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Old November 5th, 2012 (09:42 PM). Edited November 5th, 2012 by Otter Mii-kun.
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 810, Michigan
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,514
I have been getting tired of this election season and can't wait for it to be over, but at the same time worry about the outcome.
What good has Obama done to America, other than:
  • Cause food and energy prices to skyrocket, doing nothing to combat the rampant speculation on the commodity exchanges like he said he would do during his 2008 campaign?
  • Enact a health insurance mandate that is really about helping boost insurance company profits?
  • Ram through a financial "reform" package that is so watered-down, that it escalated, rather than abated, Wall Street greed and recklessness, and allowed our already too-large megabanks to get even larger, when such institutions should have been broken up, like Ma Bell was in '83?
  • Continued our utterly ridiculous open-borders policy that allows illegal immigrants and terrorists to enter our country unabated?
  • Passed even more unfair NAFTA-style trade agreements, even though he said he opposed them during his 2008 campaign?
  • Threatened huge tax increases on the middle class and poor with schemes such as Cap-and-Trade and his strangulation of the energy industry, while still allowing mega-corporations like Verizon to spin off parts of their operations without paying any taxes? (I was one of the millions of Verizon rural landline customers divested to Frontier Communications using tax-dodging techniques, and I'm sure those of you in Northern New England know how a similar deal with FairPoint turned out.)
  • Continue Bush's warmongering, despite promising to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?
What will Mitt Romney do to make things better?
On the first question, I have expected many of the things I listed above to happen under Obama the moment he was elected. On the second, Mitt likely won't be that much different from Obama-I expect he may continue many of Obama's policies, just as Obama continued (and escalated) many of Bush's policies.

Most of the campaign advertising on broadcast outlets in Michigan have been over the six statewide proposals, five of which are to amend the state Constitution. The official ballot language and my commentaries for each are included in the spoiler (which I used to reduce the post length).

Here's how I plan on voting, aside from the Presidency and U.S. Senate for Michigan:
Spoiler:
Congressional House (MI-10):
Candice Miller (R-Harrison Twp.) (incumbent)

State Representative (District 82):
Kevin Daley (R-Lum) (incumbent)

State Board of Education:
Todd Courser (R-Silverwood)
Karen Adams (T-Lake Odessa)
I know both of these candidates are long-shot, due to their positions, but both candidates are opposed to Obama's globalist-oriented, power-consolidating Common Core Standards federal curriculum mandates (which I also absolutely loathe). In addition, Courser is Tea Party-supported and is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Second Amendment, pro-expanded school choice, and pro-homeschooling.

University of Michigan Regents, Michigan State University Trustees, Wayne State University Governors:
Abstain, I usually don't vote on these offices anyway.

Lapeer County Prosecutor:
Byron Konschuh (R) (incumbent) (unopposed)

Lapeer County Sheriff:
Jeff Fick (D) – Incumbent Ron Kalanquin (R) has been in office for 32 years, being elected for the first time in 1980 (when Ronald Reagan was elected President for the first time), which is too long for any elected office, IMO. Besides, during the primary campaign, where Kalanquin faced Mike Gepfrey, some dirt was dug on both the Republican Primary candidates. Had Gepfrey won the primary, I probably would be voting for him. I have not heard much from Kalanquin's campaign since the primary, and Fick has been running a pretty decent campaign.

County Clerk:
Theresa M. Spencer (R) (unopposed)

County Treasurer:
Dana Miller (R) (unopposed)

Register of Deeds:
Melissa DeVaugh (R) (unopposed)

Road Commissioner:
Gary Howell (R) (unopposed)

Drain Commissioner:
Joe Suma (R) (unopposed)

Surveyor:
Ray Davis (R) (unopposed)

County Commissioner - District 1:
Cheryl Clark (D) (incumbent)

Marathon Township Supervisor
Dale A. Fuller (I)

Marathon Township Clerk
Dawn Johnson (D) (incumbent) (unopposed)

Township Treasurer
Pam Jaksa (I)

Township Trustees:
Jim Chaffer (D) (incumbent)

Michigan Supreme Court:
Kerry Morgan
Bob Roddis

Michigan Supreme Court - Partial Term ending Jan. 1, 2015:
Mindy Barry

Court of Appeals District 4 (full term and partial term ending Jan 1, 2015) and Probate Court:
Abstain

LakeVille Community Schools Board of Education:
Chad Carriero
Holly Selesky (two positions, both incumbent and unopposed)

Quote:
PROPOSAL 1 - A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 4 OF 2011 - THE EMERGENCY MANAGER LAW
Public Act 4 of 2011 would:
Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts.

Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials.

Require EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved.

Alternatively, authorize state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.

Should this law be approved?
No - While I have read accounts saying that Gov. Snyder's EM law is better than Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, I understand that most people do not like how it takes away local control, and is so far-reaching. A no vote in this case would reinstate the previous Emergency Manager law enacted under Jim Blanchard's governorship.

Quote:
PROPOSAL 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?
No - This is a power grab by Big Labor to force their agenda into the State Constitution for all eternity. Not only would many laws that regulate labor conditions be overturned, it would give Big Labor unions veto power over virtually all legislation moved through Lansing. It would also ban attempts to make Michigan a Right-To-Work state (which would prohibit forced union membership as a condition of employment). This proposal is being backed by an extensive ad campaign called "Protect Working Families", which claims that this proposal is about protecting ordinary Americans' jobs and wages, including those working in factories, when this proposal will really help government employee unions more than anything (private sector unions are already governed by the federal National Labor Relations Act.)

Quote:
PROPOSAL 3 – A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH A STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

This proposal would:

Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.

Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.

Allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.

Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.

Should this proposal be approved?
HELL NO - Sure, a tougher renewable energy standard sounds good on paper, but the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. This is another attempt by the radical environmental lobby to blame global warming on human activity and force “sustainable development” (such as the sovereignty-destroying United Nations Agenda 21) on the general populace. Such efforts are best left to statutory law, not the Constitution. Michigan's big two electric utilities, Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy, are also opposed to this amendment. While many other states have passed renewable energy mandates with similar teeth, none of them are locked into their state constitutions.

Quote:
PROPOSAL 4 – A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH THE MICHIGAN QUALITY HOME CARE COUNCIL AND PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR IN-HOME CARE WORKERS

This proposal would:

Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC). Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.

Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care.

Preserve patients' rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members.

Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.

Should this proposal be approved?
HELL NO - From what I have read, the Michigan Home Health Care program being proposed by this amendment already exists for the most part in state statutory law. Despite a barrage of TV ads from elderly home care patients endorsing this proposal in the name of "safe, quality, affordable home care", this is merely a scheme by the Service Employees International Union to permanently enshrine in the state Constitution their withholding of dues from Medicaid stipends given by the state to home health care workers, many of who are taking care of family members. This scheme was concocted by former Governor Jennifer Granholm, and since this scheme was first implemented, the SEIU has skimmed over $32.7 million from home care providers, about $3 million of that since state Attorney General Bill Schuette ordered the scheme to stop (upholding a law passed by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Snyder that strips home care workers of their classification as government employees) back in late May. Even many SEIU Healthcare members who work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are critical of this scheme, saying that home health workers don't get the same benefits that facility workers do.

Quote:
PROPOSAL 5 – A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT

This proposal would:

Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation.

This section shall in now way be considered to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.

Should this proposal be approved?
No - While this sounds good on paper, from what I have read, other states that have similar super-majority requirements for tax increases are already in serious financial trouble. It would cause gridlock among state legislators when debating ways to bring in additional revenue in times of need, which would ultimately lead to increasing state fees and fines. This proposal is mostly backed by billionaire (slumlord) Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun, who owns many heavily blighted and vandalized properties in the city of Detroit, including the historic Michigan Central Railroad Station. Just ask the 1.8 million 700,000 people remaining in Detroit about Mr. Moroun and see what they have to say :p .

Quote:
PROPOSAL 6 – A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

This proposal would:

Require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, construction, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels.

Create a definition of “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” that means “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.”

Should this proposal be approved?
No - This is another proposal backed by Matty Moroun, who is seeking to block construction of a new government-proposed bridge between Detroit and Windsor that would break his monopoly on truck traffic crossing between those two cities via his aforementioned Ambassador Bridge (the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is too small to accommodate commercial freight). This proposal is backed by an extensive ad campaign, with one ad claiming "How can they tell us there's no money for education and schools, but there's money for a bridge?" An agreement between the State of Michigan and the Canadian government puts Canada on hook for the entire bridge project targeted by this proposal. Other ramifications of passing this proposal could show up much later, including the possibility that, if a terrorist attack takes out an existing border-crossing bridge, voters will have to approve construction of a replacement bridge. The Michigan Truth Squad, a blog that analyzes political advertising in Michigan, has called foul on the vast majority of the pro-6 ads.

Lapeer County Department of Veterans Affairs Millage Proposal:
No
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