By CHARLES CRUMM
Chris Kopacz is a self-employed graphics designer and he’s using his dissatisfaction with Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget-balancing plans to distribute a logo he created that he hopes will become the symbol of opposition.
The logo shows an outline of the state on a blue background and the words “Stand Up & Fight.”
The eventual goal, he says, will be a movement to recall Snyder from the office he’s held for just three months.
“I support that and I’m behind that,” says Kopacz, 32, of Waterford Township. “Right now, all we can do is generate interest for it.
“There’s no recall option until the governor has been in office six months,” he said. “On July 1, they can actually start the recall effort in earnest.
“We are definitely going to exercise that option,” Kopacz said.
Since he introduced his budget proposals to the Legislature in mid February, Snyder, the former Gateway CEO and self-described “one tough nerd,” has become a polarizing figure in Michigan politics and government.
The budget proposals include taxing pensions but giving generous tax cuts to businesses while cutting funding to education and placing limits on public worker benefits.
A poll on the website http://www.recallrick.com sums up the sore points of Snyder’s budget proposals.
It asks people to pick the number reason to recall the governor: Cuts to education budgets, attacks on unions, cuts to local governments or the recently signed emergency manager legislation.
Proposed cuts to education is listed at the top by 36 percent followed by the emergency manager bill at 32 percent.
At http://www.theoaklandpress.com, the website of The Oakland Press, a simple question asks if people approve of Snyder’s job so far. More than 90 percent said they don’t with more than 2,200 voting.
Across the social website Facebook, there are numerous pages dedicated to tossing Snyder from office at the first opportunity. The Facebook pages include Recall Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan Rally Information, and Recall Rick.
“If we look at Snyder’s budget proposal, it is fundamentally flawed,” says Kopacz, “$1.9 billion in tax credits while cutting $1.8 by clamping down on teacher salaries and wages, unemployment, pensions.
“The reason I’m concerned about this is because what they seem to be doing is essentially widening the gap between the rich and poor and eliminating the concept of the middle class.”
Snyder on Thursday issued a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and House Speaker Jase Bolger highlighting the accomplishments of his administration and the Republican-controlled Legislature in three months.
Listed among them was the controversial legislation signed that extends access to federal unemployment benefits for those who exhaust their state benefits. But the legislation also shortened the time of state benefits from 26 weeks to 20.
“We’re putting Michigan on the path to prosperity through cooperation and relentless positive action,” Snyder said.
Democrats were quick to issue other assessments of the first three months.
“This video tells the real story of the governor’s first three months on the job,” Brewer said. “Snyder and the Republicans have cut unemployment benefits and eliminated jobs. His budget also cuts public education and public safety, unfairly raises taxes on seniors, middle-class families, and low-wage workers – all so he can pay for a record giveaway to big corporations, insurance companies, big banks, and wealthy CEOs. That’s not ‘reinventing’ Michigan. That’s ruining Michigan.”
But for all criticism and talk of a recall, a recent and more scientific poll notes that while Snyder’s negatives are up, his numbers remain more positive than negative.
A poll by Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group off 600 likely voters between March 14 and March 19 notes that 42 percent approve of the job Snyder is doing as governor while 38 percent disapprove.
As for his plan to balance the state budget, 44 percent approve while 41 percent disapprove.
Poll respondents were 26 percent Republican, 26 percent Democrat and 43 percent independent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.
But as MRG President Tom Shields notes, “The honeymoon is over for Gov. Snyder.”
Shields notes that Snyder has better number than Republican Gov. John Engler did after his first three months in office in 1991.
“Gov. Engler’s plans to cut government spending were met with the same kind of resistance as Gov. Snyder’s plans are currently drawing,” says Shields.
Kopacz hopes his logo becomes the symbol of resistance. It’s posted on the website as a free download at http://www.standupmi.com.
Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 248-745-4649 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. More information is at oaklandmichiganpolitics.blogspot.com.