Skubick: Possible conflict of interest freezes part-time legislature effort

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Board of State Canvassers did not vote today on a petition drive to create a part-time legislature.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley says that okay with him because one of the members of the board had an alleged conflict of interest.

Lt. Gov. Calley is getting the word from the State Elections director that there are some serious legal questions surrounding Mr. Calley’s part-time legislature petition drive.

Mr. Calley contends there are some serious conflict of interest questions surrounding board member Norm Shinkle, who is working for an organization that opposes the Calley petitiion drive.

“One of the contractors is a current member of the Board of Canvassers and that clearly is a conflict of interest,” said Mr. Calley.

“If it thought it was a conflict of interest I would not vote but I don’t see a conflict,” insisted Shinkle.

Mr. Calley told the board he did not want them to rule on the form of his petition drive and the board did not.

Afterwards he blamed those in the “Lansing bubble” for trying to block this effort.

“Ultimately this entire system will go to any lengths to protect itself and how it works today,” added Mr. Calley. “I think this whole system fears a transfer of that influence from inside the Lansing bubble back to the community.”

Mr. Shinkle says he backs a part-time legislature even though his client, the Michigan Freedom Fund operated by the DeVos family, does not.

As for being part of an effort to sabotage the Calley effort “No,” Shinkle responded.

He also asked what Mr. Calley means when he claims the “establishment” wants to kill the effort.

What this means is the Calley petition drive will continue and he admits it will end up in the courts before it gets on the November 2018 statewide ballot.

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