By now, you probably know about Autumn Summer and her effort to get the recall of Michigan House Speaker Bolger on the February 2012 ballot. I have written about how he is using every legal tactic in the book to thwart her efforts and to make it too expensive for her to fight back against his cowardly efforts. I first wrote about it HERE with a follow-up HERE.
I want to clarify Autumn’s situation a bit. The Temporary Restraining Order filed by Bolger’s top-dollar law firm is not against Autumn herself. Rather, it is against the Calhoun County election commission who are enjoined from considering any different petition language submissions from Autumn. However, this is a very slick and backhanded move on their part. Here’s the timeline:
- May, 2011 – Autumn submits petition language and which is then rejected
- June 13, 2011 – Autumn has a clarity hearing on six additional language submissions. Two of these are approved but, due to a minor mistake in the title, she is asked to amend them during the hearing, which she does.
- At the suggestion of the election commission, Autumn immediately resubmits one of the two approved petition languages so that there is no issue with her correcting it during the hearing — this would give her a single, clean petition language approval. The hearing on this scheduled for June 24th (yesterday).
- On the afternoon of June 23rd, Bolger’s lawyers are granted a Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction against the election commission, prohibiting them from hearing Autumn’s “clean” petition language submission and, simultaneously file appeals against the two they did approve.
In the process of filing the paperwork for all of this, they also file a “Motion for Ex Parte Order Allowing Brief in Excess of Page Limit”. Why did they do this? Because the two appeals they file are nearly two-hundred pages in length and Calhoun County charges Autumn $1 per page for a copy. In other words, they make it impossible for her to get the paperwork by making it too expensive.
So, in summary, they stopped the election commission from hearing Autumn’s clean petition language submission, appealed the first two since the election commission oddly allowed her to amend them during the hearing, and then submitted briefs so long that there is no way Autumn can afford to see them prior to the appeal hearing.
This is how the Speaker of the House of Michigan, a Republican, is treating a citizen exercising her constitutionally-protected rights. It it slimy. It is anti-democratic. It’s immoral. And this is exactly why Autumn’s recall against Bolger needs to be successful. He is the antithesis of the type of person we should have making our laws, much less as the Speaker of the House.
Many of you have said you would like to help Autumn in this battle. Now there is a way. You can contribute to a fund to help her out at Act Blue. Click HERE.
You can also find out more about how she’s teaming up with the Snyder recall folks at Recall Bolger page on firericksnyder.org.
Rachel Maddow’s staff has been in contact with Autumn and, though there’s no guarantee that this means they will cover it, I remain hopeful.
Thanks for any help you can give.