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« Star Wars: February 2011 | Main | Star Wars: May 2011 »

Star Wars

Apparently, Emperor Palpatine runs Michigan

Reported by Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

Recent developments in Michigan and its new Republican administration are so astounding, I literally didn't believe the reports when they first came out. And yet, shocking though they may be, those reports are true and represent a genuine assault on a credible system of government.
Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country -- and almost no one is talking about it.

Snyder's law gives the state government the power not only to break up unions, but to dissolve entire local governments and place appointed "Emergency Managers" in their stead. But that's not all -- whole cities could be eliminated if Emergency Managers and the governor choose to do so. And Snyder can fire elected officials unilaterally, without any input from voters. It doesn't get much more anti-Democratic than that.

Except it does. The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers -- or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That's right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.

You might be thinking, "C'mon, that can't be right." I'm afraid it is. Michigan's new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply takeover those municipalities if he believes he should.

Note that this bill hasn't actually passed yet and is now generating some controversy. Here's a somewhat more measured review of the bill. Even by that review, it looks draconian.

Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word from Coruscant that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.
General Tagge: But that's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

By fnord12 | March 15, 2011, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage & Star Wars | Comments (0)| Link



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