Saturday May 11, 2013, 9:48 am
Thank you! This has been going on for the last several years. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC has been exposing this shocking effort vigorously. However, it has not stopped those engaged in these undemocratic actions. (n, p, t)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 3:38 pm
Noted. Thanks, Cal. I've been reading about citizens in Detroit and other cities that no longer have a say in the local administration of their own government. But, I've also been reading about successes taking place against fracking in various communities as well. While many grassroots groups have been playing "whack-a-mole" against Koch-funded ALEC bills in state legislatures, maybe we're coming to a crossroads where they are now going to have to try to play the "whack-a-mole" game against us. We are growing! Crossing my fingers and continuing signing petitions and sending letters.
Saturday May 11, 2013, 10:43 pm
Decentralization of power is generally a good thing for many reasons, but in the end, states are supposed to be the primary governing bodies in the U.S. Other levels of government regularly exceed teir authority and interfere with the states' governance, or demonstrate an inability to govern themselves in accordance with state-law.
For example, the first example cited in the AlterNet article is of a town engaging in what amounts to intrastate protectionism. As it is the state's duty to promote the economy of the entire state, rather than an individual segment, and the city's authority is derived from that of the state, while the city is free to engage in behaviour which promotes its own well-being, it is not mandated to do so in any way that negatively impacts the state as a whole. This is a clear case of a government exceeding its mandate. The second example amounts to interference in minimum-wage laws: The state needs to be able to determine the minimum wage in accordance with people's needs. If it is effectively raised in this way by the municipalities, then to raise the minimum wage appropriately with inflation, the state would need to engage in an unweildy coordinated effort with the municipalities, each of which may have different laws. This is a clear case of interference with state-governance. The third condition I mentioned was in reference to Michigan's Emergency Manager law.
Perhaps there should be broader power and leeway given to municipalities. That may do a lot of good. However, until it is in the law, they should be required to act solely within their mandates.
Saturday May 11, 2013, 11:44 pm
There are pros and cons to all this, unfortunately:
"In his 1996 State of the Union Address Democratic President Bill Clinton famously declared, “the era of big government is over.” And during his tenure he did everything he could to make that true—deregulating the telecommunications and the financial industries; enacting a free trade agreement severely restricting the authority of the federal government to protect domestic jobs and businesses; and abandoning the 75-year old federal commitment to the poor. "
On a really basic level, I want the confidence and assurance that when it snows our pathways and roads will be cleared and that supplied of electricity, gas and water will continue, efficiently and unhindered by politics.
I want assurance and the knowledge that whoever is in power will work with me and for me, and not against me.
Sadly, centralized and decentralized government bodies seem equally inept at the basic level. There's also the fundamental issue of communication. The more layers of "office" you have, the more that communication becomes less effective and watered down to nothing.
Sunday May 12, 2013, 5:18 am
Our fight against HVHF (fracking) in NY and the court results have demonstrated the supremacy of home rule over state regulation.
That said, the state still burdens local governments with tons of unfunded mandates to which home rule has not been challenged. It's over time but the politicians are afraid of losing state funding for all the welfare programs while in the process of suing over home rule. catch 22.
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:47 am
When organizations like ALEC are declared to be what they are, terrorist organizations, and every member has one month to get out and stop giving money to them or suffer the corporate deathy penalty with their assets being turned over to their workers, executives at corporate level excepted, then maybe we can make a start toward recovery.
Monday May 13, 2013, 8:44 am
What do you expect from Republican controlled states? They are really following thier wallets by protecting big business. Just look at who finances thier campaigns. They are the puppets of their masters. Too bad they don't believe that the people important.