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MEA chief says GOP earned recalls

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-986608.mp3

EAST LANSING, MI –

The new chief of the Michigan Education Association says Republicans have only themselves to blame for the raft of recall efforts launched against GOP lawmakers. More from the Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta.

Steve Cook is the newly elected president of the state's largest teachers union. He acknowledged the MEA has dumped thousands of dollars into the recall effort and would not rule out spending more. But he says the recalls would not be gaining traction if it were only teachers who are unhappy with what's going on in Lansing.

"Do not underestimate the mood out there in the general public with what the Legislature has done," he says. "I've never seen anything like it."

Cook was on the Michigan Public TV show "Off the Record." He says people are mad about cuts to schools and the new tax on pensions.

So far, only one union-backed recall drive has actually qualified for the ballot, but dozens of petitions are circulating to recall lawmakers. The state Republican Party has launched a counter-effort aimed at Democrats.

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