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Don't Like Being Subject To A Recall? Why Not Change The Law?


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How citizens launch recalls is challenged

House speaker says petition review board setup is unlawful

Karen Bouffard/ Detroit News Lansing Bureau


Battle Creek— House Speaker Jase Bolger has added a wrinkle to the spate of recalls under way this summer, by challenging the procedure citizens can use to throw lawmakers out of office.


In what Calhoun County Clerk Anne Norlander calls a "summer of discontent," Bolger is one of at least 18 House and Senate lawmakers facing recall or who have recall language against them awaiting review by county elections commissions.


Bolger contends the makeup of the boards is unlawful. After recall language is filed, a three-member county election commission determines if the wording is understandable to voters. The panel is made up of a judge, the county clerk and the county treasurer — which Bolger claims violates the separation of powers in government because board members are from the judicial and executive branches.


Bolger attorney Gary Gordon won an injunction Monday in circuit court in Battle Creek to stop the Calhoun County Election Commission from ruling on any more petitions filed against the House speaker until questions about the recall law can be resolved.


Calhoun County Circuit Judge Conrad Sindt gave Gordon three weeks to send him legal arguments on the case.


The same goes for Calhoun County corporate counsel Richard Lindsey, who represents the election commission. Lindsey asked the judge to clarify the law, which he said is too vague and confusing.


Autumn Smith, a Kellogg Community College student, is leading a grass roots effort to recall Bolger. She has filed numerous petitions against the speaker including two approved by the commission.


Smith asked to be removed from the case after all of what she called "legal shenanigans."


The judge denied her request, but allowed her to continue collecting signatures on her recall petitions.


Constitutional law experts differed on the validity of Bolger's challenge.


"I think it's a very serious argument," said attorney Richard McLellan, a Lansing constitutional law expert. "The constitution very clearly says no official in one branch can exercise powers of the other branch.


"This is a legitimate legal challenge that is probably worth the courts resolving."


Wayne State University constitutional law professor Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who ran for secretary of state but lost to Republican Ruth Johnson, said the issue doesn't strike her as a legitimate challenge.


"It's well established in law that (the county elections commission) is the board that reviews these claims," Benson said. "You're asking an official to evaluate the legality of language, which falls within the purview of what a judge does."


Many of the recall efforts are being led by individuals upset with lawmakers over their votes on topics ranging from the expansion of the emergency manager law to taxing pensions to what opponents say is an attack on worker rights. The Michigan Education Association recently announced it would provide volunteers and possible funding for some recalls. Spokesman Doug Pratt wouldn't name whose recall the union is backing.


The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder is trying to collect more than 800,000 signatures and hope to get petitions approved in time to put the question on the November ballot. Just this week, wording for a recall of Attorney General Bill Schuette was filed.


The subjects of recalls have been overwhelmingly Republicans, but at least one Democrat, Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor, was threatened, though her petition language was rejected.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110721/POLITICS02/107210399/How-citizens-launch-recalls-is-challenged#ixzz1Syq7TYcJ

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Petitions are ready for all of you after August 1st. Until the Midland County Election Commission approves the language, no signatures are to be taken. Once that happens I would like someone from every county to step up and get their County Copy. Thank you all for your support in this effort to put this clown in check, especially when it comes to OUR law! We will not take this lying down

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If you want to understand democracy, spend less time in the library with Plato, and more time in the buses with people.

- Simeon Strunsky



This is just another one of far to many changes to our political process the republican tea party is trying to change and changing. From increasingly more ridiculous measure to prove who you are in order to vote, to redistricting that gives the GOP the upper hand running cities, counties, and states.


In my opinion the republican tea party is a threat to our national and financial security with their hyper-partisan political gamesmanship instead of representing all Americans they sign pledges backing no tax hikes, tax breaks and cuts for millionaires and billionaires, to opining for the lost days of slavery.


The Tea Party candidates (GOP freaks in disguise) who were elected in the frenzy of the wall street caused financial collapse of '08 and election of our first African-American President haven't the experience needed politically to be in DC and now, that inexperience is showing and what damages can be caused by inexperienced radical political affiliations inside of the federal government.


The republican tea party is going to pay a heavy toll in 2011-12 at the ballot box for the lies they told to get into power, and then the way turn on America's working class the back-bone of this country.


Instead of the fiscal reformers and job creators who promised to turn our country around financially they added over a trillion dollars to our debt with the forced continuation of the Bush tax cuts and the mountain of state de-funding regulations they are forcing through. And with all the financial cuts in state aid made by the GOP tea party over 500,000 jobs have been lost since the GOP tea party took control in Jan.


Social programs that primarily help low income and poor Americans are being ended and increasingly more difficult qualification standards are being put in place that are shutting out many needy Americans.


A giant industrialized country such as the USA has to have social service programs to take care of those who are in need. You cannot stand at the microphone and pledge your life to the teachings of Jesus Christ and then throw old people out of nursing homes like they did in St.Louis, MO. when the GOP controlled state cut funding for medicaid assisted living facilities across the country.


And if want to see a real scary radical extremist Christian monster who wants to run this country, research Texas Gov.Rick Perry. (His preacher claims that Oprah is the anti-Christ) I won't even repeat what this supposed man of God has to say about Gays, African-Americans, and anybody else who isn't just the right kind of white.


DC held the King hearing about radical Islamic extremists in America and questioned their faith and allegiance to our country.


I have the same concerns and doubts about the republican tea party's faith and allegiance to our country.




Waves of state, federal funding cuts imperil U.S. nursing homes




"A 92-year-old woman was screaming and crying as she was loaded into the ambulance, saying 'This is my home,'"

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hello all


well first of all a horse can not change its color... if they do say anything like they changed then there lying and should not be believed as then there just playing you... this is like asking a shark to not eat... ya ya ya theres always hope they will change dont believe it... the only hope is to remove them from office and then see if they change watch and see... the truth hurts and when someone speaks out its in there heart... they have the opportunity to show how they feel and speak about it or not so when they do it always show how they feel... our government has shown us for many years what its wants... its not to help us out... its about how much money they can steal or take from you... thats what its about how to keep you under control and poor... the track record shows us all... how many laws have been changed for them not you or me but for them to us on us... man people we need to open our eyes and talk with anyone and everyone who can hear about what is going on... good luck...




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Unfortunately these are people doing what they said they would. It's not about changing them but not voting for them to begin with. Today's politicians have sense of entitlement to their job and the power it brings. No longer do they perform as civil servants but more like appointed guardians. They actually believe that we want them out there making decisions for us rather than making the decisions we tell them to make. Now that they have shown the people that they will not carry out their duties as directed we have no choice but to launch recall petitions against them. I can only hope that enough people see what is going on. Sadly if the petitions fail they will see it as a mandate that they are doing right. It will be just like winning the election all over again for them. I doubt the thought will enter their mind that hey maybe I should reassess my actions while in public office.

Edited by jayt
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