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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: October 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Citizen Recall Website Launched

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there while recalls against tax-hiking politicians are being prepared.

A new website has been launched dedicated to providing information on the latest citizen recalls.

The website address is: www.michiganrecalls.com

People can view all the politicians that have had recall petitions filed against them and can sign up to join a recall campaign. The website also contains a page with information regarding a possible Granholm recall bid.

Check it out!


If you live in the district of one of the politicians that citizen groups have already been organizing in, use the new website to sign up to help.

Thanks again for your willingness to help make Michigan prosperous again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Recalls filed, Floor Leader Resigns


Legal documents were submitted to the Wayne County Clerk to initiate the recall of State Representative Ed Gaffney (R-Grosse Pointe Farms) this morning. Documents to initiate the recalls of Senator Gerald Van Woerkom (R-Norton Shores) and Representative Mary Valentine (D-Muskegon) were also filed this morning in Muskegon County.

So far, citizens have filed recall documents against six state lawmakers, to my knowledge. The next step in these six cases is a required 'clarity hearing' must be scheduled by the respective county boards of electors within 20 days of the filings. The county boards of electors (consisting of the county clerk, prosecutor and chief judge) must determine whether the reasons for the recall listed on the filed documents are "clear".

This should be easy, the reasons listed for the recalls very simply state that the lawmaker in question voted to increase the state income tax, or create a new tax on certain services, or both, if applicable. However, these boards of electors are obviously political. Back in 1983, some boards refused to meet. Others rejected the language regardless of its' clarity simply to protect the political class from having to be accountable to the citizens.

We'll keep you up to date.

More Tax, Recall Fallout

In other news, fallout from the tax hike votes and the threat of recall has led to the resignation of State Representative Chris Ward from his position of Republican Floor Leader, considered the second most powerful GOP position in the state House. While Representative Ward will attempt to serve out the rest of his term as a legislator, it will be without his leadership position.

According to MIRS News, a subscription-only newsletter widely read by Lansing observers,

"MIRS has learned that, in the message announcing his resignation, Ward cited a letter signed by 16 members of his caucus calling for a new leadership election for his post. Apparently, Ward was taken aback because by some of those who signed to the letter were members he had previously believed supported keeping him as floor leader...

...Sources tell MIRS the primary issue with those who wanted to vote Ward out was one of trust.

He voted yes on the income tax hike after supposedly telling his caucus that he was going to vote no. In fact, he voted yes after the voting board was closed and the 56 yes votes required for passage had been secured.

Ward's 57th yes vote will prevent those seeking recalls and future GOP candidates from being able to claim any of the Democrats cast the "deciding" vote on the tax hike. The vote also spawned a recall effort against Ward, which could cost the House Republican caucus time and money to defend."

Rep. Ward's vote to increase taxes on Michigan's citizens may have cost him his leadership position, but not his job (yet). Meanwhile, his vote will very probably help cost some Michigan citizens THEIR jobs, as employers continue to leave Michigan.

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance

Recall Update


Since Governor Granholm and state lawmakers jacked up your taxes, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance has been inundated with emails and phone calls from people wanting to lead or assist in recalling tax-hiking politicians from office. Sorting through over 3,000 emails and juggling many phone calls has been difficult for the MTA's small staff. Thank you for your patience if you are awaiting a personal reply to your email.

In order to properly assist you, the MTA needs to know where you live. Many emails have not included a home address, so we do not know who the sender's representatives are. Some citizen-led recall efforts have already been launched, and those efforts need to know who lives in the districts of politicians being recalled. Please, if you emailed the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and did not provide an address, click the link below to update your address information with us.

Update Your Contact Information

Recall Legislators Update

Citizens have formed political action committees for the recalls of the following lawmakers:

Steve Beida (D-Warren)
Marc Corriveau (D-Northville)
Robert Dean (D-Grand Rapids)
Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford)
Ed Gaffney (R-Grosse Pointe)
Mary Valentine (D-Muskegon)

Gerald Van Woerkom (R-Muskegon)

Recall language has been submitted to the local county boards of electors for representatives Beida, Corriveau and Dillon. More submissions are expected soon.

In addition to the above listed politicians, I expect citizens to file recall paperwork against senators Valde Garcia (R-Howell) and Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland) and Representative Chris Ward (R-Brighton).

Did your representative or senator support the tax hikes, but is not listed above? And, are you serious about getting involved with a recall? Shoot the MTA an email with (in the subject line) the name of the politician you want to lead or assist in recalling. Then hang in there, we will get back to you.

Recall Granholm Update

Most of the emails we have received were from people wanting to recall Governor Granholm. Many people asked to have a Granholm recall petition sent to them. There is no CURRENT, legally-binding effort to recall Governor Granholm underway. Why? Because recalling a governor is such a monumentally difficult task that many, many things would need to be put in place well before any petitions are signed or circulated.

How difficult is the task of recalling a governor? Over 955,000 valid signatures would have to be collected in just 90 days. Actually, a recall group would have to collect about 1.3 million signatures to ensure that 955,000 of them are from real, registered voters. The record number of signatures collected for a constitutional amendment in Michigan is about 505,000. And those gatherers had SIX MONTHS, not 90 days, because the law allows more time for constitutional amendments than recalls.

So, is recalling Governor Granholm hopeless? Maybe, but most political observers in California thought that recalling then-Governor Grey Davis was hopeless at first. Davis later became the fourth governor in U.S. history to be recalled from office.

It is my understanding that a Recall Granholm Exploratory Committee is being created. The Committee would seek to collect the names and contact information from citizens who will commit to collecting signatures to recall Granholm. No petitions will be circulated until enough citizens have made a commitment to the Governor's recall. Waiting until enough citizens are ready to launch helps ensure that the recall effort can be successful collecting all the signatures in the allowed 90 days.

If you have joined the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and provided contact information, your name will automatically be forwarded to the Recall Granholm Exploratory Committee (don't send a duplicate email). Please make your friends aware of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and ask them to join. Together, we can make history and help restore prosperity to Michigan.


Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance