How does the Voter Suppression legislative effort hope to avoid Governor Whitmer’s veto?
The Secure Mi Vote petition drive is an effort to suppress the vote. According to Bridge Magazine, Secure MI Vote seeks to enact new state laws to require voter ID for in-person voting and absentee ballot applications, ban outside funding for elections, restrict mail-in ballots and prohibit mass mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications, among other things.
However, since the petition backers were unable to secure the mandatory number of signatures prior to the May 31 deadline, it will not be on the November ballot. This is in contrast to the Promote the Vote ballot initiative that will amend the state constitution to increase access to voting in a variety of ways, including 24-hour drop boxes for absentee ballots, funding for postage, nine days of early voting, and more. [For Bridge Magazine’s petition tracker, click here.]
So, why is the voter suppression effort still alive if there were insufficient signatures by the deadline??
There is a loophole in Michigan law which allows for petitions with the minimum number of certified signatures to be brought to the legislature for passage and bypass both the Governor’s signature and the vote of the people. Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser in fact announced on March 25th the plan to collect signatures from 3.4% of the population, “getting the signatures necessary for a legislative initiative so it can become law without [Governor] Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.”(Detroit News)
While the GOP has collected more than the minimum number of signatures and would like them certified promptly, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Bureau of Elections could wait until 2024 to review the signatures and move the process forward. Even if the voter suppression measure is adopted by the legislature, it could be nullified in November if Promote the Vote passes. Please join the efforts to get out the vote!! [Voters Not Politicians, Washtenaw County Dems, League of Women Voters, etc.)
And to learn more about the wide-ranging GOP efforts at suppressing the vote and sabotaging the electoral process, join Chuck Newman on Sunday evening, August 7 at 7:30 pm. He will be speaking with Aghogho Edevbie, Michigan State Director of All Voting is Local, a veteran of the fight to have fair and free elections.
He will speak to the plot to not count selective votes by influencing judges, sheriffs and election officials and to create sufficient doubt about the election results to have the results decided by the state legislature. The people organizing this welcome a constitutional crisis. They will also discuss what can be done to not only frustrate these efforts, but enhance access to the election.
Click here to register for this free zoom show and bring your questions.
What is happening with abortion access in Michigan??
Rapid, opposing court decisions demonstrate tenuous legality of abortion in Michigan – Decisions on August 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In one day, the Court of Appeals determined county prosecutors could enforce Michigan’s 1931 law criminalizing abortion, and then, an Oakland County judge said they could not – in the short term. In May, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted Planned Parenthood’s request to block enforcement of the 1931 law, which was unrepealed, but dormant since the Roe decision. August 1st the Court of Appeals found that Gleicher’s order does not apply to county prosecutors. However, shortly after the Court of Appeals ruling, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked Oakland County Circuit Judge Jacob Cunningham to grant an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order in her lawsuit, filed in April against 13 county prosecutors with the intent to establish a court-recognized, right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the state constitution. This means, for now, county prosecutors cannot file criminal charges against abortion providers.
Abortion is still legal in Michigan today. The Court of Appeals order does not take effect until after the time allowed to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to review the decision expires. Whitmer has asked the Supreme Court to take up her case. Justices have not said whether they will.
Attorney David Kallman, who is representing prosecutors from Kent County and Jackson County, argues against the temporary restraining order at a virtual Wednesday afternoon hearing before Judge Cunningham. On Wednesday, August 3rd, the Oakland County judge extended the emergency order barring prosecutors from criminally charging abortion providers under the 1931 law that bans the procedure. There will be another hearing on August 17th to focus on whether the state should implement a preliminary injunction, a more formal kind of order that would also prevent enforcement of the ban. During the hearing, Cunningham raised the idea of extending the order until the Michigan Supreme Court decides whether to intervene in the case, or until the General Election in November. If the ballot proposal passes in November, the Michigan Constitution will expressly include the right to an abortion. In the meantime, abortion remains legal and chaos and insecurity for providers continues to exist.
Covid with no fear
Even though Biden has a rebound case, his symptoms are mild, and he continues to work. Covid is not the same sickness as it was a year ago. Thank you, President Biden, for all these FREE tools you have provided. The president’s treatment is the same as everyone’s. Listen to the press conference. It starts about 28 minutes into the video. Listen and read
Some things President Biden did this week with Covid
In the image below, a 62-tweet mega thread has been trending on Twitter with all of the things President Biden has done since taking office. If that’s not impressive, look at what he accomplished this week while having Covid.
- He continued work during his Covid isolation because of the treatments available to us now.
- While in isolation, Monday, President Joe Biden spoke from the Blue Room Balcony and announced a U.S. airstrike killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan.
- Names a White House Monkeypox Coordinator.
- President Biden is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill to invest billions of dollars in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and scientific research.
- The Biden administration announced an initiative to improve wastewater sanitation in underserved rural communities.
Below is a list of some other things Biden has done. Sadly, this list is incomplete and no longer updated. We will highlight many in the coming weeks. Needless to say, he has been a busy man.
Participate in the Elections this November
Volunteers are needed for the November elections. Review the jobs here and sign up!! Examples of positions include Early voting observers, Election Day Poll Challenger, Cure Team and Poll Worker
Paid jobs for the Michigan Democratic Party can be found here. Examples of positions include Field Organizers, Campus Organizers and Digital Field Organizers
Help support the coming elections with WCDP
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) is recruiting area progressives for a variety of interesting volunteer roles. The county Dem party is an all-volunteer organization. Please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form and someone will be in touch soon.
Here are a few of the roles that need help:
Communication Team: This team works on the weekly newsletter, press releases, messaging, website development, social media management and all other communication needs. If you have a background in website/IT coordination, communications, or project management, this would be a great fit for you!
Visit the PEG website for the full list and details of Upcoming Events
PEG’s Videos of the Week
Check out this new recurring section each week to see our favorite trending videos online. We encourage you to click and share the links to these fun and informative short form videos on your favorite social media platforms!
More things to do, read, watch, and listen
Oil Companies raking in record profits
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that BP Oil had a profit of $8.5 billion for its second quarter, its biggest windfall in 14 years. A few days earlier, ExxonMobil and Chevron — reported that their profits had roughly tripled in the second quarter, while London-based Shell and France’s TotalEnergies also reported windfall profits.
President Biden has limited tools, particularly since there is not enough support in Congress for a windfall profit tax, but he might declare a “climate emergency.” The WP noted that “Energy analysts predict that if gas prices start shooting up again, Biden could use his presidential powers to assert more government control over domestic oil and gas producers.”
Oil executives believe the only way to rectify the imbalance between supply and demand is to pump more oil. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) wrote on Twitter: “Corporate monopolies are outsizing their market power, hurting families at the pump and driving up inflation. … Americans don’t deserve to be price gouged at the pump. NBC news reports that President Joe Biden warned last month: “We’re going to make sure everybody knows Exxon’s profits … Exxon made more money than God this year.”
Judge delays Michigan minimum wage increase until at least February
On July 19, 2022, Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled that the Michigan minimum wage be increased to $12 an hour and required businesses to offer paid sick leave. Those changes were delayed one week later, July 29, after the judge considered the ability for businesses and the state to adapt to the new laws and while the case is under appeal.
The looming court fight over the 2018 minimum wage proposal which would have raised the minimum wage over the course of several years could also nullify Raise the Wage ballot initiative to establish a new state law and raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. The ballot drive recently turned in more than 610,000 signatures with the intent of aiming for the 2024 ballot.
If Shapiro’s original ruling stands, it would invalidate the Raise the Wage proposal, which seeks to amend a law that would be repealed. More to follow as this scenario unfolds.
LGBTQ+ Rights Confirmed
The Michigan Supreme Court has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This 5-2 decision of the Michigan Supreme Court is based on the 1976 law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, that bans discrimination on the basis of sex. Their ruling means that no member of the LGBTQ+ community can be fired or denied service because of their sexual orientation.
Advocates for the LGBTQ+ community hail this as a victory. Observed Jay Kaplan, LGBTQ project staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, “Michigan [is now] a state with one of the strongest, most expansive civil rights laws in the country.”
Election Season At a Glance:
The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important remaining dates are listed below.
What are the remaining election dates in 2022?
To vote absentee, a request must be received no later than 5 pm the Friday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by 8 pm on Election Day.
- November 8 – State General Election
What are the voter registration deadlines?
Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register
- October 24: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election. (168.497)
- October 25 through 8 pm on November 8: In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
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A special thanks to our newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. PEG is a (somewhat) 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. To subscribe to this free weekly newsletter, go to our sign up form by clicking here.
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