Ballot Initiatives

Eliminate the Senate

Repeal PERA


End Collective Bargaining for State Employees

Tax Savings

The Plan

Petition Drive Management System

Business Plan

How You Can Help

Ballot Question Committee



Michigan Constitution

Do Your Own Petition

In the News

About Us

The Plan
Updated 3/12/2011

The plan is to conduct the petition drive next year (2011) from April 15 to October 15. This enables us to take advantage of the mild weather and seasonal gatherings such as festivals and football games without having to be concerned with the deadline for submitting petitions, which is 160 days before the next general election. The next general election will be November 6, 2012.

Although we will need volunteers, we intend to pay people to collect petition signatures. We will pay a certain amount for each valid signature. At this time, we are thinking of paying $1 per signature. At that rate, if a circulator can get 4 people to sign all 4 petitions in one hour, he or she will earn $16 per hour. We will be creating jobs, although the jobs will last only 6 months.

We figure we will need 250-300 circulators. They need to be recruited and supplied with petition forms, instructions and whatever else they need by April 15. They will be independent contractors, so at the end of the year we will send 1099-MISCs to those we have paid $600 or more. Committee office staff - hopefully, volunteers - will process the returned petition forms, validating and counting signatures, and feed information into a computer system from which a weekly payroll will be produced. Circulators will receive weekly pay checks.

These are the tasks that have been completed so far:



Registered the domain name www.transformmichigan.org and created the website Transform Michigan. The site continues to evolve.



Rented a post office box for the Committee to Transform Michigan at the Delta Branch behind the Lansing Mall.



Registered the Committee to Transform Michigan with the Bureau of Elections. We are going to need money for office rent, printing petition forms, postage, etc. Michigan's election law requires us to register a ballot question committee as soon as we raise or spend $500. A committee is established for the purpose of reporting contributions and expenditures to the Secretary of State.



Opened an account for the Committee to Transform Michigan at PNC Bank in Lansing.



Set up a PayPal account and a page for our website that will allow supporters to contribute online.



Prepared a preliminary budget. We will need about $2.5 million.



We won't make it available until next spring, but we created a page for our website that will allow people to sign up to be petition circulators.



Met with Travis Millbrook at Millbrook Printing in Lansing, along with Notary Public Shanna Strouse. The Board of State Canvassers requires a "Printer's Affidavit" to verify form size (8.5 x 14 inches) and font size in various parts of the petition. Travis signed the affidavit and Shanna notarized. (Travis verified using copies of our Microsoft Word-created petitions that we emailed to him.)



Delivered final corrections to petitions to Bureau of Elections. This process began in early October - drafting petitions, submitting them to Brad Wittman at the Bureaus of Elections, making corrections, and re-submitting. The Bureau of Elections looks at the format of the petition only and does not pass judgment on the language of the initiative; that is our responsibility. Next step is approval - as to form - by the Board of State Canvassers. We are on the agenda for their December 17 meeting (10:30 in room 424 of the Capitol). The proposal language can be modified right up until the petition forms go to the printer, which will be next April.



Sent a letter to Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land asking her to modify some of the petition format requirements. If we follow current requirements, our petition to eliminate the Senate will require a 5 sheet extension, which will likely force us to give up on that initiative.

12/02/2010   Downloaded software for campaign finance reporting from Secretary of State website.
12/03/2010   Sent a FOIA request to Secretary of State asking for a copy of the Qualified Voter File on electronic media.


Met with a Post Office representative to talk about options for mailing packages of materials (petition forms, W-4s, instructions, return envelope) to circulators. There are inexpensive, web-based postage services that allow you to print postage labels based on weight of the package. We'd use our own computer and printer and a scale provided by the service that plugs into our computer. Or we could use a printer/mailing service company. They'd do everything: using addresses we'd provide, they'd print the materials, assemble the package and mail it. For the return envelopes, we could use "Business Return Mail". After paying for a permit ($185) and a maintenance fee ($585), we'd print a label to USPS specifications to slap on our return envelopes and they would charge our account for each returned package ($0.083 handling fee plus $0.88 per ounce).



Steve was interviewed by Tim Skubick outside the Senate chambers at the Capitol. A few seconds of the interview was on the WLNS News at 5:00.



The Board of State Canvassers approved our four petitions this morning. (The Board only considers the format of the petitions, not the legal language.) After the meeting, Steve was interviewed by reporters from the Detroit Free Press, Associated Press and Lansing State Journal.

Also, at 7:40 this morning, Steve was interviewed on the air for about 10 minutes by Ron Jolly of WTCM NewsTalk 580 (Traverse City).



Associated Press story appears in newspapers all over Michigan, also on bloomberg.com, the financial news and information service founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Lunch meeting with a Tea Party official who said he agreed with all 4 initiatives and thought most other Tea Party members would, too, and that many would volunteer to collect signatures. He is going to work on putting an organization together.



In response to our 12/3/10 Freedom of Information request, the state Bureau of Elections sent a copy of the Qualified Voter File for the whole state - over 6 million voters - on a CD. It consists of 6 separate files, 6 of them with a million records each and one with the remainder. We loaded the files to a laptop, but can't consolidate the files because Microsoft Excel can't handle over 1 million records at a time. Will need to find some software that will - or someone with more computer knowledge. The Bureau of Elections tells us that the QVF is updated once a month. They charged us only $22.25.



Submitted campaign finance report for period ending 12/31/2010  to Secretary of State.



Never got a response to the letter sent to Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land (see 12/1/2010), so sent - by email - a similar letter to new SOS Ruth Johnson.



Added pages to website for "In the News" and "Petition Drive Management System".



Got a reply to our letter to SOS Ruth Johnson, written for her by Christopher Thomas, Director of Elections. He stuck by most of the requirements I objected to, but did give in on a few. The petition heading can be printed at the top, rather than vertically in the left margin. It is not necessary to state the election date. And although the Printer's Affidavit is required, it doesn't have to be the affidavit of a commercial printer, but of whoever prepared the petition. In our case, it was me.



Drafted a business plan.



Committee meeting at Schuler's in Marshall, where it was decided to abandon the initiative to eliminate the state Senate.

Here are a few of the tasks yet to be completed:

  • Write computer system requirements. We will need a computer system to keep track of our petition circulators, count petition signatures, and produce weekly paychecks.

  • Printer. The petition forms for 3 of our initiatives are single 8.5 x 14 inch sheets. One will be printed on just one side and the other 2 will be printed on both sides. We could buy or rent a printer and print those petitions in the office - no problem. However, the petition for the initiative to eliminate the Senate won't fit in a single sheet, front and back. It will need an extension of at least one page, and quite possibly 2. A one-page extension would make it 14 x 17 inches. A 2 page extension would make it 14 x 25.5 inches. We need to find out if we rent or buy a printer that can print a sheet that size. And then we will have to figure out an easy way to fold it back down to 8.5 x 14. If that doesn't work out, we will have to turn the task over to a commercial printer.

  • Set up an office. We need to rent office space and furnish it with phones, computers, etc. - but that can wait until March 2011.

  • Raise funds. We figure we will need about $2 million (see Budget).