However, BSC Democrats Julie MATUZAK and Jeannette BRADSHAW voted against certifying the petition, sharing the concerns raised by unions about a number of PMT circulators who apparently didn’t list a valid residential address on their circulator forms.
With the deadlock, the motion to approve the petition failed.
“The signature-gathering process for this irresponsible attack on prevailing wage has been fraught with errors and forgeries from the beginning, and the Board of Canvassers acted appropriately today in shutting down this sham of a petition,” said Geno ALESSANDRINI, business manager of the Michigan Laborers District Council, in a statement after the vote. “Prevailing wage works for Michigan and it’s simply too important for Michigan workers and communities to overlook the massive errors and discrepancies that led us to this point.”
PMT President Jeff WIGGINS said the group would be taking its case to the state Court of Appeals in the near future.
In a statement after the meeting, Wiggins said the “the antics we saw here today were outrageous, to say the least.” He called the vote a “temporary delay” and predicted the House and Senate would be voting on this in the coming weeks.
“While it was clear the absurd and desperate claims of those looking to preserve their special interest carve-out held no water, two members of the Board ignored their duty to the public and their clear legal duty to comply with Michigan law to approve this petition,” Wiggins said.
After the meeting, conservative groups went after Matuzak and Bradshaw, both of whom have ties to organized labor. The Michigan Freedom Fund (MFF) went so far as to call for their resignation.
“These members of the Board voted today to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters because they were told to by desperate union bosses and Democrat Party power brokers,” said MFF Executive Director Tony DAUNT. “They must resign immediately.”
Pete LUND, state director of the Americans for Prosperity chapter of Michigan, accused the BSC Democrats of “working for the people who appointed you.” He said the 2-2 vote was an “absolute travesty,” noting that while the BSC is appointed by the political parties, “they’re suppose to be working for the people and today they represented the parties.”
Asked if he thought the two Democrats were following “orders from headquarters,” he responded, “it sure looks that way. I can’t see any other reason.”
Matuzak was once the political coordinator and editor for the American Federation of Teachers Michigan. Bradshaw was listed as the recording secretary and registrar for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 in Detroit.