Warren, Horiszny Face Recall Efforts

On Monday, Aug. 1, Ypsilanti resident David H. Raaflaub submitted ballot language for a recall petition against state Sen. Rebekah Warren, an Ann Arbor Democrat who represents District 18. The language submitted for the recall reads: “Michigan House Bill 4362 eliminates the job-killing Michigan Business Tax; however, on May 12, 2011, State Sen. Rebekah Warren voted ‘No’ on final passage of Michigan House Bill 4362.”

Raaflaub most recently was a Republican candidate in 2010 for Washtenaw County commissioner in District 6. Warren is married to Conan Smith, a Democrat who represents District 10 on the county board of commissioners and who is chair of the board.

Initial steps of a recall require that ballot language be deemed clear by the board of election commissioners in the jurisdiction of the elected official who is the target of the recall. The Washtenaw County board of election commissioners consists of Donald E. Shelton (chair), chief judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court; Larry Kestenbaum (secretary), county clerk; and Catherine McClary (member), county treasurer.

Warren was the subject of another recall attempt earlier this summer. On July 7, 2011, Steven E. Wallis of Ypsilanti Township submitted ballot language that differed in only one way from this week’s submission – it referred to House Bill 4361 in both instances. At a clarity hearing held on July 18, 2011, the Washtenaw County board of election commissioners found that the proposed ballot language submitted by Wallis was not sufficiently clear. The vote rejecting the petition language was 2-1, with Kestenbaum dissenting. Shelton and McClary noted that HB 4361 does not, in fact, eliminate the Michigan Business Tax – nor does the bill reference that tax. The MBT was addressed in a companion piece of legislation – House Bill 4362.

A clarity hearing for the new recall attempt against Warren is set for 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15 in the lower level conference room of the county administration building at 200 N. Main St. On the agenda for the same meeting will be ballot language submitted on July 26 to recall Washtenaw Community College trustee Pamela Horiszny, who chairs the WCC board of trustees. That recall relates to cancellation of a nursing transfer program between WCC and the University of Michigan. The recall petition was filed by William Campbell of Ann Arbor, who ran unsuccessfully against Horiszny for WCC trustee in 2010.