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Speaker Dillon loses court battle, faces November recall

This morning, Federal U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell issued an injunction that will likely result in Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon facing recall in the November election.

The Michigan Secretary of State had determined in May that the petition effort by Rose Bogaert and the Wayne County Taxpayers Association to recall Speaker Dillon for raising taxes had fallen 776 signatures short of the 8,724 signatures required. But 2,053 signatures were disqualified because the petition circulator was not a registered voter in the 17th House District represented by Dillon, as required by state law.

Your Representative's Report Card Has Arrived!

Do you know how your state representative in Lansing votes on fiscal issues? Not just on the big tax votes, but on the hidden fees, sneaky “little” tax increases and bigger spending on budgets? We do.

Every state representative’s voting record for this term on tax and spending issues was researched and graded.

Twelve lawmakers received ‘A’ grades and ten earned a ‘B’. Move them to the head of the class! But, as expected given the $1.4 billion in higher taxes passed last year, many more lawmakers received failing grades.

View the grades here!
Bye, Bye Boss Hogg!
Yesterday’s primary damages Andy Dillon

Remember Redford Township Supervisor Miles "Boss Hogg" Handy? He's House Speaker Andy Dillon's closest political ally who continually abused his power as Redford Supervisor to thwart citizens seeking to recall Speaker Dillon from office.

Handy tried to stifle an MTA tax protest last April 15th at the Redford Twp. Post Office by cutting off access to parking for protesters, ordering an intimidating police presence, and threatening to make tax protesters pay for their police "protection". He also ordered police to assist opponents of Dillon's recall. When police officers saw a citizen circulating a recall petition, the officers would notify Andy Dillon's blockers who would then converge on the petition circulator in an effort to block people from signing the recall petition.

MTA 2008 Candidate Questionnaire Results

The August 5th primary election is fast approaching and you may soon have a new state representative. Your vote for state representative in the primary election may be more important than your November vote because so many state house districts are so solidly Democrat or Republican that the real race is in the primary.

The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance mailed questionnaires to 387 candidates running for state representative in ‘open’ house seats (districts where the incumbent cannot seek re-election) and in seats where there are reasonably competitive primary campaigns. Approximately 100 candidates responded to the questionnaire.

State senators do not face reelection until 2010.

You can find the results here. The MTA asked questions on tax and spending issues only. We hope that you find the candidates answers helpful as you decide who to support in the upcoming elections.

Many candidates did not respond to the MTA questionnaire. We encourage you to contact candidates seeking your vote and to ask detailed questions of your own before you make a voting decision. Please contact us at mitaxpayer@yahoo.com if you have any questions regarding the MTA questionnaire or the upcoming election in general.


Leon Drolet
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance

View the questionnaire results here...
Andy Dillon Recall Effort Collects Over 15,000 Signatures

The citizen's of Redford, Dearborn Heights, and Livonia needed to collect 8,720 signatures in order to have a 'recall Andy Dillon' question placed on the August 5th ballot.

I am ecstatic to announce that today Rose Bogaert, Sandra Eggers, and members of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association were able to submit 15,498 signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State - 77% more than required!

Everyone who helped make this possible is to be congratulated and thanked - including YOU if you pitched in.

Sorry, Andy. You made the choice of putting Lansing and bigger government ahead of the citizens' budgets. Now the citizens - over 15,000 of them - have asked for a choice on whether you should be fired ASAP.

Andy Dillon will become the first House Speaker in the United States to be recalled from office. And it will happen because he raised taxes on suffering Michigan citizens.

Congratulations to all who are helping!

– Leon Drolet
Video of Tax Day Protest!


Please join the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance (and Mr. Perks) for a Tuesday, April 15th protest of Granholm and House Speaker Andy Dillon’s tax increase!

The protest will take place at the Redford U.S. Post Office from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The Redford Post Office is located at 12245 Beech Daly Road, Redford, MI 48239.

See you there!
House Speaker Recall Effort Approved
Wayne County Court rules that recall language is clear, recalls move forward.

January 18th, 2008 – Wayne County Circuit Court Judge William J. Giovan approved petition language against House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford), clearing the way for recall efforts to move forward.

Judge Giovon ruled that the recall language was clear, overturning the Wayne County Board of Electors previous ruling which declared that the language was “unclear”.

The Wayne County Taxpayers Association (WCTA), a local grassroots organization supporting the recall effort, will now proceed with signature gathering. Said WCTA Chair Rose Bogeart, “We are thrilled to finally be able to move forward with signature gathering. For too long now the Wayne County Board of Electors attempted to deny our constitutional rights and block the democratic process for their own political goals.”

Judge Giovon’s ruling also approved language for petitions to recall State Representitives Marc Corriveau (D-Northville) and Ed Gaffney (R-Grosse Pointe).
New Citizen Recall Website Launched!

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.

Check it out!

Who Voted to Raise your Taxes?

In the quiet hours of Sunday night, while most people were asleep preparing for another week of work, certain lawmakers were plotting to raise your taxes. Without any citizen input or debate, the Michigan Legislature passed two bills that will dramatically increase the financial burden on Michigan's families.

The first, House Bill 5194, raises the state income tax from 3.9% to 4.35% – an 11% increase in your overall tax bill! I wonder how many Michigan workers will receive an 11% increase in their pay this year?

The other, House Bill 5198, imposes a new 6% sales tax on many services, a full list of which can be viewed here. The full impact of what this will have on Michigan's already struggling economy is unknown.

A full list of everyone who supported House Bill 5194 (income tax increase) in the House of Representatives can be viewed here and everyone who supported it in the Senate here.

A full list of everyone who supported House Bill 5198 (sales tax on services) in the House of Representatives can be viewed here and everyone who supported it in the Senate here.

Both bills were signed into law by Governor Granholm.
Was a Tax Hike Necessary?

Not according to the experts at the Mackinac Center. Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh went over the State budget with a fine tooth comb and came up with $1.9 Billion in State budget savings. Even if only half of his recommendations were possible, wouldn't it have been better than raising taxes as much as they did?

You can read about his proposed budget savings here.

MTA Executive Director Leon Drolet on the Frank Beckman Show

Check out this audio clip of MTA Executive Director Leon Drolet on the Frank Beckman show talking about the latest citizen recalls.

Listen to the program...

Dear Frustrated Taxpayers,

Since details of Granholm’s massive tax hike on your income and on Michigan businesses was passed by the legislature this past Sunday, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance has been deluged with more than a thousand emails in just two days. We have also received countless phone calls from angry, distraught taxpayers.

The vast majority of these emails and calls are from citizens who want to be involved in recall efforts against politicians who voted for these tax hikes on Michigan families. Many citizens emailed with questions, asking how they can be involved in recall efforts.

Due to the extreme volume of these emails and calls, it may take a few days for MTA staff to respond. Please forgive the brevity and tardiness of any initial response to any email you may have sent. The MTA WILL respond to questions and contacts as soon as possible. Staff and volunteers are sorting these contacts as quickly as they can.

However, please do NOT hesitate to contact the MTA by email. The MTA will respond and very much want to hear from you. Spread the word to family and friends - join the MTA and fight back!

Thank you for your patience and willingness to help.


Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance

Mr. Perks Arrested!

MTA mascot arrested by The Man

Mr. Perks was legally parked his spot in front of the Capitol, which had been reserved for a specified time. When his allotted time expired, Mr. Perks, in an act of civil disobedience, refused to relinquish his post.

While the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance does NOT approve of Mr. Perk's decision to flaunt the rules, we must remember that America has a long, proud history of peaceful civil disobedience.

Of course, The Man overreacted and the state police had Mr. Perks arrested. Luckily, they did not use tasers during their overreaction. When did liberals start cheering for The Man and against the underpig?

Mr. Perks remains defiant. His impoundment in a fenced lot with a gang of tough-looking cars has not shaken him. He will soon return to the Capitol lawn, representing taxpayer's perception of government spending, and reminding lawmakers that citizens are watching them.

At least for a night, Lansing citizens will have the full use of their fire trucks for fighting fires - not for trying to suppress free speech!

A Very Public Request to Governor Granholm

By Leon Drolet

Michigan is actually leading the nation in job growth in one small niche: The number of people employed on the staff of the gubernatorial first spouse has never been higher. Michigan Taxpayer Alliance research has revealed that Michigan's First Gentleman Dan Granholm Mulhern has the third largest staff of any first spouse in the nation. Only California and Ohio provides their governor's wives with more assistants, five and four staffers respectively.

Jennifer Granholm's husband Dan Mulhern has three paid staffers, at least one of whom reportedly receives a very generous $115,000 salary and benefits package. In a state with a population more than twice Michigan?s, New York First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer ekes by with just two staffers. The spouse of the governor of Illinois has one staffer, as do those of Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. The national average is 1.2 state employees per first spouse, brought down a bit by the fact that a few governors are single or divorced.


Is your state Representative or Senator on YOUR side?

Lawmakers in Lansing have two opportunities to announce their support of taxpayers over the taxspenders – they can sign the Pledge provided by the national organization, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) or they can sign the Promise provided by the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

The ATR Pledge is a pledge a legislator can publicly make to his/her constituents that the legislator will never vote to raise their taxes as long as he/she holds the office they are elected to. The MTA Michigan Promise is a shorter-term promise that legislators can make, promising to not support any tax hike on citizens this calendar year.

The MTA Promise was distributed to every legislator’s office on August 1st along with a request to sign and return the Promise document to the MTA by August 10. Those legislators who already signed the ATR Pledge need not sign the MTA Promise because those legislators have already declared long-term that they will always support taxpayers.


MTA to Lansing: Stop Trashing Our Wallets!

The week of May 7th was a very busy time for the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. Starting at 7am on Monday morning, the volunteers of the MTA set out on their mission to inform the citizens of the cities of Plymouth, Northville and Wayne about some substantial tax hikes passed by the state House and their state representative, Marc Corriveau.

The focal point of the tax hikes was a 3000% + hike in a garbage dumping fee that will increase the cost for everyone to dispose of their garbage. With this information in hand, the volunteers began following garbage trucks and an 11 foot, half ton pig named, 'Mr. Perks," through the neighborhoods to tape literature onto the trash cans of the unsuspecting taxpayers in Rep. Corriveau's district. The mornings of the following days were spent the same way, informing as many people in these key cities as we could.


Watch the YouTube Video!

Protest at Capitol a Success! More Work to do...

About 500 Michigan taxpayers took a cold April day off work and drove to Lansing to tell Governor Granholm and state lawmakers, "Enough is enough, No new taxes! Cut spending!" The protest was organized by the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and Americans For Prosperity.

We made sure our voice was heard, chanting loudly, "Cut your budget!" and "She wants our pay, we say no way!"   and "They want more dough, we say, 'hell no'!" Passing motorists blared their horns in support of our message. Most protesters came with their own, handmade signs but, thanks to Ray Wilson and the Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Association, a variety of printed "anti-tax hike" signs were also available.

A ten foot tall pig named Mr. Perks, MTA's newest 'member', also made quite a splash.

An array of speakers kept the crowd motivated, including Stephen Moore an editor for The Wall Street Journal and Dick Patten from the American Family Business Institute, the leading national organization fighting the 'death (estate) tax'. Mr. Moore had perhaps the best line of the protest when he yelled, "No more taxation without respiration !"

Wayne County Taxpayers Association Chair Rose Bogaert filled us in about the tax revolt of 1983 and the creation of the Headlee Amendment. Roger Buckholtz, leader of Michigan's Fair Tax movement, spoke of how Lansing hides the taxes that you are paying.  

Now what? Well, that's the job of the MTA to figure it out. And figuring we are. Keep an eye on our web page for news of the next steps in this fight for our wallets!

Sunset from the Grand Hotel

The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Policy Conference on Mackinac Island wraps up today. The annual event purports to be an opportunity for prominent politicians of both parties to mingle with Michigan’s business leaders for the purpose of sharing ideas and building consensus on improving our state. Last year, I attended the conference as part of a panel discussion on government race preferences, and found the Conference more akin to a surreal junket to Oz that represents a real threat to Michigan’s everyday citizens.

MTA Board of Directors
Leon Drolet

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Rose Bogaert
Chair, Wayne County
Taxpayers Assoc.

Darin Chase
President, Homesite Mortgage

David Grudzyski
President, Lasercom LLC

David Littmann
Chief Economist, Comerica Bank (retired)

Steve Thomas
President, Detroit Athletic Company

Ray Wilson
President, Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Assoc.

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