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BREAKING: Snyder administration officials illegally destroyed documents sought in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request

Progress Michigan has been doing yeomans work holding the Snyder administration accountable for corrupt actitivies, shining the sanitizing sunshine needed to ensure that transparency isn’t just a catch phrase used by our Governor. In response to an August request for documents from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Progress Michigan was told in September that no such documents existed. Then, this week, they were told that the documents HAD existed but that they were destroyed when MDCH Director Jim Haveman retired.

However, the request was submitted on August 21st. Mr. Haveman retired after a mild stroke a full week later on August 28th.…

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GUEST POST: Saving Pure Michigan with your vote

Could this be the end of Pure Michigan?

The following guest post was written by Janis Bobrin, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner from 1989 to 2012.
The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is so compelling because it touches on a fundamental Michigan value – the sense of place fostered by the state’s majestic waters, lands, fish and wildlife. No one who grows up or lives in Michigan is immune to the lure of these natural resources, and our responsibility to protect and manage them wisely.

All too often in Michigan’s history, however, our elected officials have shirked their duty. In the state’s first 70 years, they gave little thought or caring to what would come after their time.…

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Michigan Republican Arlan Meekhof calls security on reporters asking about his support of dark money in politics

There’s little doubt that Republicans love mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money in our political process and elections. And it’s no wonder. They benefit more from the increased limits on political donations more than Democrats. Considerably more.

What they especially love is money where the donors can be kept secret. That way, the donors don’t have to answer to anyone and the politicians can do their bidding without anyone knowing who they have sold their souls – and votes – to.

The poster child for dark money in politics in Michigan is Republican Arlan Meekhof. Meekhof slipped some wording into a bill in Senate Bill 661 that ensured that wealthy donors to groups running “issue ads” – ads that are little more than thinly-veiled political attacks – can remain secret, benefiting everyone except Michigan citizens and the sanctity of our very democracy.…

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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley takes one day off each week to fly to Harvard for classes

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has been taking off every Wednesday to hop a flight to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend classes at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in order to get a master’s degree in public administration.

Calley defends this paid time off to go to school, saying, “I’ve got no scholarships or help by the state or any other groups, I’m personally financing it 100%” and “I’m just like a lot of other Michiganders. I’m a full-time worker who’s pursuing higher education.”

That sounds nice. We all want to better ourselves. But that’s really not the question here.…

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Progress Michigan files Hatch Act complaint against Gov. Rick Snyder for awarding no-bid contracts to campaign donors

Stuff just got real

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been pretty deft at shrugging of the many scandals that have enveloped his administration. But the most recent one, the awarding of $26.4 million in state contracts to a campaign donor might be one he can’t shrug off.

Today, my friends at Progress Michigan announced that they have filed a Hatch Act complaint against Governor Snyder over this latest pay-to-play scandal that directly involves the Governor himself:

Today, Progress Michigan filed a complaint with United States Office of Special Counsel alleging that Gov. Rick Snyder violated the Hatch Act. The complaint alleges that Gov.…
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Tell everyone why you’re voting Democratic on Nov. 4th

There are still undecided votes to be won for Democrats. Now is the time to make your case.

I know regular readers of Eclectablog are fully aware that Election Day is next week. A lot of you are the same people who are knocking on doors, making phone calls and doing whatever you can to help get out the vote. You’ve been following politics this entire election cycle if not every day of the year.

But a lot of folks are only now thinking about how they’ll vote on November 4th. Which means there are votes yet to be won for Democrats.…

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Detroit Free Press extols Mark Schauer’s values as “embedded in Michigan’s DNA” then endorses Rick Snyder for Governor

For the most part, I give little credence to newspaper endorsements except when they are out of character. However, the Detroit Free Press endorsement of Rick Snyder deserves to be discussed derisively for the absurdity that it is.

If you read the commentary accompanying the endorsement, you would assume that Mark Schauer would have been their choice. These are some of the ways they talk about Democrat Mark Schauer and his campaign for Governor:

  • [Schauer has] progressive values the Free Press Editorial Board believes are embedded in Michigan’s DNA — expansion of civil rights, protections for workers, environmental stewardship, plus investment in schools, roads and the social safety net.
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Nothing to see here, just another Aramark employee busted smuggling drugs to prisoners

This whole “privatize government services to a for-profit corporation” thing is just going so well isn’t it? Prison food vendor Aramark has stubbed its toe a few times, but, hey, we have to “work with them”, as Governor Snyder put it. And by stubbing their toe, I mean:

  • Running out of food
  • Making unauthorized food substitutions in violation of their contract
  • Maggots in food service areas
  • Employees having sex with prisoners
  • Serving raw or under-cooked meat to inmates
  • Falsifying food storage and safety records
  • Smuggling weed, cocaine, and heroin to prisoners
  • An employee soliciting an inmate to murder another inmate

Just a few little things.…

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Rick Snyder hasn’t taken $1 billion out of K-12 education, he’s taken BILLIONS out of K-12 education

I had a conversation with Ann Arbor-area state Representative Jeff Irwin recently and he brought up a point few people are discussing related to higher education. There’s been a lot of focus on how much money is in Gov. Snyder’s budget for education and Gov. Snyder wants everyone to believe that he has put MORE money into his education budget than his predecessor. There’s a tiny bit of room for debate if you completely ignore the impact of inflation and the fact that his increased spending has been largely to make sure teachers’ retirement pensions are stable.

But that’s not what Irwin was talking about.…

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Introducing “Big Picture”, a new visual project of Eclectablog. Up first: “Education – Who has Snyder been tough on?”

We’re very proud to announce a new project of Eclectablog called “Big Picture”. Big Picture is a subsite of Eclectablog that gives you a visual reframing of the issues and stories you care about. It’s a political story, told in words and pictures that gives you a broad view of important topics, presented in a compelling fashion.

While several of us had input into the project, it is primarily Anne’s creation. It’s her photos, her graphics, and her visual memes and she has been solely responsible for building the site.

The first few Big Pictures will be a recap of Gov.…

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