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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is a first.  Never before have two petition drives been launched on the same subject and that could doom them both.
Up in Saginaw, the father and son team of Al and Greg Schmid are on their fourth, that's right fourth attempt at creating a part time legislature.
Over there in Kalamazoo country, the local chamber of commerce wants to do the same thing with one difference; its petition drive would also abolish term limits.  The chamber is getting some help from an Oakland County activist, too.
"It is confusing the voters. It hurts both" drives, complains Greg Schmid as he blames the other PTL folks of creating a Trojan Horse.  Schmid believe the Kazoo folks are using the part time legislature as a "loss leader" to kill term limits.
 There is no question that if either or both of the grassroots efforts gets enough signatures to place it on the statewide ballot, the voters would flock to a PTL like kids to an ice cream truck.
 But there is a huge question regarding the gathering of 500,000 petition signatures to win that ballot spot.  Schmid concedes he's got 27,000 unwashed signatures in hand which means many of those are invalid. 
Look it.  It would take the collection of over 8,000 signatures everyday to even come close to the 500,000 mark.
 Schmid has a measly budget of $50,000 on paper.  He does not have that much in the bank, and is not paying for the names.
The one ace in the hole the Schmid and Schmid have is last October.  Or have your forgotten?
 Remember: unbalanced budget, protracted political wrangling, and a partial shutdown of state government?  Schmid hopes to parlay the public anger over that into signatures.
This issue is not sexy and won't garner the media attention that petition drives on same sex marriage, banning affirmative action, and killing doves generated.
So barring a miracle of historic proportions, the Schmid boys are about to go "O" for four on a part time legislature and as for the Kazoo folks, there chances aren't much better.


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