PRESS RELEASE – Effort to recall Richardville inactive
November 29, 2011 – The language approved for the recall of Michigan State Senator Randy Richardville on July 6th does not expire until January 2nd but the effort to collect signatures for his recall is currently inactive and has been for 30 days or more. During the 90-day collection window beginning July 30th and ending October 28th, 34 volunteer circulators collected signatures from just over 1,800 voters in Richardville’s district falling far short of the 22,246 signatures needed to place the question on the February 28th ballot. The Committee to Recall Randy Richardville collected and spent less than $750.
Throughout the active period of the recall there was speculation that the recall had been organized by labor but that was never the case. The Michigan Education Association (MEA) did not endorse the effort to recall Senator Richardville, the governor and many state senators and representatives until these recalls were well underway. Many MEA members actively circulated or signed petitions but the MEA did not play a leading role in the effort to recall Richardville as they did in the recall of State Representative Paul Scott. Some people who are active in the Democratic Party and various other labor organizations actively circulated or signed the recall petitions, but the Party and the various other labor organizations did not officially endorse the recall of Richardville. The effort to recall Richardville was always grassroots and never got the financial or organizational support that was needed to succeed.
“Some volunteers are disappointed with the lack of support from the Democratic Party, various labor organizations and even the big progressive PACs. I am asking them to put that behind them. These other organizations gave serious consideration to the recall effort and where generally supportive, but decided that their resources where better employed elsewhere. I should have made sure that I had their full support before I sponsored the recall instead of taking it for granted that they would support us once we got the effort under way,” said Ernie Whiteside, the recall sponsor.
Some critics of the recall process complained that the recalls were done for purely political reasons. Furthermore, they suggest that recalls should only be done for legal reasons. These critics are ignorant of the law, "The sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question" (State Constitution of 1963, Article II, Section 8).
“Elected officials should never take it for granted that once elected they are free to do as they wish until their term ends. The possibility must always exist that elected officials who fail to represent the interests of the voters may be recalled,” said Whiteside.
The reason given for petitioning to recall Richardville and a number of other state senators is that “while serving in the Michigan State Senate on May 12, 2011” they “voted yes on Michigan House Bill 4361 (S-5), as amended." HB 4361 (S-5) amended the Income Tax Act, HB 4362 amended the Michigan Business Tax and HB 4479 amended the Multistate Tax Compact. Richardville and the other senators being recalled for this reason voted yes for all three bills. Together this legislation is expected in FY 2012-2013 to reduce business tax $1,647.7 million while increasing individual income tax $1,423.7 million. Enacted as “an act to meet deficiencies in state funds,” this legislation is expected in FY 2012-2013 to reduce tax revenues $224.0 million. Seventeen of the nineteen senators who voted for this legislation are in various stages of the recall process.
Recall supporters are encouraged to become constructively involved in the political process and work to support future candidates who will put the interests of We the People ahead of those of the corporate business community.