Michiganders are circulating petitions to limit the governor’s emergency powers as Governor Gretchen Whitmer uses them to issue heavy-handed coronavirus orders. Michigan is experiencing one of the strictest lockdowns in the country.
“Unlock Michigan” is a political organization seeking to repeal a 1945 law Whitmer is using to justify a “state of emergency,” which she has extended repeatedly since March.
The organization has 60,000 activists circulating petitions, if the group collects more than 340,000 valid signatures, the Republican-controlled legislature could vote to revoke the law. It would not be subject to the governor’s veto powers.
Fred Wszolek, spokesman for Unlock Michigan, said a 1976 law, which allows a governor to act in an event of a natural disaster would remain. An emergency could last, at most, 28 days.
Wszolek told The Kyle Olson Show the group has been collecting signatures for about five weeks and 60,000 activists are helping.
“They don’t wait for instructions from headquarters; they’re out there just doing this on their own,” he said.
“It’s fantastic. It’s the most exciting grassroots thing I’ve seen in a while,” Wszolek said.
He said the activists are “really frustrated” because Whitmer “just seems to be calling audibles.”
Wszolek questioned Whitmer’s decisions and what data she could be using to issue her orders.
He said Unlock Michigan has set a goal of 500,000, more than the 360,000 needed.
That is because, he said, pro-lockdown groups are organizing on Facebook, “encouraging people to sign with fake names and to sign repeatedly so those signatures can be disqualified.
Once the signatures are validated by the Board of Elections, the legislature has 40 session days to pass it. If they do not, it will go on the November 2022 ballot — the same election as Whitmer herself.
Gov. Whitmer has extended Michigan’s State of Emergency through Sept. 4. She’s said any attempt to strip away the powers of the governor during this crisis is irresponsible, dangerous and foolish.