Skubick: Calley bails on part-time legislature drive, new leader confident of success

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The new leader of the petition drive to create a part-time legislature is “very confident” they will collect 360,000 signatures by the middle of Januaury to gain a spot on the statewide ballot.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley bailed out of the part-time legislature petition drive last week, turning it over to former Republican lawmaker Tom McMillan.

The move produced speculation that Mr. Calley was getting out because the drive was going into the tank.

“No, I would not be involved in something that was going to fail,” insists McMillan. “So that is dead wrong.”

Here’s how the numbers break down:

PTL Numbers
(1) 180,000 Names Now
(2) Need 360,000 Mid Jan.
(3) 3,000 Names Per Day

“I’ve done petition drives before. A lot of them come in at the end,” adds McMillan. “We’re not done. There are more pushes to come. We’re not going to tell everything that will be happening. We have more resources. It will be a significant push.”

So how confident is he? 50-50?

McMillan says “It’s better than that. At least 70-30. I’m very confident.”

But the drive is facing stiff opposition from segments of the business community.

The State Chamber of Commerce head called Mr. Calley a snake oil salesman for pitching this idea.

“Most of the businesses does support it. There are lobbyists that might now,” said McMillan. “Generally lobbyists like lawmakers hanging around with nothing to do and they like to get their claws into them.”

We’ll know by mid-January if the part-time House and Senate will be on the ballot in November next year.

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