President Obama is set to campaign for his $1.6 trillion tax hike in Detroit on Monday, but it appears a much more historic development will overshadow his appearance. Yesterday, both the Michigan state House and Senate passed identical versions of the Workplace Fairness and Equity Act, bills that would give workers the freedom not to join unions if they so choose.

According to state procedural rules, the legislation must wait five days before it can advance. Tuesday will be the first opportunity Gov. Rick Snyder has to make Michigan a right-to-work state. “For us to succeed, we have to remain competitive. That’s why I believe we should make Michigan a freedom-to-work state,” Snyder said at a press conference yesterday.

Unions, who view giving workers a choice about whether or not they want to pay union dues as a threat to their existence, did not take Snyder’s effort lying down. After Snyder announced he would support the legislation, union activists rushed the Senate chamber. Squadrons of Michigan State Police were ready for union violence however, and with the use of pepper spray they were able to prevent the protestors from hijacking the chamber. “A level of appropriate force was used by troopers,” State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said. “Medical treatment was offered but they refused.” Eight protestors were arrested in the melee.

While Michigan went for Obama by a 10-point 54 percent to 44 percent margin this November, Gov. Snyder still managed to engineer a slew of conservative victories. Republicans not only maintained control of the state House (the State Senate was not up for re-election) and the state Supreme Court, but liberals also lost three major ballot propositions.

Michigan’s Proposal 2 would have enshrined collective bargaining powers for unions in the state constitution. It failed, 58 percent to 42 percent. Michigan’s Proposal 3 would have forced state utilities to produce at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources (e.g. wind, solar, biomass, etc.). It failed 63 percent to 37 percent. And Michigan’s Proposal 4 would have unionized home health care providers. It failed 57 percent to 43 percent.

The tide is turning in Michigan. Michiganders are tired of businesses and factories leaving the state. They are tired of having the highest unemployment rate in the region. Yesterday’s right to work victory was another major step in Michigan’s fight to become competitive again.


From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Michigan’s fight to be competitive again
Byron York: As Obama ups his bid, GOP searches for a finesse
Joel Gehrke: ‘DeMint disciples’ promise to honor his legacy
Charlie Spiering: Speaking to Rush Limbaugh, DeMint jokes that he might force out Speaker Boehner
Tim Carney: Does the RNC really want a corporate lobbyist as chairman?

In Other News
Gallup, U.S. Small-Business Owners’ Hiring Intentions Plunge: U.S. small-business owners expect to add fewer net new jobs over the next 12 months than at any time since the depths of the 2008-2009 recession, according to this November’s Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey.
Fox News, New Jersey Gov. Christie vetoes state-run health exchange bill: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation establishing a state-run health insurance exchange in line with the Affordable Care Act.
The Washington Post, Senator leaving for think tank: Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a tea party icon known more for his confrontational political style, is leaving the senate to head The Heritage Foundation.
The Wall Street Journal, Cautious Companies Stockpile Cash: U.S. companies were sitting atop a record pile of cash at the end of September, but have slowed their saving as the economy has emerged from recession.
The New York Times, In Shift of Jobs, Apple Will Make Some Macs in US: Apple plans to join a small but growing number of companies that are bringing some manufacturing jobs back to the United States, drawn by the growing economic and political advantages of producing in their home market.
The Los Angeles Times, In Syrian war’s end game, Moscow maneuvers away from Assad: As concerns mount that Syrian President Bashar Assad could unleash chemical weapons against his opponents, the Kremlin appears to be recalibrating its support for a desperate ally.
Politico, Obama outspent Romney in final days: As the presidential election reached its climax, Obama’s campaign spending dwarfed that of Romney’s campaign, outspending its Republican counterpart by more than $71 million between Oct. 18 and Election Day.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Fred Barnes says the ideal replacement for DeMint is Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
Cato’s Dan Mitchell lists Five Policy Reasons and Five Political Reasons Why Republicans Should Keep their No-Tax-Hike Promises.
Mario Loyola, director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, explains why states should not set up Obamacare exchanges.

Lefty Playbook
Think Progress lists 11 reasons liberals are happy DeMint left the Senate.
The Washington Post‘s Dylan Matthews lists ten ways liberals can fight income inequality without raising taxes.
Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall explains why the federal government is headed towards “the mother of all government shutdowns.”