Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012 Sen. Steve Southerland and Rep. Don Miller Re-write the McGuffin Law But Still Shut the People Out--No REFERENDUM

The "news"paper reported that the McGuffin Law was introduced in the state legislature, but I haven't seen an article on the changes made by Sen. Steve Southerland and Rep. Don Miller.

The local "McGuffin Law" (SB 3787/Sen. Steve Southerland and HB 3860/Rep. Don Miller) was sent to the state legislature by the LeBel Five: Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Claude Jinks, and Chris Bivens. The LeBel Five's appointment process (Nov 2011) had all MUC appointments bypassing the Mayor and coming directly to city council. 

Southerland and Miller had state attorneys re-write the "McGuffin Law" so it would provide that the Mayor gets three chances to please the LeBel Five by appointing the person the Five want and then, if the Mayor doesn't please the Five with any of his three appointments, the next MUC appointment comes directly to council and the LeBel Five can finally appoint McGuffin this year and any person they want in future years.

HB 3860 is here.

[Since the Mayor hasn't been able to please the LeBel Five with his past FOURTEEN nominations, the changes by Southerland and Miller will have little practical effect]

Southerland and Miller re-wrote the "McGuffin Law," but they are not willing to put their new and improved "McGuffin Law" to a vote of the people in a REFERENDUM--which is how the current appointment process was enacted in 2001

The LeBel Five don't want a $250 CITY REFERENDUM on the "McGuffin Law" on August 2, 2012, in conjunction with the county election----or at any time---and Southerland and Miller are leaving it where the LeBel Five don't have to worry about a referendum. The LeBel Five get the final say on approval of the "McGuffin Law." 

It's way too risky to let the people vote again, so the LeBel Five will use their FIVE votes to change what 3,202 people voted for in the 2001 REFERENDUM. No REFERENDUM in 2012 as in 2001. Just shut the people out this time.

The irony here is that there have been many votes at the state level to prevent voter fraud, such as the requirement that voters present a Picture ID before voting---and I absolutely agree with the Photo ID law.

But who protects the votes and the integrity of a referendum election after it has taken place? 

It appears that the integrity of the 2001 REFERENDUM and the votes of 3,202 PEOPLE don't count when politicians and George McGuffin are scrambling to ensure that McGuffin continues on the Morristown Utilities Commission.

Why have local officials decided that having one particular person--and no one else--on the MUC Board is so important that:

(1) They have to go to the State to get the MUC Private Act changed;
(2) They are willing to overturn an appointment process that was approved by 72% of the voters (3,202 people) in a referendum; and
(3) They are acting like it would be the end of the world if the McGuffin Law didn't pass?

And why has George McGuffin decided that his power and position on the MUC Board are worth creating appointment gridlock for eight months, having his name submitted fourteen times, and going to the state to get local officials to overturn the current MUC appointment process that was overwhelmingly approved in the 2001 REFERENDUM?

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