Nov 6, 2007

More recall clarity hearings scheduled

Rep. Joel Shelrtown, D-West Branch, is the latest state lawmaker to face a clarity hearing in the statewide move to recall legislators who voted to increase the state income tax and place a sales tax on some services that helped balance the state budget and erase a $1.8 billon budget deficit.

The hearing will be held before the Ogemaw County Board of Elections at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Ogemaw County Building and Courthouse, 806 W. Houghton Ave. in West Branch. The purpose of the hearing is ensure the language on the petitions is clear enough so that voters can understand the reason for the recall.

If the language is approved, the recall committee has 180 days to begin collecting the signatures of registered voters that must be equal to 25 percent of all the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in the 103rd District. Once the first signature is collected, the petitioners have 90 days to collect the proper amount of signatures to go to the next step in the process, so the time lag between the first and last signature must not be more than 90 days.

The petitioners will need to collect the required 9,473 signatures of registered voters from the far-flung 103rd District that includes four counties - Iosco, Missaukee, Ogemaw and Roscommon. – to place the question on the ballot.

The Michigan Taxpayer Alliance, led by Republican Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet, has not had much success in getting approval of the recall language, and so far only the language approved is for the recall of Rep. Robert Dean, D-Grand Rapids.

Rep. Marie Donigan, D-Royal Oak, also has a clarity hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 16 in the courtroom of Judge Barry Grant at the Oakland County Circuit Court, 1200 Telegraph Rd. in Pontiac. This recall is being led by an Oakland County PAC calling itself "Stop Hurting Michigan's Kids."

Recall petitions rejected because of language include those of Sen. Jerry Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores; Rep. Mary Valentine, D-Muskegon; House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford; Rep. Marc Corriveau, D-Northville; Rep. Ed Gaffney, R-Grosse Pointe Farms; and Rep. Steve Bieda, D-Warren.

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