It’s hard to make this stuff up. Last year the Michigan legislature passed a bill that gave the Governor the right to seize control of a city and insert a manager that had the authority to fire all workers, abrogate all contracts and privatize all public asset, all without the advice or consent of elected officials. So far two cities have been put under this kind of financial martial law. Detroit is under a similar arrangement through a consent agreement, done in large part because the Governor wanted to ensure that Detroit would continue to be under state financial controls even if the law were overturned in the November elections.
The good citizens of Michigan gathered 226,000 signatures on a petition to put the question on the ballot this November. They needed only 160,000. The Huffington Post reports that the Board of Canvassers rejected the petition in a deadlocked 2-2 vote. The two Republicans voting against justified it on the basis that the font for one of the section headings on the petition was too small. It was a 14 point font. The Court of Appeals will review the decision. But in the meantime the citizens of Michigan have learned that if you give the state over to Republicans it may be very, very difficult to get it back.