FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 5, 2012
CONTACT: Roger Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office – 517-485-6600, Cell – 517-290-2330
Vote “NO” on “Super-Minority” Constitutional Amendment in November: Remember Unlucky No. 13!
Why is a Michigan Billionaire Trying to Buy This Amendment?
LANSING, Mich. — This statement offers comment from Defend Michigan Democracy on today’s order by the Michigan Supreme Court to place the controversial “two-thirds” constitutional amendment on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. It can be attributed to Roger Martin, spokesperson for Defend Michigan Democracy, which pledges a vigorous campaign to defeat the proposal
“This amounts to a deceitful and dangerous hijacking of the state constitution by billionaire Matty Moroun and his corporations, who have bankrolled this entire scheme. If this amendment passes, rich and powerful special interests could control all tax policies in Michigan that benefit them by obtaining the votes of just 13 state senators, who suddenly gain super powers to protect the super wealthy. While hard to believe, this amendment would give just 13 state senators the power to block the will of Michigan’s other 135 state legislators. So the number 13 becomes truly unlucky for ordinary Michigan taxpayers. Our local taxes would almost certainly increase, and we would suffer under the same super-minority rules that have helped turn Mississippi into the nation’s poorest state, that have given Nevada the nation’s highest unemployment rate, and that have made California one of the most dysfunctional governments on earth.”
The so-called “two-thirds” amendment is bankrolled almost entirely by corporations owned by a single Michigan billionaire, Matty Moroun, who spent nearly $2 million to buy the signatures of enough voters to put the proposal on the ballot.
The proposal would end simple majority democracy on tax issues in Lansing and allow a minority of just one-third of the members of the House or Senate to block important tax reforms. Just 13 state Senators in Lansing would gain the power to block the votes of the other 135 members of the House and Senate. The proposal would make it nearly impossible to end tax breaks and loopholes currently in Michigan tax law that benefit rich and powerful special interests and their lobbyists over ordinary taxpayers.
Only seven other states have the provision in their constitutions. One state, Mississippi, is the poorest state in the nation. Another state, Nevada, has the nation’s highest unemployment rate. And one of the states, California, failed to balance its state budget on time in 16 of 20 years because the requirement creates partisan gridlock and makes it nearly impossible for politicians to solve problems cooperatively. This is not the path to prosperity.
Members of Defend Michigan Democracy include the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan League for Human Services, Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan, AARP Michigan, Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Education Association, and more. For more information visit www.DefendMIDemocracy.com.