Saturday, December 20, 2014

CONYERS & 76 CONGRESSIONAL COLLEAGUES SEND LETTER TO UN URGING DUE PROCESS FOR HAITIAN CHOLERA VICTIMS



DETROIT - Today, Congressman John Conyers Jr. (MI-13) and 76 Members of Congress sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging UN authorities to ensure that victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti have access to a fair and impartial procedure for adjudication of their claims.
Scientific evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the UN introduced cholera to Haiti in October 2010 through improper waste disposal on a base located on the banks of a tributary to the Artibonite River.  To date, more than 8,500 Haitians have died from the disease and over 700,000 people have been infected, becoming the largest single-country cholera epidemic in the world.
In July, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Haiti and acknowledged the UN’s “moral responsibility” to respond, but no major actions have been taken with regard to the cholera crisis since that time.   
“Haiti’s cholera crisis has been a stain on the world’s conscience,” said Rep. Conyers.  “We are united in working to ensure that the United Nations upholds its obligations to provide a fair process to adjudicate claims by individuals harmed in the course of its operations.” Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS & GOODLATTE: WE CANNOT ALLOW FOREIGN DICTATORS TO THREATEN OUR FREEDOMS

John Conyers, Jr.
WASHINGTON – Today,  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Chairman Bob Goodlatte ( R-Va.) released the following joint statement after the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that North Korea is responsible for the Sony cyber-attack:

“We are deeply concerned that our suspicions were confirmed today by the FBI that North Korea is behind the attack on Sony Pictures and the associated threats of physical harm against U.S. citizens.  We will not allow terrorists or a narcissistic dictator to dictate what products can or cannot be created and distributed in America.  Whether or not we like the plot, production, or tone of The Interview, every American has a stake in ensuring that our collective freedom of speech is not abridged by either our own government or a foreign government.

“The United States must stand firm against this type of aggression against our freedom of speech.  Otherwise, these actions will have a chilling effect on creative works in the future and will embolden North Korea and other copycats to act again to further curtail books, television and cable shows, newspapers, blogs, and web sites.  Our national response to this threat must be clear and unequivocal.  As the committee with jurisdiction over the Justice Department and FBI, we will continue to monitor this investigation and support efforts by the U.S. to thwart these intrusive attacks.”

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CONYERS APPLAUDS PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR SECURING RELEASE OF ALAN GROSS AND INITIATING REESTABLISHMENT OF RELATIONS WITH CUBA

DETROIT – Today, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) issued the following statement after President Obama announced the release of an American prisoner, Alan Gross, from Cuba and that the United States will pursue diplomatic relations with the country:

John Conyers, Jr.
“President Obama has demonstrated real leadership in securing the release of American Alan Gross and initiating the reestablishment of normal diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba.  

“For more than half a century, our country’s policy of isolation toward Cuba has failed to promote democracy or prosperity for the Cuban people.  The policy has separated families, obstructed trade, and undermined US influence in the Western Hemisphere. 

“Today’s announcement from President Obama is a historic step in the right direction.  In moving toward normal diplomatic relations, empowering the Cuban people economically through greater access to remittances and exports, authorizing additional travel, and initiating other steps to reintegrate Cuba into the community of nations, President Obama is laying the groundwork for substantial economic development and progress on human rights.    

“This announcement is also good news for the US economy.  Cuba sits just 90 miles off our coast and has an economy of more than $68 billion.  Yet, up to this point, American firms have been forced to cede business to foreign competitors.  Of particular interest to my hometown of Detroit, the people of Cuba—who must famously rely on American cars made before 1959—may soon be able to buy American cars and automotive parts once again. 
“As a longtime advocate of normalized relations with Cuba, I look forward to working with President Obama to fully implement the policy initiatives announced today.  I commend the President for heeding the wise advice of Pope Francis and other human rights leaders in making today’s compassionate, commonsense decision.  After more than 50 years of failed policy, it’s time that we changed course.”
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John Conyers Jr.: How Congress can address our racial outrage

 By John Conyers, Jr.

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.

Nearly 50 years ago, the Kerner Commission, which was created in the aftermath of the country’s 1967 riots, warned that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”  And now, six years after the election of our first African American president, we still find ourselves riven by racial distrust and fear. The string of deaths of unarmed blacks by police officers in Cleveland, Phoenix, New York and Ferguson, Mo., challenge not only the strength of our criminal and social justice systems but also the credibility and legitimacy of our political system.

In 1965, when I came to Congress, I joined a legislative body that was still able to work together at times of national crisis. The first major bill I voted on, the Voting Rights Act, was a response to widespread outrage over the police reaction to the “Bloody Sunday” protests, including the beatings in Selma, Ala. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) and his Republican counterpart, Everett Dirksen (Ill.), introduced the bill, and the final legislation enjoyed more support from Republican than Democratic members, an almost unthinkable dynamic today.

Even after the divisive impact of the so-called “Gingrich Revolution” when Congress was truly tested, we were able to rise to the occasion. In 1996, in the midst of a wave of arsons targeting African American houses of worship, then-Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde, a stalwart Republican from Illinois, asked me to work with him on a legislative response. We disagreed on most of the major social issues of the day, from abortion to affirmative action. However, during this crisis we found a way to introduce and pass the Church Arson Prevention Act, which not only gave law enforcement needed prosecutorial tools but also sent a loud and clear signal to the minority community that Congress was willing and able to act.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

CONYERS REMAINS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC AS DETROIT EMERGES FROM BANKRUPTCY


WASHINGTON -  Today, Rep. John Conyers, Jr.  (MI-13) issued the following the statement concerning the City of Detroit emerging from bankruptcy:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“I believe all stakeholders – citizens, elected officials, organized labor, clergy, and the private sector – need to continue to work collaboratively to help Detroit grow and prosper in the 21st Century.  We know that Detroit’s potential is unlimited, and I look forward to working every day to improve our great City.

“It is disturbing that the bankruptcy court established a very dangerous precedent last year by holding that pensions and retiree benefits can be diminished in bankruptcy, notwithstanding the clear statement in the Michigan constitution.  We should not subvert the very principle that made Detroit great – respect for workers’ rights.  Putting the pensions of our police officers, firefighters, and other municipal workers on the chopping block repudiated not only the State law, but our City’s working class history and heritage.  Although in the end a compromise was achieved to resolve this case, I fear that the precedent could be used in other cases to the disadvantage of hard working public employees.  That is why I have introduced legislation, the “Protecting Employees and Retirees in Municipal Bankruptcies Act of 2014” (H.R. 5133), to respond to this problem.

“With the resignation of emergency manager Kevin Orr, Detroit will be returning day-to-day control to its duly elected leaders, although subject to continued state oversight.  Non-elected emergency managers should not run Detroit, nor any other city or political subdivision as it is anti-democratic and inconsistent with our principles as a city, state, nation.

“Now that the City has emerged from bankruptcy, Congress and the Judiciary Committee should hold hearings concerning the largest municipal bankruptcy in history and consider the ramifications for other financially troubled cities in the future.”
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CONYERS: GOVERNMENT SPENDING DEAL IS A GIVEAWAY TO WALL STREET AND AN AFFRONT TO DEMOCRACY


WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement in advance of the vote on the temporary government funding spending bill – also known as the “CRomnibus” - a combined Continuing Resolution and Omnibus spending package:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“America urgently needs investments in job-creation, rising wages, infrastructure upgrades, education, healthcare, and environmental protection.  Sadly, the government funding bill—known as the ‘CRomnibus’ —disinvests from these priorities while rolling back essential financial protections, weakening campaign finance laws, and flouting the will of voters. If this bill stands as it is now, I have no alternative but to oppose it.  

“The ‘CRomnibus’ includes a provision that allows Wall Street banks to engage in some of the same high-risk conduct that caused the 2008 financial crisis.  The Republicans’ refusal, under the bill, to fund the Department of Homeland Security will set the stage for another government shutdown while undermining the President’s efforts to set priorities for immigration enforcement.  Another last-minute provision added by the GOP would intensify the corrupting influence of big money in politics by increasing tenfold the limit on an individual’s maximum contribution to a national political party. 

“The ‘CRomnibus’ is about enriching Wall Street cronies, not prudently funding the government.  It is simply unbelievable that six years after taxpayers were forced to bailout Wall Street, this measure makes F.D.I.C. bailouts automatic.

“If Congressional Republicans wish to pass legislation to undo financial reform and flood politics with big money, they should have the courage to debate these measures in the light of day.  Instead, they have opted to surreptitiously insert them in the annual spending bill just as the nation approaches a government shutdown deadline.  I urge my colleagues to defeat the ‘CRomnibus’ and pass a funding measure that upholds Americans’ real priorities and respects the democratic process.”  
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SENIOR HOUSE JUDICIARY DEMOCRATS OUTRAGED BY TORTURE REPORT, CALL FOR HEARINGS



WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a redacted summary of its 6,000-page report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency.  The report concludes that the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques in the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001 did not effectively assist the agency in acquiring intelligence or in gaining cooperation from detainees.  The report also shows that the CIA worked to undermine oversight of its Detention and Interrogation Program, actively misleading the Congress, the Department of Justice, and the White House.  In reaction to the report, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) released the following joint statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“We are outraged by the actions described in this report.  In the name of the United States, the CIA directed the torture of detainees in our custody, twisted the law to justify its torture program, and engaged in a prolonged campaign to frustrate congressional oversight and accountability of any sort. 

“This report clears up any remaining ambiguity about the differences between torture and so-called ‘enhanced interrogation.’  As federal law defines the term, and as the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice have interpreted that statute since January 22, 2009, the CIA engaged in ‘torture.’

“Torture is ineffective.  Torture does not yield actionable intelligence.  Torture is a crime under federal law and international convention.  Torture is an affront to American values that date back to George Washington’s command of the Continental Army.  Torture is wrong.  In their zeal to protect the country, the officials responsible for the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program betrayed the principles at our country’s core.

“There has already been some suggestion that it is wrong to release this report at this time, given our exposure in the world.  There will never be a convenient moment for the government to confront the sins of its past.  We are fortunate, indeed, to be citizens of a democracy that is able and willing to engage in the hard work of acknowledging these actions, and to take the steps necessary to ensure that it never happens again.

“But let us be clear: if there is backlash over this report, at home or overseas, the fault lies, not with the decision to discuss torture, but with the decision to torture in the first place.

“Because this report outlines government policy that violates both criminal law and constitutional values, we urge Chairman Goodlatte to hold hearings in the Judiciary Committee on the CIA’s torture program as soon as the new Congress convenes.  These hearings should be held in public, to the extent possible.  An open discussion of these policies is long past due.

“We continue to be reflect on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who in 1963 reminded us:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

FLOOR STATEMENT: HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER JOHN CONYERS, JR ON IMMIGRATION

FLOOR STATEMENT:
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER JOHN CONYERS, JR
.
WASHINGTON – Today, during debate on the House Floor of H.R. 5759, an anti-immigrant and symbolic bill proposed by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. urged his colleagues to vote against the measure.  Rep. Conyers delivered the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

“Mr. Speaker, in one week, the 113th Congress will come to a close without the House having considered a single piece of legislation to fix our Nation's broken immigration system.  It has been 525 days since the Senate passed bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would have made meaningful and long overdue reforms.  But this chamber still has steadfastly refused to allow an up or down vote on that measure.


“There is absolutely no question that our immigration system is broken.  It is failing our businesses, our economy, and, most importantly, millions of families.  Yet, rather than deal with these critical issues, we are here today to vote on yet another symbolic, anti-immigrant measure that has absolutely no chance of being considered in the Senate. 
           
“I want to be clear; H.R. 5759 is a politically motivated and hastily drafted attempt to once again attack the President, as well as the immigrant families who contribute to our communities and our economy.  I say this for several reasons. 

“First, by blocking the protections offered by the President's actions, this legislation would deprive nearly 5 million immigrants and their families of the hope that they might finally live without the constant fear of separation and deportation.  It would undermine the Administration's efforts to devote greater resources towards securing our borders and deporting felons not families.  And, this would mean that millions of undocumented immigrants will not be asked to pass national security and criminal background checks and pay their fair share of taxes in order to register for temporary protection from deportation.   

“Second, this legislation ignores the well-established legal principle that the Executive Branch must have the authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion to determine how best to use limited immigration enforcement resources.  

“In fact, every President -- for more than half a century, both Democratic and Republican -- has taken executive action on immigration.  For instance, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush established the Family Fairness Program, which was estimated to protect in excess of 1 million undocumented immigrants.  Yet their actions generated little opposition and, in fact, were substantively codified by Congress within a matter of months. 

“In stark contrast, H.R. 5759 falsely claims that President Obama's assertion of that same authority is unlawful.

“The constitutionality of President Obama's executive order is recognized by both liberal and conservative legal experts.  In a letter written last month, 11 prominent legal scholars explained that the President's actions ‘are within the power of the Executive Branch and that they represent a lawful exercise of the President's authority.’

“This letter was signed by such recognized constitutional authorities as Walter Dellinger, who led the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel from 1993-1996, and David Strauss, who formerly worked in the Office of Legal Counsel and the Solicitor General's office.  It was also signed by liberal professors like Laurence Tribe and conservative professors like Eric Posner.  And five days later, 135 immigration law professors echoed that conclusion and provided substantial constitutional, statutory, and regulatory authority for these actions. 


“Third, H.R. 5759 goes well beyond preventing the President from expanding deferred action for childhood arrivals or creating a program to protect the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from deportation.  It would not only prevent this President- but any future President-- from protecting discrete categories of individuals facing unique dangers and challenges.  This means that no future administration will be able to:


·         Parole-in-place the undocumented parents, spouses, and children of military personnel and veterans;

·         Facilitate enlistment in our Armed Forces by U.S. citizens who have undocumented family members;
           
·         Grant deferred action to victims of crime or serious forms of human trafficking; or grant deferred action and employment authorization to victims of domestic violence and their children seeking visas pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act.

“It is for these reasons that this legislation is opposed by numerous organizations that care about making our immigration system work and protecting the most vulnerable among us.  This includes the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the AFL-CIO; The Service Workers International Union, and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.

“I urge my colleagues to oppose this dangerous, anti-immigrant measure and I reserve the balance of my time.”

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CONYERS LAUDS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GRANT TO IMPLEMENT NEW WORK-SHARING PROGRAM IN MICHIGAN



The Congressman Urges Michigan Businesses To Learn More

DETROIT- The U.S. Department of Labor has granted the state of Michigan $2,840,535 in federal funding to support implementation and promotion of the new short-time compensation (STC) program.

The STC program, commonly known as "work-sharing," prevents layoffs by allowing employers to reduce employees’ hours as an alternative to layoffs during an economic downturn.  Under the STC program, workers affected by reduced hours have their wages supplemented by a percentage of the weekly unemployment compensation that they would have received had they been laid off.  The program gives businesses the crucial ability to retain skilled employees at reduced hours during tough economic times, allowing them to simply restore employee hours when demand improves which significantly reduces the high cost to employers of conducting layoffs and re-hiring.

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“As an early supporter of work-sharing here in the United States, I am very pleased that Michigan has received federal resources to bolster this important program,” said Rep. John Conyers, who is a founder and chair of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus.  “Work-sharing is win for all invested parties: workers remain employed and get to keep their health and retirement benefits, while employers can retain skilled workers that are integral to the success of their businesses. Entire communities benefit when lives are not disrupted unnecessarily by the scourge of unemployment.”

The federal funding resources were made available through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which included language taken directly from the Layoff Prevention Act (H.R. 2421) that was co-sponsored by Rep. Conyers and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) in July 2011.

States have until the end of this year to apply for federal resources to implement the STC program.  To address this looming deadline, Reps. Conyers and DeLauro again joined forces to co-sponsor H.R. 5583, the Layoff Prevention Extension Act of 2014, which will give states an additional year to make their STC programs eligible for federal support.  Both members plan to reintroduce the Layoff Prevention Extension Act in the 114th Congress.

Several U.S. states and countries with STC programs have seen significant economic results.  In Rhode Island, work-sharing prevented more than 13,000 layoffs between 2007 and 2010 – the height of the Great Recession.  Countries such as Germany and Japan have reduced levels of unemployment by as much as 1% through work-sharing programs.

“Short-time compensation is something that all states should have an opportunity to have in place long before any future economic downturns occur,” added Rep. Conyers.  “It is critical that Congress pass the Layoff Prevention Extension Act immediately to ensure that all states have adequate time to complete their state-level deliberation and decision-making processes and ultimately reap the benefits of work-sharing.”


Visit the Department of Labor’s website for more information on Short-Time Compensation.
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Monday, December 1, 2014

HOUSE PASSES FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BANKRUPTCY ACT OF 2014


WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5421, the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2014 (FIBA), by a voice vote.  FIBA is the product of the Judiciary Committee’s multi-year examination of the ability of the bankruptcy laws to resolve a failing financial institution.

FIBA incorporates the recommendations of hearing witnesses, regulators and other experts in addition to the record of three Committee hearings on the Bankruptcy Code. Specifically, the bill adds a new subchapter to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code that improves the bankruptcy process for financial firms of varying sizes, including large, multinational firms whose resolution could have far-reaching implications for domestic and global economies.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Regulatory Reform Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) praised the House passage of FIBA:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“As leaders of the Judiciary Committee with oversight of our nation’s bankruptcy laws, we have worked across the aisle to answer the question of how to improve the existing bankruptcy process for the resolution of failing financial institutions.  Our answer is FIBA.
FIBA removes potential obstacles to an efficient bankruptcy of a financial institution.  This legislation enhances the Bankruptcy Code and its ability to resolve financial firms for the benefit of stability in the U.S. and global economies and does so with minimal financial burdens or cost.  We applaud the House’s passage of FIBA as an important first step towards enactment into law.”

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HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SEEKS UPDATE ON JUDGE FULLER INVESTIGATION


Washington, D.C. – Today,  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Chief Judge Ed Carnes and Judge Gerald Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit regarding the arrest and the ongoing prosecution of Middle District of Alabama Judge Mark Fuller in Atlanta, Georgia for a violation of state criminal law.

Following the laws prescribed by Congress for allegations of judicial misconduct, the Acting Chief Judge appointed a Special Committee of five judges to investigate Judge Fuller’s actions in connection with the filing of criminal charges in August 2014.  In the letter, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers request to be provided with an update on the status of the ongoing investigation and the anticipated timeline for completion of the required comprehensive written report to the circuit’s judicial council.

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DHS Director Maura Corrigan is finally leaving Michigan children

A bit late, but better than never.

Michigan DHS Director Maura Corrigan to retire at end of 2014


LANSING, MI — Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, a former state Supreme Court Chief Justice, will resign her post at the end of the year.

That's right.  Madame Maura Corrigan, is leaving the public sector of policy making.

DHS spokesperson Bob Wheaton confirmed Corrigan’s pending retirement, saying it was always her plan to run the welfare agency for just four years after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her in 2011.

She came into the position as Director of the Department of Human Services because she is a brilliant liar.  

She saved Michigan from federal slashing of funding.

She saved Michigan from being exposed of Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare.... and from being busted on a few more program fraudulent billing schemes.

Corrigan wants to spend more time with her children and grand children, Wheaton said. She will continue “working 120 percent” for the remainder of the year.

Spending time with children is always a good thing, unless you are poor and live in Michigan.

“It’s an honor to work for Governor Snyder,” Corrigan said in a statement. “Rick Snyder’s leadership has meant so much for the state of Michigan and its kids and families. We’ve accomplished so much, but we will accomplish even more in the coming months.”

More will be accomplished?  Praytell.  Will it be more cuts to SNAP?  

Will it be more cover ups with Michigan Children's Institute?

Will it be more judicial lobbying?  Wait, I forgot, she will be playing with the grandkids.  

Corrigan served on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1999 until taking over DHS in 2011. She served as chief justice from 2001 to 2005.

Corrigan legislated from the bench.  Corrigan also ran judicial campaigns with dark money from child welfare.  Never forget Ricky Holland.  I will not.

She is the second Snyder administration official to announce retirement plans in the past month. Department of Community Health Director Jim Haveman stepped down last week after suffering a mild stroke earlier in the year.

It’s not clear who will replace Corrigan. Snyder would make the pick if he wins re-election on November 4 in his matchup with Democratic challenger Mark Schauer.

Corrigan inherited an embattled agency that has operated under a federal consent decree since 2008, when the state was accused of failing to protect children from abuse.  These children were wards of the state, under the Michigan Children Institute which was never mentioned in litigation or negotiations.  She negotiated a modified settlement that saw the state hire in-state graduates to improve the program.

She also was the one who had the new hire workers take sworn oaths of office which had never been done before.  That, I shall give her credit but still no oversight.

She’s also overseen some controversial reforms of food stamp and cash assistance programs.

Coming up with new reasons to cut food stamps for poor families and the disabled was her way of saving the state's general fund.

 A July auditor general report was critical of DHS work to protect vulnerable adults, but Corrigan said she was working to correct identified problems.

Still, nothing was done to report, let alone report, rapes, suicides and other abuses of children in the system.

Thank you for covering up the fraud, waste and abuse of child welfare in Michigan.  If it was not for you, your buddies would not be able to maximize revenue for the state and themselves.

Thank you for making the lives of the desperate even more dismal.



Whether or not she will remain to whisper in the ear of Governor Snyder, we shall see.  Let us pray she stays out of national public policy because her Michigan experiment has not gone very well.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Maura Corrigan Corrects The Record On Michigan Foster Care As A Business

Madame Maura Corrigan
The glorious Madame Maura Corrigan has come out the woodwork to pontificate on the wonderful world of Michigan Child Welfare.

I have arisen to slam her with fact.

(I will update with links).

DHS does not treat foster care as if children are a business


She erroneously implies that the Michigan Department of Human Services profits financially from removing children from their homes and that we remove children without proper investigations.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

Actually, this is true.  Michigan Department of Human Services does not profit financially from removing children as it is the privatized Child Placing Agencies and other so-called community contracted entities who profit, with non-profit, charitable status.

It is called false billing but I prefer to call it fraud.

The Madame calls it revenue maximization.

There is no contractual performance oversight other than "self-reporting".  This is when the contractor reports to the state that everything they do is perfect.

There is no contractual disbarment, sanctions, license revocation or criminal prosecution for fraudulent billing.
Our committed caseworkers are primarily concerned with the safety and well-being of vulnerable children and for keeping families together whenever it's safely possible, and are responsible to courts in every case where a removal occurs.

Responsibility typically means there is some form of consequence.  I have not checked lately but the Child Welfare Training Institute was run by second semester community college kids who only trained in what they were instructed to train: bill.
When evidence of child abuse or neglect exists, DHS staff are legally required to assist parents and families to address those concerns through services that help to resolve any risks to child safety and well-being.

Legal assistance is "checking the box" on the "reasonable efforts" court form for removal, which of course I would be remiss to not to mention are ex-parte (you are not told to be in court) hearings.
If the safety of a child cannot be reasonably assured, our workers are legally obligated to bring these concerns to the court for swift and deliberate action — including, but not limited to, placing that child in another home until those concerns can be successfully resolved.

This sounds lovely considering the fact most workers are aware of the high financial hurdles most relatives must jump in order to care for the removed children.  This is just state culture of unenforced policy.
When a child must be placed in out-of-home care for safety reasons, the department petitions the family division of circuit court. This petition must show steps DHS took to prevent removal. DHS must show why it is unsafe for the child to remain in the home.

Poverty is a big reason for removals but what does the Madame Corrigan care, she is focused on criminalizing poverty, a sub-industry of child welfare, instead of going after fraud, particularly Medicaid Fraud.  

Due to privacy laws and poorly trained court appointed attorneys, there is no legal challenge to the ex-parte petition.  CPS just shows up at your door.
Only the court can order a removal and only after the court has made findings that Children's Protective Services has worked to prevent removal or that the risk to the child is so great that out-of-home placement is the way the child will be safe.
These requirements were enacted into federal and state law to ensure no children are placed in foster care who could be protected in their homes.

There are also federal requirements to make sure a child is placed in the least restrictive environment, but since there is no way to file a grievance, as the Chidlren's Ombudsman's Office cherry-picks which complaints it will take, or even which substantiated investigative findings will make it to any legal action.
Of the nearly 150,000 complaints of child abuse and neglect DHS received last year, fewer than 2.5 percent (3,706 in 2013) resulted in court involvement and out-of-home placement of children.

How conveniently does the Madame neglect to state how many children are under the auspices of Michigan.  I include juvenile justice and mental health.  Dare I be so bold to include every child in Michigan eligible for the school lunch program and in a household receiving SNAP benefits.

The state's social safety net quickly unravels under the Madame's leadership, but this is part and parcel of the revenue-maximization scheme.  The more children and families reliant upon the state there is a direct correlation to federal dollars to fund programs which are ultimately outsourced to private corporations who are not accountable for transparent billing practices.
Next, DHS does receive federal Title IV-E dollars for children in the foster care system. That money is spent to reimburse actual costs related to case management.

What about Title IV-B or even Title XIX?  Each federal child welfare program under Title IV has variant cost reimbursement formulas.  

Oh wait, Michigan got busted on those billing schemes with HHS a few times.

Some of that federal money went to political campaigns.  Right, Madame Corrigan?
Plus, Michigan is required to match federal Title IV-E funding. Federal law prohibits DHS from drawing down more Title IV-E dollars than needed to reimburse for services and payments for foster families.

Michigan snatched Black Grant dollars to cover some of its foster care programming.  

I even go so far to allege that the state used federal dollars as part of its federal match.
In fiscal year 2014, DHS received $97.2 million in Title IV-E funding for foster care. But DHS actually spent $202 million on foster care services — including state general fund, local and federal dollars. For every 66 cents in Title IV-E foster care funding DHS receives, the department must match those dollars with 34 cents of spending.

"If it does not make money, it does not make sense."  Michigan Child Welfare Institute Training Program.  Seriously.
Our state's foster care system still has room for improvement. I took over leadership of the department because of a lawsuit that led to federal oversight of Michigan's child welfare system. At our last court hearing, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds and the plaintiff in the lawsuit both praised our incredible progress in improving the child welfare system.

No where is that Children's Rights lawsuit, or the monitoring reports have ever addressed Michigan Children's Institute, the dark and nefarious arm of the state to cover up its fraudulent billing and severe violations of civil rights.

It has never been audited.
We do not arbitrarily place children into foster care. And Michigan has no financial incentive whatsoever for doing so. Thankfully, out-of-home foster care does not occur frequently — only when we have no other way to keep children safe, according to a judge.

Madame Corrigan is absolutely correct. 

DHS "arbitrarily and capriciously" place children into foster care.

Michigan Department of Human Services does not, nor has it ever, removed children for profit because it is called revenue maximization and it creates jobs.

Besides, not all children in foster care are not removed.

Child welfare is a multi-billion dollar industry,

If anyone questions the veracity of my statements, fell free challenge me.  I got docs.
Maura D. Corrigan is director of the Michigan Department of Human Services.
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 MAJOR SPORTS LEAGUES RESPOND TO CONGRESSIONAL LETTER ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICIES



WASHINGTON – Earlier this year on September 10, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. and eleven other House Judiciary Democrats issued a letter to the National Football League (NFL) raising questions as to how the league handled the Ray Rice situation and about their domestic violence polices.  Also copied on the letter were the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In addition to the Ranking Member,  the letter was also signed by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10),  Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Cedric L. Richmond (LA- 02), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA-04), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Judy Chu (CA-27), Karen Bass (CA-37), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01) and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08).

Specifically, the Representatives called for transparency concerning the NFL’s misconduct by Ray Rice.  In February, Rice violently struck his then-fiancĂ©, Janay Palmer, in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February. 

“I am glad to be able to shed light on the policies of our major professional sports leagues concerning domestic violence.  As to the questions my colleagues and I posed to the NFL concerning the league’s handling of the domestic violence perpetrated by Ray Rice, we look forward to receiving the report from former FBI Director Robert Mueller once he has completed his investigations,” said Rep. Conyers.  “It is important that we continue to examine the manner in which our professional sports leagues handle incidents of domestic violence.  These high-profile leagues are, in many ways, in a position of public trust and should be at the forefront of handling such incidents appropriately.”

In response, the NFL wrote that the league is, in addition to the previously-announced enhanced disciplinary consequences for violations of the league’s personal conduct policy that include domestic violence and sexual assault, the NFL is engaged in a “comprehensive review” of its those policies, including issues related to investigation, assessment, and punishment of violations.  The league also announced various actions designed to educate players and league employees about these issues in order to prevent future violations and victimization.  As to the questions specifically asked about the Ray Rice incident by the Members in their letter to the NFL, the league’s response refers to the pending investigation by former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. 

In their individual responses, MLB and the NBA stated that they are in the process of reviewing their policies concerning these types of incidents.  MLB outlined steps it is taking related to training and education for players and staff, and announced that it will engage the Major League Baseball Players Association on these issues. 

The NHL and MLS also provided information about their efforts to educate players about these issues and provided copies of their policies covering off-ice and off-field misconduct, which would include instances of domestic violence. 

“We asked the leagues to provide information about their policies concerning domestic violence because it is in the public interest that their policies and implementation thereof be transparent to the public.  I trust that the leagues will continue to review and augment their policies in a manner commensurate with the seriousness of the issue,” added Rep. Conyers.

Following issuance of the letter, all leagues have responded with letters or documents regarding their domestic violence policies.  See below for each league’s response.






Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. was one of the key authors of the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994.  VAWA funds programs provide victims with critical services such as transitional housing, legal assistance, and supervised visitation services.  Since its enactment, VAWA has helped decrease domestic violence by 53%.  
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CONYERS URGES PEACE IN PURSUIT OF JUSTICE AFTER FERGUSON GRAND JURY DECISION



DETROIT – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement after the announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“Though the judicial process was fully exercised in this case, I am disappointed in the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, African-American 18 -year-old.  This result underscores the legal hurdles faced in holding the police accountable for abuse of authority and further illustrates the need for major reform in our criminal justice system.

“It is my sincere hope that in the coming days, we can all focus on the fact that the issues contributing to the Michael Brown shooting are more complex than the criminal indictment of a single police officer can begin to address.  Just as we did during the Civil Rights Movement, I urge those who are upset by the decision to peacefully voice your opposition and exercise non-violent protests to pursue equal justice.

“I hope that the troubling circumstances in Ferguson will serve to galvanize our national resolve to address the much larger history of adversarial relationships between the police and communities of color.  Despite the fact that the majority of law enforcement officers  perform their duties professionally and without bias – and we value their service highly – the issues of race and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct are so closely linked in law enforcement practices that profiling bias has an impact on virtually every area of criminal justice policy.  In cases like Michael Brown, this specter of racial profiling runs the substantial risk of rendering young minority men suspect as potential perpetrators to be met with the deadliest of force.

“Decades ago, this country made clear through the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation that race should not affect the treatment of individual Americans under the law.  Racial profiling is a direct affront to the Constitutional promise of equal protection that was the goal of the 1960's.  We can cultivate community focused, smart policing that rebuilds trust between residents and law enforcement by ending use of racial profiling and use of excessive force.  The Department of Justice has achieved this result using its pattern and practice authority (42 U.S.C. 14141) in numerous cities across the nation, most dramatically in the Los Angeles Police Department consent decree.  We must reaffirm the concept that when law-abiding citizens are treated differently by those who enforce the law- simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin- they are denied the basic respect and equal treatment that is the right of every American.”


On August 11, 2014, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01) issued a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a full civil rights investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown.
On August 14, 2014, Ranking Member Conyers and Reps. Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (MI-13), Subcommittee on Crime Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Subcommittee on the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) requesting a Congressional hearing on several incidents of local law enforcement using excessive force–sometimes deadly–and other violations where civil rights have been infringed upon. The letter also expresses concern over the extensive militarization of local law enforcement.
The Department of Justice opened a civil rights “pattern and practice” investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department for possible discriminatory misconduct on September 4, 2014. 
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