Monday, September 28, 2020

Michigan AG launches investigation into petition campaign to repeal Whitmer's emergency powers

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 2:59 PM

click to enlarge Demonstrators in Lansing protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers during coronavirus. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Demonstrators in Lansing protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers during coronavirus.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is launching a criminal investigation into alleged illegal activity by a right-wing group circulating petitions to repeal the law that allows Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to impose restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The probe comes a week after a secret recording revealed that a California company coached petitioners on how to illegally gather signatures. The illegal tactics included gathering signatures without witnessing them, circulating petitions on private property, deceiving voters, and committing perjury, according to a secretly recorded videotape of a training session on Sept. 4.



Nessel’s office also is investigating numerous complaints that signature gatherers are using “deceptive tactics” to get signatures. In one complaint, a woman said a circulator approached her at the Eastern Market in Detroit and told her the petition was to support the LGBTQ+ community. Other people reported they were told the petitions were helping small businesses or supporting medical marijuana initiatives.

“Our democracy is firmly rooted in the principles of an informed electorate which makes decisions at the polls based on reason and beliefs over lies and deception,” Nessel said in a statement. “Our ballot initiative process allows efforts with strong public support to be presented to the Legislature. But that process becomes tainted when petition circulators manipulate and cheat to serve their own agendas. My office will investigate these allegations, and if there is a violation of law, we will prosecute those responsible.”

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation