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.


Legislative Alert: Making Big Box Stores Pay Their Fair Share

By Fran Brennan, Legislative Director

Some days it feels like there’s nothing but bad news coming out of Lansing. But there’s one issue we can actually do something about.

Local communities across the state have been losing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue because “big box” stores are unfairly having their property assessments slashed through appeals. This is making it harder for county and city governments to invest in basic things like education, roads, libraries, and public safety.

The good news is there’s two bipartisan bills that would address this problem.

Sign our petition to support HB 4909, and SB 524 to protect our local communities.

This is about holding these “big box” stores accountable, and making sure everyone pays their fair share.

It’s pretty simple… we need healthy, vibrant communities to make Michigan work for all of us. That means good schools, and enough police and firefighters to keep our neighborhoods safe.

We can fix this problem, but we need to tell Lansing to pass the bills introduced by Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette), and Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba).

Add your name to show your support >>


Celebrate Labor Day in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Flint & Detroit

Labor Day is almost here, and we wanted to let you know about a few fun Labor Day events coming up in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Detroit.

Muskegon: The Muskegon Labor Day parade  kicks off at 11am on Monday. There will be a celebration after the parade at the CIO Hall with food, bounce houses, games, prizes, and more. RSVP for the Muskegon celebration here.

Grand Rapids: Labor Fest 2015 is located Ah-Nab-Awen Park from 11am-5pm on Monday. There will be labor exhibits, free admission to the Ford museum, live music, food vendors, activities for kids, and a car and motorcycle show. RSVP for Grand Rapids Labor Fest here.

Flint: UAW Region 1D is hosting a Labor Day program and cook-out on Monday, starting at 10:30am. There will be a short program honoring Sit-down Strikers and Women Emergency Brigade Members, followed by a hot dog and hamburger cook-out. RSVP for the Flint Labor Day event here.

Detroit: The Metro Detroit AFL-CIO is hosting the annual Solidarity Walk on Monday morning, starting at 9am. There will be free food, ice cream, activities for kids, and a short program. RSVP for the Detroit Solidarity Walk here.

Whatever you do this weekend, we should all take some time to remind ourselves that America’s working people and union members are all about working for a better life.

2015 Biennial Convention Photos

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