Action Speak Louder Than Words Michigan Legislators
Did you know that Michigan is the only state that has a full time legislature that does not require state-level elected officials to disclose their financial interest? That is true, but no worries these elected politicians do rely on an honor system to tell us if they have a conflict of interest.
We keep hearing that Michigan elected officials want transparency but their actions speak louder than their words.
MLive is reporting that they had created a financial disclosure form which was based on what our congress has. They then asked all of Michigan’s 148 lawmakers, the governor, secretary of state and the attorney general to voluntarily disclose their financial records.
According to the report:
Two lawmakers — state Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit and state Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor — and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson voluntarily disclosed their financial interests to MLive by a May 20 deadline. Attorney General Dana Nessel said she plans to fill out the form, but needed more time.
Attorney General Dana Nessel stated that she strongly supports the initiative to increase transparency from elected officials and in a statement stated:
Michigan ranks as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to transparency and I commend MLive for pursuing this information.
Well if you strongly support it and commend MLive for “pursuing this information” then why did you not fill out the form in a timely matter. How many assets do you actually own that it would take so long to fill out?
According to MLive some state officials did not fill out their form because they already have voluntarily disclosed their finances. These state wide politicians include Governor Whitmer and state Representative David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids.
What does the Republican leadership have to say about it, well House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said in a statement that House Republicans chose not to respond to MLive’s request because sensitive financial data and candidate information:
are issues the legislature and election officials should handle, not the for-profit media with the loudest megaphone.
As I always state on my show, listen to what our elected officials say but their actions quite often speak much louder than their words.