It's game on.
The very political war the governor was hoping to avoid, is now almost a sure bet. The Protect our Jobs Coalition, a front group for organized labor, has filed way more than the required signatures to put an issue on the November ballot that will surely produce a divisive battle between business and unions.
POJC seeks to bake into the state constitution the right to collective bargain which unions argue has been under assault ever since Gov. Rick Snyder rode into town.
Sure, Mr. Snyder was no Gov. Scott Walker in dealing with union issues, but the net result, the union folks contend, is exactly the same. "A death by a thousand cuts" is how the union side describes the alleged anti union agenda that continues to fly through the GOP controlled legislature.
With the filing of over 600,000 petition signatures, with only 322,00 required, this amendment is headed to the statewide ballot. But getting the names was the easy part.
Getting the votes will be much tougher and certainly more expansive.
"We didn't ask for this fight," notes Michigan Chamber of Commerce president Rich Studley, but he says his side is ready to oppose this. And in fact a coalition is already in place working on strategy to kill this before it multiplies.
Labor is facing an uphill climb to sell this thing. First off this is not your grand daddy's labor movement in Michigan these days. Once the proverbial 800 pound gorilla, union ranks are thinner than they were thirty years ago. Public sentiment toward unions has also waned as Republicans have done a masterful job of casting the union folks as part of the problem and not the solution.
Heck in Wisconsin, once a decidedly pro-union state, the electorate was evenly divided two weeks ago on whether collective bargaining was a good thing or not and there are fears on this side of Lake Michigan the same attitude may prevail.
When they count the bodies the day after the election the only winners may be the TV, radio and newspapers that are looking at a financial windfall in advertising dollars as both sides spend a bundle to win this war.