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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: June 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dillon & Tax-Eaters Win, Taxpayers Lose

The Michigan Supreme Court put a fork in the campaign to recall House Speaker Andy Dillon on Friday by denying a request for an emergency hearing on the legality of 2,018 petition signatures of voters in Dillon's district that were not counted by the Michigan Secretary of State. The SOS did not count the signatures because Michigan law invalidates signatures collected by circulators who are not residents of a recall target's district.

The U.S. Supreme Court found that similar circulator requirements in Colorado were unconstitutional infringements of political speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Ultimately, Michigan's restrictive law will be struck down, but not in time for a Dillon recall as ballots for the August 5th primary election are being sent to printers later this week.

We lost. Tax hike proponents won.

Why did we lose? Because I was not up to the task of helping overcome the incredible obstacles that the tax hikers put into the campaign to stop the recall. Ultimate responsibility for the failure is mine.

Congratulations are in order to Andy Dillon and Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer on their victory. The vicious blockers, the hired thugs, the paid infiltrators, the taxpayer-paid mailings, the abuse of police power in Redford, the lies ("recall election = expensive 'special' election") all almost worked. I say 'almost' because, despite these obstacles, the Michigan Secretary of State found that 10,408 citizens of Dillon's district signed the recall petition - more than the 8,724 required. Former Michigan lawmakers bailed Dillon out by having written some of the most difficult (and unconstitutional) recall laws in the nation.

Since the death of the recall effort, Dillon and Brewer have been emboldened. They've been piling-on by asking for criminal investigations, writing attack editorials to newspapers, and engaging in a massive media blitz to discredit me personally. Check out Lansing Senior Capitol Correspondent (reporter) Tim Skubick's blog on the topic here. Skubick reports:
"Brewer has been on a mission from God to get Leon Drolet and when word filtered out that Drolet would appear on Off the Record on public TV this past weekend, Brewer was on the horn just to make sure that tough questions about illegal campaign activities were hurled at Drolet."
Skubick continues:
"While they won't say it, you can pretty much surmise that the D(emocrat)s want to make an example of Drolet as a warning to others who would try to boot lawmakers who vote for a tax hike.

If Drolet is shivering in his boots over the prospects of being charged with a crime, he sure didn't reveal it when he did the OTR (Off The Record television show) taping."
You can watch Off The Record with me on the hot seat by clicking here.

My message to Mark Brewer and Speaker Andy Dillon is: bring it on! The failure of the Dillon recall is a significant setback for me, politically, and for the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. But your efforts to bury the MTA will fail, no matter how many shoes you pound on the podium.

The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance is barely over one year old. Taking on the most powerful man in the legislature, along with the political party of the House and governor, and most of the Lansing establishment is a enormous task. We fell 776 signatures short.

Friends, we will continue to fight as long as we love Michigan and the principles of limited government. The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance will get bigger and stronger. We lost our first really big fight, but so did Rocky Balboa.

Again, to Andy Dillon and Mark Brewer: congratulations on your victory and your tax hikes. We will see you soon.

Leon Drolet
Executive Director
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance