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Friday, June 19,2009

Letters to the editor

by Readers

Labor agreements good for workers


Corporate special interest groups are spreading misinformation about Ingham County’s important proposal that would strengthen the local economy and require accountability for all projects funded by county taxpayers.

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors and other powerful groups that represent CEOs say the county’s project labor agreement proposal would mean only unionized contractors would be allowed to bid on public projects. That’s just not true.


Ingham County taxpayers deserve the facts about this important proposal — not more outrageous lies from big business organizations. Here are the facts about project labor agreements:


— Project labor agreements protect taxpayers by ensuring that county projects are completed properly and on time.


— Project labor agreements ensure we have a skilled workforce made up of local residents, who spend their wages locally, pay local taxes and help support our local and state economies.

— Safety is a top priority on a job site and a workforce that gets the job done on time and saves money.


— Project labor agreements ensure that tax dollars are not frittered away to contractors who undercut local businesses by hiring unskilled, illegal or outof-state labor.

Rather than argue the facts about project labor agreements, the Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors and other powerful special interest groups are resorting to mistruths, deflections and even outright lies.


Project labor agreements protect local taxpayers from predatory contractors and ensure local workers get the first crack at new, good-paying jobs — regardless if they’re in a union.

The Ingham County Commission should adopt this critical proposal and make sure local investments are protected from predatory contractors.


— Andrew Mosser President Mid-Michigan Construction Alliance




Upset over Pride column


What are we to make of you? We are used to your pedantries and pontifications, your endless corrections and poorly researched articles. We chuckle and chalk it up to a Saki-esque ingenuity and take your paper for what it is — an amateur dilettantism.

But really — this article ("On the eve of Gay Pride," a June 10 column by Berl Schwartz) reveals a darker side to your nature than previous farragoes. You are condoning radicalism and intolerance and chiding more mature members of the “community” for taking a step back from this very thing. You are either lying through your teeth when you claim the radicals “broke no laws as far as you can tell,” or you are blinded by opinion and prejudice to easily researchable fact (you did mention the lawsuit filed by the attacked church — did you miss the citation of the law in the articles? It is the same law that bans anti-abortion protesters from entering clinics — the rider protecting churches was added by Orrin Hatch).

And you make a blatant attempt to emotionally blackmail other members of the gay community into supporting the radicals in defending the suit.


Did this group consult the community before taking this action?


No, they did not. They acted unilaterally, and must take sole responsibility for their actions. No one else has any obligation to aid them in any way.


And what on Earth are you doing, calling the church in question the “enemy?” Can you be less tolerant? This church did not stage actions in gay bars or at pride marches. They staged their own event, and expressed their own views. Big difference.

A homosexuality versus religion battle will be lost by gays. The attack on the church, the attack on Miss California as a platform for protesting Prop 8, shrill and confrontational rhetoric from those of the same ilk as the local radicals — all this is creating a groundswell of resentment, and could very well lead to backlash. Homosexuals are a minority. They can ill afford the enmity of straights.

You, as an older openly gay man and member of the business community, would be better serving the gay community by advising prudence, foresight and caution — not cheerleading political activists to hot headed and pointless action.


— G. Arthur Graham Lansing


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