AlternativeSolutionsPlus Posted August 5, 2011 Report Share Posted August 5, 2011 (edited) Now this is activism by the people! MIDLAND — A Lansing man who has accused Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette of attempting to sabotage the state's medical marijuana law has struck out in an attempt to start a recall against Michigan's top law enforcement official. The three-member Midland County Election Commission unanimously rejected recall petition language as unclear during a clarity hearing Monday inside the Midland County Courthouse. Richard C. Clement Sr., 54, a member of Michigan NORML, vowed to try again with a new petition. “We still want to free the weed,” he said. NORML is an acronym for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “They were basically my editors,” he said of the Election Commission. “They were right. It wasn't specific enough.” Rusty Hills, a spokesman for Schuette, praised the decision. “Bill Schuette was elected to uphold the laws, defend the Constitution, protect the public,” Hills added. “That's what we've been doing. That's what we'll continue to do.” Schuette, a Republican, was not at the clarity hearing in his hometown. In the petition filing, Clement accused the attorney general of three claims: Insubordination, conduct unbecoming a state employee, and misuse of state property over enforcement of the medical marijuana law. Among other allegations, the petition contended, the attorney general had disobeyed a "direct order" from Michigan citizens and had provided "false and misleading information to county prosecutors and judges" about the medical marijuana law while violating patient confidentiality. The petition also claimed the attorney general used the resources of the elected office to "harass, intimidate and prosecute" participants in the medical marijuana program. Further, the petition contended, Schuette gave prosecutors a "green light to seize property, money and other assets" of people in the program. Attorneys for Schuette argued the petition lacked clarity and was "functionally incomprehensible." “The recall petition generically references various instances of misconduct without ever citing the attorney general’s purported actions,” a legal response to Clement's allegations said. “Presumably, the petitioner intends to confuse and mislead voters in order to evoke an emotional response regarding unspecified conduct and incorrect conclusions referenced in the recall petition. Neither the voters nor the attorney general can properly form a judgment regarding the statements contained in the recall petition because they are unclear, ambiguous, unidentifiable, and appear to be simply untrue.” Gary P. Gordon, a Lansing lawyer who represented Schuette, dismissed each claim in a point-by-point rebuttal to election commissioners. “This isn't some sort of parlor game,” Gordon said. “This is serious business.” Clement disputed Gordon, pointing to an additional brief he filed that he said supported his claims. Moreover, he told commissioners before their decision, the language was clear to the average voter and accused Gordon of “selected” reading. “He's trying to confuse you ...” Clement said at the hearing. Gordon said the additional document citing examples to support the original petition showed Clement’s language was confusing. Midland County Probate Judge Dorene Allen, an Election Commission member, dismissed the petition claims as “extremely general.” “The responsibility in a recall petition is for specificity so the public official is able to respond,” she said. Elected officials facing an attempt to remove them from office have a right to a 200-word response on a recall petition. “I can't even fathom being able to do that in 200 words,” she said. The judge cited examples of petition generalizations, and even faulted the recall language for the spelling of marijuana. “The petition itself spells it with a j,” she said. “The law itself spells it with an h.” If approved, Clement and his supporters would need to gather 807,000 registered voters signatures from throughout the state within 180 days. No signature could be more than 90 days old when submitted for verification to the state Bureau of Elections. Edited August 5, 2011 by AlternativeSolutionsPlus Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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