A Grand Traverse County Tea Party activist is filing a campaign finance complaint against Gov. Rick SNYDER for publicly advocating for a “yes” vote on the upcoming road funding ballot proposal six times during the State of the State address.

Jason GILLMAN, of the conservative blog RightMi.com, said he understands an elected official has the legal authority to endorse or oppose a ballot question, but Gillman argues Snyder stepped into expressed advocacy by bringing up what will become Proposal 1 during the televised annual address.

“I would just like them to pay attention to the law,” Gillman said. “If, as a business owner, I screw up my paperwork, I’m going to get crushed with the full force and authority of the government. You can’t have it both ways. If I’m going to go by the law, he’s got to go by the law.”

Gillman filed a successful campaign finance complaint with the Bureau of Elections in 2012 against the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) system for sending out a mailer that asked recipients to “support the continuation of the TCAPS long-term infrastructure improvement plan.”

However, the case Gillman is bringing to the Bureau of Elections may closer resemble a case in Saline that state officials addressed last year, in which the Saline City Council passed a resolution in support of the Personal Property Tax revenue replacement measure, according to one state official.

The City of Saline held a community forum to talk about the proposal and the Mayor spoke in favor of it, but the city didn’t go out of its way to spend any city dollars to directly advocate for the proposal outside of its normal governmental operations.

The same could be argued in the case of Snyder, who spoke the words during a statewide address he was going to make anyway.

According to the Secretary of State, the Governor isn’t allowed to hand out “Vote Yes” placards out of the Capitol, tape a lawn sign to his office window or use his phone or e-mails for campaign purposes.

“We don’t think there’s a violation there,” said Fred WOODHAMS of the Secretary of State’s office.

Gillman said he would still push the matter.

“There are things that are problems and he doesn’t care. Someone has to slap his hand. You can’t do things like say ‘vote for’ something six times in a public forum,” he argues. “This was a campaign ad. Frankly, if this isn’t a violation, than the whole provision of public officials speaking out in favor a ballot proposal is moot. It shouldn’t be in the law.”

Snyder Press Secretary Sara WURFEL said the Gillman’s claim has “zero merit.”

“As the chief executive of the state, the Governor clearly has a role and responsibility on public policy matters. We have reviewed all laws carefully and closely and the Governor is fully within his right to discuss his position,” she said.