PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 256
Surprise! Bills are actually passing in the Senate
As one Republican put it, “I don’t think the age of Aquarius has broken out,” but actually the Senate, in its 50-50 form, is working. It has already chalked up wins on a variety of fronts and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is shooting for even more bipartisan success. It’s surprising with this being the year of midterm elections. Crushing defeats earlier on weakening the filibuster for voting reform and President Joe Biden’s signature domestic policy bill then shifted to rapid achievements, some of which Congress had struggled for years on. Senators passed an anti-lynching law after literally 200 failed attempts, gave sexual misconduct claims firmer legal footing and approved sweeping postal reform. That’s on top of $14 billion for Ukraine as well as a long-awaited reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act as part of a massive spending bill, not to mention last year’s huge bipartisan infrastructure bill. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping to add a couple more bipartisan wins soon on expanding domestic semiconductor manufacturing as part of a China competitiveness measure as well as limiting the cost of insulin to $35. Those follow-up victories are not guaranteed, but Schumer is feeling good enough to brag a little about how much meaningful legislation has cleared the chamber’s 60-vote threshold in the last five weeks. Read more here. –Politico
Follow Up – Bill aimed at petition drive transparency
The Michigan state House unanimously passed this bill on March 8, 2022. The state Senate previously approved the bill with unanimous support last week. The bill now goes to the Governor for signature.
Currently,s there is nothing in place that requires the Secretary of State or the Bureau of Elections to keep the public informed of the petition’s status as it works its’ way through the process. This 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 it’s filed, and then an update on the signature verification process every 30 days after it’s filed.
Social Media Action: Download the graphic below to share on your social media pages.
Promote the Vote 2022The 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.
On March 8, 2022, the Reproductive rights coalition announced that it is launching its’ petition drive for abortion access ballot proposal. This proposed ballot measure would amend Michigan’s constitution to guarantee abortion access, as well as other reproductive rights.
Organizers started gathering petition signatures this week. More than 425,000 valid signatures must be collected by July 11 to have the measure certified for the November ballot. The proposal is backed by a coalition of reproductive and civil rights groups called Reproductive Freedom For All, including the ACLU of Michigan, Planned Parenthood of Michigan, and Michigan Voices.
The petition tracker can be found here. The tracker has not been updated since 3/1/22.
Say NO to the Pro-pothole bill
The Michigan Resistance reported that the Michigan House has passed HB5570 which is now heading to the Senate. This bill would amend the Motor Fuel Tax Act to eliminate the tax beginning April 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, for all gasoline, diesel and alternative fuels. The current tax per gallon is 27.2 cents for all fuels.
Although this sounds appealing based on the recent drastic increase in gas prices, the cessation of this tax keeps $725 million dollars from the state transportation budget over those 6 months. A portion of the gas tax money is used on state roads but much of it is passed on to local municipalities to maintain county and local roads. This cut will affect the labor and supplies for road repairs, effectively ending “fixing the roads” resulting in worsening or even more potholes.
Additional downsides to this bill include implications for the amount of Federal State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) distributions received by the state and the lack of deterring the gas companies from raising their prices above the 27 cent tax cut, which would end the users’ tax benefit yet still require additional car repair costs from the potholes.
There is minimal to no benefit of this bill to Michiganders. The bill provides a temporary 27 cents tax relief at the pump, with a likely immediate cessation of road repairs resulting in more potholes and car repairs. Review the House Fiscal Agency Analysis for additional information.
What can you do?
Contact your own Senators and the Senators listed below to vote NO on HB 5570. Find your senator here.
Senator Michael MacDonald District 10 517-373-7315
Senator Jon Bumstead District 34 517-373-1635
Senator Ed McBroom District 38 517-373-7840
Senator Kim LaSata District 21 517-373-6960
A script for calling Senators:
I am calling to urge Senator _________ to vote NO on HB 5570. This bill provides a temporary gas tax cut of 27 cents per gallon but diminishes the state transportation budget by $725 million over a period of 6 months. This hole in the state budget will drastically reduce repairs on roads, impacting workers and suppliers and potentially increased damage to Michiganders’ vehicles. There is also no guarantee that gas companies will not just raise their prices, thereby effectively negating the savings for us, the people. Vote NO on HB 5570.
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 EDT
- Sunday, Apr 10, 11:30am–1:30 pm EDT
- Saturday, Apr 16, 1–3 pm EDT
At 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: Dearborn
Macomb County: Shelby Township, Bruce Township and Washington Township
Oakland County: Waterford Township, Lake Angelus, Clarkston, and Independence Township
Kent County: Cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford, and Cedar Springs, plus Algoma, Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone Townships
Add the volunteer calendar to yours by clicking here.
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
Things to do
Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility Conditions – Senate Bill 487 Needs a Hearing
Back in May of 2021, Senate Bill 487 was introduced. It established an oversight committee for the women’s prison facility. Twenty-plus years in the making, “[T]his committee will have a wide variety of experts and concerned people, including medical professionals, a sanitation engineer, a substance use disorder expert, a social worker, a formerly incarcerated expert, and more. This committee will have the authority to review conditions of confinement complaints, including everything from problems with food and nutrition to systemic issues with health and mental health care services.”This bill requires a public hearing to proceed. Senator Roger Victory is the Chair of the committee responsible for calling a hearing. Please encourage Senator Victory to call a public hearing through the form on the right at this link.
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
DemCast is seeking a full team Michigan director. DemCast’s mission is to cultivate, amplify and maximize the impact of grassroots digital media. This is a full-time paid position. Applicants should have social media experience and ideally have relationships with progressive organizations in Michigan. For more information or suggestions for possible applicants contact DemCast Careers.
RECORDINGS – 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 Chuck@LBA80.com.
They described the hardships a united Ukraine is enduring and the ingenuity and resilience of its military and citizens. In addition to describing current conditions in Ukraine, they were also 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.
Download Ukraine Misinformation Toolkit
Click the image below to download the full Narrative Response Toolkit to Fighting Putin’s Propoganda
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 here. To 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 email@example.com 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.
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