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The rage builds: Eighty percent of Michigan voters rejected a tax increase proposed by their Republican governor and legislature and backed by a gigantic almost $10 million advertising campaign.
The colossal defeat of Prop 1 is even more intriguing since it had the backing of both the Republican and Democratic parties as well as the governor, who campaigned for it in the final weeks. With a few exceptions the mainstream news media also overwhelmingly favored the measure, with the state’s three statewide print and online news sources (Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, MLive) all calling for a “yes” vote.
The defeat came despite the fact that a scattered opposition was massively outspent. According the most recent reports the election committee Safe Votes Yes raised $9.6 million to get the measure passed, mostly coming from road builders but also from other special interests that appeared to have no direct stake in the outcome, such as large utilities (who have separate issues of their own pending before the current Legislature).
“The distance between voters on one side and the mainstream media and political class on the other is both startling and unprecedented,” said Jack McHugh, the legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, in an email. “According to MIRS News the measure passed in just three communities, two of which (Ann Arbor and East Lansing) are considered by many to be elitist and disconnected from the mass of Michigan voters (Kalamazoo was the third community).”
The proposition was pushed by a Republican governor and a Republican legislature. The voters bluntly told them to go to hell. I ask: When will Republicans wake up and start doing what the voters want, rather than what they think the media, their liberal friends, and their big money backers demand? The public wants government trimmed, cut back, shrunk, and reorganized to be more efficient. They do not want more taxes, as they know that the government is already taking far more money from them than it really needs.
Elections like this tell me that the 2016 election is likely to be a shocking surprise to our society’s elite community.