Forcing Benson’s Hand

Last June, my friends at the Honest Elections Project and I took Jocelyn Benson to court and this week we held her accountable.

Our federal lawsuit sought to force the Secretary of State to comply with the National Voter Registration Act.

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Opinion: Whitmer is silent on state police's encrypted text message scandal

This column originally appeared in The Detroit News.

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.” – James Madison, 1822.

One wonders what the father of our Constitution would have said reading Michigan newspaper reports about new evidence that high-ranking state employees were caught using technology that doesn’t merely withhold public records but is designed specifically to destroy them.

They’re the kind of revelations that should worry every Michigan resident and produce broad and meaningful reform from lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Caught in a COVID-19 Cover-up

The bombshell exploded late Thursday.

An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted to lawmakers on a video conference call that the state covered up the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in order to avoid prosecution over their disastrous policy.

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Sending the Wrong Signals

There’s a simmering transparency crisis at the state Capitol, and the press is turning up the heat.

Late in January, the Detroit Free Press reported that high ranking members of the Michigan State Police were caught using a third party app on their state phones to automatically hide and delete public records related to personnel decisions on the force – and heaven-knows what else.

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The State of the State is… Unemployed

Wednesday evening, Governor Gretchen Whitmer took to the airwaves to deliver her third State of the State address. She lobbed a few talking points from the Biden administration, hyped the new President’s slogan, and talked a lot about bipartisanship.

We caught up with Lynn Afendoulis, press secretary for Speaker Wentworth, Beth DeShone, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Education Project and Tori Sachs, Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action for their reactions to Gov. Whitmer’s lackluster address. You can hear what they had to say in the latest edition of our podcast, “In the Trenches.”

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In the Trenches: Gov. Whitmer's (Mis)State of the State

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Video: The REAL State of the State?

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A Better Way

Michigan families are facing unprecedented challenges. They’ve been told they’re not allowed to go to work. Their kids aren’t allowed to go to school. They’re lectured and belittled if they go to church. Vaccines that could save their lives are going unused, sitting on freezer shelves.

Larger gatherings? Forget about it. They’re illegal. Governor Whitmer says so. (Didn’t stop her from spending inauguration day with thousands of strangers in Washington, D.C., though. Apparently, her pandemic orders don’t apply in our nation’s capital.)

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Opinion: Leaders in Lansing can make life better for Michigan residents

This column originally appeared in The Detroit News.

Last year confronted Michigan families with incredible challenges, and the new year hasn't been any easier.

How do they pay the bills? Will the governor even let them to go to work tomorrow? Will their kids be back in class a few weeks from now? And is there anyone in government or politics we can still trust?

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Put this on a snarky t-shirt

Restaurant workers are still out of a job. Despite declining COVID infection and hospitalization rates, Governor Gretchen Whitmer this week announced another extension of her unilateral order, taking cooks out of the kitchen and dropping them onto the unemployment line.

"It's a pause that continues to not have a plan — and we're 75 days in now," Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association told Crain’s Detroit Business. "It can't be the data. So what is it?"

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