We’re facing a truly unusual election this year in Michigan. There are five proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, and you don’t have to be a strict constructionist to ask yourself why some of these things — a renewable-energy edict, a measure to create a registry of home health-care workers — belong in the state’s legal foundation document. (The answer: Because a lot of special interests rolled the dice on a petition campaign.)
But perhaps none will be more wrenching, for the state, than Proposal 2, which would put collective-bargaining rights for public employees in there, too. It would also make it impossible to pass a right-to-work law, among many other things. The advertising is plentiful and whack, with the pro side saying, “Hey, what’s the big deal?” and the other screaming THIS IS SUCH A BIG DEAL.
Yeah, a little oversimplification there. If you really want to, you can read Bridge’s coverage of this here and here. The conventional wisdom is that if Prop 2 passes, it would set off a series of cascading legal dominoes that will enrich lawyers for years. And if it doesn’t, the business community will demand a right to work law.
Michigan with a right to work law. Imagine that.
Brian Dickerson, the Freep columnist, gets to the heart of things here. It’s not exactly a civil war ahead of us, but it won’t be fun:
As it stands, whatever happens on Nov. 6 seems certain to destroy the fragile détente Michigan’s employers and organized labor have established.
…And it’s a pity, because all most Michiganders really want is to live in a state where neither side has the option of running roughshod over the other.
Meanwhile, his wife, Laura Berman, who writes for the other daily, examines the weirdness that is the 11th district congressional district, utterly fubar’d by the same party that gerrymandered it in the first place, now about to send this guy to Washington:
Kerry Bentivolio has been a flop as a homebuilder. His teaching career ended abruptly last year under pressure. His Santa Claus credentials once were rejected by the White House.
When he popped up on the 11th District ballot, his own party leaders tried to mount a challenge against him in the August primary, dubbing the libertarian Ron Paul acolyte “Krazy Kerry.”
Yet Bentivolio, the unlikely Republican candidate for the 11th congressional district, is riding a gerrymandered jet stream toward a $174,000 a year job in the nation’s Capitol.
Three weeks to go.
But hey — how about those Tigers?
Have a great weekend, all.