A recall campaign against a Genesee County state lawmaker is being watched across Michigan state today. Many observers say the question of whether to recall state Representative Paul Scott is also a referendum on the agenda of Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican Legislature.
The Scott recall ballot language cites cuts to schools and the new state income tax on pensions as reasons for removing him. Scott has just over a year left in his current term. He chairs the House Education Committee, and the recall effort is strongly backed by the state's largest teacher's union. Scott was instrumental in approving changes to the state's tenure law that makes it easier to fire teachers.
The Michigan Education Association has spent thousands of dollars in the effort to recall Scott. The state Republican Party has spent a lot defending him. Voters in Scott's southern Genesee County House district have endured months of broadcast ads, brochures stuffed in doors and mailboxes and robo-calls. The race is being watched all across the state as a harbinger of what might be coming. There are 32 more petition drives underway that target both Republicans and Democrats.
In northern Michigan, there's a recall on the ballot for leaders in Benzie County's Joyfield Township over controversy about a commercial wind development proposal. People around the region go to the polls to choose municipal and school board leaders, and Traverse City residents will decide whether to keep a local law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Polls remain open until 8:00 tonight.
Linda Stephan contributed to this report.