A note on the Snyder recall

While our friends in Wisconsin have turned in a million or so signatures to force a recall vote of their Governor, here in Michigan we are stuck in our usual infighting mode. That’s despite the fact that this Governor and legislature have gutted education, gutted tax credits for the working poor, taxed our seniors, launched a full-on frontal assault on our labor unions, and have passed a series of gay-bashing bills that would make Fred Phelps proud. So I’m hoping we can all get on the same page and support the recall of Governor Snyder.

Generally speaking, I am opposed to recalls that are based on policy and votes. When Recall Snyder kicked off, I was not supportive because I didn’t see him doing anything illegal. It was the Emergency Manager situation that changed my mind. In short In short, firing the local government and seizing control of local assets is just going too far.

I gave it a lot of thought because there is some argument that what he is doing is not illegal. But in the words of Ed Schultz, “I don’t give a damn what you call it, it’s wrong.” I spent so many years blogging local issues that I can’t imagine not standing up for right to be represented on a local level. Forget about things like downtown development; local decisions control things like public safety, water runoff conditions, voting accessibility, road conditions, and critical records such as deeds, births, deaths, etc. The people controlling these things should be local, and not sitting off in Lansing looking at spreadsheets. Based on the displacement of local officials and taking control of local assets, I came to support the recall.

Snyder has already admitted that he will not be pushing controversial bills this year because his House of Representatives is up for election. He knows that the public does not like his decisions, and that the Republicans could lose control of the House because of that. This tells us that he is willing to manipulate the timing of legislation in order to protect himself and his friends from the voters. Does that mean that we will see some good legislation in 2012 and 2014? No, it means that 2013 is going to suck like 2011. We can’t afford another 2011. We have to recall him now.

As to the MDP and Mark Brewer, I cannot believe that we can’t even get a shout out for this effort. The MDP doesn’t have to spend party money; it could just offer official party “approval” or something. By remaining silent, it calls the effort into question. The absence of support by the MDP allows people to think that the recall is not right.

And that is wrong.

If you think the MDP should support the recall of Rick Snyder, please contact the Michigan Democratic Party at midemparty@michigandems.com.

If you would like to support the recall of Rick Snyder, please visit Michiganrising.org.

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  1. Mark Miller says:

    I’ve had my say about the recall below; just want to remind everyone that the referendum on PA 4 is still collecting signatures. We have more than the minimum we need, but we always need a margin for the inevitable dups and bad addresses etc. If you have not signed yet, go to michiganforward.org and call or email to ask where you can find a petition, or call your local AFSCME or MEA office. I believe they are collecting signatures through the end of January, not certain about that.

    • I don’t have an issue with asking questions about the mechanics of things. My concern is with the notion that a Snyder recall is wrong. I don’t see how anyone could watch what this Governor does, especially with the Emergency Manager issue, and not believe that the Governor is abusing his position.

  2. Christine, thanks for your endorsement. You are right on as far as MDP support.

    The EM bill is clearly unconstitutional and even a conservative Supreme Court should be able to see that.

    I hope the BFM community will get on board and support the recall effort with their dollars and their time.

    We can be successful in MI even without the union leadership and the Democratic party. The Wisconsin Democratic party was not supportive at first, but the people convinced them they had to get involved, but it was the grassroots that carried the day, not the party.

  3. Snarky Anderson says:

    Bruce Fealk said, “We can be successful in MI even without the union leadership and the Democratic party.” Which raises the obvious question of what purpose labor leaders and the state party serve, aside from perpetuating their own existence. My party membership is about to expire, and I have no intention of renewing it. I also have no intention of running again for precinct delegate.

    • but what point does that make Snarky, other than a minor protest that few people will notice? I don’t have an answer either, but I know that there’s no other party for me to join. So … what to do? Aren’t we more relevant in the party than out of it?

  4. Snarky Anderson says:

    I’m not convinced that I’m more relevant in the party than out of it. In the 11th District, where I live, the party organization is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Auto Workers (who balked at supporting the Democratic candidate for Congress because it thought it could do business with Thaddeus McCotter). The state party isn’t much better. Mark Brewer muscled out any attempt at challenging his chairmanship for life at the last state convention, and I see no evidence that he’s changed his top-down business model.

    If I saw a real possibility of changing the MDP from within, I’d stay around. However, the party has become the equivalent of the Soviet Politburo: aging, inbred, insular, and resistant to change.

  5. It’s tough to argue with that, we’ve been talking about the same problems for years. But I can’t give up quite yet.

  6. I have been as angry with Snyder’s policies as anyone, and I have seriously considered signing the petition to recall Snyder. The only problem is that if the recall is successful, the Lt. Governor then steps in, and from everything I’ve heard, he’s even more conservative (socially and politically) than Snyder. I don’t want to be one of the namby-pamby people who say “better the devil you know,” but I do have some very serious concerns that a Calley administration would be worse than a Snyder one.

    • The reason that doesn’t bother me Megan is that it would scare the House GOP into being a bit more reasonable, and Calley won’t be able to do anything without the crazy majority he has now. Plus he’d be temporary because the seat will go to a Democrat at the next election.

  7. Megan, you are a little confused about Calley being governor if Snyder were to be recalled.

    Calley would only be governor, as I understand it, until a special election is called. If the recall of Snyder were on the November ballot, the new election for governor would take place, probably in February.

  8. As someone who participated in the attempt to recall Engler years ago, I was optimistic about the chances of last year’s effort to recall Snyder. Snyder’s approval ratings were very low, some of his initiatives, especially the new EFM law, had alienated many voters and mobilized many activists. I was disappointed by the decisions made by the leadership team last year.

    @ Bruce, do not expect this Michigan Supreme Court to rule against a Republican Governor. This is the most activist court I have ever seen. By way of comparison, the Warren Court, often cited as an extremely “activist” court, used the word “overruled” in 17 cases in ten years. (According to my search, and I need to confirm that to be correct.) The average yearly rate of overruling for the first ten years of that so-called activist court was 1.7 cases a year or less than two cases per year.

    While the makeup of this court has changed with recent elections, the direction has not. When I organized a seminar on the court back in 2000, I discovered that in the first year and a half, 38 precedents had been overruled. I was stunned. (See http://www2.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=817 ) Wayne State University constitution law scholar Robert Sedler concluded that the overrulings were result oriented.

    ” In every civil case, the result of the overruling of the prior decision was to favor defendants over plaintiffs by limiting liability or making it more difficult for plaintiffs to assert a claim. In every criminal case, the result of the overruling of the prior decision was to favor the prosecution over the defendant and to uphold a conviction against the defendant’s statutory or constitutional claim. ”
    See http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1520719 The Michigan Supreme Court, Stare Decisis, and Overruling the Overrulings,
    December 8, 2009.

    Ask any active litigator in the state if they expect this court to throw out this statute.

    I supported the recall effort last year. I was very disappointed by the way the campaign treated hard working volunteers.

    • Hi Lee, thanks for the comment & welcome to BFM. I am not familiar with the internal campaign stuff, other than having brushed up on it a little yesterday. I was disappointed we didn’t get the signatures but I don’t know how close we were. I hope it goes better this time.

  9. I don’t know most of the details because I was booted so early for raising the questions about numbers. There was a lot of available talent to help.

    I strongly believe that whatever numbers were available should have been shared at least with the experienced community leaders involved with the campaign. The campaign needed the help of experienced community leaders to get their help developing a strategy that could succeeded. If the recall leadership had numbers, whatever kind of numbers they were (whether estimates or actual counts) those numbers should have been shared with the experienced leaders. If the recall leadership had no numbers, then there was a more serious problem that needed to be addressed.

    I have heard many conflicting accounts of what happened from a number of insiders. Some say that numbers were kept on a weekly basis. Some tell me that the few numbers that were shared by the leadership later on could not possibly have been true. Some say that they were told that they were very close to meeting the target. Others say that there were well under 300,000, and probably about 200,000, signatures. All I know is that I am hearing many very conflicting stories from people who were in a position to know.

    It is one thing to be inexperienced. It is another matter for admittedly inexperienced leadership to block input from those with experience and to treat volunteers poorly. Who knows what really happened?

  10. @Lee: Did you speak at a Justice Caucus event about the MSC record of overturning precedents? Your name rings a bell for me….

    Also, what you say about the questions surrounding last year’s recall effort confirms what I have heard from a few others.

  11. @memiller – I was not aware of the Justice Caucus event. I had organized a seminar on this court back in 2000 on this topic.

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