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Michigan's Crazed Governor Gretchen Whitmer Bans "Travel Between Residences"

Uglytruth

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https://www.freep.com/story/news/po...al-gretchen-whitmers-virus-powers/5780148002/
Group tops 400K signatures to repeal Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's virus powers
David Eggert
Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, faced with lawsuits challenging her use of emergency powers to fight the coronavirus, could continue to prevail in court.

But she may be unable to stop a Republican maneuver that would rescind a 75-year-old law that has enabled her to issue and lift COVID-19 restrictions unilaterally. A ballot drive said Friday it was in the "home stretch" after collecting more than 400,000 signatures in just two months. Its goal is 500,000.

If at least 340,000 signatures are deemed valid by the state elections board, the GOP-controlled Legislature would likely repeal the 1945 law rather than let it go to a 2022 public vote. The Democratic governor could not veto the initiated bill. A 1976 law, which requires legislative approval to extend a state of emergency, would remain intact.

"No one should think that allowing a politician to have unlimited power for an unlimited duration is a good idea," said Fred Wszolek, spokesman for Unlock Michigan. He urged people to consider if they would be OK with 2018 gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette or President Donald Trump, both Republicans, wielding emergency powers permanently with no need to consult lawmakers.

"Put the shoe on the other foot and decide if you think this is a good idea because at some time in your future the shoe will be on the other foot," Wszolek said.


As of Aug. 3, the group had raised and spent more than $900,000 to circulate petitions. Three-quarters of the money came from Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit that has ties to a GOP firm and does not have to publicly disclose its donors.

Whitmer has used the 1945 law as the underpinning for far-reaching orders to close businesses and schools, require masks and social distancing, and limit gathering sizes to control the virus that has contributed to 6,900 deaths across the state.

The public supports her handling of the pandemic, according to polling, and disapproves of how Trump has managed the crisis. The two have sparred several times. At a large campaign rally outside Saginaw on Thursday, Trump told Whitmer to "open up your state" said Michigan would be better off if it had a governor "who knew what the hell she was doing" — hours after she called him the "biggest threat" to Americans for purposely downplaying COVID-19.

Republican lawmakers initially agreed to lengthen a state of emergency through April but balked at extending the declaration again without the governor agreeing that all future stay-at-home measures would be enacted with bipartisan legislation. The Legislature sued in May, when its GOP leaders also began supporting a veto-proof initiative in case they lose in court.

Whitmer won in the Court of Claims and the Court of Appeals. The case is pending in the state Supreme Court.

She is urging people not to sign the petition. She said it would jeopardize Michigan's progress. The state's per-capita rate of new cases over the last two weeks ranks lower than 36 states. She has let schools and many businesses reopen since the curve was flattened, subject to safety rules.

"These are authorities that we have conferred upon our chief executive in extraordinary circumstances to keep people safe," she said. "Each governor since 1945 has had these same powers, and I'm going to fight to make sure that every governor after me has these powers if, God forbid, they find themselves in a situation where they have to be used."


A group, Keep Michigan Safe, formed to oppose the ballot drive. It is expected to look for flawed or duplicate signatures in an attempt to disqualify the measure. It also contends that petition gatherers are lying to potential signers about the proposal.

"This is clearly an irresponsible partisan power grab that is going to put public health at risk," spokesman Mark Fisk said. Signing the petition, he said, will "undermine the ability of elected leaders, whether they are Democratic or Republican, and medical experts to keep families safe during the pandemic."

The debate comes as the state prepares for a potential surge of cases in the fall and winter. If the 1945 law is rescinded, Whitmer's ability to reimpose restrictions would be subject to legislative negotiation.

Some Republicans, like retired political strategist Bob LaBrant, oppose the initiative. He wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press calling it a "threat to Michigan's health" and saying the time to evaluate Whitmer is her 2022 reelection bid.

But Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, an advocate for the petition drive, said the 1976 law is "more than adequate." He criticized the governor's "lingering, long-lasting actions" that "are putting unnecessary stress and pain into many, many, many unfortunate citizens and businesses."

Republicans have long said businesses should have been able to open earlier despite the outbreak. Some, such as movie theaters, remain closed.

If legislators had a say months ago, Shirkey said, the state maybe would have "landed in a spot that was more sensible, logical and defendable."


Unlock Michigan could turn in the signatures as soon as this month. Wszolek said it should not take the state elections bureau more than 75 days to pull a sample and verify them, so the Legislature could pass the bill in December. The timing is uncertain, though, and the process could stretch into 2021.
 

Uglytruth

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The past Michigan SOS was on the radio today point blank this is fraud.

The Paul W. Smith Show ~ Ruth Johnson
Thursday, September 17, 2020 ~ Republican State Senator and Former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson tells Paul W. Smith she wishes she was Secretary of State because she strongly disagrees with Jocelyn Benson's policies that she calls unilateral decisions.

One radio caller said she has been married 16 years. She has received 3 registrations, one in her maiden name.

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news...ass-mailing-of-absent-ballot-applications-ok/

Michigan appeals court: SOS Benson’s mass mailing of absent ballot applications OK
Michigan voters received unsolicited absentee ballot applications beginning in May amid pandemic

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s mass mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to millions of 2020 voters was deemed legal by Michigan’s appeals court, which ruled Wednesday she had “inherent” authority to act under a 2018 constitutional amendment expanding voting rights.

The court upheld a lower judge's ruling in a 2-1 decision.

“Defendant’s conduct did not interfere with Michigan qualified registered voters’ rights. Ultimately, it is up to each voter to decide whether to vote in person or apply for an absentee ballot,” Judges James Redford and Jonathan Tukel wrote.


Benson, a Democrat, began sending the applications in May to all voters in the battleground state who were not already on permanent absentee ballot lists for the August primary and November general elections, which Benson said was a way to encourage safe voting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“For us this is about ensuring, now that we have two statewide elections this year, that every Michigan citizen knows that they have a right to vote by mail; they can choose the right,” Benson said in May. “We want to make it safe and easy for them to do so, so they don’t have to feel that they have to leave their home.”

Lawsuits were filed against Benson by Yvonne Black and Nevin Cooper-Keel, Republican candidates for the state House who later lost in the primary, and Robert Davis, an activist and serial litigant.


In a dissent, Judge Patrick Peter said a law explicitly only gives local clerks the power to distribute absentee ballot applications, not the secretary of state.

When Benson announced the mass mailing, she was criticized by President Donald Trump, who wrongly stated that she was sending absentee ballots, not applications.

A record 2.5 million votes were cast in the August primary in Michigan, including a record 1.6 million absentee ballots that were submitted by mail, at a drop box or in a clerk’s office. The previous record for absent voter ballots cast in a Michigan election was 1.3 million in the 2016 Presidential Election.


Already, about 2.3 million absentee ballots have been requested for the fall election, which Benson said puts Michigan on track to receive more than 3 million that are completed. Of the 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan, about 5 million are expected to participate in the upcoming election, officials said in August.

At a virus-related news conference that included Benson and voting advocates on Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer thanked the state Senate for passing legislation that would let certain clerks start processing a surge of absentee ballots the day before the election. She urged the House to follow suit.


Officials say the legislation is important to help Michigan clerks process ballots at a faster rate, especially as the state anticipates its highest voter turnout in history this November. With a record number of voters choosing to vote by mail in the presidential election, officials are concerned that November election results will be delayed by multiple days to fully and accurately process all absent voter ballots.

At the conference Wednesday, Benson laid out options to vote, including requesting and returning an absentee ballot by mail, voting in person before Election Day or going to the polls on Nov. 3. She again pressed the Republican-led Legislature to change the law so ballots received after Election Day are counted. The bill appears unlikely to go anywhere despite concerns about postal delays.


“We're entering the final stretch of what may be one of the most contentious, highly polarized election cycles that any of us have ever seen. We can and we will succeed to make sure our voices, the voices of all of our citizens, are heard and that every vote is counted,” Benson said.

About 10,000 absent voter ballots were rejected in Michigan’s Primary Election in August. More than 8,600 of those rejections were due to signature verification issues or late arrival.
 
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Uglytruth

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https://www.detroitnews.com/story/n...-power-says-has-enough-signatures/3504414001/

Despite tossed signatures, Unlock Michigan says it has support to limit Whitmer's authority
Craig Mauger
The Detroit News
ansing — Unlock Michigan, the group that wants to limit Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic, says it's collected enough petition signatures to put the proposal before the GOP-controlled Legislature.

But an opposing group is questioning the validity of those signatures, arguing some petition gatherers had been trained with improper tactics to gain support.

The signatures also could set off a separate fight over the time it will take the Michigan Bureau of Elections to verify them. Unlock Michigan says it should take 60 days. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's office says it will take about 105 days, potentially pushing the process into next year when control of the state House could change hands.

Unlock Michigan said Wednesday it's gathered more than 500,000 signatures to repeal a 1945 law that allows a Michigan governor to declare an emergency and keep the declaration in place without input from state lawmakers. The emergency declaration is important because it gives Whitmer the ability to take unilateral actions to combat the pandemic, such as closing businesses or suspending state laws.



If 340,047 of the collected signatures are deemed valid by the Michigan Bureau of Elections, the repeal proposal could go before the Legislature for approval without Whitmer having a chance to veto it.

Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said he's so sure the group has enough valid signatures that the campaign stopped collecting with about 100 days remaining before the 180-day deadline under state law.


"We would just keeping going if we had any doubt at all," Wszolek said in an interview.

Mark Fisk, spokesman for Keep Michigan Safe, a committee that's opposing Unlock Michigan, called for a "complete review of each and every signature," arguing Wednesday that some of Unlock Michigan's petition gatherers had been trained on how to lie to people about the proposal.


Fisk also requested "a full investigation by state officials to protect the integrity of the petition process and expose the true magnitude of illegal and improper conduct."

Keep Michigan Safe released a video recording this week of Erik Tisinger, who worked through the company In The Field, training people on Sept. 4 to gather signatures for the Unlock Michigan campaign.

In the secretly recorded video, Tisinger of California advised the prospective gatherers, who would be paid $3.50 per signature, to tell people their signatures would simply help put the issue "on the ballot," which isn't necessarily true because lawmakers also could approve it. He said they can try to collect signatures in privately owned parking lots and act like they don't know it's against the law if approached by police, according to the video.

At another point, one of the trainees asked if he could leave a petition sheet on the counter of a friend's store, which goes against state policy because the signing is supposed to happen in the circulator's presence.

"Technically, no. It. None of you are recording anything right now are you?" Tisinger responded, according to the video.

Someone in the room responded, "No."

Tisinger, who couldn't be reached for comment, then said, "Don't ever tell me about it again," according to the video footage.

Wszolek said Unlock Michigan is not going to use signatures turned in by In The Field since the Sept. 4 training, which he estimated as a few thousand.

The campaign paid petition gathers to help, but Wszolek said volunteers were responsible for more than half of the signatures.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office says it's also received complaints about Unlock Michigan petition gatherers lying to people about the proposal while seeking support.

Some residents reported being told the petition would "give the governor emergency powers” but it sought to repeal those powers, Nessel's spokesman, Ryan Jarvi, said last month.

Timing remains crucial to Unlock Michigan's effort. On Nov. 3, 41 days from Wednesday, the state House will be up for election, and Democrats could win back control of the chamber if it wins control of four GOP seats. A Democrat-controlled House could decide to send the proposal to the ballot in 2022 — two years from now — instead of approving it.


Whitmer, a Democrat, has said any attempt to strip away her powers during the crisis "is irresponsible, dangerous and foolish."

Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday the state is facing "increasing risk" related to the virus this fall as temperatures drop and schools reopen.

As of Wednesday, Michigan had confirmed 118,615 cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of 6,692.

There are 100 days remaining before the start of the new year, and it's unclear how long it will take for Benson's office to review the signatures once Unlock Michigan submits them, which it said will be soon. The estimated average turnaround time is about 105 days, said Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Benson, who's a Democrat.

The state reviews a sample of hundreds to thousands of signatures submitted by campaigns to determine if petitions are authentic, meet legal standards and are registered voters.

"It takes approximately 60 days to complete the random sampling and challenge process described above," said Jonathan Brater, Michigan's elections director, in a signed affidavit that Unlock Michigan is now citing.

But Wimmer said Wednesday that Brater was referring to "a specific scenario in which petition review would take approximately 60 days if the petition was submitted in summer months with more staff resources available for petition review necessary to meet a constitutional deadline."



"Right now, the Bureau of Elections is devoting all staff and resources to carrying out a successful presidential election amidst an unprecedented global pandemic," Wimmer added.

But Unlock Michigan argued there's enough time for its proposal to be placed before the Legislature before the end of the year and a new session begins.

"We have submitted vastly more signatures than required to qualify our initiative, and the 60-day process of the Bureau of Elections will allow ample time for the Legislature to enact this law this year," Unlock Michigan Co-chair Garret Soldano said in a statement. “We the People did our job. The Bureau of Elections needs to do their job."


Asked if the campaign would sue if the verification process led to delays, Wszolek didn't rule it out.

"If they don’t treat this with the urgency that it deserves … we’ll ask for judicial relief," he said.

As of July 20, Keep Michigan Safe hadn't reported any financial contributors. As of Aug. 3, Unlock Michigan reported $938,916 in contributions with $695,200 coming from Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit group with ties to Senate Republicans that doesn't have to disclose its donors.

The committee's campaign plays out as a legal fight continues over Whitmer's use of two state laws to declare emergencies during the pandemic. The Michigan Supreme Court could rule on the matter in the coming days.

If the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act were repealed, the 1976 Emergency Management Act would remain. It requires the Legislature to weigh in on whether a declaration should continue after 28 days.

Michigan has been under various emergency declarations because of COVID-19 since March 10, 197 days ago.
 

solarion

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Michigan has been under various emergency declarations because of COVID-19 since March 10, 197 days ago.
...which means that for the past 169 days, the elected executive tyrant of Michigan has been granting herself new emergency powers. Mao would be proud of Gretchen.
 

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https://www.detroitnews.com/story/n...-power-says-has-enough-signatures/3504414001/

Despite tossed signatures, Unlock Michigan says it has support to limit Whitmer's authority
Craig Mauger
The Detroit News
ansing — Unlock Michigan, the group that wants to limit Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic, says it's collected enough petition signatures to put the proposal before the GOP-controlled Legislature.

But an opposing group is questioning the validity of those signatures, arguing some petition gatherers had been trained with improper tactics to gain support.

The signatures also could set off a separate fight over the time it will take the Michigan Bureau of Elections to verify them. Unlock Michigan says it should take 60 days. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's office says it will take about 105 days, potentially pushing the process into next year when control of the state House could change hands.

Unlock Michigan said Wednesday it's gathered more than 500,000 signatures to repeal a 1945 law that allows a Michigan governor to declare an emergency and keep the declaration in place without input from state lawmakers. The emergency declaration is important because it gives Whitmer the ability to take unilateral actions to combat the pandemic, such as closing businesses or suspending state laws.



If 340,047 of the collected signatures are deemed valid by the Michigan Bureau of Elections, the repeal proposal could go before the Legislature for approval without Whitmer having a chance to veto it.

Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said he's so sure the group has enough valid signatures that the campaign stopped collecting with about 100 days remaining before the 180-day deadline under state law.


"We would just keeping going if we had any doubt at all," Wszolek said in an interview.

Mark Fisk, spokesman for Keep Michigan Safe, a committee that's opposing Unlock Michigan, called for a "complete review of each and every signature," arguing Wednesday that some of Unlock Michigan's petition gatherers had been trained on how to lie to people about the proposal.


Fisk also requested "a full investigation by state officials to protect the integrity of the petition process and expose the true magnitude of illegal and improper conduct."

Keep Michigan Safe released a video recording this week of Erik Tisinger, who worked through the company In The Field, training people on Sept. 4 to gather signatures for the Unlock Michigan campaign.

In the secretly recorded video, Tisinger of California advised the prospective gatherers, who would be paid $3.50 per signature, to tell people their signatures would simply help put the issue "on the ballot," which isn't necessarily true because lawmakers also could approve it. He said they can try to collect signatures in privately owned parking lots and act like they don't know it's against the law if approached by police, according to the video.

At another point, one of the trainees asked if he could leave a petition sheet on the counter of a friend's store, which goes against state policy because the signing is supposed to happen in the circulator's presence.

"Technically, no. It. None of you are recording anything right now are you?" Tisinger responded, according to the video.

Someone in the room responded, "No."

Tisinger, who couldn't be reached for comment, then said, "Don't ever tell me about it again," according to the video footage.

Wszolek said Unlock Michigan is not going to use signatures turned in by In The Field since the Sept. 4 training, which he estimated as a few thousand.

The campaign paid petition gathers to help, but Wszolek said volunteers were responsible for more than half of the signatures.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office says it's also received complaints about Unlock Michigan petition gatherers lying to people about the proposal while seeking support.

Some residents reported being told the petition would "give the governor emergency powers” but it sought to repeal those powers, Nessel's spokesman, Ryan Jarvi, said last month.

Timing remains crucial to Unlock Michigan's effort. On Nov. 3, 41 days from Wednesday, the state House will be up for election, and Democrats could win back control of the chamber if it wins control of four GOP seats. A Democrat-controlled House could decide to send the proposal to the ballot in 2022 — two years from now — instead of approving it.


Whitmer, a Democrat, has said any attempt to strip away her powers during the crisis "is irresponsible, dangerous and foolish."

Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday the state is facing "increasing risk" related to the virus this fall as temperatures drop and schools reopen.

As of Wednesday, Michigan had confirmed 118,615 cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of 6,692.

There are 100 days remaining before the start of the new year, and it's unclear how long it will take for Benson's office to review the signatures once Unlock Michigan submits them, which it said will be soon. The estimated average turnaround time is about 105 days, said Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Benson, who's a Democrat.

The state reviews a sample of hundreds to thousands of signatures submitted by campaigns to determine if petitions are authentic, meet legal standards and are registered voters.

"It takes approximately 60 days to complete the random sampling and challenge process described above," said Jonathan Brater, Michigan's elections director, in a signed affidavit that Unlock Michigan is now citing.

But Wimmer said Wednesday that Brater was referring to "a specific scenario in which petition review would take approximately 60 days if the petition was submitted in summer months with more staff resources available for petition review necessary to meet a constitutional deadline."



"Right now, the Bureau of Elections is devoting all staff and resources to carrying out a successful presidential election amidst an unprecedented global pandemic," Wimmer added.

But Unlock Michigan argued there's enough time for its proposal to be placed before the Legislature before the end of the year and a new session begins.

"We have submitted vastly more signatures than required to qualify our initiative, and the 60-day process of the Bureau of Elections will allow ample time for the Legislature to enact this law this year," Unlock Michigan Co-chair Garret Soldano said in a statement. “We the People did our job. The Bureau of Elections needs to do their job."


Asked if the campaign would sue if the verification process led to delays, Wszolek didn't rule it out.

"If they don’t treat this with the urgency that it deserves … we’ll ask for judicial relief," he said.

As of July 20, Keep Michigan Safe hadn't reported any financial contributors. As of Aug. 3, Unlock Michigan reported $938,916 in contributions with $695,200 coming from Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit group with ties to Senate Republicans that doesn't have to disclose its donors.

The committee's campaign plays out as a legal fight continues over Whitmer's use of two state laws to declare emergencies during the pandemic. The Michigan Supreme Court could rule on the matter in the coming days.

If the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act were repealed, the 1976 Emergency Management Act would remain. It requires the Legislature to weigh in on whether a declaration should continue after 28 days.

Michigan has been under various emergency declarations because of COVID-19 since March 10, 197 days ago.

Demonrats hate it when you use their tactics against them.