Michigan’s Capitol looks more like a military compound today as hundreds of State Police officers patrol in and around the building despite the fact that there’s not a protester in sight.
It not only shows the continued contempt Republicans have for Michigan’s public as they try to keep them away from the Capitol as they finish jamming through their damaging “Right to Work” legislation, but it makes one wonder just how much money the state is spending on this massive police presence while they do it?
My advice for the thousands of you coming to the Capitol tomorrow: Be here. Be loud. Be safe.
Below is a sample of the photos we were able to gather this morning (click to enlarge):
This scene happened on the floor of the Michigan Senate this morning as the people of Michigan came by the thousands to speak out against Republican attempts to pass disastrous “Right to Work” legislation that would lower wages and reduce benefits.
Additionally, Republicans have called in countless State Police officers again today to guard their offices and question the public as they enter the Capitol to protest the Republican agenda:
Frankly, if you have to bring in a massive police presence in order to conduct business at the State Capitol, it might be time for Republicans to rethink what they’re doing.
Police have begun pepper spraying and removing protesters from the Capitol!
Republicans may not have introduced legislation to turn Michigan into a “Right to Work” state just yet, but they sure seemed awfully nervous about something today.
Michigan’s Capitol was on a virtual lockdown throughout the day with dozens of State Police cars parked nearby and an even greater number of uniformed officers questioning people as they entered and conducted business inside the building.
They were there on orders to protect lawmakers from protesters converging on the Capitol to rally against the Republicans’ potential push to make Michigan a Right to Work state. The one slight problem with that, of course, is that there was no protest at the capitol today.
There have been countless rallies at the Capitol over the years that have given the public the opportunity to peacefully assemble and voice their concerns with issues being discussed at their Capitol, but none in recent memory have needed a police presence nearly this large. If Republicans are suddenly so worried about the public’s reaction to advancing Right to Work legislation, it makes you wonder why they are even considering it.
It’s unclear as of today when, or if, the Republicans will actually try to pass Right to Work legislation, but it’s become very clear that they’ll be trying to keep the public as far away as possible if they do. Even if they have to lockdown the State Capitol again to do it.
It’s quite possible you’ve heard by now that the Ingham County Circuit Court voted to empanel a one-person grand jury yesterday to further investigate the election fraud case surrounding Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and State Representative Roy Schmidt.
While it’s unfortunate for our state that a step like this would ever have to be taken, it is the right step to take that will finally result in a thorough and impartial investigation into this matter. It’s what Senator Whitmer asked for last week, and it’s what the people of Michigan have been calling for since news of this scandal first broke.
It is now time to let justice take center stage and for us to allow the grand jury to conduct its review of the case. While that takes place, however, there remain other unanswered questions that must be raised.
First, will Governor Snyder continue to avoid commenting on what has taken place by claiming it is strictly a “legislative matter” now that it is in the hands of the judicial system? Will he continue to deny the impact it is having on his own administration or the trust the people of Michigan have in the integrity of our Government? Does he still not recognize the terrible impact Speaker Bolger’s actions are having on our ability to get the private sector to believe in Michigan and invest here once again?
To Attorney General Bill Schuette, I ask why it took others to step up and request this grand jury investigation into the matter while he, our state’s top law enforcement officer, refused to get involved? Why is he spending his time in Tampa at the Republican National Convention this week while a thorough investigation of corruption within our State Government has begun without him anywhere in sight? Why did he tell the people of Michigan that there was no reason to believe a crime was committed in this case when the Ingham County Circuit Court ruled “there is probable cause to suspect that certain crimes and offenses have been committed?”
It’s disappointing that either the Governor or the Attorney General would ever put their politics ahead of justice, but that appears to be exactly what has happened in this case. For these two, whether or not they had any knowledge or involvement in the fraud committed by Jase Bolger and Roy Schmidt, they owe the people of Michigan an explanation as to why they refused to step up, do the right thing, and demand accountability from those who were elected to serve our state.
We deserve a response to those questions. I hope that others will join me in asking them for answers.
Legislators returned to Lansing today with a full agenda on their plate and a number of bills the Republican majority and Governor Snyder said were urgent to get passed.
Their aggressive agenda quickly fell apart, however, and what we saw instead is a Government paralyzed by corruption and fraud. The actions of Speaker of the House Jase Bolger to undermine the Democratic process and take the right of legitimate elected representation away from the people of Michigan have brought state government to a standstill by breaking the very trust the public has in the democratic process.
The report released yesterday by the Kent County Prosecutor makes it alarmingly clear that Speaker Bolger knowingly tried to defraud the public, lied about it and continues to deny responsibility for the damage it has caused. It has become all too apparent that the agenda he has pursued as Speaker of the House over the past 18 months has been focused squarely on a partisan election strategy without regard for the impact it has on the people of Michigan.
As a result of Speaker Bolger’s lack of honesty or integrity, the true intent of the bills before the legislature today could no longer be trusted. Whether right or wrong, his conduct has made it impossible for anyone to believe the motivation behind them was anything other than political gamesmanship.
To put it simply, a leadership change is needed to restore the faith the people of Michigan must have in their Government and it’s up to the Republicans to make that happen from within. They can stand up to their own failed leadership and send a message that fraud and election rigging have no place in Michigan’s capitol. They have the ability to affirm to the public that there is simply too much at stake for our state, our families and our future for Speaker Bolger’s selfish actions to stand in the way of what truly needs to be done to get our state back on track.
Should Michigan speak up, and Speaker Bolger step down or be removed as the Speaker of the House, then, and only then, can the people of Michigan begin to trust that their legislature is truly working in their best interests once again.
You can add your name to the growing list of voices calling on Speaker Bolger to resign his leadership position by signing the petition here: http://goo.gl/MYa2d