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Recall effort against Sen. Pavlov underway

This is from the 10-30-2011 County Press:

 

Sen. Pavlov target of recall 

20,466 signatures needed to make ballot
BY NANCY R. ELLIOTT 810-452-2601  nelliott@mihomepaper.com

Sen. Phil Pavlov   Sen. Phil Pavlov LAPEER COUNTY — Organizers in Lapeer County are already in gear, targeting State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Twp., for recall. After the St. Clair County Election Commission approved petition language on Monday, organizers are ramping up to begin gathering signatures to get the issue before voters.

“Yes, we are going to be involved very heavily,” said Lapeer County volunteer organizer Teresa Blundell. “I think there’s a lot of support for this.”

The recall effort will need to collect 20,466 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. That could be as soon as the Feb. 28 Republican primary election. If so, signatures would have to be collected by Nov. 25. The petition language is valid for a total of 180 days. Once organizers begin to collect signatures, they have 90 days.

“We are going to make sure we have our infrastructure in place, our ducks in a row, before we take that first signature,” said Susan Alderman of Fort Gratiot, a member of the committee in St. Clair County seeking to bring the petition.

“We’re going to try to set up some stationary sites. The other thing we’re really looking at doing is canvassing,” said Blundell. Organizers will be meeting next week as they lay out their strategy.

“We’re happy that we got it approved,” said Alderman. “We believe that Phil Pavlov’s voting record is one that has damaged ordinary people, ordinary families.”

Sen. Pavlov issued a statement in response to the approval of the recall language that said, “I have always taken the job I was elected to do very seriously, and I’m going to continue to do just that. I’m not going to be distracted by a fringe effort that doesn’t represent the people of this district.” His statement further noted, “This partisanship is wasting taxpayer time and taxpayer money, and I’m not going to let it distract me from the important work my constituents have entrusted to me.”

The petition language cites that the senator has failed to faithfully represent the people of Michigan’s 25th District encompassing Lapeer and St. Clair counties. It specifically notes his support of HB 4214, later signed into law which “authorizes Emergency Managers to cancel binding contracts and to relieve lawfully elected local municipal officers and school district board representatives of their duties.”

Alderman charged, “The powers of the enhanced Emergency Manager law basically tramples on our democracy... It kind of feels like taxation without representation.”

The petition also cites Pavlov's support for HB 4361, later signed into law, which the petition language says “increases taxes on homeowners, retirees, and Michigan families by eliminating or reducing income tax deductions and credits, including the homestead property tax credit and the dependent child credit.”

Blundell said that part of the focus of the recall effort is to educate voters about those and other issues.

“Look at what the legislature has gotten through in ten months,” said Blundell. She said that voters as well as the legislators themselves can’t stay up to speed with what’s getting passed in Lansing and what the effects are going to be.

Blundell said that some question why drive a recall effort if the senator hasn't done anything illegal. She notes that impeachment is the response to illegal behaviors, but, “Recall is if a number of concerned persons feel the individual’s actions are not in the best interests of their constituents.... The recall is the recourse that individuals have as citizens.”

Alderman agrees, “This is our opportunity to participate in our democracy, to protect ourselves from people taking advantage of us.”

Despite the fact that Pavlov was easily seated, winning 66 percent of the vote in Lapeer County's 2010 election, and 68 percent in St. Clair County, organizers are confident that the tide has turned for many.

Gary Medland, chair of the Lapeer County Democratic Party said, “It’s not that we were lied to, but we weren’t necessarily told the entire truth."

Medland said that while his party is not driving the recall effort, it may be supportive, like it was for the effort to recall Governor Snyder.

“There are a lot of reasons why I don’t think Senator Pavlov is doing a very good job,” said Medland. “I’d give him a D- and that’s being quite polite.”

Like the recall organizers, he points to Pavlov’s voting record and issues like taxing pensions, voiding legally binding contracts, allowing Emergency Managers to take over local governments, and “voting to spend $10 million to run a partisan primary next February.” The Republican primary is set for Feb. 28, while the Democratic Party in Michigan will hold a party caucus.

Persons in Lapeer County who want to be involved in the recall effort can contact Blundell at terryblundell@live.com or 810-664- 8885.

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