Residents of Green Charter Township in Michigan voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recall all five members of the town's governing board after they repeatedly ignored local opposition to building a production facility for a Chinese company tied to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In December 2020, the Green Charter Township Board agreed to a $2 billion deal with Gotion, which makes batteries for electric vehicles. While Gotion is headquartered in Silicon Valley, it also has a parent company in China.
"Area residents immediately opposed the plant, expressing concerns about negative effects on the environment and potential communist infiltration," Blaze Media noted in a Nov. 8 report.
Town board members James Peek and Gary Todd had already resigned their positions ahead of Tuesday's recall vote. More than 1,000 Green Charter residents showed up to cast their ballots to oust the other five: Trustees Dale Jernstadt and Roger Carroll; Clerk Janet Clark; Treasurer Denise MacFarlane; and Supervisor James Chapman.
Jason Kruse defeated Chapman with 60% of the vote; Jeff Thorne defeated Jernstadt with 62%; Kelly Cushway's won 57% vs Carroll; Corri Riebow beat Clark for the clerk position with 53%, and Robert Henderson also received 53% to beat MacFarlane for the treasurer spot.
Green Charter Township is a small town of about 3,200 people located in central Michigan, less than an hour north of Grand Rapids.
The few supporters, outside of town board members, of building the facility contended the fear of spreading communism was far-fetched, but corporate documents explicitly require Gotion to "set up a party organization and carry out party activities in accordance with the constitution of the Communist Party of China" and "ensure necessary conditions for carrying out party activities."
"China is our number-one enemy!" one resident said at a town board meeting last spring.
"My family members fought communism, and you’re bringing it right here," said another.
Green Charter residents amassed enough signatures to force the recall election for board members, who otherwise would face re-election in 2024.