Yet again, Neil Billington’s attempt to have recall petition language against a sitting state lawmaker has fallen short. But, true to his word, he filed new verbiage against state Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) almost immediately after the Oakland County Election Commission’s unanimous rejection of previous language on Thursday, July 14.
Citing “insufficient clarity,” the three-member county panel voted 3-0 last week to shoot down the following language that Billington, who challenged Haines in the 2010 Republican primary, had hoped to circulate for the requisite 8,613 registered voter signatures — 25 percent of the total ballots cast for governor in the 43rd state House District in the last election:
“State Representative Gail Haines of District 43 supports legislation and has voted in favor of Emergency Financial Managers. By doing so, she approves the appointment of Emergency Financial Managers’ ability to take authority and funds away from local government and school districts and vest them with the state. Also, these Emergency Financial Managers have been given excessive power to invalidate legal and binding contracts entered into by properly elected local authorities and, can cancel or amend existing school employees’ union collective bargaining agreements and contracts. This delegation of legislative authority is invasive and unconstitutional to those of whom it effects.”
Billington’s new recall petition language is stripped bare, reading as follows:
“State Representative Gail Haines on February 23, 2011, voted YES on Michigan House Bill 4214 now Public Act 4 of 2011.”
PA 4 of 2011 is the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, known largely for giving state-appointed emergency financial managers greater authority in dealing with financial crises in municipal governments and school districts.”
“This is what got (state Rep. Marty) Knollenberg and (state Sen. Jim) Marleau, and this will definitely get her,” Billington said.
A clarity hearing on Billington’s latest proposed recall petition language in front of the Election Commission is set for Thursday, Aug. 4 at 1:30 p.m., according to staff in the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Elections Division.
Haines could not be reached for comment prior to press time, but she has defended her service in the past.
“I’ve said before, I support democracy and the rights we share as American citizens,” Haines said in an interview last month. “I work tirelessly for the people of my district and do my best to represent them in Lansing. I continue to have overwhelming support in my district.”