Gerrymandering is the practice of manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency giving favor to one party or class. The term is named after Elbridge Gerry, who as Governor of Massachusetts in 1812 signed a bill that created a contorted-shaped partisan district in the Boston area that was compared to the shape of a mythological …
Apr 26 2019
The Slow Death Of Gerrymandering
Aug 08 2018
2018 Elections: Aftermath of Tuesday Primaries and Special Election
Update 23:45: The Ohio 12 special election results have changes and the gap between the two candidates has narrowed to 1564 votes. From the Cincinnati Enquirer, this is what to expect: 1,564: Balderson’s margin of victory in the unofficial, final results Tuesday 3,435: The number of provisional ballots to be counted. These include people who …
Dec 01 2016
About That Recount
Jill Stein is not off her rocker with pushing for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and, today, in Michigan. Here is one of the prime reasons: Brandon Hall of the Michigan Trump campaign was just convicted of 10 of 10 counts of election fraud. https://t.co/KUJV4qNAiv — Susan J. Demas (@sjdemas) November 30, 2016 It took less …
Dec 22 2013
Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Annie Clemenc and the Italian Hall Massacre by JayRaye
Annie Takes Up Her Flag
On July 23, 1913, 9,000 copper miners of the Keweenaw laid down their tools and walked off the job. The were led by the great Western Federation of Miners, and they had voted by a good majority for a strike: 9,000 out of 13,000 The main issue were hours, the miners wanted an eight hour day, wages, and safety. The miners hated the new one-man drill which they called the “widow-maker.” They claimed this drill made an already dangerous job more dangerous.
The mining companies had steadfastly refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners in anyway. They would continue to refuse all efforts at negotiation or arbitration, even those plans for arbitration which did not include the union, and this despite the best efforts of Governor Ferris, and the U. S. Department of Labor. James MacNaughton, general manger of Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, famously stated that grass would grow in the streets and that he would teach the miners to eat potato parings before he would negotiate in any way with the striking miners.
The Keweenaw Peninsula was a cold, windy place, jutting out into Lake Superior from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area was known as the Copper Country of Michigan and included Calumet Township of Houghton County, with the twin towns of Hancock and Houghton ten miles to the south. Calumet Township included the villages of Red Jacket and Laurium.
It was here in Red Jacket, on the third day of the strike that Annie Clemenc, miner’s daughter and miner’s wife took up a massive America flag and led an early morning parade of 400 striking miners and their families. Annie Clemenc was six feet tall, and some claimed she was taller than that by two inches. The flag she carried was so massive that it required a staff two inches thick and ten feet tall. The miners and their supporters marched out of the Italian Hall and through the streets of the Red Jacket to the Blue Jacket and Yellow Jacket mines. They marched silently, without a band, lined up three and four abreast. These early morning marches, with Annie and her flag in the lead, were to become a feature of the strike.
Sep 21 2012
“The West Wing” Returns
Don’t get excited. “The West Wing” hasn’t really returned but the cast did get together to make a campaign video for cast member, Mary ” Kate Harper” McCormack‘s sister, Bridget Mary McCormack who is running for State Supreme Court Judge in Michigan. The video also has a voting education lesson in it about filling out the non-partisan section of the voting ballot. This is how Michigan and 14 other states choose their supreme court justices. If you think that these races aren’t important, remember that this week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that returned that state’s controversial voter ID law (pdf) back to the Commonwealth Court for review.
Bridget Mary McCormack is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who also serves as Michigan Law School’s associate dean of clinical affairs. From her wikipedia bio, she is the founder and co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first exclusively non-DNA innocence clinic in the country. Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed the woman who reunited the “West Wing” on his show “The Last Word.”
Mar 16 2011
Taking Back America: Michigan
In the wake of the feudal take over of the State Of Wisconsin by the Republican corporate puppets with a bill that stripped state workers of their bargaining rights, the fight has moved now to Michigan where the feudal lords have passed a bill with far over-reaching powers that would give the state the power to to remove elected officials and dissolve union contracts. Gov. Rick Snyder is going to sign this medieval take over of government. This is a clear assault on the rights of the people to elect officials and disincorporated or dissolve entire city governments.
This isn’t just about unprecedented power but placing the brunt of deficit reduction onto the backs of their state’s public employees, students, and middle-class taxpayers with regressive tax cuts (pdf) while simultaneously enacting corporate tax cuts and giveaways. On of the proposals by Snyder is to cut corporate tax rates by 86% while ending the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. This is starting to sound like England in the 12th century under King John which led to the signing of the Magna Carta and a rebellion. Robin Hood may be a myth but the principles are not.
Rachel Maddow explains Snyder’s plan to take from the poor to give the his corporate overlords.
There was a small demonstration in at the capitol building in Lansing on Tuesday sponsored by the AARP. The big demonstration will be today with bus loads of protesters descending on Lansing with bus loads of Michiganders telling the lords that they cannot have their hard fought for rights.
From Michael Moore of Michigan:
Friends and neighbors,
The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.
What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries — and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue — has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.
Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.
In just 8 short weeks he has:
* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.
* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by — I kid you not — senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people — even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!
* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.
These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”
We stand with the citizens of Michigan tomorrow.