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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: June 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friends,

Governor Granholm is blaming the MI Taxpayers Alliance for blocking a tax increase on you, according to the League of Conservation Voters. The two paragraphs below are from their blog ( http://michiganlcv.org/blog/?p=36 ):

"On Monday, June 24 a group of conservation and environmental leaders met with Governor Granholm, who emphasized how dire the budget situation has become. The Governor pointed out, for example, that if the state decides to raise revenue through sales taxes, then affected businesses must have at least 60 days lead time. This means that if the legislature wants to make decisions that will truly impact the 2008 budget, votes need to be cast by the end of July!

Despite this tight timeline, the Legislature is preparing to TAKE VACATION FOR TWO WEEKS+ starting at the end of this week! AND, unbelievably, former state Representative Leon Drolet has successfully tied this legislature in knots by threatening to circulate recall petitions in targeted districts should individual legislators vote for a revenue enhancement! Maddening as it is, this essential economic policy decision has become a political tightrope walk as many legislators view their political futures as hinging on this vote. Outrageous? YES!"

Yeah, how outrageous for taxpayers to threaten to hold politicians accountable for kicking Michigan's struggling economy in the gut with a big tax increase. How obscene for there to be opposition to grabbing more of citizens' shrinking incomes to prop up state spending.

Why do I feel so much safer every time Lansing politicos are on vacation?

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayer.org

Friday, June 29, 2007

I got off my rocker!

Friends,

Well, I was the guest on the TV show "Off the Record" which is affectionately known in some Lansing circles as "Off My Rocker."

Off the Record, hosted by Lansing Senior Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick, airs this Sunday on PBS (check local listings for time). During the first 13 minutes of the show, Skubick and three Capitol reporters recap what is happening in Lansing.

During the second half of the show, these same reporters grill me like hot dog on the Fourth of July! They must have surveyed angry Lansing politicians for question ideas that could damage, or gain new info on, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. I answered the questions they machine-gunned at me as quickly and accurately as I could.

You can watch the video right now on your computer. Here's the link:

http://wkar.org/offtherecord/program.php?num=2007-52

Just hit the "play it" button after the link takes you to the web page. I appear around the 13 minute mark.

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mark Brewer, Democrat Party to MI Taxpayers, "SHUT UP!"

Friends,

Today Mark Brewer, the Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, complained to the Secretary of State that the MTA has not filed campaign paperwork for the MTA recall election.

Hey, Mark Brewer, the MTA hasn't even STARTED a recall election yet!

Mark, which recall campaign has the MTA launched? We don't even know who will be targeted since no income tax increase vote has taken place yet.

Could it be that Mr. Brewer and state Democrats are upset that the MTA has been holding recall boot camps around MI?

The MTA nonpartisan recall boot camps are designed to inform voters on how to exercise their constitutional and legal rights to participate in recall elections as a mechanism for holding elected officials accountable for their behavior.

Apparently Mark Brewer and the Democratic Party would prefer citizens be kept ignorant and will file petty, baseless "complaints" in an effort to intimidate citizens who educate the public on their rights. Mr. Brewer and the state Democrats have also launched 'robo' calls in my county commission district, leaving messages on answering machines with nasty messages about me.

Mr. Brewer's and the Democrats silly "complaint" WILL cost the MTA money, however. Now we have to purchase a box of Kleenex so that the Secretary of States office can wipe away their tears of laughter when they finish reading the "complaint"!

Sorry, taxspenders, its going to take a LOT more than nasty phone calls and baseless irritations to scare away the MTA. And I am sure the taxspenders plan on using a lot more intimidation tactics.

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance

Monday, June 25, 2007

Recall Boot Camp in the News

Friends,

The Michigan Taxpayer Alliance is in the news again.

First, today's Detroit Free Press ran an article about the MTA's "Recall Boot
Camps" that we will be holding next week in Livonia and Lansing. The MTA has
invited national recall experts from Wisconsin's Citizens for Responsible
Government to help train Michigan citizen activists on the art of recalling
public officials who raise taxes. Citizens for Responsible Government has
successfully recalled 15 of the 20 politicians they targeted in Wisconsin.

The Boot Camps are open to any citizen interested who shares the MTA's goal of
no new taxes. They are scheduled for June 25 at the Livonia Best Western hotel
on Six Mile Road just east of I-275 and on June 26 at the Trappers Cove
Apartment complex's community center in Lansing off I-496 Jolly Road exit. Both
start at 7:00pm and will last two hours. Please make every effort to attend!

Read the Free Press article by clicking on this link:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706190411

Also, State Rep. George Cushingberry's 'town hall' meeting at Macomb Community
College yesterday was supposed to be a forum for Rep.Cushingberry to build
support for his 15% state income tax increase bill. Thanks to members of the MI
Taxpayers Alliance, it didn't work out so well for him. Read The Macomb Daily
story here:

http://www.macombdaily.com/stories/061907/loc_taxes001.shtml

Finally, if you read this email in time, tune into WJR 760's Frank Beckmann's
show at 10:30 to hear more news about the MTA Recall Boot Camps.

This figures to be a big week in Lansing. Once again, the House Speaker is
talking about pushing the income tax through the House. Are we, the citizen
taxpayers of Michigan ready to respond?

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hyperactive! Can I get some addictive prescription pills for that?

Friends,

Below is the text of a brief article appearing in yesterday's MIRS News, a Lansing-based newsletter read by state lawmakers, lobbyists, department heads, media and those who closely follow state government.

Leon Drolet
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org

MIRS Capitol Capsule, Friday, June 1, 2007

Drolet Asks For Recall Circulators In 85th

Former House member and current anti-tax activist Leon DROLET isn't resting on his laurels over the short-term victory he experienced last week when Democrats failed to crank up enough support for passing a tax hike in the House.

Whether it's factual or not, Drolet's threat to recall lawmakers who support a tax increase was given part of the credit (or blame) for keeping the potential tax hike on ice. But the hyperactive Macomb County Republican continues to work at applying the pressure.

On behalf of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance (MTA), which Drolet heads, an ad was posted in the Owosso Argus Press asking for recall petition circulators. Petition gatherers in a recall election are required to live within the district where the recall is taking place. Drolet is aiming his recall tactics at Rep. Richard BALL (R-Bennington Twp.). Owosso is the largest city in Ball's Shiawassee County district.

According to Drolet, he chose Ball as his initial target because Ball is on record supporting a tax increase.

"Between 12 and 16 people responded to the ad," Drolet said. "We said they'd need to be ready by June 10, but that timeline may be pushed back."

Your wallet is a tax loophole...

Friends,

Do you know what a "tax expenditure" is? State Treasury does. Every year, state Treasury compiles a book called the 'Tax Expenditure Report'. The report is a list of everything in Michigan that has escaped being taxed and therefore, because the money is in YOUR pocket instead of in Treasury's coffers, is considered to be an expenditure of the state.

An example; food from the grocery store is exempt from the state sales tax. To Lansing, that is a missed opportunity - a state expenditure - of money that could (should!!!) be in government's hands. Same with the money you save when your home is taxed at a rate lower than commercial property. That 'lost revenue' for the government is compiled in the Tax Expenditure Report, which Governor Granholm describes as a list of "tax loopholes."

Yep, the fact that medicine is exempt from the sales tax is considered a tax loophole by the Granholm administration.

If you get this email in time, tune in to Frank Beckmann's radio show this morning on WJR 760 at 9:45am to hear show guest Ken Braun discuss 'tax expenditures'. Ken is an analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the former Chief of Staff for a former Macomb County state lawmaker who shall remain nameless...

Tune in if you can.

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance