Tag Archives | Progress Michigan

Michigan ALEC meeting flops when (almost) nobody shows up

This past week, the corporatist front group and bill mill for corporate America, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), held a breakfast gathering for Michigan state legislators. Our friends at Progress Michigan were there and reported that only SIX legislators actually attended. Here is the all-Republican list of attendees:

  • Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton)
  • Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle)
  • Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona)
  • Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw)
  • Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake)
  • Senator Mike Green (R-Mayville)

According to Progess Michigan, Sen. Green and Rep. Nesbitt are Michigan’s ALEC co-chairs and were listed on the invitation to the event.

As Progresss Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott explains, this is a hopeful sign that the Koch brothers-supported corporate lobby group is experiencing a drop in influence, at least in Michigan:

Even one ALEC enthused legislator can lead to horrible public policy.…
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ACT NOW: Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act being fast-tracked by GOP-led Legislature

In one day, it passed out of committee and is up for a House vote. Despite what the bill’s proponents claim, the RFRA would enshrine discrimination on religious grounds into state law.

UPDATED following House vote. There’s still time to take action. See below.

It’s happening even faster than we’d feared. Following a hearing, the Michigan House of Representatives House Judiciary Committee voted to send House Speaker Jase Bolger’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act for a vote before the Michigan House of Representatives. This bill was passed by a vote of 59-50 along straight party lines, the same day as the hearing.…

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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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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 off 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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UPDATED: New Progress Michigan poll has Schauer up by 3, Republican pollster has Snyder up by 2. Need any more reason to GOTV?

See update below.

If you are sitting around wondering if it’s worth your while to get involved in the massive Get Out the Vote (GOTMFV) effort in the last two weeks of this election, two polls out this week should give you the nudge that you need.

First we have a poll by Republican pollster Mitchell Research & Communication that shows Gov. Snyder ahead by a scant 2 points with a margin of error of 3.23%. In other words, a statistical dead heat. And that’s a Republican pollster’s numbers. By the way, that same poll has Gary Peters with an 13 point lead while what’s-her-name has resorted to tweeting about how well she ran “the DMV” in Michigan even though there’s no such thing as a Michigan DMV.…

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Progress Michigan unveils new website that highlights the many scandals of the Snyder administration

I know what you’re thinking: “Eclectablog, how can I possibly keep up with all of the many scandals of the Snyder administration???” Whether it’s department heads living lavish, high-on-the-hog lifestyles on the taxpayer’s dime or “education reform” shysters ringing up huge travel expenses to promote their failed education experiment on Detroit school children, sometimes is just all seems like too much to keep track of.

Well fear not, devoted reader. Our friends at Progress Michigan have come to the rescue. Today, they unveiled SnyderScandals.com, your one-stop shop for the myriad scandals that have rocked the administration of Rick Snyder over the past four years.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: You can have access to the Governor’s office (but it’ll cost ya), MEDC official: Loss of Cadillac “not a big deal”

An exposé by the New York Times shows that access to officials in the administrations of a number of Republican governors can be had by corporate America as long as they were willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars:

[A]n error by the Republican Governors Association recently resulted in the disclosure of exactly the kind of information that political committees given tax-exempt status usually keep secret, namely their corporate donors and the size of their checks. […]

With Congress producing so little legislation, governors’ offices have become attractive targets, Mr.

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New Progress Michigan VIDEO shows how privatization to for-profit Aramark came to Michigan despite the data

This new video from Progress Michigan is their best effort yet. It tells the story of Aramark coming to Michigan in a very smart and clever way.

Privatizing our prison food services to a for-profit corporation is an experiment. But, as the the video shows, it was an experiment that was already proven to be a failed and flawed model for providing essential government services. Nonetheless. Gov. Rick Snyder went ahead anyway and now we find ourselves in the mess we are today.


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UPDATED: More Snyder administration officials living high on the hog at taxpayers’ expense

This is getting ridiculous

NOTE: See update below.

An explosive report by the Detroit Free Press shows that Scott Woosley, head of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, along with other staffers has racked up huge bills, all paid for by Michigan taxpayers. Travel in stretch limos, $500-a-night hotel accomodations, $40,000 on international trips, all-alcohol “dinners”, and sumptious feasts were uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request by the Michigan Democratic Party who were tipped off by a letter from an anonymous whistleblower.

The head of the state housing authority has rung up tens of thousands of dollars in expenses since taking office in 2012, dining on filet mignon, escargot and foie gras, staying in hotels that cost $400 to $500 a night, and traveling in a stretch limousine, records show…Officials who vet expense vouchers have rejected hundreds of dollars in reimbursements Scott Woosley has sought, such as a $47.60 “dinner” receipt from a Washington, D.C., bar for which the only items consumed were three glasses of 15-year-old El Dorado rum.…
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Progress Michigan and County officials call for Gov. Snyder to end prison food contract with Aramark

County Commissioners from Oakland and Ingham Counties joined Progress Michigan yesterday in calling for Governor Rick Snyder to end the state’s prison food services contract with Aramark. Aramark has faced a rash of scandals including employees bringing drugs and other contraband into prisons, employees engaging in sexual activities with prisoners, and maggots being found in food service areas in two prisons. Over 80 of their employees – nearly a quarter of those working in our state’s prisons -have been banned from Michigan prisons because of inappropriate conduct.

In a conference call with journalists yesterday, Oakland County Commissioner Dave Woodward said, “Governor Snyder’s decision to privatize state prison food service through Aramark has been a colossal failure.…

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