March 25, 2011- My friend Judith Browne-Dianis, who runs the Advancement Project, just turned me on to this evil mechanism that allows governors to take over local decision making. On the heels of Wisconsin’s move to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights, Michigan has taken things to the next level: stripping cities of self-governance.
Last week, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. Now he can declare any city or district in financial emergency, appoint an emergency manager (at county, city, district or township level) and give that person the power to control budgets, sell off assets, bypass city councils and boards of education, take over school systems, de-certify public unions, and even to dissolve the city itself as an entity. This is corporate martial law—it won’t be the military taking over, but business interests that constitute an authoritarian regime.