Several public accounts of turmoil hitting Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s ballot initiative for a part-time legislature have risen to the surface today, including one from a canvasser who said the campaign has shut down.
A Facebook post by Shelly Gregoire, whose Twitter account indicates she was an active member of the campaign, said, “Michigan politics at its fricken finest today. I’m so sick of garbage politicians, that includes you too Lt. Governor.” Further in the post, she states the campaign has shut down.
Sources wishing to remain anonymous have also reached out to Progress Michigan to indicate similar turmoil, including most recently a tweet to Progress Michigan about checks allegedly being bounced.
A message left with the campaign through its website was not immediately returned, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor referred calls on the matter to the initiative specifically. Messages left with the campaign committee’s treasurer and record keeper were also not immediately returned.
The news is peculiar given Calley on Wednesday told the state Board of Canvassers – which has yet to formally certify the petition as to form – that he planned to go ahead with the effort anyway and he expects it will “end up in court,” reports indicated.
It was not immediately clear what Calley meant by the statement, but at the meeting on Wednesday, Calley claimed there was a possible conflict of interest with the board chair. Though he did not name the individual specifically, that person is Norm Shinkle, a consultant for the Michigan Freedom Fund, which has publicly criticized the part-time legislature measure on its social media.
Calley’s initiative has been off to a rocky start. He teased what he said would be a major announcement, which most expected would be his announcement that he is running for governor, leading up to the actual announcement on May 30 of the part-time legislature proposal. That has raised some questions for Lansing pundits as to whether the part-time legislature was the intended announcement all along.
The “Michigan Field Representative Program” contract used by the campaign obtained by the Great Lakes Beacon shows that signature gatherers were supposed to work from May 31st through June 30th.
By Danielle Emerson