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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: April 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Detroit News needs a fact-checker

Today's Detroit News editorial opposing the recall of Speaker Andy Dillon contains several embarrassing factual errors.

First, the News claims on three separate occasions that a recall election would be a separate election on a day other than the scheduled August 5th primary election day. A simple fact-check would uncover that the Dillon recall question would be added to the August 5th ballot, and NOT be a new election day.

Further, the News repeatedly equates the Dillon recall - which will be submitting signatures this week - to the failed attempt by Democrat Party Chair Mark Brewer to begin a recall of Republican House Leader Craig DeRoche. The News even claims that the non-starter DeRoche recall is "creating considerable bad blood" in DeRoche's district. Really? A non-existent recall is creating "considerable" bad blood among the masses in Novi?

The News also states that, on one hand, a recall election would be scheduled too close to a regular election and, on the other hand, that a recall election is a major distraction in Lansing. Pretend for a moment that the recall election IS on a separate day than a closely scheduled regular election. How is it that the recall would be a distraction in Lansing while the regular election would not?

I fully expect that most newspaper editorial boards will oppose the effort to recall Speaker Andy Dillon. Editorial writers love being invited to establishment cocktail parties and they hate it when the unclean masses undertake a political effort that is not officially sanctioned by Michigan's institutional elites. But for a major newspaper like The Detroit News to get so many basic facts wrong...embarrassing.

They will fail.

You can read The Detroit News editorial here.

Below is the response that I sent to The Detroit News' editorial department:

Dear Mr. Finley,

The Detroit News editorial opposing efforts by citizens to recall House Speaker Andy Dillon from office contained numerous, substantial and repeated factual errors.

The editorial falsely claimed (three times) that a Dillon recall would add an additional election to the scheduled August and November election. The question of whether Speaker Dillon should be recalled would, under state law, be added to the existing August 5th ballot. Absolutely no additional election would be created and zero additional costs (outside of additional ink) would be bourn by taxpayers.

The editorial further claimed that the Dillon recall campaign is "vicious". Citizens exercising their constitutional right to recall their lawmaker by circulating petitions is hardly "vicious". "Vicious" better describes the response to the recall campaign by Dillon and state Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer, who have hired an squad of blockers to intimidate petitioners and potential petition signers. These blockers have swarmed petitioners who are peaceably gathering signatures, handed out fliers containing falsehoods to potential signers, and even stalked petitioners by following them to their homes.

Dillon and Brewer call these intimidation tactics "educational" and their squadron of thugs "voter education specialists". Yet, as The Detroit News reported last week, Brewer hired a parolee convicted of eight different felonies - including armed robbery - as one of his voter educators. This convict has never even voted, according to Secretary of State records.

Recalls are hardly "pointless". The successful recall of two state senators for raising the income tax in 1983 resulted in the legislature's immediate rescission of most of that tax hike and the enactment of significant spending cuts. After those 1983 recalls, the legislature did not have the audacity to hike the income tax for twenty four years.

Speaker Andy Dillon, Governor Granholm and other Lansing lawmakers ignored the lesson of 1983 when they imposed a twelve percent income tax hike and a twenty two percent business tax hike on economically beleaguered Michigan citizens and businesses.

Citizens choosing to peaceably exercise their constitutional right to recall a lawmaker for supporting the largest tax hike in Michigan history is hardly pointless.

Michigan needs to lose Granholm, Dillon, and their tax hikes if we are to have any hope for economic recovery.

Leon Drolet
Executive Director
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day 2008

Today is tax day. The day you are required to send your hard-earned money to politicians and bureaucrats in Lansing and Washington D.C. who are experts at spending your money. These experts don't just spend money on roads, national defense, courts, police and fire protection - they spend your money on windmill museums, counting horses, subsidizing ethanol (so that you have to pay more for food) and sending your cash to dictators in numerous third-world countries.

Michigan's tax woes are worse than most other Americans, and the Detroit Free Press was kind enough to allow me to partially explain the impact our state's new business tax is having on our job providers. Check out the editorial in today's Freep here.

The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR 760 AM is also giving me a chance to spout off during the 9:30am segment. Tune in if you read this in time.

Also, a final reminder about today's tax protest at the Redford Post Office at 12245 Beech Daly Road (just south of I-96) from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Please attend and bring a friend, we need to support our friends at the Wayne County Taxpayers Association who are in the homestretch of their petition drive to force a recall election of the Michigan Speaker of the House, Andy Dillon, for his role in raising taxes and hurting our economy.

Leon Drolet
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Government Workers Get Richer, Taxpayers Get Poorer


Send in your state tax returns yet? Better hurry, because Governor Granholm and House Speaker Andy Dillon need the 12% more they jacked up your state income tax; and they need it fast. Why? To pay for the THIRD state employee pay hike since March 31st of last year.

Yep, most state employees, already the sixth highest paid state employees in the nation (The Detroit Free Press, 6-24-07) will, starting today, be paid six percent more than last March. All while inflation-adjusted, per-capita income for average Michigan citizens has actually declined since 2004. State employees already made an average of 29% more in salary and benefits than comparable private sector employees, but, for Granholm and Dillon, that wasn’t enough. Citizens must have less, so that they can have more.

Please join the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance (and Mr. Perks) for a Tuesday, April 15th protest of Granholm and House Speaker Andy Dillon’s tax increase!

The protest will take place at the Redford U.S. Post Office from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The Redford Post Office is located at 12245 Beech Daly Road, Redford, MI 48239.

Why Redford? Because this suburban Wayne County community is in the House district of Speaker Andy Dillon. It has a very busy 24/7 post office. And Rose Bogaert and the Wayne County Taxpayers Association need your support!

Bring a picket sign. Make your position on the campaign to recall Speaker Dillon known, or speak out against Lansing's overspending and general ineptitude, or express yourself regarding the proposed Michigan Fair Tax. Just be there if you care!

The protest has one thing in common with taxes: it takes place rain or shine! See you on April 15th.

Leon Drolet
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance