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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: July 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is your legislator a "player" and a betrayer?

Starting on Wednesday, August 1, things should begin to get a bit clearer in the toxic tax fog that has settled in over the Capitol in Lansing. That is when taxpayers ask formally, “Who is on our side in the political battle for our income?”

Taxpayers need to know which legislators will be supporting needed spending reductions to the state budget, and which will be supporting tax increases for higher state spending. So the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance will simply ask lawmakers to declare whose side they are on by signing a promise to their constituents that they will not vote for any tax increase this year. The Promise, called the ‘Promise to Michigan Taxpayers’ will be delivered to the offices of state representatives and senators on August 1st, who then will be asked to sign the Promise by August 10 and return it to the MTA.

Why do we need this Promise publicly signed? You see, much like warlords in the Middle East or players in the board game ‘Risk’, citizens are often unsure which politicians can really be trusted to protect their wallets once those politicians get to Lansing or Washington. This is because the incentives are different. Back home, a politician is best served personally by being honest and loyal to his/her supporters. Once in Lansing, the game changes and politicians are rewarded by maneuvering through the halls of power and staying relevant, a “player,” by keeping everyone guessing as to how you may vote on issues. Don’t commit to anyone, keep everyone courting your vote through dinners, drinks, golf outings and campaign contributions. If you publicly declare how you will vote, you are then out of the game, a non-player, and the lobbyists will swarm to those they are still hoping to influence.

What a fun game to play with lobbyists! What a lousy game to play with your constituents who are worried that Lansing is dreaming up a new way every day to raid their shrinking incomes. So the MTA will ask legislators to simply let their constituents know if they can count on them to protect them.

Some lawmakers are proud to let their taxpayers they are ALWAYS on their side. These lawmakers only play ONE game with their constituents wallets - and that is to protect their taxpayers at ALL times. I am referring to those legislators who have signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge. They have publicly pledged to NEVER raise taxes. In Michigan, citizens can be very proud of the legislators who have signed the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Click this link and scroll down to Michigan to see if your legislator is on the list: http://www.atr.org/content/pdf/2007/june/061907ot-statepledge.pdf

Those who have signed the ATR Pledge do not need to sign the MTA Promise, they are already on the right side. Those lawmakers that cannot pledge to NEVER raise taxes, but won’t raise taxes in this current budget battle, can sign the MTA Promise. They are only promising that they are on the side of taxpayers in this current budget battle, but citizens need to know they are with the taxpayers.

The MTA will keep a running total on our website as to who has signed the Promise. Call and thank your representative or senator when they sign. If they don’t sign by August 10, call and ask them why. Those who refuse to sign support raising taxes on you. Or maybe they want to be a big player in Lansing – and a big betrayer to taxpayers.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I am a flying monkey!

Friends,

First, many thanks to those that attended one of the MI Taxpayers Alliance's
"Recall Boot Camps" this past week in Traverse City, Mt. Pleasant, and
Kalamazoo. So far, with the help of our recall-expert friends from Wisconsin's
Citizens for Responsible Government, the MTA has trained over 140 citizens on
how to be recall warriors!

Special thanks to the taxspender protesters outside our boot camp in Kalamazoo
who were demanding tax increases - those protesters helped our boot camp get
more media!

The Battle Creek Enquirer printed a column Saturday by Assistant Local Editor Susan
J. Demas that is critical of Lansing politicos for failing to raise your taxes
fast enough. She enlists 'The Wizard of Oz' for comparative purposes. Here's a
clip from her column,

Senate Majority Leader Mike "Bishop, R-Rochester, stars as the Tin Woodsman in
need of a heart, who thinks nothing of slashing college funding and medical care
for poor kids.

Is he trying to appease the Wicked Witch of Notaxistan lobby, whose Flying Monkey, former state Rep. Leon Drolet, hounds legislators with his
gigantic, fiberglass pig? Or are dreams of the governor's mansion dancing in the
boyish Bishop's head? "

Read the entire column by clicking this link:

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070720/NEWS01/70
7200316/1002/NEWS01

The MSU student paper ran an article about the MTA on Friday. That article is
here:

http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=41670

The lovefest between West-Michigan media and the MI Taxpayers Alliance passionately continues with this editorial in today's (Sunday)
Kalamazoo Gazette:

http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/columns-3/1185078530232600.x
ml&coll=7&thispage=1

And the hits just keep on coming!

I'll keep you posted!

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayer Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Houndburger Helper?

Friends,

The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance continues to get media coverage. Today's (Sunday) Lansing State Journal has a prominent story about our recall plans for tax hiking politicians.

Here's the link to the story: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707150693

But not every journalist loves us. Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson makes fun of the process of the Single Business Tax elimination and replacement in his Sunday column. Dickerson makes me out to be a dog-hating Nazi in his satire piece.

Here's the link to his column: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070715/COL04/707150559/1081/COL

Other than being allergic, I really do like dogs. But, I wonder how much we could save feeding prisoners just hot dogs?

Hope everybody had a great weekend, and that I see many of you outstate MTA fans in Traverse City, Mt. Pleasant or Kalamazoo this week at a recall boot camp.

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org