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Hands off Michigan’s Constitution

August 15, 2012

Outside Interest Groups Expected to Spend up to $100 Million to Hijack Michigan’s Constitution
Lansing, MI, August 14, 2012—Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC), a diverse group of tax payers and job providers today released a television commercial, titled “Headlines,” educating voters about deceptive attempts by wealthy outside interest groups to hijack Michigan’s constitution for their own financial gain.  The groups have already spent millions and are expected to spend over $100 million to confuse voters and hijack the constitution.
“Michigan citizens are under attack by organizations hoping to get their hooks into Michigan’s constitution and their hands into taxpayers’ pockets,” said Rich Studley, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce which represents 6,800 Michigan businesses.  “Michigan voters can’t be bought, and our constitution is not for sale.”

According to campaign finance reports, outside groups have already spent $14 million to purchase a half-dozen proposed constitutional amendments.  In the same period of time the groups have raised $22 million and are expected to spend over $100 million to hijack the state’s constitution.

“Headlines,” which highlights recent Michigan newspaper editorial coverage of the special interest groups’ unprecedented number of confusing and misleading attacks on the state’s Constitution, has begun running on television stations across Michigan and asks voters to “say no to the special interests and send them a clear message: hands off our constitution.”

“While voters and our state constitution face more attacks this fall than at any time in the last 30 years, the deceptive politics being used by some of these proposals’ organizers is the sort of thing we may only see once in a lifetime,” said Rob Fowler, President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan.  “The union lawyer behind one of the proposals went so far as to tell voters that when they go to the polls they will have to “guess” which laws and which parts of our Constitution his proposal will even change.  As the newspaper headlines highlighted in today’s advertisement make clear, taxpayers, job providers and working families deserve better.” 

An attorney representing one of the deceptive ballot proposals aimed at hijacking the Michigan Constitution and undoing scores of economic reforms has admitted repeatedly in the past week that his proposal is wildly confusing and would tie up Michigan courts with reviews of an unknown and potentially limitless number of unidentified Michigan laws, should the proposal appear on the ballot and pass in November.

According to multiple media reports: “Those are questions that will have to be decided by courts ultimately,” attorney Andrew Nickelhoff, the proposal’s attorney, told reporters when asked which and how many Michigan laws his proposal would overturn. “We can guess at how Protect Our Jobs might affect existing legislation and we could spend all day doing that, but in the end, it’s just going to have to be decided (in the courts) on a case-by-case basis.”

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution is a committee supported by a growing and diverse group of job providers, taxpayers, individuals, local chambers of commerce and other organizations.  CPMC is committed to educating Michigan families about unprecedented attempts to radically overhaul the state’s constitution through new, misleading ballot initiatives.

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