Atlantic Cities
Democracy in America

Tea Party Mayor Janice Daniels Facing a Recall Vote

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, the closest thing America has to a real-life Ron Swanson, has fallen into a political punji trap, with a recall vote now firmly jammed into her side.

On Tuesday, the elections director for Oakland County, Michigan, home to Troy, announced that recall proponents had gained almost 9,000 signatures, more than enough to force a recall measure on the ballot in November. It is a not-altogether-unanticipated stumble for the Tea Party mayor, who last year pissed off a segment of the city's population by turning away millions in federal funding for a new transit center.

At the time, Daniels had written a position paper explaining her refusal to take the cash. Here's the nut of it (strap on your Adidas for this run-on sentence):

"The use of any amount of federal funds from a government that has increased the debt load on generations of Americans yet to be born by at least 5 trillion dollars of printed money in the past three years borders on malfeasance and the argument that it is our money that has been sent to Washington is naive when the truth remains that in order to get out of a serious debt crisis there has never been a legitimate provable case where increasing the debt load of the many by accepting the use of the debt money by the few has ever resulted in an improved economic climate."

(I think that means, "The government is terrible at spending tax money, so I'm just not going to take it anymore." But for anyone who actually read the full paper, please feel free to correct me on nuance.)

Several months and a gays-are-dangerous scandal later, the ramifications of denying Troy a transit center have finally crystallized around the mayor. But Daniels doesn't seem too worried. As she explained to the Detroit Free Press: "I represent small government, low taxes and less regulation, but the people behind this recall prefer big-government solutions, and I don't believe the majority of Troy voters agree with that."

John Metcalfe is a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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