Sep 9, 2008
Brewer squashes McCain’s false maverick claim
HOWELL -- Michigan Democrat Party Chair Mark Brewer was supposed to talk about the sweeping Reform Michigan Government Now ballot question Tuesday, but a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court to keep it off the ballot put a crimp in that.
“You all probably know by now that the Supreme Court tanked the speech he was going to give,” said retired Livingston County Circuit Court before Judge Daniel Burress, who introduced Brewer. “The court is not going to let Joe six-pack like us vote on it.”
A major topic of discussion was the state Supreme Court race between Cliff Taylor and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Diane Marie Hathaway. Taylor leads the Republican majority of activist judges known as the “Gang of Four” that has been rated the worst court in the country.
Burress has his own view of the court, and it’s not good. He said he got a sense of the court’s disdain for the common person over a simple slip and fall case when a blind man slipped on ice and injured himself using the restroom. He said it was tossed out of court because the hazard was “preventable and obvious.”
“That’s the type pf ruling the court has used to throw cases out of court,” he said.
The comprehensive RMGN will amend the Michigan Constitution, and it will fundamentally change Michigan government. To name just a few of the many complex changes it will address, it cuts the Supreme Court Justices to five members, from seven, reduces the Court of Appeals by seven members and adds 10 circuit court judges. The House would be cut to 82 members from the current 110 and the Senate to 28 from 38 and half of the Senate seats would be decided at each election. It also cuts pay and benefits of legislators.
“We have some fine state legislators, but they are not sharing the sacrifices everyone else is making,” Brewer said. “It’s about sharing sacrifice.”
A ballot question to have a constitutional convention will automatically be on the ballot in 2010, and Brewer was asked why not wait until then. Brewer said it would take at least five years before any changes were seen, it would be too expensive and too partisan.
“We can’t wait, it’s too expensive, and too partisan,” he said.
Brewer had plenty to day about the McCain/Palin ticket.
“I really have to laugh when John McCain and Sarah Palin claim to be reformers,” he said. “He says he will fight the lobbyists, but he has Washington lobbyists running his campaign. “
He said the two have received massive amounts of money from big oil, and McCain’s claim to be a “maverick” is ridiculous.
“When he first came to Washington he was part of the Keating 5, a major scandal,” he said. “That wasn’t a very good start.”
He said Palin was vetted so badly by the McCain camp that news is breaking daily on her dismal record and questionable ethics. The most recent is she accepted per diem for travel when she worked at home.
“It’s our job to be the truth squad for the next two months,” he said.