Feb 26, 2008

Recall developments continue as the clock ticks

Recall developments continue as the clock ticks

The recalls of Michigan lawmakers saw a few new developments this week as one group launched a court challenge and another saw its recall language rejected.

The Michigan Taxpayer Alliance (MTA) is attempting to recall primarily Democratic lawmakers who voted to increase taxes in October, and the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) is retaliating by going after a Republican in a leadership position.

On Monday the Oakland County Election Commission rejected the petition language for House Minority Leader Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, as unclear for a second time. The recall cites his vote against repealing the state's pharmaceutical company immunity law that allows consumers to sue drug companies who cause death and injury through negligence, and the recall is being led by the MDP. Under current law Michigan is the only state where residents cannot sue drug companies for damages.

Lawyers for MTA’s campaign to recall state Rep. Robert Dean, D-Grand Rapids, decided Monday to appeal a Kent County Circuit Court judge’s Feb. 14 ruling that refused to allow out-of-district residents to collect signatures for the recall petition, according to the Grand Rapids Press. Under Michigan election law, the people collecting the recall signatures be registered voters in the district of the person being recalled. Circuit Judge James Redford ruled the state laws governing recalls did not infringe on political speech. Redford ruled that state could restrict recall drives to residents of the affected district.

Under election law there must be no more than 90 days between the first and last signature, and the Dean recall began in mid-December. The MTA has until mid-March to collect the 8,714 signatures to place the up or down recall question on the next ballot.

Language has already been approved in the recalls against Rep. Marty Griffin, D-Jackson; House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township; Rep. Marc Corriveau, D-Northville; Rep. Ed Gaffney, R-Grosse Pointe Farms; Rep. Steve Bieda, D-Warren; Dean, and Rep. Aldo Vagnozzi, D-Farmington Hills.

Recalls pending against lawmakers who had recall language rejected include Rep. Mike Simpson, D-Liberty Township, Rep. Marie Donigan, D-Royal Oak; DeRoche; Sen. Jerry Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores; Rep. Joel Sheltrown, D-West Branch, and Rep. Mary Valentine, D-Muskegon.

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