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Posted on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

State Sen. Rebekah Warren targeted for recall for second time in last month

By Ryan J. Stanton

A new recall petition attempt has been filed against state Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, for the second time in the last month.

Matt Yankee, Washtenaw County's director of elections, said Ypsilanti resident David H. Raaflaub, an attorney who has run for office, filed the recall petition language with the county on Monday afternoon.

(Download a PDF of the proposed recall petition.)

"Michigan House Bill 4362 eliminates the job killing Michigan Business Tax; however, on May 12, 2011, State Senator Rebekah Warren voted no on final passage of Michigan House Bill 4362," Raaflaub writes as the reason for wanting to recall Warren.


Rebekah Warren

Yankee said the County Election Commission will meet at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 15 in the lower level conference room of 200 N. Main St. to hold a clarity review hearing for the recall language submitted against Warren, as well as additional recall language submitted against Washtenaw Community College Trustee Pamela Horiszny.

An earlier effort to initiate a recall against Warren stalled on July 18 as the Election Commission rejected 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 in July, also 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.

Getting petition language approved is the first step in a recall process. If approved, supporters of the recall would have 180 days to collect about 25,000 signatures from voters. However, none of the signatures can be more than 90 days old on the date they're turned in.

Warren issued a statement in July saying she stands behind her decision not to support the GOP-backed legislation that reformed the state's tax structure. She said she believes there are 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."

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.



Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:35 a.m.

Anybody know what would happen if taxpayers stopped or withheld paying taxes on all levels? What could the government do within legal parameters? Wouldn't it take years? How would they pay employees? Why would employees stick around if they weren't getting paid? Understand I'm not advocating such an action. I'm merely asking questions on an academic level. which begs the question; Would it be illegal to advocate such an action? Kind of a "taxpayer strike".


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

Larry kestenaum, county clerk, is a democrat and has spoken out against Snyder policies. Why is he allowed to use his public office as a pulpit for advancing a personal political agenda. I believe his behaviour would be a serious ethics violation in other states. He should have recused himself.

Lets Get Real

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

There's a couple whose salaries are paid by your and my tax dollars.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

This recall effort is incredibly petty. When an elected official is found to have lied about their intentions when running for office and has totally misrepresented themselves, this is then a foundation that supports a legitimate recall effort. Rebekah Warren has not misrepresented herself at any time and has in fact, voted accurately in terms of her representation of her constituents. She is one of the few politicians who appears to do what she says and she is to be lauded, not recalled. So - sour grapes, or "gonna try to getcha cuz I can" mentality at work here. What a waste of resources when ours are dwindling rapidly.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:58 a.m.

House Bill 4362, and its companion HB 4361, drastically changes Michigan's tax code and contains more than just the scheduled elimination of the MBT. By voting against HB 4362, and its companion House Bill 4361, Rebekah Warren also was voting AGAINST (among other provisions): -- Senior citizens born after 1945 no longer being able to deduct a portion of interest, dividends, and capital gains received. -- Taxpayers no longer to receive an additional $600 exemption per dependent child under the age of 19. -- For taxpayers born during the 1946 to 1952 period, the bill eliminates the current exemptions for retirement and pension income,... -- For taxpayers born after 1952, the bill eliminates any exemption of public or private pension or retirement income other than social security income and certain other types of income,... -- The additional $1,800 exemption allowed for each taxpayer age 65 and older, and each dependent of the taxpayer, is eliminated. -- The additional $1,800 exemption received by taxpayers whose unemployment compensation exceeds 50% of their AGI is eliminated. -- Many other credits are eliminated (Please review the chart on Page 8 of the Bills for more details). -- School Aid Fund (SAF) revenue will decline by approximately $689.9 million in FY 2011- 12 and $662.1 million in FY 2012-13. The removal of the onerous MBT was a Tojan horse that allowed the legislature and Governor Snyder to impose draconian new tax law to the detriment of the middle class, retirees, and students in Michigan. If anything, Rebekah Warren deserves our appreciation for trying to defend the middle class against further tax increases for the benefit of the wealthy.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:47 a.m.

Makes no sense to attempt a recall on a rep for casting a vote. What irks me about Sen Warren is I can't get a response to my inquiries. I would like to know what she and the dems plan is to turn the state economy around. The states doing better now are trying to attract business. That is the intent with the Gov's plan, so what else? I also have no problem with individuals paying more in taxes. Michigan's income tax is quite low compared to other states: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Also Michigan's sales tax is low compared to other states, particularly when city and county sales taxes are factored in, in states that allow that: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

I thought that elected officials were only supposed to be recalled when they showed gross incompetence or corruption, not just because they voted differently than some constituents wanted.

Steve Pierce

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Ryan, you don't have the rules for petition signatures and 90 vs 180 days right. You should check with the clerk to get the rules explained.

David Cahill

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Raaflaub is no longer able to practice law in Michigan. He has been suspended.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 12:55 a.m.

Why was he suspended?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Just wait until the next election please and quit being a sore loser.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

More republican Sour Grapes.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

As if the Democrats with all their recalls don't have sour grapes?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

David Raaflaub is whatcha call a sore loser.. Wasting people's time and money going after a senator that represents the majority of her constituents. Hard to take, but that's what it is. And it's not Rick Snyder brought up before the election what he was going to do. Do these people not have something more productive to do with their time?


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

I your dreams Don. Snyd' is moving on. Michigan is returning a law abiding executive. Get over it.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

cette - Go back and read his speeches and his website. Most of what he has done is there. Maybe not in the words you would expect, but he has yet to surprise people who were doing their homework.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Get ready for the hacks to stop chompin' their cud to pontificate it swings both way thesis. Great job Senator. Can we help?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

Maybe if her husband paid the money he owes, the waters would calm a bit....


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

Let's organize a recall of Warren's husband Conan Smith for not disgorging per diems and mileage reimbursements that were not properly payable.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Politics as usual by the dug in people in both parties. We need a middle ground to move things forward, and neither major party is capable of offering it.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

Mike - I have to compromise every day in my job. Someone wants something different. In some cases it is not safe or will not work, in others it is a different path to the goal. I have to decide which battles to fight and which to avoid. In my work safety comes first, then workability. So, yes I know how to compromise. There is a lot that could be done without hurting anyone and it would make things much more efficient: 1) Put all the low income assistance programs under one organization (all 218 of them) and clean up the application and policing processes. It would save a lot of overhead and put more of that money in the hands of the people who need it 2) Let contractors for government hardware bid an efficient program - right now we stretch out programs for decades raising the cost of every unit by a factor of 2 or more 3) Simplify the tax code for tax payers. We could lower the overall rates and collect more money at the same time. Right now the IRS gets it wrong on the phone more than half the time. These are three practical simple things that could be done, that would not violate the principles of either the left or the right. There are plenty more.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

Middle ground is always the battle cry. It hasn't worked for the last 40 years. Can you look yourself in the mirror and compromise your principles? If you can then why have principles? Smaller government, more self-reliance, less regulations, fees, taxes, etc. or the opposite. Your choice; but I don't think you can ask people to compromise. That's sort of like asking someone who hates smoking to just allow it on Wednesday and Friday at your favorite restaurant.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

This is what happens when we raise our kids telling them everybodys a winner, they never learn how to lose. You people better get used to this, cause until we raise our kids to know we have winners and we have losers this is what we'll get.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

One person's 'job-killing Michigan Business Tax' is another person's 'Corporate Welfare / Reverse Robin Hood'. Let's start a recall on Rick Olson -- he voted to give $1.7 billion to businesses with no strings (like actually creating jobs or not just pocketing the money) attached and written such that no accounting for jobs can be undertaken.

Michigan Man

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

Guess this recall stuff works both ways. If you can dish it out let see how you take it back!