County recall targets Snyder, Booher, Potvin

REED CITY – The recall season is in full swing.

As efforts to collect enough signatures in support of a recall bid against Michigan governor Rick Snyder continue around the state, local politicians are also feeling the effect of a voter disquiet over new laws and policies being suggested and instituted.

Recall petition language has been approved on petitions for the recall of Sens. Darwin Booher, of Evart, a Judy Emmons, of Sheridan, and Rep. Phil Potvin, of Cadillac

Booher represents the 11-county 35th Senate District, which includes Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties. Emmons represents Montcalm, Isabella, Ionia and Clinton counties.

Petition language for Booher was submitted to the Osceola County Clerk’s Office by Osceola Township resident Larry Morlock.

Frustrated with the state legislature in general, and particularly the approval of the emergency financial managers bill, Morlock’s recall petition instead cites business tax reforms that passed earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the Osceola County election commission deemed that the wording is clear enough to be circulated for signatures. The language reads, “Senator Darwin L. Booher did on May 12, 2011 vote yes on Michigan House Bill 4361 (S-5), as amended.”

Morlock must now obtain 22,980 signatures from registered voters of the 35th District by Dec. 31, Bluhm said. The deadline reflects that the petition is only good for 180 days and signatures are only good for 90 days, she added.

Morlock agreed that the task was certainly daunting for one man. When asked if he plans to collect the signatures, he said “I want to do my share, and that’s all I can do as a citizen.” He said he’s been approached by people who have offered to help, but wouldn’t say who they were.

Booher chief of staff Patrick Tiedt said the move won’t change how the senator conducts business.

“We are going to remain focused on working to get jobs back in the state and making the state have a more business-friendly environment,” Tiedt said.

Meanwhile, a signature drive to recall state Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, continues. Circulators must obtain 7,440 signatures by Aug. 5 to meet the deadline for the November ballot.

A recall petition for Potvin was submitted to the Wexford County Clerk’s Office on Thursday, citing the freshman legislator’s support for the emergency financial managers law enacted earlier this year. Potvin represents Michigan’s 102nd state House District – which includes Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties – in the state House of Representatives.

The petition was submitted by Tiyi Schippers, a Cadillac city councilwoman who is the Wexford County captain of the larger Committee to Recall Rick Snyder.

Language on the petition says, “For voting yes on what is now Public Act 4 of March 16, 2011, formerly house bills 4214, 4218 and 4246 allowing emergency financial managers sole authority to remove local elected municipal government officials and elected school district board representatives from office.”

The effort aimed at recalling Potvin, passed its first hurdle recently when a Wexford County panel deemed that the wording on the submitted recall petition was clear enough to be circulated for signatures.

The county election commission was comprised of Wexford County Clerk Elaine Richardson, county Treasurer Wendy S. Moore and Chief Probate Court Judge Kenneth Tacoma.

Schippers said her frustration wasn’t specifically directed at Potvin, but more at those who supported the emergency financial managers law, which she sees as a violation of voters’ rights. She believes all lawmakers who voted for the measure earlier this year should be recalled.

“This is going to be a huge job,” she said. “Whether or not it’s successful, this is a loud and clear message to every legislator that they need to listen to the voice of the people who elected them.”

Potvin said Schippers is exercising her right as an American.