Live chat on Proposal 5: 2/3 tax plan
 
11:49
Meegan Holland - MLive: 
Hi everyone! We'll get started right at noon with our guests.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:49 Meegan Holland - MLive
11:50
[Comment From LewisLewis: ] 
Awesome!
Friday October 5, 2012 11:50 Lewis
11:51
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Welcome Lewis. We'll get started in a minute. Thanks for joining us. This is a moderated chat, so we need to approve comments before they go up.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:51 Meegan Holland | MLive
11:51
Tim Martin: 
Hello all...this is Tim Martin with MLive.com
Friday October 5, 2012 11:51 Tim Martin
11:51
[Comment From LewisLewis: ] 
Roger that.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:51 Lewis
11:51
Lana Theis, MAP: 
Hi Tim!
Friday October 5, 2012 11:51 Lana Theis, MAP
11:52
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Tim Martin is the reporter who is MLive's expert on Proposal 5.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:52 Meegan Holland | MLive
11:52
Tim Martin: 
Hi Lana. Thanks for getting in
Friday October 5, 2012 11:52 Tim Martin
11:52
Lana Theis, MAP: 
Glad to be here.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:52 Lana Theis, MAP
11:53
Roger Martin: 
Hello.

Friday October 5, 2012 11:53 Roger Martin
11:55
[Comment From Jen Eyer | MLive.comJen Eyer | MLive.com: ] 
Hi everyone. I'm going to be helping moderate the chat. We'll send comments through as we receive them — as long as they are civil — but we'll pace the questions in order to maintain a good flow to the discussion.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:55 Jen Eyer | MLive.com
11:56
[Comment From LewisLewis: ] 
I love these online things, I can be in the middle of no where (Hillsdale College), and still get access to all this fun information.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:56 Lewis
11:58
Jen Eyer | MLive.com: 
Glad you appreciate it, Lewis!
Friday October 5, 2012 11:58 Jen Eyer | MLive.com
11:59
Jen Eyer | MLive.com: 
We are approaching these live chats as our editorial board meetings on the six statewide ballot proposals, and in a few weeks we will issue statewide institutional editorials for MLive Media Group on them.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:59 Jen Eyer | MLive.com
11:59
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Welcome everyone to today's live chat on Proposal 5. This is the proposal on the November ballot that would require a two-thirds - or so-called supermajority - vote in the state House and in the Senate before any tax increases could be executed. Failing that, a simple majority vote of the people could approve tax increases.
Friday October 5, 2012 11:59 Meegan Holland | MLive
12:00
[Comment From YonasYonas: ] 
Hi, from the University of Michigan.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:00 Yonas
12:00
[Comment From GregGreg: ] 
I have a friend that went to Hillsdale College named Lewis. Great beacon of liberty.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:00 Greg
12:00
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Today we welcome two guest panelists on each side the issue:
Lana Theis is the president of Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, which is the organization behind Proposal 5, the 2/3 Amendment.
and
Roger Martin a spokesman for Defend Michigan Democracy, which opposes Proposal 5
Friday October 5, 2012 12:00 Meegan Holland | MLive
12:01
[Comment From LewisLewis: ] 
Yes, the name Lewis is a great beacon, HC is ok too ;)
Friday October 5, 2012 12:01 Lewis
12:01
Lana Theis, MAP: 
I’m Lana Theis, the president of the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity and the 2/3 initiative.
The language of Prop 5 would: “Require a 2/3 majority vote of the state House and the state Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation.
This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.”
A yes on prop 5 protects Michigan taxpayers by making taxes harder to raise than they are to lower. www.MiProsperity.com
Friday October 5, 2012 12:01 Lana Theis, MAP
12:01
Roger Martin: 
Welcome all. I’m Roger Martin. I’m spokesperson for VOTE NO on 5, Defend Michigan Democracy. I’m a former political and investigative reporter at The Detroit News and now am a small business owner (a Lansing PR firm). Before we start our back and forth, I think people in the chat should know who we (NO on 5) are. All of the opponents of Proposal 5 are Michigan citizens, leaders and organizations. They include Gov. Snyder, the state’s top Republican legislators, Democrats and even anti-tax Tea Party leaders. We are the state’s leading business organizations aligned with working men and women in every Michigan community and every Michigan county. We are Michigan police officers and firefighters, teachers and school administrators, religious leaders and farmers, retailers, road builders, human service organizations, community colleges, universities, and more. Many of our members agree on nothing else politically, but all agree Proposal 5 is just too extreme and creates a form of minority rule in Lansing that will limit the say Michigan citizens have in our state government. Unlike our opponents, we certainly are not getting all of our support from a lone Detroit billionaire or a Washington, DC lobbyist with millions of dollars from outside of Michigan.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:01 Roger Martin
12:02
[Comment From YonasYonas: ] 
Who introduced this proposal? What groups support this proposal? Which ones do not support it?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:02 Yonas
12:03
Lana Theis, MAP: 
The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity is the group that introduced that. I am the president of the group.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:03 Lana Theis, MAP
12:03
Roger Martin: 
Unless you have failed to disclose all of your funding, the only people providing real money to your campaign are Detroit billionaire Matty Moroun, who funded your entire signature collection campaign and would forever have his tax cuts protected by the constitution if Proposal 5 passes, and Grover Norquist, the Washington lobbyist who was drawn into the Abramoff lobbying scandal who now says he’s paying for your media ads and robo calls with the millions he raises from other states. So far your campaign finance report looks like Matty Moroun’s checkbook ledger.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:03 Roger Martin
12:03
[Comment From ArtArt: ] 
How much would a state wide referendum cost the tax payers and why is this a better use of our money than that which a majority of elected representatives deem necessary?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:03 Art
12:04
[Comment From ArtArt: ] 
Is it true that Matty Maroune is the main financial backer of your efforts to get Prop 5 on the ballot and passed?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:04 Art
12:04
Lana Theis, MAP: 
Supporters include National Federation of Independent business, Americans for prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Sheriff Mike Bouchard, and Atty General Bill Schuette
Friday October 5, 2012 12:04 Lana Theis, MAP
12:04
Roger Martin: 
To see the full list of opponents of Proposal 5, I urge voters to go to www.VoteNOonProp5.com. Compare this list to the people putting the money behind Proposal 5 … Matty Moroun, who wants to control the Michigan Constitution for his own financial gain, and Washington, DC lobbyist Grover Norquist.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:04 Roger Martin
12:04
Lana Theis, MAP: 
Moroun is one of our funders, and beyond that has nothing to do with the campaign. If I could have personally funded it, I would have. This was our idea and it is good public policy. .
Friday October 5, 2012 12:04 Lana Theis, MAP
12:04
[Comment From YonasYonas: ] 
Thank you for answering, Lana and Roger.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:04 Yonas
12:05
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The opponents of Proposal 5 include: Gov. Rick Snyder Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville AARP Michigan AFL-CIO American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees American Federation of Teachers Area Agencies on Aging Business Leaders for Michigan Cadillac Area Manufacturers Association Corporation for a Skilled Workforce Disability Advocates of Kent County Gene Clem of the Southwest Michigan Patriots (West Michigan Tea Party) Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce International Council of Shopping Centers Jackson City Council League of Women Voters of Michigan MARO Michigan Association of Counties Michigan Association of Health Plans Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators Michigan Association of School Administrators Michigan Association of School Boards Michigan Catholic Conference Michigan Chamber of Commerce Michigan Chapter, National Association of Social Workers Michigan Community College Association Michigan Education Association Michigan Farm Bureau Michigan Head Start Association Michigan Health & Hospital Association Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association Michigan League for Human Services Michigan Manufacturers Association Michigan Municipal League Michigan Nonprofit Association Michigan School Business Officials Michigan Sheriffs’ Association Michigan Townships Association Middle Cities Education Association Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan Saline City Council Traverse City Chamber of Commerce
Friday October 5, 2012 12:05 Guest
12:05
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Roger, why do you say Matty Moroun wants to control the constitution for his own financial gain?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:05 Meegan Holland | MLive
12:05
Roger Martin: 
He wants to control tax policy and the Legislature. If Proposal 5 passes, the tax cuts and loopholes in state law that benefit his corporations become virtually untouchable. And if he only has to control the votes of 13 senators … well, that’s easy for a billionaire to do. Moroun gave you $2.3 million to buy enough signatures of Michigan voters to put Proposal 5 on the Nov. 6 ballot. He donated all but $1,000 of the funds spent on your campaign, according to state campaign finance documents. Moroun family campaign donations in Lansing are already huge and bipartisan. If this passes, he only needs to control the votes of a small minority of just 13 state senators (out of 148 state lawmakers) on future tax votes. Maroun wins, the rest of Michigan loses. Are you really claiming that he’s doing this to protect Michigan taxpayers? That’s too preposterous for any thinking person to believe. He’s doing this for Matty Moroun.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:05 Roger Martin
12:05
Lana Theis, MAP: 
We put this on the November ballot so that it wouldn't cost the taxpayers additional funds. It is a taxpayer protection such that it will be saving the taxpayers from unnecessary tax increases.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:05 Lana Theis, MAP
12:05
Meegan Holland | MLive: 
Guest, do you mind changing your name in the chat tool? That would be great, in case we get multiple "guests."
Friday October 5, 2012 12:05 Meegan Holland | MLive
12:06
[Comment From KevinKevin: ] 
We've seen the incredible difficulties a 2/3rds requirement has caused California in budgeting, causing draconian cuts to key programs and a paralyzed government. Why would this be different in Michigan?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:06 Kevin
12:06
Lana Theis, MAP: 
You will note that the people opposing us are groups who want easy access to taxpayer pocketbooks.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:06 Lana Theis, MAP
12:07
Roger Martin: 
Speaking of states with these super-minority restrictions, only a handful of states have super-minority requirements, and they tend to be poorer, or have struggling economies and ongoing state budget crises. California was the first to have this in their constitution. California is, without debate, the poster child of dysfunctional state government, failing in 16 of 20 years to balance its state budget by the legal deadline, in large part because of partisan gridlock. Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation. Nevada has the nation’s highest unemployment rate. Of the 10 states with some form of super-minority requirements, seven have unemployment rates above the national average; seven have per capita incomes below the national average. We don’t want Michigan to be Mississippi, California or any of the other states burdened by this extreme form of super-minority rule.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:07 Roger Martin
12:07
Lana Theis, MAP: 
California required a 2/3 majority to pass a budget, it is a very different beast. Their issue is not a revenue problem. They spend more than they take in always.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:07 Lana Theis, MAP
12:07
[Comment From YonasYonas: ] 
Why should increasing taxes be delegated directly to the people? The US is a representative democracy and not a direct democracy. We elect legislators to do this, right?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:07 Yonas
12:08
Roger Martin: 
One other point to the deception of Proposal 5: you say you are giving the people more power … that if the Legislature can’t agree, you say they can ask voters to decide at the ballot box. Maybe you don’t understand or haven’t read our constitution, but we already have that power in Michigan. Our constitution and laws already give the Legislature and the people the power to put tax questions on the ballot. How about the five or six property tax reform questions of the 1980s and 1990s? What about Proposal E in 1996, which created a tax on the three Detroit casinos … I could go on. To claim you are giving “the people” some new power is simply misleading and deceitful.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:08 Roger Martin
12:08
[Comment From LewisLewis: ] 
How big is the current budget of the state of Michigan?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:08 Lewis
12:08
[Comment From Mary - Lake OrionMary - Lake Orion: ] 
I believe that Proposal 5 would be the huge opening salvo for the enemies of the grassroots initiative Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment to have it rescinded. Which would be a great detriment to those who wish to preserve the vote of the people in local tax increase initiatives.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:08 Mary - Lake Orion
12:08
[Comment From Kevin Downey MIHospitalsKevin Downey MIHospitals: ] 
Michigan hospitals have more than 200,000 employees who are deeply concerned about how this will affect health care for children, the elderly, etc. in every county of the state.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:08 Kevin Downey MIHospitals
12:09
Tim Martin: 
Lewis, including all sources it is more than $45 billion. That is a ballpark answer and includes all sources of revenue.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:09 Tim Martin
12:09
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is it true that Lana Theis is a citizen participant while Roger Martin is a professionally public relations paid individual.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:09 Guest
12:09
Lana Theis, MAP: 
The people are the ones who pay the taxes. If the legislators can't reach a 2/3 agreement to raise the taxes, then the people should have the opportunity to let their opinions be known.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:09 Lana Theis, MAP
12:10
Lana Theis, MAP: 
Yes, I am a citizen activist. A mom and a Township Treasurer.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:10 Lana Theis, MAP
12:10
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
How much was spent to get signatures to put proposal on the ballot and who paid for this process?
Friday October 5, 2012 12:10 Guest
12:10
Roger Martin: 
I am a small business owner and a Michigan citizen first. All opponents of Prop 5 are like me, from Michigan. All the financial backers are either Washington, DC lobbyists, a Detroit billionaire, or members of a radical fringe group even denounced by the Tea Party.
Friday October 5, 2012 12:10 Roger Martin
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