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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Op/Ed- Part 3 of ROJS News Exclusive investigation into Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recall campaign

ROJS News Exclusive Op/Ed

Photo Credit-CRRS
On April 4, 2012, eight days ago, a article appeared on the Huffington Post, ROJS News had verifiable knowledge that 500K signature claim in the piece was at best a fallacy.

ROJS News call ourselves bloggers for the following reasons: The first one is obvious, we're not trained journalists. Next, we don't receive compensation normally for any story we take a keen interest in.

We don't have resources of a large news house when investigating potential stories. Although we might take a position on a story, no one has compensated us to do so. Finally, we care about presenting articles to our readers that invoke thought, discussion and overview.

ROJS News Exclusive Investigation-Part 3- Into the Committee to Recall Gov. Rick Snyder

November 2011, we were contacted by volunteers of the Committee to Recall Rick Snyder about allegations during the petition signature drive campaign. Over the next five months after many conference calls and emails to earn trust individuals threaten with lawsuits for talking about their experience volunteering time for free, ROJS News had the information required to tell this story.

We determined each of these volunteers loyalty worked without compensation to assist with a recall vote appearing on a Michigan general election ballot, for or against keeping Gov. Rick Snyder in office in 2011. How they were treated by a core group of leaders they had faith in previously left them a bit skeptical to tell their stories to any political reporter or blogging arm.

The stories told detail accounts of bullying tactics, threats of lawsuits for defending Michiganders who signed petitions in good faith and payments to a 'leader' who didn't live in Michigan. ROJS Radio opened up our phone lines on a show named, 'Special Show-Truth or Lie on Recall Gov. Snyder Allegations' which aired January 14, 2012, for both sides could openly debate the issues. A follow-up podcast was aired on January 31, 2012.

Both programs, widely published prior to its' podcast, received calls by those who alleged harm, threats and ill treatment by a number of administrators with CRRS. This podcast was a round-table for any CRRS volunteers to share further allegations or positive experiences.

January 24, 2011 ROJS News published our first investigative piece about CRRS 2011 campaign. Attempts were made to discredit ROJS Media's article and previous podcast shows on this subject.

Facebook Message Blogger Monica Ross-Williams received on January 15th

Photo Credit REQUIRED-ROJS News
Photo Credit-ROJS News

Photo Credit REQUIRED-ROJS Media
Photo Credit Required-ROJS News

ROJS News was the FIRST news-based blogging arm to fully pursue this story. The person who named appeared blacken current represents the new recall group against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Rising.

Another blog named featured two important key written dictations by Gail Schmidt-former CRRS Treasurer and Lora Trezil- former CRRS Oakland County Captain and ROJS News verbally confirmed both statements were written by the authors.

ROJS News spoke to Tim Kramer on January 17, 2012. Mr. Kramer was the original leader of the campaign to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. His organization, previously known as Michigan Citizen United was re-named April 2011 the PAC Committee to Recall Rick Snyder. Mr. Kramer was disassociated from the new PAC in July 2011. 

Listen to ROJS Radio EXCLUSIVE Interview with Tim Kramer

ROJS News investigation led to a then questionable reallocation of CRRS PAC funds to a company named Kos Media, LLC of $28K

Upon speaking with former CRRS Treasurer Schmidt in January 2012, she re-confirmed this statement written on
"I returned the remaining campaign funds of $28,000+ to Daily Kos since that organization was responsible for all of the donations.  If they redirect it to Michigan Rising, that remains to be seen when the group files its campaign finance report with the state later this month," Schmidt wrote. 
According to Michigan Political Action Committee guidelines, Ms. Schmidt was correct in returning funds to Kos Media, LLC as she stated they were responsible for all of CRRS donations received. What would be violation of PAC guidelines if those funds are returned in anyway to another, or newly formed PAC.

From the Michigan Secretary of State Website-Appendix W-Dissolution of a Committee
Photo Credit-ROJS News

An important terminology of Michigan PAC Guidelines are the words 'written instrument'. Specifically, a 'written instrument' is a verifiable check or money order copy that's required for all donations received by a PAC, if the donation is over $20.01. If the amount donated is under this amount, no direct verifiable record is required.
Photo Credit-ROJS News
Before we conclude this Op/Ed in a Part-4, we will leave our readers with these important thoughts. Ms. Schmidt stated above, she was unsure if the PAC funds dissolved from CRRS in October 2011 would be transferred back elsewhere. Let's be a little clearer with Ms. Schmidt's statement.

If any part of those funds are reallocated to a newly formed PAC in anyway -including in the form of small dollar donations under $20.01- those actions would be a violation of Michigan PAC guidelines and the states' Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act, P.A. 388 of 1976.

We'll leave Part-3 of this article with a recent quote from an article on Ann
"The group (Michigan Rising) has no funding at this point other than small donations people have sent. She said the typical donation has been about $18.  
"I think over the past year we have had maybe three $1,000 donations and the rest have all been $100 and below," she said. "Most of them are $3 to $25 and they're coming from people just like us — people who are watching these policies being enacted and are dissatisfied with the performance of Gov. Snyder."

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