You’re kidding me, right?
Troy Tea Party mayor Janice Daniels (R-Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs) is facing a recall challenge. What has flown under the radar is that, on June 18th, she challenged the petition signatures gathered for her recall based on — wait for it — FONT SIZE!
Her challenge was both comical and, thankfully, an epic failure.
In a June 20th response to her challenge, Oakland County Director of Elections Joseph Rozell denied her challenge.
Dear Ms. Daniels:
Thank you for your correspondence dated June 18th, 2012 regarding the “type size used on the recall petitions submitted demanding your recall from office. Clerk Bullard has asked that I respond to your letter.
June 18th, our office concluded a preliminary review of the petitions and determined that the petitions are in proper form and that they contain in excess of the minimum number of signatures required to begin examining for genuineness of registration and signature.
Our decision was based on the following:
- The recall petition was determined by the Board of County Elections Commissioners to meet all of the requirements in MCL 168.952(1). One of those requirements was to comply with Section 544c (1) and (2) which relate to the petition size, type size and contents you have addressed. The first five sentences of MCL 168.544c speak to the form design. The form used was designed and approved by the Secretary of State in compliance with this section. The next section reads “The name, address, and party affiliation of the candidate and the office for which petitions are signed shall be printed in type not larger than 24-point.” This sentence specifically addresses the portion of the petition where the candidate (nominating petition) or recall sponsor (recall petition) completes the necessary blanks with the relevant information. As you have identified these font sizes are 12 and 10 point type, which are in compliance with MCL 168.5544c.
- There has been considerable discussion recently about the font size in petitions used to place a challenge to the Emergency Manager Law on a state-wide ballot. Please keep in mind that state-wide voter initiated petitions are reviewed by the State Board of Canvassers and governed by different statutes than local election recalls. The Court of Appeals in Bloomfield Chart Twp v. Oakland Co Clerk held that when a petition “substantially complies with the statutory requirements…certification is warranted.” All Election Law requirements have been complied with in approval of the form for this recall.
- Even if there was an error in the petition formatting, the time period to challenge the recall petition has passed. MCL 168.952(6) states “the determination by the board of county election commissioners may be appealed by the officer whose recall is sought…to the circuit court in the county. The appeal shall be filed no more than 10 days after the determination of the board of county election commissioners.” As no such appeal was filed with the circuit court, the petition is deemed to comply with the requirements of 168.952.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our office should you have any questions.
COUNTY OF OAKLAND
Joseph J. Rozell, CERA
Director of Elections
C: Matthew Binkowski
You can see the original letter to Daniels HERE (pdf).
Matthew Binkowski, spokesperson for the Daniels Recall effort, said this in a statement:
In bringing a challenge to the petitions based on font size, Mayor Daniels clearly demonstrated that she is ignoring the will and hard work of the people of Troy.
This is in stark contrast to her words prior to being elected. In an October 2009 editorial, Ms. Daniels was strident about the government responding to the will of the people. In that editorial, she stated that “’We The People,’ the proud rulers of this great nation, were demanding these corrections and we fully intend to make those corrections a reality in the coming days, weeks, months, years and decades…” Contrast that to today, and how Mayor Daniels will attempt any political device to stay in power. In making this failed challenge, Mayor Daniels has clearly shown that the will of 9300 Troy residents is irrelevant to her political ambitions.
So, the fonts are in compliance, she challenged them based on the wrong law and she filed her complaint too late. FAIL! Do not pass go, do not derail democracy.
Daniels’ lame and comic effort to stop this democratic process from playing out was so fail on so many levels that one can’t help but wonder if she even reads the laws she claims to be such a staunch defender of.
If the voters of Troy needed any further reason to recall this woman from office beyond how damaging she is to the credibility and success of the City of Troy, this surely is it.