Michigan Journalists Blast Whitmer Speech

Earlier this week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her State of the State speech, and the reviews were unkind. Even from journalists.
 
“Lots of programs proposed, but where’s the money going to come from?” – Vickie Thomas, WWJ News Radio
 
“She’s running up the tab.” – Tim Skubick, WKAR
 
“No questions were answered tonight.” – Nolan Finley, Detroit News
 
“…Did not give one detail on how we’re going to fix this broken system.”  – Frank Beckmann, WJR Radio
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No Details. Just Spending.

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Jocelyn Benson is not good at ethics or bipartisanship

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who campaigned as a champion for transparency, fairness, and honesty in the administration of elections, just completed the most hyper-partisan month in the history of the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

Today, she managed to pull every tooth from Michigan’s campaign finance law to save Gretchen Whitmer and her Chief Strategist millions of dollars in fines and fees with a secret settlement of a massive campaign finance violation.
 
Benson declared today that Michigan campaign finance law does not matter while she is Secretary of State, and astounding violations of that law will essentially go unpunished. Her behavior is partisan, and it is corrupt.

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Smoke and Mirrors

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Bipartisanship is Great. Solutions are Harder.

Lansing appears to be basking in the glow of a surprising thaw.
 
No, the January weather is still miserable. It’s the relationship between the two political parties leading the newly split state government that’s warmer than a late April spring.

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Solutions now, please

This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

There’s a new buzzword in Lansing. Bipartisanship.

You can be forgiven if you’re skeptical.  It’s the same buzzword that pops up in Lansing every fourth January. Politicians take the oath of office, and they begin giving voice to dreams they’ve fostered for months — dreams of a tranquil and harmonious state capital, where everyone gets along — because everyone agrees with them.

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Whitmer Talks, Lobbyists Walk

As a candidate, Gretchen Whitmer promised voters she’d be a champion for government transparency.  She’s off to a rough start.
 
Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reported that Whitmer’s appointee to head the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs just happens to be married to a prominent lobbyist with big money clients who regularly lobby the department.

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Building Bridges to Nowhere

In her inaugural address on Tuesday, Governor Whitmer proclaimed, “We may belong to different parties, but we are all here for the same reason. We are proud Michiganders, first and foremost.  And we owe it to the people we serve to cast partisanship aside. To roll up our sleeves. To build bridges together.”
 
It's a great sentiment. But will her actions match up with her rhetoric?
 
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A Republic, If We Can Keep It

We’ve got a Republic, if we can keep it.

That was Benjamin Franklin’s message to an inquiring public at our nation’s founding, and one no less true in the 21st century.
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A Republic, if we can keep it

This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

In 1787 Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government the newly independent colonies had formed. “A Republic, if you can keep it,” he responded. More than 230 years have passed, and his challenge is every bit as prescient and important as it was in the 18th century.

The political left too often laments decisions they don’t like with cries of “democracy, democracy.” It is trendy and perhaps too easy these days for those on the political right to retort that “we are not a democracy.” In a meaningful sense, the right is correct; but maybe we’re not quite as correct as we think we are.

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