2012 Primary Election
Michigan’s primary election will take place Tuesday, August 7 and officially launch the 2012 campaign season. As a result of the 2010 Census, Michigan’s legislative districts have been redrawn and due to drastic population losses and shifts statewide—especially in Metro Detroit—several primaries in House races feature “incumbent vs. incumbent” matchups. In all, there are four House primary races (all in Southeast Michigan) that feature at least 2 incumbent members from the old district lines. These races are:
- 2nd District (Grosse Pointe/Detroit)
- Rep. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe)
- Rep. Alberta Talabi (D-Detroit)
- 3rd District (Detroit)
- Rep. John Olumba (D-Detroit)
- Rep. Jimmy Womack (D-Detroit)
- 6th District (Detroit)
- Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D-Detroit)
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit)
- 28th District (Warren)
- Rep. Lesia Liss (D-Warren)
- Rep. Jon Switalski (D-Warren)
In all, 17 legislators cannot run in 2012 as a result of term limits or personal decisions not to run. Republicans currently hold a 64-46 majority in the House. Republicans also controlled every level of the 2012 redistricting process. As a result, many analysts give them a slight edge in maintaining their majority in November.
To see complete maps of Michigan’s new districts for Congress, State House and State Senate, please click here.
To see a complete list of all House primary candidates, please click here.
2012 Ballot Initiatives & Referendums
Monday, July 9, marked the deadline to submit signatures for all groups seeking to place initiatives on the November ballot. As the deadline passed, initial feedback seems to indicate Michigan residents will face the most ballot initiatives in 30 years. In all, six constitutional amendments and one referendum submitted signatures prior to the deadline. All proposals are required to have 322,609 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot. Most groups publicly claim to be well over that mark, but the Secretary of State examines all petitions in the days ahead. Below is a list of all ballot initiatives and referendums that may appear on the ballot this fall:
A group called Citizens for Michigan jobs has led an effort to amend the state constitution to increase the number of casinos in Michigan. The plan would call for eight new casinos across the state in the communities of: Birch Run, Cadillac, Clam Lake, Clinton Township, Detroit, Dewitt Township (near Lansing), Grand Rapids, and Pontiac. Citizens for Michigan jobs touts the plan as a way to promote job creation and also generate revenue for local governments through the casino tax. Michigan currently has 25 casinos but only the 3 Detroit casinos are privately owned and pay the casino tax.
- Enhanced Renewable Energy Standard
Led by Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, this constitutional amendment would boost Michigan’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to 25% by the year 2025. The group claims such an increase will spur job growth and billions in new investment through new renewable energy, all while decreasing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.
- Home Help Registry
Led by Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, this initiative would amend the constitution to ensure collective bargaining rights for home help workers. It would also create a registry of all home help workers through the Michigan Quality Home Care Council. Proponents say the initiative will lead to lower home care costs and ensure safer standards by creating a registry
- Protection of Collective Bargaining Rights
Numerous labor unions across Michigan, including the UAW , MEA and Michigan State AFL-CIO, have come together to form the group Protect Our Jobs, which has led efforts for an amendment to add the right to collective bargaining for public and private sector employees in the state constitution. The campaign is in part a response to numerous threats by Republican legislators to tackle right to work legislation. Governor Rick Snyder has publicly opposed Right to Work in the state and has also come out in opposition to this initiative. Many business groups, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce also oppose the ballot measure.
- Voter Approval for New International Trade Crossing
This initiative, spearheaded by Matty Maroun’s Detroit International Bridge Company (owners of the Ambassador Bridge) would require voter approval of any plan to build a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor before construction could take place. The initiative is a response to the proposed New International Trade Cross (NITC), which is supported by Governor Snyder and numerous business groups. Snyder signed an inter-local agreement with the Canadian government in June to move forward on bridge construction. There is widespread debate as to what impact, if any, this initiative would have on the agreement.
- Voter/Legislative Approval of Tax Increases
Michigan Alliance Prosperity submitted signatures for a constitutional amendment that would require all tax increases to be approved by a 2/3 majority in the State House and Senate or by a statewide public vote.
- PA 4 Repeal—Emergency Manager Law
Public Act 4 of 2011 passed in the early days of Governor Snyder’s term and focused on Emergency Managers for local units of government in financial distress. While part of a package dealing with Emergency Managers (EM), PA 4 provided procedures and conditions for which a financial review could be conducted and circumstances where the Governor could appoint an EM. Several groups, primarily labor unions, launched an effort to repeal PA 4 via voter referendum. Voters wishing to keep PA 4 will vote “yes,” voters wishing to repeal PA 4 will vote “no.” If the referendum passes, PA 4 takes effect; if it fails it would be repealed.