Michigan has a recall law. Citizens can toss out an unrepresentative representative before you can say Ypsilanti — even if that politician hasn’t committed a crime or tweeted lewd photos of himself.
Well, maybe not Ypsilanti-simple: one must gather enough signatures to reach 25 percent of the contested office’s vote in the previous election.
Since 1954, when the recall provision was added to the Michigan Constitution, only three legislators have been successfully recalled. The first two were Democrats, back in 1983. The third happened just last month. Republican State Senator Paul Scott’s recall was placed on the ballot, largely through the efforts of the state teachers union, and he was voted out.
I wouldn’t have supported Scott’s ouster, but I support the right of citizens everywhere to oust away.
Michigan State Senator John J. Gleason disagrees. To Gleason, three recalls in 57 years are three too many. The Democrat introduced Senate Bill 629, which would gut the right to recall by disallowing it unless the legislator has gone on a crime spree or piled up serious ethical violations.
Just voting our liberties away wouldn’t qualify any longer.
“Nothing unites lawmakers more than making it easier to stay in office,” wrote Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Joe Lehman in the Detroit Free Press. “The voters’ right to recall lawmakers, for expressly political reasons, is a potent check against government overreach that the people should jealously guard irrespective of party.”
Joe’s talking Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.