Subscribe to Bay County Taxpayers Association Email List
Email:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good ol boys reject recall language

Today the "Clarity Board" which determines if the language on petitions is clear decided unanimously that the one sentence that makes up our recall petition was too confusing. Here is the language:


Michigan House Bill 4362 eliminates the Michigan Business tax; however, on
May 12, 2011, State Representative Charles Brunner voted no on final passage of
House Bill 4362.

More info coming.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rep Ken Horn introduces bill to ban teachers from lobbying with your money

Rep. Kenneth Horn introduces bill to ban use of tax-paid school resources to lobby legislators in Lansing

Published: Friday, August 05, 2011, 5:01 PM Updated: Friday, August 05, 2011, 6:22 PM
State Rep. Kenneth B. Horn in his Lansing office.
Facing an onslaught of emails, faxes, letters student-signed petitions and phone calls during a recent school funding debate, a state lawmaker hopes to restrict school districts that use taxpayers dollars to lobby legislators.

Rep. Kenneth B. Horn, R-Frankenmuth, introduced the bill last week that would prevent school districts or their employees from using tax-funded school supplies, equipment, vehicles or school time to lobby or become involved in political activities. He said he wants the same restrictions nonprofits face imposed on school districts and their employees.

“There’s countless stories of public resources being used to lobby in Lansing,” Horn said.

But some school representatives see the restrictions as an unfair infringement on the right to have a say in legislation that directly affects school districts or students.

“On any given legislative session, school districts see over 400 bills that are introduced that either directly or indirectly impact them,” said Brad Biladeau, assistant exective director of governmental relations at the Michigan Association of School Administrators in Lansing. “Being able to communicate concerns with bills should be afforded to school administrators.”

Horn said his bill wouldn’t prevent a school official from contacting him, however.

“If you try to direct me to say yes or no on something, that’s lobbying,” he said. “If you try to educate me, that’s different.”

He added the bill would strengthen the clout of registered lobbyists who represent school leaders and teachers. “The people they trust will have stronger voices,” the legislator said.

School districts paying money to those groups wouldn’t have to end those payments because the districts pay to join the group, not to hire the lobbyist that the organization employs, Horn said.

The legislation also doesn’t prevent school leaders or teachers or staff from lobbying him on their personal time with their own communication devices.

“If you want to lobby, get on your cell phone, go home and use your home computer,” he said.

Most teacher contracts prohibit staff from using school resources to lobby lawmakers, said Susan Rutherford, a Michigan Education Association representative in Saginaw who represents public school teachers. The MEA, for example, tells members to use a home computer if they wish to send a letter to a state lawmaker.

“That bill is useless,” she said. “It’s a waste of taxpayer time.”

Friday, August 5, 2011

MIRS News on the Recall

Another Dem House Member Targeted For Recall
Rep. Charles BRUNNER (D-Bay City) joins a small but growing list of Democrats that Republicans are targeting for recall out of retaliations for the recall attempts against GOP legislators.

Recall petition language was filed against Brunner in Bay County today by Joe SYLVESTER, chairman of the Bay County Taxpayers Association. The language cited Brunner's "No" vote on HB 4362, which eliminated the Michigan Business Tax.

"There are more people in this community than just union workers and it's time someone reminded Mr. Brunner that he is not a union steward but a representative of the whole community," Sylvester said.

A call was left with Brunner's offices for comment this afternoon.

"Voters keep rejecting their agenda, and I think it's important the Democrats accept that fact," said Stu SANDLER, Republican advisor to the recall efforts.

He said the Democrats were using recalls as a last resort at changing the Legislature after losing their majority in last November's elections.

"If that's the way they want to debate, we're prepared to match," Sandler said.

Recall language has recently been approved for Sen. Tom CASPERSON (R-Escanaba), Reps. Gail HAINES (R-Waterford), Bradford JACOBSEN (R-Oxford) and Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake), bringing the total up to 26 Republican Senate and House members with approved recall petition language.

No Democrats currently have approved recall language. However, clarity hearings have been scheduled for Sen. Rebekah WARREN (D-Ann Arbor) and Rep. Dian SLAVENS (D-Canton Twp.). Sen. Gretchen WHITMER (D-East Lansing) and Rep. Barb BYRUM (D-Onondaga) have also been targeted with recall language, but both attempts were shot down at clarity hearings.

Sandler warned there would be recall efforts against more Democrats.

"It's going to be constant and widespread," Sandler said.

Brunner Responds With Usual Talking Points

Rep. Charles Brunner responds to criticism from Bay City man leading recall

Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 8:16 PM Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 11:21 PM
Charles Brunner.jpgBrunner

BAY CITY — State Rep. Charles Brunner says the Michigan Business Tax put “a tremendous burden” on small business.

Brunner, D-Bay City, is the target of a recall spearheaded by a Bay City man who takes issue with Brunner’s vote against legislation to repeal the tax.

In recall language filed today, Joseph A. Sylvester cites Brunner’s “no” vote on House Bill 4362 on May 12.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on May 26, replaced the Michigan Business Tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax. The bill also eliminated many individual income tax deductions and credits.

Brunner said HB 4362 was part of a larger package of bills.

“It was a combination of things,” said Brunner. “Basically, what I voted on was a package of bills that also included a huge tax increase, especially on senior citizens and retirees. Yes, I voted against House Bill 4362, but I also voted against the entire package, the state budget as it was introduced by the governor.”

The recall language now goes for a clarity hearing before the Bay County Election Commission, consisting of Bay County Clerk Cynthia A. Luczak, Probate Judge Karen A. Tighe and Treasurer Richard Brzezinski.

If the trio approve the language, Sylvester will have to obtain an as-yet undetermined number of signatures on recall petitions.

A tentative date for the hearing is 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in Courtroom 5 of the Bay County Courthouse.

http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2011/08/rep_charles_brunner_responds_t.html

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bay City Times on Brunner Recall

Bay City man files language to recall Rep. Charles Brunner

Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 5:56 PM Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 7:10 PM
Charles Brunner.jpgBrunner

BAY CITY — A Bay City man upset with State Rep. Charles Brunner’s vote on the small business tax has filed initial paperwork to recall the legislator.

Joseph A. Sylvester, chairman of the Bay County Taxpayers Association and a former member of the Bay County Republican Party board of directors, said Brunner is “out of touch” and did not act in the public’s interest when he voted against House Bill 4362 on May 12.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on May 26, replaced the Michigan Business Tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax. The bill also eliminated many individual income tax deductions and credits.

“Mr. Brunner failed to repeal the Michigan Business Tax,” Sylvester said. “Small business are suffering. We need to support business in order for the community and economy to thrive.”

Brunner, D-Bay City, could not be reached for comment.

“There are more people in this community than just union workers,” said Sylvester. “It’s time someone reminded Mr. Brunner that he is not a union steward, but a representative of the whole community.”

The language now goes for a clarity hearing before the Bay County Election Commission, consisting of Bay County Clerk Cynthia A. Luczak, Probate Judge Karen A. Tighe and Treasurer Richard Brzezinski.

If the trio approve the language, Sylvester will have to obtain an as-yet undetermined number of signatures on recall petitions.

A tentative date for the hearing is 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in Courtroom 5 of the Bay County Courthouse.

Brunner, who took office Jan. 1, represents the cities of Auburn, Bay City and Essexville, as well as Bangor, Beaver, Frankenlust, Hampton, Merritt, Monitor, Portsmouth and Williams townships, and a portion of the city of Midland.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Recall Rep Charlie Brunner Campaign to Begin

For Immediate Release

August 4, 2011


Bay County Taxpayers to Recall Rep. Charles Brunner

Bay City, MI —The Bay County Taxpayers Association will be filing a recall petition with the Bay County Clerk, Thursday August 4th at 2pm to recall Representative Charles Brunner for his vote against the repeal of the Michigan Business Tax which overwhelmingly passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law.


The text of the recall language is as follows:
Michigan House Bill 4362 eliminates the Michigan Business Tax; however, on May 12, 2011, State Representative Charles Brunner voted no on final passage of Michigan House Bill 4362.”

“There was just an article in the Bay City Times yesterday in which businessman Art Dore purchased the Hampton mall. Mr. Brunner’s vote against the repeal of the Michigan Business tax would have hampered someone like him who creates jobs and revives the community”. “There are more people in this community than just union workers and it’s time someone reminded Mr. Brunner that he is not a union steward but a representative of the whole community”, said Joe Sylvester, Chairman of the Bay County Taxpayers Association.


The Bay County Taxpayers Association is the largest organization in Bay County advocating fiscal conservatism.


For more information, contact Joe Sylvester at cheneygun@gmail.com.
http://www.bctaxpayers.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jeff Mayes, No Friend of the Taxpayers

For those of you that have followed the career (I could just as easily say political career as they are the same thing for him) of Jeff Mayes you will see a disturbing trend in which he votes for special interest instead of the people.

Mayes started out in politics as a left wing political activist at the University of Michigan. When he was finished with school he came back to Bay City to further explore what it takes to be a politician by working for Howard Wetters and Joe Rivet in the legislature.

It was under their tutelage that Mayes learned the simplistic politics of Bay County: Kiss the labor unions asses and screw the rest.

And so he has. After working for Joe Rivet he went on the be elected Bangor Township Supervisor. After his boss, Rivet retired he ran for his seat in the State House of Representatives where he currently sits.

Now, Jeff Mayes, the textbook definition of a career politician is seeking to move up the political ladder once again. This time as 31st district State Senator.

As the head of a taxpayers advocacy group I believe it my duty to inform and remind people of the pro tax and spend policies of our State Representative Jeff Mayes.

Below is a listing of the votes that Mayes has taken against the people of the 96th district:

Michigan Taxpayers Alliance 2008 State Representative Grades
1. 2007 House Bill 5194: The 12% state income tax hike. (3 points)
Voted Yes (0 points)
2. 2007 House Bill 5198: The extension of the state sales tax to certain services, later replaced by a 22% business tax hike. (3 points)
Voted Yes (0 points)
3. 2007 Senate Bill 94: Michigan’s new business tax. Citizens collected nearly 375,000 signatures on a petition to eliminate the despised old Single Business Tax. The petition language stated that the SBT should be replaced with a “less burdensome tax”. What did the legislature do? Replaced the tax with the Michigan Business Tax which increased the net tax burden on businesses, and is perhaps even more complicated than the old SBT. (3 points)
Voted Yes (0 points)
4. Senate Bill 229, Senate Bills 232-235, House Bills 4344, 4346, 4348, 4350 and 4360: Increases in state spending from 2007 to 2008. (3 points)
Voted to increase spending by $1,470,045,900 (0 points)
5. 2007 House Bill 4261. This bill authorized a new 2% tax on Kent County and Lansing hotels. The convention and tourism bureaus in Kent County and Lansing wanted more money, but apparently couldn’t get enough local hotels to send it to them voluntarily. (2 points)
Voted Yes (0 points)
6. 2008 House Bill 5804: This bill funds the state’s Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Last year, the state spent $49.5 million on this Department. Governor Granholm recommended a spending increase to $52.7 million but that wasn’t enough for Speaker Dillon and the House leaders. They passed this bill increasing art spending to $57.1 million – a 13% increase. What’s in YOUR wallet? (2 points)
Voted Yes (0 points)
7. 2008 Senate Bill 1107: This bill increased spending for school aid by almost half a billion dollars. The House added a provision allowing the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) to continue to be the only “district of the first class” in Michigan which prohibits Detroit’s district from facing additional competition from charter schools. The DPS was given this extra ‘protection’ for free. No audits, reforms or improvement plans were expected of the DPS in the legislation. (2 points)

Voted Yes (0 points)

8. House Bills 4865, 4866, 5257 and 5258: Fee increases. Back in Governor Granholm’s first term, a whole slew of fee hikes were enacted on everything from gasoline to business licenses and annual reports required of non-profit corporations. The fee increases ranged from 25% to 100%. But don’t worry, citizens were told, these fee hikes are only “temporary” and will go away in 2007. The legislature put the “sunset date” for these temporary fee hikes right in the legislation.

Then on Sept 30, 2007, the day the fees increases were scheduled to go away, the legislature passed new legislation keeping the fee hikes in place. But don’t worry, these fees will go back down on September 30, 2012. It says so right in the legislation. (2 points)

Voted to increase fees by $10,761,800 (0 points)

Total Points: 0/20

Grade: F
-