Effort to recall Sen. Rebekah Warren stalls as Election Commission rules petition language is unclear
An effort to recall state Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, stalled today as the Washtenaw County Election Commission rejected the proposed recall petition language.
The commission voted 2-1, deciding the language was unclear, with County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum casting the lone dissenting vote. The other two members of the commission are County Treasurer Catherine McClary and Judge Donald Shelton.
Ypsilanti Township resident Steven E. Wallis filed the recall language with the county clerk's office earlier this month, citing Warren's vote against the repeal of the "job-killing Michigan Business Tax" as the reason for wanting to recall the first-term senator.
AnnArbor.com has been unable to reach Wallis, who was not present for today's clarity hearing. Warren had an attorney present who argued the recall language was unclear.
Kestenbaum said Wallis still could revise the petition language and resubmit it. After that, another clarity hearing could be held within 10 to 20 days.
Getting petition language approved is the first step in a recall process. If approved, Wallis would have 180 days to collect about 25,000 signatures from voters in Washtenaw County. However, none of the signatures can be more than 90 days old on the date they're turned in.
Warren issued a statement today following the commission's decision, saying she understands Wallis' concerns and shares his desire to create jobs in Michigan.
However, she said she wouldn't hesitate to cast the same ‘no’ vote again on the GOP-backed legislation because she believes there were more responsible ways of reforming Michigan’s tax structure.
“The truth is the legislation in question did not eliminate the Michigan Business Tax, but rather shifted a tremendous tax burden onto Michigan’s working families and seniors — gutting the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, eliminating critical tax incentives for our homeless shelters and food banks, and implementing a three-tiered pension tax that many retirees are struggling to adjust to," Warren said. "Quite simply, this vote balanced the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens in order to fund a $2 billion tax break for businesses."