Michigan legislature under fire for pullback on Dem power

Detroit NAACP condemns move

Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Correspondent | 12/13/2018, midnight

“At no point did voters say they wanted the rules manipulated. At no point did they say they wanted bills rushed through a hasty lame-duck session,” Patrick Schuh, state director for the liberal group America Votes, told NBC News.

He, like Anthony and others, questioned the timing, saying such a commission was not proposed until a Democrat is on the verge of leading the secretary of state office for the first time in two-dozen years.

Chief among the many proposals rankling Democrats and voters alike is a proposal that requires a legislative committee rather than the Attorney General to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits, now sits on the table.

In Wisconsin, it would also give the legislature oversight over Governor-Elect Tony Evers, potentially preventing him from seeking waivers for health care.

Outgoing governor Scott Walker is even backing away from his promise to ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, made during the height of the recent election.

“He is hiding behind a political mask of a lawsuit filed this past February which attempts to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional,” Anthony said.

Two years ago, several similar measures were declared unconstitutional in the state of North Carolina. One measure in particular was the 2016 ruling by the federal courts that ended the practice of gerrymandering in the state.

Judge James A. Wynn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit Court indicated, “When maps are gerrymandered, the government no longer reflects the will of the people.”

The ruling questioned North Carolina’s general assembly’s “Commitment to acting constitutionally compliant, nondiscriminatory election laws.”

“One can recall the July 2016 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling indicating that North Carolina legislators, in their efforts to discriminate against black voters, had drafted a law that would target African Americans with almost surgical precision,” Anthony said.

At present, in the state of North Carolina, the election in the Ninth Congressional District is still not certified. This is due to allegations of voter fraud, and the elimination or destruction of over 1000 absentee ballots, predominantly from African Americans, Anthony said.

“There has been an illegal solicitation of absentee ballots by paid individuals of a Republican operative McCrae Dowless. Why has there been no outcry of voter fraud from President Donald J. Trump? Where is the former chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Kris Kobach, when you really need him? Do you hear the crickets chirping?”

The resolution to these issues in Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina is very simple, Anthony continued. “Respect the will of the people. Get better policies and you will win more voters. Don’t try to steal it, after you have lost it,” he said.

There’s little question the actions are a prelude to the general election of 2020, according to Anthony. Some lawmakers are running scared, he said while urging voters in Michigan not to be discouraged.

“Now is the time to be encouraged. We must not step back. We must all step up. Governor Rick Snyder, please don’t go off into the pages of history having turned back the page on Michigan democracy,” Anthony said.

“When these bills arrive on your desk, remember the words of the former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and ‘Just say No.’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. The time is always right to do what is right.’ We shall not be silent because the time is always right, to do what is right, to preserve and protect our democracy,” he said.