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Posted on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Sen. Rebekah Warren targeted for recall for opposing repeal of Michigan Business Tax

By Ryan J. Stanton

(This story has been updated with comment from Rebekah Warren.)

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, is the target of a recall effort as of this afternoon, according to officials in the Washtenaw County Clerk's Office.

County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum said Ypsilanti Township resident Steven E. Wallis officially filed recall language with his office, 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.

A clarity hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. July 20 at the county offices at 200 N. Main St. in downtown Ann Arbor, where the County Election Commission will rule whether the language is clear enough to go on the ballot. Kestenbaum is one of three members.


Rebekah Warren

If approved, Wallis would have 180 days from July 20 to collect about 25,000 signatures from voters in Washtenaw County.

Kestenbaum noted one of the rules in collecting recall signatures is that none of the signatures can be more than 90 days old on the date they're turned in.

"Most recalls are not successful and I think that the number of people who are going to be interested in signing this is not going to be very large," he said. "But that's up for the voters to decide."

The Michigan Business Tax was seen by many as cumbersome and an obstruction to creating jobs in Michigan. Its repeal — and replacement with a flat 6 percent corporate income tax — was part of Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to "reinvent Michigan."

After the Senate voted on House Bill 4361 in May, Warren and other Democrats who opposed the legislation said the tax plan laid out by the Republicans unfairly shifted the state's tax burden to poor and elderly residents while giving corporations at least a $1.7 billion tax break.

Warren offered her thoughts on the recall effort today in a written statement relayed to via e-mail. She said the recall process allows citizens the opportunity to express their opinions and she respects democracy in action.

"I've always been straight-forward when I run for office about what my values are and this community has been supportive in sending me to Lansing to represent them three times," said Warren, who was twice elected as state representative before moving up to the Senate.

Warren maintains HB 4361 is a "terrible tax policy."

"It balances our budget on the backs of those most vulnerable in our society, our seniors, our lowest wage earning working folks (who are eligible for the EITC) and the homeless shelters and food banks that help those most in need," she said, adding that it doesn't fit her values and she doesn't believe it fits the values of the community at large.

Kestenbaum, also a Democrat, offered this opinion on the recall effort against Warren: "Personally, I am not at all in favor of this recall."

Wallis could not be reached for comment.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

great comment antikvetch... It sounds like Steven E. Wallis needs a new hobby - .In eastern Washtenaw county.. Its like tilting at windmills.


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Is there a website concerning this attempted recall?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

Can we recall the DDA?

Monica R-W

Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 6:18 a.m.

Senator Warren, I am one of the voters in your district that will not even be bothered to sign this so-called "recall". You have done a great job for a majority of the voters of this community and we have your back!


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Rebekah's vote and explanation are right out of the Jennifer Granholm/Ann Arbor City Council handbook: "(a fair tax code) balances our budget on the backs of those most vulnerable in our society….." Mrs Warren has no idea that the new "most vulnerable" in Michigan are THOSE WORKING EVERY DAY PAYING THE BILLS IN THIS STATE!! …just like democrats on a national level, she thinks Granholm was a genius and all we needed to recover was more of the same failed policies. Of course democrats also enjoyed free run of social engineering in Detroit for a few generations now – how are those "most vulnerable" doing in the City these days? If not actively opposing Michigan's economic recovery, she is drafting embarrassing legislation like making breastfeeding mothers in restaurants a protected class under state law! LOL Seriously!! Fortunately the adults in the senate laugh it off the floor but you elected her Ann Arbor so what are you complaining about? I don't support a recall because I don't think she's strayed on bit from the hysterical nonsense that forms the basis of her political career.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

I love elections. Let's put them all back on the ballot within a prescribed period of time. That way we'll help to promote a closer correspondence between campaign rhetoric and post election actions. It may be chaotic for a while, but eventually politicians would be more restrained and more specific in their campaign promises and proposals and thereafter would see to it that their actions in office are taken with those promises and proposals clearly in mind.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Rebekah Warren is a fine Senator and this effort is pretty silly.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

David Cahill

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

At least the Tea Party people are giving a diner in Ypsilanti some business. 8-) Of course the recall effort will fail. Warren is a great senator!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Wonder if this is the Steve Wallis responsible ... he's of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> They meet every Friday at a diner in Ypsi to &quot;make plans for saving the land of the free.&quot; I guess that includes initiating a recall effort doomed for failure and will waste taxpayer money.

Steve Pepple

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

A comment containing name calling has been removed. Please make your point without calling other people names - including the people named in the story.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:17 a.m.

I fully support Rebekah Warren. When you read her rationale for her vote, how could anyone protest her effort to stop the legislative move to give away billions of dollars to business at the expense of our education system, the middle class and poor in this state? It seems that political dogma (ideology) is superceding common sense. We have no idea what the impact of Governor Synder's fiscal budget is going to be - it won't be implemented until October, so to start a recall on a vote which represented her constituents best interests is just too cute.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 7:02 a.m.

This is politics in the 2000s. Recall laws allow the tyranny of the petulant minority. Both sides do it now. Every idiot who signs one of these petitions is part of the problem, and doesn't deserve to live in a democracy.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

I would rather concentrate on recalling the real problem, Rick Snyder


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

snapshot, I really hope you're kidding


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:24 a.m.

Snyder is the solution for people with vision and common sense.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

This is what [sic] &quot;progressives&quot; must mean when they blow vuvuzelas, bang drums and chant: &quot;This is what democracy looks like&quot;. What it looks like to the rest of us is political posturing that never ends and actual legislating and governing never begins. Well progs this is your swamp and so you can be the ones to drain it.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

I WILL sign this recall!!!!!!! Hear me roar!!!


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

IMonica, 'm another one of the few and I know several others who are upset with the Snyder recall. If the other guys get a do over why can't we? You may be surprised at the results.

Monica R-W

Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 6:22 a.m.

You will be one of the few. Either way, it will never equal 25K. We support you Senator Warren!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

ROFL! This guy thinks he can find 25,000 people in Washtenaw County who want to get rid of Senator Warren... what must he be smoking!?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

I'll sign Warren's recall only in retaliation for Dem's recall attempts. The recall process was not intended to be used just because of a policy disagreement. The recall process is being used to &quot;fix&quot; elections by too powerful unions so taxpayers have to fight fire with fire.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:21 a.m.

He without a personal agenda cast the first stone, so yeah I'm retaliating. You don't like it, retreat.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

&quot;The recall process was not intended to be used just because of a policy disagreement.&quot; Of course not; it's intended to be used &quot;in retaliation.&quot;


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

What's Kestembaum's opinion doing in this article. The County Clerk should not be using his office as a political platform for stating a personal opinion on a filing. Isn't that a violation of office?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

This is almost as poorly thought out as the recall effort against Gov. Snyder, though I suppose that the MEA and other unions think that they have the resources to get their way via brute force. When a candidate wins by an overwhelming margin and does what he/she campaigned on there's no legitimate reason to mount a recall effort. Plus, given the people who live in Warren's district you'd kind of expect that they'd vote for her or someone like her. If there's anyone besides Wallis backing this recall effort beyond anonymous Internet postings I'd be surprised. This is the first I've heard of it. Total waste of time.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

I'll sign this one! Not that I expect it has any chance really, but put me down in the &quot;vote her out!&quot; column.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. I thought the headline was a typo till I read it. Warren not liberal enough for some folks is amazing to me. Seems she has a touch of common sense though !


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 4:04 a.m.

my screw up ERMG, thanks for pointing out. Was in a rush to go make some money, after reading and answering a couple hundred emails, didn't read thoroughly enough !

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Stun, Read more carefully. Conservatives are attempting a recall of her. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

Not only is Senator Warren a smart, talented, compassionate senator but a recall would not put a Republican in her place, which is what I assume the petitioner wants. Her district is solidly Democratic and a special election would elect another Democrat. Recalls only make sense if the person is guilty of misconduct in office or if they are in a swing district and you think that you can get a party switch in a new election. The only reason that some of the Republican recall efforts may make political sense is if the actions of the Republican state government has changed the minds of the electorate.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

&quot;Recalls only make sense if the person is guilty....&quot; Look at recent recall history and show me where guilt has been determined. Pittsfield had a recall vote based on made-up but clearly stated facts regarding the new Walmart. The recall failed. However, it raised suspicions and awareness so a new crew of faux Democrats with law-and-order Republican backing was able to usurp power in 2008.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

I fully support Sen Warren. Keep up the good work.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

I doubt MEA will be endorsing this one...

Dan Klimaszewski

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

You've got to be joking. Right?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

And there they go again... if you support republicans and you aren't a millionaire, you voting against your own self interest. I don't understand why anyone that is middle class could be a republican... THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

And just how do Democrats do a better job of CARING ABOUT YOU?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Lesser of 2 evils Bob. It's sad where the politics are today.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

That is why I call them all &quot;Republicrats&quot;. They are all for BIG and MASSIVE government that lines their pockets.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:01 a.m.

Agreed, that is why I don't support Republicans. However, the Democrats also stopped doing anything for the good of regular working folks a long time ago, unless they kick back campaign money through union dues. THEY DON&quot;T CARE ABOUT YOU, EITHER!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

It strikes me as a harassment recall, then a real recall attempt. The recall is for a vote that didn't make something happen...the actual outcome that the recallee wanted happened... Rebekah Warren won her seat with about a 2:1 margin in 2010, and given her current stances, it'll probably be a higher margin next election.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

The same could be said for several of the Republican recalls. For example, there is ZERO chance that Jase Bolger is going to be recalled. Good Night and Good Luck


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

I, for one, would like to thank the recall petition filers: here I was, afraid I'd have to wait three and a half more years to vote for Rebekah again, and they go and give me an extra chance!

Basic Bob

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

The most disturbing part of the recall law is that the reason for recall must only be clear, it is not required to be factual. I will never support a recall based solely on fiction and flawed logic, as this one is.


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

What is fictitious or flawed about the recall language?

Monica R-W

Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 6:21 a.m.

Well Basic Bob, even though I disagree with you on Gov. Snyder's recall efforts, I respect your consistent opinions on recalls, in general.

Basic Bob

Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

@grye, that recall is also based solely on fiction, and I do not support it. Snyder was elected fairly and is doing his job as promised.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Haven't you been critical of Snyder for what you consider &quot;flawed logic&quot;?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

Thank you for publicizing this story. I fully support the recall effort and applaud Steve Wallis for his efforts. Sen. Rebekah Warren is the daughter-in-law-of Alma Wheeler Smith, who is the daughter of former Ann Arbor Mayor Al Wheeler; she is also married to County Commission Chairman Conan Smith. It was Al Wheeler's election in the 1970s that signalled the decline of Ann Arbor as a conservative and pleasant place to reside. &quot;A heritage cannot be transmitted - it must be conquered.&quot; - Andre Malraux (french author).


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

I can't believe you are serious. I fully support Warren and thank her for her vote of sanity in these insane times in Lansing. Thank God for Ann Arbor for its liberal base to balance all the ultra-right wingers in other parts of the state.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

Really? Ann Arbor isn't pleasant? Time for you to move to Florida perhaps?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

If you dislike recalls, you can thank Darrell Issa, congressman from California, for starting the trend when he launched the recall campaign of then re-elected governor Gray Davis and gave CA Aaaaaaaahhhhhnold.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

You have a short memory. I remember voting to recall my state representative after he voted for a tax increase in the 1980s. The &quot;trend&quot; was not started in California.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

I would not recall her for *this*. But I would recall her for her votes in support of passing the service tax a few years ago as a representative. Remember that one? They taxed bowling alleys but not golf courses. And it was all negotiated in secret and the contents of the legislation were not revealed until it was a done deal. Corporate interests had early access to the &quot;secret&quot; legislation, and that is how they were able to exclude certain businesses, while sticking it to others. The other thing the legislation did was add a new tax on consultants - on top of their already heavy income taxes. It was a really dirty piece of legislation and Rebekah Warren was all for it. I'll vote against her every change I get. Truly, she never met a tax she didn't like.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

When the smoke finally clears there seems little doubt this brouhaha will prove to be the work of medical marijuana addicts using aggressive panhandling to fund the petition drive at the behest of their liberal masters. Wait and see, I say.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

Must be the big money business guys trying to get rid of a thorn in their side. What a waste of time.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

It sounds like Steven E. Wallis needs a new hobby -


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

He has the right to do this. What's the problem?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

I hate recalls!!! They are a waste of money and resources. Plus they circumvent the normal democratic process. If you want to influence government vote in the regular elections, lobby, etc. This is one progressive era reform that should go away.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

There are too many government officials and election dates to really just say oh well, fix it in however many years when you do elections.

Jake C

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

So the main reason for filing this recall petition is that Warren voted against a Bill that ended up passing anyway? That's pretty weak. That said, I don't think it's Kestenbaum's place as County Clerk to be offering his personal opinion on recall petitions. Dumb move.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

Seriously cette! If one side is going to use recalls, don't expect the other one not to. Each side is digging in, it will only cause chaos and make the bunkers deeper on both sides. We can expect it will get harder and harder to make any progress in Michigan.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

Considering her district, I don't think she's at risk of being recalled. We've got your back Sen. Warren!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Thanks goodness for Sen Warren --- one of the few to vote for the vast majority of the citizens of her community!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

I think these recall folks, both libs and TPers, are just sore losers (or is it spelled &quot;loosers&quot; on the internet?).


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

I think &quot;loosers&quot; is a U-per thing LOL .


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

you are exactly right. Take that energy and put it towards winning the next election.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

Losers. You were correct.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

Looks like the recall is in full bloom. Vote your conscience, get recalled. Just about as dumb as it gets. Not sure if this is from the left or the right. Thank god for the middle of the road.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

You also need to give it time. Wine takes several years to to become drinkable and to determine if it will be an exceptional wine. Policies will need to be in place for a period of time before they will show positive or negative results. Time will tell.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Absolutely. He is utilizing his business background to entice businesses to come to Michigan, help locals start businesses, and help existing businesses grow. The comment from Rep Warren that cutting business taxes will not ensure any job growth was pointless. Job growth is always created by businesses, not the general public. His plan may not work but I believe it provides the best opportunity for getting us out of the current economic mess. Our previous governor and her policies did not accomplish this.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

I trust you are also against the recall effort for our governor?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.