By Jack Spencer Guest Columnist Generally speaking, Americans are pretty sophisticated about commercials and sales people. We learn, almost by osmosis, that most sales pitches leave out certain facts. Obviously we also know that these left out facts are those that might cause us to doubt the salesperson\u2019s entire message. Political pitches are, if anything, worse. Both sides of issues leave out facts that don\u2019t support their position. More often than not, the side that wants its listeners or readers to know the least about an issue is the one that\u2019s lying the most. We\u2019ve all come to expect varying degrees of bias in all we hear or read. But when blatantly and provably inaccurate information is presented as \u201ca news scoop;\u201d the impact is toxic across the board. Accusations have recently been made that 96 percent of the laws Michigan Republicans passed since Rick Snyder became governor took effect under illegal conditions. This has been accompanied by the inevitable claims that legislative Republicans are corrupt. To see these inaccurate articles, type in \u201cMichigan Republicans illegal\u201d on the Internet. At the very least, the first screen that comes up will be filled with this rubbish. Why should it be considered rubbish? Because there\u2019s a little fact excluded from the accusations. It\u2019s that the fuss is over something that\u2019s been a legislative routine - accepted and carried out by both Republicans and Democrats - for at least 30 years. In other words, the story is wrong. The inaccuracy is not debatable. This is not a\u00a0 matter-of-opinion. The story is just plain wrong. Most reporters who have covered the legislature probably thought they\u2019d never have to explain \u201cimmediate effect\u201d to the public. That\u2019s because the Michigan House has been cutting corners on \u201cimmediate effect\u201d for decades. What\u2019s more, the news media stopped reporting on legislative procedural issues long ago \u2013 so the topic has been given almost zero coverage. Under the Michigan Constitution, a super-majority (two-thirds) vote of both the House and Senate are required for a bill to take effect immediately. Without \u201cimmediate effect\u201d\u00a0 the new laws passed by a legislature can\u2019t take effect until 90 days after the end of yearly session. This would usually be in March of the following year. In the Senate, where getting two-thirds support might mean finding a vote or two from the minority party, the \u201cimmediate effect\u201d rule has almost always been strictly followed. Not so in the House, where it could sometimes mean having to get 15 or 20 minority\u00a0 party members to cooperate.\u00a0 If the bill involved is at all contentious, it is virtually impossible to get the two-thirds vote required for \u201cimmediate effect\u201d in the House. Decades ago, House leaders found a way around the \u201cimmediate effect\u201d requirement. Every two years the majority party adopts Mason\u2019s rules of order to be used for conducting business on the House floor. Mason\u2019s rules gives tremendous power to whomever controls the chamber; which is always the majority party. There are certain preliminary procedural steps involved, but basically, the party that has a majority in the House can \u201cquick gavel\u201d an \u201cimmediate effect\u2019 vote. This \u2014 according to Mason\u2019s \u2014 is the same as if the two-thirds requirement had been achieved. Over the years, minority parties in the House have periodically made noises in the courts \u2013 claiming the \u201cquick gavel\u201d violates the constitution. But the courts have always been reluctant to interfere with the daily operations of the legislature. A few weeks ago, House Democrats took the \u201cimmediate effect\u201d issue to the Ingham County court; where they have a friendly judge on the bench. He sided with the Democrats and ruled that the \u201cquick gavel\u201d procedure was unconstitutional. It was an expected, but probably short-lived, victory All of this took place because of the ongoing war between public sector unions and the Republicans, who control the legislature and the office of Governor. Apparently, the unions told the House Democrats to try everything and anything to stop the Republicans from enacting legislation they don\u2019t like. Taking the \u201cimmediate effect\u201d issue to court is a long shot attempt by the House Democrats. It\u2019s likely that even they expect the higher courts to reverse the lower court\u2019s ruling. This article isn\u2019t about the constitutionality of using a \u201cquick gavel\u201d to get an \u201cimmediate effect\u201d vote. Many have argued for years that the practice should not be allowed. Their arguments are good ones. After all, the constitution expressly says that \u201cimmediate effect\u201d requires a two-thirds vote. That said; it is willfully misleading to describe the issue the way some leftist propaganda peddlers are currently doing. House Republicans haven\u2019t done anything new or startling. They have passed bills and used a \u201cquick gavel\u201d to give them \u201cimmediate effect\u201d in exactly the same way the Democrats did when they controlled the House between 2007-2010. If anything, current House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, has paid far more attention to \u201cthe spirit\u201d of House procedures than did his immediate predecessors: Democrat Andy Dillion (2007 to 2010) and Republican Craig DeRoche (2005 to 2006). The \u201cquick gavel\u201d practice was in place when Jennifer Granholm was governor and when John Engler was governor. The vast majority of the bills signed into law under them were given \u201cimmediate effect.\u201d Most that were contentious (including Granholm\u2019s 2007 tax increase) got \u201cimmediate effect\u201d in the House by \u201cquick gavel.\u201d One senses that prior to the late 1980s, using the \u201cquick gavel\u201d to get \u201cimmediate effect\u201d was probably used less often. Back then the news media covered legislative process and lawmakers were more likely to work out deals across the aisle. Those days are long gone. If passing \u201cimmediate effect\u201d with a \u201cquick gavel\u201d is illegal now \u2013 then it was illegal all along. That applies to bills passed many years ago in periods of both Republican and Democratic control. This fact alone should give us a clue as to how difficult it might be for the courts to suddenly decide the procedure is unconstitutional. After hearing the phony allegations against the Republicans \u2014 and swallowing them \u2014 some people have openly questioned why the Democrats haven\u2019t publicized the issue more. The answer to that is self evident. To their credit; even some left-leaning advocates and analysts have publicly criticized the illegal \u201cimmediate effect\u201d accusations. If someone was willing to advance this sort of false information once; how can they expect to be believed in the future? Jack Spencer is Capitol Affairs Specialist for Capitol Confidential, an online newsletter associated with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP). MPCC provides policy analysis. The political analysis represented in this column does not necessarily reflect the views of the Mackinac Center.