Michigan AG to probe group seeking to repeal governor powers

Michigan News
Dana Nessel

FILE – In this March 5, 2020 file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference, in Lansing, Mich. Nessel on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, is backing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, telling local law enforcement officials that her stay-at-home directive and restrictions on places of public accommodations are valid and enforceable. Tuesday’s letter comes days after Republican lawmakers refused to extend an emergency declaration. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general is investigating allegations that a ballot group may have committed crimes while gathering signatures to repeal a law that gives Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad powers to manage the coronavirus crisis.

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said Monday that her office will probe Unlock Michigan, a Republican-affiliated committee that plans to submit its signatures Friday.

“Our democracy is firmly rooted in the principles of an informed electorate which makes decisions at the polls based on reason and beliefs over lies and deception,” Nessel said.

“Our ballot initiative process allows efforts with strong public support to be presented to the Legislature. But that process becomes tainted when petition circulators manipulate and cheat to serve their own agendas. My office will investigate these allegations, and if there is a violation of law, we will prosecute those responsible.” 

If the group turns in enough signatures, the initiative will go to the Legislature.

Majority Republicans could enact the measure into law, and it could not be vetoed by the Democratic governor.

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