March 29, 2020

Amy Kerr Hardin | Author


Winning by Cheating

March 21, 2020

An African American man was refused the right to vote in the 2018 Alabama midterms. Why? Because records indicated he owed money to the state — four dollars, to be precise. 
 
Sadly, this is not an anomaly. Thirty states have rules in place that essentially amoun... Read More >>

Pigs Fly in Lansing

Feb. 15, 2020

Bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. Yes, you read that correctly.
 
Two Republican leaders and two Democratic officials put their heads together to form a joint task force with the goal of fostering better outcomes for those in the criminal justice system and for the communi... Read More >>

A War on Women

Jan. 11, 2020

On occasion I drive by the local Planned Parenthood office and observe silent protestors, in prayer vigil, holding signs condemning abortion. I like to imagine that these dedicated souls also spend endless hours in service to children in need — tirelessly fostering and advocating. T... Read More >>

The Cruelty is the Point

Dec. 21, 2019

Several years ago, Michigan’s Republican lawmakers tried a little experiment. They launched a pilot program in three counties to get an idea of how many public assistance recipients were also drug users. They didn’t nab a single soul. Turns out, the working poor, often laborin... Read More >>

The GOP War on the Fourth Estate

Nov. 2, 2019

The liberal media, you say? Think again.
 
A far-right corporation, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, has been acquiring local television stations and using them as a platform to spread their radical political agenda, forcing affiliate anchors to read prepared statements masquer... Read More >>

The Real Welfare Queens

Aug. 24, 2019

It’s rare that I agree with the Koch brother-funded conservative think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Hen’s teeth come to mind. After all, they’ve had a hand in shaping some of the worst public policies in Michigan’s recent history. Their boondoggles inclu... Read More >>

The State of the Well-Regulated Ovaries

June 29, 2019

Missouri’s lone women’s health clinic that provides abortions is under regulatory attack. The doctors there have been ordered to perform medically unnecessary internal pelvic exams on women and girls seeking abortions. This amounts to state-mandated sexual assault. The idea is... Read More >>

Be Best? Michigan’s Better Than That

April 20, 2019

Last year First Lady Melania Trump unveiled, albeit awkwardly, her “Be Best” campaign. Its centerpiece is preventing cyberbullying among youth. The anemic and unprofessionally executed rollout was against the backdrop of her husband’s steady stream of puerile Tweets, mos... Read More >>

Bullies, Bots, and Trolls, Oh My!

Feb. 9, 2019

In this turbulent political climate, internet harassment is clearly on the rise, largely due to a president who can’t make it through his first BK Whopper of the day without trolling anyone who disagrees with his half-baked public policy schemes. On Trump’s lead, online bullyi... Read More >>

America the Stupid

Jan. 5, 2019

Ignorance is not bliss. It’s ignorance — impervious to window dressing, and made all the worse if it’s willfully engaged. Were it truly rapturous, Fox News viewers would exist in a perpetual state of orgasmic euphoria. But alas, they live in a world awash in hate, anger,... Read More >>

Ballot Proposals — Easy as 1, 2, 3

Oct. 27, 2018

Michigan voters have a once in a generation opportunity to send a strong message to Lansing next week. Three ballot proposals, each unique unto itself, and borne of their own sources, are to be determined through our electoral process.

Compared to other states, Michigan’s ba... Read More >>

Term Limits: The Best of Intentions Gone Awry

Aug. 25, 2018

There’s a social media meme making the rounds suggesting that those who don’t like professional politicians should consider having a plumber perform their next colonoscopy. The crude inference is clear: We should place a premium on experience, education, and institutional memo... Read More >>

Drawing the Line on Corruption

June 30, 2018

 

A dedicated group of Michigan activists working to restore the democratic process is under attack through a well-heeled GOP campaign designed to thwart citizen-driven governance. Sketchy maneuvers intended to quash statewide ballot questions in the November election predict... Read More >>

Ain't No Sunshine

April 28, 2018

“Sunshine Week” came and went with little fanfare earlier this year, garnering all the predictable editorials calling for more transparency in government, a concept captured by the maxim “sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

Transparency. It's a simple premi... Read More >>

Helicopter Lawmakers in Lansing

Dec. 30, 2017

The war on local control started with an incendiary state fireworks law designed to supersede local rules, the folly of which was painfully illustrated when a local citizen blasted away a good portion of his, um … man package. Pet owners across the state needed to administer tranqu... Read More >>

Northern Michigan Lawmakers Belly Up to the Lobbyist Trough

Nov. 11, 2017

The elected officials we send to Lansing just love to be wined and dined like royalty, and there's no shortage of lobbyists vying to pick up the tab. Rich Robinson, the former director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a nonprofit, non-partisan watchdog organization, sardonically ... Read More >>

Death by a Thousand Hacks

Sept. 16, 2017

It’s just not that unusual anymore. My credit card was hacked twice in the past three years. And last year, my 24-year-old daughter had her identity stolen. Her resulting credit report was 54 pages long. A few years ago, in a nightmarish scenario, my best friend had her IRS identity... Read More >>

Battling the Big Box Bullies

July 25, 2017

 

Armchair fiscal-policy critics abound. They love to opine on how their local leaders have bungled the budget, draining dry the community coffers. It's all too easy to assume these financial jams are the result of some dastardly longitudinal experiment in incompetence on the... Read More >>

Slaying the Gerrymandered Beast

April 15, 2017

A number of Republican Michigan lawmakers have been in the news for dodging the madding crowds of disenfranchised constituents. These elected officials are cowering safe in the knowledge that their re-election is a lock. It’s all about gerrymandering, the corruptive practice of mani... Read More >>

In The Crosshairs: Home Rule In Michigan

Jan. 21, 2017

Under the specter of a populist-fueled authoritarian regime installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the concept of home rule is now more imperiled than ever in our fragile democracy.

Here the term “home rule” refers to local control — the singular place where the ... Read More >>