Protectors of Equality in Government Newsletter

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PEG 12th Congressional District

Newsletter 255. Thursday, March 10, 2022

Part II – Conversations LIVE from Ukraine

Nicole Borman and Eugene Kalnyk will be joining us live from Ukraine to be interviewed once again by Chuck Newman. This war is being fought both on the ground and on the internet, where Russia’s extensive and experienced propaganda forces are spreading the lie that their invasion is a military effort to save Ukraine citizens from a Nazi regime.In addition to describing current conditions in the Ukraine they will be asked to describe in detail the three things we can do to help them: donate, advocate for support from our government, and utilize our social media accounts to join them in their fight against disinformation.


Part I RECORDED VIDEO – View interviews of two young citizens of Ukraine about the tragedy of the Russian invasion

Nicole Borman and Eugene Kalnyk were guests on Conversations with Chuck Newman. This war is being fought both on the ground and on the internet, where Russia’s extensive and experienced propaganda forces are spreading the lie that their invasion is a military effort to save Ukraine citizens from a Nazi regime. They asked for three things: donations, advocating for support from our government, and utilizing our social media accounts to join them in their fight against disinformation. For more information on how to work with Nicole and Eugene and do any of these things email

They described the hardships a united Ukraine is enduring and the ingenuity and resilience of its military and citizens. You can view their interview and any other interviews I hope I will have with them at

Recording of Part I LIVE from Ukraine

Bill aimed at petition drive transparency

On March 3, 2022, the Michigan Senate passed a substitute for House Bill 5252. Senator voting was 36-0, to return the bill to the House. The House passed this bill unanimously in December 2021.

The bill would require that the state Bureau of Elections provide regular updates on the status of petitions submitted — an initial summary of the petition two days after its filed, and then an update on the signature verification process every 30 days after its filed.

Stay tuned.

Social Media Action: Download the graphic below to share on your social media pages.

Petition Recap

Promote the Vote 2022

The coalition supporting this petition states that the measure offers flexibility for voters to cast their ballots, make elections more accessible and ensure election security while protecting voter privacy. This would amend the state constitution. Additional and important specifics can be found here.

The Board of Canvassers has approved the revised format and summary of the petition. Signatures are not yet being collected. 

Action: Go to Voters Not Politicians to sign up to volunteer.

Petitions you should not sign and discourage others from signing

Secure MI Vote

Backers, mostly Republicans, say the measure proposed would add safeguards to the election process and ensure there is no fraud. Opponents say the initiative offers solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist, election fraud. The petition is intended to suppress the vote and undermine trust in elections. Signatures are currently being collected. The Republican-led Legislature would likely adopt the measure if it collects enough signatures.

Action: share this information widely to discourage signatures.

Unlock Michigan II

This petition puts the power to limit emergency measures in the hands of the legislature rather than in the hands of the experts. Signatures are currently being collected. The Republican-led Legislature would likely adopt the measure if it collects enough signatures.

Action: share this information widely to discourage signatures.

Let MI Kids Learn

The group is pushing for two petitions: one would establish the Student Opportunity Scholarship program to pay for K-12 public or private school tuition and fees, home-schooling materials and online learning programs for those with financial needs; the other would allow taxpayers to claim a tax credit for contributions made to the scholarship program. These proposals could undermine public education and divert public funds into private schools, which currently is prohibited in the Michigan Constitution. Signatures are currently being collected. The Republican-led Legislature would likely adopt the measure if it collects enough signatures.

Action: share this information widely to discourage signatures.


Thursday, March 10. Community Conversation on CREW Report

In 2020, a report was released by the Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw (CREW) was formed to gather public data on the charging and sentencing of individuals in Washtenaw County. Prior to the meeting, community members can read the report, see the data tables, check out the news articles that mention the report, and see the community toolkit with some data visualizations on the CREW website: Focus will be on recommendations in the Executive Summary, pages 10-16. Register in advance here. 6:30–8 pm

Special Election Training for Early Vote Observing and Ballot Curing

Ensure that absentee ballots are counted for voters in Michigan whose special election ballots contain errors. Ballot Curing for the Special Election ballots will begin on Wednesday, March 30.Sign-up for Special Election voter protection training HERE. Times available:Wednesday, Mar 30, 6–8 pm EDTSunday, Apr 10, 11:30am–1:30 pm EDTSaturday, Apr 16, 1–3 pm EDTAt this training you will learn:What errors require curing.How to guide a voter to submit the necessary information to their clerk.How to record that information.Early Vote Observers will only be needed for the following jurisdictions:Wayne County: DearbornMacomb County: Shelby Township, Bruce Township and Washington TownshipOakland County: Waterford Township, Lake Angelus, Clarkston, and Independence TownshipKent County: Cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford, and Cedar Springs, plus Algoma, Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone TownshipsAdd the volunteer calendar to yours by clicking here.

Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!

Things to do

Say NO to fiscal irresponsibility and thank Whitmer for opposing the proposed budget

MI Resistance March 6 Newsletter discussed the recent state house and senate 2022-23 proposed budget plan that would give the most tax relief to the wealthiest Michigan residents while reducing resources to invest in important priorities like increased access to behavioral health, retaining police and firefighters, veterans, dams, removing lead service lines, and much more.In a letter to lawmakers, Whitmer stated that “In its current form, this bill is fiscally irresponsible, unsustainable, and could increase costs for Michigan families at a time when they can least afford it.”Thankfully, instead of supporting the measure, Whitmer formally called on legislative leaders to meet with her team to begin traditional budget and tax negotiations.MI Resistance is recommending calling Governor Whitmer to thank her for standing up for seniors, families, and the future of our state. Script for Calling the Governor – (517) 335-7858My name is _______ and I am calling to thank the Governor for opposing the state budget passed by the legislature last week. I applaud her for standing strong for tax relief for seniors and families while ensuring our state has the resources to fund vital public services for years to come. I urge her to stay the course in budget negotiations so that the end result is fair and fiscally responsible.

The Democratic Communication Chasm

Dan Pfeiffer (former Senior Advisor to President Obama), writing about the challenge of the Democratic communication chasm, describes two new polls that demonstrate that voters would like the Democratic agenda if only they knew about it! One poll, conducted Feb 27 – Mar 1 by Data for Progress, asked people whether they approved or disapproved of Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Only 45% approved while 48% disapproved. When the question was changed to elucidate some of the steps the President has taken, such as sanctions, moving troops and providing military support to Ukraine, Biden’s approval rating jumped 18 points to 63% approval! Similarly, in a recent poll by Navigator Research, only 19 percent of Americans believe the country has experienced more job growth than job loss over the last twelve months. He notes that “put another way, 81 percent of Americans are either ignorant or misinformed about what’s happening in the economy. Millions of jobs have been created since President Biden took over and the unemployment rate is under four percent. Based on this poll, we can presume that if people knew what was happening Biden’s economic approval numbers would be better.” Pfeiffer suggests that despite good intentions by some journalists, journalism is not conveying accurate information to the public. These polls should serve as a wake-up call to Democrats to become “more aggressive and innovative in how we communicate.”

Things to read, watch, and listen to

The Senate approved a $107 billion overhaul of the Postal Service

It is the largest reform in nearly two decades. The Postal Service Reform Act requires retired postal service employees to enroll in Medicare, impose new transparency standards, and repeals a requirement to pre-fund retirement benefits 75 years in advance. The bill passed with bipartisan support and heads to Biden’s desk to be signed. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Axios)  h/t to here.

Post Election Audits

An audit of the Michigan Bureau of Elections released on March 4 by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General confirmed the effectiveness of the post-election audits carried out after the 2020 presidential election.Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, stated that “By confirming the effectiveness of the most comprehensive post-election audit in state history, the Auditor General affirmed what has been demonstrated time and time again – Michigan’s 2020 election was secure and the outcome accurately reflects the will of the voters.”The Auditor General’s report also made some recommendations for process improvement and also included recommendations for legislative action.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Holds Firm

Benson rejected restrictions on voting rights proposed by state legislators on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.She stated: “Michigan’s citizens voted overwhelmingly in the 2018 election to enshrine in our state constitution their right to vote absentee, and I will not let a small group of partisan legislators restrict those rights to spread and codify long debunked conspiracy theories and lies. The rules we submitted are based on facts, data and longstanding nonpartisan standard election administration practices that support Michigan voters.”According to the League of Women Voters newsletter, her laws follow the wishes of the 67 percent of Michigan voters who supported Proposition 3, which gave “voters the right to vote absentee, be registered to vote automatically, and register and vote on Election Day.”

Visit the PEG Website

PEG is a (mostly) non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. PEG’s work is primarily done by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs. The weekly PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to our website by clicking hereTo share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the email or just “forward” from your email browser.

A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: Bernie Banet, Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, Into Action Lab, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. Also, we would like to thank Demcast for all of their recent contributions in the fight against misinformation and we look forward to increased collaboration in 2022. Write us at if you would like help create our weekly newsletter OR if you would like to be a guest contributor! It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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