Frontlines of Freedom: Lansing needs more transparency

Here are this week's important updates focused on economic and personal freedom in Michigan. 

Tony Daunt
Director of Operations




MFF_Logo.jpgWhat Are They Hiding? Lansing Needs More Transparency

Anyone who’s ever worked a job with a company email account knows the way it works. If an employee uses email at the office, the IT department — and the boss — has access to those emails, too.

Why is it, then, that your employees — lawmakers in Lansing — don’t have to worry about you seeing their email?

Michigan Freedom Fund Chairman Greg McNeilly writes in the Detroit News that there are a lot of reasons many politicians might not want the public finding out what they’re doing on company time:

“Take Brian Banks, for instance. Banks is embroiled in a lawsuit filed by a former state employee who alleges the Detroit Democrat sexually harassed — and then fired — him for refusing his advances.

Did Banks’ staffer reach out to Democratic caucus services, then-state Rep. (and current Michigan Democratic Party chairman) Brandon Dillon, or current Minority Leader Tim Greimel to report his boss’s behavior? How did Dillon or Greimel respond?

We don’t know. Banks’ constituents don’t have access to written or email records between the office, the lawmaker, his alleged victim, House Democrats, Dillon or Greimel.”

That’s because the state legislature is exempt from Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act requirements. That should change.

And in other news...

CapCon.jpgFormer Energy Regulator Says Bill Would Establish Energy Monopoly

According to a former chairwoman of the panel that regulates electric utility prices in Michigan, if the current version of House Bill 4298 is enacted electric choice will cease to exist in the state.

“There is no question that the new language in the bill will eliminate electric choice," said Laura Chappelle, who was a member of the Michigan Public Service Commission from 2001 to 2007, and chaired it from 2001 to 2003. “It looks like it is written to maintain electric choice, but it wouldn’t — at least not for the majority of alternative energy suppliers.”

Read more… 

Labor_Pains.jpgUAW Local 600 Bullies Members Who Leave the Union

Under current labor law, leaving a union is anything but easy—even in right-to-work states.

Todd Lemire, a Michigan plant worker and union member of over 17 years, found that out the hard way when he decided to leave his UAW Local 600 this summer. Following the opt-out, Local 600 Tool and Die Unit President Bob Brezovsky publicized Lemire’s name and title in the fall edition of the union’s online publication, along with the following message: “These names and anyone else that chooses to stop paying their fair share will be posted in every article.”

Read more…

Detroit_News.jpgWayne Commissioners Enrich Their Health Care

While county Executive Warren Evans is trying to sell employees on the necessity of shared sacrifice to stave off bankruptcy, Wayne County’s elected commissioners are reverting to form and stuffing their own pockets.

After a financial emergency was declared last summer, the county signed a consent agreement with the state designed to give Evans and the commission time to balance their budget and develop a plan to resolve accumulated deficits.


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