For the 6 propositions on the Michigan ballot the full text and ballot language is here.
The ballot language for each proposal is included below followed by The Other Club’s recommendations.
A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE THAT MONEY HELD IN CONSERVATION AND RECREATION FUNDS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSES
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Create a Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund within the Constitution and establish existing conservation and recreation accounts as components of the fund.
• Use current funding sources such as state park entrance and camping fees; snowmobile, ORV and boating registration fees; hunting and fishing license fees; taxes and other revenues to fund accounts.
• Establish the current Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund within the Constitution.
• Provide that money held in Funds can only be used for specific purposes related to conservation and recreation and cannot be used for any purpose other than those intended.
While some expectation that monies collected for specific programs should fund those programs is justified (for example, Social Security), no such language belongs in a Constitution.
Proposal 1 – No.
Funding formulae don’t belong in a Constitution.
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO BAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS THAT GIVE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON THEIR RACE, GENDER, COLOR, ETHNICITY OR NATIONAL ORIGIN FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION OR CONTRACTING PURPOSES
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Ban public institutions from using affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. Public institutions affected by the proposal include state government, local governments, public colleges and universities, community colleges and school districts.
• Prohibit public institutions from discriminating against groups or individuals due to their gender, ethnicity, race, color or national origin. (A separate provision of the state constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.)
Basically, we are being asked to approve language straight out of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a no brainer, despite the thuggishness and lies of the initiative’s opponents, such as “By Any Means Necessary.”
A world in which BAMN, a shill for the Trotskyite Revolutionary Workers’ League, would be entirely comfortable was described by Kurt Vonnegut in his story Harrison Bergeron. Which may be summarized:
“All men are not created equal. It is the purpose of the Government to make them so.”
-United States Handicapper General
See also this Washington Times article:
Securing racial spoils
Proposal 2 – Yes.
The question is: Where does regulation designed to mitigate the unfairness of life reach a limit? The answer is: Here and now.
A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 160 OF 2004 – AN ACT TO ALLOW THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HUNTING SEASON FOR MOURNING DOVES
Public Act 160 of 2004 would:
• Authorize the Natural Resources Commission to establish a hunting season for mourning doves.
• Require a mourning dove hunter to have a small game license and a $2.00 mourning dove stamp.
• Stipulate that revenue from the stamp must be split evenly between the Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.
• Require the Department of Natural Resources to address responsible mourning dove hunting; management practices for the propagation of mourning doves; and participation in mourning dove hunting by youth, the elderly and the disabled in the Department’s annual hunting guide.
We allow hunting of other small, “cute” animals that provide only small amounts of food. Why not doves?
The proposal opponent’s arguments that doves are not a major food source, are not overpopulated and are not destructive simply points out they have no argument. All those things are true of the woodcock. Still, we can find many recipes for these birds – dove – woodcock.
There is no reason mourning doves should not be hunted just like woodcock. Woodcock weigh about 140 grams, similar to doves. This is also the lower end of the red squirrel’s weight range.
The difference between doves and woodcock is that woodcock don’t congregate at bird feeders and make a sad noise where PETA wannabes can hear it.
Regarding squirrels, perhaps we have not faced a ballot initiative to remove them from the list of game species because many people recognize that they are tree-dwelling rats with furry tails.
Proposal 3 – Yes.
No reason has been given to ban in Michigan what is legal in 40 other states. I suspect another agenda is at work.
A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM TAKING PRIVATE PROPERTY BY EMINENT DOMAIN FOR CERTAIN PRIVATE PURPOSES
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Prohibit government from taking private property for transfer to another private individual or business for purposes of economic development or increasing tax revenue.
• Provide that if an individual’s principal residence is taken by government for public use, the individual must be paid at least 125% of property’s fair market value.
• Require government that takes a private property to demonstrate that the taking is for a public use; if taken to eliminate blight, require a higher standard of proof to demonstrate that the taking of that property is for a public use.
• Preserve existing rights of property owners.
The moral legitimacy of private property is fundamental to our basic values and freedoms, and they would cease to exist without it.
Five Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States demonstrated that they do not understand this: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Their Kelo decision re-interpreted the “Takings” clause of the 5th Amendment as if it read “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation or unless it can be transferred to private interests that may cause an increase in revenue from any form of taxation.”
The point of the initiative is not to prevent government from providing essential land-use or environmental protections. Rather, it is to ensure that if the government wants to do more, it must do so by digging into its own pocket — not raiding the private homes and businesses of individuals.
Proposal 4 – Yes.
Restrict government assault on private property.
A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH MANDATORY SCHOOL FUNDING LEVELS
The proposed law would:
• Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).
• Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.
• Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year student enrollment average.
• Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.
• Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.
Bring me a proposal that is performance related. This one is the darling of the MEA because it targets teachers salaries and pensions. “Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.”
Why is there nothing about improving education, or paying more to GOOD teachers? Why is the state to become responsible for the pension agreements of local school boards?
Let’s have a proposal to allow parents to vote on which teachers they want teaching their children every school year. If you want to inflation adjust the amount of money given directly to parents which they then get to spend annually (vote with) as they see fit, I’ll vote for it.
Proposal 5 – No.
No automatic blank check for the failed MEA-controlled educational system.
Ingham County is to vote on a proposal to fund the Potter Park Zoo. While keeping the Zoo viable is important, we need to know first what Lansing is going to do with the $1.6 million they’ll save. Maybe after this is defined it would be “Yes.” Exhortations to help establish regional financial responsibility need political leadership, not blind approval. Remember how Capital City Airport is funded.
For now, it’s “No” on Potter Park.
Finally, the candidate races.
TOC has already indicated its disaffection with Dick DeVos. Since there is no alternative, TOC makes no recommendation for the Michigan Gubernatorial contest.
For the Michigan Supreme Court, TOC has already pointed out why Marc Shulman is a disaster.
You are left with Republican incumbent Maura Corrigan and Democratic incumbent Michael Cavanagh. Aspirants are Democrat Jane Beckering and Libertarian candidate Kerry L. Morgan.
TOC recommends Maura Corrigan and Kerry L. Morgan.
Vote against Debbie Stabenow, whose major accomplishment of the last 6 years – as her ads keep telling us – was to reduce the amount of Canadian trash we’re getting paid to bury.
Hayes and Williams for Williamstown Twp. trustees.
In general, absent evidence of malfeasance in your district, vote GOP.
Yes, I’m PO’d at the spineless, big-government GOP, but when I read about the necessity for them to be punished for their admittedly idiotic behavior I come to wonder just who, then, is left to punish the much more deserving Democrats for theirs? John Kerry can only do so much.