Recall group denies MEA backing

LANSING, Mich. — Charges that a group working to recall Gov. Rick Snyder is a front for the Michigan Education Association were levied by the Michigan Republican Party on Monday, after the recall organizers provided a union fax number in documents filed with the state, according to media reports.

The group, Michigan Citizens United, is made up of a variety of individuals, including some MEA members, a spokesman told The group’s treasurer, Gail Schmidt of Omer, is an MEA field assistant.

Doug Pratt, a spokesman for the MEA, told The Detroit News that the union is not involved in the recall effort and that it is looking into use of the fax number.

The Michigan Republican Party denounced the recall effort in a press release, The Detroit News reported.

"Why are teachers' union dues being spent on an effort to recall a governor who took office less than five months ago?" state GOP Chairman Robert Schostak was quoted in the release.

Michigan Citizens United filed the recall petition in Washtenaw County on Monday, but cannot begin collecting signatures until the county elections commission conducts a hearing on whether the wording on the petition is clear, reported.

The Detroit News, “Snyder recall effort blasted,” April 19, 2011, “Group files petition in Ann Arbor seeking recall of Gov. Rick Snyder,” April 18, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “Union recommends Democrats to its conservative members,” Oct. 26, 2010