Michigan's popular Proposal 4s


One of my most google-popular posts (ever) seems to be my comments opposing Michigan's Proposal 4 in 2006 - 5,600 visits so far, and about 200 search hits last month. (I'm google's second hit on some searches, right after the State of Michigan.) Are people really that hungry for a two-year old post on meaningless feel-good eminent domain "reform"? Or are there other Prop 4s they're looking for?

It looks like Michigan has only had 2 statewide Proposal 4s:

  • 2006 - Proposal 4 - A proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit government from taking private property by eminent domain for certain private purposes - approved 2,914,214 / 724,573

  • 2002 - Proposal 4 - A proposal to amend the state constitution to reallocate the "tobacco settlement revenue"
    received by the state from cigarette manufacturers. - failed 1,018,644 / 2,011,105

Earlier than about 2000, Michigan Proposals had letters, not numbers. So - why all the attention? I have a hard time believing that 200 people a month care that much about eminent domain reform that had almost no effect. Maybe the 2002 item is the popular one, dedicating tobacco settlement money to health care? (With the Big 3 doing what they're doing right now, I could understand an interest in ideas for health care.)

Alternately, maybe people are looking for local proposals, and just not specifying where? Seems like inefficient searching behavior.

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eminent domain

I think people get really agitated by eminent domain. Here in Orange county, NC; UNC is building a new campus on the local landing strip ("airport") and got the state to approve eminent domain to obtain land for a new airport in the county, even though RDU is only 25 minutes away and transferring service to RDU would cost $2 million vs. $50 million to build a new airport. What gets most people around here is that the old airport was closed to development by UNC and then UNC is taking land to build a new airport, which is in reality used for private donors to fly in to watch basketball, not for University business. Point being, of the abuses of power by government regularly committed, eminent domain has possibly the most tangible negative effect on individuals and has a lot of resistance.

Whole post.......

Just to get this one line in...
"I'm google's second hit on some searches, right after the State of Michigan."

"google thinks I'm cool! stop teasing me guys, I'm cool...google says so!"

inefficient search behavior

I think people were looking for information on California Proposition 4 in 2008. But inefficient search behavior is the way things go. In observing Google users, I find phrase searching (with quotation marks) puzzlingly underutilized, and it's incredible what people bother typing into a search engine.