Petition drives target Gretchen Whitmer. And she’s raising money off them.

A volunteer circulator in Frankfort seeks signatures for a Restore Freedom proposal that would amend the Michigan constitution. (Photo by Jonathan Oosting)

LANSING — Republican activists and organizers attempting to recall Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or limit her emergency powers are rushing to put petitions before voters this summer and tap into frustration over coronavirus lockdown orders, which she has recently begun to lift. 

A GOP state House candidate set to launch a recall petition drive next week faces a daunting task of collecting more than 1 million signatures in 60 days. Experts predict the effort may end up helping the Democratic governor by providing fundraising fodder and temporarily waving donor contribution limits due to an obscure state law. 

But a separate petition drive that seeks to “Unlock Michigan” by repealing a 1945 emergency powers law Whitmer has utilized amid the pandemic appears to be far more organized. It’s backed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and will soon launch with assists from a series of high-profile supporters, including Owosso barber Karl Manke.

A third group, the Restore Freedom ballot committee, has quietly been circulating petitions since late May for a proposal to limit Whitmer’s power by amending the Michigan Constitution. But organizers face a tight timeline and could confront legal challenges if they collect at least 425,059 valid signatures by July 7. 

Whitmer appears prepared for a fight should any of the petition drives succeed. 

“I want to be very clear: Any attempt to strip away the powers of the governor during this crisis is irresponsible, dangerous and foolish,” Whitmer said last week as she highlighted a continued decline in COVID-19 cases but urged residents to remain cautious. 

The governor this month lifted her stay-at-home order and allowed more businesses to reopen across the state, changes she said were warranted “because of the action we took” early in the global pandemic, which has led to more than 5,800 Michigan deaths since March. 

And public opinion polls suggest Whitmer has the public’s support in her handling of the pandemic. One recent survey showed 60 percent of voters polled supported the governor’s response, while 41 percent approved of the response from President Donald Trump.

An ‘extremely high’ bar

Whitmer is not up for re-election until 2022 but her campaign has already begun fundraising off the longshot recall effort, with relatively inexpensive Facebook ads and more pricey mailers suggesting “political opponents” are supporting an attempt to drive her out of office. 

There’s no evidence to suggest establishment Republicans are helping organize or fund the recall effort, which is the brainchild of Chad Baase of Albion, a GOP state House candidate and unemployed water tower painter who served prison time in 2014 after threatening to contaminate a local water supply and kill judges, an act he now attributes to alcohol abuse. 

Baase argues Whitmer’s coronavirus orders went too far and told Bridge he was personally impacted by her response to the global pandemic, which he said derailed his initial plans to run for Congress instead of state House and made it difficult to access unemployment benefits. 

He plans to launch the petition drive July 1 and is hosting a kickoff event at the Michigan Capitol on July 4, when he hopes to collect thousands of signatures. 

Baase would need to collect 1,062,647 valid signatures — 1 from every 7 registered voters in the state — in order to trigger a recall election asking voters if they want Whitmer to remain in office.

And he’ll have to do it in just 60 days under a 2012 law, signed by then-Gov. Rick Sndyer, that shortened the window from 90 days. Ballot drive petitions get 180 days to collect signatures, and recall campaigns should get the same, Baase said. 

“They put the bar extremely high in hopes nobody can actually do it,” he lamented, explaining he is nonetheless optimistic.

“We’re looking at crowdsourcing on this campaign rather than doing all the petitions and circulating them ourselves,” he said. “Having the ability for people to print off their own [petition] and get them to us will make it that much more feasible.”

Political experts say it’s almost impossible to trigger a recall election against the governor in Michigan, where state law requires signatures from one-fourth of all voters who participated in the most recent gubernatorial election. 

And Whitmer may ultimately benefit from the petition drive, they say, because it will provide her with an opportunity to fundraise off the public recall threat, which her campaign is already doing.

“Any digital fundraising team worth their salt will 100 percent attempt to take advantage of a recall effort, even if the recall effort has absolutely no chance in hell of making progress,” said John Sellek, a Republican strategist who founded the Harbor Strategic consulting firm after working for Whitmer’s 2018 general election opponent, Bill Schuette. 

A May 2020 fundraising letter from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign urges contributions to help her fight a recall effort. (Photo by Jonathan Oosting)

“In the time that it’s viable, just by its existence, they will raise money off of it.” 

When Baase formed his recall committee in April, he triggered a little-known provision in state law that waives traditional contribution limits for Whitmer and allows her to collect unlimited contributions to use as a defense. 

Recall committees are not subject to candidate contribution limits, so officials facing recall are not either, then-Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin ruled in 1984. He pointed out that the Supreme Court has ruled that contribution limits should be applied equally to incumbents and challengers.

Whitmer’s campaign highlighted the exception last month in a four-page fundraising pitch mailed to supporters, explaining that “certain state laws regarding contribution limits are temporarily not applicable” because a recall committee had been formed. 

"Deep pocketed special interests are trying to use this pandemic to drive us apart — and right-wing extremists are trying to drive Gretchen Whitmer out of office," said the fundraising letter, which was signed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. 

"They're hoping that a low-turnout recall election will help them overturn the will of the people and undo all the progress Governor Whitmer has already made."

Any funds Whitmer raises specifically to fight the recall must be set aside in an account separate from 2022 re-election funds. And if that money goes unspent, she must return any portion given in excess of the $7,150 contribution limit that would traditionally apply to gubernatorial candidates. 

Alternatively, Whitmer’s campaign can simply reference the recall in pitches for traditional donations that would be subject to donor limits.

“It’s a great fundraising opportunity for the governor — not just in Michigan, but nationally,” said Adrian Hemond, a Democratic strategist with the bipartisan Grassroots Midwest firm. 

“She’s developed a national profile through all the COVID-19 stuff, particularly in light of the current results in Michigan and the downward trend in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Whether she deserves full credit for that or not, people can debate, but it’s an opportunity to go out and raise money because she’s under attack.”

A repeal effort with better odds

Whitmer faces a more credible threat from Unlock Michigan, a petition committee that seeks to repeal a 1945 law she has used to extend a state of emergency without legislative approval, which would otherwise be needed every 28 days under a 1976 law. 

The governor last week extended her state of emergency through July 16, a move that gave her continued authority to issue and enforce executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican-led Legislature has sued to stop her, but courts have so far sided with Whitmer.

The Unlock Michigan petition drive, which has not yet launched, is backed by establishment Republicans including Shirkey, who “believes Michiganders have lived under the rule of executive order for too long,” said spokeswoman Amber McCann. 

But it’s also generating buzz among grassroots activists like Garrett Soldano, a former Western Michigan University football player who founded an anti-quarantine group that had more than 380,000 members before it was shut down by Facebook last month because of inappropriate user posts. 

Manke, the Owosso barber who re-opened his shop in defiance of an executive order that Whitmer has since lifted, cut a promotional video for Unlock Michigan explaining how to sign and circulate petitions. 

“We have to dot our i’s and cross our t’s, and when we do, the days of Gretchen Whitmer’s rule by decree will end for good,” Manke says in the video. “It's our state, not the governor's, and we're taking charge with our pens.“

Unlock Michigan has not yet disclosed donors but appears well organized. 

Fred Wszolek, a longtime GOP strategist who worked on a super PAC opposing Whitmer in 2018 and is now with the StrategyWorks consulting firm, is serving as a spokesperson for the group, which has also employed the services of Eric Doster, a Republican attorney with a long history of petition drive work in Michigan. 

The committee is currently waiting on Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater to craft a summary that will appear at the top of the petition and hopes to begin circulation soon. 

“This should be the easiest decision to make; it’s a one-sentence proposal,” Wszolek said of the repeal petition. “This isn’t about just one governor or one party. This is about whether any governor should ever have the power to rule by decree without end.”

Unlock Michigan will need to collect 340,047 valid signatures within 180 days to send its proposal to the Legislature, where organizers anticipate the Republican-led House and Senate would enact the initiative into law this year rather than send it to the 2022 ballot. 

That process, allowed under the Michigan Constitution, would bypass a veto from Whitmer, who in May rejected a GOP plan to speed up business re-openings and has promised to veto any bills that attempt to limit her power to respond to the public health crisis. 

And while polls may support Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic, voters “reserve the right to hold contradictory views,” said Sellek, the Republican strategist. He argued some of those same people who approve of Whitmer’s overall response may have been frustrated by individual orders and could be persuaded to sign a petition to limit gubernatorial powers moving forward.

And as far as funding, “I think there are a ton of members in the business community who are very frustrated, who are not interested in having a face-to-face conflict with the governor but might be willing to write checks in the background to help fund something like this so they don’t have to face it again.” 

Even with adequate funding to hire paid circulators, pulling off a successful petition drive this summer could be a challenge given the ongoing global pandemic, social distancing guidelines and fears over slowing but continued spread of the virus, Hemond said.

"The chances are not good, but they're better than the recall petition," he predicted. 

Political experts say the petition drive could provide Republican organizers with valuable data even if it fails: The names and addresses of voters who are frustrated by Whitmer, who will be up for re-election in 2022. 

Restore Freedom 

Meanwhile, grassroots activists have quietly been circulating a separate petition since late May that proposes to amend several sections of the Michigan Constitution and “clarify the legal standard required in order for the government to deprive a person of life, liberty or property.” 

Whitmer has "gone rogue" by issuing 130 executive orders during the pandemic, and the Legislature has failed to stop her, said Katherine Henry, a Hudsonville attorney who is leading the effort. 

Henry spoke last month at an anti-Whitmer protest outside the Michigan Capitol, where she discouraged residents from wearing masks despite recommendations from public health experts and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Restore Freedom proposal would expand public access to government documents and strengthen open meeting requirements for public bodies. 

While not spelled out in the petition, organizers say its broad language would also prohibit mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, which neither Whitmer nor anyone else in state government has publicly proposed.  

Organizers aim to qualify for Michigan’s Nov. 3 ballot but face significant hurdles to qualify, including an abbreviated timeline. 

The petition group must submit at least 425,059 valid signatures to the state by July 6.  But because organizers did not begin collecting signatures until late May, they will have fewer than 40 days to collect signatures, far less than the 180 days that would typically be allowed. 

The group does not have funding to pay for circulators, but 1,500 volunteers have signed up to distribute petitions, Henry said. She and other organizers are also promoting dozens of "signing events" across the state each day, including Tuesday collection events at Manke's barber shop in Owosso and gun shops in Mason, Taylor and Richland.

“We already have signatures from 79 out of 83 counties,” Henry said Monday, expressing confidence in the grassroots effort. 

“The way this thing has taken off, I mean, it’s crazy to think that we’ve had really no media coverage about this at all. We haven’t paid for advertising. It’s just been Facebook live videos on my personal page and just getting the word out there.”

The Restore Freedom ballot committee began circulating petitions without form pre-approval from the Board of State Canvassers, an optional step that groups typically take to avoid legal challenges in the future. And it’s sprawling proposal, which proposes to amend five articles and 19 sections of Michigan Constitution, could also compel legal challenges as overly broad. 

But Henry said she’s confident the proposal will stand muster as an amendment — not a general revision — of the Michigan Constitution.

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Charlotte Morton
Tue, 06/23/2020 - 8:03pm

There is no basis for a recall for our Governor. She did what she had to do to control the spread of the Corona Virus and it worked. Compared to states that were relaxed in their efforts to quarantine, Michigan is doing quite well. This pandemic, and it is a pandemic, is an event that most of us have never experienced. We must be able to trust our leaders to use their learned advisers to make decisions in a crisis, that may seem over cautious and unnecessary. Our leaders have our lives to protect and I feel our Michigan governor was effective, as seen in our covid 19 numbers on a steady drop over the last few months. In the rest of our country, those governors who were not as strict, are seeing a rapid incline in their covid 19 numbers. It is catastrophic that we had a president who refused to take charge and heed his advisers. We are blessed to have a leader who did. Thank God for Gretchen Whitmer.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 1:27pm

WRONG-->Thank God for Gretchen Whitmer.????? RIGHT--> Thank God for President Trump!.

Linda Jackson
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 2:45pm

I pray for President Trump everyday. That God will soften his heart to lead the Country to come together and serve as one.

Linda Jackson
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 2:38pm

Thank you ma'am, I think the Govenor has our best interest at heart. I support her in anything that she does.

Love Gretch
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 8:59pm

I do too. Things are going downhill again because Repbulicans have been forcing open the economy while ridiculing businesses trying to take precautions. We are so lucky to have Whitmer as our state leader.

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:50am

Sorry Charlotte but you're very wrong about Whitmer. You want to check other states? Then please do!! How is it states that NEVER locked down and didn't destroy businesses and their economy had significantly LOWER deaths and LOWER OVERALL NUMBERS PERIOD! PLEASE DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE!! This outbreak and subsequent deaths had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with lockdown, if it did then THE NUMBERS IN THE DAKOTAS, WYOMING, ARKANSAS ETC should've been higher than in Michigan for NOT LOCKING DOWN! BUT THEY WEREN'T!!! Open your brain and your eyes!! The sooner people really look at the truth, the more will realize Whitmer caused more death and destruction to this state than prevented them.

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:44pm

You mean like Florida?

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:52pm

Did you check the Republican states with very few people and a lot of meatpacking plants?

No Red Herrings
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:57pm

Um, Michigan has 10 million people. Those states don't even compare to our large cities. Get real.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:17am

Well Governor Whitmer has my 27 dollars. These recall efforts are simply not offering any credible positive alternatives to the issues. Governor Whitmer has been doing a masterful job in containing and curbing the pandemic issue, the state is doing as well as can be because of her efforts. As a result she enjoys high approval marks throughout the state. The GOP has simply not even helped in the efforts, just tried and so far failed to throw up barriers. They would have more credibility in my opinion if they offered measures to help get the state through this public health crisis. Instead they decided to make it all about politics.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:46am

I agree with Mickey. For this crisis, she truly understand the first and primary lawt:the framers of the US Constitution cited: "Esto salus populi lex suprema" (Let the safety of the people be the highest law). The framers of the Constitution understood that a leader may need to have near tyrannical powers in a crisis; furthermore, they understood something else that so many freedom lovers forget: One's individual freedom is only sacrosanct when it does not take away another's freedom.

Rosie Smart
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:59am

The legislature did suggest plans to our Governor. She did and has refused to listen to anyone that disagrees with her. Do you also agree with her putting Covid-19 patients in nursing homes? A move that has caused deaths of the elderly and most vulnerable. Not to mention the beating of an elderly man by a Covid-19 patient put in a nursing home. Why does she refuse to share her data and science with our legislators? Why did she refuse to give our legislators and the Federal Government her data on nursing home deaths? Must have something to hide. Several cases against her EO's have been supported by Michigan Judges including Michigan Supreme Court Judges. You either need to be informed or do you just like the Freebies and sitting home. Her orders have and will continue to cause deaths, damage to our economy and unnecessary hardship to private businesses and Michigan Citizens.

Michael Corliss
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 8:03pm

Rosie Smart, that's nonsense. An independent study proved that Whitmer's policies saved thousands of lives. Michigan's Covid-19 rate is dropping faster than any other state.

Typical of the Right to say "Get informed!", and then get the facts completely wrong.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:02pm

Should she have let them die alone at home, like they did in Florida?

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:50am

Because her actions aren't based on science. They are all political, perverse and megalomaniacal. It's clear and the only ones who support her are the cult that will support her no matter what. FB pages dedicated to removing her garnered over 400,000 members in 9 days before FB shut them down like the good little Democrat political soldiers they are.

Trump Wrong
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:43pm

Then how do you explain her success? Just because you make a statement doesn't mean it's true. That's what Trump does.

Of course she followed the science, just like all the European countries that are now doing better than the US in terms of beating covid19. The state right now is now falling backwards because she has been pressured to reopen too soon, given the other states' decisions to do so and pressures from the president. I was happy with her measured approach and hope she slows things down again quickly.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:43am

Pretty sad state of affairs. Everyone has the right to create and or sign a petition . But when you have a person who speaks against what's best for the health of the citizens of this State by telling people not to ware masks you have to wonder what the goal really is. We have already been through too much but now I guess there is a group that feels it's better to kill off us old folks, for the good of what?

I suspect this fine lady was probably one of the gang that had AK-47's strapped to their butts. The petitions are a sad waste of someone's money that good be far better used by people in real need.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 3:53pm

The only one that was killing off old folks was Whitmer when she was shoveling infected patients into nursing homes with no restrictions. And which group of people with AKs are you referring to? The white ones that were harrased and mocked or the black ones that were lauded as stunning and brave?

Danny Boyd
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 4:34pm

I love the people who seem to think Whitmer is the only Governor out of 50 who has instituted stay home policies and that she's single handedly doing things no other governor did, and that she's doing it because she wants to destroy the economy and hurt President Trump's re-election chances. It's also becoming increasingly apparent that if she had signed the Republican legislation into law we'd be in the same boat as the other states that reopened too early and are now experiencing massive rises in case counts. A virus isn't partisan, but the reaction to a virus sure seems to be.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:03am

Whitmer has not been using science, she has been using what she "feels" to hold Michigan hostage. She is not our parents and is going against the US constitution. A Judge has already told her that.

GOP lame
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:08pm

Says you, but the numbers show whatever she used, it worked and she had to fight republicans all the way. She saved countless lives. Yet the republicans are still complaining, trying to undermine her success with reckless disregard for our lives. Stores like Walmart don't enforce policies to wear masks in their stores because they say there are no state laws requiring masks in stores. So they cannot call police on people who disregard their policies. The GOP in the Michigan legislature needs to pass some laws and not just complain all the time.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:13am

Yes, top executives in government should have power, but not Governor Whitmer. Power should be used transparently, and there should be solid reasoning behind why the power is being used. Using power to punish opponents should not be tolerated, and throughout the whole virus crisis, her executive orders appeared willy nilly and specifically aimed at those that opposed her. And the nursing home debacle in Michigan, where the Governor is personally responsible for hundreds of deaths, should be grounds for dismissal with a felony charge against her.

Get Real
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:49pm

You mean people like Trump should have more power? Trump is in charge of the whole country and we are still in danger. Whitmer is in charge of Michigan and Michigan is doing well. I think it's true, Trump is making everything WORSE.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:28am

Ironic that the Republicans under Snyder made it harder to recall a governor. That knife cuts both ways, then.

John Gorentz
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:23am

Where do I sign?

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:26am

Now the Michigan GOP wants petitions while they did everything they could to neuter valid voter ballot questions. Block them, obstruct them and then try to keep them from being enacted.
The party of NO as in no honest voting, no questioning of stupidity and no progress on roads or citizen friendly initiatives.
Time to get an honest vote and vote them out.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:29am

Thanks Anti-Whitmer petition drive organizers I will be donating to the Governor to fight any curb in her powers as governor'

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:36am

I just signed the petition to control the Governor's emergency powers. Her orders are now bankrupting the state which can't be sustained.

Danny Boyd
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 6:10pm

Yes. You're right! She and she alone is responsible for world-wide financial ruin! We've got to stop her! I can't believe the effect her policies have had on the global economy.

/End Sarcasm. /Begin real talk: You're acting like this is the only state where this stuff is happening, like she's the only governor who instituted stay home orders. Like Michigan is the only state facing economic problems. It's a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

LuAnne Kozma
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:48am

I think Bridge readers would be interested to know that the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan's petition and challenge to the 180-day signature-gathering law for statutory initiatives under Article 2 Section 9 of the Michigan Constitution is now in the Michigan Supreme Court. I am the campaign director. See our website, On Feb 29 of this year, I wrote a guest opinion piece in Bridge Magazine. The Legislature's unconstitutional reigning-in of the people's power (that we reserved to ourselves) to initiate laws and amend the constitution has been constant, attacked and curtailed by both Republicans and Democrats since 1973 when an artificial 180-day time limit was imposed. In 1974 Attorney General Frank Kelley issued an opinion that called the law unconstitutional and re-established the signature-gathering period to the 4 years in between governor's elections, as the constitution sets up. It is our hope that the Supreme Court justices will see how the plain language in the constitution guarantees the people this right and that the time restraint is an obvious unallowable, unconstitutional curtailment of the right. The ballot initiative and referendum movement was launched during the Progressive Era, when legislatures were dominated by money from big corporations like banks and railroads. This corporate power is still unchecked today, and ballot initiatives are often successful only when large donors and lots of money flood campaigns. It was never supposed to be that way.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 12:09pm

I will be donating to Gov. Whitmer's defense of her powers as governor. Thank all you anti Whitmer petition opponents for making aware of your plans.

I support the gov
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:11pm

Great idea. Where do I send the check?

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 1:59pm

Lets do a check of Gov. Whitmer's 18 months in office. Campaign promise of no new gas tax was broken within 90 days of taking office. Refusal to openly negotiate the budget, then only approving of portions of the budget that favored her party. Self extended Emergency Powers with random selections of what she deemed essential and non essential.

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:12pm

I bet you didn't vote for her.

Danny Boyd
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 6:13pm

I held on to some of my stimulus money. It's delicious irony that a check with Trump's signature in the memo line is going to help fund my contribution to the Whitmer campaign :-)

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 7:53pm

Who are we replacing her with? And why is there a time limit on petition gathering other than wasting your own effort and time due to term limits and such?

However, why have we forgotten that it's the decades spanning negligence of the federal government that led to this calamity? Starting with the outsourcing of critical infrastructure/industries and knowledge while stifling redundancies. Followed by:
• Pitting states to bid against one another for PPE.
• Not providing evolving national guidance on how to address this pandemic - now completely absent say for the few appearances of various medical administrators.
• Downplaying impact that this disease will have on the physical, economic, and emotional health of citizens.
• Lack of financial support for (real) small businesses and (regular) citizens.

I think Whitmer has done an okay job given the cards dealt, but what has come out of the legislature? Will you also support a petition to remove the leadership in the House and Senate? But sign them all out - we should want representatives that work for you and me instead of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Finally, I'm young, but I'm not interested in being negligent while my more seasoned fellow citizens remain at higher risk. My liberty should not unnecessarily impinge on the liberty of others. And really... how is slapping on another piece of clothing so challenging for some? Where is your respect and sense of duty for others? Are you not man enough to learn to sew?

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 3:06pm

To be honest, she's doing well, but I'd prefer a more progressive governor, definitely NOT someone more to the right. Been there, done that, too long. We'll never be able to fix all that damage.

Sunny Days Here...
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 8:56pm

Republicans don't get it. We the People have had enough of them. That's why we got rid of gerrymandering. We represent the "silent majority" because we were silenced by the Koch brothers, but those days are gone:

Biden opens up largest lead of the year over Trump
Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 50% to 36% in a new nationwide poll Wednesday, the latest alarm bell for the president’s campaign as the economy, coronavirus and Black Lives Matter protests continue to weigh on his re-election bid.

Pssst, the fat lady is singing. How do I say this? The writing is on the wall. You're done, cooked. Ba bye!

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:40am

No way Whitmer has 60 percent support in reality. Anyone who supported her unconstitutional actions are just plain ignorant. Do some real research. This whole covid mess from the beginning was steeped in lies and continues to be, with Whitmer at the forefront. It's sad that so many people think she was protecting anyone except her own chances for political leadership. She has used people as pawns to woo people of color in this state. Wake up people and recall her!!

Bless yer Heart
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 3:10pm

Unless, now brace yourself, you are kidding yourself. You've been drinking too much GOP Koolaid.

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:46am

"There’s no evidence to suggest establishment Republicans are helping organize or fund the recall effort, which is the brainchild of Chad Baase of Albion, a GOP state House candidate and unemployed water tower painter who served prison time in 2014 after threatening to contaminate a local water supply and kill judges, an act he now attributes to alcohol abuse."

Lol stuff like this hit job doesn't hurt the movement. In fact, it fuels it because you just validated every accusation of the media being a propaganda arm of the Democrat party with your arrogant, politically biased, irrelevant to the story personal attack.

Fake News????
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 3:13pm

Truth hurts?

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Baretta

You seem angry, but failed to debunk the shocking facts.

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 8:26am

I think Gov. Whitmer has done an exceptional leadership role in the COVID crisis... much better than anyone in the white house.

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 5:28pm

She has never stood by her promise to FIX THE DAMN ROADS, and has two sets of rules, 1 for her family, 2nd for MICHIGANDERS.

A. Bellows
Fri, 06/26/2020 - 7:23pm

It's great to see that Governor Whitmer has found a way to make money from ordinary citizens! A great capitalist!

Sun, 06/28/2020 - 10:50am

The GOP spent a couple billion dollars in a lame duck session 18 months ago on nonsense how soon we forget, that money would come in real handy in these trying times, promote more gridlock just what we need at a time like this.

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 5:46pm

Republicans? So Democrats don't want to go out, go to work, do stuff in public? Partisan news like this is exactly what's wrong with the country and why we've become so divided. Never will you see a negative article written about Democrats, but anyone that's not? Free game, apparently. Meanwhile, Gretchen has done more than enough to be recalled. From restricting citizen freedom to making it easy for her husband to violate the executive orders she writes, she's proven herself corrupt and self-interested.

Frankly Speaking
Mon, 08/03/2020 - 9:05pm

Funny how it was at the end of the comments section that the real point is made: this is not about political parties, it is about our liberties. You may agree or disagree with the governors actions, but the question is whether or not you think any governor should have these kind of powers over the people who grant the powers to our elected officials. If you think it is okay, I respectfully disagree. Ultimately, us voters get the government we deserve, but I hope that we are having a moment of clarity during this current situation - then again, I am known for being overly optimistic at times.

Roscoe P. Coltrane
Thu, 12/24/2020 - 11:23am

People like Chad Baase (who has done prison time and threatened to murder people--sorry, drinking doesn't excuse it--are nut cases who will fail, in large part due to the actions of fellow Republican criminals like former Governor Rick Snyder, who limited recall signature time from 90 to 60 days. If a governor can deliberately promote and ignore the deaths of citizens and get away with it, how do you recall Whitmer, who inherited a bad situation. Blame Coronavirus, not the governor.