Michigan Rick Snyder and Republicans Want to Control Poor Cities and Block the Poor/Minority from Voting Too
Who are we kidding? The Old White Men’s Club might allow some democracy for minorities now that we have a biracial president? Nah, not here in Michigan. In a move that smacks of racism, built by wealthy white men (Rick Snyder is a successful businessman), this plan that seems headed for Detroit, allows members of the Republican’s Old White Man’s Club, headed by Rick Snyder, to go in and take over every single aspect of any town they deem needs it. “For their own good, right?” That’s happened before, and it was racist then too.
In a further challenge to Constitutional Rights, Rick Snyder is also trying to block the poor from voting:
The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.
“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.
How is it that this can happen here in Michigan? Well, the Republican-based Michigan Supreme Court has already issued rulings blocking the poor from the courts, so why not block their voting privileges too?
The Old White Men’s Club has already controlled the schools:
Robert Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager for the Detroit Public Schools, is proposing that most of the schools being closed down in that city be converted into charter schools.
The Detroit News reports:
A plan that would convert 41 public schools in Detroit to charter academies received strong support today from school board president Anthony Adams at a public meeting held to present options for overhauling the financially strapped district…
The fourth plan, called the hybrid model, was dubbed “the best approach” by Adams. It would include the creation of a new district, a request for a fixed level of state funding regardless of enrollment levels and the conversion of 41 of the district’s 142 schools to charter academies. The district would retain ownership of facilities used by charter schools.
But since those schools would still need to be publicly funded, it seems unlikely that such a plan would get approved that would pay for it. Detroit doesn’t have the money and the legislature isn’t likely to vote for more aid.
What, you say, the majority of unemployed and poverty-stricken in Michigan happen to be African Americans? How could this be? I’ll bet Rick Snyder and other members of the Old White Man’s Club (Former Justice Taylor) had no idea that they would be working to take away poor and minority rights governed by the Constitution. I mean, after all, we do have a black President in office, right? And slaver and plantation owners dissipated after the American Civil War, right? Well, apparently not in Michigan.
Never mind that little ole bit about federal investigators stating that homes were improperly put into foreclosure based on sloppy and illegal paperwork filings. Never mind that these people have to fight for their homes against such lending abuses, but now they also have to fight for their right to vote in Detroit? How is this not racist?
The Macomb GOP’s plans are another indication of how John McCain’s campaign stands to benefit from the burgeoning number of foreclosures in the state. McCain’s regional headquarters are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, has raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.
The Macomb County party’s plans to challenge voters who have defaulted on their house payments is likely to disproportionately affect African-Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters. More than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans — the most likely kind of loan to go into default — were made to African-Americans in Michigan, according to a report issued last year by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth.
Gosh, you think it’s coincidental that Snyder and cronies will control all the government contracts in struggling Detroit towns where their voting challenges will come from, and then they also try to push them out of their right to vote? Oh, and they are getting money to do all this from a law firm specializing in foreclosures that also contributed to the Republican campaigns?
Party chairman Carabelli said that the Republican Party is training election challengers to “make sure that [voters] are who they say who they are.”
Vote suppression: Not an isolated effort
The issue of voter challenges is arising around the country. In Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch, in an July 6 article titled “Foreclosed-on voters using old addresses could snag election,” reported that Doug Preisse, a member of the board of elections in Franklin County and the chair of the local GOP, said he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election.
Hebert, the voting-rights lawyer, sees a pattern.
“At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said. “Nobody is contending that these people are not legally registered to vote.
“When you are comprehensively challenging people to vote,” Hebert went on, “your goals are two-fold: One is you are trying to knock people out from casting ballots; the other is to create a slowdown that will discourage others,” who see a long line and realize they can’t afford to stay and wait.
Challenging all voters registered to foreclosed homes could disrupt some polling places, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to the real estate Web site RealtyTrac, one in every 176 households in Wayne County, metropolitan Detroit, received a foreclosure filing during the month of July. In Macomb County, the figure was one household in every 285, meaning that 1,834 homeowners received the bad news in just one month. The Macomb County foreclosure rate puts it in the top three percent of all U.S. counties in the number of distressed homeowners.
I don’t know, but it sure looks to me like the Old White Men’s Club of Michigan joined forces with the Republicans and perhaps the KKK to force African Americans out of their homes, out of their rights to vote, and just plain threatening them. Does anyone remember the KKK-backed intimidation tactics used to try to intimidate the African Americans as they tried to vote against white politicians usurping democratic ideals? It wasn’t that long ago.
Our African American legislators are concerned too:
“U.S. Rep. John D. Conyers (D-Detroit) is criticizing a proposed state law to drastically strengthen the powers of emergency financial managers, calling it unconstitutional and saying it implicitly targets minority communities.
March 11, Michigan Messenger: The takeover provision of the legislation – allowing the dissolution of locally elected bodies — implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity.
The bill — which will give EFMs in troubled municipalities and school districts the power to void collective bargaining agreements, sell off municipal assets and dissolve elected bodies — has been approved by the state House and Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign it into law this week.
Conyers isn’t alone in questioning whether the bill could have racial motivations or unfairly impact cities with heavy black populations, such as Detroit. Political website Crooks & Liars wondered much the same thing in contemplating how the new EFM law could play out.
March 12, Crooks & Liars: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Detroit is one of the targeted cities. And while I wouldn’t dare say it’s race-motivated without some evidence beyond the obvious observation that Detroit is where Kwame Kilpatrickis was mayor, Dave Bing is mayor, and is a city where over 80% of the population is black. No, I wouldn’t suggest it’s racially motivated at all, but then again…
The piece goes on to quote state Sen. Jack Brandenburg countering concerns about local control, claiming “in a lot of these places there is no control.”But Conyers still raises a point worth considering. Over the past 11 years, Michigan governors have declared financial emergencies in seven municipalities, including the largely black cities of Ecorse, Benton Harbor, Highland Park, Pontiac and Flint. Meanwhile, the state has taken over Detroit’s public school system twice since 1999, both times with dismal results.In almost all of these instances, of course, the financial troubles have been dire indeed. But rather than acknowledge the debilitating affects of deindustrialization, white flight and corporate disinvestment on places like Detroit and Flint, too many observers have been content to simply blame changing racial dynamics.
Here in Michigan, one of the poorest states in the Nation, we are short on Constitutional rights. Because of illegal Michigan Supreme Court rulings, and continued white mail upholdings of these rulings, the poor and minority have been barred from accessing the courts. Under Rick Snyder and the Old White Men’s Republican club, the majority of minorities will be pushed from their homes–the Republicans’ campaigns paid for by big legal foreclosure firms. And now, these minorities, under Rick Snyder will also be stripped of their rights to vote, and on top of that have lost the right to elect their own leaders and officials, instead having their contracts, their businesses, their homes, their earnings and their cities owned by overseeing white men. Scary, isn’t it?
- Michigan Republicans Shield Law with Gimmick (politicalwire.com)
- Michigan Republicans create “financial martial law”; appointees to replace elected local officials (boingboing.net)
- Hey! Who Stole My Democracy?…or What’s Going on in the State of Michigan? (jonathanturley.org)