Michigan Corporations Didn’t Mind Doing Away with Democracy in Detroit

In 2013, democracy was notably less popular with Michigan corporate leaders and Governor Rick Snyder, right.

Last week, the leaders of Michigan’s 30 largest corporations and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce released a joint statement opposing Michigan Republicans’ efforts to make it harder to vote.

“The right to vote is a sacred, inviolable right of American citizens,” they declared. “Our democracy is strongest when we have the greatest level of participation by our citizens in a representative government.”

It was stirring stuff, nearly enough to make you forget that just a few years ago, when it came to the right of the nation’s largest black-majority city to elect its own government, the same people were singing a very different tune.

“Bring it on,” cheered Detroit Regional Chamber president Sandy Baruah in 2013 when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced he was appointing an “emergency financial manager” to take control of the city of Detroit.

Baruah explained to the New York Times that doing away with Detroit’s democratically elected leadership would “send a positive message to business.”

So much for sacred and inviolable.

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