fix our roads for at least two years. You don’t fix the roads by cutting education, public safety, and health care, and you don’t fix the roads by giving tax breaks to millionaires while raising taxes on working people. The numbers just don’t add up, and our roads will continue to deteriorate for years to come. Governor Snyder should do the right thing by vetoing this budget-busting bill, and pushing for a truly bipartisan solution that requires everyone to pay their fair share to fix our roads.”

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