The Attack On Michigan's Anti-Gerrymandering Vote
VICTORY IN MICHIGAN
On July 31, 2018, the Michigan Supreme Court voted to keep an anti-gerrymandering measure on the November ballot. The state’s highest court ruled against the plaintiffs, who were backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, in a win for over 7 million Michigan voters and the grassroots group Voters Not Politicians, who gathered more than 425,000 signed petitions to put the measure on the ballot. The court decision comes on the heels of a heated battle in the court of public opinion between the Chamber and the nonpartisan anti-corruption group Represent.Us.
Represent.Us’ launched a digital campaign to rattle Chamber executive committee members and staff demanding they drop the suit and let the people vote. The campaign drew attention and sharp scrutiny of Chamber lawsuits and typical campaign contributions that often do no receive significant attention. The campaign to keep anti-gerrymandering on the ballot included:
- A protest outside Deloitte's offices in Detroit. Deloitte's Michigan Managing Partner Mark Davidoff chairs the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Livestream from protest.
- A petition with 5,000 signatures to Deloitte’s Davidoff urging him to drop the lawsuit.
- A digital campaign that reached 1.5 million people with videos, press coverage, advertisements and social media engagement.
- Major newspapers ads across Michigan in the Detroit Free Press and the Oakland Press.
- A billboard truck through the streets outside the Michigan Supreme Court during oral arguments.
- Helped organize a Let the People Vote rally during the court hearing.
Be sure to check out our Michigan Campaign Timeline for more details, information, and press regarding the campaign to let the people VOTE!
The People of Michigan vs. Special Interests
Several states are considering anti-gerrymandering measures this November – and the initiative that just made the ballot in Michigan would impact more congressional seats than any other state.
But the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a dark money group that doesn’t disclose its donors, is backing a lawsuit to stop Michiganders from voting on it.
425,000 citizens signed petitions for the right to vote on the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative this November. But it appears the Chamber, led by Chair Mark Davidoff of Deloitte, care more about protecting establishment politicians than protecting democracy.
Before the initiative even qualified for the ballot, the Chamber-backed lawsuit was filed to stop the measure from appearing on the November ballot.
Here's what we know:
- A Chamber PAC that fights ballot measures received more than half of its contributions from Canadian-based energy conglomerate Enbridge.
- The Chairman of the Chamber is Mark Davidoff, a Managing Partner at Deloitte, a global financial services firm.
- In Michigan, Deloitte has received more than $400 million worth of active government contracts.
The Chamber-backed legal challenge was rejected by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Supreme Court will hear the case next.
How the Anti-Corruption Movement is Fighting Back in Michigan
To stop the attack on voters in Michigan, people all across America are demanding that the Chamber, led by Deloitte's Managing Partner Mark Davidoff, drop the lawsuit and let the people vote.
Thousands of people have joined the campaign so far, signing an online petition that urges Davidoff to drop the suit.
And more than 22,000 people have seen a video that exposes Davidoff and others who are backing the lawsuit to stop the vote.
Why this Campaign Matters for All Americans - Not Just Michigan Voters
The recent Supreme Court Gill v Whitford decision revealed that the courts aren't going to stop gerrymandering – which means that state campaigns to put an end to gerrymandering on the ballot are the only way voters can stop it.
But if this attack in Michigan is successful in stopping the vote, Michiganders won't even get the chance to decide for themselves whether to end gerrymandering. It would send the wrong message to special interests and corrupt politicians in all 50 states that they can take away our right to put anti-corruption initiatives to a vote.