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Recall petitions filed against Conlin, five other Dem legislators

State Rep. Jennifer Conlin was one of five Democratic legislators in Michigan to have a recall petition filed against them based on recent votes on hate crime and gun reform legislation.

According to the Michigan Advance, Conlin (D-Ann Arbor), Reggie Miller (D-Belleville) and Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte) all had recall petitions filed against them by separate individuals citing their yes votes on HB 4474 which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, age and disability.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, Linda Ensley of Brighton submitted the petition against Conlin, whose 48th House District includes Genoa and Hamburg townships, the Village of Pinckney and the southeast corner of Putnam Twp. in Livingston County.

Michigan’s proposed hate crime law reform package has been subjected to misinformation from Fox News and other right-wing outlets who have falsely claimed it would criminalize using the wrong pronouns for a person, despite the fact that pronouns are not mentioned anywhere in the legislation.

Meanwhile, the recall petitions for Reps. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy) and Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City) cited their votes in favor of the “red flag” gun legislation to allow for judges to issue a temporary order for the removal of firearms for defendants that pose a significant threat to themselves or others.

The lone Republican to have a recall petition filed against them was Rep. Cam Cavitt of Cheboygan, citing his yes vote when the House elected Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) in January to act as House speaker.

Cavitt told the Advance that the recall efforts are “partisan tactics aimed at serving the interests of one political faction” and will divert time and resources from making progress.

“I was elected to Lansing to fight for fiscal responsibility – taxpayers should not be on the hook for a meaningless recall effort,” Cavitt was quoted by the Advance. “Let us refocus our energy and efforts on the challenges that lie ahead, working towards a brighter future for all Michiganders. I remain highly committed to serving the best interests of my constituents.”

All six of the petitions are expected to be on the agenda for the Aug. 1 Board of State Canvassers meeting for language approval. From there they would have 60 days to gather signatures totaling at least 25% of the votes cast for all candidates in the last governor’s race before a recall election would be scheduled.

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