What’s in a name? Plenty if you’re Proposal 2.
The unions behind the proposal to change the state constitution officially changed the initiative's title from "Protect Our Jobs" to "Protect Working Families."
To try and pass the ballot initiative, those behind it must sell it to the public as something beneficial. Perhaps the union-backed “Protect Our Jobs” did not have the same ring as “Protect Working Families.”
We know Prop 2 would apply mostly to government unions that represent 3 percent of Michigan's population. "Our jobs” must have sounded too exclusive. "Working families" has broader appeal even if the ballot proposal still does not reach a broader audience.
Dan Lijana, spokesman for group told The Detroit News: "The bottom line is working families are the people under attack from corporate special interests and Lansing politicians and that's who this campaign protects. We're talking about firefighters, nurses, teachers. Those are the people that we're talking about here."
F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of Labor Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy says, “No amount of window-dressing can change the fact that this would change the power structure in Michigan and allow union contracts to overrule laws passed by elected representatives."
Some of those laws include many cost-savings measures that tally more than $1.6 billion a year, which would be lost to taxpayers under Prop 2.
"The fact that they’re changing their name shows there's a stigma with the old name, but the real stigma is what this will do," Vernuccio said.