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SEIU endorses Mark Brewer

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 23:28:24 PM EST

That's according to a release from the Brewer folks. I've already seen it noted in comments that the Justice Caucus today endorsed Lon Johnson. But, yeah, the big news is that SEIU endorsed Mark Brewer.

Oh yeah, a handful of College Democrat groups endorsed Lon Johnson. But, yeah, SEIU endorsed Mark Brewer.

Eric B. :: SEIU endorses Mark Brewer
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Why the Justice Caucus matters more than SEIU
The Justice Caucus has more than than 2,000 members and anyone who has attended their meetings understands that these progressives turn out big time as convention delegates.  SEIU not so much. The big union players in terms of convention delegates this year are UAW (Johnson), AFSCME (undecided so far), MEA (Brewer), various building trades (who are split).  About 50% of convention delegates are unaffiliated with unions and that's why the Justice Caucus endorsement is more significant than SEIU when it comes to convention delegates.

AFT endorsed Brewer...
...but I know at least one 20-year AFT veteran who is voting Johnson.

OK, I happen to be married to her, but I swear she came to her decision rationally, after hearing both candidates.

But there are probably hundreds of rank-and-file members who either don't know or don't care who their leadership endorsed.

This could work for or against Johnson OR Brewer -- but in all likelihood the total number of "defecting" members will more or less even out.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
This is very true....
I know of at least four union members (out of a small sample) who are either voting or considering voting opposite to their leadership's endorsement.

[ Parent ]
I suppose it's been true since the term "Reagan Democrat" was coined...
...there are always some number of members who disregard their leadership when it comes to endorsements.

This also applies to the current members who are likely to quit paying dues soon after RTW goes into effect at the end of March. Even factoring in heroic efforts at outreach and a flurry of last-minute collective bargaining agreements that "lock in" union membership requirements, realistically the number of dues-paying union members in Michigan will drop by maybe 20% -- THIS YEAR.

So what does that do to the funds MDP can leverage above and beyond its operating budget? Where will the party find new revenue to replace what's about to be lost?

I posed that question last night to both Mark and Lon at the Northville Democratic Club meeting Monday night.

Mark punted the question entirely, going on about efforts to overturn RTW in the courts -- Federal, not state, but still far from a sure thing -- and put a initiative on the 2014 ballot (a path with a much higher bar, given the appropriation attached to RTW to prevent a "normal" repeal petition process like the one that gave us Proposal 1 last year).

Lon at least understood the thrust of my question, but fell back on his talking points about increased fundraising and turning volunteers into donors (and donors into raisers).

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
Happy Tuesday to you.
Any other insights gleaned from last night's exchange? I encourage you to write a diary on the subject, if your time permits!  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Both mostly stayed with their talking points, but I did try for clarification on some issues...
1. Mark doesn't expect to have a "unification breakfast" Sunday morning.

2. Endorsement Conventions:

Mark is proud of coming up with the scheme, which works to the extent that it "clears the field" of primary challengers and allows candidates for AG, SoS and the Supreme Court to start campaigning. But we've now held two endorsement conventions (2010, 2012) and have very little to show for the effort aside from Justice McCormack and various Regents, Trustees and Governors.

For his part, Lon is not sold on the concept because of that dismal November track record for "endorsement convention" pre-nominees...although he agrees that August is far too late to get a statewide general election campaign going.

3. While Mark continues to bring up redistricting reform as a key MDP goal, he's been unclear on how to get there other than to win elections and establish a nonpartisan redictricting commission (like what a number of other states have). As to WHEN it should happen...he's open to either trying for a mid-cycle RE-redistricting (like what Tom DeLay orchestrated in Texas 10 years ago) or waiting until after the 2020 Census.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission
Thanks for sharing.

Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission is only part of the solution (Michigan actually has it in its current constitution, but it was invalidated). The rules controlling redistricting must be clear and objective.

[ Parent ]
I didn't know that was already in the state constition. Was it placed in there during the 1963 Constitutional Convention? When was it invalidated?


Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Invalidated because its redistricting rules would have violated new SCOUS rulings on "one-man, one-vote." Ironically, a ruling from a liberal court.

[ Parent ]
The Carr decision?

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Article IV § 6

§ 6 Commission on legislative apportionment.
Sec. 6.

A commission on legislative apportionment is hereby established consisting of eight electors, four of whom shall be selected by the state organizations of each of the two political parties whose candidates for governor received the highest vote at the last general election at which a governor was elected preceding each apportionment. If a candidate for governor of a third political party has received at such election more than 25 percent of such gubernatorial vote, the commission shall consist of 12 members, four of whom shall be selected by the state organization of the third political party. One resident of each of the following four regions shall be selected by each political party organization: (1) the upper peninsula; (2) the northern part of the lower peninsula, north of a line drawn along the northern boundaries of the counties of Bay, Midland, Isabella, Mecosta, Newaygo and Oceana; (3) southwestern Michigan, those counties south of region (2) and west of a line drawn along the western boundaries of the counties of Bay, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Ingham, Jackson and Hillsdale; (4) southeastern Michigan, the remaining counties of the state.

No officers or employees of the federal, state or local governments, excepting notaries public and members of the armed forces reserve, shall be eligible for membership on the commission. Members of the commission shall not be eligible for election to the legislature until two years after the apportionment in which they participated becomes effective.

The commission shall be appointed immediately after the adoption of this constitution and whenever apportionment or districting of the legislature is required by the provisions of this constitution. Members of the commission shall hold office until each apportionment or districting plan becomes effective. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as for original appointment.

The secretary of state shall be secretary of the commission without vote, and in that capacity shall furnish, under the direction of the commission, all necessary technical services. The commission shall elect its own chairman, shall make its own rules of procedure, and shall receive compensation provided by law. The legislature shall appropriate funds to enable the commission to carry out its activities.

Within 30 days after the adoption of this constitution, and after the official total population count of each federal decennial census of the state and its political subdivisions is available, the secretary of state shall issue a call convening the commission not less than 30 nor more than 45 days thereafter. The commission shall complete its work within 180 days after all necessary census information is available. The commission shall proceed to district and apportion the senate and house of representatives according to the provisions of this constitution. All final decisions shall require the concurrence of a majority of the members of the commission. The commission shall hold public hearings as may be provided by law.

Each final apportionment and districting plan shall be published as provided by law within 30 days from the date of its adoption and shall become law 60 days after publication. The secretary of state shall keep a public record of all the proceedings of the commission and shall be responsible for the publication and distribution of each plan.

If a majority of the commission cannot agree on a plan, each member of the commission, individually or jointly with other members, may submit a proposed plan to the supreme court. The supreme court shall determine which plan complies most accurately with the constitutional requirements and shall direct that it be adopted by the commission and published as provided in this section.

Upon the application of any elector filed not later than 60 days after final publication of the plan, the supreme court, in the exercise of original jurisdiction, shall direct the secretary of state or the commission to perform their duties, may review any final plan adopted by the commission, and shall remand such plan to the commission for further action if it fails to comply with the requirements of this constitution.

History: Const. 1963, Art. IV, § 6, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964
Constitutionality: The United States Supreme Court held in Reynolds v Sims, 377 US 533; 84 S Ct 1362; 12 L Ed 2d 506 (1964) that provisions establishing weighted land area-population formulae violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. Because the apportionment provisions of art IV, §§ 2 - 6 are interdependent and not severable, the provisions are invalidated in their entirety and the Commission on Legislative Apportionment cannot survive. In re Apportionment of State Legislature-1982, 413 Mich 96; 321 NW2d 565 (1982), rehearing denied 413 Mich 149; 321 NW2d 585; stay denied 413 Mich 222; 321 NW2d 615, appeal dismissed 459 US 900; 103 S Ct 201; 74 L Ed 2d 161.

[ Parent ]
Thank you very much for sharing that. I learned something today!

Not a bad framework, minus the imbalanced geographic quotas. Take those out and it might be ready for reuse.


Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Because that section was invalidated, the current re-apportionment has no constitutional basis. Two possibilities, constitutional amendment or legislative referendum. Both have their problems and benefits.

[ Parent ]
Stop by the Convention
Even if you're not a member...

[ Parent ]
So this is the offending language?
One resident of each of the following four regions shall be selected by each political party organization: (1) the upper peninsula; (2) the northern part of the lower peninsula, north of a line drawn along the northern boundaries of the counties of Bay, Midland, Isabella, Mecosta, Newaygo and Oceana; (3) southwestern Michigan, those counties south of region (2) and west of a line drawn along the western boundaries of the counties of Bay, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Ingham, Jackson and Hillsdale; (4) southeastern Michigan, the remaining counties of the state.

If an amendment were put on the ballot that struck out just these lines and inserted something vague like...

Electors to this commission shall be appointed in such a way as to reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of the State of Michigan.

...would the section suddenly pass muster? I do not see how these lines are in any way "interdependent and not severable" from the rest of the section.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
Good Question
...would the section suddenly pass muster? I do not see how these lines are in any way "interdependent and not severable" from the rest of the section.

I'll take a look.

[ Parent ]
Not exactly on topic, but fits here as well as anywhere.
I emailed the person at MDP in charge of such things, asking for the current Sixth District membership list, since I am in the middle of trying to put together an Executive Committee and state central delegates for the new term. That person emailed back, saying that she could not give it to me, but she would SELL it to me.

Here is part of my reply:

...  We have many of our regulars who for one reason or another will not make this Convention, so not all counties may be represented. I am trying to line up who is interested in serving on state central in advance, but it may be that I will not have a complete list to submit by the end of our caucus on Saturday. We will do our best, but having an updated list would help in that regard.

I must say, I find this policy absolutely incomprehensible. I am spending dozens of hours every month, trying to excite people about being part of the Sixth District committee, and keep the institutional side of the MDP going in our area. At the same time, I am making sure that we follow all the MDP rules, recruiting people for Jeff/Jack honorees, publicizing party events, etc.

It occurs to me that this might be out of concern for fairness in a contested election for District Chair. In my experience, this is not very likely; it is more a question of twisting someone's arm to take on a thankless task. But this may be different in different districts, I don't know.

But then, it can't be a question of fairness, because what you take away with one hand, you give back with the other, offering to SELL me the membership list I am trying to use to build up the Party. This, in addition to the several thousand dollars I give to our party and candidates every year out of a modest part-time income. This reminds me of trying to sell my grocer the right to provide me with groceries. Anyhow, if the concern of this policy were fairness, you obviously would not be offering to sell me the list.

It is things like this that make me question why I continue to volunteer for this outfit.

--------, I am truly sorry to unload on you, who are obviously only carrying out your instructions. Please understand that you are not the target. I am copying several other people in this reply.

But this is absolutely incomprehensible.

Mark E. Miller, Sixth District Chair

I had intended to vote for Lon Johnson, but otherwise remain silent.
Following this, I sent out my endorsement for Lon.

[ Parent ]
districts not getting their share of funds?
In addition to the names, you should receive the funds -- part of every state membership is supposed to be given to the district and county. Or at least that's how it used to work.

[ Parent ]
Excellent Point, William.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Nowadays the counties still get a share
...but this is the first I have heard about districts getting a share too.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]

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