Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

Monty Python

How very 1828 of Governor Kasich.

Reporters have been told they will not be allowed to broadcast sound and images from the Tuesday release of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan. . . Spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp says journalists can bring only pens, notepads and tape recorders to the afternoon briefing, where Kasich is to announce the first details of his state spending blueprint for the next two years. She says videos and photos will be prohibited and the audio may not be used for anything but checking accuracy. . . . Members of the Statehouse press corps registered complaints with the governor’s office on the matter. They noted a lack of precedent for such limits on their ability to cover a governor’s budget release.

But I guess that’s okay, cuz later on . . .

An invitation-only town hall meeting later Tuesday will be broadcast on government television.

(In most places, ‘government television’ is only available on cable.)

That’s Ohio. Check out what’s going on in Michigan.

Though Gov. Rick Snyder says he is not interested in hurting unions, yesterday’s Senate approval of a package that gives Emergency Managers complete power over financially troubled towns and school districts means he will soon be asked to sign off on measures that are expected to eliminate union jobs across the state.

In a party line vote, and despite impassioned speeches of protest by the body’s Democratic minority, the Michigan Senate approved legislation that threatens to take over and even dissolve local governments that refuse to balance their budgets by breaking labor contracts.
 
According to the law, which has already been approved in the House, the governor will be able to declare “financial emergency” in towns or school districts and appoint someone to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services.

Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight, and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down.

Apparently the mask is coming off today’s Republican Party. They’re not even pretending anymore – tyranny is okay now. And don’t bother them with things like the citizenry.

h/t Digby

11 responses to “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

  1. Does this mean they can send in the National Guard to break up demonstrations objecting to these tactics? And elections…do they only count for governor, not local.

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  2. “(In most places, ‘government television’ is only available on cable.)”

    I thought that in most places “government television” meant party-controlled propaganda. 🙂

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    • Not a phrase we hear we hear very often Bill, is it? Usually it’s called ‘public access’ or some such thing. But that’s the language they used – so interesting.

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  3. This is a question. If Michigan localities (without the new bill) are unable to pay their bills and maintain their union contracts, what happens?

    If this intended to preclude any claim of a a district to demand the state (or the local taxpayers) bail them out and keep the union contracts whole.

    I don’t think people should have their right to organize and bargain taken away, but union contracts do have to be consistent with solvency of the organizations that agree to them. It seems to me this bill just recognizes that fact and imposes that obligation on the local authorities to do so, or it’ll be done for them.

    In Wisconsin, I think Gov. Walker over reached in taking away collective bargaining. It’s his job to bargain hard for the taxpayers and I didn’t begrudge him that, it’s not his job to kneecap those on the other side of the table because he can’t face bargaining with them.

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  4. Should be “Is this” at the start of paragraph 2

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  5. ” tyranny is okay now. ”

    Tyrannical taxpayers. 🙂 I love it .

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  6. Bruce/Alan – Isn’t Michigan’s kind of like the Feds seizing a state and firing the local elected officials? Like governors?

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  7. brucetheeconimist,

    ” In Wisconsin, I think Gov. Walker over reached in taking away collective bargaining. It’s his job to bargain hard for the taxpayers and I didn’t begrudge him that, it’s not his job to kneecap those on the other side of the table because he can’t face bargaining with them. ”

    You totally fail to see how much power the unions had in local and state budgets. The evil corporations can only dream of the power these unions had . Gov. Walker was Chief Executive of Milwaukee County for 8 years before reaching his present office . He saw first hand how his predecessors gave themselves big pensions and took care of their union buddies, totally at the expense of the taxpayer .

    When he began ” bargaining with them. ” they would pack the local chambers with union people to try to intimidate him as they did to other local officials . This crap they are pulling now is how they have negotiated with state and local officials . Gov. Walker is finally breaking that power. If he did not, when the political wheels turned again to the union friendly Democrats, the public sector unions would buy friends in local government .

    Again these are not Norma Ray union folks .

    Ms. Holland ,

    ” Isn’t Michigan’s kind of like the Feds seizing a state and firing the local elected officials? Like governors? ”

    I don’t know the legal particulars . I don’t know if it has been done since the Civil War . I don’t think you could fire the Governor and State Legislature over money like you can do to local entities . Since California, I believe is perhaps in the worst shape, maybe President Obama should start there. Although I have to say Gov. Brown is being surprisingly tough on fiscal matters . Better than Republican in name only Arnold what’s his name .

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    • [gave themselves big pensions and took care of their union buddies, totally at the expense of the taxpayer .]

      Right, unlike the the banks and investment houses and AIG and . . . . Norma Ray is one of many who died to protect collective bargaining, so other people wouldn’t have to suffer her fate. Should gov’t do their employees what Norma Ray’s big biz employer did to her?

      Gov Brown was always good on fiscal matters. It was the Rep govs after him who totally f**ked up the state.

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  8. Ms. Holland ,

    ” Right, unlike the the banks and investment houses and AIG and . . . ”

    I charge you with crimes against clarity . I realize that all is class warfare to you but, the banks and AIG and investment houses have nothing to do with the states and their public sector union troubles .

    ” Norma Ray is one of many who died to protect collective bargaining, so other people wouldn’t have to suffer her fate. ”

    Norma Ray was not a real person, but because she was based on one, I will give you benefit of the doubt. Even the real one died of cancer, not to protect collective bargaining. But that is still not the point.

    Crystal Lee Sutton was working in a sweat shop for $2.65 per hour . The public employees of Wisconsin are doing slightly better .

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