Paul Jacob

When it comes to those serving us ever so humbly in public office, how should they be chosen? It’s a simple question. And I’m not alluding to the Democrats’ presidential nominating process.

By the people? Under the rule of law?

Of course. We should have a lawful process with the people having the ultimate power over their government, meaning those they elect. That’s the deal here in America.

In fact, voters go further — they also want recall for their elected office-holders. The reasoning is simple: The voters hire ’em so the voters should be able to fire ’em.

That’s called citizen control, the rule of law . . . in short, freedom. But while Americans believe in these democratic principles, many politicians do not.

Michigan has a recall law. And an awfully deserving legislature. Regular readers of this column know that the Michigan Legislature’s massive 2007 tax increase spurred a recall campaign against Speaker of the House Andy Dillon led by local suburban Detroit tax-activists and the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. Readers of my Common Sense e-letter got even more detail.

Weeks ago, citizens turned in over 15,000 signatures on that petition to trigger an August 5 recall election. Last week, Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land ruled the campaign was short of the needed 8,724 signatures in the Speaker’s district (a number equal to 25 percent of those who voted in his election).

Oh, don’t get Secretary Land wrong, actually 10,408 verified voters in Dillon’s district did indeed sign the petition — more than enough. Hmmm. But some of them signed petitions circulated by people who were not themselves registered. Or who were registered, but lived just outside the district line.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.