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  1. 1. GOVERNMENT REFORM PROPOSAL Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats
  2. 2. The problem: A historical view <ul><li>Democrats have not controlled the entire State Legislature in 25 years </li></ul><ul><li>Democrats have never controlled the Governor, Senate and House when redistricting has occurred in the modern one person/one vote era, 1965-present </li></ul><ul><li>Since World War II (62 years), Democrats have controlled the Governor, Senate and House simultaneously for one year: 1983 </li></ul>
  3. 3. The result <ul><li>Democrats have been reduced to a de-facto permanent legislative minority in Lansing, especially since 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic constituencies -- women, minorities, labor, consumers, the poor and environmentalists -- have little voice in the Legislature on issues such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tort law: Kreiner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign finance reform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health care reform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canadian trash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The problem: Redistricting <ul><li>Redistricting: Definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The process by which legislative district lines are drawn for 10 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2002, this process was controlled by Republicans and led to a gerrymandered reapportionment plan that favored Republicans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The next redistricting happens in 2011-12 and will be in effect for 2012-2021 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Redistricting: Process <ul><li>Must control Governor, Senate, House and Supreme Court to control the process as MIGOP did in 2001-02; Democrats have never controlled all four simultaneously in a redistricting year </li></ul><ul><li>Control of Supreme Court most important: Court can overturn redistricting done by the other three </li></ul>
  6. 6. Redistricting: Criteria <ul><li>Focus on preserving county, city and township boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>NCEC and other studies show these criteria systematically biased against Democrats </li></ul>
  7. 7. The problem: Democrats unlikely to control redistricting in 2011-12 <ul><ul><li>2010 elections will use the Senate and House districts gerrymandered against Democrats in 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many legislative Democrats in marginal districts term limited out in 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mid-term election: Democratic turnout lower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing political fallout of 2007 Democratic tax increase votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governor’s seat is open in 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats must defeat two of three incumbent GOP Justices up for re-election in 2008 and 2010 at $10 million per election in the face of ballot incumbency designation; an incumbent Justice has not been defeated since 1984 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Controlling redistricting by typical elections <ul><li>Controlling redistricting in 2011 by winning Governor, Senate, House and Supreme Court (or even just the Supreme Court) is an extremely expensive and very long shot proposition </li></ul>
  9. 9. The problem: 2010 and beyond <ul><li>Without significant reform of legislative redistricting and the Supreme Court before 2010, the historical pattern will continue </li></ul><ul><li>Michigan Democrats likely will not control Michigan State Government during 2012-2021 </li></ul><ul><li>GOP control of Governor, Senate and House is more likely than Democratic control in 2010-2020; another “Engler era” quite possible </li></ul><ul><li>Harm to Democratic constituencies will continue: labor and tort “reform,” erosion of civil rights and environmental protections, budget cuts, privatization </li></ul>
  10. 10. Redistricting reform in 2008 or 2010? <ul><li>Redistricting reform by itself will not be approved by the voters </li></ul><ul><li>As failed ballot proposals during 2005 in California and Ohio demonstrate, redistricting reform by itself is very difficult to enact: complex topic, issue becomes partisan </li></ul><ul><li>To succeed, redistricting reform must be a small part of a larger, popular state government reform proposal </li></ul>
  11. 11. The path to change the political rules: Streamline state government <ul><li>In 2008, use the public’s very negative mood and high level of discouragement about state government (the worst in 25 years) to enact a ballot proposal which comprehensively reforms state government, including changing the structural obstacles to Democratic control of state government in 2012-2021 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Research <ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Polling </li></ul><ul><li>Ballot testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable way test a specific ballot proposal by giving voters the actual ballot language and re-create the voting process as faithfully as possible </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The bleak mood of Michigan <ul><li>Based on nine focus groups and two statewide polls from May-October 2007 performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>82% believe Michigan on “wrong track” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highest wrong track in 27 years of polling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12% approval of legislative job performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25% approval of governor’s job performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>66% oppose recent tax increases </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Quinlan: environment is ripe <ul><li>“ The current environment in Michigan is ripe for enacting major reforms to the state government.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… voters express broad support for a package of reforms to all three branches of the government and the electoral process.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ They support these reforms because they make government more accountable for its actions and get government back to focusing on the most important problems.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Voters react very favorably when introduced to the proposed ballot initiative. In the focus groups, about three-quarters of participants say they would vote for it, and similarly, respondents in the survey begin with nearly four-to-one support, 77 to 20 percent.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Reforming the Legislative Branch <ul><li>Legislators’ benefits after leaving office to be the same as retired state employees </li></ul><ul><li>Stop the revolving door between the Legislature and lobbying with one- or two-year lobbying ban </li></ul><ul><li>Require annual public disclosure of income and assets by all legislators </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce legislative salaries by 25 percent – back to 2002 levels </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reforming the Legislative Branch <ul><li>Reduce the Senate from 38 to 28 and the House from 110 to 82 </li></ul><ul><li>Redistricting done once per decade by a nine-person nonpartisan commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commission must create equal number of Democratic and Republican leaning districts, while also creating swing districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No judicial appeals </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Reforming the Judicial Branch <ul><li>Judicial benefits after leaving office to be the same as retired state employees </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce judicial salaries by 25 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Toughen disciplinary and conflict of interest requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Require annual public disclosure of income and assets for all judges and justices </li></ul>
  18. 18. Reforming the Judicial Branch <ul><li>Add 10 judges to the lower courts </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the number of Supreme Court Justices from seven to five; two GOP Justices eliminated </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the Court of Appeals from 28 to 20 judges, most of them Engler appointees </li></ul>
  19. 19. Reforming the Executive Branch <ul><li>Benefits after leaving office for the four statewide elected officials to be the same as retired state employees </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the salaries of the four statewide elected officials by 25 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Stop the revolving door between the executive branch and lobbying </li></ul><ul><li>Require annual public disclosure of income and assets for the four statewide elected officials </li></ul>
  20. 20. Reforming the Executive Branch <ul><li>Reduce the constitutional cap on the number of state government departments from 20 to 18 </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the number (250+) of state boards and commissions to 200 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Election reforms <ul><li>Make the Bureau of Elections independent of partisanship </li></ul><ul><li>Allow no-reason absentee voting. </li></ul><ul><li>Require post-election audits of election procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Require paper trails for all voting systems </li></ul><ul><li>Ban election official campaign role(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Enact anti-fraud measures </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibit illegal immigrants from registering and voting </li></ul>
  22. 22. Quinlan Analysis of Ballot Proposal <ul><li>Disclosure, reduced salaries and benefits are the most well-received proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly, voters are favorable toward some of the changes affecting judges, statewide elected officials, and legislators: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Annually disclose income and assets (66 percent strongly support, 83 percent total support) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce health care benefits after leaving office (59 percent strongly support, 76 percent total support) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce their salaries by 25 percent (57 percent strongly support, 76 percent total support) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Quinlan Analysis of Ballot Proposal <ul><li>Voters feel that they’ve suffered a lot in this economic recession, and that the government should share in their burden. </li></ul><ul><li>Voters are also supportive of reducing the number of state boards and commissions from 250 to 200 (52 percent strongly support, 80 percent support). </li></ul>
  24. 24. Keep but reduce both houses <ul><li>Reducing both houses is the most favorable way to cut the Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Voters have reservations about a unicameral Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic change with no foreseeable benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Also reservations on part-time legislature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters want a legislature that is working overtime to help move the state in a better direction, not one that is scaled back in its commitment to the state </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The survey confirms that voters are generally favorable to reducing both houses, and attacks that it would create political mayhem generate just mild concerns </li></ul>
  25. 25. Legislative redistricting <ul><li>Voters initially favored the redistricting reforms, 75-22 </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained majority support even after a series of tough attacks based on illegal immigration, cost and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>The key to its passage is packaging it with the other very popular reforms </li></ul>
  26. 26. Term limits taint entire proposal <ul><li>Voters do not favor expanding term limits </li></ul><ul><li>Including a term limits repeal or revision could tank the reform proposal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60 percent of voters say expanding term limits to 12 years in each house would make them less likely to vote for the proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 33 percent said expansion of term limits would make them more likely to vote for the proposal </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. “ Reorganizing ” the courts <ul><li>One half of those surveyed heard the judicial cuts as originally proposed (cuts only) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting Supreme Court: 50 percent favor, 40 percent oppose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting Court of Appeals: 58 percent favor, 31 percent oppose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other half heard an alternative plan to reorganize the number of judges at each level (cut Appellate and Supreme Court while adding local judges) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reorganizing courts: 70 percent favor, 20 percent oppose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This preference for an adjustment in the courts instead of cuts fits with the core of this proposal: making the government more accountable and focused on the state’s priorities </li></ul>
  28. 28. Executive changes well-received <ul><li>Voters react favorably to the proposed cuts to the executive branch. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>52 percent of voters say that they strongly favor reducing the number of state boards and commissions from 250 to 200 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45 percent say they strongly favor reducing the number of state government departments from 20 to 18. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Election reforms <ul><li>Election reforms are popular, according to polling from 2005-06 </li></ul><ul><li>Can pass as part of a package </li></ul><ul><li>However, allowing registration on Election Day or within 30 days of an election jeopardizes the proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-fraud and illegal immigrant provisions added to preempt attacks </li></ul>
  30. 30. Budget: Petition drive <ul><li>500,000 Signatures $1,250,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(10% of 2006 gubernatorial vote + 25% cushion) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>x $2.50/signature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(includes printing) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal $150,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting petition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Board of Canvassers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Litigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@ $300/hr. x 500 hrs.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff supervision of petition drive MDP in-kind </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance MDP in-kind </li></ul><ul><li>Petition total: $1,400,000 </li></ul>
  31. 31. Budget: Fall campaign <ul><li>Media (3 weeks statewide TV) $2,500,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Phone-mail-phone (targeted @ women) $475,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Literature (1,000,000 x $0.10) $100,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Polling (1 baseline and 3 trackers) $55,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Administration (office, computers, phones, etc.) $40,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance MDP in-kind </li></ul><ul><li>Legal ($350/hr. x 100 hrs.) $35,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Staff $306,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director (8 months @ $7,000/mo.) $56,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deputy Director (6 mos. @ $6,000/mo.) $36,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications Director (8 mos. @ $5,500/mo.) $44,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press Secretary (6 mos. @ $5,000/mo.) $30,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundraisers (2 for 6 mos. @ $5,000/mo.) $60,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Coordinator (4 mos. @ $4,000/mo.) $16,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxes $27,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health Insurance ($500/mo.) $22,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mileage $15,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Campaign total: $3,511,000 </li></ul>
  32. 32. Grand total <ul><li>Petition drive $1,400,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Fall campaign $3,511,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Total $4,911,000 </li></ul>
  33. 33. Budget analysis <ul><li>Less than half the cost of trying to beat an incumbent GOP Supreme Court Justice </li></ul><ul><li>More is spent every four years trying to win the House and Senate, usually unsuccessfully </li></ul><ul><li>Less than half the cost of a presidential election year Coordinated Campaign </li></ul><ul><li>If the proposal passes, it will reduce the cost and increase the prospects of winning the State Legislature every cycle </li></ul>
  34. 34. Calendar <ul><li>Dec. 2007 – Jan. 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petition drafting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By Feb. 1, 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petition drive begins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>July 7, 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Signatures due </li></ul></ul>