By Christine Brown, July 31, 2022
Update: 8/24/22: Good news that that the ringleaders of Governor Whitmer’s kidnapping attempt were convicted in Federal Court today. Update: 8/3/22 Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 Republicans that voted to impeach Trump, lost his primary to Trump endorsed challenger John Gibbs. Democrat Hillary Scholten will pursue this House Seat (MI-3). Governor Whitmer will face anti-abortion candidate Tudor Dixon in November. Dixon, who is endorsed by Betsy DeVos and Trump, said a 14 year old should be forced to give birth.
Michigan is fighting for its Democracy. The Democratic Party controls the office of Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General. The Republican Party controls both chambers of the state legislature, and has been radicalized by insurrectionists. (Read How a Michigan Couple Radicalized the State) The statehouse was attacked, and they attempted to kidnap Governor Whitmer. As in other places, radical Republicans are attacking public education and voting rights.
In addition to the strong and determined women holding statewide office (Governor Whitmer, Secretary of State Benson and Attorney General Nessel), another bright spot in Michigan is the Independent Redistricting Commission. The Commission has been heralded as a model for redistricting reform. After the Republicans viciously gerrymandered the maps in 2010, the citizens of Michigan voted for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which established public criteria, non-politician commissioners, and gave the commission true authority to create and draw the maps. Cognizant of the hyper partisanship of its government and citizens, the commission took great care to make the process transparent and fair. They were successful in their goals: Watch the Evaluation here
However, there are strong anti-democractic forces. The Republican primary is full of insurrectionists- Politico has called it “The Messiest Primary” where the winner will be “King of the Trash Heap” and Secretary Benson has warned of the 2020- election deniers attacks on current elections.
The latest attack comes from Michigan’s law about ballot measures. Michigan is one of only two states that has a special constitutional provision adopted in less fraught times. Under this provision, “if 8 percent of statewide voters (about 340,000) sign petitions, the petition language can go straight to the state legislature. When both the state House and Senate approve the petition language, it immediately becomes law.” There is no further voting. There is no veto by the Governor allowed. Radicals are out gathering signatures for “five initiatives: a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election; to “decertify” the 2020 election; prohibit the mailing of absentee ballot applications and strip voters of the option to sign an affidavit to attest to their identity; establish public funding for private school vouchers; and limit the public health emergency powers of state and local officials.”
Governor Whitmer used the law to get Abortion Rights on the ballot. It will go to a vote, since the Republican legislature wants to ban abortion, and will not adopt the exact language of the initiative.