Seriously, this is getting ridiculous
MIRS has a damning report out this week about further examples of pay-to-play politics in the Snyder administration. According to their reporting, the Dickinson Wright law firm received a $225,000 contract with the state in July of 2013. The contract was signed by Attorney General Bill Schuette and former state Treasurer Andy Dillon. A week later, Bill Schuette’s reelection campaign received 21 contributions worth $3,500 from Dickinson Wright employees and, five months after that, the four people who signed the contract with the state made contributions to Governor Snyder’s campaign.
MIRS scoured Snyder’s campaign finance records and found that he has taken in nearly $300,000 in contributions of more than $1,000 from people who worked for companies with state contracts.
This information comes on the heels of the revelations of Gov. Snyder’s cousin George receiving preferential treatment in securing an office furniture contract with the state as well as state contractor Integrated Strategies Inc. using their connections with Snyder aide Richard Baird to save their own contract and even expand it. Governor Snyder appears to be using the power of his administration to ensure campaign finance money flows unimpeded into his war chest.
Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, released this statement:
This report clearly shows that the Snyder administration’s web of cronyism runs deep. Over the last four years it’s become evident that Gov. Snyder is just another politician who is more concerned about appeasing his donors rather than helping working families. It’s well past time for him to live up to his campaign promise of being accountable to the public.
From no-bid contracts and protecting family interests while cutting education funding, to a culture of intimidation — the Snyder administration appears to be sitting on a three-legged chair of cronyism. Eventually, as was the case with Chris Christie, these actions will catch up with him and Michiganders will see him for what he is — a typical conservative politician who cares more about his wealthy friends than working people.”
Progress Michigan recently had a billboard in Lansing rejected by Adams Outdoor Advertising because, according to emails from an Adams manager, they “are really trying to continue to maintain good relationships with the governor’s office”. Progress Michigan has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the state to see if Adams has any contracts with the state that may be further evidence of the apparent Snyder administration pay-to-play culture.
I get that people from any company in the state can donate to the campaigns of Snyder administration officials and even to Snyder himself. But the timing on these particular examples is so coincidental as to be hard to see them as anything but the securing of favors in exchange for campaign contributions. That sort of thing may be considered acceptable in the business world that Rick Snyder has done so well in. However, in state government, it has no place and is just one more example of why it’s a huge mistake to elect leaders who think state government should be run like a business.
[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]