Governor Snyder’s First Term: What You Need to Know

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by admin No Comments

Analysis by State Rep. Jeff Irwin, Michigan’s 53 House District.

When Rick Snyder put himself out to be Governor of Michigan during the 2010 election, many voters were wondering what Snyder stood for. As well they should have – Snyder ran a stealth campaign that revealed little about what values he would bring to the Governor’s office. He deflected serious questions about policy and refused to debate his opponent. Instead, Snyder repeated his vague catchphrase: reinvention. As we approach the end of Gov. Snyder’s term, we can look back on the last three years to get an idea of what Rick Snyder is all about. What did he mean by reinventing Michigan?

Gov. Snyder’s reign has been laser-focused on one goal. This one goal, lowering the tax burden for the wealthy, is his unmistakable signature. In service of this goal, Governor Snyder raised taxes on seniors and low-income workers and made steep cuts to K-12 and higher education. The magnitude of this realignment of responsibility is startling. Because of changes in 2011, taxes for most corporations have been eliminated. LLC’s and S-corps now pay a 0 percent tax, reducing state revenues by $1.7 billion in 2012[i]. This represented an 86 percent reduction in taxes on businesses.

How did the Governor pay for this bonanza for big business? He funded this historic tax shift by: raising taxes on people, cutting schools, and reducing support for local police and fire departments. In all, Governor Snyder has systematically raised taxes for wage earners. By rolling back the Earned Income Tax Credit, halting the planned rollback of the state income tax and adding new taxes on pension income, the Snyder administration has increased taxes on people by 31.5 percent. Still, this wasn’t enough to fuel the enormity of the tax relief that Snyder orchestrated for corporations. Major cuts were required by our schools and universities. Specifically, higher education took a 15% cut in Snyder’s first budget. This cut is driving college costs up, pushing higher education out of reach for many Michiganders. K-12 took a big cut, too, losing billions of revenue during Snyder’s term and pushing Michigan into the bottom half of states in terms of per pupil funding. Finally, our local governments took a $100 million hit to the revenue the state allocates to assist with public safety costs (FY2011-12). Whether those cuts were made up by local tax increase, or whether those cuts resulted in less police on the streets is a local decision. Regardless of how your community handled these reductions, Lansing is doing less to support local police and fire.  

So, Governor Snyder is primarily focused on promoting the same trickle-down economics that drove our nation off of the road and into the Great Recession. But Rick Snyder campaigned as a social moderate – what about social issues? Unfortunately, he has governed as a religious conservative. Snyder passed laws making it illegal for a public entity to provide health benefits to their employees in same sex relationship. Snyder also signed a law meant to shut down providers of abortions by blanketing them with new regulations. And, just in time for the 2014 election, Snyder broke his campaign promise to require public disclosure of who funds election ads. Why did Snyder sign all of this bad legislation? Apparently, he believed that playing along with the religiously motivated conservatives in the legislature was required to accomplish his agenda, a radical restructuring of Michigan’s tax policy.

Gov. Snyder is a true believer in trickle-down economics. He believes that tax policy favoring the rich makes Michigan attractive for the wealthy, thereby trickling benefits down to the wage earners.  Economists and historians know that economic prosperity is built from the ground up, and that economic strategies focused on helping the wealthy have failed time and again. It’s time for the voters to let Gov. Snyder know that these policies squeeze hard-working middle class families, and that Michigan still believes in a strong middle class.

[i] The changes in 2011 were complicated, including a repeal of the MI Business Tax and the change to a 6% corporate income tax for c-corps. Here are the details from the House Fiscal Agency:

Strolling Gala at Rush Street, 4-9 PM Sunday March 2!

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Join us for an evening featuring great hors d’oeuvres (lots of vegetarian and vegan options), desserts, drinks (wine/beer), live music, guest speakers and other entertainment! A local Judge will be on hand to renew wedding vows for married couples.

Ticket Price: $40 in advance, $75 for two in advance, $35 for students or $50 at the door.
Ticket Purchase:

If you have any questions or wish to sponsor the event, email Hedieh Briggs or call (734) 531-9605.

 Kids are welcome. Hope to see you there!

Annual Meeting to Elect Party Officers Dec. 14 10 to Noon

Posted on: December 7th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Sat. Dec. 14th – 10:00 AM to 12 Noon – Annual Meeting – Ann Arbor Community Center, 625 North Main Street

Ann Arbor Democratic Party Executive Board – Nominating Committee Report on Positions
Below are the recommendations submitted by the Nominating Committee for Officer Elections next Saturday, December 14th from 10:00 am to 12 Noon.

Mike Henry

Doug Scott

Lauren Coffman

Vice Chairs for Organization*: 
Eric Keller
James Daniel

Vice Chairs for Special Events: 
Jay Mullick
Hedieh Briggs
Brad O’Conner
Vice Chairs for Programs: 
Mary Hall-Thiam
Margaret Connors
Nora Wright

Vice Chairs for Resolutions, Bylaws, & Policy: 
Marty Fischhoff
David Cahill
Graham Teall
Vice Chairs for Outreach & Inclusion: 
Danniyal Shahid
Julie Grand

Vice Chairs for Communications: 
Jason Morgan

Chief Technology Officer:
 Erica Ackerman

Liaison to the College Democrats of the University of Michigan: 
Trevor Dolan

Vice Chair for Voter Registration & Protection:
Brian Merlos

Vice Chair for Research, Data & Policy: 
Nick Buonodono

Vice Chair for Fundraising:
 Joe Malcoun

Vice Chair for Social Media: 
Ebru Uras

September Social @ Vellum

Posted on: September 9th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments

Our friends at Vellum are graciously hosting us for our first social mixer of the fall! Come and meet some of our elected officials and our exciting candidates running for office, enjoy some elegant hors d’oeuvres on us, and imbibe in Vellum’s drink specials just for our event.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Facebook Event

MeetUp Event

Laborpalooza 2013 TODAY! Monday, 9/2 from 3-7.

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by admin No Comments

Laborpalooza 2013 is today and we recently got some exciting news: U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters confirmed that he’ll be joining us at Gallup Park on Monday.  With Congressman Peters joining an already-impressive array of elected officials and speakers — to say nothing of the live music, dunk tank, grilled Lake Superior fish, cornhole, volleyball, rootbeer pong, and rentable SuperSoakers — Laborpalooza promises to be the most exciting Democratic Party party of the year.

Event Details

  • What: Labor Day Laborpalooza
  • Date: Monday, September 2nd, 2013
  • Time: 3:00pm to 7:00pm
  • WhereGallup Park, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Tickets: $15 ($14 if you wear a campaign shirt); Students $10 ($9 if you wear a campaign shirt)
  • Host: The Ann Arbor Dems

Special Guests

  • Mark Schauer, Democratic Candidate for Governor     
  • Gary Peters, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate
  • John Dingell, U.S. Representative, District 12
  • Debbie Dingell, WSU Board of Governors Chair and DNC Member
  • Rebekah Warren, State Senator, District 18
  • Gretchen Driskell, State Representative, District 52
  • Jeff Irwin, State Representative, District 53
  • David Rutledge, State Representative, District 54
  • and Mark Gaffney, Honorary Labor Day Laborpalooza 2013 Chair

Camp Millie Weekend Political Training

Posted on: August 4th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments
Interested in running for office or becoming a campaign manager? Join Democrats from around the State of Michigan for an exciting new political training program to help you get the skills you need to make that a reality!

Successful candidates and campaign managers will mentor you for an entire weekend and give a wealth of inside information on how these things work.

Here are the details:

* August 17-18, 2013, 8 AM-5 PM both days

* At the Eisenhower Center, 3200 East Eisenhower, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

* While sponsors will cover most of the costs, attendees pay $50 to help cover breakfast, lunch, & snack expenses for participants both days. 

* Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford that! Use one of the contacts below for more information.

* Progressives preferred. Sponsors are welcome.

* Space is limited. Reserve your space below TODAY!

* For more information contact: 

- Mary Hall-Thiam 

- Kathy Wyatt

Michael Henry

Or visit


Sat. Aug. 17th & Sun. Aug. 18th – 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days – Camp Millie DIVERSITY at the Eisenhower Center, 3200 Eisenhower Parkway

Posted on: August 4th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments
This political training boot camp is designed to target Democrats of color who may have considered running for office but are uncertain how realistic it is to win in largely white districts.  We have hired professional campaign faculty and invited elected officials of color to show you step by step how to win!  Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Reps. Santana and Tlaib, Commissioners Rabhi and Smith, MDP Executive Director Garrett Arwa, and MDP Chairman Lon Johnson are just a few of the experts who will present, guide, and mentor you during your run for office.  Cost is $50 to help cover your meals.  Need-based scholarships are available.  Visit to register NOW or to apply for a scholarship.

All Ann Arbor Dems should feel free to text, call, or email me 24/7.  Thank you for your continued support and efforts toward advancing our values.  I am looking forward to seeing your Democratic Party smile, talent, and commitment very soon.

Summer Celebratory Mixer

Posted on: July 20th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments

1069348_10102802904738253_893876092_nCome join us at one of the most Ann Arbor-ish venues in Ann Arbor, Dominick’s, for a mixer to celebrate recent progressive victories, the great summer we’re having and the exciting new candidates we have running for office!

If you don’t know Dominick’s, it’s known for its great Sangrias, summery outdoor seating and delicious Italian food. (It’s also known for a loudspeaker system that makes you feel like you’re in a Charlie Brown movie.) Dominick’s is at 812 Monroe Street, near the U of M Law school.

While Dominick’s can’t give drink or food specials, we are going to offer our own form of a special. We’ve coordinated with the owners to provide discount coupons that people can apply to whatever they want to purchase.

- As the fiscal conservatives we are :), we must stick to a budget. So, there will be a limited number of coupons, which they will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. Make sure to get their early if you want yours!

- The party will provide one discount coupon to attendees as supplies last.

- As a bonus for those of you who’ve made the effort to help us launch our meetup site, we’ll be providing a SECOND DISCOUNT COUPON to anybody who signs up for meetup and RSVP’s by the 30th.

The party will also provide appetizers. This event will happen rain or shine. If weather does not cooperate, Dominick’s will be moving us to their upstairs indoor area.

Given upcoming elections, we’re going to have even more candidates for city council and statewide office than we usually do. And there will be many currently elected officials and other local democrats to mingle with. This mixer should be very popular, so make sure to RSVP on the meetup site. It’s VERY easy to do. Just go to this link, click JOIN and follow the simple instructions:

(here’s a tiny version of the same link:

Hope to see you all there!

Sat. July 20th – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Statewide Black Caucus Meeting at the Sheraton Ann Arbor

Posted on: July 18th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments

Join the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Black Caucus as we host over 100 Black Caucus members from around the State of Michigan for this important event at the Sheraton Ann Arbor, 3200 Boardwalk Drive in Ann Arbor.  President Obama will not be on the ballot in the future.  How do we continue and sustain what we started during his campaigns?  Bring your input and 3 friends.  Complimentary food and beverages will be provided.

Thurs. July 18th – 6:00 to 8:00 PM – Fundraiser for Kristy Pagan at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home of Deb Fredericks

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by Dmitry Kalinchenko No Comments

Candidate for State Rep. – Kristy Pagan will visit the home of Deb Fredericks, 3935 Holden in Ann Arbor.  This is a great opportunity to see the beautiful Haddock-Whiteford house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright while supporting an amazing young candidate for office.  Kristy is running to replace term-limited Democrat Dian Slavens, in the MI-21, which covers Canton, Belleville, and Van Buren Twp.  As Ann Arbor Dems have proven with Rep. Gretchen Driskell we support our neighbors and help Democrats win everywhere!  To RSVP email or visit

Bridge over the Huron River with Obama written on it
2008 AA Dems Picnic
2010 AA Dems Labor Day Picnic
Rebekah Warren speaking at 2010 AA Dems Labor Day Picnic
Congressman John Dingell address AA Dems 2010 Labor Day Picnic Patrick Boeheim and another woman at the 2010 AA Dems Picnic Two Women at 2010 AA Dems Picnic 2011 Chili Cookoff Steven Kunselman and Yonah Lieberman, Jan. 2011 AA Dems Mixer, Jan. 2011 Man at AA Dems Mixer, Jan. 2011


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