Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘michigan’

Michigan surge for Romney

Posted by Richard on November 1, 2012

Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley:

If the polls are right and Michigan really is suddenly in play in the presidential race, it’s a very, very bad sign for President Obama’s re-election hopes.

The Detroit News WDIV-Channel 4 poll this week placed Mitt Romney at just 2.7 points behind Obama, well within the margin of error and erasing a lead for the president that had been as high as 14 points after the Democratic National Convention.

The narrowing of the race in a state that Obama won by 16 points in 2008 bodes ill for the president nationally. Michigan was never expected to be this competitive.

While both campaigns have had the state on the watch list and continued nominal spending on ads, Romney hasn’t been here since August and Obama since April.

And why would they come here? Michigan hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

But if history is wrong and Obama is indeed on the verge of losing a state so reliably blue it may well portend a nationwide collapse.

I’m not religious, but when I read that the phrase “From your lips to God’s ear” popped into my head.

UPDATE: I just checked Rasmussen Reports (one of the most accurate polling firms in the last several elections), and they have these recent swing state poll results:

Dick Morris argues that any state in which the sitting president can do no better than a tie this close to the election will go to the challenger, because most of the undecideds will swing to the challenger. From his lips to God’s ear. 🙂

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Compulsory union membership — for the self-employed

Posted by Richard on February 13, 2010

Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes a story like this one from Michigan, via John Stossel:

Michelle Berry runs a day-care business out of her home in Flint, MI. She thought that she owned her own business, but Berry's been told she is now a government employee and union member. It's not voluntary. Suddenly, Berry and 40,000 other Michigan private day-care providers have learned that union dues are being taken out of the child-care subsidies the state sends them. The "union" is a creation of AFSCME, the government workers union, and the United Auto Workers.

So, instead of paying the child care subsidy to the people being subsidized — the qualifying child care consumers — the state pays it directly to their providers. And one day, it just told those providers, "We're taking some of the money you're owed and sending it to the union that we've made you a part of." 

This illustrates one important reason why these liberal statists are so opposed to vouchers or credits, whether for education, child care, or whatever, even though it's simple, direct, and eliminates a lot of overhead and bureaucratic nonsense. It's not just about helping "those in need," as they claim — it's about control. If they send a voucher or subsidy payment directly to "those in need," they can directly control only the consumers they're subsidizing. By inserting the state into the transaction as a middleman, they can control both parties to the transaction. 

Patrick Wright, a lawyer for the Mackinac Center, says the union was forced on the women after a certification election conducted by mail in which only 6,000 day-care providers out of 40,000 voted. Wright told me his clients, like Berry, say they were "shocked" to learn they were suddenly in a union.

They want nothing to do with the union. One of my clients has said, “Look, this is my home, I’m both labor and management here.” They’ve wanted nothing to do with this union and don’t think that it has any purpose besides than to siphon money away from them.

Michigan isn't the only state funding unions this way.

Fourteen states have now enabled home-based day-care providers to be organized into public-employee unions, affecting about 233,000 people.

Mackinac sued Michigan on behalf of the day-care owners, but the case was dismissed. They have appealed. Neither Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Human Services, nor the union would talk to me about this. Last month, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash proposed a law that would end "stealth" unionization of private entrepreneurs.

I'm not surprised that this is happening in Michigan. If it's anti-liberty, anti-business, and anti-growth, the government of Michigan is probably doing it. I'm surprised, though, that 14 other states are pulling this outrageous scam. But I guess if it benefits a public employee's union, plenty of state legislators everywhere will fall all over themselves to support it. They've been bought and paid for by those unions.

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Look who’s feeding at the public trough

Posted by Richard on January 29, 2010

In Michael Moore's 2009 film, Capitalism: A Love Story, he railed against (among others) corporate greedheads lining up to get government handouts of the taxpayers' money. Talk about a great big pot calling the kettle black.

According to Watchdog.org, Michigan's Mackinac Center discovered that the movie was partly filmed in Michigan, qualifying it for a generous windfall courtesy of the state's taxpayers. And it's already been approved, despite what strikes me as a serious conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety (emphasis added): 

That windfall would come from Michigan’s refundable tax credit program for the film industry, a program that allows movie producers to apply for a tax refund of up to 42 percent of their spending in Michigan. This lavish provision means a studio can easily receive more from Michigan taxpayers than it pays in Michigan taxes.

This initially seemed to trouble Moore, and he openly questioned the program at a forum in July 2008.

“These are large multinational corporations — Viacom, GE, Rupert Murdoch — that own these studios. Why do they need our money, from Michigan, from our taxpayers, when we’re already broke here?” Moore asked.

Moore posed this question to the Michigan Film Office director who determines which movies will qualify for the program. Moore went on: “I mean, they play one state against another, and so they get all this free cash when they’re making billions already in profits. What’s the thinking behind that?”

But in November 2008, Gov. Granholm appointed Michael Moore to the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council. Which advises the Michigan Film Office. Which runs the tax refund program.

Moore filmed part of “Capitalism: A Love Story” in Michigan. And the Mackinac Center has confirmed with the film office that a “production person” associated with Moore “applied, was approved for an incentive and … will receive credits” once the state treasury department reviews and approves the audited filing.

The film office did not disclose how much the resulting payment from the state would be; however, the film office director insisted that the incentive approval posed no conflict of interest with Moore’s seat on the film office advisory council.

Oh, OK. I guess I was wrong. Nothing to see here, folks. No crony capitalism. No unseemly behavior. No hypocritical greedhead pigs feeding at the public trough. The director of the office that Moore advises, who determines which movies qualify, has assured us of that.

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