Rachel Maddow did an amazing piece of reporting here on the first city to be claimed by Michigan's emergency financial manager law, Benton Harbor. So much for Republicans claiming that they care about Democracy. I hope there are some legal challenges coming soon to try to get this law overturned.
From The Maddow Blog -- In #Michigan, 'financial martial law' in action. Report says #Wisconsin's next:
Even before Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the new and expanded emergency financial manager law, Benton Harbor was in bad enough straits that it fell under the old law. The new one was sponsored by the freshman state representative for the district that includes Benton Harbor, Al Pscholka, who clearly had Benton Harbor on his mind.
On Friday, the Michigan Messenger broke the news that the emergency financial manager had suspended the powers of Benton Harbor officials, so that they can only call and adjourn meetings and approve meeting minutes. They can no longer do anything else besides that without the permission of emergency financial manager. The state of Michigan is now actively training future emergency managers -- about 100 candidates turned out for a training in February -- and government managers begin a two-day training today in how to avoid ever needing one. [...]
UPDATE, 1:49 PM: Governor Walker says it's "absolutely false" that he's planning an emergency manager bill.
Ed Schultz talked to John Nichols about what Walker is doing in Wisconsin and he said he's been stripping a lot of power away from local officials without a similar law in place in his state already, so his statement was really a moot point. These Republican governors are all still using the same playbook to do their best to destroy the unions in their states and collective bargaining and overreaching in ways that are extremely dangerous to our democracy.