-By Warner Todd Huston
The campaign to raise enough signatures on petitions to recall Michigan’s Speaker of the House is taking another turn for the worse. The fight to toss the Speaker out has been pretty vicious but so far all those bad turns have been perpetrated by Andy Dillon, the Democrat in office, and none of them by the citizen groups trying to launch the recall effort. (See here and here.)
This time, the citizen groups trying to oust the Speaker are crying foul over the fact that Speaker Andy Dillon hired a convicted felon to interfere with petition carriers and to dissuade citizens from signing those petitions in Redford Township.
Party spokeswoman Liz Kerr acknowledged that Marcel L. Mitchell — who has been convicted eight times of armed robbery, gun charges and other offenses since 1990 — was hired to inform residents about the Redford Township lawmaker’s voting record. She said there’s nothing illegal about hiring Mitchell, who got out of prison last year and is on parole.
But critics say that hiring a violent felon to “inform residents” about Dillon’s voting record is an obvious attempt to threaten voters into not signing the petitions.
“It’s a perfect hire,” said Leon Drolet of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, a Macomb County commissioner who is leading the recall effort. “They are pulling out all the stops … hiring a violent felon with a rap sheet and throwing him in the field for stalking and intimidation efforts.”
Speaker Dillon has been doing his best to interfere with the citizen led recall efforts, attempting to thwart their democratic right to petition the government. Michigan has a legal recall law that the citizens have been trying to employ to oust Dillon, but he has launched his own campaign using union workers and state workers on the state payroll to harass petition carriers and voters attempting to sign those petitions.
The courts have even had to get involved giving Speaker Dillon’s forces a slap on the wrist for their obstruction of democracy.
Last Friday, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against the recall campaign based on claims that organizers are using workers from outside the district to collect signatures, Kerr said. Drolet said claims of “massive fraud and illegal petitioning” are untrue. The group plans to submit more than 8,724 signatures to the state by May 1. If they’re certified, the recall election would be Aug. 5.
So, not only has Dillon done his best to destroy the citizen’s right to petition, he has done it illegally using state funds, using outside union support and he is now employing convicted felons hired to frighten voters away from exercising their right to petition!
Yeah, that’s a real “democrat,” eh?
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as newsbusters.org, townhall.com, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of publiusforum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston
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