Political Animal


December 11, 2012 6:16 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

* Snyder signs Michigan “right-to-work” laws, but declines to do so in public.

* Greg Sargent outlines strategy whereby opponents of the new Michigan laws may still be able to launch ballot initiative to repeal them.

* Rothenberg calls Heidi Heitkamp the “Best Candidate of 2012,” and Bill Nelson the “Luckiest.”

* At Ten Miles Square, Seth Masket argues “six-year-itch” elections not significantly worse for presidential incumbent parties than any other midterm.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports University of Phoenix played key role in killing proposal to let Arizona’s public community colleges offer bachelor’s degrees.

And in non-political news:

* NFL commissioner’s designated appeals officer for “Bountygate” scandal, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, vacates penalties against Saints players.

In honor of the GOP coup in Michigan today, here’s Iggy Pop performing “I’m a Conservative.”


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on December 11, 2012 7:20 PM:

    Snyder signs Michigan “right-to-work” laws, but declines to do so in public.

    There's just no stopping some people, is there?

    I use "people" advisedly, btw; my initial impulse was to call them 'rabid animals', but that seemed too OTT.

  • Don K on December 11, 2012 7:22 PM:

    The unions just now figured out that they can do a statutory initiative to get rid of RTW? I've been saying that all along in this process. The people of Michigan have the right to amend or repeal any sections of the MCL (Michigan Compiled Laws) they choose.

    Yeah the initiative requires signatures of 8% of the number of votes cast for governor in '10 vs 5% for a referendum, but once you have the machinery going that's not too big a deal.

    A referendum, once it was certified for the ballot, would put the law on hold until after the election. Having said that, initiated laws cannot be amended or repealed except with a further vote of the people or 3/4 vote of each house of the legislature, so that would make RTW out of the question in the future unless there was a change of heart in the MI electorate.

  • mudwall jackson on December 11, 2012 7:44 PM:

    * Rothenberg calls Heidi Heitkamp the “Best Candidate of 2012,” and Bill Nelson the “Luckiest.”

    some candidates just live a charmed life. nelson's previous opponent was the incredibly incompetent and much hated katherine harris.

  • rubyvanilla on December 12, 2012 11:28 AM:

    Re: Sargent's discussion of a statutory initiative to get rid of RTW. Wouldn't the effort be better expended to get Dems to take back the legislature and then the governorship? RTW is a very important issue, but it's not the only one where the state is being forced down a bad road by these ALEC-guided know-nothings.

    Michigan just failed to pass in November a constitutional amendment that would have prevented RTW, by a lot (~9 points). Voters had not been educated to understand the importance of it - plus Gov. Snyder kept telling us RTW was not on the agenda. I would hate to see a lot of money and effort go into another losing battle.