Two incredible activists in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have achieved the impossible. Through their hard work in gathering over 10,000 voter signatures on a petition, Rina Baker and Bonnie Burke have united big business and big labor in perfect harmony.
Union bosses and the bigs of biz are now funding a united campaign.
Their ubiquitous mailers speak against the “hijacking of our local democratic process” and sinister forces trying to “change our city charter, erode local control and silence your voice,” warning Grand Rapids residents: “Don’t let your vote be shredded.”
Shredded votes? What specific issue are they talking about?
Well, this well-funded business/labor campaign has purposely left out two words that, if uttered, would obliterate their entire effort.
Those two little words? Term limits.
The law that Rina Baker and Bonnie Burke have petitioned onto the ballot, for a public vote? An eight-year limit for mayor and council members.
Nothing brings powerful special interests together like fear of term limits.
The president of the United States is limited to eight years, but Andy Johnston, the Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of government affairs, argues that, “Particularly at the local level, it takes time to learn the ins and outs of city government.”
“In politics you develop relationships with different people,” explains Kent-Ionia Labor Council President Sean Egan. “When you continually replace good politicians for the sake of having new people, you lose the wisdom and experience and you end up with policy created by other groups.”
You mean policy supported by folks “other” than big business and big labor?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.