By Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray
After rejecting several similar petitions in recent weeks, the Board of State Canvassers on Monday approved a recall petition against Gov. Rick Snyder over the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water.
The board, however, rejected six other petitions -- five against Snyder and one against Lt. Gov. Brian Calley -- citing either a lack of clarity or technical or factual problems with the petition.
The petition that was approved was submitted by Pastor David Bullock, a Detroit activist who has been prominent in the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the NAACP, and who has run unsuccessfully for Detroit City Council.
The petition states that Snyder should be recalled because he "declared a state of emergency in the County of Genesee and the City of Flint pursuant to the Constitution of the state of Michigan..."
Bullock and his supporters will now have 60 days to collect about 790,000 valid signatures in order to get a recall question on the November ballot. If Snyder was successfully recalled, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley would become governor.
Told about the approval of the recall petition during a Monday visit to the state Emergency Operations Center in Dimondale, near Lansing, Snyder said: "That's part of the democratic process."
The petitions rejected Monday were filed by Flint activist Quincy Murphy and Highland Park activist Robert Davis, who recently completed a federal prison sentence for stealing from Highland Park Public Schools, where he was a board member.
The Board of State Canvassers is a bipartisan, four-member panel, with two Republican appointees and two Democratic appointees.
Earlier this month, the board approved another recall petition against Snyder, but it did not relate to the Flint drinking water crisis. That recall petition was prom[ted by Snyder's authorization to move the office dealing with struggling schools -- the State School Reform Office/Redesign Office -- into the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
In total, 29 recall petitions have been filed against Snyder and Calley with the Secretary of State, most related to the Flint water situation, and two were filed years ago in Washtenaw County, citing the emergency manager law and cuts to the School Aid Fund. The Washtenaw petitions were abandoned before collecting the required number of signatures.
Flint's drinking water became contaminated with lead in April 2014 while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager and began drawing drinking water from the Flint River as a temporary cost-cutting measure.
The DEQ has acknowledged it failed to require needed corrosion control chemicals to be added to the water. As a result, officials believe lead leached from pipes, joints and fixtures into an unknown number of Flint households, causing a spike in the levels of toxic lead in the bloodstreams of Flint children.
(c)2016 the Detroit Free Press