The Tea Party-affiliated group FreedomWorks -- the right-wing organization that helps connect “Tea Party” groups with talking points, rallies, and more -- is gearing up to direct its sizeable war chest towards advancing anti-union initiatives in the states, supporting an agenda set by groups like David Koch's Americans for Prosperity and the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This strongly suggests that the battle for the future of private and public sector unions in America is beginning a new phase of combat
The anti-democratic efforts by the right wing republican legislature in Lansing are putting Michigan in the national spotlight. One national commentator, Jim Hightower, is now referring to our state as “Michiganistan” because of what he called the rule of “iron fist-democracy, rule-of-law, fairness, and the people be damned.” He described the lame duck session as “dumbfounding, anti-democratic zealotry.” Others talked about the Governor and legislature pulling a “fast-one” by “introducing and then ramming through legislation…designed so it cannot be repealed by popular referendum.”
As Republican leaders in Washington grappled after the election with their failure to unseat President Obama, Dick DeVos, one of Michigan’s wealthiest men, began dialing up state lawmakers in Lansing.
Michigan legislators did not write the so-called “right to work” legislation that they have enacted in a mad rush of anti-democratic excess.
Imagine that in some alternate universe, in 2010, President Barack Obama had encouraged Sens. Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, and Mark Pryor to create an "Independent Democratic Caucus" that would caucus with Republicans and deprive the majority of control of the Senate?
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has long struggled to imagine a successor with the combination of star power, experience and grit to fill his shoes.