Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

July 31, 2013

Editorial: Changes bend too far toward incumbents

Swapping out one bad law for another is poor public policy. But then poor public policy seems to be the current Michigan Legislature’s specialty.

Lawmakers recently moved to make changes in state law regulating recall elections. For decades, the recall has been widely misused by small groups of voters to unseat people they didn’t like, in part because the requirements to mount a recall were so vague.

All that was required to get approval to circulate petitions was that the claims made against an elected official be “clear,” which meant that just about anything could pass muster. The process was open to abuse, and it got abused.

Now, state and county election boards will have to determine if the reasons for recall are “factual,” a whole new can of worms. Those circulating petitions will have only 60 days to gather enough signatures. Voters will also have a choice between the officeholder and a challenger.

While changes were needed, the new law practically invites lawsuits over what is or isn’t “factual,” which is sure to snuff some recalls — even good ones against elected officials who deserve to be sent home.

Changing the recall law was needed, but protecting incumbents shouldn’t be part of the process.



Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad