Arts & Entertainment
State's Republican attack of democratic process staple of 'The Rachel Maddow Show'
Michigan Pride invites her to June rally
By Crystal A. Proxmire
Originally printed 4/19/2012 (Issue 2016 - Between The Lines News)
The push is on to convince journalist Rachel Maddow to come to Michigan Pride, which takes place in Lansing on June 16. Organizers have started a Facebook Page called Rachel Maddow - Please come speak at Michigan Pride 2012, which has over 300 likes in its first few days online.
The description for the page is simple: "Rachel - We need your intelligence, insight, humor, encouragement and brilliance... this year more than ever."
Maddow is host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show", the platform through which she shares national news with an openly liberal perspective. Maddow is a 39-year-old lesbian who is also a Rhodes Scholar that earned her doctorate of philosophy in politics from Oxford University. She was the first openly gay American to receive the prestigious scholarship. Upon returning to the states, Maddow worked her way up through the media, starting as a morning talk show sidekick at a Holyoke, Massachusetts radio station and moving on to a liberal talk radio platform Air America, where she was noticed by corporate news professionals and began making guest appearances on the big news shows. In September 2008 she got her own show.
When asked why there is a push to bring Maddow to Michigan Pride, Co-Chair of Michigan Pride Emily Horvath said, "We were surprised to see how often she covers Michigan politics. So many folks in the DC/New York area consider the Great Lakes to be 'fly-over states and unworthy of political attention. She's focused regularly on emerging issues here in Michigan and we appreciate that she's raising our political challenges to the national level."
Michigan Immediate Effect law
Earlier this month, Maddow reported startling information about the threats to democracy taking place at the Michigan capitol. The Democrats in the State House of Representatives have sued the State House Republicans because the Republicans have been passing legislation using an "immediate effect clause," by lying about the number of votes and refusing demands for a roll-call vote. Normally newly approved legislation does not go into effect until 90 days after the close of a legislative session. This gives people affected by the law time to adjust, and also gives those opposed to the law an option to fight it.
Immediate Effect is a provision in the Michigan constitution that allows lawmakers to by-pass the waiting period in the event of an emergency. To do this requires a two thirds majority vote. Republicans do not have that majority, yet the records show that in 546 of the last 566 bills that have been passed, Immediate Effect has been applied.
Besides ignoring the votes of elected officials in order to implement these laws quickly, many of the laws further strip Michiganders of their rights. The Emergency Financial Manager law gives the state the right to take over any municipality or school district that is having financial troubles and appoint a manager that has no accountability to the people. Elected officials are stripped of their power and public assets, including beaches, museums, parks and other attractions that can be sold to private corporations without any say of the people who live there. In the city of Pontiac, for example, the Emergency Financial Manager dissolved the police department and set up contracts with Oakland County.
In Benton Harbor the controversy is over allowing the EFM to sell the city's public beaches and have them turned into a golf course, and in Muskegon Heights children's educations are on the line as an EFM considers dissolving the district.
Other laws enacted with Immediate Effect include stripping public employees of the right to have domestic partner benefits, which happened without warning just days before Christmas last year; the allocation of $10,000,000 to hold a confusing Presidential Primary, and a law to prevent the expansion of a graduate student union at the University of Michigan.
BTL reported April 17 on news of the redistricting law that garnered both Immediate Effect rule and somehow surpassed the criteria for a Local Rule, which should have required a super-majority vote.
Maddow's reporting did not get any logical responses from the state Republican party, though she has received quite a bit of insults. Horvath assures the superstar reporter that she would be well-received in Lansing, and that many people in Michigan share her progressive values.
"We think she'd like to know that the Greater Lansing area boasts the very first Human Rights Ordinance in the country EVER (East Lansing, 40 years ago), the Angriest Mayor (and pro-LBGT powerhouse) Virg Bernero, a vibrant arts and cultural community and a dedicated group of community leaders who stand up for same-gender marriage, two parent adoption, domestic partner benefits and full equality for LGBT people," said Horvath.
"Michigan Pride is a major statewide event that attracts people from all walks of life from all over the state and even the region. As Michigan Pride grows, we think it only appropriate to ask someone with Ms. Maddow's national profile and personal interest in Michigan politics to come to our rally and speak to us about her observations. Rachel Maddow makes an impact when she talks about Michigan politics and Michigan Pride makes an impact on Michigan politics - there's a direct connection between her work and ours," Hovarth added.
Those who want to join in the grand invitation can take part by liking http://www.facebook.com/RachelMaddowPleaseComeSpeakAtMichiganPride2012/info on Facebook. Find out more about Maddow at http://www.rachelmaddow.com. Learn more about Michigan Pride at http://www.michiganpride.org.