Pesky, pesky facts
Meme courtesy of the Michigan Democratic Party
At a public breakfast forum this week, Republican Governor Rick Snyder was challenged by Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson over the more than doubling of the state contract held by Snyder’s cousin George Snyder. Johnson asked Snyder, “How can you justify cutting education and raising (taxes on the) senior and middle class, but at the same time doubling office furniture spending with a company owned by your cousin?”
Snyder’s answer was a blatant lie:
His company has been doing office furniture with state of Michigan business for decades. He has a contract … with the state of Michigan. Do you know when that deal was done? Before I took office. So there’s nothing to this at all.
Here’s the video:
Problem is, as I have written about before, the contract was for only $19,200,000 when it was first awarded. Then, effective September 14, 2012, it was more than doubled to $41,432,370.
Snyder took office 21 months before that on January 1st, 2011. So, in fact, there IS something to this after all.
You can view the contract and the many revisions of it over the years HERE (pdf).
Here’s the pertinent bit, found in “Change Notice No. 071B8200189”:
Ironically, the massive increase in the value of the contract came after efforts in the state legislature to reduce the contract significantly. It is alleged that, working through his NERD Fund-paid “Transformation Manager” Richard Baird, George Snyder was able to prevent the cut.
Gov. Snyder is correct that the original contract was in place before he took office. That is not the issue. The issue is that the governor’s cousin benefitted from a massive expansion of the contract to the tune of over $22.2 million and that effort was coordinated by Richard Baird who was not paid by the state but, rather, by the Governor’s now-defunct NERD Fund whose donors are secret.
“Nothing to this at all”, Governor? Au contraire. It’s just one more shining example of how your corporate friends and family benefit from having YOU in office.
By the way, if you’d like to chime in on how you would spend $41 million that George Snyder’s contract is worth, visit michigandems.com/snyder-scandal .