I find myself using the word "astonished" or "astonishing" a LOT lately when it comes to Michigan politics. My level of cynicism seems to be rising exponentially as each week passes when I see the outrageous and egregious things that Republicans are doing in our state.
But this might take the cake.
If you are unfamiliar with the issue of font size of a single petition heading being used to disqualify the petitions signatures of over 200,000 Michiganders, you'll want to read THIS first.
The Stand Up for Democracy coalition released information today that shows that Michigan elections officials had been given an expert analysis by Assistant Professor Chris Corneal, of the Graphic Design in the Department of Art, Art History and Design at Michigan State University that showed the font in question was, in fact, 14-point bold as required by law. The analysis was actually REQUESTED BY THE DIRECTOR FOR ELECTIONS FOR THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Chris Thomas.
However, Mr. Corneal's analysis was, for some reason, never mentioned in the report given at the April 26th hearing.
Mr. Corneal has since signed a sworn affidavit that says:
1. He was asked to review the font size of the petition headline that is in dispute.The repeal opponents, namely the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, have been successful in getting Mr. Corneal's affidavit and testimony quashed and the results of the expert analysis that he did at the request of the Elections Board will not be presented at the Court of Appeals hearing tomorrow that will decide the fate of the petitions. The judges ruled that it was not admissible since it was not presented at the April 26th hearing. It was not presented by the Stand Up for Democracy attorneys because they only this week learned of it and, for some reason, it was not mentioned by the elections officials even though they were the ones to request it in the first place.
2. He determined that the font size is correct.
3. He told elections officials the font size is correct before the hearing.
But that's not all. Testimony and an affidavit from another expert witness, Michael Migrin, was also quashed, even though Mr. Migrin testified at the April 26th hearing.
Attorneys for Stand Up for Democracy have, of course, filed for a reversal of these decisions. In their filing they speak plainly:
The conduct of the Defendants in this regard is simply outrageous, and should not be tolerated by the Court.You can view the court documents along with the emails proving that Mr. Corneal was, in fact, contacted by Director of State Elections Chris Thomas HERE (pdf). Their press release HERE.
The burning question is "Why didn't Mr. Thomas reveal this information to the Board of State Canvassers at the April 26th hearing?"
Stand Up for Democracy held a press conference to release this afternoon and have scheduled a prayer rally at 9 am outside the Michigan Court of Appeals in front of the old GM building at W. Grand Blvd. and Second where they hope to "pack the courtroom for the 10 a.m. hearing."