Faced with high unemployment, an exodus of businesses, plummeting government revenues and the general problem of being Michigan, last year the MI state legislature gave Governor Rick Snyder the authority to appoint emergency managers to takeover the operation of cities and school districts.
The expanded emergency manager law allowed these prefects to ignore collective bargaining rules, nullify union contracts and bypass local elected officials. In a sense, it was the ultimate expression of small government: you can't get much smaller than one guy calling all the shots, for all levels of government, without oversight.
Not all Michigan citizens were on board, however, and 203,000 residents petitioned for a referendum on the November ballot to repeal this brave experiment in limited dictatorship. Unfortunately for these rabble rousing democrats, the Board of State Canvassers refused to validate the petitions due to a dispute over font size…
The canvassers split 2-2 along party lines (Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed) after hearing exhaustive testimony on a single point of contention about the adequacy of the petitions — whether the typeface used on a heading met a statutory size requirement.
The Republican-nominated members of board concluded that it did not, touching off a raucous protest from supporters of the ballot proposal who packed the room and assailed the emergency manager law as an affront to the basic principles of democracy.
"I think there is a legitimate question as to size," said Republican Norm Shinkle, who, along with GOP member Jeff Timmer, voted against it.
State regulations require a 14-point boldface font, rather than whatever communist font size was used by the petitioners, wherein all the tiny letters have to share a small space with minimal kerning.
Except it appears likely that the petitions, whose validity will now be up to an appeals court, may have met or exceeded state requirements for heading size. It probably means whatever font they use to print government documents, some members of the Board of State Canvassers do all their thinking in Comic Sans.
Tags: Michigan, Republicans, Rick Snyder, State Legislature