Reporting Charlie Langton
DETROIT (CBS) – An extremely minor detail is creating another hurdle in the challenge to Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law.
A local group called Stand up for Democracy wants to challenge the law. But now, after getting all the signatures they need and getting ready to have their ballot language approved, their proposal is being questioned over the font size.
Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, which opposes the effort to stop the EM law, says the petition is printed in the wrong type size. They reportedly plan to ask a bipartisan state elections panel to throw out the petition at a hearing expected to be held later this month.
Talk Radio 1270 host Charlie Langton spoke with Herb Sanders, legal counsel for Stand Up for Democracy.
“We do not agree that the font is inaccurate. But, to that extent it is, precedent suggests that to the extent we have attempted to substantially comply with the law, minor indiscretions are of no consequence,” Sanders said.
Sanders said his group has done everything right.
“We sent it to a professional printer who has printed many petitions. We received an affidavit delineating that the petition was printed in compliance with Michigan law,” he said.
Sanders believes the hold up is a blatant attempt to keep the emergency manager issue off of the November ballot.
As enacted, the new state law allows the governor to take over a local government or school district by appointing an emergency manager to assume the authority and responsibility of locally elected officials. It includes the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements and even dissolve a unit of government.
Critics say the law gives unconstitutional power to state-appointed emergency managers, who have authority to toss out union contracts and strip power from locally elected officials.
Supporters of the law say it’s needed to provide the tools to fix financial problems that locally elected leaders have been unable to fix themselves.