Last November Michigan elected Republican Rick Snyder to the governor’s office, but now Michiganders across the state are calling for his recall. Running on a platform of fiscal reform, the political newcomer beat Democrat Virg Bernero by 19 percent of the vote.
Since then, Snyder has garnered national media attention for his sweeping legislative reforms that took many Michiganders by surprise. These measures include endowing “emergency financial managers” with the power to terminate union contracts and dissolve units of local government considered to be in a state of crisis. Two such states of crisis have been determined in the Detroit schools and the city of Benton Harbor.
This maneuver has led many Michiganders to protest the Governor, arguing that his campaign platform did not reflect his current statutes. Groups aiming to remove the governor are beginning to circulate petitions this week with hopes of collecting 1.1 million signatures, or about 25 percent if those who voted in the last election — the amount needed to launch a recall election.
Those who sign the petition, which will likely be circulated this month on Kalamazoo College’s campus, must be registered to vote in the “city or township specified in the petition heading,” according to michigan.gov.
If presented with the option to sign the petition, junior Emily Wolf said she “probably would.” She said, “I know that the budget plans he promised aren’t what he’s following through with.”
Junior Aaron Geller agreed. “If you hire a leader to do a certain job, and they’re not doing it,” he said, “I would fire them.”
Despite support for the recall process, chances of the recall vote hitting the ballots as early as this November are slim. Before California governor Joseph Graham “Gray” Davis, Jr.’s recall in 2003, the last successful gubernatorial recall had occurred in 1921 in North Dakota.
According to College Democrats Chair, senior Alex Morgan, the recall’s probability is irrelevant. “It’s an opportunity for voters to express their views with their leaders; that’s the whole point of a recall,” he said.
Morgan plans to circulate a petition on campus if Michigan Citizens United, the group dedicated to Snyder’s recall, contacts him. On their site, FireRickSnyder.org, MCU says that the petitions have not yet been printed but that they plan to begin circulating them by May 21.