What the hell is the matter with the MEA?

Today, June 5th in the state of Wisconsin the most important election of the year to date will take place.  The people of Wisconsin will have the choice to elect a new governor who stands with the voice of the people of Wisconsin, or keep the Koch brothers-funded, corruption riddled incumbent in the governor’s seat in Madison for two more years.  For people who like to keep their brains with them, the choice is obvious. Something we are learning quickly however – the GOP has no interest in doing what’s best for its citizens, only helping out those who can pay the most money.

If I could wave a magic wand that made me eligible to vote in the Wisconsin election, I would wave it like mad at everyone I know.  Unfortunately I can’t do that, and so there are other ways to support their effort to get rid of their governor.  I support all of them too.  In fact, the Michigan Education Association, the union that represents a large number of teachers in the state of Michigan asked MEA members to spend this weekend volunteering to call people in Wisconsin asking them to get out and vote today.

That’s nice.

While this is going on, there is another recall effort happening in another state.  This state also wants to recall their governor because of the damage he is doing to unions, the elderly and the poor while supporting his rich corporate friends with tax cuts. Even more, this governor has the power to install an “emergency manager” in any township, city or school district in the state who has the authority to remove local elected officials, break contracts, sell off assets and anything else he wants; thus robbing the people of their democratic rights.  You know, those things guaranteed by the United States Constitution?

Where in this great nation could something this horrible happen, you might ask.  Why are these people still in office? Why are people not demonstrating in the streets?  And which state of the Union is this recall?  

In Michigan.

And since the Michigan Education Association is so gung ho about helping out the recall effort in Wisconsin, surely they are also on board with publicly supporting and getting involved with the recall effort in their home state, right?

… cricket chirp

Hello?

… tumbleweed rolls by

That’s right, the Michigan Education Association; which is 100% behind the Wisconsin recall election does not officially or publicly support the Michigan governor recall election.

Why would a Michigan teachers’ union not want to help out a recall effort in their own state, while throwing in their full backing of the recall election in another state?  It makes no sense at all, especially when you consider they have a ballot initiative of their own.

Protect Our Jobs is a referendum petition that would require an amendment to the state constitution protecting collective bargaining rights.  It’s a good law, and in this time of predatory corporate lackey Republicans hell bent on creating a plutocracy in the United States, a very necessary one.  I signed the petition and hope that effort is successful.

So why can’t the MEA also support the Michigan governor recall effort?  Recalling the governor in Wisconsin is a worthwhile thing, but it doesn’t do squat for Michigan.  Not openly supporting the Michigan governor recall is also counterproductive to their efforts.  This is a fact.  

Remember the petition to put PA 4 on the ballot, and “Fontgate” and the decision we’re still waiting for in Michigan from the all-Republican judges on Court of Appeals?  Everyone has heard of this, it’s national news.  Every time I am out on the streets circulating the Recall Governor Snyder petition I hear the same joke several times, “Is the font the correct size?” as they sign. It’s a ridiculous situation, but has shown everyone who takes the time to think about it that if they did it to this referendum petition, they will do it to each and every other referendum petition, like for example, Protect Our Jobs, because the Republicans are still in power.

That’s right, as long as Governor Snyder remains the governor, he and his buddies in Lansing can circumvent the democratic process in this state as much as they want.  They have the executive, they have the legislative AND the judicial branches of government, in other words, they control everything.  Who is going to stop them? Who will stop them from figuring out a way to stymie every attempt made by the people of Michigan to put an end to their hegemony of bankrupting our cities and schools while stuffing their pockets with the state’s money; without the support of the unions behind the Recall Snyder effort? Nobody.

I want to see Protect Our Jobs succeed, just like I wanted to see the PA 4 referendum succeed. As long as we refuse to work together and not openly and publicly support each other, we are doomed to fail.  Recalling Governor Snyder is just as important as these other petition campaigns, and the key to the success of these other petition campaigns.  With the help and support of Michigan’s unions we can achieve the goal of removing Governor Snyder and reverse the damaging effects of his term in office.