Tut, tut, Mike
When I last wrote about Right to Work (for less) cheerleader State Rep. Mike Shirkey, it was it was discovered he took federal Stimulus dollars for his company and then laid people off.
Michigan state Representative and advocate for making Michigan a Right to Work for Less state, Mike Shirkey, has been busted for showing higher than normal level of Republican hypocrisy (“GOPocrisy”) today. Todd Heywood of Michigan Messenger reports that Shirkey benefited from a tax abatement involved with creating a “Tool and Die Recovery Zone”. The tax break gives his nonunion company Orbitforms up to 15 years of operation free from state and local taxation. When he applied for the tax break, Shirkey “told MEDC officials he believed the abatements would allow him to create as many as 12 jobs”.
Why is this hypocritical? There are several reasons. First, since he began receiving the tax break, Shirkey has actually laid off nine workers. Also, Shirkey’s company received a $2.6 million government loans from the federal Recovery Act after condemning President Obama and saying his supporter are drinking “idiot juice”-laced Kool-Aid.
Well, Mr. Shirkey is back in the news this week, this time for flagrant violations of the state’s campaign finance laws.
State Rep Mike Shirkey’s campaign committee has been notified by the Secretary of State’s office that there were three apparent errors or omissions in its annual campaign finance report for 2011.
They include contributions from 10 donors that appeared to exceed the maximum amount allowed and a discrepancy in the reported amount of funds left over from the 2010 election cycle, according to a Jan. 26 notice to the Shirkey campaign from a state analyst. […]
The third issue raised by the Secretary of State office was a request for more information about an in-kind donation from a legal firm that represented Shirkey in the recall efforts.
You can have a look at the letter that the Secretary of State sent to Mr. Shirkey HERE (pdf).
Zack Pohl, spokesperson for We Are the People Michigan, took a snarky swipe at Shirkey for his dereliction:
“It’s clear Rep. Shirkey is more interested in lining his own pockets than protecting Michigan taxpayers. As a corporate CEO, Shirkey took millions from a taxpayer-guaranteed stimulus program and has dodged state business taxes for years. Shirkey should apologize to his constituents and return these illegal campaign contributions immediately. One thing is clear – workers can’t afford Shirkey’s controversial ‘Right to Work’ bill, which will give even more profits to CEOs at the expense of our jobs, our retirement security, and our kids’ future.”
Shirkey’s drive to make Michigan a Right to Work (for less) state seems almost to be an obsession. When Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed Right to Work into law, Shirkey expressed his disappointment. Not that Indiana had passed the law, but that they had “beaten us to it”:
“I’m disappointed that they beat us to this one,” Mike Shirkey, a Republican state representative from Michigan, said of Indiana, adding that he hoped a similar measure might soon be debated in Michigan. “Now a border state is going to establish a leverage position in being attractive to businesses.”
He was so giddy about Indiana’s move that he sent blue and yellow roses to Gov. Daniels.
His virulent anti-union, pro-corporation positions put Mr. Shirkey in a leadership position on dismantling unions in Lansing. However, for all his conservative rhetoric, he’s not above pledging to take nearly a million dollars out of the state budget to tear down a defunct prison in his district. He then wants to sell the property, ensuring the cost of clean-up falls on taxpayers while future profits go to a private business.
Seems to me this businessman has some business of his own to clean up. Learning bookkeeping and how to obey campaign finance laws would be a good first step.